Category Archives: Uncategorised

GT06E GPS Tracker Part 2: Establishing connection

This is a continuation from Part 1.

As of writing this I already had complete solution (as far as getting tracking data is concerned), a multi-process TCP server with a mysql database back-end.
The server code itself is not pretty thus I am cautious about sharing it at this stage (I will “open-source” it once I cleaned it up).

One caveat: my solution does not support batch mode (where the payload contain multiple concatenated location and other packets).

The assumption is that the reader is somewhat familiar with python and sockets.

Continue reading

Hate ads on your smart phone? Pi-hole it permanently!

Sorry about spammy headline ;).

Below I will describe how I got rid of ads on my android phone without rooting it.
It is very easy to get rid of ads on an android smart phone if you have root access. Unfortunately pesky manufacturers insist on declining warranty if the phone is rooted.
I will probably one day test this is in small claims court for a cheaper phone. I digress…

The requirements:

  • Some linux box/container/VM. In this post I used Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
  • Public IP on the box from above
  • Some linux/cli/unix experience

How does it work?

  1. Smart phone connects to the Linux box via OpenVPN
  2. Linux box is running Pi-hole which acts as a selective DNS server
  3. ???
  4. Proft!

Continue reading

Caveat Emptor: Do not buy EVGA GTX1060 6GB with ACX 2.0 Cooler!

What is wrong with EVGA GTX1060 6GB ACX2.0 (06G-P4-6161-KR)? Well, the cooler is a piece of shit and this card easily hits 90’C.

This is the card in question: 06G-P4-6161-KR

In addition if you are into ethereum mining, between 3 of those cards I could only get 17.8MH/s from each, which is far cry from 26MH/s from other brands of GTX1060. Which suggest they used crappiest RAM chips they could lay their hands on.

I have tried contacting EVGA to buy an ACX3.0 cooler from them and they told me they do not sell parts to retail.

Why would EVGA put inadequate heat sink on one model and a good heat sink on other model, while selling them for $20 difference is beyond me.
Sounds like they are cutting corners to earn an odd buck.

Dear EVGA: Fuck you! There are plenty of other brands to buy from.

I wish I found this post before I foolishly bought these cards:

PSA: Don’t buy the single fan EVGA GTX 1060 Gaming (non-SC) from pcmasterrace

In fact from now on I will never buy EVGA.

mod_python: 404 on *.py when trying to download the file

I had mod_python enabled and it would give me 404 on random python scripts in downloads directory (not cgi)…
Nothing in error log either!

Here is the fix:

put .htaccess file in the download directory with following contents:

<Files *.py>
    RemoveHandler .py
    AddType text/plain .py
    SetHandler none
    SetHandler default-handler
    Options -ExecCGI
</Files>

HUSQVARNA rip-off pricing in NZ

So, I came across an interesting, but not surprising thing with Husqvarna MSRP prices in NZ compared to USA.

I recently looked at Husqvarna 445 and when googled for it, I got multiple MSRP prices (one for NZ, on for AU and another for USA).

Husqvarna 445 MSRP by country:
USA: 329.95 USD

AU: 899.00 AUD (~$690 USD)

NZ: 1019.00 NZD (~$745 USD)

According to NZ customs duty calculator using US MSRP price as base the fair MSRP price in NZ should have been $599 NZD (~$440 USD).

What is with the ~$150 USD price difference between NZ and Australia? According to Husqvarna Americans are twice better than Australians and more than twice better than Kiwis. They treat Kiwis like chumps that will buy thing at whatever prices Husqvarna feels like.

Guess what, from now on I will be avoiding the Husqvarna until these greedy corporate types will pull their heads out of their asses and set fair MSRP prices. In this global economy it is very stupid not to have standardised prices across the globe.

If I really wanted to buy one, no way in hell I would be buying it in NZ, as for about $150NZ I can get it shipped from the states.

Cross-flash M1015/9420-8i LSI controller quasi-official way

WARNING: don’t blame me if you brick your card ;).

Building large cost effective storage solutions present a problem: lack of cost effective HBAs.
The solution to this problem is an interesting controller from IBM/Lenovo M1015. These can be bought for about 70USD on ebay.
The only problem with that controller is that the firmware it comes with (aka WebBIOS) is utter crap.
This problem can be resolved thanks to LSI providing alternative firmware images.

I generally flash these cards in Pass-Through mode, as they are not suitable for hardware raid scenario (lack of battery and RAM). Besides in low cost situation it is far better to use mdadm RAID (or ZFS) than hardware RAID (due to flexibility in reshaping, monitoring and fault recovery). With hardware RAID you simply cannot start with 3-disk RAID5 and grow it a disk at a time to 12-disk RAID6 without moving data to another storage.

I decided to write this guide as I could not find a guide that would use the tools and firmware images directly acquired from official sources (LSI/Avago/Broadcom).

All the guides include their own download links, which present security (malware) and possible bricking issues (if images were corrupted).

The goal of this guide is to stick to only files sourced from LSI (now Broadcom) as well as avoiding using Windows (Linux friendly).
By the time someone reads this the version and links will change so I am including search keywords on how to find the files in question.

I will be focusing on Pass-Through mode firmware (IT mode), but the only difference to IR mode is the 2118it.bin vs 2118ir.bin.

Continue reading

Prezzy card scam

A while ago I was gifted a prezzy card. These buggers: https://www.prezzycard.co.nz/.
They are actually Kiwi bank.
This prezzy card is not accepted in many places. In addition it needs to be activated.
I was putting it off, until the bloody thing expired.

So these bastards take legal tender (that does not have expiry) and set expiry on it.
I simply see no point of these things as cash is accepted pretty much everywhere, and it can also be deposited in your account (stating obvious here).

What these gift card/prepay debit cards companies rely on is chumps like me that let their cards expire.
This is a very shady business model.

So if you want to be a good friend and want to gift some cash, just gift the cash. No prezzy card or Dicksmith gift cards or any other stupid vouchers, thank you very much.

As for Kiwibank – shame on you for supporting such scam.