Replacing network switches can be a pain sometimes

March 25, 2016 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communications, Personal 

One of those days when replacing 2 routers being used as switches should be so simple bit turn out so complicated. I completely forgot I’m using one of them as a “firewall” between a dmz and the rest of the network. Figured I’d just switch the IP on the comhem router and it would work for now at least, but no, it refused to because guest network is hardwired in the router to the same range as my internal network, and hence impossible to use… Winded up reconfiguring everything on my network to a different IP range, spending a couple of hours doing so, and once I’m done, switch IP on the comhem router and reboot it… And get a 10/8 IP address on the Internet side interface… Wtf? I call the tech support and apparently this has been so for at least 3 years. Sometimes you get a private network IP on the Internet, sometimes not, and there is nothing you or they can do about it. I went home and rebooted the router, and got an 83/8 IP instead this time. So… Something I planned to take 10 minutes winded up taking 5-6 hours… Hurray… I just wish we could start being sane and also that certain network providers would start implementing IPv6.

FOSDEM 2016 is over

I went to FOSDEM 2016 this year with 8 other colleagues of mine and had a really really good time. A lot of good speeches and stuff to talk about and I feel very motivated for some new projects. Some of the stuff going on right now is incredibly exciting, especially with regards to containerization etc which is something I have a lot of personal and work related interest in. I will be looking into more details in that for the future…

What I did miss was a more “general networking” track with low level stuff like iptables, netfilter, iproute, wireshark, snort, etc. I’m just not sure if this is the right conference for that though. Gathering my thoughts and working out some of the project details in the upcoming week if I get time.

Remote DBus continued (using your own program)

November 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communications, Development, Linux 

Continuing the previous thought on running DBus remotely using d-feet to check how it looks etc, this time, I wanted to call the DBus from my own program. Just write the DBus code as you would to query the DBus interface locally.

#!/usr/bin/env python

import dbus
import dbus.service
from dbus.mainloop.glib import DBusGMainLoop


bus = dbus.SessionBus()
obj = bus.get_object(BUS_NAME, OPATH)
iface = dbus.Interface(obj, BUS_NAME)
lala = iface.GetId()
print lala

Then the magic comes in running the application.

DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS="tcp:host=192.168.X.Y,port=Z" ./

DBus remote connection

November 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communications, Development, General, Linux 

In a project I’m working on at the moment we wanted to remotely monitor a DBus session bus. The system in question has several buses available using different users and systemd. d-feet can connect and monitor remotely via TCP.  The following code will allow you to connect to a remote DBus on a target development board for example.

First copy the original session.conf to separate configuration files for each user.

cp /etc/dbus-1/session.conf /etc/dbus-1/session.conf.<username>
cp /etc/dbus-1/session.conf /etc/dbus-1/session.conf.<username2>

Then for each of the newly created configuration file, add the following configuration but with different port numbers and correct username director in /run/user. The ip address should be the IP of the connecting host, not the server. Edit session.conf.<username> and add:



The systemd script is rewritten to use a specific conf file for the specific user trying to start the DBus.

Edit  /lib/systemd/system/dbus-session@.service and rewrite the ExecStart line as follows.

ExecStart=/usr/bin/dbus-daemon --config-file /etc/dbus-1/session.conf.%i --nofork

This allows you to connect using d-feet or other dbus applications (potentially, you should be able to connect for example other services over the network to the new DBus….).

Choose “connect to other bus” and use as bus address:


Done. Hopefully.

Testing out RasPlex

November 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communications, Linux 

I decided to try out RasPlex after having run OpenElec and RaspBMC for about half a year, and before that XBMCbuntu for a few years. I’ve been using plex server on my file server for a few months already and plex on the tablets/phones to stream movies, tv shows, etc while in bed. I haven’t had that much time with RasPlex yet, but I’m really impressed so far, especially when you start looking at what type of infrastructure it enables. I’m now using the same chain of applications for my tv, phones, tablets, and laptops, this is something I’ve never been able to before (if you except NFS/SMB solutions with VLC or some such video player, which has proven unstable for the phone/tablet cases in my case, high def videos will stutter a lot among other things).

My main problem with the entire setup is that my fileserver is a bit too weak to transcode 1080p on the fly, it is a D525 Atom CPU however, and I didn’t see this usecase when I bought it, so I’ll have to live with it for now ;).

All that said, I’m still very happy with XBMC, but I feel that RasPlex so far has given a more… mature feeling. It seems to work very well with no big hickups so far, the UI on RaspBMC and OpenElec was really slow, something that still holds true in RasPlex, but it is better.

Gps issues

November 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communications, Development, Linux 

Been working for a few days with three different GPS modules (different builds etc) and I’m getting the same problem with all of them. They are pretty much giving out complete garbage at all settings. At 9600 bps 8n1 it gives out patterns at least. Just unreadable. I thought it might be ubx protocol but probably not.

I feel like I’m doing something really stupid but I can’t figure it out. Serial port problem? What else could be wrong?

Mat Honan hack “cloud isn’t so bad” comment

August 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Communications, General, Uncategorized 

Just read this by Ron Miller  and while I don’t mind the cloud (I use several cloud services extensively), I do think he’s completely missing the point. Yes, the cloud is as vulnerable as any other machine etc that I or someone else has set up. However, the daisychaining and the ability of the hacker to wipe out the entire storage media on the phone, tablet and the laptop wouldn’t have been an issue with old school IT. The main point of the original article by Mat Honan was that he felt stupid for not doing proper backups, and having setup remote wipe. Having a backup on dropbox, ubuntu one or some other place in the cloud just isn’t safe enough, imho. The way dropbox etc works, you can always wipe out the files in question permanently. A lot of cloud functions adds a lot of liability that we didn’t have before. This hack and the loss of his personal data would never have happened in 2000 as his phone and laptop wouldn’t had  a remote wipe function so easily accessible for anyone, and the tablet was barely “invented” yet.



LG KC910 woes

July 24, 2009 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Communications, Personal, Phone 

As I’ve already said in earlier postings I relatively recently got myself a LG KC910 Renoir phone. The phone has been the cause of a lot of woes and problems so far and I’m afraid I must say I regret not getting a proper Android or iphone from the beginning. As it is, I’m stuck with this phone for another year+ until the subscription runs out – or get some other phone on my own tab.

The one really great part that I love about the KC910 so far is the absolutely wonderful camera, it has a 8MP camera that takes rather splendid snaps for a cellphone camera. Also, the video recording function, and video/music playback is rather nice.

For the really really bad part, well, look at the rest. Three of the main reasons I got this phone was for the ability to get some websurfing done “on the go”, and to get a good calendar that could be synced vs my work and private calendars, and finally I wanted to use the phone straight off for connecting to the internet instead of some dongle. Both these functions are completely botched in the KC910 as the, the webbrowser lacks a lot of functionality practically making most of the internet unusable on the phone, and the browser is also horribly slow, taking tens of seconds to “calculate/draw” complex webpages after its loaded. This problem should be easily solvable by downloading and installing another browser such as Opera you say, sadly, the install process hangs halfway through on the Renoir, and I have so far to find another browser that installs at all, which kind of brings a fourth point up (applications/third party market).

Second problem was the calendar, which is unfortunately totally borked. For basic calendar tasks it works fairly well, but very soon you will realize it doesn’t work very well. It lacks good support for reoccuring activities, the sync applications has a bad habit of screwing up timezones and moving activities/entries around based on timezones and at occasions it deleted entries entirely, and worst of all, LG has chosen to go all the way with their PC Suite set of applications, which essentially bars you from using anything but officially supported Microsoft Windows XP/Vista and Outlook. This goes for pretty much all functionality in the phone. Getting it to work with thunderbird, well, good luck. This is one of the reasons I had to work very hard getting Funambol setup at home to sync the phone and thunderbird with (I can not use a third party server as some calendar entries may in worst case contain sensitive data). The functionality of this setup worked out to be “semi-decent” to crap at best, and in the end I winded up reverting to just using my computer calendars.

My third problem has been internet connections. The only supported way of connecting to the internet is (again) via their PC Suite crapware. All other phone manufacturers support Bluetooth DUN or serial port connections without a problem, but not LG. It halfway supports DUN connections, I get a connection the first time that doesnt work, then get disconnected, and after that it takes 2+ days until I can connect again, and get disconnected again, exactly the same thing happened in Linux, Vista, XP, with/without PC Suite, over USB/Bluetooth, in accordance with 3’s and LG’s support etc. In the end, after 3-4 weeks of messing with this, I winded up getting a Huawei E180 HSPA USB stick, 30 seconds to unpack, plug in and click two buttons in Ubuntu and I was connected to the Internet.

My final annoyance is the lack of a third party aftermarket of some kind, I’m talking anything like the Iphone/Android app-store. A smart phone without a serious aftermarket support is pretty much as dumb as any old “dumb phone” ever was. LG has some eclipse based SDK’s available for download, but they only work for Windows, which has stopped me from trying them out at all so far, as I quit using windows completely half a year back. Anyways, the big problem is that there is no coordinated effort to make a decent app-store or app-store-a-like place to go for your applications for this phone. As always, the phone producers completely fails at understanding this part, in this day and age, you need to create officially endorsed systems of managing, getting and paying for applications. Whom the problem should fall upon is a hard question, but just dumping the problem on someone elses porch is not sufficient in this day and age, especially if you want to make phones that tries to emulate the success of “the big one”, you need to at least try and understand what made it big. It wasn’t a good camera or a nice looking (but slow) gui. It’s the ability to be adapted to my requirements, and to perform my required tasks. You can not predict it all (my needs are not your needs), hence adapt to standards (make shit plug and play with others), and make every effort you can to create a third party aftermarket that works (signed downloads, payments, etc etc).

As a verdict, if you’re looking for a smartphone/iphone/android, dont get an LG.

Syncing strategies

May 3, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Communications, Linux, Phone, Windows 

Another problem has (mostly) been solved for me it seems. I’ve had quite a lot of problems the last few months with calendars and email and contacts being out of sync between workplaces and my private computers/cellphones etc. The problem has been that I’ve gotten a new contract and hence am relocated to another workplace. My employer has a stupid (ok, maybe not so stupid, but annoying me nonetheless) policy of not allowing any e-mail to internal addresses be forwarded or fetched from external networks. At the same time, my contracting has put a heavy load on the calendar and all of a sudden I understand everyones problems with syncing e-mail/contacts/calendars etc… it’s really a must.

Anyways, in short, I started out with 4 calendars (workplace1, workplace2, home1, home2(laptop) and cellphone) needing sync, and using Microsoft Exchange weirdo protocols was not an option (I’m not using Windows or Outlook at home anymore). This has later been extended to sync contacts and my two instances of thunderbird (not yet finished). So, in short:

  1. Workplace1 = Windows Vista with bluetooth
  2. Workplace2 = Microsoft Exchange server with limited access.
  3. Home1 = Ubuntu with thunderbird
  4. Home2 = Old Laptop, Windows XP with thunderbird, will likely migrate to Linux soon as well since I barely use it anymore due to the OS on it.
  5. Cellphone = LG KC910 with bluetooth and wifi.

First off, finding a sync strategy wasn’t easy. First, decide on where your “central repository” is, or rather which will be your main device. My current solution relies on cellphone (LG KC910) being the central repository since it’s the only common gadget at all locations. connection at workplace1 is directly over bluetooth to the KC910 using the LG sync application. The application is absolutely horrible, but it does it’s job (barely). Unfortunately LG relies on a proprietary bluetooth protocol for syncing so I have yet to find any decent replacement applications.

My big problem was finding a working solution at home, and I think I finally found it in Funambol ( which is a SyncML server. Basically, I got a server on my local network running Funambol, when I get home, connect to the local wifi, and sync with funambol (See, a bit down for instructions). The funambol server then acts as a “central repository” when I’m at home containing all calendars etc. Thunderbird sessions on Home1 and Home2 uses the funambol addon ( to sync with the funambol server.

WARNING! So far I dont trust funambol to run on the public internet, for one part it seems to be sending passwords in cleartext, as well as data. I’d love to figure out a way to get it all encrypted using SSL/https, but I’m a complete newbie to Tomcat (base plattform for funambol) as well as java. As far as possible, try to use a closed/encrypted network for this unless you get https running imho.

A second note on Funambol is that I had some really funny Timezone problems when setting it up, all devices run the correct timezones, but for some reason my calendars winded up being winded 2 hours into the future at home, I got it fixed by setting all timezones in funambol for all devices manually, and then disabling the timezone handling in funambol… don’t ask me why it fixed it etc, I hate working with timezones 😉 .

All that said, I really think SyncML was a big saviour for me in the end, but I had a hard time finding a single word on it or anyone really recommending it. Bluetooth just needs to be …. well, better support, and everyone needs to agree on standards. Everyone (companies) seems to be running around doing their own thing, which means Linux has very good basic bluetooth support, but none of the higher layer stuff since it’s badly implemented or proprietary.

Off-work robot fun

February 26, 2009 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Communications, Robots 

As of late, I’ve been having loads of fun with an old robot of mine, Robby RP5. My biggest complaint at all times has been the fact that it has a horrible 8-bit processor with “some kind of” Basic interpreter/compiler that I never quite figured out because it is so boring and … well, let’s face it, you will never be able to do anything “wow” in a language that is more or less assembler having 4k flash and 256bytes ram where only some 60 bytes are actually available.

As of late, we’ve been having some fun with zigbee modules at work, and I figured out a way to have fun with my old Robby again. Robby has a serial port, and I’m connecting one zigbee module to that one, and on the other end I’ve got a zigbee module connected to my computer via USB. On the Robby processor, I got a very simple program that simply talks a protocol sent over the zigbee connection and “implementing” the commands sent in packets. There are 3 packets that can be sent, TrackData, SensorData and RequestData. TrackData packet sent from computer sets speed of both tracks individually, RequestData is sent from computer to Robby and contains a request for a packet back. The Request can either be TrackData or SensorData. SensorData contains data from all sensors supported (currently only IR range sensors).

My first demonstration program on the computer is connected to a joystick and simply transforms the joystick input and sends it to the robot. Pushing button 0 requests sensordata and 1 trackdata.

Right now, I’m looking at porting my robot drivers into the Player/Stage project which I’ve been looking heavily at as of late, and seems damn cool. I’ve been testing some of the example robots in the Stage simulator, and if I would port my setup into that project, I should be able to use the available robot “behavioural modules” straight on my robot, and/or test my new modules in a simulator before actually running in the real world. In all honesty, I think player/stage is the best thing I’ve ever found since sliced bread, it simply opens up for sooo much fun 🙂 . Connect this with a couple of zigbee modules, you can build very simple and cheap robots that are extremely powerful. 60ÃœSD robot chassis, 5USD processor, 10USD junk, 30USD for 2 zigbee modules, add some sensors, and you’ve got as much as you can ask for. Robby for example is around 110USD, probably much lower, a pair of zigbee modules are 30USD.

And yes, I will open this once I feel that I’m closer to finished :-).