Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Galaxy Tab - Wallpaper template

The Galaxy Tab has a native screen resolution of 1024 x 600, and to have a wallpaper size that is correct for both orientations requires 1024 pixels wide x 1200 pixels high.

This Tabloid is different to previous Android devices in that the home screen autorotates even though there is no physical keyboard (like the G1).

Also the home screen uses the left hand side of the wallpaper by default. With this in mind I've created a new wallpaper template for the Galaxy Tab which is in Photoshop format. Get it here.

Also I've created some wallpapers which you can get / view Just so you know, not all the wallpapers are 100% safe for work ;-)

PS Just like setting wallpapers on other Android devices, the built in tool does weird stuff, so you'll need the free App from the Marketplace called "Wallpaper Set & Save".

More Galaxy Tab fun here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Copying Files from failed OSX Install

Due to an error on my Hackintosh "Mac OS X Update can't be installed on this disk. An error occurred while evaluating JavaScript for the package", which I was unable to workaround, I decided to re-install using the "Vanilla Snow Leopard (Automated Method)" you can find here on InsanelyWind

But I made a mistake. I downloaded 10.6.5 combo update from Apple which weighs in at nearly 1Gb, but it was on the HD of the failed install.

The answer was to boot from SD card, insert a USB stick in and use the Terminal to copy over the downloads.

    cd /volumes

and note what the various volumes are called


    cd /volumes/failed_install/users/user
    cp -R downloads /volumes/USB

The -R flag copies the whole directory over.

PS Follwing the instructions below, after upadting to 10.6.5 on vanilla I got a kernel panic and crash on boot. So I booted to SD card, switched to the new install, and re-installed EFI Finisher. This got the Hackintosh back up. Then since I was stuck at 800x600 I installed and ran EFI Update and now all seems good.

Vanilla Install Process

Install Snow Leopard to your MSI Wind HD
- Plug the USB/SD Installer into your MSI Wind and press the power button
- Click “F11” on the keyboard when the BIOS screen shows up. Select your USB/SD installer and hit “Enter” to boot from it.
- Once booted into the OS X installer, open Disk Utility from the menu bar.
- Select your internal hard drive in the left frame
- Click the “Partition” tab and change “Current” to “1 Partition”
- Name the partition to your liking and change the format to “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”
- Click “Options” and make sure the partition scheme is set to “GUID Partition Table”
- Click “Apply” and “Erase” to format your internal hard drive
- Exit from Disk Utility and continue with the installer as normal
- When the installation completes, it will say “Install Failed”. Ignore this warning and continue to restart your MSI Wind.

Boot Snow Leopard for the 1st time
- Again, click “F11” on the keyboard when the BIOS screen shows up. Select your USB/SD installer and hit “Enter” to boot from it.
- When you get the Chameleon screen, press any key to enter the startup options. Select the hard drive you just installed Snow Leopard on and click “Enter” to boot from it.
- Give yourself a pat on the back once the Mac OS X Welcome Screen finally loads. The hard part of the Vanilla install is over!
- Follow the prompts that will eventually lead you to your Desktop.
- If you have not done so already, download the updated EFI Finisher package from one of the mirrors above.
- Install this package on your new Snow Leopard install
- Reboot and enjoy your flawless Mac OS X Snow Leopard Installation!


Updating to 10.6.5

Always back up your data before updating! There is always a very slight chance that kernel panics at boot will occur after updating, which means you may not be able to access your data!

Open Software Update and select “Mac OS X Update”. Begin the installation and reboot when prompted.

After the installation completes, and you have booted into 10.6.5, you may have only 800 x 600 resolution. If so, run UpdateEFI v2, select “System Updates”, and reboot when the process is complete.

If not, then you are done!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Galaxy Tab - how to get screenshots

Basically the same as here, I downloaded the latest SDK anyway.

From the home screen press the menu button to get settings, then Applications > Development > select USB debugging.

BTW, you cannot change this setting while the USB is connected.

