Grant McWilliams

Tech

Tech

Replacing Intex Aqua Fish sounds with those from Jolla

After nearly having a heart attack for each notification my Aqua Fish does I've decided to replace the sounds. Since I've been through a Nokia n900, n9, and Jolla OTH I've come to like being woken up gently - it's effective and doesn't jar me. The Aqua Fish notification sounds are in your face loud and abrasive.

I searched on the Internet for Jolla sounds even though I could have extracted them from my own phone. I found a download link in this forum thread - http://www.jollausers.com/2013/08/jollaringtone2/

 

Once downloaded I dropped them in the filesystem and went to Settings -> Utilities -> Refresh Media database. I could then choose the sounds in Settings -> Sounds and Feedback. 

This is not how I wanted to do this. I wanted to copy the sounds to the /usr/share/sounds/intex-ringtones directory and edit the stereo.index file and have them show up in the Sounds and Feedback dropdown menus but it didn't work.  If anyone knows how to change out the stock sounds please let me know.

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Intex Aqua Fish

I've changed the menu title of this blog category from Jolla Other Half to SailfishOS because I got my new Intex Aqua Fish from India and it's running SailfishOS 2.0. 

It was really an act of desperation as I didn't want to resort to using Android and my Jolla Other Half had sustained a few drops with no replacements in sight since production had ended. The Jolla website listed the Jolla C (sea, get it?) but they had a tiny production run and were sold out. Come to find out the Jolla C is none other than the Intex Aqua Fish being manufactured in India. 

I ordered my Intex Aqua Fish from ebay India and had to jump through a few really weird hoops concerning Paisapal. Ebay India doesn't use Paypal, they use a system called Paisapal which wanted me to take a photo of my credit card and email it to them. That's a bit scary as we're relying on security through obscurity. When it appeared the request was legitimate I proceeded to take the photo of only the front, mask out the date and put it in a PDF.  This way it was a bit harder to find and thieves didn't have my CCV or expiration date. Still felt weird. 

A couple of days later the $81 for the phone and $20 for shipping were debited and a week after that I was the proud owner of a new Sailfish OS phone! 

 

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Automated install of CentOS 7 VM (64 bit)

Install Type

  • Non-interactive
  • Network boot
  • Commandline
  • Paravirtualized

Prerequisites

  • XCP/Xenserver
  • Access to Internet
  • Working DHCP server
  • Working DNS name resolution

Introduction

This tutorial was written in the spirit of my CentOS 6 virtual machine (64 bit) installation on Xen howto. In that tutorial I created a disk, downloaded a kernel, kickstart file plus a xen config file which installed CentOS using the kickstart file. This has proven very popular since you can't install a paravirtualized domain using an install disk. This has been a very nice installation howto because you don't have to download any install CD/DVDs and you could create VMs using nothing more than a commandline login. It's also very nice because it can be mirrored locally if you're doing a bunch of them just by rsyncing a CentOS mirror locally then downloading my files and editing them.

I now use Xenserver and it's a very different animal indeed. However, I still needed a system of creating CentOS Virtual Machines in that same manner. I didn't want to download a CentOS install DVD or need a graphical login to install the OS thus this tutorial was born.

Warning! This tutorial is for CentOS version 7 on Xenserver 6.5. To use Xenserver 6.2 or later you will need to shoehorn grub-legacy into it. I've managed to get CentOS7 to run in Xenserver 6.2 but I had to do the following. 

  1. Install CentOS7 in Xenserver 6.5 
  2. Boot the VM and login
  3. Uninstall grub2
  4. Manually download grub-legacy and install
  5. Download grub.conf file to /boot/grub/grub.conf (edit if necessary)
  6. Run the grub command to install it
    1. # grub
    2. grub> device (hd0) /dev/xvda
    3. grub> root (hd0,0)
    4. grub> setup (hd0)
    5. grub> quit
  7. Place exclude=grub* in your /etc/yum.conf
  8. Shut down the VM and export it using vm-export
  9. Copy the VM to the Xenserver 6.2 host and vm-import

 

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Fedora automated install on Xenserver updated.

