Saturday, May 26, 2012

Article listing for 2011.



Microblogging from the command line.Apple- automation- blog- BSD- Facebook-Edward12/28/11
Android a unix device?administrator- Apple- Centos- Debian- eff- george jetson-Edward12/26/11
The Strange Birth and Long Life of UnixMike Kent12/26/11
Merry ChistmasMike Kent12/25/11
Happy Holidays!Christmas- Holidays- NativityEdward12/20/11
Qantas terror blamed on computerMike Kent12/20/11
Incredibly shrinking computer.Android- Assembly- Basic- Edward12/19/11
Fukushima nuclear site finally stabilizedMike Kent12/16/11
Homemade antennasantenna- TV- WifiEdward12/15/11
Legacy networking.legacy- Linux- rs232Edward12/14/11
Android development.Android- css- development- Google- html- html5- javascript-Edward12/13/11
Private spaceflight gets new contender with Strato...Burt Rutan- NASA- Paul Allen-Mike Kent12/13/11
Nook- Fire Update wars Have BegunAmazon- Barnes and Noble- Color NookMike Kent12/12/11
Iron Geek retro part 1.3com- Dos- Ghost- home automation- network- Edward12/10/11
What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447Mike Kent12/10/11
My Uncle’s remote control.Robert12/9/11
Touch tablet for the visually impaired?Android- Handicap- touch tabletEdward12/7/11
Tablets Hurting PC Sales? - of Course They Are!Android- iPad- Kindle fire- nookMike Kent12/5/11
Computing for the visually impaired.blind- handicapped.- impaired- Linux- visuallyEdward12/4/11 and Network Solutions- the Walmart of the ...Robert12/1/11
Openwrt for x86 - part 2dd-wrt- Linux- openwrt- usbEdward11/28/11
Openwrt for x86 - part 1dd-wrt- legacy- openwrt- routerEdward11/26/11
Thank you for visiting us.Edward11/23/11
Get your mac back- Jack!Apple. Mac- machine- virtualEdward11/21/11
The new file cabinet.attached- cabinent- File- network- server- storageEdward11/21/11
Business data using spreadsheets.Business- inventory- management- spreadsheets-Edward11/20/11
What's in your wallet (i mean computer)?Apple- computer- hardware- Linux- mac-Edward11/20/11
Android x86 for your PC.Android- cd- live- pc- x86Edward11/19/11
Easy web server setupMicrosoft- python.- server- web- WindowsEdward11/19/11
Want to run Andriod on a PC? Try this gadget: US...Mike Kent11/19/11
Using a simple Google API.API- Google- weatherEdward11/18/11
Screen resolution updateLinux- resolution- screen- size- spreadsheetEdward11/17/11
Linux screen resolutionLinux- monitor- resolutionEdward11/17/11
A bit of news.Edward11/16/11
Free Satellite Tvantenna- dish- free- satellite- televsion- TVEdward11/16/11
DSL and Dish versus CableRobert11/15/11
Do not depend on them.drill- geek- screwdriver- toolEdward11/15/11
Resizing Desktop icons continuedicon- Linux- MSWindows XP- resize- tip- videoEdward11/13/11
Re-size desktop iconsRobert11/13/11
Flash for Mobile - Heading for HTML5 InsteadMike Kent11/13/11
Hard drive shortage?aoe- client- cloneing clone- gpxe- iscsi- lan- pxe- san-Edward11/11/11
Red October network discovery.Apple- BSD- hack- Linux- network- nmapEdward11/11/11
Exacto knife.css- edit. html- javascript- pate- webEdward11/10/11
Quick cartooncartoon- computer- console- game- geek- IBM- ps2- sonyEdward11/6/11
Evolution of a scriptbash- gui- list- script- weatherEdward11/1/11
Duplicate linux box.cloning- systemEdward10/30/11
Recent projectsbolo- computers- food- geek- screen- wgetEdward10/30/11
Underused linux command.Apache- cloud- computing- lamp- machine- mamp. web- Edward10/30/11
How to tell a real computer tech.employment- Linux- Microsoft- Technican- testsEdward10/29/11
Your first web program.Apple- browser- BSD- editor- gedit- html- LinuxEdward10/27/11
Market research.Linux- marketing- researchEdward10/24/11
In honor of Dennis Ritchie passing-ascii- Dennis- Linux- movie- Ritchie- teminal-Edward10/21/11
Free Tvanalog- antenna- digital- dvr- free- monitor- Mythbuntu- Mythtv- PVR-Edward10/19/11
Rebuilt a new(old) computer.Apple. Mac- command- cost- Debian- line Edward10/17/11
Thank goodness! Up and running again.aoe- Centos- Debian- gpxe- install- iscsi-Edward10/16/11
Alas poor oesrvr1Dell- Linux- server- Ubuntu- webEdward10/15/11
Thinking outside of the box.Edward10/13/11
We lose another great one.Edward10/13/11
More out of what you have (part 2)Edward10/9/11
Some thoughts.Apple- Mapple- osx- Simpsons- wozEdward10/6/11
In memorium:Apple- Jobs- mac- wozEdward10/5/11
Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement AddressMike Kent10/5/11
Steve Jobs - Apple Leader PassesApple- Steve JobsMike Kent10/5/11
Making more out of what you have.client- cloud- computer- DIY- ElectronicsEdward9/30/11
Patent bullies.Android- Linux- MS- patentEdward9/29/11
About Face! GM Reverses Decision to track non OnS...GM- GPS- On StarMike Kent9/27/11
Is the Facebook bubble getting ready to burst?Facebook- social media- ZyngaMike Kent9/27/11
Linux for new computer- Linux- rockerEdward9/26/11
Time saver with page scraping.bash- browser- page- scraping- webEdward9/26/11
BSODbsod- computer- crash- error- MicrosoftEdward9/23/11
Need an extra arm?arduino- ARM- computer- microprocessorEdward9/20/11
How about twice the performance for less power?ARM- Atom- Kal-El Mike Kent9/20/11
Getting more for less.client- ltsp- server- terminal- thinEdward9/20/11
Did someone get a clue?BSD- Linux- Microsoft- operating systems- server-Edward9/20/11
Yet another reason I really like Ars TechnicaComputer history- Grace MurrayMike Kent9/18/11
More nails in the flash coffinAdobe- Flash- Microsoft- Windows 8Mike Kent9/18/11
Head is up in a commerce- server- site- webEdward9/16/11
A few old tweets.Edward9/15/11
Lost site.internet- lost- page- wayback- webEdward9/14/11
Can a Tablet be used for everyday work? - Jacqui C...ARM- ars technical- iPadMike Kent9/14/11
How to sell online- Part 2Robert9/13/11
Habla usted Python.html- language- program- PythonEdward9/13/11
Why can I not program it?Android- development- iPad- IphoneEdward9/12/11
Even Adobe is preparing for the end of FlashAdobe- Flash- iOS- iPadMike Kent9/11/11
Free money- well sort free- money- recycle- reuseEdward9/11/11
Really?computer- Linux- open sourceEdward9/10/11
Microsoft to Improve Boot Times in Windows 8 - doe...Mike Kent9/9/11
What time is it?clock- computer- recycleEdward9/9/11
Flash: the end may not quite be near - but the big...Mike Kent9/7/11
The more things change- the more history- Office- softwareEdward9/6/11
We love web servers and touchpads...Chumby- home automation- Linux- nslu2Edward9/4/11
How to sell on-line- Part one.Robert9/4/11
Geek JokesRobert9/3/11
Geekwearaccessory- computer- food- geek- hack- Home madeEdward8/29/11
Odds and ends.cheesecake- document- network- recycleEdward8/28/11
My old pads.... and squeeze a video.edit- iPad- touchpad- videoEdward8/28/11
This and dvr- ereader- home automation- internet- security- server-Edward8/27/11
Translating from the command line.Apple- bash- language- Microsoft- translationEdward8/19/11
Kill a virus.antivirus- clamav- Linux- Microsoft- SambaEdward8/15/11
Moving network- recycle- reuseEdward8/4/11
New re-uses for old computers- by EddieRobert8/2/11
How to set up an online businessRobert7/31/11
Keywords- what in the W.W.W. are we looking for?Robert7/25/11
To META or Not to META that is the question?Robert7/22/11
Who we areRobert7/22/11

