Know How... 104 (Transcript)

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On this episode of Know How it is all about Windows RDP. That’s right, the remote desktop protocol. And Aaron Newcomb is around for Linux Tips, Part 2.

Father Robert Ballecer: Welcome to Know How. It is the Twit show where we bend, build, break and upgrade. I’m Father Robert Ballecer.

Bryan Burnett: And I’m Bryan Burnett.

Fr. Robert: For the next 30 minutes or so we are going to show you some of the projects that we’ve been using over the last few weeks so that you can geek out in your own time. But before we get to that, I want to talk about leaves.

Bryan: Leaves? Like the kind on trees right?

Fr. Robert: Leaves are good, plants turn carbon dioxide into water and oxygen.

Bryan: That’s photosynthesis right?

Fr. Robert: Photosynthesis is what we are talking about. but you know when we start talking about space flight, one of the issues is that it is difficult to maintain a greenhouse that would be big enough to do the carbon dioxide breakdown in such a large area.

Bryan: And colonizing planets and stuff like that.

Fr. Robert: So what we have been using is that we use technologies right now that don’t actually break carbon dioxide back down. They sequester it and filter out the carbon dioxide and filter in more nitrogen and oxygen to make up the difference.

Bryan: There has to be a better way.

Fr. Robert: There is a better way. And actually an art student from the Royal College of Art has come up with what he says is going to be the future of spaceflight. This future at least of carbon dioxide sequestration in spaceflight. He has come up with a way to create an emulsion, a silk protein, that contains the chloroplasts that are the part of a plant cell that are responsible for photosynthesis and keep them alive. Now, the cool thing about this is that it means if you shine light on it, it will take water and carbon dioxide and it will give you oxygen. Which is cool. These are some of the prototypes. He has made this man made leaf, it is a way to get the chloroplasts working. Here is the thing, it is a really cool idea and I don’t think there is anything that is stopping this from working. But if you read the article, which is just incredibly light, if you look at the video I think it is more of a concept right now. Because to me there is one big part to this and that is that the photosynthesis process in a plant works because the plant needs the carbohydrates. It needs the simple sugars that it creates. It takes carbon dioxide, it takes H2O and some electron donors and it uses light to create two molecules of CH 20 plus 02. So you have a place where the carbon is going. The carbon is going to feed the plant, that is what it does. But there is no plant in this so what happens to all the carbon? And the hydrogen that has been liberated?

Bryan: They didn’t really touch on that.

Fr. Robert: They don’t really touch on it. So either it saturates, either it just builds up until it is useless or it they have some really cool process that they haven’t described it that allows that byproduct to be sloughed off.

Bryan: My guess is that they are probably getting to that point. Maybe they haven’t figured that out yet. But the concept is pretty neat.

Fr. Robert: The concept is neat because it means that you could essentially spray this emulsion on anything. You could spray it on the inside of a spacecraft and suddenly the entire spacecraft is an oxygen guard. Just give it light and it is good to go right? Imagine if you had a transparent dome, you spray the transparent dome and light comes in through the dome and you get oxygen on the other side. That I really do want to find out what they do with all the carbon and hydrogen that it strips out. Because of the byproducts. I’m betting that right now it just slowly clogs the emulsion until it is useless. And that actually could be a bigger problem.

Bryan: That could be an issue at some point. But, very cool idea. Using a process that is already been developed over millions of years, like nature, it is a good idea to try to adapt some of those into it.

Fr. Robert: This is like when we talked about solar roadways. You can adopt parts of the technology for something that might actually work. I’m sure there is a long way to go before this spray on oxygen is ready to go but I think it is fantastic that they figured a way to keep the chloroplasts active outside of the biological entity. Science. Okay let’s move on. So we promised the fans of the show that today we were going to be talking about Windows remote desktop. Now I know there are going to be a lot of people that say I don’t use Windows I am only Linux. Fine but whatever it is, here’s the cool thing. Remote desktop actually works across platforms. So if you are ever trying to use a Windows box, you can use RD on a Mac. You can use RD on an android device. You can use it in Linux. It is one of these things where even if Windows isn’t your primary system, especially if Windows isn’t your primary system, this is a really good way to control that Windows box from anywhere.

