Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Google Market Account Banned (Happy Thanksgiving)

Well, congratulations to all of you assholes who went through the trouble of downloading my applications only to flag them, and/or leave retarded comments such as "Flagged". I'm not sure why people feel the need to play policemen (or policewomen, or in the case of Cashelle, police-transexual), but consider yourselves a special breed of asshole and take this day to congratulate yourself between your bible readings, hating of gays, and watching recorded episodes of Fox and Friends on your DVR. THIS ... is YOUR day.

By the way ... you are aware that for $25, I can be right back at this? And I can easily make $40 a day in advertising revenue, per application. But hey, enjoy this moment. Because I am going to take some time off to enjoy the holiday and work on some all new and ultra-offensive applications - just to piss you off.

In the new year I will be working on getting some new applications on the MiKandi market (which allows mature content) and I will be restoring all of my old apps there to bring them back to life. Be sure to check out my stuff there.

In related news ... Google now has content ratings to ensure that you are targeting your applications to the right audience. The categories are "All", "Pre-teen", "Teen", and "Mature". That would indicate that you can create applications with mature content, right? Wrong! All the same guidelines apply that applied before. So if your application contains something to do with gambling, it should be rated mature. But only play-gambling. Not real gambling. And if your application deals with adult-ish content, it should be rated mature. Just make sure it has nothing to do with pornography, nudity, or ... anything sexual. Yeah. I don't get it either!

Look for an update here soon folks, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL YOU TURKEYS!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dr. Zoidberg Soundboard

After creating my Professor soundboard and updating it several times I decided it was time to branch off and attempt to create a new soundboard using my existing design. With that, I created the long awaited Dr. Zoidberg soundboard for Droid phones.

If you are a Zoidberg fan (or even a Futurama fan) you need this on your phone.

Coming soon - Zapp Brannigan!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Good News Everyone!

I have posted my first application to the Android Marketplace. The "Ultimate Professor Farnsworth Soundboard". I have spent countless hours pouring through Futurama episodes these past two days and then had to figure out how to package them up. You actually have to pay to publish apps to the Google Market and so I am asking for a very nominal fee of $.99 for it to recoup my 'investment'.

I actually still have a lot of episodes to go through so I plan on updating this one as well as putting out a few others (Bender, Zapp, and Zoidberg). In the meantime ... if you have a Droid phone ... get on over to the market and buy my app!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cracking the "DROID CODE"

Recently, the folks at Verizon/Droid started airing a new Droid X commercial featuring a couple of astronaut types exploring some sort of moon-like base. It's pretty creepy and cryptic - and it ends with an obvious clue around frame 0:59.
The code is "JXYDAQWQYD". Some clever folks over at Droid Life figured out that there is a place to put these codes on the website. When you enter this code into the box, you get the "transmission log" from the astonauts. Pretty neat.

Is there more to the code itself? It seems like a really easy crypt of some sort so I got out some scrap paper and tried to reverse it. The code actually says "THINK AGAIN". And with that - I made a simple letter chart. What you will find is that the words that they chose to reveal the code actually leave letter gaps and made it VERY easy to crack. Here is a letter chart which you can use to perhaps crack "future codes".

I have to assume that there is more to the "secret page" so I started looking for additional clues. The page iteself drops some interesting word clues such as "Shaefer" (who must be the unfortunate astronaut whose cracked and damaged helmet they pass). And also some numbers in the form of an energy blast that passes the new crew (+240, +46, +0). It seems like GPS coordinates so I tried my luck at that and didn't get very far.

Google maps took me to a place in in the UK called "MotorSolve". I didn't think it was at all related. But the address of the place is 64 Cecil St. One of the astronauts in the commercial is wearing a helmet with his ID of "C-64" stamped on the side. This could be a far stretch. Perhaps I am conspiring too much. ;-) Also, I have been at this all morning and I need to shower now.

