martes, 16 de diciembre de 2014

Android free of Google/samsung limitations

People trusted in Google because they were afraid of  Microsoft and Apple behaviour.

Having Linux inside of the Android base seemed to be a good point in order to feel free and  many IT professionals, gurus and some even free software fighters were in the first line of the Android army.

However applications for Android are not Linux compatible apps but a Java flavour apps, thus existing free apps for Linux, Maemo,... will not be easily ported to Android.
Furthermore accessing to the Linux layer and its services requires to root the device thus root your device should be a "todo" but it is not always easy and with no risks :(

Even very recognized organizations such as FSFE suggests to root Android

It is a pity that other operating system were not promoted, or bought by the community

An example of these better OS are:
  • Maemo, Meego,Mer  real linux environments and able to run linux compatible code
  • WebOS(from Palm) OS based in linux and apps based on HTML5/Web application

Now, the alternatives to Android/iOS/Windows comes from:
  • Jolla and its SailfishOS,  a phone created by some of the Nokia people, compatible with Linux code and QT SDK. Also able to execute Android apps
  • Firefox OS.
  • Blackberry  and BB10 OS based QNX (linux flavour), and probably the only alternative to phones based in a 100% touchscreen. Apps based in C++/QT, HTML5,...and also able to execute Android apps via the included "Android runtime"

After this overview of current mobile phone scene, see below how to fight against the many lacks of Android:

If you are going to buy an Android phone
Buy a device from the following list of phones with a procedure to root

Avoid using Google Play and use F-Droid repository as much as possible
  Settings, Security, (Device Administration), Unknown sources (check)
F-droid  It can be done even with a device not associated to a google account   and install apk from the Interner browser.

Reset your device
  If you feel that you don't have the control of your device, maybe you installed many apps from google play with 'abusive licenses' and too many rights
  Settings, Backup and reset, (Personal data), Factory data reset
Configure your Android for standalone use (avoid google cloud,etc)
   There are 3rd party software better than that included in Android
      Offline GPS/Maps(OSMAnd, Navit, Sygic, Tomtom..)
      K9 Mail 

Check and Disable things from Google Settings 
Open "Google Setting" app and check all sections.
from Security, disable "Verify apps" (optional)
from Location, disable "Access location"

Disable Location services
 in Settings, Location Services,
   Disable/Uncheck "Location and Google search"  
   There are 3rd party software for GPS and maps such as sygic
   Furthermore you can still using google maps entering your position manually
   and even you can disable it, and enable it only when you need it.

Checks running services/processes
Control what is happening ak paranoiac mode

 from Settings, Application manager, Running, "Show cached processes"
    Google play services(launched by apps)
       Google Analytics services
    Factory mode (required)
    Exchange services (required by SMS)

 from Settings, Application manager, Running, "Show services in use"

Stop apps/processes
Once you know what apps are being executed
from Settings, Application manager, All,

select app and Click "Force Stop"

Disable built-in apps or remove if you are root
from Settings, Application manager, All

-ChatON (Samsung)
-Game Hub (Samsung)
-Gmail (optional)
-Google .... Sync
-Google partner Set up

-Google Play Music and Books
-Google Search
-Picasa Uploader
-Samsung Account
-Samsung AppsUNA2
-Samsung Backup Provider

-Samsung ......Sync
-Samsung Cloud data relay
-Samsung Push services
-Samsung Browser
-Software update (if you are not expecting a new update)

execute free app "Autostarts", and check sections:
 "During Startup", "After Startup", " Wi-Fi state changed", "Power connected", "Connectivity changed",..
(to  disable them, root is required)

execute free app "OS Monitor" to display Android/linux processes, TCP/IP open connections,...

martes, 4 de noviembre de 2014

Deploying OS on Rasperry - partitions, filesystems,...

From my point of view, the default raspberry OS images or the installation script, lacks of some useful features, such as:

  • Deployment from an image
    • A bigger fat partition (useful for data exchange; it able to insert this SD in a Windows computer and copy files there)
    • Additional partition for  data  (having system and data separated, it is possible to have smaller backups containing only system partition)
  • Deployment from a installation script
    • OSMC (installation script, creates a
    •      a 1st partition of 242MB FAT32-LBA
    •      a 2nd partition using the rest of the SD.

So, we can improve the default deployment with the following solutions:
  1. Deploy the standard image on a bigger SD card (default)
  2. Deploy the standard image on a bigger SD card and resize partitions (gparted)
  3. Manual method 1
  4. Manual method 2
    1. Deploy standard image on a bigger SD card
    2. Resize ext partition (decrease from begining) in order to free space after the fat32 partition
    3. Copy or pack (tar) files from fat32 partition
    4. Delete fat partition
    5. Create a new fat32 (lba) partition with desired size
    6. Paste, untar files on fat32 partition

Some examples of a "better" partition


fat32 1GB(boot+media)
ext4 7GB(system+media)

SD 16GB 
fat32 8GB(boot+media)
ext4 8GB(system+media)


SD 16GB 
fat32 1GB(boot+media)
ext4 7GB(system)
ext4  8GB(data)

Partition backups on images

Backups to image can be done at partition level, using dd command or graphical tool (i.e Disks in Ubuntu)
To restore an image containing a partition, you have to create a partition on destination disk.
If you are using "Disks" and image size and destination partition have not the same size, it will alert you but don't worry it works.

