Aleksandar's computer workshop
Let's see what Aleksandar was fixing today.
My findings, tips & tricks related to computers, internet, programming and other stuff I was working with.

Certificate Signing Request (CSR) Generation Instructions with OpenSSL on Windows

April 17, 2009 19:55 by Aleksandar

To generate a CSR, you will need to create a key pair for your server. These two items are a digital certificate key pair and cannot be separated. If you lose your public/private key file or your password and generate a new one, your SSL Certificate will no longer match. You will have to request a new SSL Certificate and may be charged.
 
Step 1: Generate a Key Pair

The utility "openssl" is used to generate the key and CSR. You can download the binary from here
http://www.openssl.org/related/binaries.html
http://www.slproweb.com/products/Win32OpenSSL.html
 
Type the following command at the prompt:

openssl genrsa -des3 -out www.gsmblog.com.key 1024

Note: For Extended Validation certificates the key bit length must be 2048.
 
This command generates a 1024 bit RSA private key and stores it in the file www.gsmblog.com.key.
 
When prompted for a pass phrase: enter a secure password and remember it, as this pass phrase is what protects the private key. Both the private key and the certificate are required to enable SSL.
 
NOTE: To bypass the pass phrase requirement, omit the -des3 option when generating the private key.
If you leave the private key unprotected, access to the server should be restricted so that only authorized server administrators can access or read the private key file.


 
Step 2: Generate the CSR
 
Type the following command at the prompt:

openssl req -new -key www.gsmblog.com.key -out www.gsmblog.com.csr 



This command will prompt for the following X.509 attributes of the certificate:
 
Country Name: Use the two-letter code without punctuation for country, for example: NL, DE or US.
 
State or Province: Spell out the state completely; do not abbreviate the state or province name, for example: Flevoland
 
Locality or City: The Locality field is the city or town name, for example: Amsterdam. Do not abbreviate. For example: Saint Louis, not St. Louis
 
Company: If your company or department has an &, @, or any other symbol using the shift key in its name, you must spell out the symbol or omit it to enroll. Example: XY & Z Corporation would be XYZ Corporation or XY and Z Corportation.
 
Organizational Unit: This field is optional; but can be used to help identify certificates registered to an organization. The Organizational Unit (OU) field is the name of the department or organization unit making the request. To skip the OU field, press Enter on your keyboard.
 
Common Name: The Common Name is the Host + Domain Name. It looks like www.gsmblog.com or "gsmblog.com".
 
Certificates can only be used on Web servers using the Common Name specified during enrollment. For example, a certificate for the domain "domain.com" will receive a warning if accessing a site named "www.domain.com" or "secure.domain.com", because "www.domain.com" and "secure.domain.com" are different from "domain.com".
 
Please do not enter your email address, challenge password or an optional company name when generating the CSR.
 
A public/private key pair has now been created. The private key (www.gsmblog.com.key) is stored locally on the server machine and is used for decryption. The public portion, in the form of a Certificate Signing Request (certrequest.csr), will be for certificate enrollment.
 
To copy and paste the information into the enrollment form, open the file in a text editor such as Notepad and save it as a .txt file. Do not use Microsoft Word as it may insert extra hidden characters that will alter the contents of the CSR.



Once the CSR has been created, proceed to Enrollment.
 
Step 3: Backup your private key
 
Backup up the .key file and the corresponding pass phrase. A good choice is to create a copy of this file onto a diskette or other removable media. While backing up the private key is not required, having one will be helpful in the instance of server failure.

 

 

How to enable AHCI mode after installing Windows

February 20, 2009 21:01 by Aleksandar

AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) is present on newer Intel chipsets such as 975X (ICH7), P965 (ICH8), and P35 (ICH9). AHCI mode is enabled in the BIOS and 3 settings are commonly available: IDE, AHCI, and RAID. The last two (AHCI and RAID) require a driver floppy and the F6 method when installing Windows XP otherwise the hard disks won't be detected.

AHCI mode brings 3 main advantages:
Supports NCQ (Native Command Queuing) allowing SATA drives to accept more than one command at a time and dynamically reorder the commands for maximum efficiency.
Supports hot plugging of devices
Supports staggered spin ups of multiple hard drives at boot time

However, in the real world the performance difference isn't huge.

The problem is that if you installed Windows in IDE mode (i.e. you didn't use F6 and supply a driver disk), then simply changing the BIOS setting to AHCI mode and rebooting will cause Windows to fail and will require a repair install. Most people have been advising to reinstall Windows if you want AHCI enabled.

Here you will find the sollution :

http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.php?t=444831

Copy of the article is here (5.07 kb)


Few Notepad trick and tips

December 5, 2008 17:36 by Aleksandar

How to Use Notepad to Create a Log File

Microsoft Notepad is a word processing tool included with Windows and is installed by default under the Accessories program group. You can use it to create a log-type file that adds the current date and time each time the Notepad file is opened.

To create a log file in Notepad:

  • Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Notepad.
  • Type .LOG on the first line (case sensitive), and then press ENTER to move to the next line.
  • On the File menu, click Save As, type a descriptive name for your file in the File name box, and then click OK.
  • When you next open the file, note that the date and time have been appended to the end of the log, immediately preceding the place where new text can be added. You can use this functionality to automatically add the current date and time to each log entry.

This cool notepad trick can be used to make daily notes or can be used as a diary also.
You can even press F5 to get the current date and time anywhere between the text.

Change header and footer

Want to get rid of default page header oand footer in notepad?
To do this click on file -> page setup, remove the characters in the header and footer textboxes and write whatever you want.

Also, you can print other information at the top of each printed page in the file.
To have Notepad print information in the header, use the letter and character combinations in the following table.

To Type
Insert the open file's name or "(untitled)" if the file has no name &f
Insert the date. &d
Insert the time specified by your computer's clock. &t
Insert page numbers. &p
Insert an ampersand (&). &&
Align the header to the left, center, or right. &l, &c, or &r

 


URL Shortener

November 17, 2008 16:39 by Aleksandar

What is is.gd?

is.gd is a service that shortens URLs such as web addresses. This is useful in many circumstances (see below) e.g. in email clients that break long URLs.

For example, you can turn

http://gsmblog.com/post/URL-Shortener.aspx
into :
http://is.gd/amiz

 

Their goal is to allow shortening URLs to the maximum extent technically possible.

Uses for is.gd

Here are just a few of the many uses for is.gd's URL shortening service: -

  • Shorten web addresses for emails, forum posts, blogs etc. which cannot handle long URLs and might wrap them, making them unclickable
  • Lower the character count when texting web addresses to a mobile phone
  • Hide the real URLs of affiliate links from visitors to your site
  • Obscure your real email address from bots which harvest them to spam (enter an address like mailto:myaddress@myisp.com)
  • Circumvent protections on sites which don't allow direct links to a competitor's site (if you are violating a site's terms you do so at your own risk)
  • Clean up bookmarks for social bookmarking sites or sites with low character limits like Twitter
  • If you dislike a website and have to mention it (e.g. when complaining about it), link via is.gd so that your link does not help the site's search engine positioning

Certain uses of is.gd are forbidden, for example use in unsolicited commercial email (SPAM).


Tags:
Categories: General
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed