Notes from inside TouchWiz ATT S4 SGH-I337

The Heimdall stock flash worked, in that it got the OS reinstalled on the phone.  GPS never seemed to work.  TowelRoot still works. To get “Wireless Hotspot & Tether” working I installed WanamXposed and if I recall correctly “X Tether” module.  Anyhow, this all worked on Bell up north.

There is another version of the stock image called “337UCUFNB1_100%_Stock” which can be rooted also with TowelRoot, this module and some of the Google Play Edition TW /SafeStrap ports of the SGH-I9505 also worked with GPS.

Currently here’s what I’m running / the process:

1) SafeStrap (has to be installed over a stock rooted ROM, ODIN, Hemidall, etc).

2) Advanced wipe everything but the SD card with the installer data on it (ROM, NB1 modem modules, SU Update).

3) Graviton S4 v3.2 for SafeStrap (4.4.2 NB1).

4) [MOD][Script] SmartDebloater [4.3-4.4] (note: don’t remove Samsung Calendar as TW requires it, I also left the camera and calculator)

To get the Google Now Launcher to work correctly as the default (and not TouchWiz Home) I installed Nova Launcher, disabled the Google Now Launcher, set Nova to default, and then re-updated/installed the Google Launcher.

I installed Wanam Xposed, a few modules, and GravityBox.  Graviton has a number of tweaks baked in.  I tried the “SlimSung NI1 ROM” but the radio seemed screwy since it was built for the NI1 update, the NB1 radio seems okay in Graviton, GPS and wifi seem to work fine.

Quickoffice isn’t available on the Play Store anymore, but this link goes to a Google support page, that launches a “browser only” Play Store whereby you can install the app to your device via the web play store interface.  Worked for me anyhow.  I’m sure the APK is available somewhere as well.  All other apps can be installed via the Play Store.

GravityBox has a tweak whereby you can set the double-click behavior of the home button to launch Google’s Voice Search which is nice.  The Google Now Launcher swipes left-to-right from the home screen to get to Google Now.  You could also just leave “Google Now Listening” on from all screens.

Another nice GravityBox tweak is changing the number of home screen icons to display, the stock GNL is 4×4 which looks huge on the S4, I think 5×5 or even 6×6 means you might only need a single page.

The one “feature” of TouchWiz which seems impossible to get around is the ability to take photos from the lock screen while using a PIN or password unlock.  I’ve tried nearly every conceivable hack, it simply doesn’t work.  If you have no security (e.g. swipe unlock) you can take photos, but any sort of PIN or pass means you have to unlock to get to the camera.  Oh well.  The S4 camera seems pretty decent, definitely an upgrade from the N4.  Probably not from the 5S.


Heimdall AT&T S4 Mavericks

This post should help you recover an AT&T Galaxy S4 SGH-I337 back to stock 4.4.2 using a modern 64 bit version of OS X, I tried 32 bit 10.6.8 and Heimdall wouldn’t run, so I presume you need OS X 10.7 64bit and above to run Heimdall.

First off, you need to uninstall Samsung Kies so Heimdall has USB access to the S4 drivers, it will require a reboot and possibly command line uninstalls:

Secondly, you need your recovery file.  I used the big ass stock file from Stockroms (dot) net /file /GalaxyS4 /SGH-I337 /4.4.2 /”the big one there”.  You’ll need to rename it to just .tar, then untar that file, and put it in a folder from which you’ll run Heimdall.

Third, install Heimdall.

Read through this post over on XDA:

Follow the OP’s steps, but see 8d) below:

linus$ heimdall flash --RECOVERY recovery.img --SYSTEM system.img.ext4 --HIDDEN hidden.img.ext4 --BOOT boot.img
linus$ heimdall flash --MDM modem.bin --APNHLOS NON-HLOS.bin --ABOOT aboot.mbn --TZ tz.mbn
linus$ heimdall flash --CACHE cache.img.ext4 --PERSDATA persdata.img.ext4
linus$ heimdall flash --SBL1 sbl1.mbn --SBL2 sbl2.mbn --SBL3 sbl3.mbn --RPM rpm.mbn

Sudo doesn’t seem necessary. I added that 4th line per Trevor7.  Thanks to tom_callahan for the original post, for which all things considered made this quite painless for an Android wipe.

