Sheevaplug – 512MB is just not enough…

OK, so I still have about 200MB of free space on the on-board flash in my Sheevaplug, but there would be much less shuffling things around and cleaning of things like the apt cache if there was a bigger flash chip in there. And it would be cool to have room for X and Gnome and Apache and MySQL and a bunch of junk, just like a real computer.

You’d think I could find one (a Hynix H27UAG8T2B that is) on eBay or something… or find someone to send me a sample even. Maybe Hynix just developed the 16Gb version and didn’t actually manufacture any… who knows.

Anyways, I thought I’d post some scans of the Sheevaplug motherboard anyways, since I couldn’t seem to find any good ones anywhere and had to crack mine open to see what kind of chip I was going to need.

phpMyAdmin – Wrong permissions on configuration file, should not be world writable!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]If you install phpMyAdmin on your web host and all you see when you access (or whatever) is “Wrong permissions on configuration file, should not be world writable!” you are supposed to just change the permissions of /phpmyadmin/ to not be world writable (i.e. chmod 755, or by using your FTP client).

Some hosts (Primus for one) do not let you change the permissions on your files, so there is no way to set this up properly.  But if you are in a hurry and need to back up a database so you can get the site migrated to a decent web host, you can still get phpMyAdmin to run.

Edit /phpmyadmin/libraries/Config.class.php (yes, there is a capital “C” on this file name for some reason), and comment out the line that checks the permissions.  (Line 390 in the source code for phpMyAdmin version



and re-upload the file.  Now you should be able to log in, assuming you have setup the proper information in your /phpmyadmin/ file in the first place!

In order for it to work, you must also listen to this while you edit your files. Feel free to sing along![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

How to change RAID1 superblock from 1.2 back to 0.9 to install grub (debian squeeze)

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]For some reason, it seems like everything I do is not like what everyone else does… or at least not what the people writing the software I use do.  I started writing this as a how-to for others in this situation, but in the end it turned out to be more of an amusing story.  Maybe someone will find it useful anyways…

The background:

I was building a new linux server for my home office and since I have been having good luck with Debian in the last couple of years, I decide to use it as the OS on this box too. Intending to keep it as simple as possible, I created a basic partitioning scheme on all of the drives (the same scheme I have been using for years now) and run into fatal errors when I get to the installation of grub.

Here’s how I partition the drives:
Partition 1: Primary, 8GB, Linux RAID – going to use RAID1 for the /boot file system
Partition 2: Primary, 20GB, Linux RAID – going to use RAID5 for the / file system
Partition 3: Primary, 1960GB, Linux RAID – going to use RAID5 for the /data file system
Partition 4: Primary, 1GB, Linux Swap
Plus a little bit of slack at the end of the drive.

All of the drives are identical 2TB Western Digital Green SATA Drives.  There are now 7 in the system.

The error:

[/vc_column_text][hcode_simple_image hcode_mobile_full_image=”1″ alignment_setting=”1″ desktop_alignment=”aligncenter” ipad_alignment=”sm-aligncenter” mobile_alignment=”xs-aligncenter” padding_setting=”1″ desktop_padding=”padding-five” ipad_padding=”sm-padding-three” mobile_padding=”xs-padding-one” hcode_image=”346″][vc_column_text]If you press ALT-F4, you will switch over to the install log console and you will see some mumbo-jumbo about grub not finding anything it can use to live on. I didn’t copy down the error message, but it’s cryptic and scary like any good linux error message should be. Read more

Blackberry Pearl 9100 Enterprise Activation Icon Missing

OK, so I know these cell phone companies think they’re doing everyone a favor by setting up their own custom software loads and wallpaper and crap, but come on…

Basically, if you go to Telus and buy a Pearl 9100, they will helpfully install your SIM card in it and make sure you can make calls and surf the web and all that jazz, then they hand it to you and away you go. They will not ask you what you intend to do with it – like say, use it WITH A BLACKBERRY SERVER. So you take your new phone home, install the latest version of BlackBerry Professional on your Exchange server, create your account, set your activation password, pick up your Pearl and hunt (and hunt, and Google) for the Enterprise Activation icon.

Stop looking, it’s not there. But don’t worry.

Hopefully since you just brought the phone home, there’s not much on it. Go into “Options” -> “Security Options” and choose “Security Wipe”. Check off “Emails, Contacts, etc.” and “User Installed Applications”, enter the word “blackberry” in the field provided, and click on the “Wipe” button.

Let the phone reboot, and when it turns on and asks if you want to connect to the network, say “No”. Whip through the setup wizard and get to the home screen. You will find that the Telus wallpaper is there and the standard welcome message is in your Inbox, but you won’t find all of their custom crap. You will also find Enterprise Activation under “Options” -> “Advanced Options”. Enter your email address and activation password and tell the phone to activate. It will ask you to connect to the network. Say “Yes” now, and the activation should succeed if your server is working properly.

Oh, and before you tell me that you have to have an Enterprise (BES) plan from Telus in order for the icon to show up, or for BES to work, don’t bother. The new version of BES (5.0.1 at the moment) doesn’t require a BES data plan, and the removal of the Enterprise Activation program on the phone is just asinine.

At some point the Telus network may push their crapware down to my phone again, and hopefully it doesn’t break the already activated enterprise setup that I have going on. If it does, there will be another post. Trust me.

