Archive for 17 agosto 2013

Making money out of Rescatux and Parted Magic binary being pay only

agosto 17, 2013

Sometimes I have thought on ways of making bussiness out of Rescatux. I always conclude that there’s no way of doing that. That there isn’t an appropiate bussiness model.

Selling CDs and T-shirts

That means that I have to invest in CD burners and T-shirt impress machines. That’s discarded. It could also mean to hire the work to another online shop that it’s specialised in such works. Don’t think that would make too much money out of it.

Asking money to IT staff

Most IT staff are supposed to use Rescatux to their IT tasks. I know two of them because they are known people from the job. They use it to reset Windows passwords. I suppose the reason is that it’s easiest and quickest way for doing it.

If the IT staff have already paid for Rescatux and it works for them I’m not sure they would pay for a newer version. Maybe if they were improvements or new features. But having new features implies devoting more developer time to Rescatux. It’s also a no-go.

Being hired by a datacenter

There are many datacenters out of there and many of them have the problem that when their customers make a mistake then their virtual or physical machines don’t boot. Maybe having Rescatux a way to boot with a VNC server (as suggested in Lowendtalk) started at boot would do the job. That might work but not for too long.

Donations

That isn’t no longer working since the global crisis began. Even with my improved sarcastic donation page.

Being hired my enterprises

That’s a difficult task. You’ve got to be good at what you do. It’s not the same thing to design a Live CD that works for everyone than being able to recover disks data (or whatever) in every possible situation. Initally you might think that as long as you cannot boot the machine you’ve got to drive till your destination. Alternatively an easy to install Teamviewer package could be added to Rescatux.

This way I could login to Rescatux and see what happens exactly. That would make happy some Rescatux IT users because CLI tools would be improved. Would I be able to know what happens when booting? No, I won’t. Unless I boot the hard disk via an integrated Virtualbox or QEMU but… that’s weird.. because the hardware might be virtual and it’s no by means a right way of checking if system works ok or not.

The optimal way of working is when you get access to a virtual Keyboard-Virtual-Mouse system via Internet so that you don’t have to use your car. But… Which entreprises owns that? The ones that have a good technician that can fix it in the first place? Maybe yes, maybe no.

Parted Magic being pay only

Introduction

Parted Magic, a really complete Live CD for rescue purposes where complete means that has a lot of programs as you can see in Parted Magic programs. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy to use (using my own standards) else I wouldn’t be developing Rescatux myself.

All these thoughts about making money out of Rescatux have arised to me because I’ve learnt that Parted Magic offers binary download of his distribution via a paywall only. That means that you can only download its binary version either paying $4.99 for the current download or maybe from an alternative mirror.

Download / Upload / Legal

I mean, anyone can pay the download and upload it to offer for download elsewhere. That’s technically possible because it’s free software and because I suppose Patrick doesn’t play with Parted Magic being a Trade Mark as Red Hat does.

I mean, that the CentOS people have too remove any RedHat logos to be able to re-distribute their binaries based on Red Hat source code. If Patrick had the same policy with Parted Magic logo that could imply someone creating an Open Rescue Consortium that builds OpenRescue CDs out of Parted Magic source code.

I don’t think anyone would do that by only a $4.99 fee but who knows.

Parted Magic current discussion

I’ve been reading a bit about this Parted Magic subject because who knows if I could be in the same situation as Patrick, that is, having to live only by the means of my open source projects.

The first article I read was from opennet (RU) and that’s an interesting article because it points to a Parted Magic forum thread entitled Possible website concern, have you been compromised? which has been deleted. Maybe it has been deleted because this way people don’t get confused about site being compromised? Doesn’t matter.

This deleted thread points us to Dedoimedo – The state of the Linux community article where it concludes (after a quick read) that each one of us have to donate one dollar per month to FLOSS sites and communities and at the same time stopping blacklisting (I suppose he means with ADBlock software) your favourite sites.

The second article I read was the Phoronix one entitled Parted Magic Is Still Free where we learn that Parted Magic is still free and that old versions are available in Sourceforge for the people who cannot afford donating. Test versions, according to opennet people will be also published in SourceForge by the way.