As the original poster said, each push will require a boot back into Odin’s Download Mode, hold the ‘volume down & home’ buttons in between reboots as soon as the screen goes black, then press volume up to ‘continue’.  After step #4 you’ll want to boot to the stock Recovery Mode (volume up on boot) and do a “Factory Reset / User Data Wipe”; this will insure you’re good to go.

It should boot to an AT&T logo with a startup sound, it will take a couple of minutes, then you should be back to stock TouchWiz / AT&T bloated stock 4.4.2.  Godspeed.

Update: I updated the above lines.  It should be noted I’ve had issues with the GPS since this flash.  I have been able to make it work again using a GPE “vanilla” edition with a modified TW kernel, but it’s unclear why the GPS wouldn’t work on what should’ve been a fully stock ROM (NB1 vs NC1 rootability or kernel incompatibilities?).  There is apparently a way (using Windows and Samsung KIES) to do a full recovery per the manufacturer.  I haven’t tried this method yet.  For the time being, I was excited to have GPS working, albeit with a fairly unstable AOSP/GPE/Vanilla ROM.  My hope of hopes would be to get this back to fully stock 4.4.2 NB1 and sell it, fully functional 100%.  That may be wishful thinking.


Increase an NTFS partition while decreasing & moving EXT4

About one year ago I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on a friend’s machine that came with Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit pre-loaded.  It is a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad T430s to be precise.  I decreased the NTFS partition to about 40GB and gave the rest of the 500GB drive to  dual boot Ubuntu (leaving the Lenovo Recovery and Win7 recovery partitions intact).  Long story short (and no fault of 12.04 LTS which has been running very well) the friend and spouse needed more space on the NTFS Windows 7 partition (because everyone loves a bloated Win7 install).

Here are some steps to make this work.  The best piece of advice I found was this, “Use Linux tools to resize Linux partitions and Windows’ tools to resize Windows’ partitions” (gparted’s support for NTFS resizing is/was deemed experimental which is why I decided to use PWHE 8.11) and of course it goes without saying but I’ll say it, “backup your $***”:

  1. backup the EXT4 ‘home’ folder of the Ubuntu user.
  2. boot gparted live to backup/copy the 3 NTFS partitions (MS recovery / Win7 “C:” / Lenovo recovery) onto an external drive.
  3. gparted resize and move EXT4 partition to give an equal split for NTFS and EXT4.
  4. Unallocated space must now be “to the right” of the nearly full NTFS partition.
  5. Burn Partition Wizard Home Edition (8.11) via Ubuntu & Unetbootin to a USB key.
  6. Boot into PWHE 8.11 and “extend” the NTFS partition to reclaim about 100GB for Win 7.
  7. Test both OSes. It is now an even split between NTFS & EXT4 ~230GB each.


MacBook 5,1 upgrading to Mavericks and some notes…

A buddy of mine was upgrading an older MacBook (Unibody Aluminum, Late 2008, Model ID 5,1) from 10.6.8. In theory, you press the “upgrade to 10.9″ button from the App Store and everything goes swimmingly. In his case it resulted in a serious disk error and wouldn’t boot into recovery mode; it would only boot the initial OS install utility screen and then fail to install the OS. Repeatedly. A recovery partition had not been created as the machine was running 10.6.8 and he also did not have the original 10.5 DVD that came with the Mac nor access to another Mac to create USB sticks from.  So there’s the rub.

