installing linux mint 13 (mate) on a fit-pc3 – xserver no screens found

i set up my fit-pc3 and had some trouble getting my xserver working .. here is how it went …

i was pleased to see a page in the wiki from compuLab but IMHO there are some points missing:

boot from usb flash drive

i changed the boot order in the bios (which you can enter via pressing “F2” during boot) but the screen was nothing but black. turned out that pressing “F1” randomly right after powering the machine it was booting from the usb flash drive.

linux mint 13 fails to boot

i also had to select “start in compatibility mode” to successfully boot the livecd

resolving xserver error – no screens found

after the installation finished the xserver would not start. some sites mentioned to simply update linux so i ran (after commenting “medibuntu” out in /etc/apt/sources.list)

sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude upgrade

accepted any modified file to the maintainer’s version and restarted .. but nothing changed. so i follow the instructions from compuLab and installed the ati catalyst drivers using:

sudo aptitude install fglrx-updates xvba-va-driver vainfo

and restarted .. but still the xserver failed to start …

i finally cam across a forum post where the following command was mentioned

sudo aticonfig --initial

rebooted and the xserver was back again …

windows server core – sconfig.vbs(696, 21) SWbemObjectEx: Invalid index.

the situation

when i was trying to change the network settings of our servers it fails with the error:

C:\Windows\System32\en-US\sconfig.vbs(696, 21) SWbemObjectEx: Invalid index.

the solution

it turned out that i disabled ipv6 previously on that ethernet port. so i enabled it via powershell using the following command (you may have to edit the property “InterfaceAlias”):

Enable-NetAdapterBinding -InterfaceAlias Ethernet -ComponentID ms_tcpip6

microsoft data protection manager 2012 sp1 – installing the dpm agent without disabling the firewall

the problem

after setting up DPM 2012 SP1 I was only able to install the agent remotely on a server if I turned the firewall off … when the firewall was on and I tried to initiate the installation from the management console it started the installation with 1% and after a couple of minutes aborted.

I didn’t want to believe that the “solution” would be to turn the firewall off for the installation and thus searched and found that microsoft indeed suggests this ‘resolution’:

“Temporarily disable the Windows Firewall on the target computer when deploying the agent. Once the installation completes the Windows Firewall can be re-enabled.”

the re(al)-solution

I was not satisfied with this “solution” and checked again what processes where running when I initiate the remote installation .. as the KB-article mentions a “dpmac.exe” I was looking for a DPM process and found it …


looking at the properties I now had the location of the current DPM agent coordinator version …


so I added an exception to the firewall to allow this programme for inbound traffic .. deployed that via GPO and now am able to install the agent with no more hassle …

of course I will have to edit the rule once the version of the dpmac.exe changes as Microsoft seems to put each version in its own directory .. but that will be the least problem …

sony reader prs-t1 – resetting to factory defaults

the situation

i was installing some apps on my prs-t1 (which was rooted with a custom firmware) and moved them to the sd card when suddenly the device would not react anymore but showing a rotating loader icon … i then let the battery drain and powered the reader on again .. with the result that i was prompted with a popup message saying “google framework service stopped unexpectedly” every time i powered it on …

when i then connected the reader to any pc (windows and linux) and selecting “data transfer mode” the device was stuck at “connecting” … this made the device no more usable .. thus i decided to reset it to factory defaults …

first insight or “how the reset button works”

the reset button does not reset the device to the factory defaults but restarts it so this was no option at all …

it does not matter how long you press the button .. after releasing it the reader will be restarted after approx. 3 seconds …

the way to the solution

so the next goal was to reset the system defaults via software .. i was on version and did not want to update (though the custom firmware project over at sourceforge which i was running and wanted back on had a stable release for [current latest version]) as everything was working fine and the changelog did not mention anything promising new features …

first try: running the updater … not

i was searching the web for the “PRS-T1_Updater_1.0.04.12210.exe”-file (MD5 c7d279a54fee81b9638821c898c7aea9) .. (found it on mediafire) downloaded it and couldn’t believe the updater-message saying “now connect your device using ‘data transfer mode'” .. which .. still did not work …

second try: restoring via sd card

on i went looking for a solution to restore the reader .. and i found one and will now shamelessly copy the instructions (with some modifications):

  1. check which version you are running (goto “settings” > “about” > “device information” and check the “version”-value)
  2. download a restore-zip/-archive appropriate to the version you are on from a source you trust (i found mine over here)
  3. extract the folder “OS Firmware” from that restore-archive onto a sd card and plug it into your reader
  4. charge your reader to 100% (the battery icon actually shows “100%” when full)
  5. power of the device
  6. while pressing the HOME and MENU buttons simultaneously power on the device
  7. when the screen shows “updating” you may release the buttons
  8. wait …
  9. after the update is finished you are presented with a text telling you to reset your device
  10. press the reset button

after these steps you are “back to normal” … you now want to check all settings and maybe also root the device (again) using a custom firmware .. which i might do tomorrow .. i will keep you updated …

goodbye google reader – it was nice meeting you … hello feedly!

a good (and very fast) alternative for google reader

i was just about to switch from google reader to tt-rss when i scrolled through my starred articles and stumbled upon an lifehacker article mentioning feedly

so while i was uploading tt-rss i thought i could give feedly a try …

the good parts

what i can say now:

– it is fast

– it integrates in firefox and has an iphone app (which is amazingly fast)