More Galaxy Tab fun here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Android SDK ADB missing

While doing some screenshots of my new Galaxy Tab I downloaded r8 of the Android SDK, launched DDMS, and get an error.

Failed to get the adb version: Cannot run program "/Applications/android-sdk-mac_86/tools/adb: error=2, No such file or directory.

To fix, all I did was to copy the adb from the old SDK.

More Galaxy Tab fun here

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Galaxy Tab - fun with screenshots

Acquired a Galaxy Tab ;-), and looking to update the wallpaper template.

Downloaded the new Android SDK (r8 as of late November 2010).

When I get DDMS going it has problems with the screen orientation.

More Galaxy Tab fun here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Zoomifyer - Cannot save Zoomify content to specified location

If you use Zoomify, and get this message

"Cannot save Zoomify content to specified location. There may be a file of the same name in the directory, or the directory does not yet exist"

This is because the image name is too long. Try with a shorter name, and it should work as advertisied.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Popcorn Hour - web interface

There are some commands and options on your Popcorn Hour that you can set via the web interface.

BTPD Bit Torrent client: http://IP-Address/torrent/bt.cgi

Transmission: http://IP-Address:8077

Transmission 1.51 (if installed separately): http://IP-Address:9091

NZBGet (Usenet client): http://IP-Address:8066

MyiHome: http://IP-Address:8088/app/player/intro/action/intro.php

Casgle iDVR: http://IP-Address:8055

Home: http://IP-Address:8883/start.cgi

Preferences: http://IP-Address:8883/preferences.htm

Audio/Video: http://IP-Address:8883/display.html

Network Share: http://IP-Address:8883/network_share.html

Network: http://IP-Address:8883/network.html

NMT Applications: http://IP-Address:8883/media_server.html

DVD/Audio CD: http://IP-Address:8883/dvd.html

Maintenance: http://IP-Address:8883/maintenance.html

If you do not know the IP and you have a Mac, you can get the IP by following these instructions

Information from via from

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Howto Import csv calendar into iCal and Google Calendar

I was sent a schedule of activities in table format, on a web page. But I needed the schedule to be in Google Calendar.

First I copied the text off the web page, and pasted into Neo Office. I did some very basic tidying up, and the saved as CSV.

Then I converted using a tool called "iCalTextImport" from

After following the instructions eg where to put the scripting folder, launch the app and open you CSV file. Then map the fields. This can be a bit trial and error

when ready click import file

and you'll get a new calendar in iCal.

Once its there you can export it to .ics format

and then import into Google Calendar

goto Calendar > Settings> Calendars and look for the import button

A note on timezones. The process assumes the dates/times are UTC because my CSV had no timezone information. When the .cs is imported by Google it adjusts for the timezone of the calendar you import it into.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Howto: restore command-H to hide selection edges in Photoshop CS5

When you first use Adobe Photoshop CS5, you get asked what you want to do about the command-H (⌘ H) key combination.

If you selected 'hide photoshop' but you regret it and want to use the traditional Hide Selection instead, you need to change your keyboard shortcuts.

In Photoshop select edit > keyboard shortcuts

and then scroll down till you find "Hide Photoshop".

Click onto the shortcut, and then click 'delete shortcut'.

Next scroll further down to View > Show and in there you find 'Selection Edges'.

Click in and type "cmd H" and you'll see ⌘-H. Click OK and you're done.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Google Voice and Android / SIP / VOIP calls

If you've read my howto on getting Sipgate on Android using Sipdroid going now we can move to the next stage which is to make calls via the Google Voice web page.

Things you need:

- Google Voice account

- account

- Sipdroid configured and working on your Android

Together this will allow you to make Google Voice calls (US only) through your Android using SIP / VOIP ie free.

First you need to go into your Google Voice settings

and then click

The window opens.

put in your Sipgate credentials, and call this phone something like oh I don't know, Sipgate

Click Save.

You'll get the verification dialog up

Take the call, put in the code, and you should be good to go

Just tick the account so phone calls go there

Sunday, October 24, 2010

sipgate unknown error 171100

While getting my Sipgate account working with Sipdroid on my Android I was getting the error "unknown error 171100".

