Know How... 86 (Transcript)

Net Casts you love from people you trust, this is Twit!

Bandwidth for Know How is brought to you by

Know How is brought to you by Learn what you want, when you want, with access to over 2000 high quality online courses, all for one low monthly price. To try it free for seven days visit

This week on Know How we’re giving you the knowledge to prank your friends. 

Father Robert Ballecer:  Welcome to Know How, the show where we bend, build, break and upgrade. I’m Father Robert Ballecer and I'm sorry but Cranky Hippo is out this week. He’s preparing a NASCAR racer for their doge entry. But, we’ve got a pretty decent show for you today. I know that there is going to be a lot of the April foolery going on in the very near future and we don’t typically pay attention to it but we thought we should at least give you some survival skills, specifically we are going to give you some of the knowledge that you already have, but show you how you can use it to play a prank or two.

Fr. Robert:  But before we do that, I thought that maybe we should talk a little bit about an upgrade, a part coming in to the market that I’m actually really, really impressed to see. Now we all know that video performances, especially games, is dependent on the video card. It used to be dependent on the CPU but those days are long past. You can have an all-powerful CPU, you could have a lot of memory, but if you have a dog as a video card your frame rates just not going to do so well. That is why I was so impressed to see that Nvidia is releasing a brand-new entry in their Titan series. Now you may have seen the GTX Titan, the black but now they have the GTX Titan Z. This is an over video card. This is essentially a supercomputer on  PCIS format computer. That fits inside your computer. Now the cool thing about this is that it has 5760 corps. It also has 12 GB of DDR five memory. And a 384 bit memory bus which means that you are going to get your frames to and from the processor as fast as possible. Rendered and then pushed down into your computer and over to your monitor. It can also process a total of, now get this, 8 Terraflops. That is 8 Terraflops of calculations every second. All the while the bus is running around 700 MHz, which is interesting, because the previous version of this card had the bus running at about 889 two 980 MHz. Which means that you could speed up these processors even more and get more supercomputing power out of them, if you actually wanted to. Now it’s not going to come cheap. Unfortunately, right now it is going to be running pretty close to $3000. Which means, this is not really a video gaming card. I mean if you were to happen upon one of these and drop it in your computer we could probably finally play Crises at full resolution. But more likely than not, but this is for our video professionals. Anyone who was using a video Suite like Final Cut or even say Adobe Premier, which uses the power of those coda corps  is going to find that their rendering experience is blown through the roof. Furthermore, this would be an excellent card for crypto currency mining. Now I’m pretty sure we’re not going to be getting one just for that but it is nice to dream. And yes, very much so, it is a dream. Something I think Brian would be proud of, if he were here today instead of preparing for that all important race.

Fr. Robert:  Now let’s get to the pranks. You remember a few episodes ago, I think in episode 81, I showed you how to speed up your DNS. The way we did that was by using a third-party DNS or by changing the host file on your computer so that you didn’t have to require a DNS, you didn’t have to actually go out to the Internet to find that IP address of the server you are trying to reach. Or by changing the settings in your router to do essentially the same thing. Well that is all well and good. And that will give you better performance and that will make sure that your connection stays consistent. But you could also use that little bit of tweak-ery for the power of pranking. Now let me say, upfront, don’t do this unless you know someone will take it well. This is something incredibly annoying and incredibly irritating.  In fact I’m going to say most of you should not do this. And if you do to it, and you do get in trouble, please don’t tell them that father Robert told you to do it. Because, yeah.  I don’t like those phone calls.

Fr. Robert:  Now what we are going to do is, we are going to start out with the host file. If you could go ahead and drop over to my computer, Alex.  You may remember this. This is a host file. This is the file inside of Windows, and in episode 81, I actually showed you how to do this in a Mac. But I’m just going to show you in Windows right now because it is a little easier. This is the file that allows you to locally assign an I P address to any given address for websites. So or, whatever that is going to be, you could locally assign that right here. So that your computer automatically knows where it needs to go, when it is trying to look up an IP address. What we need to do in order to be able to change it is we need to go to start, all programs, notepad, and on notepad you need to run it as administrator. So hover over Notepad, right click, and then go run as an administrator. It is going to give you the notepad program, but now the notepad program is running as administrator which means it can change an important system file, which is what you are about to do. Now go to file, open, and then you need to drop into the C:/,  windows, system 32, drivers, and then etc.   In etc you were not going to see anything, that is because right now Notepad isn’t showing you all files. So click this little menu for text documents and say I want to see all files, now open host. This very first one. This gives you the file that will allow you to assign your IP addresses as needed. A real pro tip here is, you need a way to find the IP address of the site that you are trying to send to. The easiest way to do that is to use one of two programs that are built in to pretty much every operating system. The first one is called Ping, the second one is called in NS Lookup. I prefer to use Ping just because it gives me sort of a forward facing server. But a lot of people do like NS Lookup because it shows you all the servers that are associated with that address. Let me show you how that works. If you go to start, command, you will get a command window. Now if you type Ping, and let’s say, now you’ve got the number that your computer actually goes to. This is the IP address that your computer will go to if you typed in in a browser.  Again, the other way to do that is NS Lookup. Type the same thing And it gives you the same thing. It’s not trying to see if it is alive, it is just looking through the database to see what IP addresses are associated with this particular server.

Fr. Robert:  Now that I have that address, what I can do is I can use that to reassign any website. Now, just to show you that we are all on the up and up here, let me jump into a Facebook page right now. And it shows you that my computer is going to Facebook, just like it should. Now what we’re going to do is we are going to use the format IP address and then the website that you want to redirect. In this case I already know the IP address of the twit IRC server and I know I want to redirect Facebook. Let’s say I want people to stop using Facebook and instead use one of the best chatting platforms on the Internet. If you look at my computer, what I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and type that in. Which is and then What will happen is, if I go ahead and jump in to my browser here and I go to Facebook, instead of going to Facebook it is going to resolve back to the twit IRC channel. Now this is a cool trick because it is really, really simple. All you need to do is get them away from the computer for just a bit. And then you will be able to reset their host file. Something else you need to know about this is if you've got one of these websites that has multiple front facing addresses, like for example, Facebook. Which is or, you need to use all of those addresses. You need to redirect them all otherwise the prank won't be quite as effective.   The other thing you need to remember is that there are some websites, like for example, you can't redirect because if you just type in the IP address for it won't get you to the Web server. That is one of the protections that we use to keep from getting tossed off the net. So make sure to test it. Type in that IP address in your browser, make sure that it’s actually going to work before you do it. Now there is another bend to this trick that we are going to show you in just a bit. I’m going to show you how you can use your DDWRT router to do the same thing without ever touching anyone's computer.

Fr. Robert:  But before that I think, Alex, we’ve got a little something from Brian right? Did he ever record that?  He said he left it around here somewhere.  He wanted to give us a Know How on some old machinery or you know the latest and the greatest.

Alex:  I don’t know.  I don’t remember that.

Fr. Robert:  He said he left it on a Know How, oh wait.  Whoa.  Okay.  This must be it.  It says for Padre.  This will fit right in the tri-caster right?

Alex:  It is a beta cam?

Fr. Robert:  It must be high definition right?

Alex:  I think we got something that we can do with that.

Fr. Robert:  I’m going to go ahead and plug this in right over here.  Can you route this in the tri-caster?

Alex:  Yeah.  I think I got it right here.

Fr. Robert:  I have no idea what this is, but let’s go ahead and run it. 

Brian Burnett:  Oh hi there.  Thanks for joining us today, I’m Brian Burnett.   Occasionally on Know How, we have what we like to call Know It All’s come on the show.  And today we have Alex , how you doing Alex?

Alex Gamble:  Good Brian.  Thanks for having me.

Brian:  Well thanks for coming on the show.  So you’re our guest expert and what would you like to show us today?

Alex:  Well I’m going to show you how to upgrade the memory in your Macintosh computer.

Brian:  Okay, well that sounds like it would be something pretty handy.

Alex:  A lot of people have Macintosh’s and upgrading your memory can increase your performance for many applications. 

Brian:  It is not something too difficult for our average viewers?

Alex:  Well that depends.  So, it depends on what kind of Macintosh you have.  If you have a modular one it is fairly simple to do because it is ready for expandability.  But then there are the compact Macintosh units and those are a little trickier to get in.  But so I figured we’ll start with the modular one and it will be easy.