He had  10.6 Time Machine backups, of course, so this wasn’t a catastrophic issue but the quandary here was that he couldn’t initiate the Time Machine recovery without the the original 10.5 DVD or from the new 10.9 installer. And the old hard drive still had errors.

Here’s a list of a few things we tried until it finally sorted itself it:

1) Create boot USB sticks of 10.8 from Ubuntu – (no go, same problem as 10.9)
2) “Restore From Backup” option on 10.9 Installer did nothing
3) Put in a new 320GB Western Digital Scorpio Black and 8GB of fresh RAM
4) 10.6.2 retail iMac install DVD – (loaded Time Machine Recovery but would not install 10.6)
5) Confirmed “secret EFI firmware” version of the MacBook 5,1 can use 8GB ram, 64bit mode

So at this point the machine is back online. He has recovered 10.6.8 from the Time Machine backups onto a new 320GB drive. He confirms that the EFI firmware has been updated to the latest version and the RAM gets upgraded to 8GB. He’s back running 10.6.8 at least.

The question then is if he hits “Install Mavericks” from the App Store will the machine kill itself again? He has the backup so he rolls the dice and it works, the machine updates successfully from 10.6.8 to 10.9.

From here it is rote. Make a fresh backup of functioning 10.9 (don’t delete your 10.6.8 backup just yet!). Do a fresh install from a working USB stick of 10.9. Migrate the crap from the old installation.

That’s it. Not more than 20-30 hours of your life. But hey, the late 2008 Unibody MacBook is now running the latest and greatest.

12.04 LTS for everyone.

Fixing LadioCast crashes & 10.9 SSH issues…

Had some issues when scripting LadioCast broadcasts, started to cause it to crash repeatedly.  The .plist file to delete is com.kawauso.LadioCast.plist from the Library.  Should return the application to defaults.  There was an update to the application in October, so it’s possible this error handling behavior was fixed, but uninstalls did not appear to delete the .plist.

Also, updated to 10.9 “Mavericks” on the server and pretty much all SSH functions stopped working.  Briefly got them working again, but so far it’s been a bust.  Will back update to 10.8 with a fresh re-install.   This machine was an upgrade from 10.6 to 10.8 to 10.9, so it’s possible in all of this OpenSSH failed, but regardless a lot of users have had issues with SSH and 10.9.  An alternative is to run a standalone Linux server or something like a Synology NAS.  Seemingly more reliable those.

Avoiding the analog: Icecast2 for OS X, Sonos & Spotify Radio

Apparently, Spotify has finally released their Radio API to certain content management platforms, but until it’s built into Sonos the only way to actually get Spotify Radio on my ZP80 was to use the analog line-in.  What about creating an Icecast (Shoutcast, Podcast, etc.) local radio station that I tune in to on the Sonos locally? This would then avoid the analog hole (until I add a phonograph line stage).

There were a few sources I had to use to make this work, and I’ve only built/tested this under 32 bit 10.6.8 Snow Leopard (so your mileage may vary for 64 bit and/or more modern OS X machines).  Joao Ricardo’s blog post of  “Icecast Radio in Mac OS X” turns out to be a great starting point.  Note, that he recommends installing MacPorts, which may not strictly be necessary if you have Homebrew already installed.  I have not tried to port Icecast via Homebrew, but I imagine the installation would also work, as others have had success.   For example, here’s Josh Dzielak’s tutorial for Icecast & Darkice using Mountain Lion and Homebrew

So yes, per Joao’s instructions:

1) Install MacPorts (note: there are several dependencies, read up before you even install MacPorts)

2) In Terminal$: sudo port install icecast2

  • If doing Homebrew$: brew install icecast
  • Icecast vs. Icecast2?  I don’t know. You tell me internet, you tell me.
  • This took like 30 minutes using MacPorts on an old 32 bit Intel machine

3) Install Ladiocast.

4) Install Soundflower.

  • Reboot machine.