Article listing for 2012 (so far)

Article Name Date

Taking a trip on the net.nmap- ssh pen- testing Edward 5/23/12
Boot it.boot- Linux- sector Edward 5/19/12
Oracle vs Googlecode- java- programming Edward 5/19/12
Is your network firewall backdoor open?firewall Edward 5/11/12
Easy search.clock- code- engine- form- Google Edward 5/5/12 Linux- Robot Edward 5/3/12
B&N M$ Nook coming?Barnes- Microsoft Edward 5/2/12
Hunt the Wumpus.adventure- computer- game Edward 5/1/12
Technician hints.+5/+12- backup- bench tes Edward 4/27/12
Running a hosted computer in your browser.c=64 Edward 4/26/12
How hosting companies rake in the Edward 4/26/12
Put that old PPC Mac back to work.Apple- Linux Edward 4/26/12
Thinking twice about using the cloud.confiscation.  Edward 4/22/12
How to Start a Neighborhood Intranet.internet Edward 4/22/12
Cutting cable the cord - additional options.antenna Edward 4/20/12
Cutting cable the cord - Mike Kent 4/20/12
How to stop a patent troll Mike Kent 4/19/12
Cut and paste.command line- gui- Linux Edward 4/12/12
Wisp of an internet.hotspot- intranet- wisp Edward 4/12/12
How to check for—and get rid of Edward 4/7/12
LInux is everywhere.client- desktop Edward 4/5/12
Back up your web site.apache2- backup Edward 4/2/12
HELP WITH KINDLE (Reader )Kindle- reset Robert  3/30/12
Amazon working on next version(s) of the Kindle Mike Kent 3/26/12
Garage sale!Android- browser- Business- iPad Edward 3/25/12
Two homemade laptop accessories.lamp- Edward 3/25/12
Bash your web server for system info.bash Edward 3/22/12
Computing hack- hardware Edward 3/21/12
25 Degrees Celsius. Doesn't seem even cold to me Edward 3/18/12
Do your own home automation.automation- direc Edward 3/9/12
McGuyver monitor.card- composite- monitor Edward 3/2/12
Raspberry PiLinux- pc- TinyEdward 2/29/12
Cut the cable.Apple TV- Boxee- Google TV-  Robert  2/25/12
100 linux games! Edward 2/25/12
Your own inTRAnet. Edward 2/24/12
Original open source touchpad? Edward 2/23/12 - Changing The Way Game Mike Kent 2/20/12
Virus Rescue DisksAnti Virus- AntiVirus Boot disk Mike Kent 2/19/12
Build your own web server software.compile Edward 2/19/12
Top 5 iPad/Kindle Fire Issues Mike Kent 2/17/12
Replacing an MSWindows Network- Part 1 Edward 2/7/12
XBMC running on Raspberry PiLinux- multimedia Edward 2/6/12
Tom's Hardware has an interesting little article s... Mike Kent 2/3/12
Jailbreaking a device is not a crimedmca Edward 1/27/12
Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen! Mike Kent 1/23/12
Command line freedom.BSD- command Edward 1/22/12
Super antenna cheap.antenna- Electronics Edward 1/16/12
Super calculator.calculator- computing Edward 1/15/12
Three interesting Instructables. Edward 1/8/12
Arduino - Microcontroller fun!arduino Edward 1/6/12
Linux tricks and tips.bash- command Edward 1/5/12
Kindle- Nook- Ipad- or etc.Android Edward 1/2/12
Under $50 dollar computer!Linux- Raspberry Edward 1/1/12

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Taking a trip on the net.

