iPod Touch stand from LTO case

In a moment of not doing what I should be doing I decided I needed a stand for my iPod Touch so I could watch some video I had recently loaded on it.  What to use?

As luck would have it I had an old LTO-4 case sitting on my desk destined for the recycle bin.  30 minutes later and most of the LTO case is in the recycle bin, I have an iPod Touch stand and I no longer have a spare moment to watch that video.

This is not exactly stellar work but it is fairly acceptable considering I was working with scissors and dull side cutters.  Not stellar but effective.

Telus SIM card default PIN2

So after being on the phone for over an hour with Telus “tech support”, I finally discovered the default PIN2 for their SIM cards. Not that tech support was any help. The first guy I talked to only had one thing to say to me:

We don’t have it, so it doesn’t exist.

Despite my best efforts, I could not convince him to ask anyone else at Telus, or even admit to me that there was such a thing as a PIN2. After a while he asked me if I would like to try to explain the issue to someone else (which is phone-support-guy for “I’m tired of dealing with you, can I please hand you off to someone else?”) and I said sure, go ahead. Pretty much the same deal with the second guy, but at least he didn’t hang up on me. I almost got the second guy to say that there was a PIN2 but that they didn’t know what it was, but his mantra ended up being “It’s not in the system, so it doesn’t exist.” I asked him if he knew anything that wasn’t “in the system”, at which point he became very quiet. He refused to, or couldn’t, tell me what the weather was like today, so I guess there’s no weather widget in their system… He also had no idea what color his socks were.

Finally, I guess his shift was up, so he asked me if I would like to speak to a third tech support representative, and I said “sure, follow your phone-support-guy training manual and pawn me off on someone else”. I don’t think he said goodbye, but at least he didn’t hang up on me. The third guy I got started off down the same tracks, but I confused him by asking some unrelated hypothetical questions, then BAM! – before he knew it he had admitted that PIN2 codes had existed for years, and it was likely that all SIM cards had them, even though the carrier might not use them. He also confirmed that they were not anywhere “in the system”. I then asked him how things got into “the system” and he said that he couldn’t answer that. I think the people who put stuff “in the system” should stuff themselves “in the system” – if you know what I mean…
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Delayed ACK in OS X is incomprehensible…

I still don’t understand exactly why OS X ships with Delayed ACK but it sure does kill network performance immensely – at least with a Freenas based server.  Modifying the Delayed ACK parameter will greatly improve you OS X network performance.

Today I was transferring a few files from the server to a Macbook running Leopard 10.6.2 and found it pokey.  A quick check of the network throughput revealed ~275KB/sec over a wireless N connection.  A quick look at the delayed ack reveled a value of “3”.  I changed the value of “3” to “0” and throughput jumped to 4+MB/Sec.  Much better.

To check Delayed ACK Value
$ sudo sysctl -a | grep net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack
kern.exec: unknown type returned
net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack: 3

To change Delayed ACK Value
$ sudo sysctl -w net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=0
net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack: 3 -> 0

A good read detailing this phenomenon

TCP Performance problems caused by interaction between Nagle’s Algorithm and Delayed ACK-Stuart Cheshire


When I posted this I forgot that “sysctl -w” does not survive a reboot, it simply makes the setting active immediately.  You must create /etc/sysctl.conf with net.inet.tcp.delayed_ack=0 in it for the setting to remain persistent.  Personally I do sudo -s, add password and use vi to create the sysctl.conf file.

Upgrade Samba 3.0.28a to 3.4.3 on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS

Download the source and unpack…

# wget http://samba.org/samba/ftp/stable/samba-3.4.3.tar.gz
# tar zxvf samba-3.4.3.tar.gz
# cd samba-3.4.3/source3

Some people have tried the latest Samba 3.4.4 and report that it works with the rest of these instructions as well. If you want 3.4.4, do this instead:
# wget http://samba.org/samba/ftp/stable/samba-3.4.4.tar.gz
# tar zxvf samba-3.4.4.tar.gz
# cd samba-3.4.4/source3

I needed some development headers for the compile, so

# apt-get install libldap2-dev libkrb5-dev uuid-dev libpam0g-dev zlib1g-dev

You may need more than these – if so, your configure will fail and it will tell you that something.h wasn’t found. apt-cache search something will usually give you the package you are looking for, or a quick Google will tell you what to get.  For example, I was told uuid.h was missing, so:
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Acrobat 9 Fails when using ADMit (Network) Mac Accounts

