Cracking Word and Excel protection passwords

One of our employees has left the organization and, with that, had left me with quite a predicament. He had password protected the views on all of his Excel and Word documents. In other words, you could see the document, but you couldn’t edit it. Apparently he didn’t leave on the best terms, as he would not relinquish the password to us. Of course, I wasn’t about to say that “it isn’t possible” – so I did a little digging and came up with the following solutions:

Both links are quite simple to use and give you an unprotected document as an end result! I figured I’d share the knowledge as I had tried quite a few other methods from other sites that either didn’t work or were much more complicated.

As far as document open passwords, which Microsoft Office handles quite differently, they require “brute force” method which can take days to weeks to accomplish. So those of you using passwords for those files should fear not, one would have to be quite determined to crack them!

five thousand dollar mistake

I have had and HSBC savings account for quite some time now. I direct deposit my paychecks to my savings account for the 5.05% return – but the problem is that my Amex card won’t take payments from a Savings Account. It’s no big deal, as I just schedule the money that I need to be transferred to my checking account. The other factor that lead to this disastrous mistake is that I leave very little money in my checking account. Only $100-$200 for the month. I had a rather large payment coming up for my credit card ~$2500. Well, about two days before the payment was due, I got a phone call from my bank’s automated system that notifies me that I have a new deposit. I ignored it, as it I knew what it was. The following day I checked my account, and to my dismay I was $2500 overdrawn! Instead of transferring from my savings to my checking, I had done the reverse. I desperately needed $5000 to bring my account above the red, as well as to pay off my card which was due the next day. I already had been charged $25 for overdrawing – I had no idea if the charges were to continue each day I was overdrawn – nor if I would also have a hefty finance charge on the credit card. I went into panic mode, calling my bank, calling my credit card. The only option I had was to wait the 3 business days for another transfer from my HSBC account. One of my co-workers had overheard me on the phone, and asked if he could help in any way. I jokingly said “you don’t happen to have $5000 I can borrow, do you?”. About an hour later, he came into my office with an envelope with $5k in cash! I couldn’t believe it! I thanked him profusely, telling him he didn’t have to do that at all… but I was eternally grateful! On my way to the bank with his money, I realized that it was the most cash I have ever handled at once! I deposited it immediately. The following Monday, when the funds had finally come through, I went to get the cash to give back to him – I had to take a picture! Fitty Benjamins – didn’t quite fit in my wallet!


I just read about Yapta today in the paper and figured I’d share the knowledge! Yapta is an on-line service that will take your airline ticket confirmation code and then notify you if the fare changes after you purchase the ticket. Most airlines will either refund the money or give travel vouchers for the price difference! It seems to be a great service that will do leg work that you don’t have the time to!


I don’t have any pictures from this weekend, as I have not yet recouped the losses from the burglary. But this does mean that its time to share the smoking deals I got on replacements! I have ordered a new digital camera and memory card to replace those that were stolen and I’m hoping to get them this week. I ended up deciding on the Canon SD600 once again, as there was nothing else out there with the same portability and features near its price tag. I was tempted by the SD 800 IS as it has the same screen and optical viewfinder, as well as a wide angle (35mm equivalent) lens and image stabilization – but in the end, the SD600 is smaller and better priced! My deal swindling took me to as they had a $30 off $250 coupon and $1 shipping. Though it was cheaper at Amazon and Newegg – I get 4 miles for every dollar purchased through the NWA WorldPerks mall plus another 600 miles for making a purchase over $200 during the x-mas season, plus another 5000 mile bonus for using my WorldPerks visa! That makes ~6700 miles for the one purchase! Easily justifies the extra $8 spent (plus I get a copy of Fahrenhype 9-11 – I needed the $1 purchase to get over the $250 coupon requirement – anybody want it?). Yes I’m insane. Don’t think I didn’t do the same for the memory card! had Kingston’s 2gb MiniSD card for $45 before a $16 rebate and Google Checkout’s $10 off $30 purchase which ends up at $19 for a 2GB mini-SD! More room to load the MDA up with maps, video and music! As Bill would say – “Nice prizey!” In addition – I ordered a Boxwave Cleartouch Anti-Glare screen protector for the camera – an absolute MUST for any digital camera toting consumer! Not only does it protect the screen from scratches, the anti glare properties are phenomenal outdoors! I also have their crystal protector on my PDA – reflects like a mofo, but makes the image much sharper.

