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!

Long week

Just a quick update! Had a bit more of a laid back weekend and went straight into a two day conference with the Consortium on Chicago School Research for work. The research data that they provided to us was quite fascinating and will be the topic of a forthcoming entry. I’ve since been trying to be more productive at work which has translated into less time for blogging. I’m hoping to have a bit more time this weekend to get stuff done – starting it off with a half day of work today followed by the Cubs v Sox Crosstown Classic! Hopefully the weather holds up!

What a waste!

No matter what temperature I set my thermostat to in the office, its freezing in here! I’m wearing a jacket during the summer and short sleeves during the winter inside – ridiculous! I don’t know i the building takes time to adjust to outside temperatures or what. But the A/C is blasting in here – and its not even warm outside! As evidence by this image – top is actual temperature, bottom is what I have it set to. I asked our CFO about heating/cooling bills, and we pay for every ounce of energy! As we are a non-profit, any money wasted hurts…

I can’t help but to wonder how much energy is wasted in other parts of the world…

To do.

I couldn’t get to sleep last night because I started thinking about all of the things I have to do (and have been putting off). For the first time in a long while I stayed home on Friday night to try to get some stuff done. I was rather productive! Woke up early on Saturday to continue being productive and called it quits at 6pm. I do have the looming task of extracting my car (see above) from the snow that dumped on us last week. But today’s temps might help me out a bit.

I did manage to get laundry done last week in the midst of the sub-zero weather. But unfortunately for me, the drain pipe on the washer froze and I had to wring out my towels – my hands were numb for 5 minutes! Luckily my constant phone calls to the place that services the machines has resulted in a request for brand new machines! I guess the squeaky wheel does get the most oil…
(credit to Beau for the pic – sorry Mom!)

When I got to work this morning, that feeling continued. My desk was buried under papers, all of which are extremely important and which need to be done by the week’s end. I also had to give a video training to some of our staff – and of course, the projector and the laptop we use to show DVDs had been checked out. I had 20 min to come up with another solution. I ended up finding a cable to hook up an older laptop to our, even older, TV. It looked like crap, but at least it worked! So before hunkering down and writing a prioritized list of what I need to do to clear off my desk, I decided to sneak a post in.

Is it Friday yet?!


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

Welcome home?

  • Alarm sounds at 3:30am Chicago time.
  • Cab shows up 1/2 hour later, with the meter already running as he waited for us to come downstairs – nice.
  • Went through some strange GE explosives detector (I wonder what would happen if somebody were to pass gas while it detects… BJ?? Mark?? Bueller?)
  • Waited in the airport for an eternity.
  • CNN’s  “omni-racial news anchoress” was blasting on every TV.
    (with the prerequisite HEG – Hawaii Earthquake Graphic)

  • While my eyes finally shut during the flight I wondered – they still fly planes with CRT TVs?!
  • Oh, and no meal or snack on the ~3 hour flight to or from Miami – Thanks.
  • Landed almost half an hour late while realizing that we should have just carried on our bags.
  • Decided to take a cab to the city – $40 from O’Hare to downtown. Yikes.
  • Got to work at 11am
  • Full day at work.

Its good to be home back.

On a side note, in Checkers a Kinged piece can not move more than one square at a time unless he is jumping players. I knew something was fishy when I got my ass kicked!