Launch Chrome and Load a Local Extension

There are over 1,000 command-line switches to the chrome executable. This particular switch allowed me to load an extension from the command line by giving it a path to the unpacked extension.

chrome.exe --load-extension=C:ChromeExtensionsHotVirtualKeyboard1.1.0

Unpacking the extension itself is for a different day… but some quick notes on that.

To find the extension directory, I first needed the extension ID. In Chrome, I navigated to chrome://extensions/.

Under each extension, there is an ID: field with a string representing that extension’s ID which correlates to the following path:

%LOCALAPPDATA%GoogleChromeUser DataDefaultExtensionsextensionstringhere

Set Internet Explorer Proxy Settings Globally

Here’s a registry file to set the Internet Explorer proxy settings globally for all users on a computer. This should work with Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10 and 11.

This example only allows website access; the rest would be proxied to

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftInternet ExplorerControl Panel]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionInternet Settings]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionInternet Settings]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionInternet Settings]

Test Cisco ASA VPN Authentication

Had an issue with a user that was failing to log into the VPN from remote.  Couldn’t initially figure it out while at home while troubleshooting the authentication.  So here’s how to test authentication from the Cisco ASA CLI.

ciscoasa# test aaa-server authentication AUTH2K8 host username rkreider password s3cr3t

The blue highlights are values that need specified. If not sure of the AAA-SERVER, use the following command to list all the authentication servers.

ciscoasa# show aaa-server

This lists all the aaa-servers; to narrow it down, as in my case, I specified some additional arguments.

ciscoasa# show aaa-server authentication protocol nt

Here is a list of available protocols.

ciscoasa# show aaa-server protocol ?

  http-form  Protocol HTTP form-based
  kerberos   Protocol Kerberos
  ldap       Protocol LDAP
  nt         Protocol NT
  radius     Protocol RADIUS
  sdi        Protocol SDI
  tacacs+    Protocol TACACS+

So the output from showing the aaa-server type of NT is follows for me.

Server Group:    AUTH2K8
Server Protocol: nt
Server Address:
Server port:     139
Server status:   ACTIVE, Last transaction at 13:16:58 EDT Wed Mar 26 2014
Number of pending requests              0
Average round trip time                 0ms
Number of authentication requests       435
Number of authorization requests        0
Number of accounting requests           0
Number of retransmissions               0
Number of accepts                       389
Number of rejects                       31
Number of challenges                    0
Number of malformed responses           0
Number of bad authenticators            0
Number of timeouts                      15
Number of unrecognized responses        0

I used the highlighted values in my test case. Again, here is my command.

ciscoasa# test aaa-server authentication AUTH2K8 host username rkreider password s3cr3t
INFO: Attempting Authentication test to IP address <> (timeout: 12 seconds)
ERROR: Authentication Rejected: AAA failure

ciscoasa# test aaa-server authentication AUTH2K8 host username rkreider password sup3rs3cr3t
INFO: Attempting Authentication test to IP address <> (timeout: 12 seconds)
INFO: Authentication Successful

My issue was actually related to a setting on the account profile in Active Directory restricting server logons which inherently prevented authentication from working.

iPhone SMS/MMS Text Message Backup

I’m working on a tool, inspired by the need to wipe my iPhone but first backup my SMS/MMS text messages for retention purposes.

I looked around the internets and found some tools out there, but not all were free.  Found some methods of doing this also through the command line with some trickery but I decided to just write a small .NET utility to handle this for me because I’m sure I’ll need to do this again.

You need to have a backup of your iPhone via iTunes on your computer or this tool will not work.

Here’s a screenshot.  I plan to implement image attachments, emoticons and other features (like Contact Names instead of just phone numbers).  Currently, it does what I need.  I can right-click on a contact and export that entire contact’s text history to CSV, RTF, XLS, or TXT.

iPhone SMS Reader

iPhone SMS Reader

It’s not complicated how this works. There’s actually an SQLite database that is created and stored to the backup folder (location differs for each version of Windows). Through a bit of research I was able to figure out how to extract the data I needed.

If you’re interested in trying this out, let me know. I saw some different information across the ‘net regarding some of the columns in the tables. The version of iOS I tested this is on was 6.1 on an iPhone 3GS.

Some other tools out there that I used after I wrote this.  These are geared more toward browsing the complete backups of the iTunes backup of your iPhone.

Additional Notes


– This is the SMS/MMS file (SQLite)

Possible Locations of iPhone Backup File:

%APPDATA%Apple ComputerMobileSyncBackup

Windows XP

%APPDATA% = C:Documents and SettingsUSERNAMEApplication Data

Windows Vista

%APPDATA% = C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataRoaming

Windows 7

C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataRoamingApple ComputerMobileSyncBackup

Windows 8

C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataRoamingApple ComputerMobileSyncBackup

This snippet is from Linux Sleuthing blog… There are some interesting things that I was wondering that I learned why the case is from this site. The datetime is 31 years (or 978307200 seconds) because Mac Epoch is 1/1/2001 whereas Unix Epoch is 1/1/1970. Cool, eh?

SELECT m.rowid as RowID, DATETIME(date + 978307200, 'unixepoch', 'localtime') as Date, as "Phone Number", m.service as Service, CASE is_from_me WHEN 0 THEN "Received" WHEN 1 THEN "Sent" ELSE "Unknown" END as Type, CASE WHEN date_read > 0 THEN DATETIME(date_read + 978307200, 'unixepoch') WHEN date_delivered > 0 THEN DATETIME(date_delivered + 978307200, 'unixepoch') ELSE NULL END as "Date Read/Sent", text as Text FROM message m, handle h WHERE h.rowid = m.handle_id ORDER BY m.rowid ASC;

Example of the above SQL:

Example Output

Example Output

Reading View for Internet Explorer 11

A new feature of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1 is Reading View.  Reading view is available in the immersive version of Internet Explorer, not the desktop version.  To use Reading View, simple right click on the webpage and click the Book Symbol.


Reading View Icon

You can also use a keyboard shortcut, CTRL+SHIFT+R.  I REALLY love this feature and may consider more use of immersive IE vs. Desktop for lengthy tech articles.

You can test it out yourself;  I’ve generated a huge page of Lorem Ipsum which should be good enough for you to experience the Reading View with.

Reading View example using this blog post.

Reading View example using this blog post.

Let me know your thoughts on this feature!

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