Thursday, 28 April 2011

Installing Ubuntu 11.04 on a Acer 5742 Laptop

Just downloaded Ubuntu 11.04 onto my Acer 5742 laptop. 

I decided to copy the image to a portable HDD using UNetbootin instead of wasting a CD.

Booting from the portable HDD was ultra fast, ~10sec.

Upon booting it live, the mouse touchpad was not working, a external mouse was required to navigate.  This was not a issue after the install.

Installing was not a chore either, I chose to apply the updates as it installed.  This requires a internet connection.

Ubuntu downloaded the necessary binary blob for the f'ked Broadcom wireless module, i'm going to get rid of this soon, replacing it with a Atheros.

Ubuntu supports a new look called unity, getting used to the new look was too hard for me so I decided to change back to the Gnome classic look.  This can be accomplished if you log out and check the setting 'Gnome Classic' when you enter you password.

One of the best things about 11.04 is it finally has a file search that actually works good.  Yay!

Also it comes with Firefox4, its layout has changed slightly too.

All round the new Ubuntu is give the user more screen area which makes it overall appearance cleaner and much more trendy.

One thing that caught my eye was some program called Zeiteist Datahub which loaded on startup.  There is not much info about this on the net but what it does is it gathers info from the user and passes it to other programs to make usage more integrated.  If you are paranoid you may want to apt-get remove it.

Natty Narwhal, Price free and heaps better than Windows!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

sudo !! tip, bash-fu

Never knew this one before.  Makes it easier when you forget to sudo something.

Geo Locate Wifi Routers using andriodmap

This proof of concept site works very well in finding wifi routers.  It does this by gathering google information obtained from android devices.

So perhaps you are trying to hone in on the location of a nearby AP.  If you have the BSSID then you can punch it in to get a ball park of the location.  It is a great wardriving recon application.

Try it out for yourself, all you need is the mac address of your router.  I got this mac from the example page on the interweb.

Friday, 22 April 2011

DIY CPU Pin Straightening

My AMD CPU pins were mashed the other day, I should of thrown it in the bin where it belonged, but instead I decided to resurrect it.

You will need a length of hypodermic tubing.  Think of big needles here.  The diameter is critical here, it needs to fit over the pin of course but not way too loose that the pin never can straighten.

Pictures are better than words.

After a while it looks a whole lot better

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Uniden 2.4GHz Cordless Phone teardown

I have some pics of a Uniden 2.4GHz phone.  The batteries wad repacked using batteries from another device.  Interestingly enough the radio is analogue. 

Pressing 'dial' on the phone and then cutting the power to the base caused static + another conversation to be heard over the loudspeaker!


Proprietary blob

Base Station Tx / Rx filtering

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

HP dv9000 Hinge replacement

Another faulty HP product being fixed, this time the right laptop hinge sized and snapped in half.  Fortunately the plastic casing risers were not broken.

Ordering some HK replacement hinges from eBay and following the instructions on this website fixed the problem.

Here are some pics if the hinge job.


New Hinge from eBay $10 Delivered!


Wireless Antenna 1

Wireless Antenna 2

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Underground garden watering device

This is a great idea!  It uses mostly stuff that you chuck out in the recycling bin.

Basically the goal is to increase the watering efficiency by slowly watering underground where the roots of the plants are.

  • Use a fine needle to puncture around the base of a PET bottle in four locations.
  • Bury the bottle in the proximity of your plants.
  • When it is time for watering open up the cap and fill up the bottle with water.
  • Additionally a reservoir can be made from a juice container and a small length of poly hose as show.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Projector Lamp Explosion

Here are some pics from a projector lamp that exploded.

The owner was a 'expert', never cleaning the filters and constantly reset the lamp hours when the warning came on screen.

As a result powdered glass has been sucked through the unit covering the optics.

The model is a Sony VPL-PX21.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Disabling facebook.connect on non face book websites


Install AdBlock plus to firefox

add this to the filter

enjoy no more facebook.connect BS chewing up ur bandwidth,

Turn off Google Instant [Solved]

I hate google instant when using Firefox.  It steers away from my original search terms, and on flaky connections it is a pain in the arse.

The settings on google, to turn off instant are cookie based and depending on your browser settings, instant my be back on when you restart your browser.  So many people have complained on the web about this and still google have not done anything to help the people out.

Frequent complaints include:

  • Steering away from the users original search terms.
  • Network congestion from multiple call backs to google servers.
  • Halting of instant due to multiple call backs causing instant to freeze.
  • The ability to opt out of instant not sticking on browsers.

There have been a few solutions on the web so far, some which have temporally worked or not at all.  These include Firefox / Greasemonkey plugins.

Only one solution so far has seemed to work, i involves changing setting on browser and is not cookie or session based.  This solution will not follow you around but at least will disable instant on the computer you set it on, and it will stick.


