Almost Did Mt. Marcy

http://images.43places.com/entry/559680pw600.jpg

I took last Thursday and Friday off to climb Mt Marcy with a friend. We got off to a late start because we traveled from Rochester, NY to Keene, NY through the night because the weather called for rain on Friday. With Thursday being the only day to make this work, we didn’t even get on the trail until after noon. Luckily we found out that the trail split to the summit of Mt Marcy or Mt Phelps three or four miles in. Since we had pretty much no chance of reaching the top of Mt Marcy and getting back before dark we took the path to Mt Phelps. The last mile was a killer, but we did it! The last couple of miles on the way back was in the dark however. Next time it will be Mt Marcy – for real!

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New Phone!

Last month I finally upgraded my Sony S710a to a Samsung Eternity (SGH-A867). I had been eying the iPhone for a while, and I know a few people that have one, but there were a couple of things that I just couldn’t get past when picking a new phone. The iPhone is WAY cool for sure, but I don’t use MS Windows at all for anything.. period, and I’m afraid to get the full awesomeness out of the iPhone I would be tied to itunes running on a windows machine. I have an iPod, and use it frequently with gtkpod on my Linux workstation, but the iPhone does soo much more that I think I’d just be missing out. With Apple intentionally making 3rd party interaction with their devices difficult and (at the time) Bluetooth being crippled was enough to make me look at other phones.

So anyway, the Eternity is pretty enough and touchscreeny enough for me to feel like I’m living in 2009 AND bluetooth wasn’t crippled. My requirements for the new phone were: Bluetooth, GPS, run J2ME apps, camera and not be a Windows device. I thought the out-of-the-box Eternity would do all of that.. but unfortunately AT&T restricted the GPS on it. Everything else worked great though! I lived without the GPS for a couple of weeks, and then the good folks at samsung-eternity.com came up with a great hack to get free gps going with 3rd party apps! You can go read all about it here, but in short all you have to do to get Mobile GMaps and amAze GPS going is to use a usb cable to get to your phone with TKFileExplorer (or Bitpim) and remove everything in the exe/java/games/<yourapp>/appdb directory and the exe/java/games/<yourapp>/MANIFEST.MF file. If you are on linux you can try to get Bitpim to do the job, but after trying for a couple hours to get all of its Python dependancies working I gave up and ran TKFileExplorer through wine.. you can read about doing that in my post here.

I’d love to rant about how pissed I was about AT&T locking the GPS to their own stupid nav service, but was unable to keep that level of emotion after finding the above hack. But seriously, I was angry at the world.. do they want people to just buy iPhones that are not as restricted? Why wouldn’t Samsung be upset about this? Oh well.. I’m happy now, and thats all that matters. AT&T can still go to hell though.

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2009 Is Half Over

First post in a few months, so here are a couple of updates.

Sawyer is growing up fast! He is saying quite a bit more these past few weeks. When before he would just kind of make sounds if he didn’t know how to say a specific word, now I think he is actually trying to say the word.. even if it doesn’t come out quite right all the time. Some words he has no problems saying at all are NO!, Momo (Morgan), Lawnmower, Cars and Bike.

Morgan is also getting big! She is trying really really hard to start walking. She pulls herself up on her own when she is near a chair or table, but that first real step on her own might still be a few weeks off. She has four teeth now and getting good at biting.

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Family Portrait 6/09




Family 6/09

Originally uploaded by drunnells

Last weekend the whole family packed up and headed to Sears for a more recent family photo. Didn’t come out too bad! Not even close to the mount of kicking and screaming that I thought we would run into either. One thing that I really do like about Sears is that they give you license to do whatever you want with the pictures, unlike most of the other places we have been to. And you can buy a CD the same day with your images on it, when we go elsewhere we wind up scanning them in just to have a digital copy.

