Friday, November 28, 2008

Touch phone GPS

I found this piece of GPS software to run on my Touch phone that very nice. Uses google maps, has nice viewing angles, and has turn directions.

Also this thread seems to solve the problem of my phone not wanting to turn the GPS on after a while.
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Comm\ConnMgr\Providers\{7C4B7A3 8-5FF7-4bc1-80F6-5DA7870BB1AA}\Connections\Phone as Modem]

Change the value to 0, and soft reset.
But for my phone it isn't "Phone as Modem" it is "Data Network"

(soft reset is accomplished by pushing the recessed button at the bottom of the phone)

This is not a permanent fix...after I get the GPS running, then I have to view the internet settings to get that working again...but after that it all works...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

M1330 and SIM cards

I found out by accident (like many M1330 owners) that behind the battery is a SIM card slot.

Apparently if you buy their laptop with the mobile broadband option, then that SIM card reader is actually attached to something...but I didn't go for that option.
(note the empty spot...and 3 antenna connectors (maybe one is for a "N" wifi card, cuz the other two are too short to reach)

It seems the only choices here are for standard provider modems (like Sprint etc). I have had a difficult time finding any more info than that...i.e. does someone make a 'universal' modem that can cover all the frequencies.

Well after a not very informative chat with the Dell tech support (out of India?) I figured out that I could search the Europe Dell sites...of course they are in their home language, but when I searched for WWAN on all but one site I found cards...either listed as Dell 5520 or Dell 3G Vodafone. (ebay from Europe for $150)

I am still looking to see if they all come unlocked, or if I have to buy a self described 'unlocked' one...

So then I found out that an option was to use the ExpressCard slot. I found one 'universal' modem (4 frequency). On Amazon it was $300 on sale.

$300 buys you a lot of after you buy the still have to buy minutes.

I sure hope wifi is available everywhere I visit...I don't want to buy a $300 card.

Found some more info on that Dell 5520. Some posts here say that this card is unlocked you just choose the SIM card and manually add the phone info.

Edit--> Profile Manager

Make a new profile with the APN
Someone else suggesting using this generic (unbranded) but official Dell driver.

This link is to newer Dell Vodafone software.

This is probably the same software. Or may be Vodafone specific.

Some more discussion with the same questions I had (have).

I found the Dell 5520 being sold on Ebay as used (pulled) for $95. (I guess I will have to locate some screws) I have to give it a shot...a refurbished card from Dell costs $230.

It will take a few weeks before I am able to test it (I might be stateside or in Europe at the time...don't know yet).

One weak point...

Wow having remote access, skype, etc is just wonderful...

...however one small catch...

So lets say your IPCop router is scheduled to reboot once a week (cable modem gets flaky after a few weeks connected).

Lets also say that said router has successfully done this for years.

Now lets say you are out of town and are planning to use remote access and Skype to the home computer.

What are the chances the router will fail to successfully reboot when you are out of town?

What are the chances your wife will be willing to dig through your cables to hit the reset button while you coach her over the phone?

I give 100% for the first one and 0% for the second.

Maybe I should rig up one of those EASY buttons to do a hard reboot...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Notes about Skype and Dell M1330 and PS3eye cam

I have used video teleconference (is that what it is called?) software since the first days of Netmeeting. Back then (1998) I used it to talk to the wife literally from the other side of the planet. We were on dial up both ends. The home end had a AMD i386 type CPU (probably 200mhz), and my end was a IBM 486 DX50 laptop. Mostly due to my laptop I had too much lag in the audio...and neither computer could run video back I typed and the wife talked. It worked and was way cheaper than a phone call.

A year later, with a bit faster machine (but still dial up) I was able to send video to my family for Christmas from halfway across the US...still using Netmeeting...until it crashed.

I really hadn't tried it again when on the road...especially since cellphone to cellphone calls in the US were free.

But after I got the N800 and played with that a bit I thought that maybe it was time to see if the Video teleconference stuff had improved that much.

I tried is still too raw, in tests I could use the N800 to send and receive video...but trying to call someone was a pain.

So last week I (on a lark) installed Skype on my fast windows computer, and purely coinidentially found a neat camera to use. (Disclaimer...although Skype runs on the N800 there is no video send or receive capability support for that platform...probably never will be.)

About the camera. Apparently the Sony folks built a USB camera for the PS3 (and a earlier version for the PS2) called the PS3Eye. It is a very high quality imager with microphones for a fairly cheap price...but no drivers.

I read someone made some drivers from ps3fanboy (apparently) via Hackaday via Crunchgear (why can't anyone ever put the direct link) that was posted on the NUI Group website (Natural User Interface see the wiki or...look at the site)

So this someone...Alex Popovich created some great drivers for this camera. The version at the link is the latest one, and seems to work perfectly. (to be honest, he created the drivers for use in the NUI Group's project...but I had a different need)

So PS3Eye camera is on home computer, and on the road I have the Dell M1330 that has a built in camera. Once I installed Skype on both, created a Skype login for both, and had one computer dial the other one...I had instant video teleconference.

I was using the hotel free wifi, with a weak signal, and saw a nice picture...sure, obviously compressed, but at about the same quality as a youtube video if not better.

