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<< 12 / 2015 2 / 2016 >>

My first online gaming experience: Darkscapes MUD

2016-01-06 06:04:00

Fifteen years ago I graduated college at Hogeschool Utrecht. Before I got that far, I spent four years studying electronics, programming, telecommunications and more. I also had a lot of fun with my classmates! At the time I was already familiar with role playing as well as trading card games (D&D, Magic, etc), but my classmate Erik introduced me to the joys of Warhammer 40k and World of Darkness games. 

My biggest time waster in first and second year was something entirely different though: it was my introduction to online gaming, as well my first MMORPG! A few students at HvU ran a MUD (multi-user dungeon) on a school server and I spent hours questing and talking to other players. It was a grand experience, especially since the text-based interface was light enough to even work on a very slow Internet connection. Through the game I went on to meet Maya Deva, a woman who was absolutely dedicated to her D&D games and who went on to work for TSR a little while. 

Over the years I've fondly remembered that MUD, whose name escaped me. I'd always wondered whether it was still running on some hidden-away server somewhere.

Turns out that it has! Much to my surprise, my ITGilde colleague Mark was one of the admins of that MUD, which was called DarkScapes. It's not the same instance I used to play in (my account "Beowulf" was gone), but it's a rebuild based off old backups. Still, it was great to find this relic of my past and to walk that world around again! tags: ,

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Changing users' passwords in Active Directory 2016, from anywhere

2016-01-04 09:28:00

As part of an ongoing research project I'm working on, I've had the need to update an end-users' password in Microsoft's Active Directory. Not from Windows, not through "ADUC" (AD Users and Computers), but from literally anywhere. Thankfully I stumbled upon this very handy lesson from the University of Birmingham. 

I've tweaked their exemplary script a little bit, which results in the script shown at the bottom of this post. Using said script as a proof of concept I was able to show that the old-fashioned way of using LDAP to update a user's password in AD will still work on Windows Server 2016 (as that's the target server I run AD on). 


Called as follows:

$ php encodePwd.php user='Pippi Langstrumpf' newpw=Bora38Sr > Pippi.ldif

Resulting LDIF file:

$ cat Pippi.ldif 
dn: CN=Pippi Langstrumpf,CN=Users,DC=broehaha,DC=nl
changetype: modify
replace: unicodePwd

Imported as follows:

$ ldapmodify -f Pippi.ldif -H ldaps:// -D 'CN=Administrator,CN=Users,DC=broehaha,DC=nl' -W
Enter LDAP Password: 
modifying entry "CN=Pippi Langstrumpf,CN=Users,DC=broehaha,DC=nl"

Once the ldapmodify has completed, I can login to my Windows Server 2016 host with Pippi's newly set password "Bora38Sr".



function EncodePwd($pw) {
  $newpw = '';
  $pw = "\"" . $pw . "\"";
  $len = strlen($pw);
  for ($i = 0; $i < $len; $i++)
      $newpw .= "{$pw{$i}}\000";
  $newpw = base64_encode($newpw);
  return $newpw;

 if($argc > 1) {
	foreach($argv as $arg)  {
	list($argname, $argval) = split("=",$arg);
	$$argname = $argval;

  $userdn = 'CN='.$user.',CN=Users,DC=broehaha,DC=nl';

  $newpw64 = EncodePwd($newpw);

dn: $userdn
changetype: modify
replace: unicodePwd
unicodePwd:: $newpw64


?> tags: , ,

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