There isn't much information on what it really means. Eventually I gave myself a break and did something else. Came back to it an hour or so later, and all was well.

So I figure its something to do with DoD protection or too many password attempts.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Making parity files, redux

In working out my first method of creating a parity file set, I was looking through the options you get running RAR in command line. And I saw the "-rv switch".

This does the whole of the first method for you in one go!

The same idea applies that you split your file into 2 chunks of equal size. From the manual:

"Each recovery volume is able to reconstruct one missing RAR volume. For example, if you have 30 volumes and 3 recovery volumes, you are able to reconstruct any 3 missing volumes. If the number of .rev files is less than a number of missing volumes, reconstructing is impossible".

So the command looks like

    $ /applications/rar/rar a -rv -v26250k photos.rar Photos.dmg.rar

As before we get our chunks, but now the -rv switch creates an extra, .rev, recovery file

When I need to unrar the file, and one of the parts is missing, the .rev is used

    $ /applications/rar/unrar e photos.part2.rar

    UNRAR 3.93 freeware Copyright (c) 1993-2010 Alexander Roshal

    Extracting from photos.part2.rar

    Calculating control sums of all volumes.
    1 recovery volumes found
    Cannot find volume photos.part1.rar
    1 volumes missing
    Reconstructing... 100%

    Extracting from photos.part1.rar

    Extracting Photos.dmg.rar 50%

    Extracting from photos.part2.rar

    ... Photos.dmg.rar OK
    All OK

and I'll get my file back.

If you want to increase your reslience further, you can create more than 1 .rev file.

    $ /applications/rar/rar a -rv2 -v18000k photos.rar Photos.dmg.rar

So this command will create 2 .rev files which means that of the three files created, I can lose any 2 and still get my data back.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Creating parity files to protect against data loss

You'll have heard about RAID 5, where a file is written to disk 3 ways so in the event of the loss of a disk you can get your file back. And of course there's its more resilient cousin RAID 6 where the data goes 4 ways and you can sustain the loss of 2 disks.

I was wondering how to do this on demand so I could take advantage of 'cloud' storage. Microsoft offer 25Gb free. And to tie this is with backing up only with RAW photo files. I can already identify and gather them together and encrypt them.

One way is to use the Parchive (parity archive volume set) idea developed to transmit files over Usenet. You need to start with a file that is already split into smaller chunks, and RAR is the best. This howto is focussed on OSX, I guess other OSs would be similar.

Step 1 is to RAR the sparseimage file I created earlier:

$ /applications/rar/rar a photos.rar Photos_1-99.sparseimage

The reason for this is that I want to split the file into 2 near-equal sized pieces, and doing a compress and split in the same step means its hard to work out the size of the chunks.

Step 2 is it split this file into 2 pieces. I know that RAR'd it is 53.5Mb, so half will be about 26.75Mb. After some trial and error I find a good value -v26250 to be a good value. Of course what is actually happening is that this sets the size of the first chunk and the second will be the remainder. If I get 3 files I've used a value thats too small.

$ /applications/rar/rar a -v26250k photos.rar Photos.dmg.rar

and this creates 2 files.

Next get MacPAR deLuxe. Open the app and it will open a new PAR 2 window. Drag in your two files, or do Edit > Add Files or shift-apple-F.

Then select File > Create PAR Set or shift-apple-A

The next dialog is asking you how much parity data to generate. You need to put in over 50, for safety I choose 55. The less equal you chunks, the greater the %ge you need.

We get a whole bunch of files which represent the parity data

You can test that you can recover you data is either chunk 1 or 2 is lost by removing one of those chunks from the directory, and double-clicking on the .par2 file. It will load into MacPAR deLuxe and you should get the 'missing but can be recovered' message.

Now, RAR the parity files together. Its easiest to move them to their own folder, then run

$ /applications/rar/rar a photos.part3.rar *

and you get

Now you have 3 files of which any 2 will allow recovery of the data.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Backing up selected file using expanding disk image on OSX

I was looking for a way to backup my photos online using Google Storage or Amazon S3. But I don't need (as a rule) to backup my .jpg files or the .psd files Photoshop makes. For disaster recovery eg the house burns down, the minimum is the .nef files.