Press the "Ctrl" and letter "N" keys to open a new Firefox browser window. Type "About:Config" in the address bar. Press the "Enter" key.

Read the warning. Press the "I'll Be Careful, I Promise!" button.

Type "Firefox" in the blank field labeled "Filter."

Double-click on the following entry to open a dialog box: "general.useragent.extra.firefox."

Type "" into the blank field. Click the "OK" button to close the dialog box. Exit out of the browser window.

Open a new Firefox browser session and navigate to Google's search engine page. Begin typing in search terms and notice no instant!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

OMG the scourge of M$ is coming to Ubuntu Linux

For some unknown reason, the guys that develop gedit, still have not managed to integrate editing of encoded files in their code, not even a plugin.  What that means is that whenever a non text file is opened with gedit, it has a spaz and decides not to show it.
The equivalent to gedit in Windows, notepad has been able to display any file since time dot so I don't understand why gedit cant do it.

Reading through some of the gedit forums, it seems there is a negative culture in achieving this task, they don't want to accept that people want to edit hex files in gedit.

When I was looking though the Ubuntu Software Center that other day I cam across a program called Ultraedit.  It seemed that this program was able to display all text files and was able to be easily integrated into the gnome desktop environment.


Sometimes I deserve to get it, it was one of those too good to be true instances, where a program released for Linux was capable of doing simplistic tasks that have been available in Windows for ages.

After installation was complete, I executed the program and was presented with a sight that I have never seen in Liunx before.

One of my main reasons for jettisoning Windows years ago was because of this bullshit, nagging trial-ware ads cursing my screen.

I did not even use the program a second more, it was back to the Synaptic to remove it for good.

Finding it was not walk in the park either, it was cleverly hidden, calling itself uex.

I'm still washing, but the dirt wont come off.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Another Auspost Price Hike, 3KG Satchels

I cannot believe it, Auspost have once again decided to up the price on 3Kg stchels from $10.50 to $10.70.  This price hike hurts all hard working Aussies who have to slog to make every cent they earn.  It also hurts local online retailers dependent on the cursed government owned postal service.

Recently I learned that Australia Post have also risen the price of domestic letter postage from $0.55 to $0.60, it is now cheaper to send letters from places like Hong Kong  ($0.35 AUD) to destinations in Australia compared to origins in Australia.

Makes you sick, Austraila the lucky country....

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

iBook G4 Grey Screen Crash

I don't know what is the better analogy.

A PC hardware platform and software base that is tightly closed, proprietary and somewhat exclusive. (i.e Apple)
A PC hardware platform that is open for all manufacturers, some what open, and not all that exclusive. (i.e Almost everyone else)

There are positives and negatives for both cases however I am going to emphasise the negative for the closed platform Apple case.

Before I discovered the Apple iBook G4, I imagined that Apple machines were well made, stable and stylish pieces of technology.  This observation was further steered by judging Mac owners on face value only, so clean and hip.
Now after discovering the Apple iBook G4, doing some google research and discussing some problems with fellow Mac owners I know that the imagination I envisaged was turning into something like the movie "The Crying Game".

The iBook in question here had several faults.  First one was something squealing, like a cpu fan.  Opening the unit and noticing that the squealing was not coming from the fan was strange.   The noise was the hard drive squealing, due to seized bearings.  I have never come across this before -ever.  Disassembly of the hard drive proved my suspicion that fucker was so tight it could hardly turn.

Next, I tried to boot the iBook using a Linux distro called finnix, compiled in PowerPC it is designed to run live, hard drive or not.  The CD rom drive was also cactus.  Causing several intermittent kernel panics along the way.

Thridly I noticed that the unit was displaying grey screen freezes when switched on, I discovered during my research that this was caused by a two solder joints on the logic board, something that could be easily fixed, so it was resoldered.  LOL to the efforts that some Mac butchers went to trying to resolder IC's, one even used epoxy to stick the connection down.

Enough time wasted on this fail, sell it for parts / scrap, that is where it belongs.

Fuck you iBook!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

How to add Secure Google to Firefox

Surfing the web is great, but there is always a possibility that someone could be listening in on your traffic.  Running SSL encrypted sessions help, as long as you attentive enough to check the verifying signature and it possibly? could give you a indication if someone is doing a MITM attack + SSLSTRIP at the same time.

Google have introduced SSL encrypted searches some time ago, the search address can easily be recognised by the https:// URL and the indication of a padlock on the bottom left hand corner of the Firefox browser.

To add Secure Google search in firefox:

Go to Firefox add-ons page and search for Secure Google, proceed add it to Firefox.

 Once that is done, select Secure Google Search from the search bar.

Enjoy secure searches, note the verification authority and the https:// in the URL bar.