Snagged from http://groups.google.com/group/adobe.acrobat.macintosh/browse_thread/thread/c425e6404785220f/aafd5ccfb85618fa?lnk=raot

Accrobat 9 would crash on start up with the following messages in console:

[0x0-0x483483].com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro[9638]    terminate called after
     throwing an instance of 'SQLiteUtils::SQLiteException'
[0x0-0x483483].com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro[9638]    terminate called after
     throwing an instance of 'SQLiteUtils::SQLiteException'
com.apple.launchd[133]    ([0x0-0x483483].com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro[9638])
     Exited abnormally: Abort trap
[0x0-0x487487].com.adobe.Acrobat.Pro[9655]    terminate called after
     throwing an instance of 'SQLiteUtils::SQLiteException'

I am running 10.5.8, Intel, using instructions described link above, this is what I did:

  1. Log in as a Network User
  2. Go to /Users/Shared/
  3. Create a folder in /Users/Shared/ named 9.0_x86
  4. Go to ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Acrobat/ and trash the 9.0_x86 folder
  5. Go to Applications/Utilities/ and open Terminal
  6. Enter one of the following into the Terminal ln -s /Users/Shared/9.0_x86 ~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Acrobat
  7. Open up Acrobat 9 and it should work!

Tada – that was it!

Freenas Upgrade

I’ve been running a Freenas server for sometime.  The configuration was as follows:

  • VIA EPIA 533MHz MB
  • 256 MB Ram
  • Sil 3112 4-Port SATA
  • 4 x 500 GB HD

I upgraded to the following configuration:

  • ASRock P965-GM w/E4300
  • 2 GB Ram
  • Sil 3112 4-Port SATA
  • 4 x 500 GB HD
  • 2 x 1 TB HD

The upgrade process wasn’t exactly straight forward but not too complicated, here’s what I did:

  1. Take a few screen shots of information related to the Disks and RAID array
  2. Take a backup of the Freenas configuration
  3. Shut down the original Freenas server.
  4. Pull the IDE to CF adapter w/512 MB flash card
  5. Install IDE to CF adapter w/512 MB flash card in target system
  6. Install the latest verion of Freenas 0.7 (Sadly rumoured to be the final version)
  7. Boot, assign IP address, login to management interface, upload configuration from step 2
  8. Shutdown
  9. Install the Sil3112 Card & 4 x 500 GB drives, boot, RAID is detected but disk management fails to see drives correctly, simply remove and re-add the drives in disk management
  10. Shutdown
  11. Install the 2 x 1 TB drives, boot
  12. Disk Mgt, add drives, format them software RAID, create RAID 1, Format RAID 1, Mount RAID 1
  13. Test / Benchmark

The end result is a much better performing NAS that offers better than 100 Mbit performance but isn’t going to break and speed records.  Overall the process was fairly simple and were completed in just over an hour.

How to build a Pirate Ship

  1. Get meat;
  2. Cook bacon (of course);
  3. Grab pirate ship pan.  You do have one, don’t you?
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“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: http://forums.speedguide.net/showthread.php?t=173731

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 www.sysInternals.com http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx

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.

How to disable hibernation in Windows Vista

4GB of wasted hard drive space for something I don’t use.  Now you can disable it in 1 second:

  1. Win-R, cmd to open a command prompt.
  2. Type powercfg -h off and press <ENTER>.

That’s it.

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: http://www.geocities.com/sonyirclib/ipw2200.tar.gz. 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:

# mkdir /usr/tmp
# cd /usr/tmp
# wget http://www.geocities.com/sonyirclib/ipw2200.tar.gz
# tar xvzf ipw2200.tar.gz
# cd ipw2200-1.0.3
# ./unload
# ./load
# ethtool -E eth0 magic 0x2200 offset 0x8 value 0xf5
# ethtool -E eth0 magic 0x2200 offset 0x9 value 0x12
# ethtool -E eth0 magic 0x2200 offset 0xa value 0x3c
# ethtool -E eth0 magic 0x2200 offset 0xb value 0x10

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!

“the iscsi name specified contains invalid characters or is too long”

This applies specifically to the iSCSI Intiator for Windows XP, but might apply to other versions as well. 

Check to see if there are underscores in your volume group and/or volume names.

Downgrading from Vista to XP on Gateway MX8711 and similar Vista-only laptops without a floppy drive.

OK, I was going to finish this off at some point, but I’ve gotten busy with other projects, so I figure I might as well post what I have so far…  If there’s any interest, let me know and I’ll see if I have any more useful insight… 

 Step 1: Get this stuff:

Step 2: Make a new XP CD:

  • Install nlite
  • Create a new XP CD, and slipstream the Intel drivers you downloaded in Step 1 using nlite.

