Samsung Galaxy Nexus unboxing

This is a quick unboxing of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, I have recently received the Galaxy Nexus on December 17th 2011 from Verizon, these are photos of the box before I even turned on the device, I hope you enjoy.


The Samsung Galaxy Nexus has finally landed itself over to Verizon’s network means alot of new for this superphone such as:

  • 4.65″ 1280×720 Super AMOLED Contour Display
  • 1.2 GHZ dual core Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 CPU
  • 32GB of storage
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 5MP rear camera with zero shutter lag
  • 1.3MP front facing camera
  • Verizon’s LTE Network

If you want to know more about the Galaxy Nexus, Google’s own website is a good source of information for all of your Nexus needs.

This is actually surprisingly simple. You’ll need inotify-tools and sendxmpp. In Debian-based distributions, just install the two packages:

bash# apt-get install inotify-tools sendxmpp

Next, you’ll want to set your username, server, and password in ~/.sendxmpprc since you probably don’t want to put those on the command line and have them show up in the process list. The sendxmpprc file is very simple, just add the following line (note that service is optional, but may be required for sendxmpp to work with some servers):

user@domain.tld password service

And make sure to replace user, domain, and password with appropriate values. :)

Now, let’s say you wanted to be notified of any changes to your home directory. All you’d have to do is issue the following command:

inotifywait -mr /home/username | sendxmpp -ti user@domain.tld

The -m switch tells inotify not to exit after an event is received. The -r switch tells it to monitor recursively. The -t switch tells sendxmpp to log in securely with TLS. You may need to use -e instead if your server only supports SSL. -i tells sendxmpp to send messages interactively (i.e., it sends line by line from STDIN).

That’s all there is to it. Check out the man pages for inotifywait and sendxmpp for more fun options.

HP Touchpad Cyanogenmod 7

Cyanogenmod 7 is now ported over to the HP Touchpad!  Cyanogenmod is an aftermarket firmware for phones and tablets and offers features that cannot be found by vendors.  On August 20, 2011 HP had a fire sale on there new tablets 16gb Touchpad’s where going for $99 and 32gb Touchpad’s for $149 this caused alot of people to go to retail stores and demand for Touchpad’s!  I happen to work for a big box retail place and happen to be working the day it happened but like most geeks and nerds I knew about the price change a day before.  I went into my store to ask if the store was selling them at $99, the manager told me, “No, and was waiting for communication from corporate.”  After about an hour later we got the OK and I finally got my hands on as 32gb Touchpad.  I knew that one day Android would be ported over to the Touchpad and recently just happened!


After installing Cyanogenmod to the Touchpad which happened to be a pretty painless, all that you need is novacom and some files and the installer actually resized the current 32gb partition to two 16gb’s so I can dual boot Webos and Cyanogenmod!  I have to say for an Alpha release I am VERY surprised by how much work has been done to the project and what they are capable of doing.  Wireless works and connected to my Access Point granted the Wireless doesn’t stay on when the tablet is in sleep mode but hey this is Alpha!


HP DV4 Diagnostic Lights

A friend of mine asked me to look at his laptop because it wasn’t turning on, he has an HP DV4-1275mx; I would take the build date to be somewhere between late 2008 to mid 2009 since it had a Vista sticker on the laptop.  So he turned it on to show me what was going on, after seeing the problem I knew I would be looking into the HP DV4 diagnostic lights pattern to figure out what the problem is but before I go into detail about that a computers POST(Power On Self Test) needs to be addressed.

Dealing with computers you learn how to understand hardware related problems; if you start a computer up it runs a POST(Power On Self Test), if there are any problems you hear a bunch of beeps, or you will see lights flashing in a pattern.  The output of the POST is different on computers, lets break it down with Mac’s and PC’s, we’ll start with a Mac since generally it’s easier as Apple is the Hardware and Software manufacture of its own products.

When a Mac starts its POST, you will hear a chime noise(you won’t hear the sound if your muted the computer on shutdown), as soon as you hear that you know the POST has detected all the hardware that it needs to boot up passed, if it didn’t what generally happens is you see a somewhat helpful image of something, like when a Mac has a bad hard drive you will see a picture of a folder with a question mark on it telling the technician that Mac OS X couldn’t find the files to start up the Operating System.

When a PC starts up and it begins its POST it will start to test if all the hardware it needs to boot up is good, if it isn’t well it begins to beep at you with different beep patterns, from there if you bought a machine from HP, you can go to there website and look at the beep patterns to figure out what is wrong with the machine.  With laptops depending on the manufacture there will be a series of lights that will blink, this is what I like to call the diagnostic light pattern.