If anyone can find other codes that work - share your findings with me!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

USB Serial Adapter Drivers for Chromium

A few weeks ago I downloaded Chromium OS Flow and tried it out on my netbook using a jump drive. I really liked it a lot, although the USB device was slow and had a tendency to stall out. So I pulled out an 8GB SDHC SD card that I had been hoarding and installed Chromium Flow to that. And all I can say is *WOW*. This OS is awesome. It boots (and shuts down) on a dime. The interface is quite slick. And it has a full screen terminal with apt-get and a lot of installable software.

But then I ran into a problem. Lately I have been resetting a lot of router passwords using a console cable (don't ask). To perform this technique, you need a serial port. No laptop or netbook made in the past ten years has a serial port on it so I usually get by with a USB to serial adapter (aka "a serial dongle"). We happen to have one at work, which was lucky. Except it didn't work at all in Chromium.

Long story short ...
1) I had to use gparted on a jump drive to resize some partitions. Chromium Flow is a 2GB "image". So I needed to move some boundaries to take advantage of all that empty space on my SD card.
2) I had to relocate /var/cache/apt. The tiny slice that the directory sits on didn't leave much room for installing software. I moved the directory to /, and then created a symbolic link to it.
3) I installed the build-essential and kernel source (2.6.31) packages.
4) I unzipped the kernel source, turned on all of the USB serial drivers as modules, and then built a kernel.
5) Now I have a little stack of kernel modules for a slew of USB to serial adapters.

I can load it with insmod ./pl2303.ko. If I do a dmesg | tail I can see that it loaded properly. Now when I plug in my dongle, it gets a serial device assignment whereas before all I got was a notice telling me that it was plugged in.

If you are in need of a USB serial adapter driver for Chromium flow, just use mine. This should save you a couple of hours. ;-) You can download the bundle of kernel modules here:

Tomorrow I can fire up minicom and start rocking out Cisco console ports with my little netbook and not have to drag around a 25 pound P.O.S. with Windows XP and Hyperterminal! Hooray!

** EDIT ***
I guess I should tell anyone who might download this how you should use it.
1) Get the file downloaded. From terminal ...
2) Untar/zgip it...
tar -xzvf usbserial.tgz
3) Move the directory into the right place alongside your other kernel modules ...
mv usbserial /lib/modules/2.6.31-4-intel-menlow/kernel/drivers/usb
4) Change to that directory and optionally rename it to what it would normally be...
cd /lib/modules/2.6.31-4-intel-menlow/kernel/drivers/usb/usbserial && move usbserial serial
5) Make the kernel aware that there are new modules out there ...
depmod -a
6) Now, load your module. If you were using the same one as me ...
modprobe pl2303
7) Check the dmesg output for clues as to whether or not the driver is working ...

ENJOY! :-)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Too long WEP key" Problem Resolved?

I know many of you using IZ2S have had trouble with getting your Zipit to accept a 128-bit WEP key in hexadecimal format (26 characters).

I may have traced the problem to the use of double quotation marks in the configuration file. It seems that wpa_supplicant assumes that if you are wrapping your key in quotation marks, then it must be ASCII.

I have made some changes to the wifi script which will now ask the user if they are inputting a Hexadecimal or ASCII key. Ideally it would be nice to have the Zipit figure this out on it's own and not even have to ask the user. But I am providing a quick fix for those of you have been struggling with this.

First, you will want to get the latest version of IZ2S which at present is the BETA. If you are all ready running the BETA, don't re-download it. It's unchanged.

Then, you will want to grab this new script ...

Put it in /mnt/sd0/bin or the "bin folder" of your SD card. You can replace or overwrite the current file. Then, reboot and choose yes when asked if you want to change your wireless settings. You should get a new question after choosing WEP. If you have a long 26 character key, you should choose "H)exadecimal".

Please post your success and failures to me in the comments area. I can't do much testing here without reconfiguring my own access point (and my wife wouldn't appreciate that too much because she is using it).

Also - sorry for the absence lately. I hope to be back to developing soon!

Friday, February 26, 2010

All New Zipit Z2 Development Kit Released

A while back I had released a virtual machine that included tools that would help folks build software for the Zipit Z2. It was thrown together rather hastily and it became frustrating to anyone who downloaded and tried to use it. Releasing a new version with some fixes include - was long overdue.