Bryan: That could be helpful for a lot of people, because if you are like me you have a Windows PC at home, a Mac laptop, and an android phone. If I could use remote desktop to my laptop and my phone, the platform doesn't matter as long as you can remote into it.

Fr. Robert: It is super useful. I use it all the time because I have multiple boxes, and most of them are in the data closet. They do their own thing. It is easier for me to remote desktop into those boxes then I have one monitor in my office that is dedicated to the eight boxes that I have hard deed. So I can see them all at a glance, but they are not in my room and I don’t have to worry about them heating anything up. Let’s move on a little bit. When we are talking about RD, we really want to talk about RDP. That is remote desktop protocol. You need to sides of it. You need the server side and you need the client side. The server is what is going to allow something to connect to it, whereas the client just connects.

Bryan: Just accept the transmission.

Fr. Robert: So you need both sides if you want remote desktop to work properly. But when we talk about RDP it is a protocol that goes way that. It started out with Windows-based terminal service client protocol. It was a proprietary protocol that Microsoft developed and included in Windows NT. so way back. The idea was very simple. The ability to use your terminal to connect to a server, and use the resources of the server to do your work. It actually worked really well. That has evolved over the years. It has been included in every release of Windows since NT. It was in NT, 2000, XP, Vista… it’s in everything. the cool thing about this is that since it is so long-lived, it is supported by so many different operating systems. There are so many different clients. And even though it is a proprietary protocol, they have all been able to use it to connect to a RD server equipped box.

Bryan: Call. So it doesn’t matter what you are running. Are you going to show us how to use it?

Fr. Robert: I will, but first there are a few things you have to know. It is supposed to be two bit color which is nice, it also supports smart card authentication so if you wanted to use this in an enterprise setting, which is what it’s really designed for, you could have tight access controls based on encrypted smart card.

Bryan: Because I could see this being exploited.

Fr. Robert: Right. They also increased the options for local use. Because you are using a remote computer but let’s say you are editing a video file, you actually want that to show up on your computer. Or if you are printing a document in your terminal, you want to show it up in your printer not on a computer that might be 1000 miles away. So they increased the local access options. So now you can make things local, or remote depending on what kind of application you have.

Bryan: Is that a recent thing?

Fr. Robert: It is not super recent. But it did come after the initial development of the remote desktop. It also has RSC’s RC4 cipher, that encrypts with either 56 or 128 bit encryption key, which sounds good but awhile back they figured that the 128 bit encryption that it was doing wasn’t perfect because it was encrypting the same key stroke with different hashes. So if someone was watching the screen and got enough data they could actually just compare and reverse engineer and then watch everything on the screen.

Bryan: Is nothing safe, Padre?

Fr. Robert: I would not count on the encryption setting, I would count on the encryption being a deterrent for a light hacker. It is better than nothing. But I would say this. If you are going to use RDP, do not use it thinking it is totally encrypted and totally secure. Unless you encapsulate it into something else. For example, it listens on TCP and UDP port 3389. Remember we talked about port forwarding? I know people who port forwarded 3389 TCP and UDP to their windows box and then left it open to the world.

Bryan: Does that mean anyone could remote desktop them, then?

Fr. Robert: Yeah. That is not good. one of the other cool things is that protocol can also take advantage of load-balancing. So if you have a couple of these boxes and cited data center and you have a load balance system it is a natural fit. That is enough of the technical stuff. Now what we need to do, is that we need to show you how you set up the server and how you set up the client. So here is a little bit of Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop.

Fr. Robert: Step one is to determine What Remote Desktop functionality is baked into your version of Windows. All modern versions of Windows have the Remote Desktop client integrated into the operating system but sadly, not all of them have remote desktop server. The Windows version that do have remote desktop server are: Windows XP Professional, Vista Professional, Business and Ultimate, Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise, Windows 8 Professional and Enterprise. if you don’t know which version of Windows you are running the easiest way to check is to see if it actually runs remote desktop server. On the desktop, right-click the icon label computer. Now when the drop-down menu click properties, and then click remote settings. If the pop-up remote window only has a box for turning remote assistant connections on and off then your Windows box supports RD client but not RD server. this means that you can connect to a Windows box running RD server that your computer cannot be connected too. RD server is disabled by default so assuming that your Windows box supports RD server, Then the second step is to enable the service. In the same remote pop-up you should see three radio buttons. The first one is don’t allow connections to this computer, the second is allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop, and the third is allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with network level authentication. Network level authentication or NLA does not allow a client to connect unless that client first authenticates itself to the remote desktop server. This is the preferred method because it means that an attacking computer won’t be able to create a session until it has first submitted proper credentials. This saves the resource of the RD server and mitigates the chances of RDP being used as a vector for denial of service attacks. Clearly our preference is to use option 3 but if you are using an older or non-standard client you may need to select option 2. Step 3 is to select which users can access your computer. In the remote box click select users and the remote desktop window will open. The dial up box will allow you to add any existing users on the local computer to the remote desktop access list. If you want to add additional users you must first add them to the local users accounts. Go into the windows users account screen and add users. Then go back into remote desktop and add those newly created users to your access list. Your remote desktop server is now ready to receive connections. Now that the server is up, step 4 is to set up the client you will be using to connect to the remote desktop server. I’m going to use Windows as my example since that is what I use. From the desktop of the client computer, start the program named Remote Desktop Connection. Remember that this will work on all modern Windows machines, even if you don’t have RD server. To access the box with RD server you need either the IP address of the box and you need to have a routable path to the IP address, or you need the network name. The network name will only work if both computers are on the same network and if your administrator hasn’t blocked network names. So I prefer to set my box with esthetic IP and access it with the IP address. You could just click connect and use all the default settings but there are some advanced options that are very useful for tweaking remote desktop. Click shop options to drop down the advanced options. The first menu that you’ll see is the one that lets you enter your username and choose whether or not remote desktop connection will store your credentials. If you check the box, always ask for credentials, then the client will not cache your credentials and you’ll be prompted for username and password every time you establish a connection. If the box is not checked then the client will automatically use your username and password. In the tab marked display you’ll find controls for resolution and color depth. This is useful if you know if you’ll be connecting with bandwidth limitations. You can reduce the resolution of the screen and drop the color depth to better survive bandwidth hickups. Under the local resources tab are all the controls for audio, printers, and clipboard. You can set events to happen on either the remote server or on the client side. In the programs tab is the option to have programs run automatically upon start up. This is useful if you have software that you’ll use each time you make a connection. The experienced tab lets you tweak bandwidth settings. Useful if you want to force a low quality connection to better cope with inconsistent speeds. The advanced tab allows you to set your server authentication and security options. Once the settings are to your liking, click connect and you should establish a session on your RD server.

Fr. Robert: We’ve got Shaun in the chatroom asking if we are going to pixelize those IPs?

Bryan: Maybe he was being sarcastic and it doesn’t transfer over chat.

Fr. Robert: I hope he was. But Shaun does bring up a very important point. And that is if you are going to use a static, if you are going to port forward remember that your IP becomes sacred. Someone is going to scam but you don’t want to be handing it out to people.

Bryan: So we would not want to be showing that IP address?

Fr. Robert: Probably not. But let me stress, if you are going to use this to access your computer outside of your network which a lot of you will, I do. The way that I do it is that I have a VPN back into my network and then I remote desktop from there to the computer that I need to control. I would not ever suggest that you make the port open, public facing. That is just asking for disaster. The other part is that if you don’t trust your internal network then don’t do it either. Unless you are able to firewall or VPN yourself off from all the other traffic on the network, don’t do it. It’s not a trusted protocol. there really isn’t. It has security features but I would just assume that people are always trying to attack it. I can break into RDP pretty easily.

Bryan: And that is why you recommend doing that VPN before using RDP.

Fr. Robert: I would like to emphasize this, this option right here for display is going to be super important to you if you are using VPN or if you are on a bandwidth limited selection. Because the default is that it will go full display, it will give you as big as possible. But sometimes, especially if you have limited bandwidth, you are going to want it to use a lower resolution screen so that it can handle it. You also want to be able to use this, like for example some people were saying I would go through Tore. You could go through Tore but you are going to get horrible connection. The more you adjust it for the speed you are actually going to have, the better your experience is going to be. It is much better than having a huge screen that works fast for a couple of seconds and then stops to buffer everything.

Bryan: That is super frustrating when you are trying to drag-and-drop files or something like that. And then you lose them.

Fr. Robert: In a future episode of know how, our very own Cranky Hippo is going to take us through how you use RDP on a Mac.

Bryan: Yes. Actually even if you do just a simple search for remote desktop in the Mac store it pops up under Microsoft Remote Desktop, so check it out and I will be doing some more info on it later.

Fr. Robert: By the way, this has long been used by users of iPads because they have always said it is hard to get stuff done, I want Microsoft office.

Bryan: I want to sit on the couch and I have to walk to the other room.

Fr. Robert: So they use their tablets with RDP to the desktop that they want to connect to and boom, it is right there.

Bryan: Another program that I use a lot is called team viewer. And that works good on an android.

Fr. Robert: And there is one more wrinkle which is, here in the brick house we have our engineering staff researching a newer version of RDP. It uses a faster protocol that should allow for what is called GPU assisted remote desktop. So instead of transmitting the data over the connection, it allows me to use the GPU in my computer to redraw the frames. It is much better. Especially if you wanted to do remote desktop video editing.

Bryan: Or gaming? Could we do that? Our TD says No. We did get a new graphics card in the other day.

 Fr. Robert: We got four of them.

Alex: We've locked those away and you can’t get to them.

Fr. Robert: Now, when we come back we are going to be bringing Aaron Newcombe back here, he wants to give us another set of tips for Linux. But before we do that we need to take a pause to thank the first sponsor of this episode of Know How. And that is Lynda. Now, Bryan. We’ve talked often of the knowledge hole that you’ve got to fill up.

Bryan: That’s right. If you want your knowledge hole to grow, you’ve got to keep filling it.

Fr. Robert: You’ve got to keep filling it. And one of the best places that I’ve found to fill it online is Lynda. They are the one-stop shop for information about pretty much anything. It doesn’t have to be technology. They've got courses that cover skills sets, that cover hobbies, that cover things in photography and of course every program you may need to learn in the competitive marketplace. That’s what makes Lynda so good. It is that central repository to build a knowledgeable. They really should use that as their…

Bryan: Yeah I don’t know if they are going to go for that. But we’ll keep trying.

 Fr. Robert: Well, Lynda is the place that helps you keep up to date with your software. It helps you learn those brand-new skills that you need and explore new hobbies with easy to follow tutorials. Whether you want to take better pictures and videos with your DSL are, learn from the past about programming skills that will develop your mobile app, or edit your own video footage using Final Cut Pro 10 of Premier. Offers thousands of video courses on a variety of topics. For any software you might rely upon including Microsoft office, Adobe creative cloud, Final Cut Pro, logic Pro and more, Lynda helps you stay current with product updates to learn how to be more efficient and productive in your professional or personal life. Recently released a new iPhone and iPad app for iOS seven and it has their android app to provide chrome cast support. The iOS app includes a more visual intuitive interface and both new apps offer online courses in video viewing allowing you to learn in any environment. Users can move seamlessly between mobile and desktop applications meaning that you are never more than a quick click away from the lesson that you need. Now the new courses, the one that I am really pumped up about, is photography 101 shooting macros and close-ups. Camera movement for video production. They also offer Excel 2013 tips and tricks and managing success. But it is this photography 101 course that has me so of Buzz because once you get to a certain level of videography, a certain level of photography you want to get rid of all the bad habit. This is one of those courses that will take you through it and show you how you should take those close-up shots, how you should take those macro shots, how you should set up your shot with the light and angles. It is just a really good way to learn something that I am passionate about.

Bryan: For me I was working on Shannon’s phone, I was taking apart that Nexus five and so I checked out this lesson just so I could make sure I wasn’t going to do any mistakes while taking nothing apart.

Fr. Robert: Exactly. When we are working on know-how we want to get the shot right the first time. This is a nice easy way to learn. It actually gives you a visual representation. It is not just do this, do this. It is this is what it looks like when you take a good shot. That is the way we learn. Now Lynda has over 2700 courses with more added weekly. All courses are produced at the highest quality, not like some of those homemade videos on YouTube. Which we’d love, but sometimes you want good lighting, you want good sound, it and sometimes you want a lesson plan. That is what you get with Lynda. At works with software companies to provide you updated training the same day new versions hit the market so that you always have the latest skills. They've got courses for all experience levels from beginner, intermediate and advanced. Whether you have 15 minutes or 15 hours, each course is structured so that you can learn from start to finish. You can also search the transcripts, to find a quick answer or read along with the video to help you learn the way you need to learn. So here’s what we want you to do. We want you to try Lynda. Learn something new today with It is only $25 a month for access to the entire course library. War for $37.50 a month you can subscribe to the premium plan which includes exercise files that let you follow along with the instructors projects. Using the exact same assets. You can try right now with a free seven day trial, visit to access the entire library. That is over 2700 courses free for seven days. It is all at And we thank Lynda for their support of Know How.

Bryan: Anything that helps fill your knowledge hole.

Fr. Robert: Speaking of the knowledge hole we always get the people who are into the open source and the Linux, and we love them, who say, well you do a lot with Windows and Mac but you don’t do enough with Linux.

Bryan: We’ve got to spread the love.

Fr. Robert: We've got to spread the love.

Bryan: That is why we keep inviting our guest expert Aaron Newcombe to come to the studio.

Fr. Robert: And so, here to spread the love is Aaron Newcombe.