I have a tendency to keep using the same tutorials of mine and only when I need them updated do I go through the process of writing, testing and publishing the changes. However, when people attempt to use my Xenserver tutorials to install newer versions of Linux I tend to go update them but if nobody asks then they get ignored. You can tell which tutorials I use by which ones are up-to-date. For instance the Ubuntu Automated Install is still stuck at Ubuntu 12.04. That probably needs to be rectified but since I rarely use Ubuntu it's on the back burner (Kali/Wheezy will get update first probably). 

Today's announcement concerns Fedora 20 on Xenserver. I started using Fedora (again) when the wonderful version 17 came out. Then 18 was released with new bugs followed by 19 which had the same bugs and a ridiculous installer. Fedora 20 still has the same odd installer bits with the same usability issues (OK button is either on the top left or bottom right depending on what you're doing) but Fedora 17 just isn't being supported anymore so I've updated to Korora 20 which is based on Fedora 20. Due to popular demand this also means that my Fedora 17 on Xenserver tutorial just got updated as well.

As usual I only use the x86_64 tutorials so I blindly updated the i386 version as well but have not tested it.

Enjoy!

Fedora 20 x86_64 Automated Install

Fedora 20 i386 Automated Install

 

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Jolla smartphone case


I've had my Jolla Other Half for a couple of months but I've held off on using it as my main phone due to my Nokia N9 still working fine and the Jolla is super slippery. Yes, the phoneback might as well be made of ice. I'm fairly sure that if I carried it that way it would last all of a week so I set out to do something about it.

Introducing what the guys at work call my "hipster phone" - a faux leather covered Jolla Other Half! It turned out pretty good and I hope to put up my pattern if anyone else wants to do this but it will have to wait until I have time to finish it.

I've never had a phone that got so much attention as the Jolla and that was BEFORE I skinned it. To me it looks like a big flat rectangle, not that exciting but for some reason people are drawn to it and people ask me several times a week what kind of phone it is. It goes something like this

Me: It's a Jolla

Them: A what?

Me: A Jolla, it's a Finnish company

Them: I've never heard of it.

Me: It's new, they just started making them last November and they became available in Europe in January.

Them: I've never seen one before.

Me: They're not sold here yet.

Them: Is it Android?

Me: No, it's SailfishOS but it can run Android apps

Them: <confused look followed by silence>

That's pretty much how it goes. A couple of times I've gotten so far as explaining that a bunch of folks from Nokia started a new company called Jolla. Twice I got that it was Linux based out and once I got to show them how the back comes off and that it's modular who which they exclaimed "That's flippin' cool!". Yes, yes it is but currently it's more of a gimmick than anything as there's not much to plug into it.

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Screen protectors for your Jolla

I got my Jolla TOH (The Other Half) a couple of weeks ago and I'm still not using it as my main phone for a couple of reasons - 1. It's so very slippery 2. It has no screen protector. Yes, it has Gorilla Glass 2 and people in the Jolla forums keep saying you don't need a screen protector but that's what they said about my Nokia n9 too and I managed to scratch that screen. To put my mind at ease I wanted to put a screen protector on my Jolla but currently nobody makes one. I imagine since the phone still isn't available in the States it will be quite some time before there's accessories for it. With that in mind I went looking for an alternative.

Most screen protectors for other phones have cutouts for front facing cameras, buttons and microphones all in the wrong places or their screen is a completely different size. The Jolla has a 4.5 inch screen but the glass area is closer to 4.9 inches. One one end the front facing camera and microphone take up a bit of space so ideally I need a protector 4.7 inches long with no cutouts. The HTC One ended up being my best chance so I ordered a three pack of plastic screen protectors for the HTC One and boy do they fit the Jolla. I'd say there's NO room side to side as it's a perfect fit. Lengthwise there's about a 1/4 of an inch or less of uncovered space where the camera and mic are. I couldn't imagine a better fit from a screen protector that isn't designed for the Jolla.

With that I installed it and am very happy with the fit. However, what I really want is a tempered glass screen protector which Amazon has for $25. Now that I know the HTC One protectors are perfect I'll probably order one. Stay tuned.