5) Make sure your admin/user has access/rights to “icecast -c /usr/etc/icecast.xml” as well as wherever an error for Icecast’s “access.log” and “error.log” files.  In my case they needed to added to /opt/local/etc.  You’ll need to adjust access with “chmod 755″ in this example.

6) Start playing some music on your Icecast server machine.  In OS X “Sound Preferences” make sure “Soundflower 2ch” is set as the “output device”; you can also “option + click” on the volume in the at the top right menu and select the source.

7) From Terminal$: icecast -c /usr/etc/icecast.xml

  • At this point Terminal will need to be open, obviously you can set this up as a background process, run on startup, etc. see Josh’s article linked above.

8) From within Ladiocast choose “Soundflower 2ch” as your source, click on the “main” button in Ladiocast.  You should see music bars making music.

  • From the menu in Ladiocast click on “Streamer 1″ choose Icecast.  Set or whatever you machine’s IP is for the server.  The default user and pw is located the XML file.
  • For encoding, especially to work with iTunes and probably Sonos, I set it to AAC 320 kbps.  Ogg may in fact work with Sonos, I’ve not tried it.
  • Click “Connect” at the bottom there.

9) In a web browser, type in the IP for the Icecast server.  If said machine is localhost use which is the default port for the service. Click on the .m3u link and open in iTunes/Winamp or similar.  If you have music bars making music and you have a .m3u created you should hear music (double check OGG vs. AAC).

10) Final step: open the desktop Sonos App. Click “Manage” from the menu bar and then “Add Radio Station” and the enter (or whatever your IP is for the Icecast machine).  Create that as a favorite radio station.

11) Works for me.  If you want an Icecast radio station globally on WAN, well, poke those holes. Google a bit.  That’s not this blog entry.  Let’s hope Sonos adds Spotify Radio sooner than later.


SSH debug

The crux is that SSH even when connecting w/ -vvv  or -vT modes won’t tell you precisely why it’s not connecting for obvious security purposes.  This is presuming you’ve double checked all other obvious issues and your public/private key pairs are setup correctly.

In the linked post above Kent Martin writes, the answer is to bind debug to an alternate port on the server side:
/usr/sbin/sshd -d -p 2222

then similarly from the client machine:
ssh -v -p 2222 user@machine_I_am_trying_to_ssh_to

On the server machine terminal you’ll see a more verbose debug log and hopefully it will tell you exactly why your client machine is being rejected.

Unetbootin my old friend, Dell XPS 15″ 1st gen, my enemy

Was having a devil of a time getting 10.04 LTS Unbuntu (Lucid Lynx) to install via USB flash key.  It would boot off the key fine, then during installation step 3, choose your keyboard layout, it would hang, no matter what I selected.  A couple of people suggested it was the maker of the USB key, so not having a spare key, I tried the “Alternate” text based installer, which also failed while recognizing disk partitions at 43%.  Someone else had this exact problem, which leads me back to this post, and the USB key as culprit:

Apparently partition size of the USB key can effect installation, so I’m going to try a 1GB partition and see if that works.  Otherwise, most users were able to either install 9.10 Netbook version or 11.10 with no problems, so I’m going to try that next, because as it stands I tried three different USB boot key creators (Pendrivelinux, Unetbootin, and LinuxLive USB) and three different versions of 10.04 LTS, no joy.  So hopefully this 1GB partition gets the installation flowing.  For the record, the machine is an old Dell Inspiron XPS 15″ 1st generation, Pentium 4 3.4GHz.

Update 30.Jan.2012: I got this working, as of a couple of days ago. I ended up booting from an old 8.04 or 8.10 CD-ROM I’d burned and the did an upgrade over the internet tubes to 10.04 LTS. It works, the Broadcom wireless adapter required a non-open driver but that auto updated as well, which is nice. And, I will say this, that 1920×1600 15″ LCD is massive on this thing. Ubuntu seems to really handle display settings much better than XP did, and Windows 7 would never be able to run on this thing, especially considering the poor performance I’ve seen from Windows 7 on Netbooks, I’d say 10.04 LTS or 9.10 Netbook is a safe bet for older machines.

