...stuff I do and things I like...

Saturday, December 31 2005

22C3 Day 4

we didn't do much on the last day. Obviously I attended the Bluetooth talk my fellow trifiniteians did and I saw 3/4 of FX's BlackBerry talk. I always wanted to play with a BlackBerry so the stuff FX and FtR showed was really interesting. The Bluetooth talk was OK but nothing new of course.

USE MORE BANDWIDTH but how? Most of the people come with a laptop and only use the totally overloaded wireless - how should we use all the 16GB/s? I don't know if it really was necessary to have 16GB/s maybe the entrance fee would haven been lower with only 5GB/s?

All in all the congress was fun. Also I think four days is too long, three days was more compact. The only thing I must complain about is the number of chairs and tables in the hackcenter, there where too few. The area in the middle with the couches and mattresses was nice but uncomfortable to sit for longer.

Friday, December 30 2005

22C3 Day 3

just a quick day review. The bad thing of the day, the only two talks I wanted to see were parallel (semi-parallel) to each other. Ilja's fuzzing talk and Harald's OpenEZX talk. I saw the first part of fuzzing which was interesting and well presented - I'm really disappointed that I didn't see the second part since I switched to over to see Harald's talk.

Later in the evening we went to the Fnord News Show and the Hacker Jeopardy. Both where fun but not amazing.

Thursday, December 29 2005

22C3 Day 2

I went to see five talks, na actually only four :-( First: 3G Investigations, sadly the talk was not very interesting for the ones who did play with stuff them self's. Second: Black Ops of TCP/IP, Dan is just a good speaker the talk was pure fun, also he released a new network traffic visualization tool here at 22C3 (the demo he did was really nice). Third: Anonymous Data Broadcasting by Misuse of Satellite ISPs, was kind of interesting but the first 20 minutes would have been enough for me - nice project anyway! Fourth: Old Skewl Hacking - Infrared updated, I listened to the recording of 21C3 and it was all most the same, but fun anyway. Five: Literarisches Code-Quartett, I think it was a disaster - not even funny.

Any the congress is fun also wireless sucks (I didn't expect anything else anyway). The weather also sucks - its constantly snowing.

PS: did you see that I wasn't paying attention yesterday while writing the blog entry? Tag should have been Day :)

Wednesday, December 28 2005

22C3 Tag 1 (aka 00)

22C3 is fun as long as you are inside BCC because its freezing cold here in Berlin. There are plenty talks and this time I managed to go to three talks on the first day. 1) Hacking Data Rentetion, which I didn't like too much for multiple reasons. 2) Die Technik im ePass, this was very interesting and well presented. 3) RFID - overview of protocols etc.., also very interesting but too much information in the short time.

Monday, December 26 2005

Collin @ 22C3

So tomorrow I'm going to 22C3. Most of the trifinite crew will be there too. Martin, Marcel and Adam are doing their Bluetooth talk like the did in the past - only this time it's more like a show and tell thing with a lot of demos. Also I will properly release a new tool :-) CU at 22C3

Wednesday, December 21 2005


iphome IpHome is a small and simple hildon homepage plugin that shows the current IP and TX/RX bytes and errors. Its meant to be a first try homepage plugin, also I am an information fetishist so I like to know whats going on on the network :-] I also want to keep an eye on the network because of the wireless speed issues.

For those who don't know what hildon is, its the GUI system used by the Nokia 770.

Download is in my Nokia770 section, have fun.

Tuesday, December 20 2005

770: wireless speed issues

while playing around in my home network I noticed that wireless is kind of slow, I only have 1.5Mbit DSL so I didn't noticed it before. But now I tried to download stuff from my laptop via FTP and boy this sucks. I did a few tests with different security settings, since I use WPA and WPA is done in software, I though this could be the problem. Here are the results:

    WRT54GS - with wrt-dd #22 prefinal4
    computer running Debian with proftpd (xinetd)
    N770 with Opera as ftp client
    ftp ~80KB/s (cpu maxed out)

    ftp ~150KB/s (cpu maxed out)

    can't connect

    WEP 104bit
    ftp ~400KB/s (peek ~560KB/s)

    WEP 40bit
    same as for 104bit

    same as for WEP

I didn't try WPA-EPA (radius). Also I noticed that the download destination also impacts the speed. When writing to memory I couldn't get more then 160KB/s, so all test downloads were done to MMC.

770: be nice to enjoy

after all the bashing against some of the 770 bugs I again have something nice to say about it. I finally installed FBReader and a bunch of e, pdfs and html-books. Now I use it as a handy reference manual, search ability is so great (let's quick check which RFC xyz was specified in). It's not perfect yet (perfect does not exist...).

To enjoy your 770 even more you need to be really nice and: don't open multiple websites at the same time (most of the sites just have too much junk and make opera eat your memory), be patient if things seem to hang it will recover faster if you don't try to switch apps, open the menu or change back to normal screen. Disabling flash in opera is also a good idea (I don't like it anyway - sometimes only for games).

Also by now I prefer the 770 over my h6315 for listening to podcasts. The 770 doesn't completely freeze when playing mp3s. It now happened multiple times that it suddenly stopped playing, every time I thought damn it it crashed again. But it didn't I only drained the battery to the ground - I guess thats a good sign :-)

Sunday, December 18 2005

eBook Reader

ebook reading really seems to be the killer application for tablets and/or big-screen PDAs (if there is a difference between them besides the lack of PIM tools). InternetTabletTalk [1, 2] amongst many seem to think this way. Also yesterday at a friends birthday party (90% IT workers aka GEEKs) we had a short discussion about PDAs, portable media players and friends. Many of us came to the conclusion that we want a viewing devices. This means mainly: PDFs, HTML and insert popular ebook format here. Everybody complained about their favorite device either the screen is to small or unreadable outside, the device is too slow when rendering content, storage is to limited or DRM sucks to badly. Also what about watching movies on the same device? Na - we don't want that, that just makes the device to multi purpose and that never works out well.

As a comment to Russell's review, I really think Internet access is the killer application for the Nokia 770. All the other features are just add-ons. Of course you need the special viewers (web browser, rss reader, audio streaming client and all the different format readers).

Finally what I would like to know is, if people carry around their 770 during the day (when you are not at home/office)? Are you carrying it around with your cellphone or do you keep it at home close to your couch and fast wifi access? I personal only take it to places where I know wifi is available for me.

Saturday, December 17 2005

770 crashes

a rather sad report about my 770, I apologise to all 770 developers in advance for hurting their feelings (I know how it is like when somebody complains about your software).

The web browser (Opera) continues to crash on me with random sites also sites not always make it crash, its a random thing (digg.com is a good example). I tried to reproduce it but its to random, sorry no decent bug report.

The file manager is slow as hell (with big directories) - I guess this has to do with the pre-fetching which I noticed with obexftp (accessing files on your cellphone). Also I got many very long hangs (no display update or reaction to user input) and crashes, mostly while browsing large directories. The memory usage seems to be pretty insane too.
    I get around using the file manager for browsing large directories by using opera (url=file:///).

Device just rebooted/reseted while playing with WPA-PSK - I really guess it was just a coincidence. This happened while setting up WPA-PSK on my parents Linksys WRT54GS (wrt-gg). I had opera and xterm running and the connectivity-settings panel open. Suddenly the device silently reboots (no low memory waring as usual when you do nasty things with opera). No data lost! Just a normal reboot. I tried to reproduce it again - but no luck. Maybe just some problem with the wireless driver where it dead-locked itself and some kernel watchdog killed and resurrected the device (I was heavily messing with the access point settings). This never happened to me with any Linux box I wasn't messing around in the kernel.

Anyway I still totally like this thing also everybody always comes over to look at it :)

More feedback is on the way... I still need to investigate some of the things I want tell you folks.

Wednesday, December 14 2005

Linux on the Treo650

during my morning news fix I came across Matthew Mastracci's blog where he reports that he got Linux (the Kernel) to boot on his PalmOne Treo650 (a mobile phone). This is very cool again (not that I own one), so we have another Linux mobile phone project. Also he all ready got a handhelds.org page for the Treo650 Linux port.

Now we have four Linux cellphone projects (not counting commercial ones) the h63xx, the HTC BlueAngel, the Motorola A780 and E680 and now the Treo650. Also Panasonic reportedly to only build Linux based UMTS mobilephones in the future.

Maybe also Nokia will ship a Linux based mobile phone after the success of their 770.

I can't wait to have my first truly hack able Linux phone!

Monday, December 12 2005


on Friday Dec. 09. another UCSB iCTF took place once again. As always I was just helping out (the main work is done by others Greg,Vika and Marco) writing services, placing backdoors and doing what ever is needed. Every time the event gets bigger and bigger, this time there were 22 teams with about 20 players each plus 2-5 admins for each team and about 10+ people at UCSB organizing - this is about 500 people!

In the last years teams from Italy dominated the CTF, but not this time! The winners are all German speaking #1 Aachen, #2 Vienna and #3 Darmstadt. The full scoreboard with all teams is here.

This was really fun, even for just watching the teams fighting each other :-)

Graphics Card wants to reboot Windoze box

I just flew back to Germany from LAX yesterday. While waiting for my plane I found this half crashed Windoze box with a pop-up from a Matrox driver which complained about something and requested a reboot for fixing it. Since the dialog box was split up amongst two screens I guess one Windoze box runs multi-head.

Tuesday, December 06 2005


BlueRoots.org your Bluetooth bumper sticker ... what a silly but creative idea

Friday, December 02 2005

Being a 770 user...

when I first got my Nokia770 I started right away with hacking (developing and porting applications) rather then actually using it. I started being just a user over the Thanksgiving weekend. Some user things I noticed where:

We have Flash/Shockwave support, thats kind of nice. I actually didn't expect this. Also web browsing is really nice, just sitting on the couch watching TV and surfing on the tablet. But unfortunately the browser (Opera) is sometimes a little picky and crashes or just eats memory when going to some of my favorite sites.

A PDF reader, yes there is one on the 770. Don't reading the product manual really pays of - if you like surprises :)

Now for some bad things, the email client. I think I remember somebody complaining about the lack of SMTPS (SMTP with SSL) support. Yes, this is unbelievable the email client doesn't support SSL for outgoing mail, why? This makes the mail client totally useless and just a waste of storage space. Maybe the idea behind the email client is a email reader because IMAP supports SSL. Anyway Opera nicely renders my webmail page (IMP/Horde), so it's not to bad.

Some remarks about the filemanager, especially about the OBEX browser (this is the thing that gives you access to the files on your phone). The OBEX part is supper aggressive, it not only gets the current directory information it also goes into subdirectories. If you browse directories with a lot of subdirectories and files, the filemanager sometimes is just blocked totally because of all the pre-fetching.

Also you can't directly use files from OBEX sources, I wanted to play a MP3 from my phone on my 770 but the audio player complains. I thought I could just use the big SD card in my phone as network storage for my 770, but I guess I have to finally finish btfs to get this functionality.

One last thing, I noticed that the wireless antenna (802.11/WiFi) seems to be pretty good for such a small device.