The graphical user interface is very easy, but if you are to be a real computer administrator, you will need to use the command line at one point or another.  This is especially true with virtual systems where memory is at a premium. Here were are going to take a trip on the network, all from the keyboard without even leaving our desk. The other systems could be right next to us or a zillion miles away.  We will log into two additional computers and then perform some testing on a forth system. Sometimes this is known as pen testing. NOTICE: YOU MUST HAVE THE PERMISSIONS TO PEN TEST ANOTHER SYSTEM IN ADVANCE!!  The real world pen testers make their clients sign a detailed agreement relieving them of any liability ahead of the events. What we are about to do is for educational purposes and no damage or illegal entry actions will be performed.  

Let's log into the first system.

[eddie@oedt01 ~]$ ssh robopet
Linux robopet 2.6.12-9-386 #1 Mon Oct 10 13:14:36 BST 2005 i586 GNU/Linux

The programs included with the Ubuntu system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Ubuntu comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by
applicable law.
You have new mail.
Last login: Wed May 23 14:42:04 2012 from

So far so good, let's log into that second system.

eddie@robopet:~$ ssh oesrvr1
eddie@oesrvr1's password:
Linux oesrvr1 2.6.32-41-generic-pae #89-Ubuntu SMP Fri Apr 27 23:59:24 UTC 2012 i686 GNU/Linux
Ubuntu 10.04.4 LTS

Welcome to Ubuntu!
 * Documentation:

0 packages can be updated.
0 updates are security updates.

You have new mail.
Last login: Wed May 23 14:42:20 2012 from robopet

Now we are logged into a second system which could be next door or half way around the world. And we did not even have to purchase a plane ticket. So now let's find out about another system. We will use Google for this test. What we about to do is known as penetration testing at the baby step level. We are going to use a program known as nmap to help us. So that nmap is not used lightly, generally administrative or root rights are required. So we use sudo to preface our command. 

 What we want to do is see if we can find out what the operating system is and what doors or ports are open on that system. When you use a web browser such as firefox, you access the doors or ports of the system you wish to look at the web page of. 

eddie@oesrvr1:~$ sudo nmap -O sS
[sudo] password for eddie:

Starting Nmap 5.00 ( ) at 2012-05-23 15:05 CDT
Failed to resolve given hostname/IP: sS.  Note that you can't use '/mask' AND '1-4,7,100-' style IP ranges
Warning: Hostname resolves to 5 IPs. Using
Interesting ports on (
Not shown: 996 filtered ports
80/tcp   open   http
443/tcp  open   https
554/tcp  closed rtsp
1935/tcp closed rtmp
Aggressive OS guesses: OpenWrt (Linux 2.4.32) (90%), OpenWrt White Russian 0.9 (Linux 2.4.30) (90%), Microsoft Xbox game console (modified, running XboxMediaCenter) (90%), OpenWrt Kamikaze (Linux 2.4.32 - 2.4.34) (88%), uClinux 2.4.19-uc1 (ARM) (88%), APC AP9319 Environmental Monitoring Unit or Smart-UPS 1000 RM UPS (88%), Bosch Divar security system (88%), HP DeskJet 6127 or 6840, Officejet 7400, Officejet Pro K550, or Photosmart 2710 or 8400 printer (88%), HP LaserJet (1020-, 2010-, 2600-, 2800-, 3050-, or 3390-series), or Brother (HL-5250DN, MFC-7840N, or MFC-8860DN) printer (88%), HP LaserJet 2600n printer (88%)
No exact OS matches for host (test conditions non-ideal).