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Install xe on CentOS6

Sometimes you want to control your XCP/Xenserver pool from another host. In my case it's my firewall/iSCSI SAN box which is CentOS 6.5 X86_64. I could just remote execute xe using SSH but this doesn't allow me to set $XE_EXTRA_ARGS. Setting $XE_EXTRA_ARGS allows me to run xe commands remotely without having to specify the server, username, password or port number every time I run xe.

 

export XE_EXTRA_ARGS="server=${POOL},port=${PORT},username=${USER},password=${PASSWORD}"

 

A better choice is to install xe on the CentOS 6.5 host. 

Install pre-reqs

Install stunnel

yum install stunnel

 

 Install xapi-xe rpm from Xenserver CD

Because the Control Domain in Xenserver is 32 bit the xe command included is also 32 bit. If you have 64 bit CentOS you will need to install 32 bit glibc. The best way is to just let yum worry about it as apposed to using rpm.

If you already have a XenServer CD available you can copy the xapi-xe rpm to your CentOS host directly. If not follow the directions below.

wget http://downloadns.citrix.com.edgesuite.net/akdlm/8159/XenServer-6.2.0-install-cd.iso
mkdir xsiso
mount -o loop XenServer-6.2.0-install-cd.iso xsio
yum install xsio/packages.main/xapi-xe-0.2-5669.i686.rpm

 

 Control remote poolmaster using xe

 Because the poolmaster is remote you'll need to include the server, port, username and password in your commandline. 

xe -s <poolmaster> -p 443 -u root -pw <root password> vm-list

You can set these items in the XE_EXTRA_ARGS variable to make using xe easier.

export XE_EXTRA_ARGS="server=${POOL},port=${PORT},username=${USER},password=${PASSWORD}"
xe vm-list
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Install Xenserver Hotfixes to XCP

Hi,

It looks like you're using the Performance Monitoring Supplemental Pack.

"Failed to process plugin: xcp-rrdd-xenpm" looks like a known issue. (The problem is that xcp-rrdd doesn't cope with metrics payloads greater than 16KiB.)

This will not affect operation at all -- it merely means that you won't see any metrics about the time your server's CPUs spend in C- and P-states.

If my guess about the cause of the issue is correct, and you are feeling brave, you could attempt to fix this by applying a XenServer hotfix (XS61E017, available from http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX137168) to your XCP host. But I don't know the details on how to do this -- I'm sure someone else on this list could help you if you want to try this.

To unpack a XenServer hotfix, run the command:

gpg --homedir /opt/xensource/gpg/ --no-default-keyring --keyring /opt/xensource/gpg/pubring.gpg --output hotfix.unsigned --decrypt <XSUPDATE.the_filename>

This will give you the file 'hotfix.unsigned'. You can then do 'sh hotfix.unsigned unpack' which will give you a tmp directory with the unpacked rpms. You can then install the rpms.

And I'm sorry that this process isn't seamless on XCP like it is on XenServer.

Mike

 

 

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Why the GOP should support High Speed Rail

This article is a  response to and article written by David Salaverry,  the founder of the California Conservative Action Group. The article - California High Speed Rail: Part One, Arguments For posted on Fox and Hounds was an interesting slant on California's High Speed Rail project. We take it for granted that liberals will vote for HSR and conservatives won't. David takes a different tone and introduces a few reasons why the GOP should take a lead on building this infrastructure and I've taken it upon myself to add a few thoughts to his words.

Thank you for writing with this perspective David Salaverry.  I'm afraid that if the GOP doesn't start thinking about getting something done they may not be in office anymore. At some point people will see the GOP as the "No you can't have education, No you can't have infrastructure, No you can't have transportation, No you can't live here and work". If you say no to everyone no matter how good your intentions there won't be enough people to vote for you because you're completely ineffective at doing anything but shutting stuff down. The Democrats on the other hand may end up being the "Yes they spent a lot of money but at least some of their stuff worked". It's sad that "some of their stuff worked" would be considered a success but in comparison "none of their stuff worked because they didn't do anything" is a failure to do anything.

At one time in history the GOP was the anti-slavery, pro-American enterprise, pro-infrastructure party. Now they're the "you can't have money unless you're a defense contractor" party. This is a sad state for the GOP party and I think only when they start losing seats in congress will they think about addressing the real issues. You could make the argument that the Democrats aren't doing anything right too but that would be a different topic. Currently we're discussing the GOP and High Speed Rail.

