Reset Supervisor / BIOS Password (SVP) on IBM ThinkPad A21m

Build an interface to the serial EEPROM … not too hard, but plenty of points of failure!

You must construct the circuit as shown on the Normsweb page using specified resistors, Zener diodes, and the female serial connector.

Use a USB-to-Serial adapter to link the ThinkPad to another PC using a 5V connection. Even if the second PC has a dedicated serial port, that port will run at 9V, potentially causing an over-voltage condition on the EEPROM chip. These adapters are found on the cheap through eBay, and the one which I bought worked instantly thanks to Windows 10’s automatic driver installation.

Simple fix: in case you happen to purchase a ThinkPad from the same organization as me, the password was “DOGLOVE”. It’s worth a shot, I guess!

How to Reset the Administrator Password on an IBM ThinkPad | Chron.com

IBM Thinkpad: Lost or Forgot Supervisor Password – Normsweb.com

This link illustrates how to read an EEPROM using an Arduino device instead of the standard PC serial connection used elsewhere. I didn’t try it, since I don’t own an Arduino, but it looks promising.

Thinkpad supervisor password read /clear

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Broken Math

The term “Broken Math”, sometimes stylized with a trademark identifier (superscript “TM”), was created in December 2014 in conjunction with the progression of the “Chasing M’lady” Tumblr blog. However, the concept behind it – using the laws of math and/or physics in an unconventional or unrealistic way in order to produce questionable results. Sometimes, these results prove to be correct (see: many of my college exams); sometimes, they are marginally correct, or correct enough to be satisfactory estimates of reality. The third possibility is that results generated from Broken Math are completely incorrect (often in a humorous way, intended or not). This happens more often than not.

This idea of doing mathematics of questionable validity did not have a set identifying name until December 5th, 2014. Memes relating to neckbeards were entirely in vogue, and the latest discovery I had made in regards to that was the “Chasing M’lady” Tumblr blog, located at chasingmlady.tumblr.com. As I read through the history of the blog, I discovered many posts which stood out in comedic value, including one which was originally posted as question/suggestion by now-deactivated Tumblr user mrredox:

“Have you ever thought of wearing two fedoras stacked on top of one another? You are constantly tipping your fedoras well enough to get fine women. I think if you master the art of 2, you will see a 100% increase in your attention from the fairer sex.”

“Chasing M’lady” responds with the following statement, in addition to a screenshot meant to emulate a legitimate mathematical proof written using Microsoft Word equations:

Dear sir, I had never considered such possibilities! I assumed that only one was needed to show my graceful tipping techniques, but mathematically, I could attract attention from every single member of the double X chromosome party. […] I think I’m going to go out and purchase all the fedoras at my local high end clothing shop :-^) Thank you for your enlightenment mrredox!

As I had been doing often during my freshman year, I decided to print out a page about “methods of exiting the friendzone”. The first method was related to dakimakuras, while the second was instead a reference to this Tumblr post.

IMAG0145

Method 2: Wear Infinite Fedoras! Broken Math 100% Real Math proves that using the power of Limits, by wearing infinity fedoras, you will attract all women!

Clearly, the fallacy of this method is that there exists a point of diminishing returns, where at some point, your attractiveness will achieve a maximum where no further women will find you attractive.

QED.

Since then, Broken Math has been used on many of my engineering exams in order to achieve at least some partial credit – or in some cases, actually end up getting the answer correct.

Broken Math is also rooted in the notorious Manuelium Problems, which deserve to have an entry entirely of their own.

Edit as of April 2017: don’t use broken math. it hurts.

Ramblings On Smartphones

Android is dead to me – it has been for quite some time now.

I remember back when the iPhone 4 first came out on Verizon Wireless. At the time, it was so much better than similarly priced Android phones, mainly because of the Retina display, which really was the best on the market. Despite pre-ordering the CDMA iPhone 4 soon after it was announced, I still had a great appreciation for Android, Google’s young operating system that sought to bring more features to smartphone power users and provide a more capable experience than basic iOS. To try it out, I installed the Android Development Kit on my desktop computer and loaded up some of the virtual machines. Eventually, in December 2011, I purchased the well-known Asus Transformer TF101, which was touted as the very first Android device to receive the new Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.

Android spent many of its formative years as, harsh as it may sound, an exact knockoff of iOS. Since the only carrier with the iPhone was AT&T, and rarely anyone bought the full-price unlocked phone outright like they do today, the other carriers brought in hordes of random Androids that were all deemed “iPhone killers” in one way or another. Verizon launched the Droid brand, complete with the “DROID DOES” television campaign in order to show iPhone supporters all of the cool, “futuristic” features that they were missing out on through their allegiance to Apple. The largest of those features was definitely Adobe Flash Player, which is more of a punch line today, but in those times the Web was much heavier on Flash content and mobile-optimized websites were less common than you might have thought. While web browsing on Android would have been more capable, despite the fact that Android’s app store had lower prices, Apple’s has always been superior in content.

In 2012 I preordered the Black – yes, Black … not the ugly purple-blue color – Galaxy S3 for Verizon Wireless. That phone was a mistake – battery life was worse than the nearly two year old iPhone 4 that it was replacing, prompting me to quickly get a cheap extended battery courtesy of eBay which may or may not have caused some of the phone’s internal components to “fry”. But it’s not really my fault … because the battery life on the OEM battery was so bad that I actually needed something as large as 4500mAH to get through a single day.

In 2014 I upgraded to the HTC One M8, which has been a pretty good experience but it has definitely gone downhill since I first bought it. The first 6 months with the phone were awesome – then it got updated to Lollipop and battery life went south, and a bunch of other bugs rose up causing the phone to stutter much more than when it was new. The Marshmallow update, which took forever to receive, didn’t really improve anything – but fortunately, it didn’t make anything worse.

Getting the iPad Air 2 taught me that iOS isn’t bad anymore like it was during the malaise time of iOS 6, with its horribly ancient skeuomorphic design language (relative to the “Holo” years of Android Honeycomb and beyond) and controversial Apple Maps. I really can’t stand the iPhone 5 because it was the device that I would have upgraded to if I had chosen to remain with iOS when my iPhone 4 became eligible for upgrade. Why didn’t I upgrade to the iPhone 5? Because it ran boring old iOS 6. Because it was virtually the same phone as the iPhone 4, only taller. Because I didn’t care at all about camera quality since the iPhone 4 was completely serviceable. Because the processing speed on the iPhone 4 was completely adequate for the time, so who cares about the latest Apple chip. Because now it used Lightning, and none of my then-current accessories would work with it. Because it embodied the “cult of Apple” that many of the other kids in my high school appreciated and stuck with, seemingly … mindlessly.

Wilsonian Jingles

Paper Give Back Time

It’s paper give back time!

It’s paper give back time!

It’s paper give back time!

It’s paper give back time!

I’ll walk around the class

Get off your big fat … Hiney

It’s paper give back time!

It’s paper give back time!

Life is Hard, And Then You Die

(Verse 1) Life is hard, and then you die.

Life is hard, and then you die.

So why do you … even try?

‘Cause life is hard, and then you die.

(Verse 2) Life is hard, and then you die.

Life is hard, and then you die.

So why not … just give up and cry?

‘Cause life is hard, and then you die.