And then there’s the update that explains the situation Pattrick lives in. Here there is an excerpt:

I talk to Patrick Verner once in a while and for years Parted Magic has been something he did in his spare time. A little over a year ago, he lost his job and stated on the Parted Magic site that he would like to dedicate his full time to Parted Magic as a “job” if users could donate collectively at least $1,200 a month to the project for him to put food on the table and pay bills. A “salary” if you will.

[…]

Fast forward to July 2013, his wife has now lost her job.

[…]

People were downloading it and not helping him out so he decided to make it a paywall so that he could encourage some revenue to come his way to now support his out-of-work wife and himself.

[…]

He was going to ask for more but I actually told him $5 seemed like a fair donation/price. It seems he took my advice to heart.

Some final words

So that’s it, if you read all the links I’ve given you you’ll understand he’s not doing something greedy but something as noble as trying to feed his family.

And just remember that free software means free as freedom not free as free beer (although the first one implies the second one soon or later). Patrick points us to GNU – What is Free Software . For the ones that are not convinced for the pay-for-download move of Parted Magic please consider reading: GNU – Selling Free Software .

In Reddit while someone complains about Parted Magic author making money out of other people work there’s an excellent answer:

But, maybe there is a reason to pay him for putting it together? By that logic, you shouldn’t donate to any distro, because all use software developed by other people. They just put it together.

And why’s excellent? Because I know, as the main Rescatux developer, that putting software together is not easy as it seems.

By the way don’t forget to download and pay for Parted Magic. If we’re lucky enough I will be able to reuse some of its future work in Parted Magic for improving Rescatux.

Rescatux idea: Recovering Windows registry

agosto 15, 2013

I should add this idea to Rescatux ideas at Rescatux wiki but anyways I’m writing it here. What I’m going to describe is recovering or editing Windows registry from Gnu/Linux manually. Rescatux would be improved hopefully in 0.32 version to do this from a GUI and as automatically as possible.

Recover Windows Registry from Gnu/Linux

If you want to recover Windows registry from a former restore point you can just copy the registry file from the restore point folder to the current registry files. That’s as easy as that.

Restore point path is like this:

/media/windows/System Volume Information/_restore{xxx}/RPxxx/snapeshot/

and its files are:

_REGISTRY_USER_.DEFAULT
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SECURITY
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SOFTWARE
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SAM

which need to be copied and renamed to:

/media/windows/WINDOWS/system32/config/

_REGISTRY_USER_.DEFAULT => default
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SECURITY => security
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SOFTWARE => software
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM => system
_REGISTRY_MACHINE_SAM => sam

And you are advised to force a NTFS fix and reboot Windows twice thanks to:

sudo ntfsfix /dev/<device-name>

.
Don’t think it’s needed anymore with newer NTFS mount implementation in GNU/Linux but I’ll check that anyways.

There are also some other paths:

\windows\system32\repair
/Windows/System32/config/RegBack

I have found this information in Ubuntu forums: HowTo: Fix Corrupted Windows Registry from Ubuntu partition . There’s even kind of proposed python script in the same thread.

I only need to make sure I backup the original registry files so that they can recovered them too if needed. Also, Rescatux should be able to restore these Rescatux backups.

The other idea is making a Windows registry editor in Gnu/Linux.

There is already chntpw which I use already in Rescatux for blanking Windows passwords. And that’s what it’s also advised in the same thread: Editing the registry .

So hacking chntpw I might be able to show in a GUI all the registry keys and let the user edit or remove them. Maybe running regedit.exe from WINE would also work but I’m not confident on this one.

And, even if making a GUI Windows registry editor for Gnu/Linux might be difficult (for chntpw hacking and GUI development itself) just detecting Windows registry viruses and fixing the Registry values to default ones should be straight-forward !!!

Mergeide

When you move a Windows machine to a Virtual system sometimes you need it to support IDE.

Just check: Proxmox Wiki – Migration of servers to Proxmox VE – Innaccessible boot device .

It’s a matter of adding a REG file that Microsoft advises to use. That’s just editing the registry and can be done with chntpw.

That would avoid headaches if you haven’t run it in the origin virtual or physical machine just before moving to the new virtual machine.

Possible new Rescatux options for Rescatux 0.32:

  • Recover Windows registry from Windows restore points
  • GUI for editing Windows registry
  • Windows Registry cleanup for some known Virus
  • Add IDE support to Windows system (Ideal for Virtual systems)

Additional notes

It seems that Reglookup is handy when serarching for Windows Registry registry keys and its included in Parted Magic.