Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Dummy Tax

When I taught computers, the site administrator was not too keen on wasting his valuable time resetting students' passwords, so we instituted a "dummy tax" of $2 (this was a decade or more ago - when two dollars bought stuff). Students who needed a password reset, maybe in January after vacation, paid $2 that went into a fund to buy treats at the end of the year. I only remember one student having to pay and just how incensed he was.

(I created this dummy at a South Park character site, though I am no fan of South Park)

Those of you who are considered technophiles by your friends will relate to my experience this weekend when a tower was dropped off at home for attention. The sixteen year old owner had forgotten his Windows password and needed back in to his system. I haven't had too much hardware experience but gave it the old college try. If it were easy to boot a system for which you don't have the password, there wouldn't be much point in having passwords, would there?

In the end, I installed a second copy of Windows on the box and created two new users (one for me and one for him). I then accessed his documents using a bootable Linux System Rescue CD (Gentoo, I think). The Linux experience that I have gained using the XO and the quick hints on the CD allowed me to mount an NTFS drive, and use Midnight Commander (reminds me of Michael Martchenko) to transfer the documents from the locked copy of Windows to the new copy of Windows. I then deleted the old Windows directory and the locked My Documents directory. A little messy (I deleted a bunch of drivers in the process, I think) but the end result was satisfactory. I don't know if I am brave enough to try booting Linux from the CD on my everyday laptop yet, but soon, I think.

My brother sent me a link to software that will allow an Intel-based Mac to run Windows or Linux.

Are you running Linux on a Windows box for any compelling reason? Can you tip your Fedora gentooly or your red hat ubuntuly towards a distribution that you particularly like?

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