My first Unix session was a password hijack experience. It was in … 1989 !

I discovered Unix (not Linux) at college in Bordeaux, in 1989. After a first course about Unix and its concepts, our professor gave us our credentials to be able to login on our school Unix system.

This computer was a HP 9000 server running a Unix OS. The “machine room” was in fact divided in two rooms. The first one was the “white room”, a restricted access with only the big box inside aka the main server : 1,5m high and several meters long. The second room was the room dedicated to the twenty passive terminals (VT100 emulation I think) used to login on the Unix system.

So, with my user account and password, I sat in front of one of the terminals. I entered my user account and my password. Failed. I just thinked that I mispelled one of them, I retried and I managed to log in. The rest of the session was successful : I was able to try the few commands I learned during my first lesson.

But. The day after, I was not able to log in anymore. 2nd year students were just laughing in the terminals room. I asked why. They stopped laughing, picked a terminal and introduced me to the .logout functionnality. It is used to execute a set of commands when you leave your current session. They have customized their own .logout script in order to display a screen almost identical to the normal login screen.

Yes, you see ? My first try to enter my credentials the day before was done on a faked login screen 😉 The student who was connected before me got my credentials and just has to change my password. After getting my credentials, the commands executed by the .logout script ended and the student session also. So I retried to enter my credentials in front of the real login screen.

It was in 1989. On a Unix system. Connected to … nothing : no network available at this time on this server. And password theft was aleady a game 🙂

Image published under CC by license : https://www.flickr.com/photos/ajmexico/2478197231/

Samsung NC10 : change your HDD by a SSD

I have got a Samsung NC10 for 3 years, that I almost always use under Ubuntu. Computer launch, its stop and the applications launch are very slow.

So I decided to install a 128Gb Crucial M4 SSD

To do it I follow :

  • this how-to for openning the NC10,
  • this video explaining clearly the opening of the delicate portion, the back of the computer.

The results :

  • launching time under Ubuntu 11.10 with the HDD :
    • from GRUB to Ubuntu users selection screen : 42 seconds
    • from Ubuntu users selection screen to the fully operational desktop : 25 seconds
    • total : 1 minute 7 seconds
  • launching time under Ubuntu 11.10 with the SSD :
    • from GRUB to Ubuntu users selection screen : 12 seconds
    • from Ubuntu users selection screen to the fully operational desktop : 15 seconds
    • total : 27 seconds

Always under Ubuntu 11.10, LibreOffice Writer launches : 6,5 seconds.

But Firefox with Sync activated requires always 15 secondes to launch. CPU and network dependencies tend to reduce the SSD benefits.

Conclusion : The NC10 does not become a blazzing fast netbook but as seen with the different figures, the SSD helps the NC10 to run quite quickly.