xbox360 and WMP11 fail

After about two years of procrastination, I finally got an xbox360 to fulfil my Burnout gaming needs. Before I got the (MW2) bundle, I installed Windows Media Player 11 (using the validation bypass trick). Now sitting here relieved that I finally got media sharing to work, I thought I'd blog about the one simple thing wrong with media sharing:

  1. UNC network paths.
It took almost 2 weeks to find an answer to why my library was not showing up on the xbox360 and the answer lies here.

In summary (for those that don't want to follow that URL for some reason):

"If you want to share files that are not located locally on your machine, Microsoft has chosen to prevent you from sharing content located on network locations (UNC paths) like \\MACHINENAME\sharename"

Luckilly there is an undocumented registry "hack" that will fix this:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Huge thanks go out to GibStorm for documenting this so well...


vim + gnupg = password manager

After finding that there are very little native password managers for linux, I decided to see if I could find a way to open my encrypted password file using a console-based editor without putting any plain text onto the disk at all (ie. transparent editing of gnupg encrypted files).

I stumbled onto the vim website (by way a Google search) and found a nice little script (plugin) that does all this for me!

Initially, I had some issues with getting it working but that was mainly due to exporting $GPG_TTY incorrectly :-P

However, as I use screen to manage everthing I do from the one terminal window/ssh session (vim incuded), the plugin works fine but fails to decrypt files when vim is invoked as a new screen.

I suspect that it's attributed to the $GPG_TTY variable, but my knowledge of screen and some other aspects of Linux are limited.

I now use vim + gnupg for my encrypted password file.

UPDATE 21/08/2009 @ 13:15
There seems to be an issue where the the GPG_TTY variable needs to re-exported every time you change to a another screen/pts. I have made myself a workaround, whereby I run a simple script that first exports the variable and then opens vim with the encrypted pwd file, but then vim removes the standard UDLR keybord controlls and falls back to classic vi mode. *sigh*


iPhone battery fail

My iPhone 3GS seems to be working well but with one small problem. Battery life sux.

The stupid thing lasts anywhere from about ½ a day to about about 1 day, which doesn't seem right at all.

I had also already jailbroken the the thing within the first few weeks of owning it, but since the latest firmware (3.0.1) came out recently, I thought I would update it in the hopes that Apple had silently fixed a possible power issue and to remove any jailbreak packages that could be causing this problem. No luck here folks.

About a week later I discovered that the phone was constantly emitting RF as a cheap set of speakers that I had turned on, would pick up the RF as interference and damn was this phone was being noisy!

After calling the Virgin Mobile iPhone hotline to get some support (which still didn't help mind), I stumbled onto apple's own iPhone battery information page and went through the troubleshooting steps, I seemed to have found the answer! Push mode notification. Turning it off has quietened it and the battery bar has stopped draining quicker than a cold beer in summer.

I am happy the problem is fixed and the battery is still in reasonably good condition, but this begs the question: Why is it on by default?


10th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day

Today marks the 10th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day.

Treat some lonely, unforgiven and/or unloved sysadmin with a gift and/or note of appreciation today and show how much you appreciate the hard work and effort that they do (myself included).

They are usually the same people that make your internets work! so show us some love. Please.

Happy Sysadmin Day!



silence isn't golden

Not only did the internal speaker in my my old Nokia 6610i fail not long after I got it, but so too did my Openmoko Neo Freerunner (GTA-02v5) (or so it would seem)!


I was testing someone else's microphone+earphone's hands-free kit on the 'moko earlier on in the day, which didn't seem to phase the device as it simply didn't work, but after putting my phone on silent a few hours later, the 'moko now has no audio output except from the headphone jack!?!

After re-installing koolu's Android (v1.0_beta7), the thing still refuses to output audio to anything but the external headphone jack and I suspect that it's either the switch pins inside the female jack are stuck or the internal speaker has broken. I am yet to boot it with 0m2008.12 via uSDHC to confirm that it's a hardware fault.

The 'moko certainly has been a very interesting device to toy around with, but it has proved to be quite troublesome, making me want an iPhone 3Gs. If I can't get the audio issue sorted out soon, I will most likely get one. Problem is trying to buy one outright as I fear that no providers will because they all seem to list plans, but fail to give full price or outright purchase details *sigh*.

UPDATE 13/07/2009 @ 15:12
The 'moko now intermittently rings, but the microphone is still muted making calls impossible.

UPDATE 14/07/2009 @ 12:38
I found out from a scumb^H^H^H^H^Hcustomer service person @ Allphones, that Apple are not allowing retailers and telcos to sell the iPhone outright because it's apparently not cost-effective for them to do so.

Lucky for me, I have a friend who is willing to sell me his 16Gb 3G one for the cost of his 3G-s upgrade.

UPDATE 21/07/2009 @ 09:42
I found the link to the Australian Apple store online and I will be using half of my tax return on buying an iPhone. *sniff* Good bye 'moko... You have served me... err... not so well... :P


internets anew

Thanks to this article I was able to transform my crappy dg632 router into a dumb modem so that I could get better control (including better security) on my internet link.

The only problems I encountered was that I found it difficult to set the router into bridged mode, but finally found the answer here. The documentation on the gentoo wiki differed slightly too, in that the iptables exported variable for the WAN interface should be ppp0 instead of eth1.

Other than that I can now enjoy a properly firewalled, dyndns capable and port-forwarding capable setup at no extra cost.

Now all I need to do is get bind, ldap and openvpn working... having all this free time without a job does have it's benefits...



KDE4 finally hit stable in gentoo's portage! *woohoo!* (as of about a month ago :P)

I had to wait a few weeks so that package blocks got sorted out in portage (well, at least now there is only 2 rather than the 4 from last week), which just goes to show that immediately trying to update to anything isn't always a good idea! :P

so now the dell xps is chugging away at building all the kde packages and dependencies (as well as updates from about 4 weeks ago) etc etc and hopefully when I wake up tomorrow I will be greeted with a shiny slick new KDM :)

I really should be updating my diary-blog but I wanted to keep a record of the fact that I have figured out that waiting for sane dependency handling by portage updates is a good thing!