For audio, both of us were using the external speakers and microphone (no headphones) the audio was fine, occasionally we would cut each other out (same thing on a cell phone) but I had not adjusted audio on either computer...Skype was using the PS3Eye's built in microphone...(apparently...I didn't set anything up except for the video input to use)

I will start traveling overseas for work in a month or two, so we shall see how it does with that kind of latency. (I want to sit outside of a Paris coffee shop with the Eiffel Tower as a think the wife will be pissed?)

(as a test while I was writing this, I started up Skype on my tethered laptop to see how it did...not bad...slower frame rate, more pixelated...but acceptable...but that was just a quick test.)

I am more tempted now to get one of the ASUS rather than lugging my laptop around. Like this...
...perhaps using this SIM enabled one.

OpenVPN IPCop and Vista

Long story works...pretty well.

Actually fairly simply.

Ok for those scratching their heads...By having IPCop as my router on my home network, and OpenVPN running on my laptop, I am able to create a secure tunnel between my laptop anywhere in the world, and my home network. I can browse files, etc. through a secure tube.

First I followed this instruction. (and the info in these 5 pages)
...the IPCop setup matched what I had done previously but had not worked...
...The OpenVPN GUI looked like the I installed logged into my IPCop router...but I couldn't connect to the network...
...Log entry={ERROR: Windows route add command failed [adaptive]: returned error code 1}

Second, I found this post that said I just needed to install the latest version of OpenVPN...
...ah...the latest version of OpenVPN INCLUDES the GUI now...
...and I made sure I ran the program as administrator...
...but I still couldn't connect to my network...
...Log entry={ROUTE: route addition failed using CreateIpForwardEntry:}

Third, I found this other post that added two lines to the end of the {VPN-TO-IPCop.ovpn} file generated during the first instruction.
route-method exe
route-delay 2
Those two lines fixed my problem.

So using my laptop tethered to my HTC Touch, I was able to access my home network.

Note at the top I said it does...but I cannot browse the is probably normal, but unexpected...however I can map a network drive by adding the IP address {192.168.1.x} and browse the shares there and connect to then...from that point they are like any mapped network shares.

Interesting note...since I can access all the IP addresses on my network...all my IP devices (cameras, printer, NAS) can my administered using the same stored URLs I would use at fact, I can print on the home printer this way. (as long as you use the IP address to access the computer...and not the automatic printer install I originally used)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Some FONera links

I will put all the useful links here...there is a lot of info out there. Hopefully this can be a bit organized.

For equipment, I used my WinXP laptop with a wifi card AND plugged a standard ethernet cable into the FONera.

Darren Kitchen's how-to (good example for gaining SSH access)...(stop after that if you aren't installing jasager...I am installing DD-WRT) has this basic info to enable SSH...with the exact VI commands required.

My Fon Blog (not MINE but that is the name of it) (this is what I followed to flash mine)

Of course a ton of stuff on DD-WRT...but specifically...this tutorial. (basically same as previous one)

I am attempting to install DD-WRT from here. (v24-sp1/Consumer/Fon/Fonera/...I can't direct link to the folder). To get older ones....sometimes the Fonera folder is under the chipset name.

BTW I actually just got it running. DD-WRT that is...I was stuck and realized that I hadn't put in "exec" in the scripts to it wouldn't complete the read the directions.

...BTW I recommend connecting via ethernet...and realize that you will have to change the IP of your computer (the laptop in my case) at various times through the process...why? Because each bit sets a different default IP address.

Sure...after I finish I find a video walkthrough...(realize they are using an older version of a slightly different procedure)

Next step is setting it up as a wireless bridge? Maybe this will help.

...time passes...

This DD-WRT wiki entry is how I set up the wireless bridge...but it missed a couple of important was my WPA setpu was listed as WPA Personal (not WPA2 Personal or etc) second was in the SETUP>ADVANDED ROUTING tab I needed to set mine to "Router" (default is Gateway).

Right now I have my laptop conneted to the world through the ethernet tether to the FON wifi bridge.

La FONera hacked

I happened into this little project because of a show on and his notes.

My brother would ask me..."ok, so why are you going to do this"?

I decided that actually I wanted to use the FONera as a WIFI link for some IP cameras.

I have a couple of Panasonic BL-C10A IP cameras...they are pretty nice (about $40 on ebay)...but they are ethernet only. I looked at the BL-C30 wifi cam (about $100 or so on ebay) but it does not have WPA encryption I would have to run my wifi naked with it...Panasonic does have the BL-C131 which HAS WPA...but I can't find one under $180 on ebay...$300 retail. So to me $20 for FON (or cheaper if you are lucky) plus $40 for camera...and a couple of hours of waiting around (can't call it work) is a much better deal than $180.

I was stuck because the FON company automatically upgrades their routers whenever they are connected to the internet...and mine was used and had version 0.7.2 r2. (the hackable ones are 0.7.1 r2 and earlier).

Well I fell upon this little blurb on how to hack into the Fonera 2200 (mine is a 2100) but the STEP 1 worked perfect...the reset part. I won't quote it here for the sake of room, but I had to do the hard reset (push the button and hold) about 4 times. When I was done my Fonera showed it was now 0.7.0 r4, a hackable version.

...note...after using that, I found this thread...and a much shorter reset procedure...I will try that on the next one.

Now that it is hackable...I can follow any set of instructions for unlocking SSH, telneting in...installing software etc (it runs linux of course).

To be continued...