Brian:  Alright.  Let’s bring out the model. 

Alex:  Before we get to bringing those out.  We have two Macintosh memory upgrade kits over there.  So these are the single inline memory modules, or SIMs.  We have a set of each of these   and they are 4 MB each and this is 1 MB each.  So we have 4 megs and then 16 megs here.  Now a quick and dirty way to determine the capacity of one of these SIMs and it’s not always the case, but on some of them if you look on the chips there is a number down there and it says 1000.  That means about 1 MB.  So the chip says 1000 that means the SIM is going to be 1 meg.  And this one says 4000 so it is 4 megs

Brian:  Okay.  Alright.  So we’ll be upgrading from what.  What do we have here?

Alex:  Let’s take a look at what we have.  Over here we have a Macintosh 2CX.  Which is a standard work station modular computer system. 

Brian:  Very stylish.

Alex:  It is fairly simple to open, by design.  Now one thing is you may have a security screw back here so we have to remove that first.  Just take your standard Philips screwdriver or whatever it happens to be. 

Brian:  Now are there any safety precautions we should make our viewers aware of before we start this?  That looks real simple.  Look at that.

Alex:  It pops right off.  Before you start touching anything inside you’ll probably want to use a wrist strap and that is very simple.  Put it on your wrist. 

Brian:  That stops the static charge. 

Alex:  Right.  And you want to clip this to something metal that is hopefully grounded. 

Brian:  I’m sure we have something under the desk.  Maybe.  Or not.

Alex:  Well, we can just forget it.

Brian:  You don’t really need it.  Just make sure you’re not doing this in your socks.

Alex:  Don’t do this standing on carpet in socks.

Brian:  It’ll be fine.

Alex:  So if you take a look on the inside of the unit here, we have the memory banks.  And we have Bank A and Bank B.  And right now A is already filled with some RAM.  These are 1 MB each so there is 4 MB of RAM total in this computer at the moment.  The 2CX can go up to 128 MB of RAM but that is very expensive so I only have a certain amount.  We are going to put the 16 megs that we have here with the 4 meg SIMs and because this has two banks, we can just add the second bank and then we don’t actually have to remove the originals.

Brian:  Very nice.

Alex:  With the banks, each one has to be the same so all the SIMS in one bank need to be the same.  So we have four 1 MB SIMs here and we are going to put them in the other one.  That kind of stays even like that.  So we just take our SIMs right here and just kind of stick that right in there and then pop it in. 

Brian:  That is easy.  It just snaps in.

Alex:  Okay, put them in at an angle…..  of course when you’re on television it is a lot harder. 

Brian:  How much altogether does this give us in this machine?

Alex:  This will give us, we have 4 megs in there.  What is going on with this one?  We have 4 megs and we are adding 16 so this will give us 20 MB total.  It’s getting hot in here.

Brian:  Very warm.  Must be these studio lights.

Alex: I can’t believe it.  What is wrong with this stupid thing.  Oh well give me another one.  How about that?  I bet there is something wrong with that. 

Brian:  That slot right there?

Alex:  Stupid thing.  Boy this is interesting.  Normally it just pops right in. 

Brian:  Quite the conundrum we have here.  

Alex:  Oh well, just drop them in.  Normally they just pop right in.  So, whatever, we’ll just stick those in there.  That’s all you have to do.  Put the top back on. 

Brian: So you put your safety screw back in right?   So now, what kind of performance increase can we expect on this?

Alex:  So we are going from 4 megs to 20 and depends on the application that we are using.  If you are using Photoshop or Illustrator you may have larger files.  Kid pix is one of my favorites. 

Brian:  Yeah.  Kid Pix probably doesn’t use as much. 

Alex:  It’s designed for lower end computers.  But the modular Macintosh is simple you just pop the in like that.

Brian:  Thank you for coming on the show.  It is an easy way for any home user to upgrade the RAM on your Macintosh and you’ll see some nice increase.  You have something else?

Alex:  So now we are going to do the compact Macintosh.  Now this one is a little more tricky, right here we have a Macintosh SE.

Brian:  How nice.  That looks very light weight.