Speaking of reflecting screens… I was finally able to find an incredible deal for laptops at work. Dell Inspiron 640m, Core 2 Duo T2300, 14.1″ WXGA+ (1440×900), 512mb ram, 60gb hard drive, Dual Layer DVD burner, built in wifi/bluetooth… LOADED with a 3 year Gold warranty. How much you ask? $804 each (after rebate) – we got 5. Suffice it to say, I won’t be replacing my stolen laptop anytime soon as I’ve got this beauty to use! It’ll even play DVDs, videos, MP3s and show pictures without booting the operating system! Only downside is that the WXGA+ screen comes with Dell’s “TrueLife” coating – makes it more of a mirror than a screen! On the PDA the idea works, on a laptop – not so much. On the laptop purchase alone I saved Youth Guidance over $2000 on what we had budgeted! See, this deal scavenging comes in handy every once in a while!

The laptop image links to the 640m review

Kegfast multi-output tap

What do you say guys? First purchase for the apartment?!

Only $59.99 for the dually at Kegfast!

How does it work?
Thanks to the patented innovations developed by KegFast Industries our taps allow for the distribution of beverages through a multiple output manifold scientifically developed to dispense beverage with absolutely no excessive foaming or loss of pressure.

BJ needs a new computer

After seeing BJ’s comment about needing a new PC – I came up with the perfect solution for him! (click on the image below)

For those of you not familiar with Strongbad he is a character on The Homestar Runner Website (now served with a side of Wiki)! Stongbad responds to a “fan” e-mail every Monday. When Andy and I lived with Mike it was a weekly ritual to see what Strongbad had to say. Hilarious stuff!

Some of my favs:
Techno (the very first one I saw)
Virus (or how Strongbad lost his 386)

Always a good way to pass some time

Todai sushi buffet

Jeff and I went to Todai for their all you can eat sushi buffet on Thursday. As we had arrived half an hour befor it ended our waiter suggested that we get all our food ASAP. Six plates and a bowl of soup later we practically had to be rolled out of the place! The amount of food they had was insane! All for the paltry sum of $15! Of course, they have a lot more than just sushi as well.
This is my first test sending a message from my new phone! Which will explain the horrid picture quality…

Tax time – wohoo!


There are very few times in my life where I’ll actually be looking forward to doing my taxes – but this year is one of them! Thank you Lifelong Learning Credit!

Lifetime Learning Credit for College Juniors, Seniors, Graduate Students and working Americans pursuing lifelong learning to upgrade their skills. For those beyond the first two years of college, or taking classes part-time to improve or upgrade their job skills, the family will receive a 20% tax credit for first $5,000 of tuition and fees through 2002, and for the first 10,000 thereafter. The credit is available for net tuition and fees (less grant aid) paid for post-secondary enrollment after June 30, 1998. The credit is available on a per-taxpayer (family) basis, and is phased out at the same income levels as the HOPE Scholarship.

Because my last quarter at NU was in 2005 – I’m going to get one heck of a return this year! (Hutch, pay attention!) I’d say this would be one of the times I’m happy about the way our government works but I’m just getting money back that they have already taken! That being said, there are a few more things to be happy about at tax time. I, for one, will be filing for free. Of course, with my student job/temporary employment I made far below the $50,000 limit to file free – so I can actually take advantage! (click on the IRS image above for more info)
Next year will hopefully be a MUCH different story!

(wondering if linking to the IRS is a good idea!)