Big Dummy Cable Run

August 1st, 2018

This has come up for me a couple times and I can never seem to find a good source on the web.

For my Big Dummy, the cable run from the Rohloff grip shifters, mounted on Surly’s Open Bar, to the Speedhub is 87 inches. This is for the largest Dummy frame from 2008, 22 inches.

To order cables and housing long enough, Yokozuna filled a special order for shift cables that included the following:

2  pcs       2500mm x 4mm SIS black housing

2  pcs      SIS 1.2mm x 2500mm Shift wire

6  pcs       4mm plastic housing end caps

2  pcs       Aluminum cable tips

Will report back on the brake cable length, next.

BungeeCord and Spigot on macOS High Sierra

March 18th, 2018

My son hopes we can host a Minecraft Server with lots of mods, but he wants our server based on the 1.8.x codebase, because of how it works with combat. I was concerned about security exploits on an older version of the software, but it seems that there aren’t too many well-published exploits in the wild. The current codebase for the server and client are up to 1.12 with 1.13 on the horizon, so our old server will need to allow folks with 1.9-1.12+ clients. Our server will also need to allow teleporting to other worlds, which we will accomplish with BungeeCord acting as a proxy and the Multiverse-Core plugin. We are opting to locally host the Minecraft Server from our Mac mini running High Sierra and macOS Server, so we also want Mac-specific startup scripts to automatically reboot the Minecraft Server suite any time after a reboot.

We considered running GlowStone, but for now, we decided  to use Spigot for the server software and BungeeCord as the proxy for multiple worlds. To get these software packages and Mac-specific startup scripts configured and installed, we followed Kyler Holland’s video:

We deviated from Kyler instructions with Spigot – we downloaded the latest 1.8.x version of Spigot (seemed to be 1.8.8), which we grabbed here:

https://getbukkit.org/download/spigot

And we also decided to run build 1303 of BungeeCord, which we nabbed here:

https://ci.md-5.net/job/BungeeCord/

We also modified the startup command for Spigot to give it 2 GB of memory using the following code:

#!/bin/bash

cd "$( dirname "$0" )"

java -Xmx2G -XX:MaxPermSize=128m -jar spigot-1.8.8-R0.1-SNAPSHOT-latest.jar

To allow 1.9 and newer Minecraft clients to join our 1.8 server, we loaded the ViaVersion-1.3.0 plugin available here:

https://www.spigotmc.org/resources/viaversion.19254/

We also bumped the RAM requirements to 2.5GB, And everything seems to be running fine.

Since the original install, we’ve added plugins, including EssentialsX-2.0.1, Factions, Multiverse-Core-2.6.0, PermissionsEx-1.23.4worldedit-bukkit-6.1.7.3, and worldguard-6.2.1. There are a few more that he wants, so I hope they don’t compromise stability.

DeDRM and macOS High Sierra

March 17th, 2018

Should you need to remove DRM from a rented library book for a bit past your due date, the following should help.

  1. Download the current version of DeDRM from Alf (6.5.5 or newer).
  2. Unzip the downloaded DeDRM tools file
  3. Open the application at the following location DeDRM_tools_6.5.5->DeDRM_Macintosh_Application->DeDRM.
  4. Click “Select Ebook…”
  5. Now open a browser and rent a book from your public library.
  6. When it is available, download the book – I typically go for the ePub, which is viewable in iBooks or Adobe Digital Editions 2.0 or newer on a Mac.
  7. A file with a .acsm might be downloaded from the library, double-click this file to open it in Adobe Digital Editions 2.0 or newer.
  8. Inside ADE, an ePub of your book will be downloaded from the library and it will expire in a set number of days. Right click the book inside ADE’s library and select “Show File in Finder”.
  9. When this book is shown in the Finder, drag it to DeDRM’s file select window (Step 4) titled “Please select a DRMed ebook” and then click “Choose”.

Success. A copy of your rented book will be stripped of its DRM and saved in the same directory as Step 4.

Sun Nuclear and macOS Sierra – almost there

February 18th, 2018

While attempting to configure some 1028 continuous radon monitors from Sun Nuclear, I assumed correctly the manufacturer would only offer Windows software. They said it ran on XP/2000 and pretty much everything before that, so I figure it would be a good candidate to try with Wine and WineBottler on my Mac.

Use WineBottler 1.8.3 and configure it with the settings shown in the screenshot below.

WineBottler 1.8.3 settings for Sun Nuclear 1028 software

The resulting application, saved to my desktop, boots up. Success! Almost.

Next we need to tell macOS sierra which USB to serial device and port to use. I started this, but didn’t quite get it to work yet. I think these links are going to be helpful when I dig into this further:

https://www.codeweavers.com/support/wiki/mac/faq/usbtoserial
http://hintshop.ludvig.co.nz/show/persistent-names-usb-serial-devices/

http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm
http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Documents/InstallGuides/Mac_OS_X_Installation_Guide.pdf
https://fearthecow.net/guest/wine-serial-ports/

In the mean time, I can confirm that Sun Nuclear’s software works fine with VirtualBox, Version 5.1.30 r118389 (Qt5.6.3), running Windows XP on my Mac.

Finally, here’s what I quickly tried, but it didn’t seem to work:

1. Using the codeweavers link up above, open Terminal.app and enter:

Last login: Fri Feb 16 23:17:05 on console
BCS-MBP:~ brad$ cd /dev
BCS-MBP:dev brad$ ls > ~/disconnect.txt
BCS-MBP:dev brad$ ls > ~/reconnect.txt
BCS-MBP:dev brad$ diff ~/disconnect.txt ~/reconnect.txt
269a270
> cu.usbserial-410
450a452
> tty.usbserial-410
BCS-MBP:dev brad$ ls > ~/disconnect.txt
BCS-MBP:dev brad$ ls > ~/reconnect.txt
BCS-MBP:dev brad$ diff ~/disconnect.txt ~/reconnect.txt
269a270
> cu.usbserial-410
450a452
> tty.usbserial-410
BCS-MBP:dev brad$ ls > ~/disconnect.txt
BCS-MBP:dev brad$ ls > ~/reconnect.txt
BCS-MBP:dev brad$ diff ~/disconnect.txt ~/reconnect.txt
269a270
> cu.usbserial-410
450a452
> tty.usbserial-410

2. Incorporating info in the CodeWeavers link with the app we created with WineBottler, let’s link the tty USB port with COM1 using the following command in Terminal.app:

BCS-MBP:~ brad$ cd /Users/brad/Desktop/Sun\ Nuclear.app/Contents/Resources/wineprefix/dosdevices
BCS-MBP:dosdevices brad$ ln -s /dev/tty.usbserial-410 com1

3. Opening “Sun Nuclear.app” didn’t allow me to connect to the 1028. For this to work, I think I need to load the FTP USB drivers, which is more than I want to get into at the moment.

If anyone sees where I went wrong, feel free to chime in below.

Homebridge, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons!

February 15th, 2018

Thanks to Homebridge, I’ve forced a few non-Homekit devices in the house to play with the existing HomeKit devices in our house. Along the way, I followed nfarina’s advice to make a LaunchAgent for macOS Sierra, but I’m running macOS Sierra Server and I noticed Console.app->system.log keeps reporting the following errors

Feb 15 00:04:33 schwie com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.homebridge.server): Service only ran for 0 seconds. Pushing respawn out by 10 seconds.
Feb 15 00:04:43 schwie com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.homebridge.server[62564]): Service could not initialize: 17C205: xpcproxy + 11572 [1522][1729AB5E-4591-3F1B-AC72-36700ABA4F74]: 0xd

I first installed HomeBridge a couple years ago, so nfarina’s instructions may be different from what I followed. I also perused these posts and decided I could try to fix the situation:

1. Unload the existing LaunchAgent you created as described by nfarina:

launchctl unload ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.homebridge.server.plist

2. Move the LaunchAgent .plist you created for HomeBridge from the ~/Library/LaunchAgents folder to the /Library/LaunchDaemons folder.

3. Load the LaunchDaemon for HomeBridge with the following command in Terminal:

sudo launchctl load -wF /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.homebridge.server.plist

This seems to fix the problem for me, although step #3 causes system.log to spew out this message:

Feb 15 00:12:01 schwie com.apple.xpc.launchd[1] (com.homebridge.server): This service is defined to be constantly running and is inherently inefficient.

Console.app only reports this error message once, so I think I can live with my inherently inefficient situation for a little while.

Disable DRM Protection

February 11th, 2018

I wanted to see if I could stream Xfinity Stream from an iOS device to an AppleTV. It doesn’t appear to be possible from a non-jailbroken device, but I had an old iPad 4 hanging around and it seemed to be up to the task with the h3lix jailbreak.

After reading about an AirPlay enabler that should bypass this restriction, I moved to the jailbroken iPad 4, launched Cydia, clicked “Sources” at the bottom of the screen, and then added the repository by tapping Edit and then Add and typing in “http://iostonykraft.github.io” (yeah, I did http instead of https, tsk-tsk).

Back in the Sources, I tapped the newly added “Tony’s Repo“. Then I tapped Tweaks -> AirPlay Enabler for Xfinity Stream. Tony Kraft’s 1.1 enabler is suppose to support Xfinity Stream 4.0.2, but my devices all have 4.8.1.1040 and unfortunately they don’t appear to be compatible. Will report back if Tony Kraft updates his enabler, which he tracks here.

Jailbreak iPad on 10.3.3 with h3lix

February 11th, 2018

While trying to Jailbreak an iPad 4 (32-bit iOS device) running 10.3.3, the following steps helped:

1. Download Cydia Impactor.
2. Download h3lix jailbreak.
3. Launch Cydia Impactor and drag and drop the h3lix IPA on to Impactor’s only window.
4. When prompted by Impactor, log in with your AppleID, preferably one that doesn’t have two-factor enabled, but there are ways around this even if you do (either set up a new temporary iCloud account or try these instructions with two-factor enabled).
5. After h3lix is installed on your device, tap Settings -> General -> Device Management. You then see a profile for the developer under the “Enterprise App” heading. Tap the profile to establish trust for this developer. You’re then prompted to confirm your choice. Or watch a video on how to do it.
6. Tap on h3lix to let it jailbreak your device (don’t worry if you get the error message “PLIST.HPP:201”)
7. Open Cydia, search for “Apple File Conduit “2””, install it, and the “Restart Springboard”.
8. After your device reboots, tap Cydia and let it do a Complete Upgrade.

All should be well. I ran RC5, which seems to be pretty mature now. Will report back if its buggy.

**UPDATE** Tried to use iMazing to sideload a tweak using these instructions, but still no dice:

Alternate Ways To Install .deb file
Ssh your iPhone and make a folder called AutoInstall in/var/root/Media/Cydia/ so you have /var/root/Media/Cydia/AutoInstall which is case sensitive and drop this debs file in the autoinstall folder, respring and reboot your iPhone.

High Sierra on a macbookpro5,4

February 5th, 2018

My sister-in-law also brought her mid-2009 MacBook Pro to town last week, which was still running Capitan and not working as well as it could have with iCloud – she was getting annoying messages constantly asking her for her iCloud credentials.

Her Mac only has 4GB of RAM (2×2) and a spinning hard drive, both of which I would love to upgrade at some point. For now, I recommended that she try dosdude1’s app, macOS High Sierra Patcher (version 2.5.3), to install High Sierra on unsupported hardware. Reading dosdude1’s “Known Issues”, we found that her wifi card, ending in ID 0x8D, was reported to be compatible with the patch – full speed ahead!

Its important to follow dosdude’s “Recommended Steps“. I tried using my already downloaded copy of High Sierra with dosdude1’s app, but I received error messages we couldn’t get past. Instead, we used the integrated High Sierra download feature that dosdude1 integrated in the macOS High Sierra Patcher app. It took her machine about two hours to install the macOS and Post-Install routine – the limited RAM and aging Core 2 Duo inside her machine may have contributed to this.

Her trusty macbookpro5,4 seemed to be working fine with High Sierra. The only gotcha was that Photos.app was taking hours to “Update” her library – it never finished before she left, so hopefully its picked up where it left off when she returned home, despite us having to force-quit the library update. More importantly, her machine now seems to properly authenticate with iCloud, which is what we had hoped for in the first place.

Installing patches like this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve installed patches like this before and had good luck. We used the MacPostFactor app to get my wife’s old MacBook Pro on Mountain Lion, which it happily ran for years. I also helped co-workers install MacPostFactor on their aging MacBooks, which all ran it with good success after we consulted Black Manticore for some advice. With these successes in hand, I felt ok to recommend that my sister-in-law try it for her main machine. Will update if this approach backfires on us.

Fix for iPad Not Starting

February 4th, 2018

One of my three fabulous sis-in-laws was in town and brought her iPad 4, which hadn’t booted up in over a month. When plugging the Lightning USB cable into the iPad and a power supply, the red battery icon periodically flashed on the screen, and when the cable was removed the icon also flashed that it needed power. However, no matter how long the iPad was plugged in for, it never stored enough of a charge to fully power up, even after putting it in DFU mode and restoring iOS to the latest version.

After reading this site and skipping about a quarter of the way down, the following bullet was helpful:

  • Next, hold down the home button and the power button simultaneously for as long as you possibly can–the longer, the better–and ideally at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. Holding down these two buttons prevents that loop cycle. That allows your iPad to charge up a bit. Think creatively about how to hold these buttons down for a length of time
  • I held the power and home buttons for at least 10 minutes while the iPad remained plugged into the power supply and USB cable. Sure enough, about 30 minutes later the iPad booted up and continued to charge! Success.

    Extra bits: why does this work? In the first paragraph of this post, we mentioned that the iPad kept flashing that it needed power, it was caught in a loop of sorts. By holding the home button and power button simultaneously, we are breaking this loop and allowing the iPad to continue charging. Woohoo!

    MacOS High Sierra – Telnet and FTP resurrected

    January 19th, 2018

    I waited a little while to upgrade to High Sierra until I knew what I might lose with the new system. One thing that went away was the ability to use telnet and ftp from Terminal.app.

    Others have encountered and fixed this issue prior to me. Here’s the simple fix:

    1. Open “Terminal.app” on your Mac
    2. Type the following and then press enter: brew install telnet tnftp

    You should get a response like this:

    ==> Downloading https://homebrew.bintray.com/bottles/tnftp-20070806.high_sierra.
    ######################################################################## 100.0%
    ==> Pouring tnftp-20070806.high_sierra.bottle.tar.gz
    ? /usr/local/Cellar/tnftp/20070806: 9 files, 262.9KB

    If you receive an error message, you may need to consider installing XCode and “brew” for macOS High Sierra and repeat the instructions in this post.