Alex:  This is the very common Mac.  This is like the Boeing 737 of the Macintosh world.  So many people have these.  They are pretty much the most affordable ones.  So you want to set it on it’s front like that.   Normally you should go to the dealer to get this done, there are certain specific tools that you need to open one of these. We don’t have those sober discriminate do with the tools that we have. So you need a torque T15.

Brian:  Where were we able to find this?

Alex:  Oh we have a toolkit here in the studio somewhere.  You are going to need one with a lot of length. So inside the handle here, take a look there are two screws and we need to get both of those out so you want to take your thing and put it in there.  Then you should be able to just get it unscrewed. There you go.

Brian:  Are they a little tight?

Alex:  A little bit.

Brian:  So how much RAM this this computer come with?

Alex:  Macintosh SC typically come with 1 MB of RAM and that’s what this has too.

Brian:  Are you having trouble getting it?

Alex:  Yeah.  Why don’t you give it a try and I’ll go get my other tool.

Brian:  I’m going to give this a shot here, it shouldn’t be too difficult. I’m sure everyone at home won’t have this much trouble, unless you’re trying to film it in front of an audience live. Then this happens. Things break and they don’t work right.

Alex:  So I have my own tool and this usually works for this. I got just a regular screwdriver.

Brian:  Let’s try that.

Alex:  And I have a little extender and we just kind of pop it into there but the torque on this’ll just barely work, it’s a little kludgy but…

Brian:  It should just pop those bad boys out of there.

Alex:  It’s already loose let’s try the other one. This one is tight okay. 

Brian:  So the modular design of computers makes it simple to take these apart? For most people, not us.

Alex:  With modular Macintosh that’s true but these compact ones are a little harder.  Apple would like you to go to your local dealership and have them do it.  Well we got those two screws out. Now there’s just two more on the back here and we will get those. There you go.

Brian:  Well that wasn’t too difficult.  

Alex:  Now normally you would have an actual torque bit, these screws are there so that people don't really tamper with it, unless you know what you’re doing. Most people with a torque driver actually know what they are doing.

Brian:  Here I’ll hold onto those screws.

Alex:  Okay try not to lose them. Depending on whether you've ever opened your Macintosh or not it might be a little hard to get it off. The actual repair people, they have a tool you basically put in the little crack there and pry it open.

Brian:  Is there some sort of adhesive that holds that on there?

Alex:  No.  What you can do if you can’t get it off, is you take a flathead screwdriver and put it in there and twist it. You want to be careful that you don’t damage the plastic when you do that. This one just popped right off.

Brian:  Oh look at that!

Alex:  Well that was interesting.

Brian:  It was like the reverse explosion!  There’s dust in there. 

Alex:  It must be dust.  Because this has a COT in it - a built-in monitor, be very careful not to touch any of that.  You could electrocute yourself.  This hasn’t been plugged in in a while so it should be fine, but if you just unplug your computer and you open it up be very careful not to touch anything.   If you have a discharge tool and you know how to use it then you should use that before working in there. I don't happen to have one on me so I can’t do that but I just know that you should.

Brian:  All right so what is our next step here.

Brian:  All right if you look at the components here we have the screen there, the analog board here, which has the power supply and some of the monitor electronics in it.  Oh wait, the power supply is down over here. And the logic board sits at the bottom, and that is basically where the RAM is. And then you have the two drives here. This particular SC is the dual floppy model so you have the two floppy drives, you might have a hard drive in there depending on which one you have. And that’s pretty much it, it is pretty simple.  Pretty simple.  Now there is a shield here,  it is basically a piece of foil. We just want to pull that off and there that exposes the logic board.

Brian:  Wow! Look at that!

Alex:  So the RAM of course is on the logic board and we have to get that out. You have to be a little tricky with this. So you can see right here there is the power cable and that is going into a connector kind of just have to get your hand in there and reach in there with your finger and you'll feel a little clip.  Now be careful not to touch the CRT. There you go. It’s loose. And then you have the two drive cables, so if you have two floppy drives then you only have two cables.  If you have the hard drive you have the big cable you have to get rid of too. I just pull those off. Then you just lift up on the logic board, kind of get the clips off and there.  And now, If you see on the side here the pieces are kind of like a locking mechanism there?

