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 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.

    PufferPanel and MacOS High Sierra

    January 6th, 2018

    We tried installing PufferPanel on a High Sierra Server today, but hit some snags with the installer and manually configuring Apache. Didn’t see much in the community forum, so we logged on to Discord and puffrfish, one of the lead developers, was gracious to answer some questions, pasted below:

    Teddd just joined. Everyone, look busy!Today at 9:25 PM

    Teddd – Today at 9:27 PM

    Has anyone here tried installing PufferPanel server on a Mac?

    puffrfish – Today at 9:27 PM

    our installer isn’t designed for it, so while in theory it could someday work, it’s not going to right now

    I’d recommend running it in a linux VM instead

    Teddd – Today at 9:28 PM

    Yeah, I saw the installer is meant for linux, but I figured I could manually configure it to work with Apache.

    puffrfish – Today at 9:29 PM

    we don’t have a darwin build for pufferd yet, so it’s a definite no

    Teddd – Today at 9:31 PM

    Is the pufferd code available too? Just curious if I could try to recompile on Darwin.

    puffrfish – Today at 9:31 PM

    yes, it’s all available on GitHub, but take it from me (I use a Mac) that it’s not as simple as just compiling it

    Teddd – Today at 9:32 PM

    Good to know :smiley:

    puffrfish – Today at 9:32 PM

    I plan to someday get to it, as it’s not that much work, but the amount of people wanting it is almost none..in fact, you’re the first one
    at least that I can remember anyway

    Teddd – Today at 9:34 PM

    I know there are a few more out there, but most probably write it off when the site only mentions linux distros as supported.

    puffrfish – Today at 9:34 PM

    virtualbox works well enough though, just load up an ubuntu server iso into it and make sure networking is configured in bridge mode for ease of use

    Teddd – Today at 9:35 PM

    Thanks for the tips. If you ever want to bring it to the Mac, I’d be interested in helping.

    puffrfish – Today at 9:35 PM

    another issue is that the game servers themselves, for example srcds, don’t run well (if at all?) on mac

    what game are you looking to run?

    Teddd – Today at 9:35 PM

    Minecraft PC or else Pocketmine-MP.

    puffrfish – Today at 9:37 PM

    minecraft java would work, not sure about pocketmine but I imagine so

    Teddd – Today at 9:38 PM

    Yeah, pocketmine works too.

    puffrfish – Today at 9:38 PM

    I have to say that it’s a little far off though, we have a lot of other issues we have to tackle first, mainly the panel itself

    Teddd – Today at 9:38 PM

    At least we’ve run several versions of pocketmine-MP.

    puffrfish – Today at 9:38 PM

    but we are set up in a way to theoretically support windows as well as macOS in future releases

    Teddd – Today at 9:40 PM

    That will be an exciting day :joy:

    puffrfish – Today at 9:40 PM

    I wouldn’t hold your breath for it

    Teddd – Today at 9:42 PM

    Ha, I won’t, but I think its really cool what you have already built with PufferPanel.

    puffrfish – Today at 9:43 PM

    thanks, I would definitely recommend just running it in a VM of some sort for now though. the game servers (besides minecraft) are more suited to running under linux. I’d say windows comes second since there are some windows-only games

    Lord_Ralex – Today at 9:46 PM

    Yeah, I know we wont have a build since environments are not set up for ot

    Teddd – Today at 9:51 PM

    Are there any alternatives to PufferPanel that might run on the Mac, like Multicraft?

    puffrfish – Today at 9:51 PM

    not that I know of

    Java SE 6 fix for Illustrator CS5

    December 15th, 2017

    I recently updated my Mac to High Sierra and Illustrator CS5bwould no longer launch, because it wanted Java SE 6. I downloaded and installed Apple’s Java SE 6 run time, because the other workaround that follows DID NOT work, even though I tried enabling the root user and booting into Single User Mode to try and execute the following:

    sudo mkdir -p /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk

    sudo mkdir -p /System/Library/Java/Support/Deploy.bundle

    ln -s /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk/Contents /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/Contents

    Install CouchDB on Ubuntu 12.04

    December 9th, 2017

    Click the “Dash Home” icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen, just below “Ubuntu Desktop” and type “Terminal”. Click the Terminal icon when it appears.

    In Terminal’s window, type in the following commands:

    sudo apt-get install python-software-properties

    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:couchdb/stable

    sudo apt-get update

    sudo apt-get install couchdb couchdb-bin couchdb-common -f

    To navigate to where CouchDB database files are stored:

    cd /var/lib/CouchDB



    sudo chown -R couchdb:couchdb /home/adam/Desktop/couchdb

    sudo chown -R adam:adam /home/adam/Desktop/couchdb

    sudo chown -R adam:adam /var/lib/couchdb

    To get Debian version from command line:

    cat /etc/debian_version

    Download JW Player Content

    December 5th, 2017

    For documenting my attendance at a webinar for professional development, I wanted copies of slides that were posted in a JW Player format. Right-clicking the video wouldn’t allow me to download it, boo hiss.

