Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Windows 8 power menu

I like windows as a development platform over OSX, this is my current belief, but I've had troubles with windows 8 UI simply because I am a long time windows power user. In windows 8 I spend most of my time in desktop view and always find myself going back to the main UI by accident because I think the start button on the bottom left is, you know... the start button.  Well it's still the "start" button but windows 8 style start button that brings up the crazy collage of things I don't use very much or find useful when I find myself on windows 8.

Don't get me wrong, I swear by Windows server products and that is the interface I am most used to, I do not use the Windows 8 UI meant for the masses.  There should really be 2 interfaces. I understand the desire for Microsoft to make their products less like computers and more like smart phones or tablets, there's more people in that market than appealing to an old hack like me.  What I thought would be nice is a power user's interface and one made for the masses.  Today I found out about "WIN - X" button control sequence.  This brings up the things that I use most as a developer / maintainer in windows to manipulate my system.

While I knock the Windows 8 UI I want to sing some praises for Microsoft at the same time.  Microsoft goes beyond and does a really great job to provide a stable native development environment and suite of free build tools.  Up until recently there was continuing support for older Win OS like XP for example.  This is gold for a product developer when you can span more platforms without any special build dance.  Microsoft has my respect for maintaining their legacy and the importance of doing so.  This is in stark contrast to Apple's mentality of obsolescence every 3 or 5 years yet Apple seems not to reinvent it's UI as dramatically as was done with Windows 8.

I over simplify the complexities of making a great product but as an engineer I feel it is important to build on a foundation that is not made of sand or one that has an unseen underground river eroding the foundations away.  The UI is not as important to me although old neural pathways are hard to retrain.

Here's the article that instructed me on "WIN-X" that I found very helpful

I felt this was a blog worthy topic, this took a lot of pain out of my windows  8 experience and is important to tell others who may not know the secret handshake.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sagemcom fast 2864 and the MAC OSX Machines

It's been a while all fine's an update that may help you if you are a MAC user and use Bell DSL for your internet.

I have literally had the worst experience of my life and it took a long time to figure out the problems on my WAN and using the Sagemcom fast 2864.  I was feeling inadequate all through this experience,  but right out of the gate this router was working against me, in a previous post I recommended to bridge mode this puppy as soon as you get it if you want to have any hope of using VPN or doing anything more advanced than actions of a regular surfer. The problems didn't end there however, I've discovered some real troubles with this router and mixed network of Windows,  Linux and MAC machines.  It's not the fact of mixed machines on the network, what I discovered is that the MAC OSX machine, when doing a large download or upload across this router, CRASHES THE ROUTER EVERY TIME.  You need to restart your router every time without any benefit of whirling rainbow wheels to make you feel a little better, just blinking lights that take forever to get back up to speed.

I had no troubles with Windows or Linux machines working with this router.  I have exactly the same problem at home with  with my Bell service going through this router:  

2Wire, Inc.
Model:2701HG-G Gateway


Now , you may give out a good groan, but I'm putting my conspiracy hat on again.  Is there some rivalry between Apple and Bell?  Is Bell trying to thwart Apple machines?  Or is there an underlying problem with the networking on MAC that they are not owning up to?  Do you, fair MAC user, have these troubles on your BELL DSL?

My provider has remedied the situation by replacing my SAGECOM with  a SMARTRG 505N in bridge mode. He verified and validated my suspicion that MAC OSX and some routers that Bell uses to deliver DSL don't like to play together.  PROBLEM FIXED!!! (thus far)

Monday, April 15, 2013

LDAP with TOMCAT and ECLIPSE Development Environment

In my continuing work to find a decent and scalable web deployment system.  I've been drawn to the "dark side" of using Java where everyone else seems to be gravitating toward javascript...what?!! really!!?  I see javascript as a UI tool but for serious back end? really? V8?  node.js? are you serious? Let's get serious now, Java will rule in the web-verse back end even with every US government agency attempting to boost Apple's share value by attempting to cast the same dispersion on Java that it did on Flash.  Where did that leave the advertising industry?  It is left with an HTML5 specification that is still not complete and a toolset that is reminiscent of the capabilities of Visual Basic back in the 1990's.  Well, they can afford to pay Homeland Security and all the other government agencies off (sorry the conspiriacy guy needs to come out to play as usual), but java still rules in my books and they won't be able to buy me out because I'm not really for sale, regardless.  If we want to step back to the 90's level of coding technology we can use javascript, the tools for quality and debugging are back there, we have Google's tools in their chrome browser and Firefox with firebug, I'll admit there are a couple of good tools but none that cross platform boundaries like Java does nor has the scope and depth of Java libraries.  There's no ECLIPSE IDE for javascript for example, but I diverge..