You can get the new image here: Zipit Z2 Development V2.torrent
Or here:

NOTE: The seeding is not going as well as I had hoped on this torrent. If you are able, you should forward a port on your firewall/router for your bit-torrent client to use. That will allow you to download from a connection I have set up which is seeding at 300k. Also - if any of you would rather just get a copy of this development kit by mail, I am going to offer that service to you. I will send a disc to anyone in the US for a flat fee of $10. That should cover materials, postage, etc. Just PayPal $10 to donations AT If you would like a copy and you are outside of the US, please email me (ray AT and we can try and work something out. I see there are some Swede's in my seeds. :-)

The release notes are below, but here is a quick rundown ... This was built for VirtualBox and the guest edition tools are all ready installed. Instead of trying to share raw files again (sorry about that) this is being shared as an "exported appliance". Which means you could also use this with VMWare if you wanted to. Also, because buildroot has proven useful in a few areas involving kernel modules, I have included that too.

It's been suggested that I include a few pre-built packages. But not knowing what people will really use this for, I didn't want to "muddy the waters" of an otherwise clean build environment. Rather, I will build some packages of my choosing and then perhaps find a way to share those in a way that you can drop them into your VirtualBox (if anyone is interested?).

If you are having trouble using this, or if you have questions etc. drop me a comment to this post. You can email me too at ray AT, but leaving comments is preferable if it's something others might benefit from reading.

This is version 2 of the Zipit Z2 Development kit. You can use this kit to compile your own software for use on the Zipit Z2 from Zipit Wireless.

Included is a virtual appliance exported out of VirtualBox v3.1.4. This image should also work with VMWare. However, if you are using VMWare you will need to install the guest tools and possibly remove the included guest tools for VirtualBox.

The image includes a configured and ready-to-use Scratchbox environment and also a buildroot environment that includes a patched Z2 kernel and ALSA (thanks again, GPSFan).

Download and install VirtualBox from Click File > Import Appliance and then point to this torrent. Adjust your memory as you see fit (256MB is about as low as you should go - 1GB+ is probably overkill).

After booting up for the first time, you should be auto-logged on as "zipit". This users password is "password" (without the quotes). Note that the root password is also "password" and so you should change those if you are going to attach this device to a network!

For more information - see the README.txt file on the Desktop of the virtual appliance, and the README.txt in the root of the Scratchbox home directory.

Check out for more details and post-release notes and for more on the Z2 device.

Hack on!
-Ray Dios Haque
February 2010

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Version 2.04 IZ2S Release

You can download IZ2S v2.04 here:

I had originally called this version the "Christmas release". But somehow it ended up being February and I still hadn't done anything new with it. Thanks to the hard work of some other folks, there are some grand changes with this release. In fact, I had little to do with these improvements.

Wicknix has given us the long awaited bash shell. He also gave us a configuration file for links which turns it into a much more usable browser. With the font and pictures scaled down, it's about like surfing the net with a cell phone.

rkdavis has provided an all new busybox binary which includes all the stuff that was left out in the original Zipit Wireless shell. If you are curious and do some digging around you will see that we have a strange way of handling that with the logon script. Basically there is a symbolic link for nearly every command which busybox offers.

Most of the stuff I added to this release will go unnoticed. I rebuilt a few packages, consolidated some things, etc. Some other nice additions include: A new build of centerim which supports ALL IM protocols, the nano editor, the midnight commander file manager, curl, and even a "mostly functional" release of tcpdump!

I plan on the next release being very different. I'm going to take everything I have learned and apply it to a clean installation. That is, I am going to take the original stock shell and begin building the additional packages all over again. This will give me an opportunity to use shared libraries for everything, and loose some of the "bulk" of IZ2S. I'm not sure when that will get released. It may not be for a while. Work is hell right now, and I have a car parked outside begging for my attention.

Also rkdavis seems to be very close to having backlight and keyboard backlight controls working. Hopefully he has that working in time for "IZ2S v3.0". ;-)

Here are the release notes for IZ2S v2.04 ...

