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My dad and his Performa 6500!

by on Jan.22, 2015, under hardware, Recreation, Software, technology

My dad and his Apple Performa 6500 This priceless gem I found only recently.  My father with his Apple Performa 6500.  Not sure exactly when this was taken, but I love the Sherlock shirt he’s got on.  This was half a dozen towers towers ago for him.  Dad’s always loved technology.  He got me started in all this.  Thanks dad.

 

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iOS 8.1.1 is here and 8.1 signing window is closing

by on Nov.18, 2014, under iPhone, Software, technology

I narrowly skated into an 8.1 upgrade.  With 8.1.1 out nearly 24 hours, I almost missed my chance to update my iPad.  Luckily apple is still signing 8.1 for now.  GET ON IT, if you still want your jailbreak.  Who knows when the good folks at pangu are going to make another unteathered jailbreak.  Here are some tips for those of you who are uncertain about updating to a not so current release of iOS.  Step 1:  Download the ipsw for your device and software version.  (many devices have different software versions based on CDMA vs GSM vs Wifi – pick carefully)  Step 2:  Hold the Option key (alt for windows) while clicking the Restore button in iTunes.  Step 3:  Direct the open dialogue to the downloaded ipsw and click open.  Step 4:  Wait.  (if you get an error you have either chosen the wrong ipsw or the signing window is closed)  Good Luck!

P.S. – i got lucky.  Lesson learned.  Watch the betas and update before the windows closes.

UPDATE 11/22/14 – Apple is still signing 8.1! I just restored an iPhone 6 to 8.1 this morning!

UPDATE 12/01/14 – Apple finally closed the window.   I hope you all got sorted out.

UPDATE 12/15/14 – Found a great site to track what is still being signed.  http://api.ineal.me/tss/status

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Halloween surprise from Pangu! iOS 8.1 Jailbreak!

by on Oct.31, 2014, under hardware, iPhone, Software, technology

I was so wrapped up in the ghoulish holiday that I hardly noticed when @PanguTeam released an iOS 8~8.1 jailbreak tool.  This release covers all devices capable of running iOS 8. Presently it is only available for windows (but runs great in a virtual machine).  Already on the 4th version of the tool for Windows, a Mac version is promised soon.  Only just playing with it now.  More info to come.  thanks guys.  get it here:  http://pangu.io

Pangu Jailbreak 8.1

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GeForce Bootcamp Issues fixed with a tool for gamers!

by on Sep.26, 2014, under Software, technology

GeForce Logo

So I had a bit of trouble with some bootcamp machines running the Nvidia GeForce 9400 in both Windows 7 & 8.  Intermittently they would boot without video.  Not right away, initially, it would show video during initial startup.   However, as it got to the login screen, the screen would go distinctly blank.  I had installed the latest drivers from apple (Bootcamp Additions), even tried 3rd party drivers.  Nothing solved the problem, the best I could do was reduce the frequency of occurrence.  I was about to resign just to deal with it when a came upon GeForce Experience.  This is a software suite to optimize Nvidia graphics cards for gaming.  The  9400/9400M is certainly not a gamer card, but that doesn’t stop the Experience from identifying and installing proper drivers before reporting that no gaming optimizations are available.  Despite it’s inability to enhance my gaming, the tool certainly resolved all my driver issues.  I cannot recommend it highly enough.  Give it a go if your Nvidia drivers are making you crazy.

link:
http://www.geforce.com/geforce-experience

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Pangu releases jailbreak for iOS 7.1/7.1.1!

by on Jun.27, 2014, under hardware, iPhone, Software, technology

pangu jailbreak icon Exciting to see a new player on the jailbreak scene.  This new player brings drama we haven’t seen since Zibri left the scene.  Wrought with the threat of malware and with the inclusion of a pirated App Store this jailbreak has certainly raised many questions as to the safety and legality of the software.  It’s installation is easy enough.  Nearly as simple as the evad3rs jailbreaks.  The main cravat is the inclusion of an expired corporate code signing certificate.  This requires that you set the date on your device to June 2nd and also to verify that you want to run an application from developer “iPhone Distribution:  Hefei Bo Fang communication technology co. LTD.”