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Kim’s New Phone

I have to post about this because I spent more than three hours on it, and for me any non-parenting/husbanding activity that takes more than a few minutes is a significant event. Kim replaced her broken Razor V3 with a Pantech Matrix last week. I’m not that big of a phone geek, BUT I am liking this phone a lot.. mostly because it doesn’t run an MS operating system and it has a real QWERTY keyboard. Its been a while since I’ve looked at any recent phones other than the iphone or G3.. my own phone is approaching old age and the features I thought were cool on it are now pretty much standard. The problem with Kim’s old Razor is that the keypad is busted.. no keys worked on it. The people at Cingular were unable to transfer her contacts or photos to her new phone so I thought that I would give it a try. Here is how I did it.

After compiling USB_ACM into the kernel on my Linux (LFS) machine I was able to use moto4lin to copy her photos off with a usb cable. For anyone else that needs to do this with a Razor, I needed to put it into P2K mode.. the only way I found to do this on this phone was from a terminal do:

AT+MODE=8

From there moto4lin was able to bring up the file list and I copied everything down.

Next step was to get the phone book.. which as it turns out was the most difficult part. Using a terminal again I did a:

AT+MPBR=1,100

to retrieve contacts #1-100. This gave me a list with each row looking something like:

+MPBR: 17,"5855551234",129,"Some Name",3,0,255,0,1,1,255,255,0,"",0,0,"","","","","","","",""

The information I needed was the first few fields: Contact Id, Phone Number, nType, Name, eType. Since she had less than 60 rows, I copied these out and pasted it into a file and wrote a little PHP script to pull out the number, name and eType and put them into the insert format for her new phone. The eTypes are:

0 Work
1 Home
2 Main
3 Mobile
4 Fax
5 Pager
6 Email
7 Mailing list

For her new phone I used Bluetooth to insert the new contacts. To get this working I needed to find the phone ‘s address with:

hcitool scan

And then get a /dev device for it with rfcomm. But first I needed to find the modem channel on this phone. To get this I did a:

sdptool browse

And looked for “Dialup Networking”. In the case of the Matrix this is channel 1 so the rfcomm command line was:

rfcomm <ADDRESS> 0 1

The address was the address we found with hcitool, the 0 is the rfcomm device number i’m giving it (will show up as /dev/rfcomm0) and the 1 is the channel. From here I can use minicom or whatever terminal program and do my AT commands to insert. But first I had to set the phonebook to insert to. I couldn’t figure out where to put the phone’s own phonebook entries, so I used the SIM card, which is set with:

AT+CPBS="SM"

I had the PHP script that I mentioned earlier to pull out the name and number spit them out in the preformated GSM phonebook insert commands. Which look like:

AT+CPBW=1,"5855551234",129,"Some Name"

The 1 is the index number, you’ll need to increment this for each entry and the 129 is the non-international phone number.. for me it was the same for every entry and matches what I pulled off of the Razor. Once the numbers were inserted I needed to power cycle the phone to get them to show up. I also wanted the entries to show up with the extra phonebook features offered on this phone (like picture identification and such) so from the phone’s own interface I copied all the SIM phonebook entries onto the phone and then deleted them from the SIM card to avoid duplicates. Seems like everything worked.. one ugly thing about doing this was that the Razor has a separate entry for each number, so a cell number and a home number for “Joe Smith” would be two separate entries in the Razor’s CPBR list, I had my script use the eType to put a (M) or (H) next to the name to signify the type of number it was.

For anyone else interested in doing something similar, you will find more information on the Razor’s AT commands here. And the standard GSM AT commands here.

This was a fun project that I don’t get to do much of anymore.. and I am really liking the Matrix.. and I’m seriously thinking that when the time comes to replace my own (now ancient) phone I’ll go for this instead of an iPhone or G3.. we’ll see though.

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OpenID & Verisign VIP

A while back I purchased a PayPal Security Key, which is a physical key fob that generates a number to use in addition to my normal login. The key fob itself was $5, and I like the idea of having “two-factor” authentication where my money is. A really cool thing that I just found out about today is that the key fob from PayPal is actually a Verisign VIP (Verisign Identity Protection) token.. and can be used everywhere that their own $30 token can be used, including for OpenID authentication at the Verisign Personal Identity Portal! Very cool.