IZS - The "Improved Z2 Shell" (aka Shell with Benefits) v2.04

This collection was built by Ray Dios Haque out of sheer necessity. I wanted something that I could play with that would not effect the stock software that comes on the Z2. The easiest way to do that was to take the Z2 Shell that was built by rossimo from Zipit Wireless and expand upon it. I take no credit for the work of the Zipit community. If I don't claim to have built it - it's because I didn't. Thanks to all of you for your contributions over the years. I hope you enjoy my additions!

INSTALL (borrowed from the original README)
Format your SD card as a FAT or a FAT16 file system. Copy everything from this zip file onto the root of the card (preserving all paths/directories). Insert your SD card into the Zipit and boot it up. Note that you can only boot this image if you are running the Stock OS that came with your Zipit. If you have installed OpenEmbedded or Debian, then you have probably replaced the stock operating system which included a routine to look for the script. For legal purposes, I cannot provide you this stock operating system. Some of the smarter people in the Zipit community might be able to help you restore this OS (see CHAT below).

Come chat with us! There is a thriving (?) community of the worlds best Zipit hackers who hang out in #zipit on You can fire up 'irc' from this very image and come hang out.

RELEASE 2.04 (ALL NEW!) - Christmas 2009
bash (by wicknix, then rebuilt by ray), ~/.bashrc (provides defaults to bash), ~/.links/html.cfg (by wicknix, makes graphical links fit the screen better), centerim-4.22.9 (supports ALL protocols), tcpdump, nano, mc (midnight commander), zip, NEW busybox v1.15.3 (built by rkdavis), curl.

RELEASE 2.03 - Early December 2009
We have sound!! Thanks GPSFan! (alsaconf, alsamixer, alsactl, amidi, aplay, gawk, getopt, iecset), SHARED Library support (ldd, ldconfig, readelf), cmus (a wicked MP3 Player), matrix (ncmatrix), mpg123, mplayer-10rc2, ntpdate, gzip (gzip, gunzip, gzexe, zcat, zcmp, zdiff, zegrep, zforce, zless, zmore, znew), zz (script to run after ssh'ing in - use . zz (dot space zz))

RELEASE 2.02 - November 2009
cls (clear screen), centerim (ncurses instant messenger with AIM, Yahoo, ICQ support), irssi (ncurses irc client), links (ncurses), links2 (graphical browser!), sed (for scripting), tar, bzip2 (bzip2, bz2recover), coreutils (10MB's of binaries)

RELEASE 2.01 - Initial Release
wget, ircii-20090520 (irc), wireless-tools (ifrename, iwconfig, iwevent, iwgetid, iwlist, iwpriv, iwspy), ftp (ftp, /etc/services), unzip (unzipsfx, unzip, funzip), nmap (nmap, *new* ncat), wpa_passphrase, less (lessecho, lesskey), grep

Removed the worthless ncurses static libs to make way for all of the *shared* libs. Not listing all of them here. Just look for yourself.

REV 2.04
- Removed the "motd" from this script, since .bashrc displays it now.
- Removed coreutils, as the new busybox does almost all the same things with less space.
- Added a symbolic link script to support all of the additional commands that busybox provides.
- We now use your actual MAC address if available from /mnt/ffs/properties.txt (thanks rkdavis).
REV 2.03
- Stopped audio_pxa from loading, and then run /mnt/sd0/modules/alsa/ for ALSA sound modules.
- Added ntp protocol to /etc/services file.
- Added a line which will fix the time and date if there is a network connection available, and then display that time/date to you.
- From here on out, all libs will go into /mnt/sd0/lib which will be linked to both /lib and /usr/lib/.
- Hid all the gory details of wpa_supplicant, while adding some other stuff for verbosity.
REV 2.02
- Modified the PATH statement so that coreutils and /mnt/sd0/bin binaries will override the busybox stuff.
- Created a home directory for the root user which exists on the SD card. It holds your stuff.
- Added a routine that change your MAC address to something random the first time you boot up. This should prevent duplicate MAC problems if you own multiple Z2 devices.
- Added a /var directory that exists on your SD card. Some things (like dropbear) expect to find it. Had to fix a script error in the BETA (thanks rkdavis).
- Added an /etc/issue file which is displayed at logon time and to ssh connections.
REV 2.01
- Added a routine asking if you would like to configure your wireless card. This was not possible before as there was no scanning routine and the image lacked the wpa_passphrase utility. You can now scan for and configure your wireless settings entirely from the zipit (wording updated in 2.02).
- Added "cp /mnt/sd0/etc/services /etc/services" which gives the ftp command the port numbers it needs to function.
- Added "cp -R /mnt/sd0/etc/terminfo /etc", "export TERM=vt102", "export TERMINFO=/etc/terminfo" to help irc understand the screen layout.
- Added "ln -s /mnt/sd0/lib/* /lib" to make ncurses libraries usable, and any future libraries that you or I might add.
- Added "ln -s /mnt/sd0/share /share" for nmap and anything else that might require a "share" directory to be present to function.