Brian:  Kind of like holsters there?

Alex:  So if you pull back to the right just a little bit like that….

Brian:  There you go! So there is only two cables that are connected to the rest of the PC?

Alex:  One more. It’s right here, it’s the speaker cable. You want to be careful with that.

Brian:  So this is our existing RAM?

Alex:  Yeah. So if you look at the logic board we have four SIM slots, and right now with 1MB of RAM each of these is 256 KB of memory.  We want to replace that with 1 MB SIMs, creating  4 MB of RAM. The SC can only take up to 4 MB of RAM the biggest SIMs that you can put in there are 1 MB so that is what we have so to take the old ones out.

Brian:  4 MB? That seems like overkill!

Alex:  You want to do that four times here you want to give a try Brian?

Brian:  This looks like fun! Oh I think I broke something! Is it okay?

Alex:  Yes see that little clip here you want to push that out….

Brian:  Oh I should’ve pushed that out first. Oh there you go it comes out easier.  I think some of the clips fell out over here. 

Alex:  Oh, that’s okay.  We’ll pick those up later.   We can take this to our authorized service technician and have them replace it.

Brian:  I think there is one right down there.

Alex:  To put the SIMs in, you basically just do the opposite.  You just stick it in at an angle and you just push down on the SIM and that will lock it in place. 

Brian:  Can I try one?  This one doesn’t have clip so it should just sit right in there right?  Oh boy.

Alex:  We’ll just pretend that one is okay.  For the sake of television.

Brian:  These computers are made pretty heartily so I don’t think it’ll be an issue. Anyway I’ll just be 3 MB of RAM right?

Alex:  So there you go, now we have the replaced memory units.

Brian: No problem okay.  Let’s get it back in there. 

Alex:  Okay to put it back on, you basically do the opposite of how we took it out. So you want to line the board up and take the speaker cable and clip that back on to the connector.   It’s sitting next to the clock battery.  Let’s just stick that on and now to put that in place, I’m going to leave this off so it doesn’t get jammed in there. We’ll just pretend that it’s in.  So that bit that came out, that little locking mechanism here, that is only in one side so to put it back in you kind of want to put that in on one side.

Brian:  Don’t force it like I did earlier.

Alex:  Yeah, you don’t want to force anything.   And then you just want to line the edges up again as it was earlier and stick that in like that, but not all the way because we do still need to put the cables in.

Brian:  Oh right, right. We've got the power cable and the CRT monitor cable right?

Alex:  No, the power cable and the two floppy drive cables. Easier to start with the power cable.  So you just want to kind of just push it in. There you go. And then you line it up. And then you just put your hand on the opposite side of the board to create some counter pressure and now you replace the floppy cables back in their places like so. That's pretty much it.   Then we take our shield and stick that back on where it was.

Brian:  Simple!

Alex:  It can be a little tricky. But it’s pretty easy.  And to put the case back on.  Now the instinct is to just put it on like that but you want to be very careful that the sides get between the shield and the chassis here.

Brian:  Before you put that on, are there signatures inside of that?

Alex:  Yeah there are. They are embossed and engraved signatures of the Macintosh designer.

Brian:  That’s what everybody wants on their computer. 

Alex:   Yeah but they all have that, that’s a common thing.  

Brian:  Okay.  Okay.

Alex:  It’s just something they built into the case.  So the best way to put this on, is because of how the shield is folded this way you just kind of want to start on the side and just kind of rotate it over like that and slide over.  Make sure nothing gets caught and then you stick it in.  You also want to be careful that over here the side piece doesn’t do something like that and go off the edge.  You want to make sure it goes in underneath and locks in like that.  

Brian:  Perfect. 

Alex:  It shouldn’t explode like that.  I’m not sure what that was. 

Brian:  That was technical difficulty.

Alex:  Then you take your screws and you put them back on using your torque screw driver.

Brian:  I think I have the torque… wait.  They were in my pocket.  Do you remember if they were the silver ones or the black ones?

Alex:  The black ones go on this side and the silver ones go in the handle.

Brian:  Perfect.  Well there you go. 

Alex:  So where is the other screw driver?

Brian:  Ummmmm, right here?

Alex:  Why don’t you tighten those with that and I’ll tighten these with this.