One way I can do this is to create disk images containing only the file types I need

First I created a disk image of type 'sparse disk image'.

File > New > Blank Disk Image

give the image a name in the top of the box,

and change the settings at the bottom. Because this is a sparse image, it expands as you add more files and data to it, so even setting it to be DVD sized doesn't take up much space straight away. Think of it more as the maximum size you want it to get.

Then after clicking 'Create' you are asked for a password. Make it a good one! If for some reason you don't want the image to auto-mount on your own Mac, then you need to deselect 'remember password in my keychain'

then Disk Image goes and creates your image, and mounts it on the desktop for you

After that you can search for the files you want to back up, and simply drag them onto the mounted disk image

and here they are

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Google Storage vs Amazon S3

Google Storage
Amazon S3
data in: $0.10/GB
data out:
$0.15/GB for Americas and EMEA
$0.30/GB for Asia-Pacific
PUT, POST, LIST—$0.01 per 1,000 requests
GET, HEAD—$0.01 per 10,000 requests
High durability:
$0.150 per GB
Low durability:
$0.100 per GB
data in:
Free until November 1st, 2010**
data out:
First 1 GB / month: free
next 10Tb / month: $0.190 per GB
PUT, COPY, POST, or LIST: $0.01 per 1,000 Requests
GET and All Other Requests: $0.01 per 10,000 Requests

So based on that, seems like Google did a copy/paste of the S3 price list, but made the actual storage more expensive. Its not clear from Google if the storage has a durability SLA.

Looks like S3 is the better bet based upon pricing.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

X-Lite VOIP / SIP back on Snow Leopard

I've tried most (all?) of the OSX / Mac VOIP / SIP clients, and the only one I've had any luck with is X-Lite from Counterpath.

But then I upgraded to Snow Leopard and v3 broke. They released a v4 beta, but that timed out and you could only make calls by setting your system clock back before July 2010. Sigh.

But now its back, in full v4 release. Woot! Thanks guys!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

NMBLOOKUP: Looking up IP address of SMB and NETBIOS names on OSX

How to Look up the IP address of SMB and NETBIOS names on OSX.

You know how it is. In your browse list you see a whole bunch of machines, and there's one you want to connect to by IP. On a windows machine you would just do

    ping machine

and it would call the local NETBIOS or WINS database.

No such luck on Macs. What you can do instead is to use NMBLOOKUP

    $ NMBLOOKUP machine
    querying machine on machine

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Howto: Sipgate Firefox extension: SipgateFFX Your login information is wrong

How to fix SipgateFFX: Your login information is wrong

The SipgateFFX is quite a cool addon. But it doesn't exactly give you a lot of feedback.

After some trial and error I discovered that if you have a regular individual account, you need to deselect 'I'm using sipgate team'.

Your username is your Sipgate website username, not your SIP ID, and the password is your Sipgate website password, not your SIP password.

If it is working, on web pages with phone numbers you should see some modifications. Doesn't work for phone numbers in gmail though.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Howto copy GPS EXIF data to a new file

Some image editing programs don't copy the GPS EXIF data, or maybe there was a problem with adding the GPS data. EXIF tool can copy specific tags into a different file:

    exiftool -tagsfromfile source.jpg -GPS:all destination.jpg

Friday, June 4, 2010

iPhone Bluetooth Support

Support is really an oxymoron in the case of the iPhone... basically with 3.1 it has virtually nothing. Maybe v4 will bring some more goodies?

iPhone Support:

    Hands-Free Profile (HFP)
    Headset Profile (HSP)

iPhone Does Not Support:

    Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP)
    Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)
    Basic Imaging Profile (BIP)
    Basic Printing Profile (BPP)
    Cordless Telephony Profile (CTP)
    Device ID Profile (DID)
    Dial-up Networking Profile (DUN)
    Fax Profile (FAX)
    File Transfer Profile (FTP)
    General Audio/Video Distribution Profile (GAVDP)
    Generic Access Profile (GAP)
    Generic Object Exchange Profile (GOEP)
    Human Interface Device Profile (HID)
    Intercom Profile (ICP)
    Object Push Profile (OPP)
    Personal Area Networking Profile (PAN)
    Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP)
    Serial Port Profile (SPP)
    Service Discovery Application Profile (SDAP)
    SIM Access Profile (SAP,SIM)
    Synchronisation Profile (synch)
    Video Distribution Profile (vdp)
    Wireless Application Protocol Bearer (WAPB)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Photographing the Milky Way

Last year I was fortunate enough to go to Tenerife where, in the volcano's crater, there is not much light pollution so you can see the milky way. Unfortunately I didn't get very good photographs because I didn't have my tripod, having to rest my camera on some clothing on the roof of the car.

Luckily I am going back, and this time I'll have my tripod. But its just a regular tripod, not motorized or anything.

So now I looked into how to take good photos of the milky way, and I've discovered a few things:

  1. If the moon is up, it'll put too much light into the sky. Check site where you can put in different dates and locations to see when the moon rises and sets.

  2. I didn't really know what settings to use, so I tried ISO 2500, f/2,8, 25 seconds, which got me

    From (Very) Amateur AstroPhotography

    ie quite a bit of light pollution, and, blurred stars.

  3. There is always light pollution , which means that if you increase the exposure by increasing the exposure time, you will actually only brighten the sky. Its unlikely you'll get to capture more stars, planets etc

  4. Even relatively dim objects will, at the setting above, cause sensor bloom ie the sensor will go to 255,255,255. This means that you should use the widest aperture you have.

  5. The stars move surprisingly fast. With a 50mm lens on my D300 ie 75mm equivalent, for a 30s exposure I found the stars travelled about 7 or 8 pixels ie the point of light were not points anymore but trails:

    So I set out to find what a better exposure would be, and discovered that
    with an exposure time of 5s the stars moved 1 or 2 pixels:

    An alternative would be to use a wider lens. A 25mm lens would produce half the movement relative to pixels ie 30s exposure would give 3 or 4 pixels of movement, 12.5mm would produce maybe 2 pixels. My problem is that my Tokina 12-24 has a maximum aperture of f/4, and my Tamron 17-50 is f/2.8. So at 17mm on the Tamron 30s would give me ~3 pixels of movement.
So there's my answer. 5s f/1.8 highest ISO without getting too much noise. When I'm there I'll try both.

Final tip. Use a cable release because any slight movement of the camera will cause the stars to become trails.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Howto: Use resynthesizer for GIMP on OSX

Who needs Content Sensitive Fill on Photoshop CS5? here's how to do it with GIMP for free!

Howto: Use resynthesizer for GIMP on OSX

Resynthesizer is a great plugin that can create textures based on an arbitrary input.

Here's a photo I took, and the angle of the sun meant I got my own shadow in it.

Using resynthesizer I can quickly create some new texture there to replace the shadowed area.

The plugin is included with the OSX version of GIMP from (thank you!). For windows and linux you need to download it from

Here's what I did.

For me it seems that the plugin doesn't work if you have selected the background.

So I selected an area to be the texture source and pasted that as a new layer, its called clipboard.

Then I selected a part of the background and pasted into a new layer. Its called clipboard#1.

You'll see that GIMP places the copied image right at the top of the picture. So drag it back down to align with the background.

Then with the layer clipboard#1 selected, use the lassoo tool to select the area to be resynthesized.

Then from filters>map select resynthesize

In the dialog, deselect "Make horizontally tileable" and "Make vertically tileable" and in the "Texture source" box make sure you select the layer with the sampled texture. You can check by seeing the thumbnail preview.

Click OK, and the plugin does its work.

And here's the result. I've left the marching ants so you can see the old and the new.

and here's it without the marching ants.

You may need to play around with the exact source texture area, and on the 'Tweaks' tab there are some settings to fine tune what the plugin does.