It seems that much of the drama stems from the source of the bugs used to complete the process.  @i0n1c has been quite vocal about the whole thing.

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pangu jailbreak i0n1c twitter-2

Pangu makes no attempt to conceal what they did.  Thanking @i0n1c right on their app, even linking to his twitter feed.  They are not exactly claiming credit for his work, nor do i see how they are making any money from the release of this free jailbreak.  I understand that no permission was given to release this privileged info to the public, but i am glad that someone used it to release a free jailbreak.  Better then the current elevat0r to nowhere.  UPDATE:  pangu released 1.1 version of jailbreak removing @i0n1c’s info leak bugs and fixing boot loop issues experience by some users.  Not a great idea to burn more bugs, really no purpose at this point. Also, english release makes it easier for me to read.  UPDATE:  Apple released 7.1.2.  Pangu jailbreak includes 7.1.2.

pangu jailbreak new

pangu jailbreak start

pangu jailbreak finish

Lets see what the experts say. . .

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pangu jailbreak musclenerd twitter-1

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pangu jailbreak ih8sn0w twitter-1

Here are a few screens from the process.  I wasn’t quick enough to grab the startup screen with a thank you message.  Presently, the installer only runs in windows, but it can even be done with virtualization.  They claim a mac version is coming soon now avaliable.  pangu.io or english version:  en.pangu.io


pangu jailbreak iphone screen-1pangu jailbreak iphone screen-2
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Apple is getting between me and my TRIM!

by on Apr.23, 2014, under hardware, Software, technology

At the device level, SSD drives function entirely differently then conventional mechanical disks.  As a result, the way that operating systems traditionally use these devices lead to progressive performance degradation and even shortened lifespan.  Technology was needed to offset this failing.  Enter TRIM.  Apple introduced it in 2011, but believe it or not, even today, Apple refuses to automatically enable TRIM for 3rd party SSD drives.  Not only that, but if you manually enable it yourself, it is then disabled during any OS upgrade (i.e. 10.9.1-10.9.3).  You can check your TRIM status from the System Profiler/System Information under SATA by selecting your device.  I switched my favorite utility from Chameleon SSD Optimizer to Trim Enabler.  I made the change for two reasons.  First, Chameleon has some compatibility issues.  Second, Trim Enabler has a feature to check on startup.  Makes it easier to reenable after a software update.

I found a great utility to enable TRIM on 10.6.8-10.9.5: Trim Enabler
Don’t forget to reenable it after each OS X System Update.

Technical Details from Wikipedia:

Because of the way that file systems typically handle delete operations, storage media (SSDs, but also traditional hard drives) generally do not know which sectors/pages are truly in use and which can be considered free space. Delete operations are typically limited to flagging data blocks as “not in use” in the file system.[6][7] Contrary to, for example, an overwrite operation, a delete will therefore not involve a physical write to the sectors that contain the data. Since a common SSD has no knowledge of the file system structures, including the list of unused blocks/sectors, the storage medium remains unaware that the blocks have become available. While this often enables undelete tools to recover files from traditional hard disks,[7][8] despite the files being reported as “deleted” by the operating system, it also means that when the operating system later performs a write operation to one of the sectors, which it considers free space, it effectively becomes an overwrite operation from the point of view of the storage medium. For traditional hard disks, this is no different from writing an empty sector, but because of how some SSDs function at the lowest level, an overwrite produces significant overhead compared to writing data into an empty page, potentially crippling write performance.[7][9]