- Replaced the stock keyboard driver in /modules with one that was created by GPSFan (Ken) from the Zipit Yahoo Group. This removed all of the problems with keys not working, or repeating while typing. The original drivers remain, but have been renamed to *.orig.

- An *easier to use* mp3 player alternative to cmus (most require network socket support, which the Z2 kernel does not support).
- A script to download and install "packages" (zip files) using wget, unzip, and a "binary repository" on A similar system could provide updates when I provide them. I have not worked on this at all. Sorry about that.

IFAQ (InFrequently Asked Questions)
Q. Why are you wasting your time on this? The Z2 Shell is dead!
A. It may be 10x more work to get simple things built for it - the Z2 is very lean, and still very useful.

Q. How can I add my own binary/package?
A. There are several ways to go about this. The method I have used to compile everything is "scratchbox". Scratchbox is a program which let's you cross-compile applications. That means that you can build stuff for an ARM platform, even though you have a regular x86 machine. It can be tricky and complicated. Try reading up on what I have posted at

Q. Why did you *insert snarky comment here*?
A. If you find that I did something stupid and inefficient, do let me know. I don't claim to have any expertise in the area of building software. If you have some suggestions on how to improve things or would like to help with the next release of this improved Z2 Shell, email me at I would love to collaborate with some folks who might be more talented than myself.

Q. Will you build *insert package name here* for me?
A. Probably. Unless you are asking me to build something that has an endless list of dependencies. In which case I will probably tell you to install OpenEmbedded or full fledged Debian. They all ready have all of these packages. I am only expanding upon the old Z2 Shell because I find it lean and useful.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Still Alive!

I just wanted to drop a few lines and assure everyone that I am still very well alive. A couple weeks ago now I was putting the finishing touches on the next release of IZ2S when all hell broke loose just about everywhere. It's been a very, very, busy past couple of weeks at work. I have been battling new projects, old projects, phones ringing off the hook, upgrades gone sour, lost support, you get the idea.

Meanwhile, my car has been acting up. I have had some trouble getting the old VW started lately so I replaced the battery. That seemed to work for a day or two, and then I was right back to same issue. And so last weekend I replaced the starter. Let me tell you, this was NOT an easy task. In the process of working on the starter it appeared that I was leaking something. Oil? Gas? Of course I was laying in the wet street and I had some dirty old compacted snow stuck to my underbody. Once everything had dried out, it looked like I was in good shape.

A day or two later I was barreling down the road when my green dash light came on. Suspecting *another* electrical problem I got out the old multimeter and began testing my voltages. It appeared that my generator was putting out enough juice, and my battery was getting charged. Perhaps my voltage regulator was allowing too much juice through? I was getting about 17v to the battery, and that didn't seem right. Then as I was leaving work on Thursday my engine just stopped. And I mean, it stopped HARD.

That's when I realized that the green light on my dash wasn't an electrical problem at all. It was the "low oil" light. I did have a leak! I have seized my engine. Could this week get any better?

I tried a few quick fixes to try and get the car home, but I ended up having to pull out my AAA card and get it towed to my house. And now, I just wish it would stop raining long enough that I can pull my engine and get it into my basement. Of course, I will be doing all this while laying in the gutter on a busy public street because I don't even have a driveway for my house (let alone a cozy garage to work in).

So anyway, I am alive. And I miss developing for my Zipit. I hope to be able to get back to it soon.