One good reason

One good reason I’ve found to stick with Android is this:

RedPhone by Whisper Systems

In case you don’t feel like reading about it, it’s a free (for personal use) end-to-end encrypted VOIP client.  There may be other methods out there, including personal Asterix PBXs, but this seems to work with the least fuss. Google Voice may or may not work with it I believe, as native SMS’ing must be working by default on the phone.  To test I used my native phone number instead of my GV number, it worked fine over data.

Also for Android, AGP offers OpenPGP compatibility and the K-9 Mail client app then integrates the GPG functionality.

Bingo. Bango.

UPDATE: As of late November 2011 it appears RedPhone has been pulled from the Android Market and the app itself can no longer connect to Whisper Systems’ servers.  The application was in Beta, so this could mean there is a full release coming out or perhaps something required that it be pulled from the Android Market.  So for right now, I’m unaware of any other end-to-end encrypted VOIP applications for Android.

At least…

The prices on high quality heat sink fans have come down. I recently converted the old Intel e5200 htpc/server into an “OSX”86 server. It turns out that you can now fill the 4 SATA drive slots with about 12TB of storage now for like $100 (I’m joking, but storage is cheap). Right now it only has a single “green” Seagate 1TB drive, but at least I don’t feel constrained any longer. In theory I could’ve continued running 10.04 Ubuntu and Netatalk, but I figured it was worth trying to get a native AFP server going. Lifehacker had a really easy to follow post and it’s pretty quick now as a 1GigE backup/media server (my original build used “compatible” hardware). Faster than the 4 year old Time Capsule when transferring large files, that’s for sure.

But yeah, Intel’s stock coolers, at least in the LGA 775 chipset models appear to be terrible. The 212+ cooler requires a backplate, so I’ll have to pull the motherboard, but once this thing is installed I should be able to run Handbrake 24 hours a day and hopefully the CPU won’t go above 50C. Currently this thing idles at 57C, as the stock heat sink just doesn’t seem to mount flush.

Cooler Master - 212 Plus Cooler

Cooler Master - 212 Plus Cooler

Bottom heat-pipes, direct contact

Bottom heat-pipes, direct contact

Large Cryptographic Hashes with Whirlpool and a myriad of coffee brewing methods

Who doesn’t like a nice long 512-bit message digest to confirm that the file they’re opening is secure? Cryptographic hash functions are one method of verification to insure file integrity between two parties (or as a signature or authentication code). The most commonly used hash verification is MD5 check sum (proven insecure). Apple uses SHA-1 for it’s package update manager (also likely insecure). But if you want to get deep, go with Whirlpool, and I’m not talking about appliances here, I’m talking about 512 bits of hash (the authors, Barreto & Rijmen have a page here). Ironclad and md5deep are two easy to use packages if you’re looking to implement Whirlpool under most *nix and Win 32/64 systems.

In coffee news, here is a nice webpage devoted to a myriad of coffee brewing methods:


Image via USGS National Center for EROS and NASA

Latte Swirl by Flickr member Mr. Pauly D

Latte Swirl image by Flickr member Mr. Pauly D

OS X and the “cat” command for appending sequential .zip files

For whatever reason there is certain a level of incompatibility between various .zip (archive) file formats among various operating systems today.  It’s certainly not that you won’t be able to access any file type on any given system, as there are many tools to do so, mostly it’s a question of how many hoops you have to jump through.

Specifically, I had a sequential .zip file that was in multiple chunks where the first file ends in something like:

And the next files in sequence look like this:


OS X comes with a couple of utilities for archives but neither seem to be able to handle this particular sequence (especially if it is AES256 encoded with a password).  There is a $20 piece of software called BetterZip that has no problem with any type I gave it, however, I found a free utility called The Unarchiver which seems to be an excellent replacement for the OS X native ‘‘ and if you use the *nix ‘cat‘ command (see: Concatenation) you can append the sequential files all into one and The Unarchiver will work fine.