OS detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at .
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 14.31 seconds

The last time I did this the operating system was not even guessed and only two ports (80 and 443) were shown. We will look at ports 80 and 443. We can use a program called links2 to access the websites from the command line as if using Firefox or the like.

eddie@oesrvr1:~$ links2

   Search Images                                                              
   iGoogle | Web    +------------ Exit Links -------------+                  
                    |                                     |                  
                    |  Do you really want to exit Links?  |                  
  _______________   |                                     |   dvanced        
           [ Goog   |           [ Yes ]  [ No ]           |   earchLanguage  
                    +-------------------------------------+   ools            
           Advertising ProgramsBusiness Solutions+GoogleAbout Google          
                           (c) 2012 - Privacy & Terms        

Yes, port 80 works.              

eddie@oesrvr1:~$ links2

                    +------------ Exit Links -------------+                  
                    |                                     |                  
                    |  Do you really want to exit Links?  |                  
                    |                                     |                  
                    |           [ Yes ]  [ No ]           |                  

We have to use a special prefix for port 443 to work.
eddie@oesrvr1:~$ links2

   Search Images                                                              
   iGoogle | Web    +------------ Exit Links -------------+                  
                    |                                     |                  
                    |  Do you really want to exit Links?  |                  
  _______________   |                                     |   dvanced        
           [ Goog   |           [ Yes ]  [ No ]           |   earchLanguage  
                    +-------------------------------------+   ools            
           Advertising ProgramsBusiness Solutions+GoogleAbout Google          
                           (c) 2012 - Privacy & Terms                        

Now let's look at another system (where we logged in from).
eddie@oesrvr1:~$ sudo nmap -O sS robopet

Starting Nmap 5.00 ( ) at 2012-05-23 15:08 CDT
Failed to resolve given hostname/IP: sS.  Note that you can't use '/mask' AND '1-4,7,100-' style IP ranges
Interesting ports on robopet (
Not shown: 999 closed ports
22/tcp open  ssh
MAC Address: 00:00:00:00:00:00 (Nic card type)
Device type: general purpose
Running: Linux 2.6.X
OS details: Linux 2.6.9 - 2.6.19
Network Distance: 1 hop

OS detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at .
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 6.98 seconds

On this system the correct os is described. Not only that we have the mac address and the make of the network card. This data could be easily for a another computer to seem as if it was that computer. Not good. Ports 80 and 443 are not used, which usually means a web server is not set up for the traditional ports. (Actually there is no web server installed). We do see that the ssh default port 22 is being used. Normally this needs to be changed to some other port to above 1000 and it is hidden.  We could attack port 22 if we wanted to get into that system. For another day. Time to go back home.  Let's leave all the computers we have entered.

eddie@oesrvr1:~$ exit
Connection to oesrvr1 closed.
eddie@robopet:~$ exit
Connection to robopet closed.

Back at the original computer.

[eddie@oedt01 ~]$

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Boot it.

A while back we talked about computer systems having five parts. One of those parts is the software. Software can be divided into two categories. Operating systems control and interface the hardware. Application software allow users to solve problems. The application software can not run without the operating system.

Our focus will be on the operating system and how it starts up, Most traditional systems have what is known as a bios (basic input output system) that does the most basic interaction with the hardware .Newer systems use EFI which is a whole other animal.  it’s primary purpose is to have to software to easily interact with the motherboard and to load in an operating system that has more power to interact with the hardware.  You turn on the machine and the bios cycles thought the available hardware to load in an operating system. So it looks for what is known as a boot loader or a part of the media than can chain the operating system to load in.

Here we will use a virtual machine to simulate the booting of a machine.  Let’s make a virtual floppy.

$ sudo mkdosfs -C newdisk.img 1440
mkdosfs 3.0.12 (29 Oct 2011)

Now that we have a virtual floppy disk we must create a boot loader. We will type some code that will be converted to the binary ones and zeros the computer understands. You will need a program known as nasm to complete this process..  Here is the code:

BITS 16            ;Tells the assembler that its a 16 bit code
mov ax, 07C0h      ;Origin, tell the assembler that where the code will
mov ds, ax         ;be in memory after it is been loaded
mov si, bootstring ;Store string pointer to SI
call print_string
jmp $              ;Infinite loop, hang it here. Not normally what you want to do.

bootstring db "[ ---", 10, 13, "[ Your computer booted!", 10, 13, "[ ---", 13, 0
print_string:    ;Print bootstring on the screen. Assume that ASCII value is in register AL
mov ah, 0Eh      ;Tell BIOS that we need to print one character on screen.
.loop:           ;Print a character at a time till all characters are printed.