SSDs store data in flash memory cells that are grouped into pages, with the pages (typically 4 to 16 kB each) grouped together into blocks (typically 128 to 512 pages per block, e.g. totaling 512 kB per block in case of the 4/128 combination).[6][10] NAND flash memory cells can only be directly written to when they are empty. If they are considered to contain data, the contents first need to be erased before a write operation can be performed reliably. In SSDs, a write operation can be done on the page-level, but due to hardware limitations, erase commands always affect entire blocks.[10] As a result, writing data to SSD media is very fast as long as empty pages can be used, but slows down considerably once previously written pages need to be overwritten. Since an erase of the cells in the page is needed before it can be written again, but only entire blocks can be erased, an overwrite will initiate a read-erase-modify-write cycle:[6][11] the contents of the entire block have to be stored in cache before it is effectively erased on the flash medium, then the overwritten page is modified in the cache so the cached block is up to date, and only then is the entire block (with updated page) written to the flash medium. This phenomenon is known as write amplification.[12][13]

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Apple’s goto fail bug and what it means to you?

by on Feb.24, 2014, under iPhone, Security, Software, technology, Web

Apple goto fail SSL bugThe security community went into a frenzy this weekend over Apple’s latest iOS security update. On Friday, Apple quietly released iOS 7.0.6 and 6.1.6 to patch a bug in it’s SSL implementation. This particular bug nicknamed “goto fail” for the actual contents of it’s source code behind the error.  Basically, one too many goto fail causes the fail not to be conditional, but absolute.  This failure allows Apple’s SSL framework (the technology that secures web transmissions) to be easily bypassed.  In other words, Safari, Mail, Calendar, Software Update, as well as any 3rd party applications who take advantage of Apple’s SSL libraries could potentially have their communications intercepted by an unscrupulous individual.  Apple claims that it is a type-o, but many wonder if this might be a deliberate backdoor (one that has lasted over a year).

The real tragedy of this issue is that it effects Mavericks (Mac OS 10.9.x) as well as iOS, but there is yet no official fix for Apple Computers.  Update Published by Apple!  Apple desktops, laptops, and iMacs are now were left in a very dangerous position: unprotected to a known threat.  I am sure that the bad guys are already configuring their sslstip, sslsniff, or similar tools.  Accounts will be compromised, communications will be intercepted or manipulated, or in the case of software updates, malware could even be introduced.

What can we do?  First off, run the 7.0.6 update on any iOS devices not yet up to date.  Do this from a trusted wifi, not a public one.  With your mac, avoid public wifi until this is resolved.  Avoid Apple Mail except when absolutely necessary and only from trusted networks.  Only use Google Chrome for secure web browsing (it uses it’s own SSL framework).  Optional:  Install @i0n1c’s binary patch.  @i0n1c’s patch fixes the bug, but may break other things.  Run Apple 10.9.2 update!

links:
Test your system:  https://gotofail.com/
Great Writeup:  https://www.imperialviolet.org/2014/02/22/applebug.html
Quick & Dirty Patch:  http://www.sektioneins.de/en/blog/14-02-22-Apple-SSL-BUG.html
Official Apple Fix  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT6150

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My fist robot!

by on Mar.05, 2013, under hardware, Software, technology

Me and my Samsung Galaxy Note II

My new Samsung Galaxy Note II came to me today. My first Android since I got it running on my original iphone. In other words, this is the first time I have had my own full featured and power android device. My first impressions are quite favorable. I am amazed at all the things I can do without voiding the warranty.  It is highly configurable. Expect a detailed analysis from me soon.

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Ready for the Evasion!

by on Feb.03, 2013, under hardware, iPhone, Software, technology

20130203-201126.jpg

Blobs are fetched, IPSWs Downloaded, iDevices Backed Up! Now the wait for the latest public jailbreak continues. The latest team includes @pimskeks, @planetbeing, @pod2g, and of course @MuscleNerd. Supposed to drop early tomorrow, but some suspected (myself included) that it might get released on “Funday.”

This jailbreak will support EVERY iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, or iPad Mini running iOS 6.0-6.1. No doubt that atv2 support will come quickly after. No news yet about atv3.

Official Evad3rs Site

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Mixed Messages

by on Dec.26, 2012, under Software, technology

I just don’t know how to please you.

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