Categories
Hardware Misc Software

Eneco and Smart Readers

[…]
Op zich een behulpzaam aanbod, maar ik zit er niet op te wachten. Men vraagt hier toestemming om per kwartier het stroomverbruik uit te lezen, en te delen met derde partijen, iets wat een serieuze inbreuk maakt op mijn privacy. Ik meet mijn eigen stroomverbruik en ik kan precies zien of er iemand in huis is, hoe laat we gaan slapen, hoe laat we opstaan etc. Dat hoeft niemand anders te weten.
[…]

(Source).

Categories
Errors Hardware Misc Software Windows

Screen going black with AutoCAD (LT)

I am not sure what is the problem — I’ve upgraded Shan’s 27″ 2k monitor to a 32″ 4k monitor and AutoCAD LT recently updated from 2021 to 2022. Shan‘s been using a 2017 i5 NUC (NUC7i5BNB) with 32Gb RAM using the onboard GPU. Something that should be plenty for a bit of Windows, Chrome, Photoshop and AutoCAD LT.

For the past few weeks, several times a day her screen would black out for half a second or so and then everything should go back to normal. Sometimes it would happen several times in a row, sometimes it wouldn’t for hours on end.

I tried several things, including getting a 8k 120hz HDMI cable, using a usb-c to DP cable, changing the GPU vRAM minimum from 128Mb to 2048Mb (quite the hack, as it can’t be set in the bios — requires messing around in the registry. Wow.), updating all the drivers, updating the bios, making sure the NUC was properly ventilated and keeping cool (every full moon the NUC shuts down due to overheating in Singapore if I set the fan to ‘balanced’ instead of ‘cool’), and probably more. And because it happened so sporadically it was quite hard to debug (to the point I sometimes didn’t want to believe her as I couldn’t see it blacken out).

Shan was getting frustrated (which in turn means I get frustrated)… and I started looking at getting either an eGPU (I can get a free Nividia M6000, just need the enclosure, but the enclosure would be $$), an AMD Ryzen 5 or 7 NUC (no more Intel in this house, but also $$$), or some other refurb (massive) desktop some friend had lying around (HP z240 or something, zero $, but Shan would kill me for having this massive thing on her desk).

Turns out, the quick fix, was to simply disable hardware acceleration.

Run GRAPHICSCONFIG and uncheck hardware acceleration.

This is probably not ideal in the long run (hopefully it’s an issue with AutoCAD 2022 that is getting fixed, as opposed to the onboard Intel GPU getting messed up with AutoCAD).

When in doubt… Turn off hardware acceleration.

Categories
Apple Errors Software

Apple Watch OS7 stopped showing the date

I’ve been running the Apple WatchOS 7 beta for a while now, and when updating, my watch face lost the “date”: it was no longer showing the date and day of the week (i.e. Fri).

Quite annoying — but it’s a beta after all. I shouldn’t complain. I did what every good beta tester would do: I filed a bug (it’s still unanswered from what I can see).

Beta updates came and went but the date did not come back. Would I be unable to use my watch to figure out the date?! It’s when you lose a feature that you see how often a day you use it.

And then, out of the blue, the big stable release. Apple Watch OS 7 is released to the general public. Surely, I thought, they must’ve fixed it now.

But alas, I was to be disappointed.

I updated Shan‘s watch (that never ran the beta) to see if she had the same issue — but her watch was fine. Sooooo… What was I doing wrong? Why me, Apple Overlord?

I started fiddling around with my language and regional settings (nope, not it), and was contemplating a factory reset (argh, re-adding all my cards to Apple Pay)…

And then…

An epiphany.

They wouldn’t?!?! Would they??

Something only Apple would dare to do.

I deleted the Apple Calendar app (on my iPhone) — as I use the Google Calendar app. Would that somehow be related?

And guess what… Installing the Apple Calendar app via the App Store resolved it:

Check Apple Watch and the option is back!

That’s one way of forcing people to use your apps.

Categories
Hardware Linux Software

Making Bluetooth work on RPi4

I rarely use Bluetooth on my RPis. I’m already facing enough issues with my iMac and Mac Mini (it lags, it randomly disconnects in meetings, etc).

My pwnagotchi on the other hand is counting on a BLE network to connect to the internet: for now I am using my iPad, and while that works, it causes my iPad to disconnect from WiFi (because of course, it can only do tethering from a mobile network, not from its WiFi network).

I wanted to explore if I could set up bluetooth tethering/internet sharing from my RPi4 server… But for that BLE had to work! And for some reason BLE was not working on Liana.

[bluetooth]# power on
No default controller available

For some reason no controller was available. The drivers were definitely installed…

apt install bluetooth pi-bluetooth bluez raspberrypi-sys-mods

but hcitool dev ; hciconfig -a weren’t returning anything.

After quite some extensive Googling I found the solution

Check if this returns something:

# ls -l /dev | grep ttyAMA0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root           7 Sep  1 15:08 serial1 -> ttyAMA0
crw-rw---- 1 root dialout 204,  64 Sep  1 15:08 ttyAMA0

As opposed to:

# ls -l /dev | grep ttyS0
# (no output)

Then continue to do the following:

# make a backup
cp /boot/cmdline.txt /boot/cmdline.txt.bak
# edit the file
nano -w /boot/cmdline.txt
# edit the first part from
# console=ttySerial0 to console=ttyAMA0
# the line should be something similar to but do NOT blindly copy paste it as you won't be able to boot due to your PARTUUID being different
console=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=PARTUUID=6c586e13-02 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline fsck.repair=yes rootwait
reboot

After rebooting … it works!

liana ~ # hcitool dev ; hciconfig -a
Devices:
	hci0	DC:A6:32:B1:0E:79
hci0:	Type: Primary  Bus: UART
	BD Address: DC:A6:32:B1:0E:79  ACL MTU: 1021:8  SCO MTU: 64:1
	UP RUNNING 
	RX bytes:2397 acl:0 sco:0 events:118 errors:0
	TX bytes:2603 acl:0 sco:0 commands:99 errors:0
	Features: 0xbf 0xfe 0xcf 0xfe 0xdb 0xff 0x7b 0x87
	Packet type: DM1 DM3 DM5 DH1 DH3 DH5 HV1 HV2 HV3 
	Link policy: RSWITCH SNIFF 
	Link mode: SLAVE ACCEPT 
	Name: 'liana'
	Class: 0x000000
	Service Classes: Unspecified
	Device Class: Miscellaneous, 
	HCI Version: 5.0 (0x9)  Revision: 0x13b
	LMP Version: 5.0 (0x9)  Subversion: 0x6119
	Manufacturer: Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (305)

liana ~ # bluetoothctl 
Agent registered
[bluetooth]# scan on
Discovery started
[CHG] Controller DC:A6:32:B1:0E:79 Discovering: yes
[NEW] Device 7F:A9:BC:8D:E4:14 7F-A9-BC-8D-E4-14
[NEW] Device 58:EB:19:D8:D4:23 58-EB-19-D8-D4-23
[NEW] Device A4:83:E7:42:79:F6 A4-83-E7-42-79-F6
[NEW] Device 58:7B:24:1B:CC:5C 58-7B-24-1B-CC-5C
[NEW] Device D9:05:9F:DB:55:19 N0163
[NEW] Device 5F:DA:90:34:82:68 5F-DA-90-34-82-68
[NEW] Device 77:2A:1B:11:54:7D 77-2A-1B-11-54-7D
[NEW] Device 42:BF:0B:38:F3:20 42-BF-0B-38-F3-20

Next step is trying to get tethering to work…

Categories
Hardware Linux Networking Software

Ideal travel router: GL-AR750S

Right. With the pandemic and all none of us are going to travel much but still…

About a year ago I purchased myself an OpenWRT router to use on the plane and in hotels.

And so far I really like both the device and the Hong Kong based brand (launching new and updated products, and releasing relatively regular updates for older products). Pick a device that fits your needs (USB powered? LTE? Small form factor?).

The GL-AR750S aka Slate is fully customizable but runs a few nice things out of the box: WireGuard (with a physical button to turn it on or off), OpenVPN, shell access, Tor (requires the latest firmware), IPv6, DoH (Cloudflare only for now), multiple SSIDs (i.e. Guest WiFi), and more.

Oh and I specifically picked this version (compared to other or cheaper ones) because it had both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, as well as 3 Gbit ports (1x WAN, 2x LAN).

Pick whatever works for you…

I use the device on flights, where I connect to the network once in the air, purchase WiFi or use iPass “for one device” and then connect to the interwebs behind my NAT-router from my iPad, phone(s), laptop(s), and even Shan‘s devices if she is travelling with me.

In hotels, I either connect it to the wired ethernet, if still available (tends to be more stable), or connect it to the guest WiFi and then connect my devices to the router: saves me from connecting to a new network and typing the room number and login/password/family name on every device. And once again hides the true number of connected devices; quite handy trick for those pesky hotels providing free access only to two devices.

Sure it takes a bit of setup every time: find a working USB port, sign in to the web interface, search for new networks if this is a new hotel or I haven’t travelled on this airline, connect to said network, sign in with iPass, and optionally enable VPN)…

And once in a while some fiddling with VPN or DNS that’s borking up or being blocked by overzealous firewalls.

Also, some in-flight entertainment USB ports don’t provide enough power (and/or are often broken — looking at you Lufthansa in economy) so be sure to carry a couple of these (US-plug works best) — I’ve already forgotten one on my last flight from MUC-SIN on LH, but luckily I have pretty easy access to these.

If you travel a lot it’s totally worth the money.