lodsb            ;Loads a byte from the source operand into the AL register.
cmp al, 0        ;Reason for appending the 0 at the end of the string to know to quit.
je .finish       ;End of loop
int 10h          ;Print that character

jmp .loop        ;Do it again
ret              ;End of call

times 510-($-$$) db 0   ;Fill the rest of sector with 0
dw 0AA55h        ;To be a valid boot sector, the two-byte hexadecimal sequence 0x55, 0xAA                             
                 ;(called the boot sector signature) must exist at the end of the sector.

You will need a text editor to type in (or cut and paste) the code so we can convert it. Using nasm. lets convert the source code to a BINary file to be executed from the floppy.

$ nasm -f bin -o helloboot.bin helloboot.asm

Now that we have the binary file helloboot.bin, it needs to be installed on the virtual floppy at the beginning of the media where the bios will see it.

$  sudo dd if=helloboot.bin of=newdisk.img conv=notrunc
1+0 records in
1+0 records out
512 bytes (512 B) copied, 0.000335593 s, 1.5 MB/s

Now we need to try it out. So fire up up your virtual machine (aka vm). Qemu is a popular easy to get virtual machine software you can use for this project. Set your vm to boot from the virtual floppy disk and choose newdisk.img as the floppy file to boot from.

Now you need to launch the virtual machine And TADA, you have loaded your boot sector.. What really happens is a kernel is loaded in and then the operating system takes over.  More about that later.

Update: Some x86_64 users may need to use the command line to get the virtual floppy.


More information at:

Oracle vs Google

Update: API's are not copyrightable. Oracle wants to appeal. Fat chance they will get to according to some. No reason to burn a java book now.

Oracle wanted beellions and beellions of dollars (In a Carl Saganist tone) for this few lines of code. Anyone could have written this "generic" code. Almost like a generic example of the throw command from a java manual.

private static void rangeCheck(int arrayLen, int fromIndex, int toIndex) {
if (fromIndex > toIndex)
throw new IllegalArgumentException("fromIndex(" + fromIndex +
") > toIndex(" + toIndex+")");
if (fromIndex < 0)
throw new ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException(fromIndex);
if (toIndex > arrayLen)
throw new ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException(toIndex);

The Fat lady should sing on Monday, Meellions and Meellions are posed to burn their java textbooks. Meellions and Meellions could be poised to dump their Oracle stock. Even if Oracle wins the case, they will lose, because no one will want to use their system for fear of being sued. Translation: They should expect a loss of current and future customers to some degree.

Note: Part of this post was from PUBLIC RECORDS and not copywriteable, yet it was hidden without my knowledge or permission. I deleted that section so that whomever did it did not get the full satisfaction proving how self important they are.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Is your network firewall backdoor open?

This is going to almost sound like a basis for a script from the old "Mission Impossible" TV show. First a little preparation. If you work for a company or have lots of computers where you live, most likely (at least I hope so) there is a device to control what comes into your network. In general this is called a network firewall. They are set up to keep the bad guys out from the outside. What they do not do is keep a control over what goes from inside to outside the network.

If persons or persons want access to your network, trying to get through a firewall is the hardest way in. If they could put a device on the inside of your network, then they have you lock stock and barrel. Somehow they get physical access to your facilities and install what is known as a man in the middle device. Your firewall at this point is now worthless.

Traditionally man in the middle devices were created from old wifi routers using modified firmware. Generally you had to be nearby to have access to those units. Today with the new embedded processors, they are so small that they can be hidden anywhere on the network. Only a trained eye, or a skilled network administrator can detect these devices.

Today, this same technique has become a lot more sophisticated. Persons wanting access to your network will usually rent or lease a third party server. With this server a connection from the man in the middle device is much easier. In most cases, they will set up a second man in the middle device at another location surreptitiously that also connects to the third party server. In fact is best done at a victim's competitors location so that it is more likely to be least detected and the competitor gets all the heat.