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First post of the year!

Now that we are three months into 2009, its probably a good time to post.

Sawyer is now TWO friggen years old (as of 2/14).. and he is definitely a two year old, he plays a lot with MegaBlocks (Legos for little kids, which I also enjoy playing with) and his taste in TV shows has changed a little since when he was a baby-baby, instead of Teletubies, we watch more “Imagination Movers” and “Handy Many”. Morgan is starting to become a lot more alert over the past few weeks, she watches her big brother and her parents move around the house and she is a lot more vocal than I remember Sawyer being at that age.

In other news Kim and I decided to stimulate the economy some by purchasing an Elliptical exercise machine. Even though I know exercise equipment is notorious for being a waste of money, I’m determined (today anyway) to use it for every dollar its worth.. I’m getting oldish, and being fat is probably not a good idea anymore. If nothing else, I now have something to blame when I gain wait.. I can be one of those people who say “____ doesn’t work, I tried it.” and exclude my personal laziness from the equation.

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Honda Radio Code

Saturday my AVIC-N1 nav/mp3/cd/radio system crapped out on me.. and I think that it may be gone for good. That sucks.. a lot, since it was pretty expensive (5 years ago).. what sucks more is that we are pretty broke right now, and it doesn’t look like that will be changing any time soon.. which means no new radio any time soon either. My commute to Syracuse is 1.5 hours on a good day, and 1.5 hours each way with no radio will be pretty darn unbearable. SO, I dug out my stock radio that shipped with my civic and that has been collecting dust in the basement for the past few years and hooked it up. I’m posting this here in case anyone else ever needs it, or I manage to forget the next time I need it – To get your Honda radio code you can go to: https://radio-navicode.honda.com and enter the radio’s serial number and owner’s details.

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Credit Freeze

Today I decided to put a security freeze on our credit. It seems like a lot of identity theft has been going around lately, and at the moment there really isn’t any reason anyone should be examining our credit reports as we definitely do not want any more credit cards or loans right now. I have read a little bit on those identity protection services, but to me it sounds like the biggest part of what they do is freeze your credit.. and thats something I can do myself. From reading about this on the NY state web page I kind of expected it to be more of a pain than it was. Of the three credit reporting agencies, both TransUnion and Experian allowed me to do the freeze online after asking a few questions about my credit history. Only Equifax makes it difficult for NY residents by making you send in a written letter and ID to make the request. Once Equifax steps into modern times and lets you freeze/unfreeze online managing this should be a lot easier!  Anyway, just thought I’d post my experience here.

Tonight Kim, Sawyer, Morgan, Myself and our nephew will be going to Chuck E. Cheese for one of Saywer’s playgroup friend’s birthday parties. I’ve only been there once as an adult.. and it really is nothing like the video arcade I remember it once being, but at least I still enjoy eating pizza.

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Gmail on my S710a

Today I was playing with Gmail and decided to try their IMAP service with my phone (Sony Ericsson S710a). Google has the imap details listed right on their web page, so I thought it would be straight forward enough. BUT it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. In case I forget, or anyone else is trying to do the same thing, this is what I did to get it working. My phone’s email settings are:

  • Connect Using: Media Net
  • Protocol: IMAP4
  • Incoming Server: imap.gmail.com
  • Incoming Port: 993
  • Encryption:
  •   Incoming Server TLS/SSL, Domain: imap.gmail.com
  •  Outgoing Server: No encryption
  • Mailbox: myusername@gmail.com
  • Password:  mygmailpw
  • Outgoing Mail Server: My own smtp server
  • Outgoing Port: 25
  • Email Address: myemailaddress
  • Download: Headers Only

I also needed to download the appropriate certificates that were not already on my phone and send them over via bluetooth. I found a mention of this in a post here. And the download link is here. I was unable to get google’s smtp server to work, and apparently I am not the only one, so I’m just using my own smtp server elsewhere for outgoing mail.. this seems to be working for me. I’m able to send/receive email from my phone, yay.

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