A free Offline NT Password and Registry Editor

From time to time, the open source/freeware community comes along with a product so simple and so frightening that it makes me smile. This is one that’s been around since 1997, but somehow I never stumbled across it.

A fine Norseman, Petter Nordahl-Hagen, wrote the first version of his Windows registry and password hacker back in 1997. He’s updated it continually over the years, and today the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor is available as a free download. (It works with Windows 2000 and Windows XP as well as Windows NT, so don’t let the name fool you.) The Web site includes an excellent FAQ and the source code, should you choose to confound yourself further.

Why is this frightening? Because after all the years of Microsoft touting security, there’s still a freelance programmer that can beat the billion dollar behemoth.

Fixing Internet Explorer’s disappearing status bar

I generally use Internet Explorer to browse Web pages — not because I’m a huge fan of Microsoft, but because IE is the most common web browser (and thus something you should try to code against). Recently, the status bar — the little bar at the bottom of the window that tells you page loading progress and other useful information — would insist on not appearing until I explicitly turned it on (from the menu: View / Status Bar). The setting did not persist between IE sessions, which was rather frustrating.

Apparently this is a known problem, as Microsoft documents it in Knowledge Base Article 330216. Oddly, their workaround is to turn the option on (duh), or to jump through some hoops using IE and Windows Explorer to get the setting to persist.

And I thought there would be a registry hack to fix it… Obviously, that would be too easy!

The reliability of Verizon

As if anyone who’s ever dealt with Verizon before didn’t know, their customer service and reliability are the pits.

Due to the recent grief with my current DSL line, I’m in the process of getting a new line through a new ISP, TransBeam. Verizon was scheduled to install the local loop on Monday June 7 between 8AM and 5PM. I took the day off and Verizon never showed up.

On the next day my contact at TransBeam told me that according to Verizon the local loop was installed. This is possible considering they just run the line to the outside of the house. This is unlikely as I would have noticed a Verizon truck in front of my house and my dog would have noticed someone in my yard. (She always has before.)

Later that same day (around 11AM now), I received a call from Verizon. The caller said, “You have an appointment scheduled today for a technician to install a line?” No, they were supposed to be here yesterday, and they never showed up. I was told they’d come by tomorrow.

The interesting part is that I’m not Verizon’s customer, and they are not supposed to call me. But they did, and the best I can presume is to cover their ass for not showing up the day before and lying to my service provider.

Don’t worry, when I get all the information I’ll file an FCC complaint. I’m sure it won’t be the last time…