Technology Insights

Connect a Macbook Pro To a Cisco Router with a Usb to Serial Adapter

Alex and I were redoing our shop network today and we had to do some configuring on our Cisco switch. Normally this is no big deal but because I switched to mac recently I realized that I had no clue how to console into a Ciso switch. After a little googling I found a free program called zterm which people said would work. I use a proprietary program called Secure CRT which does console conections but if you do not have that check out zterm.
Anyway obviously there is no serial port on a macbook pro so I needed to use my usb to serial adapter. I plugged it in only to find that my mac did not “see” it as a device. As most Windows users, I was used to it comming up as a comm port so I was not sure where to look for it

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Technology Insights

How to Boot the Recovery Partition on a Acer Aspire when Alt – F10 Does Not Work

I had a Acer aspire one in the shop today and it had a variety of critical Windows issues. While doing some tests one of the things I did was rebuild the windows boot loader using the /FIXBOOT & /FIXMBR commands from a recovery disk. What I did not realize is it seems Acer has a custom boot loader which allows for the keys Alt & F10 to be pressed on boot in order to reinstall from the recovery partition so when I reinstalled the boot loader I overwrote the Acer one. This prevented the Alt – F10 combination from being used to access the recovery partition. Now, normally if you can boot into Windows there is a icon in the start menu to execute the recovery program but in my case Windows was so messed up due to a bad chkdsk I was not able to do that.

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