Checking content of images

sudo fdisk /media/midisco/raspberry_cosas/OpenELEC-RPi.arm-4.0.5.img

Resizing OS from an image


In theory with gparted it is possible to resize fat and ext partitions but it

sometimes can have problems resizing a  fat32 filesystem, it means that partition have desired size but filesystem and available space still having the original size.
-usually works fine with ext2, ext3 partitions

Manual method for fat32 partition

dd partition1(fat32) on a disk

Copy or pack (tar) files from fat32 partition
Delete partition
Create a new fat32 (lba) partition with desired size
Paste, untar files 

Accessing from Windows to Linux Filesystem

Use a file explorer, i.e Linux reader from diskinternals

jueves, 28 de agosto de 2014

Raspberry Pi - Pimame/Piplay

Piplay 8.0.5beta (note for user with a compact keyboard;less than 102 keys, by default some keys required to play don't work)

Sudo raspi-config (overclocking)
press 'LeftCtrl+Q': quit to terminal   

Map Keys:

Default pasword: pi / raspberry

    PSX-Usb Joystick1 - OK
    PSX-Usb Joystick2 - OK

Neogeo (Final Burn Alpha )
    PSX Joystick
         Plug in port2 psx2usb adapter
         Select: insert coin
         Analog mode: to be able to use Up and down keys
   Audio: OK
         Mpang (Mighty Pang)
         Dino (Cadillac dinosaurs)
         Winjammer CD  (failing)
Final Burn Alpha (Arcade Cabinet and Neogeo emulator)
PSX Joystick (same than neogeo)
     Magical crystals

PSX Joystick
         Plug in port2 psx2usb adapter
     All - OK

Neogeo pocket
  PSX Joystick
     Metal slug 2

   Games cannot be in zip files
   Unzip to folders
   Manually Add game, from roms folder
  Audio: OK
  Joystick ¿failing left and right arrows??

Games cannot be in zip files
Unzip to folder

Games cannot be in zip files
Unzip to folder

Turbografx 16

   Failing, nothing is displayed in screen

pcsx-reARMed (PSX)
   Menu is not properly displayed
   Bios missing warning
.iso, .img, .bin/.cue or .mdf/.mds
.ecm file. These will not work in this emuator, but can be 'un-ECMed' by using the utility software unecm

   Bios missing warning (Gba_bios)


Mapping keyboard:
pygame module to work with the keyboard
KeyASCII ASCII      Common Name
K_BACKSPACE   \b      backspace
K_TAB         \t      tab
K_CLEAR               clear
K_RETURN      \r      return
K_PAUSE               pause
K_ESCAPE      ^[      escape
K_SPACE               space
K_RSHIFT              right shift
K_LSHIFT              left shift
K_RCTRL               right ctrl
K_LCTRL               left ctrl
K_RALT                right alt
K_LALT                left alt
K_RMETA               right meta
K_LMETA               left meta
K_LSUPER              left windows key
K_RSUPER              right windows key

lunes, 18 de agosto de 2014

Configuring Raspberry


Common Raspberry configuration
Configuring XBMC
Configuring Openelec
Configuring RaspBMC
Configuring Raspbian
Configuring RiscOS


Common Raspberry configuration
System configuration parameters that would normally be kept and set using the BIOS are now stored in a text file named "config.txt".
Including an example configuration file with comments

Make display smaller to stop text spilling off the screen
## overscan_left
##     Number of pixels to skip on left
File is for passing arguments to the Linux kernel and it can be found in /boot/
i.e   ip=    (Static ip for direct RJ45 cable connect)

Configuring XBMC

-Scrape directories to download art work, information, categories,...
Movie add-ons: filmaffinity,..
Over a folder, set content, select scraper.