    Using Safari on my Mac, I pressed Option-Command-U to view the “Resources” and then clicked the “Elements” tab. I then hovered over the video feed and Safari highlights portions of the code that generate the content. Keep expanding the carrots/arrows until you drill down to the code generating the feed. In my case, it looked like this and I right-clicked the code to “Copy Link Address”:

    JW Player content download

    Neck Pain Fix

    December 5th, 2017

    I am not a doctor. Over four years ago, I visited urgent care as some neck pain began a trip down my neck and ultimately into my arm and hand. The best thing the UC doc requested was an x-ray and she diagnosed me with a degenerative condition. Later discussing it with my own doctor, she described it as narrowing in the C5-C6 area and described the problem as muscular rather than nerve related. I was probably prescribed exercises that I must have ignored, my fault, and the condition never seemed to improve.

    Ok, now some storytelling. A friend of mine had an ER visit a couple years after a waiter at a restaurant told him that half of his face looked paralyzed. My friend is a nurse with a family history of heart issues, so he was quickly concerned these symptoms were related to a potential stroke. After admitting himself to the hospital, his ER doc ran EKG tests and an X-ray. While discussing the results, his doc kindly notified him that his condition had nothing to do with his heart, rather it was a C6 degenerative disc in his neck. His doc prescribed physical therapy and weeks later my friend was good as new.

    My friend’s paralyzed face was the result of years of not addressing the issue – the degenerative disc condition may have allowed a nerve to be pinched. He had pain that started in the back of his neck, went into his upper back, his right-shoulder, down his right arm, and made his right hand fingers numb. I didn’t want to bother going on in, but I knew I had the same condition based on my X-ray results and symptoms – my problem started in my neck and continued down my right shoulder and into my right arm and fingers.

    I read study results from some of Robin McKenzie’s work in developing exercises to fix these conditions. Apparently strengthening muscles around the degenerative disc can help mitigate symptoms I described above. The studies describe the exercises, but not in terms a layman like me can understand. I found a YouTube channel for a couple of physical therapists, Bob and Brad, who: demonstrate the exercises, explain some of the pain/numbness radiating down into your arm and finger tips, discuss who developed the treatment method, and describe what exercises alleviate the pain symptoms:


    The first exercise they show, the chin tuck, supposedly helps 80% of people and is what I focused on. It takes some practice to get the form right and to get your neck muscles responding – the goal is to pull your head back and up if possible. When Bob and Brad demonstrate, they are exerting the kind of strength you’ll want to try when you first start the exercises, but as you move along in the treatment, you’ll want to exert much more force than they exhibit. When I first started, it was like my neck muscles were non-existent, so I started with reps of 10 and days later moved to reps of 15 and then 20. When I started doing reps of 15 and 20 a week into the treatment, it was like my neck muscles had suddenly reawakened and I could really start to pull my head back and up. About this time, the numbness in my arm was going away, but the neck pain started to get worse. The good thing is, doing this and the following exercises helps to relieve the pain and its something you can do at work. I also noticed that the exercises felt more effective if I was standing and grabbed on to something, but now I seem to be able to do the exercises standing or sitting and without having to hold on to anything.

    Brad also shows a variant of doing chin tucks while laying down, but these didn’t seem to help me as much. I tried a few when I first hopped into bed at night, but that was about it. They felt good, but not something I did during the day.

    Exercise #2, head roll backs, were helpful to me when the pain started to intensify in the back of my neck. I like how Bob stresses, try to roll your head far as you can – I used a lot of force to do this later in the treatment. They both suggest using towels for support early in the process, but later in the treatment, your muscles will be stronger and you’ll have no need for the towels.

    Exercise #3, chin tuck and then side roll, was also helpful to me. I started doing these later in the treatment as the pain worsened in my neck. Towards the end, you just want the pain to go away and doing any of the preceding exercises will help.

    Bob recommends doing each exercise in repetitions of 10, once per hour. When Brad says, you should feel improvement by the 7th or 8th rep, I say phooey. Sometimes it would take me 12-15 reps before the pain came out of my fingers or moved up my arm. When your neck muscles get toward the end of treatment, you’re going to start to feel a lot better and then suddenly, the pain just seems to go away. I started this back in August and by the end of the State Fair, I was completely better and have yet to have a set back.

    One other thing Bob and Brad didn’t mention that brought relief for me: roll your pillow up at night and jam it under your neck so your head is craning backward. This sounds really awkward and strange, but when the pain intensifies toward the end of the treatment, laying in bed this way felt so good. My head/neck position didn’t last that way all night, but it was a good way to fall asleep. Since my neck pain went away, I no longer have to sleep that way 🙂

    I wanted to capture this somewhere and I hope it helps you feel better!