Brian:  Sure.  So just to reiterate for our audience, we’ve taken apart the Mac and we’ve put the new bigger SIMs in and we’ll be having 4MB of Ram.

Alex:  Larger capacity.

Brian:  We’ll probably notice a nice speed boost from this and probably took us, what, if we did all this in real time, maybe 10 minutes?

Alex:  No editing here. 

Brian:  No.  So really, it’s a job you can do on the weekend.  If you have a spare hour and you’ll definitely notice a difference in performance I’m sure.

Alex:  And take your old RAM and save for when you have another Macintosh and you want to use the old memory in it, if you buy it for less than the SIMs you pulled out. 

Brian:  Yeah, you don’t want to throw that stuff away. 

Alex:  You never know when you’re going to want to use it again.

Brian:  Well thanks for coming on the show, Alex.   I think that is about all the time we have for this segment. But, yeah is there anything else you’d like to tell us about.  A new project or anything?

Alex:  No, just if you have any questions you can always go to your local Apple dealership and ask them about memory upgrade options and they’ll be happy to help you with that.

Brian:  Great.  Well, alright.  I’ll be happy to have you on the show again sometime.  Back to you Padre. 

Fr. Robert:  Wow!!!!  A piece of history there!  I want to thank Brian Burnett and Alex Gumple for that tape from 30 years ago showing us a way to really never, ever, don’t ever upgrade your memory like that because then everything is broken.  We also want to thank the Apple Museum here in the Silicon Valley for donating that Mac to us, which no longer works.  Well coming right up we’re going to show you an easier way to do that re-direct trick if you’re using a DDWRT capable router. 

Fr. Robert:  But before that I thought this might be a nice time to thank our sponsor,  Now if you are watching Know How, we know that you are a Know It All. We know that you want to learn how to do things.  You want to learn how to make, how to program, you want to learn how to build a business maybe.  And that is why we are so happy to have as a sponsor of the Know It All crowd.  Now, at you get the premier online learning company.  What do you want to learn?  Photography?  Audio and video editing?  Software skills?  With the easy to follow video tutorials on, you can learn at your own pace, on your own terms from top industry experts.  With a subscription members receive unlimited access to thousand of online video courses that cover a variety of software, creative and business skills.  Now for me, I have been all over their Python lessons, they have a series of videos that are dedicated to being up and running with the Raspberry Pie.  Now you know that here on Know How, we love the Raspberry Pie.  It is an inexpensive platform that can do pretty much anything you tell it to do.  But you need to learn how to program it.  Otherwise you are just installing other people’s packages.  Well with you can learn, not just how to be up and running, but it will teach you the advanced skills.  The things that you need to be able to turn your Raspberry Pie into an ISS_Above device, or a home automation device, or a device that streams video and audio from the internet. It’s all right there with  Lynda lets you improve your skills, learn new software and keep up with technology.  With over 2000 courses that are added again and again daily.  Their new courses this week include Foundations of Programming, Programming for Kids, Up and Running with 3D Printing, Shooting a Photo Essay Telling a Family Story, and UX Design Tools Photoshop.  Instructors that are working professionals at the top of their fields and expert teachers.  They don’t just teach, they don’t just teach from a book these are people who have actually done this for a living and so you are getting the benefit of their years of experience.  Lynda has high quality video productions from state of the art studios, which means that these aren’t those home-made YouTube videos.  Which are great for the amount of knowledge that they give you, but there is something about watching a video that has good audio, or has a well-lit studio.  You just want to watch it more, it helps you to learn the way you want to learn.  Lynda has curated course content.  Each course is carefully structured so that users can learn from start to finish or jump to a specific chapter for quick answers.  They also have easy to follow videos that can help you find the answer you need by giving you in video transcripts.  That means that you don’t have to jump around within a video to find the section that you are looking for.  You can just search for the problem you are having and they will give you the piece of video that shows you the answer.  It is really that easy.  Lynda has courses for all experience levels that cover a wide range of technical skills, creative techniques, business strategies, and so much more.  They let you watch from your computer, your table, or mobile device and one of my favorite pieces is that they let you switch between devices.  Pick up from the chapter that you left off.  Learn at your own pace on your own device, at your own schedule, when you want, how you want.  That’s the promise of now also has certificates of course completion which you can publish to your link and profile.  So here is what we want you to do.  We want you to try  Learn something new in 2014 with  It is only $25 a month for access to the entire course library, or 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.  And you can try right now with a free 7 day trial.  Visit to access the entire library.  Thats over 2000 courses free for seven days.  It is all at  And we thank Lynda for their support of Know How.