-TV a la carta

Manage  xbmc  from an Android and WIFI:
XBMC Remote 
(default port:8080)

Seetings, Services, Webserver, Allow control via HTTP
(default port:80)
(activate in Raspberry)

Configuring Openelec

Network, programs, openelec configuration, Connections

Install addons
Programs, Openelec configuration, Addons
XBMC backups
CU lrc lyrics

Create a backup
programs, openelec settings, system, backup

Configuring RaspBMC

As backup feature is not included, addon XBMC backup can be installed  but it is not working  (tested on ver 2014-06) 
Install/config from Addons, Program Addons
Execute from from "Programs"; but it will not show an icon

SSH from a linux terminal, requires to specify that user is "pi"
ssh pi@x.x.x.x

Configuring Raspbian


multimedia player GUI for omx player

sudo raspi-config
configure keyboard layout
Raspbian on a old CRT TV

A GUI interface using jbaiter's pyomxplayer wrapper to control omxplayer

Required pexpect:
     tar xzf pexpect-2.3.tar.gz
     cd pexpect-2.3
     sudo python ./ install

Installing tboplayer:
From a terminal window open in your home directory type:
     wget -O - | tar xz

There should now be a directory 'KenT2-tboplayer-xxxx' in your home directory. Rename the directory to tboplayer

Open the tboplayer directory and from a terminal opened in THIS directory:


TBOPlayer is developed on Raspbian Wheezy with python 2.7

Useful software for Raspbian:

gmusicbrowser (music browser)
GNOME partition editor (gparted)
tightvnc-server  (launch with vncserver :1) ¿by default port 5901?

From PiStore
Pi-Web-Agent (l/p admin/admin)
sudo /etc/init.d/pi-web-agent start
from local
from remote

Packages from CLI:
apt-get install nmap --no-install-recommends
sudo apt-get install pistore

Configuring RiscOS

Its is not CRT friendly. Default image works with a CRT screen however, Risc OS has a screen resolution is too high for a CRT TV and it is impossible to use the OS.

Configuring OSMC

Install from AppStore:

SSH Server
Samba SMB
FTP Server

Addons from: "Programs" ,"Addons"

default login/password: osmc/osmc

viernes, 4 de julio de 2014

CA Clarity related software (BO, CAPA,...)

CAPA (from Oracle UPK)
Player - Version 11.1.0

Compatible ff 3.6.28

BOXI Xcelsius SP6 (from SAP)
-Ms Office installed
-Flashplayer for IE

Tested with:
Office 2007

BO /Infoview
Logs on the BO server

Address for Query Builder

miércoles, 1 de enero de 2014

Welcome to Synzed Lyrics (LRC) (2nd edition)

(Update from an old post from 16/06/08 18:29)

What am i talking about?

An easy definition could be: .lrc files are the subtitles for the music, and looks like .SRT files(video subtitles) are text files with a timestamp before each phrase.

ex. [min:sec.mmm] bla bla bla bla

Note: Some people tags the lyrics in different way (by hand or by software), the players should work with all but could fail if the developer didn't think in that.

Real examples of tags:

[0:34] 1 digit for minute and 2 for seconds

[01:07.037] 2 digit for minutes and 3 for milliseconds

[00:15.38] 2 digits for minutes and 2 for milliseconds ¿wrong?

[1:01.296] 1 digit for minutes and 3 for milliseconds

Minilyrics isn't the same as videosubtitles therefore the millisecond precision is not necessary and any value is correct.

In beginning every line of text has its own time stamp but in the last years, lyrics downloaded from some webs, when a sentence is repeated there are as many time stamps as required at the beginning, and luckily most of players/addons supports this new feature


clean out the bank and bump off your daddy

These timestamps must be syncronized with the music file (ogg, mp3,etc...)

what do I need?

A music player hardware or software, with support for lyrics (a  plugin for your application is a common solution)favourite player, this player can be a hardware or software, some cheap mp3 player support .srt files (I suppose ipod too).

Software for:

XBMC (Karaoke + Cu lyrics addon)
Nightingale (a son of Songbird and based in Firefox) (addon Mlyric)

Winamp, Amarok,..... (some of them need a plugin)

Songbird+scrolling lyric (don't read from local lrc files, download the lyric/minilyric from internet)*

Apple MacOS: XBMC (Karaoke + Cu lyrics addon)

Nokia Maemo: Mediabox (small font and not configurable)

PalmOS: ptlyrics (+Pocket tunes)*

Symbian: LCG Jukebox
Raspberry Pi: XBMC (Karaoke + Cu lyrics addon)
Android: Minilyrics(.lrc + .txt fullscreen)

* include creation of minilyrics (tag time on lyrics)

How/where I can get lyrics?

Lyrics addons:
Minilyrics software. Output: .lrc .txt files
Cu lyrics addon (XBMC). Output: .lrc .txt files
Mlyric addon (Nightingale). Output: id3tag Unsynced tag


or if you want a pack with lrcfiles + mp3 you can search in torrent with "ramones mania"

and one example of lrc file: Bad Religion - Turn on the light

Present and Future

This was quite unknown format, more know in Asia than Europe or America, furthermore it is not very commercial (most of media-players devices doesn't support it as per default) . Maybe Apple will create their own copy and will sell it as a very modern feature...

However, nowadays the lack of support from big companies  is not a so bad  because people made their .lrc files by themselves (is as easy as to edit an lyric text file and add the timestamps) and it is quite easy to find lyric for many bands