– the ui is clean and clutter free

the missing

it seems to be the perfect replacement for google reader .. but .. from this first (approx. 30 minutes) evaluation i am missing two things:


just like google takeout i would like to know that i can export my feed list and switch my reader of choice at any time .. maybe that option exists but i could not find it …


the search seems to be a web search .. i was not able to search just within my feeds … (just found out it is requested and planned)

the conclusion

at a first sight it seems to be the perfect replacement .. but the lacking features makes it not my first choice …

i will set up and evaluate tt-rss next …

IFTTT – receive an email for new offers on ebay for that (rare) item you are looking for [update 2013-06-07]

i love ebay … ebay is to me what amazon is to others .. a place where i get any item … and with the help of ifttt you can even receive an email if there is a new offer available for that special/rare item you are looking for .. this is how it goes:

getting the RSS URL from ebay

first you have to search for that thing you are looking for .. in my case: the rare cd from “la boom” named “atarihuana” .. so i search for “atarihuana” .. specific enough in my case ..

then looking at the very end of the search page you will find the orange “RSS”-button: right-click that and

seems that ebay removed the RSS button due to the layout change (thanks to Dennis Lind for his comment!) .. the solution is as follows …

when i search for “atarihuana” on i am presented with the following URL:

we now have to append “&_rss=1” (without the quotes) to the URL (and reload to verify that this awesome feature still exists) and thus result with the following URL

copy the url .. now head over to ifttt and create a new recipe for that RSS-feed to send you an email whenever a new item is added …

creating the receipe at ifttt

step 1: choose the trigger channel “Feed”


step 2: choose the trigger “New feed item”


step 3: insert the RSS feed URL


step 4: choose “Email” as action channel


step 5: choose “Send me an email” as action


step 6: you may edit the subject and/or the body (i added “ebay – atarihuana – ” to the subject)


step 7: in the last step you may add a description and finally create the recipe


and that’s everything you have to do .. from now on whenever a new offer is added on ebay you will receive an email with that new item …

hope this is useful to you …

the “moss-cup” project – a tribute to the IT crowd

the idea / the object of interest

the idea for this project came from The IT Crowd which is/was a British sitcom. i have just found this video over at youtube which will describe it best. video has been removed …


the story

Moss came in one morning telling his colleague Roy that he has got a new cup. which at first sight looks just like every other cup in the office. but clever Moss put a picture of him on the base, so everyone knows it’s his. but everyone else in this episode is drinking from his cup (without knowing it) but him.

the sippers



the long story

inkjet decal paper

so when i was looking for “moss mug” and “moss cup” on ebay i sure found some cups which all stated they where not waterproof. but as i was not willing to wash my cup everyday by hand instead of with our dish washer – i was looking for a better solution. also one could easily spot that the cups on ebay where all self-made. so i found out that those surely have been made with decal paper. so i was looking for a solution to make a cup with decal paper but also waterproof. the first thing i tried was to use inkjet decal paper and fixate that with clear paint (spray can). so i cut the inkjet decal paper to size, put it on the base of an old test-cup and fixated it with several layers of clear paint.


it looked quiet good and also got passed several cycles of the dish washer. but then went off after .. i think .. the 6th cycle or so …

laser decal paper

time passed and i always had this project in my mind but couldn’t find any good solution until i met Eva. Eva came to our hackerspace in nuremberg (which is an “open workshop” in Künstlerhaus) as her computer was broke. as she was also part of the Künstlerhaus in an other open workshop .. the ceramic workshop .. i said i would fix her computer if she’d help me with making such a cup. she asked colleagues of her and also gave me several books where i found the suggestion to print the graphics with a laser printer and burn it (i then also found this howto). some laser printers toner consist of iron oxide which survive firing them .. here the image before the firing in a furnace at several hundred degree.


so we did several test runs which all had the same result. the decal and the printing itself where gone after the firing. i therefore assume that the toners i was using did not have enough iron oxide in them.


again some months went by and i stumbled upon a box saying “paint-a-cup” (which be found on amazon) .. turned out my partner bought it five six years ago to create a birthday present …


i instantly tried to think of a good solution to bring my likeness to the base of a cup. for my first tries i printed the portrait twice on an overhead transparency and cut out several parts so that it resulted in two patterns which overlapped made the likeness complete and also would be stiff enough to let me paint easily. it turned out that if the paint once got between the cup and the transparency it spread widely and i couldn’t manage to remove just the not wanted paint. thus i had to clear it completely and start all over again. also it was not easy to remove the patterns as the paint was still wet …

so i thought back of my first tries and remembered that i still got some printed laser decal papers laying around. so i cut them to patterns and folded one edge so that i just had to tip on the edge to easily remove the pattern.


so i started to test again, painted the test-cup waited impatiently for four hours (as intended) and put it in the oven at 160°C for 90 minutes. back in the office i put it in the dish washer every day for a week and the paint still was there.


then it was time to experiment with the colours and i ordered some more cups and another pen and went wild.


i just finished firing them in my oven and also the painting of the pen which said to fire it “no longer than 30 minutes” looks quite good.

TL;DR – the short story

if you want to have a waterproof painting/image/something on a porcelain – use paint or pencils saying “ceramic/porcelain paint”.


if you want to use a patterns take thick paper so  if there is too much paint it can be suck by it. fold one edge for easy remove.


here is my result: