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September 2nd, 2014

Current Phone Appeal

No Comments, Screen Shots, by andarius.

S4 Primary Home

Left Screen

S4 Left Screen

Right Screen

S4 Right Screen

This is a screen capture from my phone at present. My Galaxy S4 running CM11, Nova is the launcher and the clock widget is Zooper with a config called OnyX by Drea Apps

June 3rd, 2014

Truecrypt News

No Comments, News, Security, by andarius.

Recently there has been a lot of news surrounding Truecrypt. For those who are not aware, Truecrypt offers disk encryption across several platforms (Windows, Linux and Mac) which is relatively easy to use. The news that erupted on to the Internet was that it was insecure and had come to the end of the road. The home page on Source Forge read pretty ominously and encouraged users to switch to bitlocker (on Windows). You can check that out here, or for the sake of records a copy can be found here.

Truecrypt was very useful. I even used it on my portable HD to encrypt a secondary partition for device backups and personal data. Not because I have super secret stuff I need to keep safe, but because I don’t think some nimrod who steals my stuff should get all my data as well. This news of course prompted me to dig in for an alternative, just in case.

Not too long after the news came out an answer seems to have been delivered. A project has started up in order to keep Truecrypt going and then some. The goals are admirable and I wish them the best of luck. You can get the details from here.

I have since moved my drives to LUKS/freeOTFE. For me it is a bit more universal as most of my systems are Linux and it is native to the platform. FreeOTFE works well for the Windows machines I have and portable mode allows the application to be kept on a flash/portable drive. Makes me a bit more comfortable, just in case…

FreeOTFE ::
(Currently the FreeOTFE page appears to be mirrored)

May 28th, 2014

Android Zooper Widget ReVisit

No Comments, Screen Shots, Tips & Tricks, by andarius.

I upgraded my S4 recently to CM11. In my proceedings I forgot to save my config for the main Zooper widget I had created. This of course prompted a rebuild. This is to share a few shots of the rebuild, which looks much like the original.

Here is the config process while I had the hotspots with icons shown with a colored background to aid in placement:

During Config

Hotspot Configuration & Placement

A shot with the highlights gone:

The Icoms

All Icons Active

And the final work with nothing active, which is how it normally looks:

With no activity icons

Zooper Widget Idle

A little tweaking is still required. When an alarm is set the time for the alarm is shown under the icon, between the locality and battery in red. Also while charging the text “charging” is shown which changes to “full” when the battery is full, which is displayed next to the battery percent (bottom right).

Since Zooper allows an APK to be generated for sharing, I will try to get the APK done with the icons and post it soon.

May 25th, 2014

Gentoo & Android USB Tethering

No Comments, Hardware, Linux, Tips & Tricks, by andarius.

Today I had a lot of time to kill and a netbook and Android phone on hand. Mainly due to having taken the kid to an anime convention… After working for a long while on getting OpenVPN working on my Ubiquiti Edgerouter Lite (link coming soon) I needed something new to work on. Enter USB tethering.

Until today I had little interest in it. I used WiFi tethering regularly as I figured it was sure to be far easier that USB tethering. Today I was a bit more inspired to look in to this as I fired up kismet and say over 1000 stations active and at least two guys running similar tools. Nothing like exposing your phone (and other devices) to hackers. Upon digging it started to look rather straight forward so I gave it a shot. Success on the first go, I even already had the kernel modules laying around.

First the required kernel modules:


You can either build them in or as modules. I prefer modules, I don’t favor things I don’t need hanging around waiting to be used.

Next plug in your phone and activate USB Tethering. For my device that was under “Settings” -> “More” -> “Tethering & portable hotspot” -> “USB tethering”. Simple little check box. Upon turning this on check for the device using dmesg, you should see something similar to:

[ 3760.324670] usbcore: registered new interface driver cdc_ether
[ 3760.332303] rndis_host 1-3:1.0 usb0: register 'rndis_host' at usb-0000:00:1d.7-3, RNDIS device, 72:fc:a3:db:0a:21
[ 3760.334443] usbcore: registered new interface driver rndis_host
[ 3543.858466] systemd-udevd[3131]: renamed network interface usb0 to enp0s29f7u3
[ 3760.349295] systemd-udevd[3433]: renamed network interface usb0 to enp0s29f7u3

As one can see in the above, I have a new network device with the name “enp0s29f7u3”. Doesn’t one love the new “consistent network device names”?

This device can be configured like any other network interfaces. Add the appropriate lines to /etc/conf.d/net :


Create a symlink to the service file:

ln -s /etc/init.d/net.lo /etc/init.d/net.enp0s29f7u3

Then you can start the service:

rc-service net.enp0s29f7u3 start

If all goes well you will be rocking on-line:

net.enp0s29f7u3 | * Caching service dependencies ... [ ok ]
net.enp0s29f7u3 | * Bringing up interface enp0s29f7u3
net.enp0s29f7u3 | * dhcp ...
net.enp0s29f7u3 | * Running dhcpcd ...
net.enp0s29f7u3 |dhcpcd[3755]: version 6.2.0 starting
net.enp0s29f7u3 |dhcpcd[3755]: all: IPv6 kernel autoconf disabled
net.enp0s29f7u3 |dhcpcd[3755]: enp0s29f7u3: IPv6 kernel autoconf disabled
net.enp0s29f7u3 |dhcpcd[3755]: DUID xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
net.enp0s29f7u3 |dhcpcd[3755]: enp0s29f7u3: IAID xx:xx:xx:xx
net.enp0s29f7u3 |dhcpcd[3755]: enp0s29f7u3: soliciting a DHCP lease
net.enp0s29f7u3 |dhcpcd[3755]: enp0s29f7u3: offered from
net.enp0s29f7u3 |dhcpcd[3755]: enp0s29f7u3: leased for 3600 seconds
net.enp0s29f7u3 |dhcpcd[3755]: enp0s29f7u3: adding route to
net.enp0s29f7u3 |dhcpcd[3755]: enp0s29f7u3: adding default route via
net.enp0s29f7u3 |dhcpcd[3755]: forked to background, child pid 3810 [ ok ]
net.enp0s29f7u3 | * received address [ ok ]
net.enp0s29f7u3 | * Running postup ...

The main reason this came to mind for security reasons, USB is non-RF. So instead of exposing the link to hackers it is tucked away in the USB cable. Yes, there are ways to hack this and your cell signal, but most people and even most hackers carry the gear required for that!

March 1st, 2014

Nvidia Base Mosaic Revisit

No Comments, Hardware, Linux, by andarius.

I built my desktop system a decent while back. One of the things that I never got working really well was the multi-monitor hardware accelerated video of the three Asus ENGTX465 video cards. That has finally been corrected.

I started digging in an effort to resolve the issue. The first problem, IOMMU was not working correctly. I dug through everything I could and it all lead to the motherboard BIOS being trash. Not one to give in with saying my Asus P6T7 motherboard was trash I started poking at BIOS options. One managed to remove the kernel warning about the IOMMU, the VT option. I disabled the hardware virtualization option from the BIOS and the IOMMU error was gone.

Now for the configuration. That was actually the easy part. The docs tell that the SLI bridge must be in place. To ensure a clean and problem free playground I:

  1. Removed xdm from the default runlevel
  2. Moved my xorg.conf file to a backup location
  3. Then the simple config line of:
nvidia-xconfig --base-mosaic --metamodes="GPU-0.DFP-0: 1920x1080+0+0, GPU-1.DFP-0: 1920x1080+1920+0, GPU-2.DFP-0: 1920x1080+3840+0"

To my joy and happiness startx brought up all three displays. To check things out glxinfo indicated direct rendering and the nvidia-settings indicated “Base Mosaic” was enabled. Now I have fancy graphics goodness in full effect!

Nvidia Settings

Base Mosaic Enabled!

February 25th, 2014

Slow USB is Slow!

No Comments, Misc, by andarius.

Just in case anyone is wondering just how long it will take an Atom based netbook to zero out a full 1.5TB HD using a USB 2.0 caddy:

root@neutron : time dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb
dd: writing to ‘/dev/sdb’: No space left on device
2930277169+0 records in
2930277168+0 records out
1500301910016 bytes (1.5 TB) copied, 282464 s, 5.3 MB/s

real    4707m44.060s
user    177m33.919s
sys     612m29.236s

February 7th, 2014

Zooper Widget

No Comments, Misc, Screen Shots, Tips & Tricks, by andarius.

In my continuing search for some useful eye candy on my Android device I came across Zooper Widget. This is a very customizable widget that comes with several predefined configurations. The key for me however is the ability to start with a clean slate and do whatever you want to.

After a decent amount of base configuration and tweaking I have come up with this:

Zooper Widget

Zooper Widget

Zopper Widget

Zopper Widget

The widget takes up an entire single row. It includes:

  • Digital Clock
  • Date
  • Free space (internal storage)
  • Free space (SD Card)
  • Next alarm text
  • Local (current city)
  • Battery level in percent
  • Battery level as a progress meter/gauge
  • Icon for missed calls, messages, alarm, critical battery level and plugged in/charging

Here is a shot with all of the icons active:

Zooper w/ Icons

Zooper w/ Icons

A nice feature of Zooper is the ability to share your work. You can do this via a save file or even as an APK. Several options can be found in the play store. Once I get done tweaking things and learning how to save files I will upload an APK and/or the save file.

December 29th, 2013

AR9462 Dual Band with Bluetooth

No Comments, Hardware, Linux, by andarius.

For Christmas I was given a fancy new WiFi module that was on my wishlist. This module comes in the form of an Atheros AR9462 based card from Sparklan, model WPEA-251N. The WPEA-251N is based on the reference module from Atheros themselves. It provides 2.4Ghz, 5.8Ghz and bluetooth in a single PCIe card that is half height. Perfect for netbook expansion.

To get things going I needed to ad the required module support to my kernel. The bluetooth uses the ath3k module and the wireless uses the ath9k module. Figure that makes it a good time to upgrade the kernel. After downloading 3.12.6 from and the “make menuconfig” was on. After compiling the kernel and rebooting:

[    4.793806] usbcore: registered new interface driver ath3k


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