The crazy thing about HSR is that it does work in most nations they build it in. Operating costs are cheaper per passenger mile (7-9 cents) than airlines (12-14 cents) and in those countries the HSR breaks even or even makes money (TGV makes $1.6B a year helping to offset local trains deficit).  I haven't quite figured out why the GOP is so against passenger rail because we're not exactly inventing something new and risky. I've come up some possible reasons. Most are arguments I've heard in forums.

  1. It costs money and spending ANY money is bad. This doesn't make sense because just upgrading the freeways and airports for the increased population for the next 30 years costs the same as the HSR as the cost analyses for California showed.
  2. Trains are old technology, planes are the way to go. This 1950's era thinking is old technology. HSR has proven to be the most efficient for trips from 100 - 500 miles. Just because these folks have never traveled beyond their local Walmart doesn't make it not so.
  3. Environmentalists push trains since they emit less Co2. Is there a negative to lowering Co2 that I don't know about? Even if global warming is a hoax making less pollution is generally considered a good thing.
  4. Putting everyone on public transportation is socialism and we don't want to be Russia. Airplanes are public transportation... we all ride together. With trains you ride in comfort.
  5. We don't like the idea that the government would own the infrastructure instead of private enterprise. Two words - Freeways and Airports. Both are owned by the state and both work wonderfully for their intended purpose.
  6. Liberals like trains and we can't support them. This is how you get nothing done in Congress. At some point people will have had enough and stop electing you. Try to agree on something once in a while. Your career may depend on it.
  7. Only rich people could afford to ride it. Like airplanes and cars. Driving your car one mile costs 55 cents. Only a fool thinks their car costs the price of gas. Everyone has to do maintenance, pay for insurance, tires, depreciation etc... The more you drive it the less your car is worth and the closer you get to having to buy a new one. Driving 500 miles (HSR's maximum) will cost you $250 whereas the train would cost you half that. Even planes are cheaper than driving at that distance. Save your car for driving short distances where it's the best mode of transportation.
  8. It won't go where I want. Trains go between cities and I'm a conservative so I live in the country. This is actually a VALID reason which is why you should be in the planning process. Trains have the ability to stop in smaller towns whereas planes don't. HSR could have an advantage if you live in the country.
  9. I don't want my tax money going toward something I'll never use. Currently about 30% of freeways are paid for directly by people who use them by way of gas tax. The rest comes from taxes collected from people who will never use that freeway. Currently Amtrak's dilapidated network of 70s era trains have an average farebox recovery (ticket sales) of 55% or nearly double that of freeways. Amtrak relies less per passenger on subsidies than freeways. HSR if done right will break even as it does in most countries thus having a lower burden on taxpayers not using it.
  10. I'm all for private companies like airlines providing my transportation, not government inefficienciesIf you think those private enterprises are surviving because they're more efficient you may surprised to learn they're heavily reliant on subsidies.  Airports are run by the government as is the FAA, and the TSA. Most every flight is subsidized to keep the airlines solvent. The subsidy varies depending on which airports the flights use and how popular it is. The average flight out of LAX is only subsidized $9. However, a direct flight from Spokane WA to Irvine CA is subsidized roughly $200. 

I'm sure there are other arguments but I haven't thought of them yet. Comments?

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Install XenWebManager on XCP host

 This tutorial is for installing XenWebManager on an XCP host but should work just as well for installing XenWebManager on any Redhat based hosts (CentOS/Fedora).

It's best to install XenWebManager on another machine or even a VM for security reasons but I could see installing it on a host for simplicity's sake.

You will need to be root in order to follow the instructions below.

 

1. Download and install the packages

 

cd ~
wget http://iweb.dl.sourceforge.net/project/xenwebmanager/xenwebmanager_beta_full.tar.gz
tar -xzvpf xenwebmanager_beta_full.tar.gz 
cd xenwebmanager/tools
bash install_rh.sh

 

2. Run XenWebManager

Run xenwebmanager service. The install script above already configures it to auto-start on XCP host bootup. To turn auto-start off - chkconfig xenwebmanager off...

service xenwebmanager start

 

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