I wanted to simply list a few pages to remember regarding the development using LDAP for a java back end web system.  Simply, here are a couple of pages that describe the LDAP authentication and user management powerhouse capabilities.  LDAP will scale in a serious way, everything you can imagine for a user management system and then some can be accomplished with LDAP and , by the way, you only have to do your user management once if you want to attach other systems to it, go right ahead, even Windows or Linux OS can authenticate against your LDAP. I mean how many user databases do you need?. I say you only need one! So what are you waiting for?  Figure out what LDAP is.

Here's some tips on how to build LDAP into your tomcat server.  Oh, what's a Tomcat server?  Well, I'll leave that for you to discover for yourself as well if you don't already know, every bad thing about Java runtime configuration was made solid with OSGI, ohh you don't understand what OSGI is?  Ohhh.. you must be programming an Iphone, of course you wouldn't understand, well the number one phone platform for Apps is Google's Android, and it's open source!  By the way, OSGI is the underpinning of how an Android works, and it is a standard developed for Java!  Ohhh you see the connection between my previous statement about Apple paying off the US government to discredit Java, can you connect the dots?  But I diverge again...

Just in case you thought that Java was dead and the Feds came and killed it after peeing on it, I'll remind you that every possible thing you can imagine for web back end is available through Apache, I mean seriously, Javascript?! really!?  HTML5? .. ugggg ... JSON?? These are play toys kiddies!! good for doodling on a canvas or passing naughty JSON message on IM back and forth but fail very short of being able to make a secure,stable and scalable web back end let alone a serious framework for a web application.


here's a great page on how to LDAP enable a TOMCAT:

Web Container Authentication Via LDAP

OK so on to the serious front end for your Eclipse development environment so you can control the massively scalable LDAP back end you've created. studio installation in eclipse

I also added the LDIF and Schema editor because I have my own schema and LDIF helps to create your LDAP structure, ohh you don't know what these are?  Well you shouldn't be reading this then because it's painful if you are only interested in JSON and Javascript seriously , go home, don't bother to make a system ready for a bazillion users, you can service a couple hundred with your JSON and javascript app.

Now you can use the Apache Directory but I chose to use SLAPD that is available through OPENLDAP which is available on just about every linux package manager and Unix flavour out there, but why listen to me?  Go ahead and create a YAOUMs (yet another obscure user manager system).

Do I sound bitter? My apologies to all who I've offended, if you use LDAP it is extremely complicated and involved, your Javascript and JSON may be perfectly well suited for the small project you may have to do quickly here and there but once you get up and running on the LDAP platform the things one can do with user management are quite astounding and beyond enterprise level thinking.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sagemcom f@st 2864 BRIDGE with dd-wrt

Hi Folks,

If you are lucky enough to have FTTN service via VDSL as we are you likely have a BELL Connection hub or otherwise know to those in the know as a

Sagemcom fast 2864 

Listen... do yourself a favour and put this sucker in bridge mode and use your own internal router.  I had no end of trouble trying to do VPN networking with this device, trust me it doesn't work!  Furthermore they have watered down the administration panels so you basically can't get at any advanced settings.  They don't even give their technical resellers and information how to get into more advanced administrative functions.  Don't even bother.  To put this into bridge mode go into the resets page of the administration  panel and do a hard reset.  Make sure you know what your PPoE username and password is and jot down any port forwarding settings you may have set up.

you then connect to the device in factory settings ( admin, admin

do another factory reset, then connect port LAN1 to you WAN port on your own router.  Make sure that your PPPoE settings are entered correctly and you have set up your lan and gateway settings on your own internal router.

you will then be in bridged mode and hopefully you will have more control over your Internet connection and data.  Honestly I think it is a commercial plot for these companies to restrict your access and not allow you to do things like VPN where you can encrypt your traffic....but that's just the conspiracy guy talking ...

happy hacking!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Eye tracking Initiative

In my search for more modern eye tracking libraries, open source candidates for inclusion in the eye tracking project I've uncovered a gem from turkey

this uses openCV

This is under evaluation, I have started a private project on github.  I am using rawmaterials software (JUCE) as the application framework, we want to be cross platform and open source

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

D-LINK and other arm linux based Wifi routers

In efforts to customize a D-Link DIR-615 with dd-wrt and enable an ipv6 stack protocol for global ipv6 address resolution device I had to first hack the D-Link and flash with the dd-wrt binary image.  Next, I have to modify the firmware image with various packages and alter the linux configuration to enable ipv6 functionality.

There are tools to extract and modify the firmware image here:

dd-wrt and openwrt have cross compatible packages that can be added in and taken away from the linux image.  A compressed file system is used in the image given that flash space for the root file system is very limited.

Following other instructions from others who are working on enabling this functionality in routers and learning how to hack arm linux devices.  Obviously these basic skills will lead to other possibilities to employ custom wifi routers for other applications, or other arm based linux devices