obligatory obscure reference

self-deprecating yet still self-promotional witty comment


My Introduction to Open Source Printing?

Filed under: Hacking,Reverse Engineering,Reviews — jet @ 19:46

Well, not open source as much as legal clone.

I’m not naming names until I test it, but for less than half of the cost of replacing the cartridges for my Epson R2400, aka “the big ass printer”, I got:

  • A new set of “never empty” cartridges that never go to %0 and can’t be re-used
  • An insultingly huge amount of UV dye. I got less hair dye than this in a bottle of Manic Panic, and now I have nine bottles of dye.
  • Refill syringes so I can not make a huge mess refilling things

The problem we R2400 owners have is tiny cartridges that cost $20 each and that dry out, die, or get eaten by grues when they’re not used. I’ve spent over $80 on ink in the past month and made only a couple dozen prints. My studio is too dry or my printer is broken or I dunno, but I’m ready to jump ship if this ebay purchase works out.


Fix for 2.2/Froyo update install problems

Filed under: Hacking,Reverse Engineering — jet @ 20:58

We upgraded our Droids to 2.2 today, and while one upgrade went fine, the other went not so fine. As in, reboot loop hell not so fine.

While it was up and barely responsive I noticed that there was a message about an operation being performed on the SD card, so I pulled it out and restarted. Droid worked just fine without the SD Card — no lag, all the apps were there, no crashes/reboots, etc.

Put the SD card back in, original problems happen. Phone is completely unusable.

Ok, I figure I’ll just back up the SD card and format it then use it again in my Droid. I removed the SD card and mounted it on my Mac in a USB adapter, drug the folder over, then watched as the number of files that needed to be copied slowly crept into the 10s of thousands.

Which, as you might guess, ain’t right.

After a little exploring, I discovered that /DCIM/Camera contained a directory /DCIM/Camera/Camera which had the exact same files as /DCIM/Camera. Including a subdirectory named “Camera”. Turtles all the way down means the SD card check probably was consuming all ram/cpu on the Droid and causing the crash/reboot.

Luckily the fix is simple — copy everything *except* the Camera sub directory to another file system, delete /DCIM, and re-use the card.

That being said, it’s 2010, why do we still have trivial inode errors in *nix filesystems? (I’m looking at you, Rubin. Seriously, wtf?)


obligatory lost prototype iPhone post

Filed under: Hacking,Random and Pleasing,Reverse Engineering — jet @ 10:03

I pretty much agree with the entire daring fireball writeup except for one bit:

Admittedly, it would be very hard to get someone on the phone at Apple who would know what a device such as this one is. Apple, like most large companies, deliberately makes it difficult for consumers to reach (non-retail) employees. There is no lost prototype hotline.

True, there’s no “lost prototype hotline”, but it’s pretty easy to get ahold of Apple. I bet any one of these would have worked just fine:

  • Walk into any Apple store and ask the manager how to get a lost prototype back to Cupertino.
  • Post to twitter: “Hey Apple, I think I found a lost prototype. How do I return it to Cupertino?”
  • Go to Apple’s website, click on the “Contact Us” link, scroll down to “Apple Public Relations”, dial the toll-free number and explain what you found.

It’s not rocket surgery, people.


twitter privacy problem?

Filed under: Hacking,Reverse Engineering — jet @ 16:05

Today I got an interesting screen on twitter:


Now stop for a second and think about this. Twitter won’t reveal my phone number, but they will let people search for me by my phone number.

So if I just search for all permutations of phone numbers for a given NPA (area code) and NXX (the first three digits of a phone number in the USA), I can make a list of twitter users in a given geographic area or at a specific business. NPA is often a geographically large area, but a given NPA/NXX pair can be very small — as small as a single company or small town.

Obviously you’d get caught trying to search for a bajillion contacts at once, but if I opened ~50 twitter accounts and added 10-20 numbers to each account per day, I could do 500-1000 lookups and cover a given NPA/NXX pair within a week or so.


Mattel PowerGlove Hacking Resources

Filed under: Hacking,Reverse Engineering — jet @ 00:25

Hey kids, remember what life was like before the web? Remember when VR was the future of computing?

Experience life before the InterWeb bubble! See geeks reverse engineer $200 toys because they can’t afford $20,000 peripherals! Thrill to 68HC11 assembly, state-of-the-art 386 coding, and Amiga parallel port interfaces!

In other words, I found my PowerGlove list backups.

[tags]Virtual Reality,Nintendo,PowerGlove,hacking[/tags]

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