Aaron Newcombe: I’m Aaron Newcombe and I’m back for another segment to talk about some Linux tips and tricks. If you remember from last time we talked about various distributions of Linux, the flavors of Linux that you can go out and get. We talked about Abuntu, Fedora and the different Red Hat versions. Then I told you about Linux Mint. That is what we are going to be focusing on because it is really easy to use and and it is a good one to get started with. So Linux Mint is what we are going to be installing. Now before we install you will notice it is a little bit different than installing software right on top of your windows existing operating system or installation. What we are going to be doing is that we are going to be installing a whole operating system. So it is going to be a little bit different than what you are used to if you haven’t done this before. So what you want to do is you want to go to the Linux Mint website and click on download. That is going to give you some options. So here is a bunch of downloads, which one do I choose? Really any of them will work. But the one that I like is called cinnamon. And all these different choices are basically different versions of what the GUI looks like that is running on top of all this stuff, the operating systems. You can kind of think of it as each one of these is going to have slightly different programs that run, may be a different file browser or may be a few different options here and there. It is going to look slightly different. There are screenshots of all the various desktops if you want to go check out and see what they look like. But if I were you, I would stick with the very first one at the top called cinnamon. Now most of you at this point are going to be able to download the 64 bit version. That is the one you are going to want. The 32-bit version is what we used to use before we were able to run 64 bit operating system, so if you are running this on a very old PC that is not able to do 64 bit, maybe it is for or five years old then maybe 32 bit is the choice for you. But anything new words banned for five years old you are going to want to run the 64-bit version. So all you have to do is click on that link. It will ask you to download from various sites, depending on where you are at. We happened to be on the West Coast here in the US and I downloaded this earlier just to make sure that it would work, but you can see if you are in a different country you might want to choose a download that is close to you. I chose this one called US Internet. It was a very quick download. That is the one we chose and it downloaded very quickly, we are not going to sit through that process again. It is going to download something called an iso file and you can see I’ve got some here that I’ve already downloaded. Iso files are basically files that what they have done is they have taken the operating system and all of the install software that you need to get it on your computer, they have wrapped it up into a single file That would fit on a CD. Iso files are basically CD images. And so, what you are going to have to do to get this installed once you’ve downloaded it is either used a USB stick or an old-fashioned CD or in this case a DVD. So you would have to take a DVD, in Windows you can just right-click on it and you say burn disk image and if you’ve got a DVD writer in your desktop or laptop it will actually burnout really easily. If you want to do it from a USB, because not everybody has cd or DVD capability anymore, you can actually just do a Google search on line how to burn an iso image to a USB drive. And you will come up with hundreds of tutorials on how to do that. So we are not going to cover that now. For our purposes so that I can show this to you most effectively I am actually going to run this in virtual box. Now virtual box is something that you may want to consider if you just want to try this out or play with it, it is a great virtual system emulator which is put out by Oracle, it is a really great utility. If you have never played with it before. There are a lot of great tutorials on virtual box. You really don’t need to do this, I am just doing it for demonstration purposes today. So let’s go ahead and fire up. What I’m going to do is pretend that I have put this either in my USB thumb drive or on a CD and when you boot up your computer you will want to tell it to boot from the USB device for the CD ROM in your system. There should be a function key that you can press when you start up your computer that lets you choose where to boot from and that is when you are going to want to pick that option. When you do that it will look something like this. We are going to start this up. This is what it will look like if you choose to boot off that image. You will get this screen right here. Let it go ahead and go, there are some advanced choices that you can put in if you don’t want it to automatically boot period we are going to ignore those for now and assume that you are a basic user just wanting to either try this out or install it on your system. While it is booting up there are a couple things I will tell you. One is that most of these iso images that you are downloading are actually live versions of the operating system. What that means is that you can stick them in your computer, you can boot off them and it is not going to install anything on your hard drive or overwrite any of the files you have on your computer. It is actually going to load all the files that are on the CD or the USB stick into the memory that is in your computer and it is going to run completely in memory. So you are not going to have to worry. You can try it out, browse the operating system, use the browser and the word processor. You can use all that stuff and when you are done you can just exit out, take the CD out and then reboot into your Windows or Mac OS, whatever you are using. It looks like the operating system is coming up now and so will just give it a few more minutes to start up. It is a little slow because I am running it in virtual box and not on bare metal hardware. Our operating system is up and running. So this is the live CD running off that iso image that we downloaded before. This is exactly what it would look like if it was running on your desktop. It would look just like this. So you’ve got icons on the screen, one of them says install Linux Mint and we will get there in a minute. You’ve got a menubar down here at the bottom and this is a live operating system. It will work, maybe a little slower, but for all intents and purposes everything should work just like it does on a live system. So we could, for example, start up Firefox, that’ll come up and we could actually browse right off this line of CD. This is a great way to troubleshoot other problems with other operating systems. This is how I troubleshoot systems like Windows that are having problems, maybe there is some corruption on the hard drive or something. You can always boot off this live CD and use it just like you would any other operating system. So let’s just go to to show you that it is working. There is Google and everything works fine. Now, one common issue that you are going to have is that when you install Windows on your hard drive you are going to find that it uses the entire partition by default. So there is not going to be any room left on your hard drive to install this. Well luckily with the Linux Mint live CD, they have some tools that you can use to take advantage of this. Now I will caution you before we get started that this is not something that you want to do ad hoc, of if you don’t know what you are doing because you could erase files on your system. But if you do some research online, you can find that it is actually pretty safe to go ahead and follow the procedure that I’m outlining here. So what we are going to do is start a terminal window. Right down here at the bottom there is a terminal, just click on that once and it is going to open up. They have included some software to help us check our hard drive to make sure that it is partitioned correctly. And what you want to type in here is: sudo gparted. That is going to start the G-parted program, which is pointed take a look at our hard drive and tell us what it sees. So this is what our hard drive looks like right now. It shows a 12 gig partition on our hard drive and it is formatted for NTFS. So if you were running Windows it would look something like this, except that it which showed that there is data here. There would be some yellow coloring in here to show how much data was used in that particular partition. What we are going to do real quick is we are going to resize this partition so that we have some room to install Linux alongside of Windows. So to do that, I am just going to right-click and choose resize. This is where you want to make sure you know what you are doing. If you don’t, feel free to use Google and do some research. I know that I’m not using any space in this partition so I am going to cut it all the way back to two gig. That will leave me 10G to install Linux. now to commit my changes I need to click this little arrow and apply all operations. Now, G-parted is going to go out and it is going to shrink that partition down. If this were a real large like a terabyte disk it would take quite a while to do this. But because we are doing this virtually with a very small partition it goes very quickly. Okay, so that is done. I am going to hit close. Now, everything is ready for us to install Linux Mint. We should have 10G available. Once that is done you can close that down and next time I will go ahead and show you how to actually step through the install process. We will see you next time.

Fr. Robert: Thank Aaron for that. You thought that we should probably explain one quick thing to the audience. Right?

Bryan: What pseudo does and what that means. You’ll be using it a lot and it is a kind of powerful tool.

Fr. Robert: So basically what pseudo is, is super user do. Linux and all the good operating systems, including Mac, they allow you to temporarily escalate your privileges. Remember you don’t want to run as administrator. If you are running as route or running as administrator you are just asking for something bad to happen to your computer. So the more advanced operating systems have you run as an independent user. Then you can use the pseudo command to tell it, for this process let me run as a super user but then remove the privilege once I’m done.

Bryan: For this one thing. Safer to do it that way. Then you run into the problem - somebody was running their Linux box as route and it just got…

Fr. Robert: That is the thing. Windows users, because our operating system is a little retarded that way, we’ve gotten used to it. If you are a Linux user and you are running it as a super user not only do you now have all the vulnerabilities of a windows machine but many of the things that you would take for granted that are safe, are no longer safe. Don’t do it. It is a bad thing. Be safe. Pseudo is your friend. Before we go, I thought i might be time to give a parting shot to our people in the Google Plus community.

Bryan: Check out some of the problems that they’ve been having in there.

Fr. Robert: We have one here from John. He says hello fans I hope that one of you, and Father Robert can help. I have an AT&T Uverse, two wire, 3801HGV modem. And he plugs into one of the lan ports on a Asus RTAC68U router. He says, “I’ve been trying to figure out how to set it up. Did lots of Google searches and tried but no luck. I know I have to somehow make the Asus to have an X terminal IP address but since it is plugged into the two wire it is not letting it. I tried to change the settings in the two wire to have enable detection of router behind router conditions. Any suggestions and detail of solution would be great.” Okay, so there is a few things wrong here. First, you’ve got your two wire modem plugged into the lan port of the Asus router. You don’t do that. Now you are natting a nat which is never a good idea but unfortunately you don’t really have a choice. Gone are the days when most of the cable companies would give you either the DSL modem or your cable modem and then you would supply the router. Most units today include some sort of router along with the modem. Which is a pain in the butt for anyone who is trying to do a more detailed set up. Especially since the routers they normally include them with are horrible.

Bryan: I’ve noticed that they’ve been pushing that at Comcast.

Fr. Robert: And that is just because they know that if you run your own router you can do things like run your own VPNs. They want you to pay for business class service.

Bryan: No thank you.

