Friday, December 22, 2017

Dear Google...

Thought so!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Thanks for nothing dr.fone or or whatever your name is

If you have a zte z812 "smartphone" and you want to root it so you can get rid of the ATT bloatware it came with, forget about using dr.fone's marvelous software snakeoil cause it will just boot the phone about 2 dozen times and finally tell you that it doesn't know how to root it.

And while on the subject of this so-called bloat-ware smart AT&T branded go-phone from ZTE. There appears to be no known way to remove any of the "included" software or to root the phone to try and shovel some of the useless crap out of there. Both AT&T and ZTE are equally mum about how to go about trying to salvage any real use out of this terrible product. I managed to get AT&T to give me what they say is an unlock code and it appeared to work to allow me to establish a Ting GSM card account through the phone. Unfortunately, the best you can do is to "Disable" as much of the useless bloatware nonsense that AT&T bundled into the very limited 8GB sim card it comes with. Here are some screen shots of what I was able to successfully disable via settings/apps route in android....

I installed and finally got it to recognize and mount a 32GB sd expansion card. With the help of the free link2SD android app I've been able to eek out 1.5GB free on the original sim card storage. I placed 12GB of mp3 files on the expansion to enjoy my music via BT headphones while I work etc. Nobody at has been able to crack this nut though many have tried apparently in the last 30 months or so. I guess I will live with it for a while and see if it is tolerable or not... More on that later perhaps... Or not

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Thanks for nothing Adobe

Chromebook users, have you ever received an email with a link to this nonsense:


If you have, you are well aware that there is no option in the pull downs there for our computers. I could not let this pass without a comment. Typically, there is an attached PDF file which your chromebook will open just fine as is right out of the box. Worst case is the PDF could be password protected. The standard chromebook pdf handler even includes a password entry dialog handler which works just fine thank you very much. I hate getting spam from folks telling me to do things I don't really need to do.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The green skid mark of living death

Yes microsoft has come a long ways since their salad days of windows 95 and the delightful blue screen of death....

I especially am delighted when it does the above almost interminably and then fails with a cryptic error message. At those times one has no recourse but to google for the silly error messages only to find there is no recourse but to wait for some faceless guru to deign to respond to your pitiful situation. No I don't have the fancy latest generation win 10 stuff in my house and I will not. When they stop supporting windows 7 it will truly be end of life for microsoft products at my house.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Configure Auto-updating Linux Host

  1. Fully setup a free account. You must perform all the steps for your hostname to be fully visible.
  2. Grab the script from here:
  3. The sample config file there is also a must have. Note the double quotes around the values (these are a must)!
  4. Ignore the readme.... change the four values in the sample config file only. Especially note that the loginname used for the updating is the email address used to setup the account not the actual account name you used.
  5. Follow instructions at above URL for creating one of the example crontab entries to keep your noip account in good standing.
  6. Updating once a day is adequate for my ISP and my limited needs.
      That is all!

Follow up: I never could get the above script to work as advertised (on auto-pilot & no manual intervention ever needed). So I abandoned this stuff and when I get the email every 30 days I manually update the free account. This means checking "whatismyip" against what the free noip account has and updating manually if needed. 

    Saturday, February 25, 2017

    Ubuntu 16.04 how to nano override, setup root bash, and root bash history

    Have you ever been annoyed by the crappy nano editor that ubuntu presents for crontab and similar interfaces ? What about the "no command line history" thing in the default root shell ? Yes, I know that is a security issue so don't start with that. This post will guide you out of the wilderness of nano and into the promised land of the real admin's editor vi.

    1. Fix your personal login...
        Add these lines to the end your ~/.bashrc file...

        set -o vi
        export EDITOR=vim

       notes: Line 1 puts the history commands into sensible vi mode rather than the heinous emacs mode.               Line 2 fixes crontab and its' like to use vi rather than the wretched nano editor.

    2. Fix the root login...
        Add these lines to the end of the /root/.bashrc file...

        set -o vi
        export EDITOR=vim
        export HISTFILE=/home/mylogin/.root/.bash_history

        notes: Line 3 moves the history file to a full read/write footing.
                  Also, "mylogin" in practice should be your actual home directory.
                  Finally, don't forget to "mkdir /home/mylogin/.root".

    I know there are global ways to accomplish these goals. I am not interested in that, I want to alter just the behavior of my login and the root login. All other logins may remain in the dark, lonely nano wilderness for all I care. If, in future, I choose to expose my personal system to the internet... I will of course take appropriate steps to plug the root command line history issue. Probably by creating a script to "erase the tracks" at root logout.