Step 3: Install Windows XP:

  • Installation should be straightforward if you have created your new XP CD properly.  The hard drive will be detected without having to press F6, and the network card and video card will work out of the box.

Step 4: Find the other Gateway drivers (I managed to find a laptop in the 64xx series that had most of the same internals, and XP drivers…):

  • Audio: (SigmaTel Unknown @ Intel 82801GBM ICH7-M – High Definition Audio Controller [B-0])
  • Wireless: (Broadcom 802.11g Network Adapter) 
  • XP Update for Modem to work properly:
  • Modem: (Motorola SM56 Data Fax Modem)
  • Touchpad:
  • Card Reader:

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!

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock

When you try this:

mount -t smbfs -o username=jeremy,password=secret //server/share /mnt/directory

and your computer tells you this:

mount: wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on //server/share, or too many mounted file systems

  1. You are probably running something like Fedora Core 3, and
  2. You should try this:

mount -t cifs -o username=jeremy,password=secret //server/share /mnt/directory

Installing VMWare Server on CentOS 5 64-bit

This is basically the same as a regular install, with the addition of step 3.  The extra libraries are for vmware-config.pl, and xinetd is required anyways.

Step 1: Download VMWare Server
wget VMware-server-1.0.3-44356.i386.rpm

Step 2: Install vmware server
rpm -ivh VMware-server-1.0.3-44356.i386.rpm

Step 3: Install required files / libraries
yum install libXtst-devel libXrender-devel xinetd

Step #4: Configure VMWARE server

Cole’s Law

Shredded cabbage.

SBS2003 Exchange POP3 Connector Polling Interval

A quick registry fix revealed here shows how to increase the POP3 email retrieval speed on Small Business Server 2003.  Yes, having SMTP mail delivered directly to the server is better, but first things first!

1. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
“HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/SmallBusinessServer/Network/POP3 Connector”

2. On the “Edit” menu, point to “New”, and then click “DWORD Value”.

3. Type “ScheduleAccelerator” as the entry name, and then press ENTER.

5. On the “Edit” menu, click “Modify”.

6. In the “Value data” box, type the value that you want, and then click “OK”.  To determine the polling interval, the value that is configured on the “Scheduling” tab in the GUI is divided by the value that you type for the ScheduleAccelerator entry. For example, if a 15 minute interval is specified in the GUI and you set the value of the ScheduleAccelerator entry to 3, the connector will poll every five minutes.

7. Quit Registry Editor and restart the “Microsoft Connector for POP3 Mailboxes” service.

Note: I’m not entirely convinced that the “[GUI Interval]/[ScheduleAccelerator]=[Minutes]” theory is correct.  With the server set at 15/5, I should get polling every 3 minutes, but it seems to be more like 45 seconds.  With it set at 15/3, I am getting mixed results between 30 seconds and 5 minutes.  I guess that’s good enough for government work; YMMV.

Disconnect Remote Desktop Sessions

Thanks to Scott Forsyth, I found a way to disconnect remote desktop sessions when you are unable to connect to the server via RDP…  Apparently qwinsta and rwinsta are built-in to Windows (XP Pro at least).

Scott said:

qwinsta /server:

Where is the IP address or name of the non-accessible machine.

This will display something like this:

> qwinsta /server:
 SESSIONNAME       USERNAME                 ID  STATE   TYPE        DEVICE
 console                                     0  Conn    wdcon
 rdp-tcp                                 65536  Listen  rdpwd
 rdp-tcp#470       Bob                       1  Active  rdpwd
 rdp-tcp#471       Jane                      3  Active  rdpwd

Now I know that Bob and Jane are the two that are logged in.  Since Jane left the office 20 minutes ago I know that she forgot to log off.  I don’t know where Bob is but I only need one session so I’ll ignore him for now.

To disconnect Jane’s session I would type this:

rwinsta /server: 3

Notice the 3 which is the session ID I found from using qwinsta above.

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 autoap_test_2007-07-16beta.sh to the new /mmc directory on your router, rename autoap_test_2007-07-16beta.sh to autoap.sh, and chmod 755 autoap.sh.

Step 5: Add “/mmc/autoap.sh &” 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

RoundCube Personal Settings Do Not Save Properly

The issue in webmail where your Identities and personal settings are not being saved has been fixed.  (On my server, anyways.)

Thanks once again to HowToForge and the people there with way too much free time.