Open the Terminal in OS X, red is what you type, assuming all the files you want to append are in your home directory:

computer:~user$ cat zzzzzz.002 zzzzzz.003 >

Where is your new appended file, ready to be unarchived.  I’m sure they teach this to preschoolers in *nix 101, in fact I think there is a book out now called Linux For Lilliputian Lads, but I found it useful.

I’ll be doing a writeup soon of the re-foaming process of my Advent Heritage speakers, they sound better now.

Buffalo & DD-WRT still kicking ass

My Buffalo WHR-G54S is up and running at another friends’ home in NY. That’s two fresh routers (well one Tomato firmware update) and one used replacement for the utter rubbish Netgear WGR614 v3. The Netgear had an Atheros chipset from 2002 and the firmware prior to flashing an update was 2003. I applied the 2007 release from Netgear to no avail. The problem was whenever multiple wireless devices vied for access the router would dole out IPs successfully but would then lose all connectivity, both wired and wireless and require a reboot. Z and I were not pleased.

Thankfully I found our trusty old Buffalo flashed to DD-WRT packed away and once reset, it was plug and play.  There were about five fruit computers suckling off the 802.11G wireless connection within short time.

Still TO DO: a cheap ultra-low wattage Open/Free RADIUS server?  What’s the easiest method for ultra secure wi-fi?

Buffalo WHR-G54S running DD-WRT Epic Win!

Buffalo WHR-G54S running DD-WRT Epic Win!

Netgear WGR614 v3 Epic Fail

Netgear WGR614 v3 Epic Fail

TFTP after a bad flash on WRT-54G Ver 2.0

Was helping a friend trouble shoot an old Linksys WRT-54G Version 2.0 and I thought it might be worth installing the Tomato firmware and see if it helps minimize the connection drop outs he’s been having.  I thought upgrading via the Linksys admin menu would be a snap.  I made a couple of mistakes.

1) Always do a hard reset (30/30/30) on the router before flashing

2) Always hard wire and set a static IP that is within the default range and turn off all other network cards

3) Be patient, because sometimes it’ll take a few minutes

What happened was this: the upgrade from the Linksys admin utility resulted in a corrupt image such that I was no longer receiving an IP address, the router was not booting, all I got was a flashing green power LED.  Thankfully, Draytek Router Tools v.4.2.1 comes to the rescue with TFTP tool, as I tried the Linksys version of the software with no luck.  Router Tools allowed me to get the WRT-54G back online with the latest official Linksys Firmware v.4.21.1 and at this point I went back into the menu and tried the Tomato v.1.27 .bin again and it actually worked.

Now, whether all this means the router will stop being flaky, I don’t know.  But many other users swear by Tomato and say that it’s a significant improvement over the stock firmware and includes a lot of QOS features and should increase stability.

This is pretty much the best guide I found on recovering from a bad flash:

This is the link for latest official Linksys firmware on the WRT54G:

And if you click on Version 4.0 on the BEFSR41 router/hub you can download Linksys’ official TFTP tool, which probably won’t work and you’ll need to download the Draytek utility anyways:

