Are you also annoyed with the Windows lock screen? You know, the one you must swipe or click away before you can enter your login data. The one that doesn't even respond to shift anymore since Windows 10. It can be disabled as follows: * Open the Group Policy Editor. Either 1. press Win+R and run gpedit or, if you don't have gpedit.msc, 2. open the Microsoft Management Console by pressing Win+R and entering mmc. Go to FileAdd/Remove Snap-In, select the Group Policy Object Editor, press Add, Finish and OK. Expand the Local Computer Policy. * Navigate to 3. Computer Configuration 4. Administrative Templates 5. Control Panel 6. Personalization, edit Do not display the lock screen and set it to Enabled.


Sitting on the ICE to Munich, I'm using my Nexus 5 to open a WiFi Hotspot for my laptop. However, I'd like to use USB tethering instead; my mobile is plugged in to charge anyway, and it would also allow me to buy Telekom WiFi for my phone for a day and use it for my laptop, too. Sadly, it didn't work so easily, and I had to write a small patch for my kernel. (more…)


You might have come across the same problem I have faced pretty often: You want to write a small snippet of code for a friend who's not into programming to solve some task. You want to use the scripting language of your choice (yeah, [Perl](http://www.perl.org/)). But for many people, especially Windows users, explaining them how to [install perl](http://www.perl.org/get.html), install some modules from [CPAN](http://cpan.org), and finally how to use the script from the command line is tedious and often takes more time than writing it in the first place. And sometimes it even takes more time than solving the task by hand which is quite frustrating. So I always wanted to build stand-alone applications with a GUI for those cases. But building GUIs is usually a huge pain in the ass, so I always avoided it; until I got the idea to build web applications with [Mojolicious](http://mojolicio.us/) as GUI. Building stand alone executables without the need of installing perl, modules, or libraries can be solved with [PAR-Packer](http://search.cpan.org/dist/PAR-Packer/). So far, that was just a thought. A few days ago I got a small task: My brother wanted an application to automatically correct one kind of systemic error in large data sets. So I wanted to put that idea to the test. It worked out quite well! Do you want to know more?


I'm using TrueCrypt system encryption for my Windows Partition and use its chain loader to boot Linux via GRUB, which is installed on my /boot partition. However, at some point I also had GRUB installed on my root partition. Because of that the TrueCrypt boot loader — after pressing ESC when I didn't want to boot Windows — showed a list of partitions to boot from instead of directly starting the only other boot loader. That's less convenient and a little bit annoying, so I wanted to get rid of the entry. As the TrueCrypt boot loader seems to detect boot loaders on partitions automatically, I wanted to try deleting the redundant one. However, I didn't find anything on how to delete a boot loader from a partition; that's probably because it usually isn't necessary. A quick search on Wikipedia revealed that the boot loader on a partition is stored in the volume boot record (VBR) of the partition, which is just the first sector, similar to the MBR. So I first made a backup in case I got anything wrong[1]:
$ dd if=/dev/sda5 of=sda5.vbr bs=512 count=1
and then wrote zeros to the VBR:
$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda5 bs=512 count=1
which did exactly what I wanted. Be aware, however, that when you want to delete the boot loader from an extended partition, this would overwrite the partition table in the extended boot record (EBR), so you may only overwrite the first 446 bytes of the sector instead of all 512. One last thing that cannot be stressed enough: Have a current and complete backup handy, and be prepared you might have to use it. I'm no expert on the subject. If the VBR is used for more purposes than just containing a boot loader as I expect, zeroing the whole sector may really go wrong.
  1. make sure to backup to a different partition than the one you're going to write on :) [back]