How to turn on Remote Desktop remotely

1 Comment | This entry was posted on Apr 23 2010

Occasionally you need to get something done on a remote computer (or a clients computer) but the computer doesn’t have an easy way for you to connect to it. Luckily, if you have admin rights to the remote computer, you can still connect without needing to turn on remote desktop before hand. To do that you will just need to download one thing. PsExec is a Microsoft tool part of their PsTools. PsExec is a portable program that you can copy to any USB drive or run it anywhere from your hard drive. Once you have PsExec download you just need to open a command prompt and browse to the folder with psexec.exe. Once the command prompt is open, type in this command and it will enable remote desktop on the machine you specify.

psexec \\machinename reg add “hklm\system\currentcontrolset\control\terminal server” /f /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 0

Make sure you replace “machinename” with the computer you are trying to control remotely. Once this command has run you should now be able to connect with mstsc.exe to the remote computer.

Compile Lirc on an AOpen mp945-dr with Ubuntu

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Dec 26 2008

I recently traded in my Mac Mini for a AOpen mp945-dr to see if it would work any better with MythTV and Boxee. I started off with Ubuntu 8.10 installed but found some random problems with video not displaying every time the computer would start so I went back to 8.04. On problem I had with both installations was that the remote sensor did not work out of the box. I did some digging and found that Lirc does work with this machine but the latest development branch was not included in Ubuntu for stability reasons. Here are the steps I had to take to get the remote sensor working.

As a overview we are going to:
1. Download the tools needed to compile software in Ubuntu.
2. Download the latest version of Lirc using CVS
3. Compile Lirc source
4. Test it real fast to make sure it works.

If you have Jaunty Jackalope (9.04) see the notes at the bottom.

1. Download the needed compiling tools.
sudo su
apt-get install libtool autoconf automake linux-headers-`uname -r`-generic cvs

This will download and install the compiling tools.

2. Download Lirc
First lets make a folder to put it in

mkdir ~/lirc
cd ~/lirc

Then we will download the newest source from sourceforge. We are using a tool called CVS to read more about it check out here.
cvs -d:pserver:[email protected]:/cvsroot/lirc login
cvs -z8 -d:pserver:[email protected]:/cvsroot/lirc co lirc

Because we ran that command while in the ~/lirc folder everything downloaded there so we just need to run the commands to configure everything before we build it.


In the graphical interface I selected Driver config > USB > mceusb2 (new)

Then continue with compiling

make install
modprobe lirc-mceusb2

Because Ubuntu does things slightly different we need to copy a couple files to where Lirc expects them to be.

cp /lib/modules/`uname -r`-generic/misc/lirc_dev.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`-generic/ubuntu/media/lirc/lirc_dev
cp /lib/modules/`uname -r`-generic/misc/lirc_mceusb2.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`-generic/ubuntu/media/lirc/lirc_mceusb2

Then we can continue with installing the new Lirc into the running kernel.
rmmod lirc_mceusb2
rmmod lirc_dev
lsmod|grep lirc
/etc/init.d/lirc restart

Everything should be compiled and in place now.

4. To test it out run
and then push some buttons on the remote. You should see the commands you press displayed in the terminal. If you see that then you can just push Ctrl+C to stop irw and you should be all set to go.

I had to change this tutorial slightly from where I originally posted it in the Ubuntu forums so that it would be more universal. If you have problems please leave a comment and check out the original thread here.

I hope this helps.

For Jaunty (9.04) I did not need to install the headers (it actually failed because it was already the newest version) I also needed to install “dialog” and “build-essential”. I had to create the “/lib/modules/`uname -r`/ubuntu/media/lirc/” folder before I could copy the configurations, and the folder I created also changed slightly to cp /lib/modules/`uname -r`-generic/misc/lirc_dev.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`-generic/ubuntu/media/lirc/lirc_dev
cp /lib/modules/`uname -r`/misc/lirc_mceusb2.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/ubuntu/media/lirc/lirc_mceusb2

More updates as I find them.

A bunch of new tools/tweaks

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Jan 12 2008

I don’t really like filling up my website with posts about every tool I find. But every once and a while my RSS feeds fills up with “pinned” items for me to remember and check out when I get time. Well, it has filled up again and I am going to throw a bunch of downloads at you so get ready.

Lets start with a few tools that I probably won’t use much but it may be good for me in the future. Test Everything is a all-in-one tester for your website. Want to test your CSS or Whois? They have it all in a pretty slick, but not very user friendly interface. Bottom line is, if it isn’t at Test Everything I would be surprised if it exists anywhere.

This next one is a tool I remember reading about in the PDAPhoneHome forums a couple of years ago when I had my xv6700 and it was just a idea. It is called WMWifiRouter and it makes your Windows Mobile phone work as a wireless router for your laptop/PSP/whatever. You have to connect via a Ad Hoc network because the phone cannot broadcast DHCP but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The tool comes in 3 versions. The first version will install the program on your phone and also set up the Ad Hoc network connection for you. The second will install the program but you will have to do the Ad Hoc network settings yourself. The third is just the program. You will have to drag the program over to your phone and then run it and set up the network yourself. I really can’t wait till I get my new phone so I can give this one a try.

Now on to some tools I know I will probably use. The first two allow you to work on computers remotely. What is always the first step of working on a computer remotely? Figure out what is wrong. LSGrab helps with that. It allows you to remotely get a screenshot of a computer on your network. I tried it out on a couple of computers on my work network and had mixed results. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to try. The same web site,, also had a tool called Remote interactive executer. I didn’t get a chance to try out this tool but if it works the way I think it does I will be keeping this around for a while.

Speaking of remotely managing computers. If anyone out there has a good program for remotely administering computers please leave a comment. I have been having a hard time finding a good one for my work. And just to narrow things down a little bit, LanDesk and Desktop Authority require too much integration (domain admins/servers), and NetSupport and Radmin don’t have all the features I need. So if you find something in between please let me know. I need to be able to remotely administer a computer without disrupting the user.
The next tool comes from the How-To Geek. They helped me out in a big way by showing me how to disable the internal system beep in Windows. If I still ever used internet explorer I would also have loved their tip on enabling more simultaneous downloads. In order to keep things nice and tidy on your computer, lifehacker has a tool called Belvedere that can automatically manage files for you. I have a couple set up that lets my downloaded files move after 1 week of creation and then if they aren’t opened in a couple weeks after being moved they are automatically deleted. A great way to keep junk files off my computer.

Finally, there is something I am never fond of but it is still fun to mess around with and that is making your OS look like a different OS. But, if you ever wanted to make your Windows XP machine look like OSX you don’t need to look any further than FlyakiteOSX. How-To Geek tipped me off to the program and I gave it a try on my virtual machine and it doesn’t look to bad. I mean, for what it is.

That should clean out my RSS feeds for a little while. Enjoy the new tools.