Linksys WRT54G Version 2.0

Linksys WRT54G Version 2.0

OMG GRUB2 so doesn’t work with GRUB 1.5

I mentioned to both Aris and CC about not being able to get GRUB going, but as it turns out, OpenSUSE had overwritten my 1st 9.04 Xubuntu configuration’s GRUB with it’s own (I believe 1.5) but I’d installed OpenSUSE on a secondary 1.0 TB drive…. when I reformatted that 1.0 TB drive from within a Windows 7 boot cycle it decimated the MBR / GRUB setup.  I thought a fresh install of 9.10 Ubuntu 64 bit Desktop would cure the “Error 17″ woes I was encountering.  It didn’t.  I thought, perhaps I needed to edit the file or the /boot/grub/menu.lst “list” file.  Nope.  None of this fixed the problem.  But you know what?  I kept going.  Because, like all things Linux, if you’re full of hate and things don’t work, that means it’s time to hunker down. FWIW there are 37 pages on the Ubuntu Forums discussing this error and that’s just one thread of many .  As it turns out 9.10 Karmic Koala runs a different version of GRUB (GRUB 2, specifically) and they are not compatible.  I found a utility called Super Grub Disk and booted it.  It was kind enough to give me more than an “Error 17″ or an “Error 21″, it told me in fact explicitly that there was a GRUB versioning issue.

The problem was in the versioning and not where the files were pointing (hd0,0 or hd1,1 sda1, sdb6, etc).  Thankfully from within the Super Grub Disk utility I was able to revert the master boot record (MBR) back to native Windows 7 boot and then from there re-booting into Super Grub I was able to boot directly into 9.10.  Once in 9.10 (and not on a rescue/live CD) I was able to run Synaptic Package Managers’ update.  During the Synaptic Update (code: sudo apt-get install update) 9.10 re-overwrote the MBR with GRUB 2 and it worked.  I can now boot either Windows 7 or 9.10 no problem.

My hope is to try the .22 (near release) of MythTV and see if that helps me in my backend woes.  MCE & Win7 work fine but doesn’t have the scheduling or Apache features of MythTV.  Worst case scenario I need to make a friend at the hacker’s space in NYC ( who actually understands channel mapping tables in MYSQL for QAM ATSC (free and clear) digital cable tuning.  Currently the SliconDust HDHomeRun has each of its tuners plugged into the same QAM feed, which is good because now the antenna is gone, but bad as I’ve never gotten all the free digital cable channels to work reliably in MythTV.

Super Grub Disk

Super Grub Disk

Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10

Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10

Unetbootin, Vista 32bit hell and other stories

Zoe had a friend who was having some computer problems and I suppose to some extent I brought this upon myself. Thankfully, I now have a strategy. Of course this is probably like 10 hours where I am far too deep in to start strategizing, but I now have a strategy.

Lets pretend for a moment you have a 32 bit Core-Duo laptop running Windows Vista Home 32bit that is infected with malware and viruses and acting generally poorly, what do you do?  Well, my friend, you take your 8GB flash key that has an already built 9.04 Ubuntu Kernel on it, you boot it from that and run ClamAV using the ClamTK GUI.  It works.  It found a couple of viruses on the backup HD and  I feel safer about backup data as well as my data on my Windows 7 machine.  Thankfully, since I’m principally running OS X and 9.04 MythBuntu these days we’re highly prone to viruses, but nonetheless, I was concerned about re-infection with her external USB hard drive as well as her 4GB Flash Key.

Step 1) Use Unetbootin to load a flash key with a bootable version of the Linux of your choice

Step 2) Boot up the sick (dying) notebook with that USB flash drive

Step 3) Scan all files with ClamAV under Linux, then backup all data

Step 4) Wipe the old computer clean and re-install Windows (this part is oh so familiar) & leave ~ 20GB for a separate EXT3 Linux partition

Step 5) Institute a backup as well as best practice anti-virus procedures

Step 6) Install Linux in the 20GB spare rescue partition in case this happens again!

Step 7) After about a year  Windows XP will be gunked up again, so repeat! (see Step 1)

Darwine you are a fine Wine.

For whatever reason I’d never played around with application compatibility layer software like Wine under OS X. Parallels and VMware are quite overkill for most people’s purposes.  Usually the user may need to run one application in the guest OS and setting up an entire VM and giving 10GB or whatever over to that system, not to mention memory resources, is overkill.  Certainly for developers being able to load/change machine states with VMs and sandbox their development, it makes sense, but for most end-users it’s crazy.

