VSS admin password reset

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MS Visual SourceSafe is the worst version control software that I have ever used. I won’t ever use it again if I had my way with it. I won’t even list down why you should avoid VSS, I will just refer you to this link. 🙂

Now what would you do if you have to exhumate (yeah, I chose that word since any data versioned in VSS should be considered dead) data from an old VSS backup and nobody remembers their password? Thankfully VSS security sucks (for various reasons) and some helpful VSS users have provided a way to easily reset any VSS user password which is apparently the way Microsoft support will tell you. I am mirroring it here because I see a lot of exhumation on my future and I can’t risk losing this gem of a resource.

NOTE: Even if VSS security sucks, using this information without prior authorization can get you in trouble. Use it for non-destructive and legal purposes only.

Dont forget to make a backup!

[tip starts here]
Edit the um.dat file to remove the Admin password from offset 80 the bytes are (all numbers are hex)

0:80  55 55 bc 7f 41 64 6d 69 6e 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0:90  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0:a0  00 00 00 00 90 6e 00 00 a8 01 00 00 00 00 00 00

This information is at YOUR OWN RISK.

As the um.dat is ordered alphabetically by login. If you have a user name that appears aplhabetically before “Admin” they will appear at offset 80. And Admin will appear further down the file. morgancrr’s tip is useful to know – as it will help you locate the Admin password on your own particular set up.

[tip ends here]


Internet is bad.


And employees are rotten. This is the reason why companies need to institute proxy filtering technologies to ensure that productivity is enforced. You won’t find any arguments from me regarding this matter. The company is paying me my salary thus I am expected to render 8 productive hours each day (I don’t have overtime pay benefits).

What I am fussing about is if the company would put such mechanism in place then they should create a fast exception mechanism since there are still good sites in the Internet. This has been a gripe I had with the Websense mechanism that have been installed since last year. The company opted for the “Filter everything except…” route which means that they are religiously applying the WebSense filter updates that trickles down daily. WebSense is actually good in the sense that they have about 90% accuracy in classifying sites if we are talking about generic rule sets. However since we are in the IT development business then the rules need to be customized which WebSense is actually recommending.

Now here is the fuzzy part. Imagine you are working in the migration of a technology used by a client to a fairly new technology. What would be your primary resource for the troubles you are encountering? If you are fairly tech savvy then the answer would be Internet, right? What would you do if you suddenly found out that the sites that may have the answer to the problem causing you to have hair loss has been blocked by your company’s proxy filter? My answer would be to file for an exemption. What if I then told you that you would receive a reply within 45 days for a resolution to a problem blocking you from completing your 7-day task? What I actually did was raise hell about it but I do not have the flair of a seasoned statesman, or a Dilbert manager. My attempts to have a fast-reacting exemption system is met with standard “those sites have information that could impact our security” type of explanations.

The problem I think is that those actually doing the security doesn’t realize that we are working on a broad fields of technology. What is wasteful in say manufacturing might not be in software development teams. They say that they are aware on the complexities of having a diverse development clients but I don’t think they understand it at all. Awareness doesn’t guarantee understanding.

Before you judge me as being idealistic, know that I have pointed out alternative ways such as creating a separate team whose task is to validate site exemption request submitted to an internal site. I even volunteered my free time for that endeavour. But apparently it will cost too much time and it is far easier to block all message boards and mailing list archives. Usenet archives? Blocked. All blogs and virtual hosted sites? Blocked. Sourceforge development utilities? Blocked. JUnit for ensuring correct code modification? Hah, dream on. They even went so far as block IBM and Eclipse information sites. DAMN IT, WHAT ELSE REMAINS?

//waiting for google.com to be blocked


Red means Go, Green means stop!

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We went home to Nueva Ecija over the weekend and, I don’t know if it is because election time is around the corner again, there was an improvement on the Cabanatuan portion of Cagayan road (the main highway). Stop lights have been installed at most intersections!!! Never mind that the installation posts seem to be shoddy as they aren’t even straight but *SOME* seem to be even working! Imagine that, a stoplight that actually works! In Cabanatuan! It’s like twilight zone or something…

And here is the best part; nobody is paying correct attention to them. Having been driving in more urban cities like Manila, I am extra careful of following the stop lights thus it is already instinctive for me to slowdown when I see orange, stop when it turns to red and patiently wait for the green light. In Cabanatuan this action will only get you a lot of honking as nobody expects these lights to work and most are just blinking orange.

On the way back we approached an intersection wherein the light in our direction was set to red. I was elated to see that the vehicles (mostly tricycles) in both sides of the road are following the traffic light and they aren’t slowly inching their way on crossing the intersection. I was elated since this means that there is still hope for the Cabanatuan drivers! I patiently stopped and waited for our lights to turn green which it did after a couple of minutes.

I shifted to first gear and started to get ready to move but the vehicles in front of me are not moving. A couple of minutes and we are still not moving! The lights begin to change to red and that is the only time they begin to move. Following the flow of traffic we actually crossed the intersection under a red light. What made it more disgusting is that there was a traffic policeman directing the flow of traffic on one of the corners. Sheesh! If the traffic police can’t follow the functioning traffic light then how can the drivers be expected to do so?

Nueva Ecija, kailan ka magbabago?!?!?!


Who became catatonic?

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Aside from this site? Nobody… 🙂

For those who came in via the catatonic url, I am temporarily changing the domain of the capsule since I am unable to access it with the nazi-istic webproxy filters in the office. I know it is about security and policies but if they really want to secure the place then they shouldnt give me a computer with an optical drive. At some point you have to trust your people because treating them like guilty criminals will only provoke them to act like one.

Anyway, hopefully the other domain would allow me to post some from the office where I spend >14hours a day. This is temporary until I could get this workaround to work. 🙂


Leave the pseudo-politics to the dirty ones…


I was going to comment this post on Chris’ blog about Manny Pacquiao entering politics but it was something I wanted to write about (the fame+politics bit and not the MP-specific issue) so I am making it a blog-entry in itself. It also gives me an alibi of keeping this blog alive. 🙂

I just saw in the TV a couple of mornings ago that Manny wont be able to file for candidacy in GenSan because he needs to have one year residence in the city and he still have residency in Manila.

If Manny ever runs for office then that will only show that he has taken too many blows in the head. As a boxer he has shown that he has the capability to unite the nation but as a politician he has the capability of splitting the nation into a few more pieces. If ever he enters politics then it is already a given that he will win the first time because:

  • Majority of the Filipino voters are stupid. They equate popularity with capacity to serve.
  • Manny is from GenSan so he has a home court advantage.
  • Manny is currently at the peak of his career ergo he is famous ergo most voters will pick him because they are stupid.
  • Majority of the Filipino voters are stupid.

Did I say that most voters are stupid? I meant to say they are uninformed, stubborn *and* stupid.

If ever Manny will win then there are 3 outcomes:

  • the omnipotent force in this universe will smile on him, protect him, grant him the wisdom similar to what was reputed to be given to King Solomon, grant him the courage to fight the dirty political machinery, and the temperance to not be drunken with power. He will then be able to serve his constituents like how naive children envision serving others would be.
  • be a political lackey since he has no idea about governance.
  • be the sugar-daddy of the people he meant to serve until he has already blown all of the savings he got from boxing. And then he
    • would be forgotten because he does not have anything else to offer, or
    • He would succumb to the system of kickbacks and be an avid follower of traditional politicking.

This is why I admire Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes. He makes the nation proud and he has the common sense to keep out of politics. He knows he can help more via his own little ways.