ProduKey – Recover lost CD-Key

Ever been in this situation? You finally decide to cave in and reinstall your Windows PC and no matter where you look you can’t find the essential serial numbers and without them you can’t reinstall the programs.

ProduKey – Recover lost product key (CD-Key) of Windows/MS-Office to the rescue.
Produkey Screen
ProduKey is a very cool small utility that displays the ProductID and the CD-Key of MS-Office, Windows, and SQL Server installed on your computer. You can view this information for your current running operating system, or for another operating system/computer – by using command-line options.

This very cool utility can be seriously useful, so grab a copy. NOW. Before you need it.


ET might be a hacker? Give me a break

OK, I know it’s hard to get noticed out there in academia. All those people publishing more and more esoteric bits and pieces about stuff in smaller and smaller niches. BUT This guy takes the cake.

From the Guardian Unlimited New – Scientists, be on guard … ET might be a malicious hacker

The concern is raised in the next issue of the journal Acta Astronautica by Richard Carrigan, a particle physicist at the US Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois. He believes scientists searching the heavens for signals from extra-terrestrial civilisations are putting Earth’s security at risk, by distributing the jumble of signals they receive to computers all over the world.

Computer scientists argue that to hack a computer, or write a virus that will infect it, requires a knowledge of how the computer and the software it is running work: a computer on Earth is going to be as alien to the aliens as they would be to us. But Dr Carrigan says there is still a risk (Dr Carrigan there is a bigger risk of you getting hit by a car, but I’ll bet you still commute to work).

Rather than dismiss his concerns, Dr Carrigan wants the Seti scientists to build safety features into their network to act as a quarantine so any potentially damaging signals can be trapped before they infect the internet.

Can I have what he’s having? {Please remember I’m not making this up… I ‘m not sure about Dr Carrigan.}

Disclaimer: PRETENTIA.COM has been donating cpu cycles to the Seti project since Feb 2000 and has processed around 1588 workunits in 17,096 hours so far. Not a lot but every bit helps. Go to and join up.

UPDATE: Schneier On Security post here. is a collection of Creative Commons-licensed, legally downloadable, freely distributable creator-approved files, from electronic/indie music to movies and books, which we have been made available via BitTorrent – are also hosting a ‘guaranteed’ high speed seed for them. Everyone that grabs the BitTorrent client and downloads helps contribute more bandwidth, because BitTorrent utilizes your unused upload bandwidth.

Oh, and there’s an RSS feed.



This is such a cool little app.

Hands up everyone who has every used ALT-TAB to swap from job to job and got lost becase there were 7 identical browser icons and no way of telling which one is which. Well TaskSwitchXP by NTWind Software is coming to your rescue ( as long as you use a Windows XP machine… I know I had one here a minute ago) .

TaskSwitchXP is a task management utility that picks up where the standard Windows Alt Tab switcher leaves off. It provides the same functionality, and adds visual styles to the dialog and also enhances it by displaying thumbnail preview of the application that will be switched to. TaskSwitchXP also has a powerful process and window management capability that allows you quickly to close/minimize applications and their groups. All in all a handy little tool.


Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 200511028


Thank you for the comments, by all means keep sending the emails but
consider dropping some of the stuff in to the comments on the blog.

Well Christmas is bearing down on us like a runaway truck in a Bruce
Willis movie, so here are some bits and pieces that have shown up in the
last week.

Straight up, wait ’til the boss is out of the place and then check this
out. The volume really needs to be somewhere around eleven. (sorry the URL was just too long)

The band is the Trans Siberian Orchestra who have some more samples of
their work here.
The song on the video is Wizards In WInter. This is a BIG sound.

Arlo Guthrie – Remembering the Restaurant

Arlo GuthrieI just found this wonderful NPR interview with Arlo Guthrie Remembering ‘Alice’s Restaurant’

Arlo Guthrie says “Alice’s Restaurant” is the story of a “little guy in a big world.” Forty years ago, Arlo Guthrie dumped a pile of trash. The minor crime made him ineligible for the draft. 2 years later in 1967, he immortalized the whole saga in “Alice’s Restaurant.”

I can remember the first time I heard this in early 1969 about the time I was getting involved in the Anti War Movement here in Melbourne and can honestly say that the last time I listened to it was a couple of weeks back. 40 years on it still has a relevance today. As he says “it’s more an anti stupid song than an antiwar song”.

It’s a good interview and only about 11 minutes long, well worth the investment.

If you have a little more time lying around there is a concert here (Real Audio Only working) or the song here. The Restaurant is all of Part 2 and the Lyrics can be found here, and remeber there are a lot of lyrics, about 22 minutes worth.