Fr. Robert: No thank you. So this is how you are going to settle it. Unfortunately you can’t turn off the router settings on two wire, it won’t let you do that. But what you can do, it is you can plug the two wire into the Wan port, the external port, of your Asus router. And then set the IP on the Asus for static, and you can go back a couple of episodes of Know-How and we will show you how to do that. And then, in the two wire router set the IP as the DMZ. That means any traffic that comes in on the external port of the two wire router will go straight to that Asus router. That should allow you to set the VPN. Now also if you do it that way, if you set it up to the Lan port then the two wires nat into nat function should give you a little better functionality.

Bryan: Okay. And there is not a lot of risk in having the DMZ open in the second one? There is not like… because they are behind the first router?

Fr. Robert: No, there are issues. You really don’t want to run a nat on a nat. It is a very non -ideal situation. But unfortunately this is the way that he is going to have to do it. Unless there is a way, I don’t know. Maybe you have a great Provider. If you can contact them and say, I don’t want the router all I want is the modem. Then sometimes it will work. Also Comcast, this is a super pain in the butt but I have seen it done, they can actually turn off all the routing features and make it a dumb modem. But you cannot do it from the user’s side, it has to be done from their side. And they won't tell you that they can do it. You actually have to keep fighting. And finally they will do it.

Bryan: What ended up happening to me is that I bought my own modem because I didn’t want to have to pay the rental fee. And then after, I think it has been two years since I’ve had it, my modem is out of date and they want to send me a new one. And I said no.

Fr. Robert: What they have done in Las Vegas, this is even worse. If you buy a modem, every six months they slightly change the standard that they are using so that your modem suddenly starts going incredibly slow. And then they say, oh we could fix this and all you have to do with rent this modem.

Bryan: That is exactly what happened to me. I unplugged it and plugged it back in, I did some voodoo magic on it and then ended up having to call Comcast. They said they would reset it but that I really need to get a new modem.

Fr. Robert: Dexter in the chat room is saying, Oh Lan side remote management. Hacking galore. Which is why I hate having them integrate the router into the modem because it means they can mess with my router too. I buy the connection. I want the connection to the internet, once they get to my house I don’t want them having anything to do with my router.

Bryan: And they are huge too. It’s like a box this big.

Fr. Robert: Is it a router or is it a bread box? Well, we know that this was a lot of information to take in, especially the Linux tips. We want to give you an easy way to get this show. Download it so that you can replay it at your leisure, where perhaps you can take a look at our show notes. Where can they find those?

Bryan: They can find those at and you can also subscribe to the show. All the different version of video. We’ve got HD and some of the lower res versions. Follow us there at You can also find us on YouTube. But also, on Google Plus you can hang out in the community and se what other projects people are working on. Like we were demonstrating people post questions and fortunately we were able to answer this one today. A lot of the time it is other people in the community that get to it before we do. It is a thriving knowledge community.

Fr. Robert: Knowledge hole?

Bryan: How about a knowledge barrel that you put stuff in?

Fr. Robert: A knowledge cave. You put the knowledge in… Also you can email us at That email goes straight into the garbage can, so instead why not reach out to us on Twitter? You can find me @PadreSJ.

Bryan: And I’m @Cranky_Hippo.

Fr. Robert: How long have you used that now?

Bryan: A while.

Fr. Robert: Don’t forget. We have a super TD. He probably doesn’t have the camera turned on himself because he is… there he is. In the shadows.

Bryan: I think he’s in the knowledge cave.

Fr. Robert: Straight from the knowledge cave this is Alex, our TD. You can find him on twitter @AnElf3 and maybe he’ll regale you with some of his tales of flying with Bryan as a passenger.

Bryan: Yeah. We have some documented footage that we are going to save for a filler.

Fr. Robert: Well, until next time. I’m Father Robert Ballecer.

Bryan: And I’m Bryan Burnett.

Fr. Robert: And now that you know…

Bryan: Go do it!

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