“How to stop the ‘SBCore Service’ Service” or “How to use SBS2003 as a normal server”

AKA How to stop Windows SBS2003 from shutting down automatically.

Most of this info was found here:

Note: Removing this service apparently violates the license agreement for Microsoft Small Business Server. See the details here if you care.

Tools you’ll need – Process Explorer from

As you probably know, you have a service called “SBCore Service”, which executes the following process: C:WINDOWSsystem32sbscrexe.exe

If you kill it, it just restarts – and if you try and stop it you are told Access Denied.

If you fire up Process Explorer, you can select the process and Suspend it, now we can start to disable the thing.

Run regedt32.exe and find:

Right click this, choose Permissions and give the “Administrators” group on the local machine full access (don’t forget to replace permissions on child nodes).

Press F5 in regedt32 to refresh, and you’ll see all of the values and data under this key.

Select the “Start” DWORD and change it from 2 to 4 – this sets the service to the “Disabled” state as far as the MMC services snap-in (and windows for that matter) is concerned.

In the original instructions, the author left the service as Disabled and just denied access to the executable:

Next, adjust the permissions on the file C:WINDOWSsystem32sbscrexe.exe so that EVERYONE account is
denied any sort of access to this file.

Then go back to process explorer, and kill the sbscrexe.exe process, if it doesn’t restart – congratulations!

Load up the services MMC snap-in and you should find that “SBS Core Services” is stopped and marked as Disabled.

GrasshopperI decided that I wanted the service gone completely, so (after exporting it), I just deleted the registry key while in regedt32.

After rebooting, I verified that the service was indeed gone from the list of services in MMC, and there was no sbscrexe.exe process running. Then I moved the file sbscrexe.exe from C:windowssystem32 into a tidy little folder along with my exported registry key to keep for future evaluation. Something like a disgusting little bug under glass.

Installing an OEM Intel 2200bg Mini-PCI card into a BIOS-Locked HP/Compaq nc8000

Thought this was worth a try, so I grabbed a $7 mini-pci card off ebay, and after waiting about a month for shipping from China, installed it into the laptop.  Only then was I hit with the dreaded:

104 unsupported wireless network device detected, system halted, remove device and restart

Ack.  OK, so a quick search brought up this thread from 2004 with many, many angry people trying to figure out how to make this cheap card work without having to buy the HP “version”.  Turns out it’s pretty easy.  A little bit risky, but easy.

Take the keyboard off the laptop, but don’t unplug it – you’ll need it.

Take the cover off the mini-pci slot.

Boot the computer off of a knoppix or whatever live CD.  I used knoppix 3.8.2 (2005-05-05) as suggested.  At the boot screen, HOT-PLUG THE MINI-PCI CARD before pressing <ENTER>.  That is the risky part, although it seems to work OK.  Now press <ENTER> and the system will boot into the default knoppix environment.  Also, don’t forget to plug the regular network adapter into something, since you’ll need internet access.

Open a root terminal session.

Check to see that the wireless card was detected using

# iwconfig

It’ll say that lo and eth1 have no wireless capabilities, and show you some mumbo-jumbo about eth0.  It’s not important, just remember that eth0 is your wireless card.  Or eth1 if that’s what it tells you.  Either way, just remember.

You can also use “ethtool -e eth0” to dump the existing EEPROM configuration to the screen so you can write it down and revert back to it when the FCC comes knocking on your door.  You may want to practice this entire procedure a few times in order to make sure you have enough time to finish before they break the door down and confiscate your laptop.

Now all we have to do is download a mystery driver that looks like it might have originally come from sony, and is still (as of April 2008) available here: now available from this site, until I get a complaint. I’ll keep a copy of it somewhere in case it disappears, so if you’re polite and have good acceptable grammar, I might make it available to you.

So, in your terminal session, do this:

You have just downloaded and extracted a new wireless driver, unloaded the default knoppix one, loaded the downloaded one, and re-programmed the EEPROM with values that the HP laptop will accept.  At this point, you should be able to shut down the laptop, make sure the little antenna connectors are plugged into the mini-pci card, re-assemble everything, and boot normally.  The new EEPROM values will fool the laptop into thinking that this is a real HP wireless card, so only you will know that it was only $7 and not $200!

Procrastination and Firewalls

I was working on a post about downgrading a Gateway MX8711 from Vista to XP, but it was more fun to go through some old files and put the Smooth And Naked page back up…  Also fitting because Smoothwall 3 was just released.

Look Ma… No Fans!

Cole’s Law

Shredded cabbage.

DD-WRT+SD/MMC Mod+AutoAP on Buffalo WHR-G54S

Step 1:  Purchase Buffalo Airstation WHR-G54S.

Step 2: Flash with dd-wrt.v24_std_generic.bin dated July 16 2007 using TFTP.

Step 3: Perform SD/MMC Card Modification to add some flash storage.  Completely ignore section where you determine where the solder points are, and just get soldering.  Also ignore the section about SD card adapters and solder your wires directly to the card.  All you need is about 30k of storage space for the AutoAP script, so any crappy old card will do. 

Step 4: SCP to the new /mmc directory on your router, rename to, and chmod 755

Step 5: Add “/mmc/ &” to the startup section in the DD-WRT administration pages.

Step 6: Drive around and see if it works.  Look at http://X.Y.Z.1/user/autoap.htm to see what the script is doing.

Here are some scans of my completed board so you can see the solder points a bit better…

Top of boardBottom of board