Now what I have here is the HP DV4-1275 laptop and according to HP’s diagnostic lights website, if I power on the laptop and wait a bit the caps lock and num lock will blink a certain pattern, from there I can begin to troubleshoot why this isn’t starting at all.  So I wait for the lights to start blinking and I got 1 blinking light thus according to HP’s website it is telling me I have a non functional CPU! All right cool I can deal with that no problem!

I remove the hard drive, memory, wireless card, and dvd-rom drive to get the laptop down to the motherboard and I order a CPU from eBay that was tested to be 100% working, seller has 100% positive rating and mind you they were a power seller.  $30.00 bucks later and a few days pass I finally got the CPU and the first thing I did was check the pin grid array for anything that was bent, missing, or out of place and everything was fine, put everything back together for a basic start up(Protip: If you work on hardware you know that you never completely put everything back together til you know everything is working.) and turned on the power button, same error code!  Now I’m left to question if it really is the motherboard or if its again the CPU.


I’ve been setting up some ubuntu minimal VMs just for screwing around lately, and one irritating thing that happens is if, for whatever reason, things don’t go 100% smoothly, you’ll likely find yourself with an “Installation Step Failed” error with NO additional information. Now, I know exactly what I did to make the installer unhappy (I hit ^C in aptitude during the manual package select), but what was vexing was that there was no information whatsoever on where to look to fix it. I was assuming that with the “Expert Install” option, Canonical might provide more verbose error messages than just the following:

Installation step failed - An installation step failed. You can try to run the failing item again from the menu, or you can skip it and choose something else. The failing step is: Select and install software

Stupid ambiguous Ubuntu installer error

I know exactly what I did wrong, it should be a trivial matter of removing a lock file or some such thing to fix this. The problem is that there is ABSOLUTELY NO information in this message. No path or file name, no returned error message, nothing. I understand shielding the uninitiated user from these sorts of confusing things, but come on, I chose “expert install.” The least you could do is throw me a meaningful error message.

This situation was easily resolved by checking /var/run, of course, and deleting the 'chroot-setup.lock' file. I’m just having a hard time getting over the fact that there is not one iota of extra information in this error message. Not even a ‘Installation failed. Check /var/log/stupid-ubuntu-setup-crap.log’ or anything.

Now, I’m going to rant on a little more, because I feel like indulging myself. Please bear with me, or go do something else. This issue has come up a few times, now, with my experimentation with various VM setups. It’s my fault for using Ubuntu, probably, but I like the Ubuntu minimal setup because the ISO is only 20mb, there are a lot of options, etc. Anyhow, the MOST irritating part (this supersedes any previous ‘most irritating parts’) is that the installer says you can try the failing item again or choose a different item. The joke is that any step that you choose from the installer menu will check for the presence of /var/run/chroot-setup.lock. Even if you try to repartition the hard drive and just want to install everything over again, it’ll still fail with that same error message. Even if you mkfs.<whatev> /dev/hdWhatever from the command line, /var/run/chroot-setup.lock will still be there, ruining your day.

So, the moral of the story is, I’m cranky in the morning.


P.S., use Gentoo or Debian. Or CentOS, I suppose, if you swing that way. ;)

Here at Swagpile, we came across a situation where we had a server running Debian Lenny (5.0), but there were several packages we needed which were only available in Debian Squeeze (6.0). Unfortunately, the server in question was running on a VPS under Virtuozzo, so upgrading the kernel wasn’t a very realistic option. After poking around online, I determined that this was feasible and that we should go ahead with the upgrade. (Read More »)

Malware is hard to get

I have for the life of me tried to infect my system with some malware, I have intsalled Windows XP SP2 with IE6 in a Virtual Machine.  I even went so far as going to random sites and start clicking of stuff opening it up files downloaded from sites, and even thou I did manage to get at least 1 small spyware, it was something that clearly let me go in task manager and stop the process.


I’m looking to get hit by Antivirus System 2011, from what I saw on another computer I was working on, it seem to respawn with different names after each time I would kill the process and delete it from the registry and restart the computer would only render it back to being respawned.


Malware is hard to get when you’re hoping to just randomly get it.

I just stumbled across this article first thing this morning. Very pleasant news to wake up to.

Here’s the HTC Developer Center link. Download the kernel source there. I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, but man, I sure did download the hell out of it already!

Unboxing Motorola Xoom Wifi

Today marks the day when Motorola released the Motorola Xoom Wifi edition to the public, and so far the tablet has been pretty smooth.  Here I have some pictures of the unboxing of the whole Xoom, there’s also pictures when I did the screen protector but I thought some would enjoy the fact of what the unboxing looks like for Motorola’s new tablet.  Now I’m off to root this bad boy!

This is a follow-up to the post I did earlier, here. I will demonstrate how to use the earlier script to backup to a local filesystem location, or any other storage engine supported by duplicity.

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