I haven’t checked all the applications I’d like to use, the ones I found myself booting to XP the most were A/V stuff like Foobar2000, MediaMonkey, EAC, etc.  But the good news is that under Leopard Darwine v1.21.1 runs Foobar2000 just fine, a fine Wine if you will (hah).  So that’s exciting.  Codeweavers sells something similar called CrossOver but Darwine is free and I figured since I already had X11 installed it was worth a shot.  Pretty cool stuff.



WWDC no 802.11n in on the 3G S iPhone!? Drat!

So, with the new iPhone 3.x OS you will not be purchasing an 802.11N enabled wireless chipset.  Apparently the new 3G S model does support 4G HSDPA but not 5 GHz 802.11N wireless with the new lower powered Broadcom BCM4325. Apparently the 3G S model is a bit snappier. When is the 802.11n iPod Touch coming out? That’s what I’m waiting for. I saw that Garret had a very small LG phone that’s basically free from Verizon, if I could find that used/new and then go with a Touch remote… we’ll see how it goes…. Windows 7 RC is OK. It works, for what it’s worth.

I like Ubuntu 9.04 with MythTV…. I’m going to go back to that but probably do a dual boot leaving Win7 RC just in case…. Sadly, for Netflix playback due to Silverlight DRM a Windows XP/Vista/7 VM or even an OS X VM is necessary for Netflix streaming…. or buy a Roku box, unfortunately our TV doesn’t have 2 HDMI inputs… I’m surprised no one has been able to reverse engineer the Roku Box’s chipset and put the Silverlight DRM code out there…. Or even just have a “Roku Box VM”…. Why not, right? Seems possible, when you consider how almost all old video console games can now be played and fit on one flash drive.

I brewed with the Yama 5 Cup Vacuum brewer today. Thank you Conor and Leigh, awesome gift BTW; best of luck in your trip West. The coffee is very good, very clean, very smooth. I currently am grinding Gimme’ Coffee’s Picolo Mondo variety. Thank you Japanese vacuum brewing technology and to Chris for the awesome vintage German Peter Dienes grinder which does it job remarkably well for a hand grinder over twice as old as I am.

Yama Brewing

Yama Vaccuum Brewing by Digital Colony

My Vintage PeDe looks similar, all metal on top though

My Vintage PeDe looks similar, all metal on top though


Hackable? Image from blog

Linux is a temperamental mistress

There is not doubt that you get out of MythTV what you put into it.  I spent a good day, post system build, just getting things going.  I upgraded to the 180.51 stable NVIDIA driver for the 9400 GT card that I have, at first it presented some problems, but I used Synaptic upgrade manager with Jean-Yves’ optional kernel builds with VDPAU support and the machine seems to run pretty cool.  Yes that Antec 120mm fan is loud but I think I can run it on the low setting. Why Antec builds cases with fan holes that seem to be able to produce noise is beyond me.  Since it’s an exhaust you’d think they might as well make it a super open mesh or just an open circle.

The Apple “mini” Remote still doesn’t work.  I was able to get LIRC to recognize it via the HDHomeRun IR input, and it wrote to some .conf file somewhere, but it’s unclear exactly how to set it up from within Myth.  But Apache works, I need to install Avahi and Netatalk again so I can get access to all the recordings from the other computers on the LAN.  I still wouldn’t mind having a low powered server as a dedicated back-end, especially if I could run MT-DAAPD on that, ideally it’d be gigabit and something like an old Sempron 3000+ headless with say over 2 TB’s of free space.

I fixed a floor pump today that had a bad O ring using only teflon tape.  Science.  Also I had a double Americano using Stumptown beans at City Girl cafe on Thompson this morning.  So good… wicked Sláinte.

City Girl Cafe

City Girl Cafe via Noyda on Flickr

Say S for Stumptown Espresso

Hairbender via Lameen on Flickr