Fr. Robert:  Now I promised you that I was going to show you another way to do the DNS prank without having to jump onto someone’s computer.  It is a really cool way to re-direct someone’s web searches but if you don’t have access to someone’s computer, but you do have access to the router and that router is running DDWRT there is an exceptionally easy way to do the same thing. Now if you jump to my computer over here we are going to show you that I’ve got our DDWRT router up right now.  This is what the interface looks like.  You are going to see this anytime you log in to one of these devices that has DDWRT installed.  What you want to do is go to services and if you scroll down on services you are going to find something that says DNS mask.  All DNS mask does is allows you to mask an entry on top of the result it’s getting back from the DNS server.  The format that you use is the address equals/the website that you want to redirect/ the IP address that you want to direct to.  I’m going to use the we had from the last prank.  Address=/  Now before I apply this I’m going to show you that right now, again, if I go to, I’m going to get a regular result.  It is going to jump me over to and everyone is happy and groovy but jump back in here and now let me apply that setting and it is going to take a couple of seconds for DDWRT to apply it.  And assuming that they are not using a third party DNS on their computer so they are not bypassing the local, it means that now if they go to it is going to go to the Twit/IRC channel.  Now here is the thing.  If you’re watching this live you saw a few of the foibles of trying to do this.  My computers have been set up not to allow people to do this.  I typically use third party DNS provider which means it’s not using the host file and it’s not using the local DNS server.  I also have a couple of security features that prevent people from masking their DNS.   I had to turn all that stuff off.  And fortunately if you were watching the last you saw that it doesn’t always work.  One of the things that you are going to have to do is make sure that the person is not running any third party DNS servers.  And also not running any security protocols on their computer that keep people from altering the host file or from removing valid requests from the DNS cache.  It sounds like a lot to do, but if you have a person who isn’t really that computer savvy most likely they are just using the DHCP address that is coming to them from their router which means that this trick is going to work just fine.  Now one bit of advice.  Please, please, please if you’re going to do this eventually let the person off the hook.  I know a couple of people who did this prank and they forgot to take it off and it escalated and it got to the point where people were losing productivity time and eventually someone got fired.  So, again, please try this out.  Make sure that you know how to do it, but if you’re going to do it, eventually fess up…. it is a prank and it’s all in good humor and we don’t want anyone getting fired. 

Fr. Robert:  Now, next week Brian will be back and we’ve got a doozy of an episode coming up for you.  But before that, we’d like you to check out our Show Notes page.  If you go to our show notes page on the twit tv network.  That’s you’re going to be able to find all of our episodes, all along with our show notes and how to pull off these pranks.  It’s going to be spelled out for you in step by step instructions.  It is one of the things that we do to make sure that you can do all of these tricks, all of these projects, all of these maker events on you own.  Also you can find us on YouTube.  If you go to you’ll find each individual video and that’s actually a large community. I believe we get anywhere from 3000 to 100,000 per video.  Go ahead and check us out, share us with your friends and see if maybe they want to get into the Know How spirit as well.  Not only that, you can find us on our GPlus group.  We do have a very active GPlus group.  I’m actually proud of it. We’ve got over 6,000 users right now and the thing that happens is that whenever someone suggests a project, whenever someone has a question, whenever someone comes to us with a problem it’s usually not the host that gives the answer it is our Know It Alls.  It is the people in our GPlus group which you can find by going to  It’s one of the things that we try to get you involved with so that you can be part of Know How even when the show is not running.  You can also find me on twitter at  That’s @PadreSJ so you can keep up with me in between the shows and find out what I’m coin on the twit tv network and overall see what is happening in the olive of a geek.  Until the next time, until Brian is back and Alex hopefully gets away from that Beta Max VHS machine, I’m Father Robert Ballecer, and now that you know… go do it!

All Transcripts posts