So the persons wanting access to your network do not have to be on the site of the competitor, a wifi (aka wireless) connection is used so everything can be monitored off-site. That means emails, passwords, documents, and general network traffic can all be monitored in safety, This s sometimes called sniffing.

Moral of the story. You need to physically monitor all internal network connections at desks, data closets, or anywhere there is access to the network. Make sure anyone working on the network is authorized to do so. Secondly, data going through the network has to be scrutenized also. One good way to see if there is a man in the middle attached some where is to disconnect the network at the desktop and see if there is still network traffic.

If there is, you will have to decide what to do next. You could disconnect it and then alert the persons and they will be gone immediately. Or you isolate that one network connection and set up what is known as a honey pot to keep their attention till the appropriate persons can be apprehended. One early good example of this, is documented in a book called "The Cuckoos Egg" by Cliff Stoll. In any case, you should alert the authorities immediately. 

Note: I emailed (before the web as we know it today) back and forth with Cliff. He had some interesting things to say that were not included in the book.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Easy search.

You can save yourself some time by adding a small code snippet to your web pages to access a web search engine without having to go to a search engine. This is good for your self made home pages like the following:

For more information see:

Have fun!

Bonus: Easy Clock for your web page.


More information at :

Note: Javascript must be enabled.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Have not made much time to work on special projects. One thing I need to start back on is robopet.  There is nothing real super snazzy about this unit although it could be. mainly I will use it for carrying snacks back and forth from the kitchen during sporting events. There will be a second level not currently attached to hold the goodies. More information about the unit follows.


Using an old Pentium I computer, usb wireless, DC battery power, and compact flash with an ide interface.

Made a special wiring hardness to connect the parallel port with the electronics. Now I need to start testing the electronics for the motor control. Hoping the h-bridge can take the current. If not, I think I have a IC that will. Worst case scenarios is to do it the old fashion way with transistors. After that, everything should fall into place.

Using a standard power supply to test the unit, but it will run on battery when I finish it. Since the motherboard is AT and the DC-DC PS is ATX, I had to make a special cable from scratch to interface the two. Tested the cable and it works.

Have the wireless working via a usb interface set up to work with a specific router via the mac address and the zone. Albeit the wireless is 11 mb, more than fast enough to receive and send communication

No sensors added yet.


The Linux OS is installed.  The OS resides on a compact flash.The iso file for the version of the Ubuntu distribution also resides on the flash drive and gets mounted as a loop.

Using my own home grown robot control software gather data from sensors and to operate the unit. Eventually, I want to make an autonomous unit.  This unit will be more like a remote controlled car via wifi.

Code to control the motors has already been tested and is working.   Using a hardwired connection, already tested client/server socket programming to communicate with and control the unit. That should be way more efficient and possibly more secure than using a web server per se..

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

B&N M$ Nook coming?

Microsoft was embattled with Barnes and Noble about alleged patent infringement. Barnes and Noble would not buckle under to Microsoft from what we have heard. Now Microsoft has invested in a Barnes and Noble subsidiary. All kinds of rumors abound.... Feel for those who already have a Nook, that their support might get cut off.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hunt the Wumpus.

There are several types of games, but lately adventure games seem to be coming back. The original adventures just required a keyboard. No fancy joysticks and or sound cards to deal with.  What is really nice about them is that you can use the same source code more or less on a variety of systems. Sometimes that is known as code portability.  People even want to put it on the Arduino (a micro-controller).  If you do not have an Arduino, you can still play the original game on your desktop system.

You might even be able to put it on your router and play it remotely.  You could even put it on a server to play while waiting for some event. Definitely for older or lower resource systems.  Wumpus is probably one of the most popular of the original adventure games. Supposedly it was written in BASIC (Beginners all purpose instruction code) and then translated or ported to "C".   In fact some of the versions of the code,have the original BASIC code embedded in the comments of the "C" code. Good lesson in learning "C" for beginners.

For more information see: