Category Archives: howto’s

Dual sim mod for HD2, how-to, and disable auto connection setup

HD2, great phone, really. Shame it’s not dualsim, and no wonder there are people wanting to make it work with two different mobile numbers. Same thing did I, and this guide is to recount my findings, especially thanks to the italian member mannyy at XDA forums.

First things first: do NOT buy the insanely expensive adapters you find on the internet, it would be plain stupid to spend 70 euro on a little piece of plastic, when a full-fledged dual sim chinaphone with TV, radio, camera and bluetooth costs less than that.

There are two kind of dual-sim adapters on the market, no matter the brand, the “cutting” and “no cutting” versions, where either you have to cut the chip out of the SIMs to insert the in a single adapter, or you plug both integer SIMs into a bigger one without having to cut anything. The adapter I bought off ebay (the auction has been cancelled in the meantime, but you can find it from chinese shops on the internet) is the Magicsim “iphone 3g dualsim” no cutting, but I also own a Magicsim 23th-A cutting, which I have been told by mannyy at XDA that works correctly on the HD2 as well; the 26th should work as well.

magicsim 26th
This is the MagicSim iphone 3G dualsim; I spent 8USD something on it, including shipping from China
magicsim 26th hd2
Peeled off the cover from the adhesive strip, adapted both SIMs, this is how the MagicSim fits into the HD2
HD2 back metal cover
Interior of the metal back cover of the HD2; I marked the areas where the second SIM, and the chip, overlap the embossed metal frame, hence you cannot close the cover; you will need a diamond bur mounted on a dremel, or equivalent, to drill out those parts of the frame

As you can see, I didn’t actually drill the cover interior… in fact, in the end I avoided using the dual sim adapter at all, because I use my “SIM1” for my job, and since it goes offline when I switch to the other SIM, I’d rather not lose important work calls while I’m doing personal calls, this is why for the time being I will keep using a second phone for that.

Now, onto the operational part.

dualsim hd2 menu1
Main menu of the dual sim adapter; just tap on either SIM1 or SIM2 to switch between them; the one with the asterisk is the currently active card
Dualsim hd2 menu 2
This is the second level menu under "Dual mode"; make sure you have "STK mode" selected and DO NOT activate 007 mode

WARNING: DO NOT select 007 mode from the Dual Mode menu!!
007 mode is very useful in those phones that support it, since it doesn’t replace the SIM card menu, and you can switch between the SIMs by dialing either 001 or 002 and then hanging up, which is undoubtedly faster than going everytime in the menu; to disable 007 mode, you’d have to dial 007 and then hand up, and the STK menu will be back. Yet, the HD2 does NOT support 007 mode, you will get stuck into it and will not be able to disable it nor switch between SIM cards, so if you are silly enough to activate it even after reading this, there’s a way that worked for me: put the adapter inside another phone, and try disabling it by dialing 007, calling and then immediately hanging up. For me it didn’t work with a Nokia 3310, but it worked with a Nokia 7210, so I could disable it succesfully. I also wrote a mail to MagicSim support, and Cindy from their support (I always wonder why chinese people working in helpdesks always have american names) sent me a documentation doc, which says to create a new contact in your phonebook, called 007 and with number 007, and then save it to SIM memory (not phone memory), and it should switch off 007 mode and go back to STK mode.
Another method contained in that DOC file, was to switch from 3g mode to GSM mode in the phone settings, and reboot the phone, then the STK menu should reappear… but in my case, I already had 3g disabled.

Dualsim hd2 menu 3
Make sure that "Not connected" under "NO. Hide" is disabled, like this

Another detail to keep in mind: I do not have any data plans on my phone, so I have 3g disabled, to save battery, hence what I’m going to say could change for those with 3g enabled. Under the “NO. Hide” menu, make sure it says “Not Connected”, instead of “*Not Conneted” (in other words, there must be no asterisk). If I enable that (asterisk shows), when I switch between the cards, the phone sayd there is no SIM card, and cannot complete the switch, and I have either to reboot the phone, or activate and deactivate “Airplane mode” to reboot just the radio. If instead I have no asterisk under this option, the switch between SIM cards completes succesfully in about 30 seconds.

Disable Automatic connection network setup

Now, the next worst problem I faced, is that whenever I switched SIMs, the phone automatically started the network connection setup with my mobile carrier; I do not have any data plans, so if the phone has the ability to connect to the internet via the SIM, it means I waste a lot of money, so what I did before, once per ROM flash, was to wait that the connection setup finished, then go into:
Manila settings > Wireless > Menu > Connections > Advanced tab > Network selection
and from there make sure that both entries read “Office network”, that way the Edge/3g connection of the SIM card is never used and I don’t waste money.

Yet, when you continually switch between the cards inside the dualsim adapter, the auto connection setup always kicks in, and other than a bother to the eye, it also compells you to go into that wireless settings loop each time to select “Office network”. Not feasible. You need a way to disable altogether the network setup wizard.

EDIT (28th Sept 2010): you can ignore the last paragraph of this guide, I was overdoing it; member xlr8me at XDA found the “easy” way: from Manila settings, open the Communications Manager, then Data Connection, and from the menu button untick the “auto-configuration” line.

The app that configures the network is /Windows/ConnectionSetupAuto.exe, which you cannot delete/rename, because it is in the ROM, so unless you want to cook it out of the ROM yourself, all you need to do is make sure nothing runs that exe, no matter what. A quick repulisti of the registry did this for me: I used DotFred’s Advanced Task Manager registry editor, searched the WHOLE registry for values containing the string connectionsetupauto and made sure to delete whatever upper folder contained a key with a value matching that search, TOGETHER with the other keys contained in that upper folder; quite harsh I agree, but it worked for me, so I am not going back. Another more conservative way would be to manually change the paths inside the keys pointing to that exe file, by adding, for example, .off at the end, but as I didn’t test it, I cannot really guarantee it will work.

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Sacrifice last level: how to defeat Marduk without cheating

Sacrifice was one of the first “decent” games I ever played on my first ever “decent” PC 10 years ago or something. Lately I installed it with Wine under Ubuntu on my Satellite laptop and wanted to revamp an old and undying, clever classic.

I went all-Stratos, as I remembered he was the subtle evil of the group, and tingled the most my curiosity (my first run years ago was a mix of Persephone, James, Stratos, Charnel, and maybe Pyro as well, I wanted to try them all), and I remember I had to cheat my way out of the last couple levels as I couldn’t really beat them well enough; having grown in the meanwhile, I also developed more of a “strategic mind”, and having beaten the 9th level without much difficulty, I wanted to give a try with Marduk (the toughest scare being the fact he can steal your souls without using convert and sac doctors).

The general strategy that worked throughout all the game for me was:

  1. build manaliths near your altar
  2. guardian the most creatures you can summon around them
  3. eat away the enemy’s souls as they attack you wave after wave, until you have enough stock to launch an attack yourself

Stratos’ ranged one-soul attackers are Sylphs, and I found them to be overkill in any kind of situation up to level 8, just summon full 12 groups of them and attack, you deal a lot of damage before the enemy can even reach you. I needed tougher fighters only to overcome the enemy manaliths closer to the altars to desecrate; guarded Sylphs have been especially useful until level 9, but they are simply too weak against Marduk’s huge waves, and there’s too many souls scattered around when they die, to gather before they are stolen.

So I summoned and guarded a Silverback for each manalith close to my altar, and with the remaning 2 souls I guarded a Storm Giant. That, together with wise use of Tornado and Cloud Kill, made me erode little by little Marduk’s souls, until he hadn’t any more spares to attack me with, and stopped coming to my altar at all.

When Marduk doesn’t pay any more visits, you know you can launch your own attacks on his manaliths, given the proper army; I only went around with Silverbacks guarding my back, casted Tornado+Cloud Kill on his altars, and as soon as the lightnings from Cloud Kill went off I launched my Silverbacks to kill the forces still alive; up until the latest manaliths, you can actually convert the souls without Marduk even showing up, I reached a small army of 11 Silverbacks with me, just make sure you make them flee as soon as Death is casted.

I surprised myself with how simple this strategy is, I remember that even cheating 99 souls on my deck last time I played, I still had problems winning, while this time Marduk was rendered unoffensive pretty soon.

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Guide for HTC HD2 full two-way in-call recording

I am not going to argue with you regarding the reasons you may want to record your incoming or outgoing calls, nor how it is illegal or only partially legal in some countries.
There are a couple of issues with full duplex phonecall recording on the untouched HD2:

  1. the other person’s voice is very faint and totally unhearable when speaking in loud environments
  2. the recording stops after a minute or so, and longer phonecalls are cut after that delay

The reasons for this are

  1. the sound for the third party is not recorded directly, but only what comes from the speaker through to the mic is hearable
  2. the device enters a sleep mode after a certain delay when in a phonecall, so anything which is not radio related is shut down

The main concern until a while ago was the first problem, the second being addressed by a pre-existing  registry hack by I don’t really know who (I’d be happy to credit them, but XDA member shinoby_uk only released a CAB of those pre-esisting hacks, so he is not the real author); this neverending issue (which in time led some people to think that it was a hardware limitation, while I’ve always believed in the hidden software switch) has been solved (according to the XDA member who published the solution) by 4pda.ru member RekGRpth; the existing registry hacks that were released by XDA member mskip (if I am not wrong) and worked for previous HTC models, are still needed, even if are not sufficient by themselves to enable full recording.

So here is the complete list of registry keys to add/modify in order to enable full 2way incall recording on the HD2:

[HKLM > Drivers > BuiltIn > WaveDev]
"MixModeRecord"=dword:00000001

[HKLM > Drivers > BuiltIn > RIL]
"BatteryTimeoutInCall"=dword:00000000
"BattSuspendTimeoutInCall"=dword:00000000
"EnableFastDormantDisplayDuringCall"=dword:00000000

[HKCU > ControlPanel > Phone]
"Sleep"=dword:00000000

[HKCU > ControlPanel > BackLight]
"LightSensorPollingEnable"=dword:0

[HKLM > System > AudioRecording]
"Enabled"=dword:00000001

[HKLM > Software > Microsoft > Voice]
"EnableCallRecordMenuItem"=dword:00000001
"AllowInCallRecording"=dword:00000001

Once you have done so, you are still not done, as you will need a program to actually record the calls; the one I use is the simple but deadly efficient ACR by XDA member slothie.

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Rover 75: run cables from under bonnet to cockpit

I was laying cables for parking sensors to be used with the Rover 75 ride I got free of charge from my father. Running them from the holes in the bumper to the engine compartment was no big deal, but connecting the main unit under the bonnet to the display in the passenger compartment was a little harder, since I needed to find a way to run it through cleanly enough.

As improvisation goes (and as my father wanted to do himself) you would be tempted to use, somehow, the cable tubes that you see right in the middle of the rear wall of the engine compartment, but that’s gonna be a hard task. On the other side, if you don’t need to run really big cables, you can use a small hole which you can find on the right side (looking toward the engine, and on my car which has the steering wheel on the left of the cockpit) under a plastic grid you have to remove first.

rover 75 under bonnet right view
view of the side of the engine compartment where the hole is located

You have to pull out a waterproof rubber neck that’s fitted around another rigid cable passing through there, to free up enough space to actually run your wires through.

rover 75 engine under bonnet cable hole
Closer view of the hole and the rubber waterproof protection already pulled out

Then you have to access to the cockpit side of the hole.

rover 75 cockpit petals
this is the area where you will be accessing the cable ran through the under the bonnet hole

There is some unscrewing to do here

rover 75 cockpit pedals panel screw
unscrew both the screw you see in this picture and the one on the opposite side of the panel

Once you remove the screws, you need to pull the panel out, and if you want  a more comfortable working environment, also pull out with a discrete force the front panel where the lights switch is located to free up a larger area.

rover 75 pedals panel open
This is the panel pulled out of its place. You can also pull out the beige frontal panel under the steering wheel if you need to.

If you are in a well lit ambient, you should now be able to see the cable probe (or whatever that’s called in english) passing through the hole you just freed

rover 75 under the bonnet hole
this is how the hole appears from the inside of the cockpit if you look carefully enough

Let the cable(s) pass on the side of the panel you prefer (door side in my case) and then screw the panel back in place, after reinserting the frontal panel under the steering wheel if you pulled it out.

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Starcraft under Wine freezes, hangs and crashes at random interval

After having played Starcraft II on my Windows 7 desktop, yesterday I was trying to get the first Starcraft to work on my laptop under Ubuntu Lucid with Wine; the wine-hq website reported the game as perfectly working, and in fact I only needed to install a patch to let the game start without the mounted CD, but no matter if I tried to play with original Starcraft or the Brood War expansion, I always got random freezes: the game just hung up after a while, it freezed either on the menu or in the playing screen, the cursor wouldn’t respond anymore and all the screen stopped; the audio seemed to be fine though, because sound kept on playing.

I tried changing almost everything under wine configuration, enabling windowed mode with virtual desktop or disabling it, enabling or disabling hardware acceleration and all the other checkboxes under “Graphics” tab. I tried setting up the audio driver… no matter what I did I still got the random freezes.

Until I tried adding a couple of registry values that were reported in the Wine forum for that game but weren’t apparently addressing this particular issue.
Anyway, after adding these keys, I was able to end the first level and go through almost all the second one (time for lunch now) without a glitch, except for the occasional sluggishness.
Run wine regedit and add these couple values under:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Wine > Direct3D

The values are two REG_SZ strings:

DirectDrawRenderer = opengl
RenderTargetLockMode = readtex

Should work for you too.

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Windows Mobile uptime since boot or battery swap, registry key

I am (at the date of writing) the proud owner of an HD2; given its limited 1200 something mAh battery, and my precaution of always having a spare battery for each of my devices (even if now, with the HD2, I got rid in one swoop of mobile phone, PDA, compact camera and bluetooth gps receiver, and this is pretty much my only device, excluding my DSLR which I rarely bring with me), I went a little overboard and bought three spare batteries, which I charge with a mains charger and then swap out periodically.

Just now I became curious to check the uptime before the battery reaches 10% (at which point I take it out for charging), because I never really remember how long it has been since the last battery swap.

I dug a little, and the registry key that stores the uptime since last boot is

HKLM > System > Uptime > Clock

while the uptime since last battery swap (appears to become 0 when you take out the battery, and is not reset after a simple reboot) is

HKLM > System > Uptime > ClockSession

These keys contain a time interval expressed in seconds. Divide it by 60 twice, and by 24 once, and you get the uptime in days (and fraction of day). They have been verified under WM 6.5.X, yet there is no reason they shouldn’t work in not-so-older builds of  Windows Mobile too.

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PunBB e-mail notification on each new post extension

On another site I manage, I just switched from the previous forum script to PunBB; one feature I missed after the switch is the ability to activate an email notification for each and every post the users add into the forum, so I had to write my own.
Following is the source code of the extension, save it as manifest.xml, upload it into /extensions/newpost_mail_notify/ PunBB folder (or another name of your liking), and install from PunBB admin panel with the usual method. There is nothing to set, as long as the extension is active it just does its job.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE extension SYSTEM "ext-1.0.dtd">

<extension engine="1.0">
<id>pun_newpost_mail_notify</id>
<title>Send email to admin for each new post</title>
<version>1.1</version>
<description>This extension simply sends an email to the configured admin email address everytime a new post is added by someone who's not the configured admin</description>
<author>Ephestione</author>

<minversion>1.3.2</minversion>
<maxtestedon>1.3.4</maxtestedon>

<hooks>
<hook id="po_pre_redirect"><![CDATA[
if ($forum_user['group_id']!=1) { //default admin user id
$notification_to=$forum_config['o_admin_email'];
$notification_subject='['.$forum_config['o_board_title'].'] New topic/post notification';
$notification_message='New post/thread at URL: '.$base_url.'/viewtopic.php?pid='.$new_pid.'#p'.$new_pid;
mail($notification_to,$notification_subject,$notification_message);
}
]]></hook>

</hooks>

</extension>

This extension is very spartan, it will send a mail to the preconfigured admin email address, only if the new post is by someone else than the admin (obviously), with a simple link pointing to the post in the board.

I just updated the code with the suggestion by Grez from PunBB forums, correcting the check on the user which now uses the group_id and not the user id, thus being more solid.

Disclaimer: not my fault if your server explodes, this extension has been made/tested for PunBB 1.3.4, and if you’re not using that version you should definitely upgrade; may be a bad idea to use it if you get a lot of posts each day; I needed it because my forum is not so active, so I prefer getting notified if there’s something new, rather than go checking everyday.

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reCAPTCHA Input error: Invalid referer and WordPress

Just today someone (thank you) pointed out there was an error with the recaptcha plugin in my WordPress comments. Checking it out, that “Input error: Invalid referer” is a generic error noone has ever pointed out to a single cause.

At first I made sure the keys used by the reCAPTCHA plugin were correct, and created a brand new website domain in the reCAPTCHA admin panel, and updated the values in the plugin settings. That way, I could see the captcha image correctly when loaded while being logged in, but as soon as I logged out the error was back there. I checkd the page source, and I noticed the “challenge” value of the HTML line that called the external javascript was different from the public key I updated in the plugin settings.

After some thinking, it turns out that the WP Super Cache plugin in some cases interferes with reCAPTCHA plugin, as it caches the old plublic key value which of course makes reCAPTCHA mad. Clearing the cache, thus reloading the whole page, solved the problem, and the captcha image was back there to be solved.

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How to fix Fatal error: Allowed memory size exhausted in WordPress 3

This error is nothing new, per se, as far as I know it was present also in previous versions of wordpress (I’m a fresh new user and I’ve been using v3+ for more than I’ve been with 2.9.7 (first one I installed).
When this error occurred in previous versions, all you needed to do was open the [WORDPRESS FOLDER] > wp-settings.php file, and change the maximum allowed allocable ram from there. And that’s what most guides still tell you to do now, leaving you stranded as that line you need to change is not there anymore.
What you see though, is that at the beginning of the wp-settings.php file there is a line that says:

require( ABSPATH . WPINC . '/default-constants.php' );

which pretty much says it all, unless you are not the least bit PHP savvy (hence, this guide is for you).
All you need to do is open the [WORDPRESS FOLDER] > wp-includes > default-constants.php file, and change the line:

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '32M');

into

define('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '40M');

or anything of your liking (may be 36M, 48M, or whatever depending on your setup); obviously, the lower the better for the performance of your server, especially if you’re on a shared hosting.

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Resize, enlarge or scale an html image map with a PHP script

I am creating a portal for an italian website which will sport a nice region selector with an imagemap, and region highlighting with a javascript. I found a free and detailed image map of italy along with a combined png, but it was too small to be really useable, so I needed to put a bigger image; with that, I also needed to alter the imagemap coordinates to they matched the enlarged image… noway I was going to do that by hand!

So, after searching for a pre-made solution (which I obviously didn’t find)  I devised a very simple PHP script to do eaxctly that. The script puts the entire code for the image map inside a string variable, and then processes that string with a regular expression search and replace to change the values accordingly to my needs. I only needed to make the image two times bigger, mantaining the aspect ratio, but since I was going to publish this inside a guide, I said to myself “why not making it so you can change the aspect ratio as well”. So, if you want, you can make the imagemap two times larger, and 1.5 times taller.

Here’s the sample script (the $html variable is defined with a sample imagemap for the region of Lazio alone, for space purposes, but you can put whatever you want inside, I used it with the whole map of Italy, together with <map> tags and lines breaks/indentation). Be careful and ESCAPE the double quotes inside the HTML before pasting the code inside the string. In other words, simply put a backslash (the \ character) before each occurence of a double quote (the $quot; character) inside the HTML, I used the search and replace function of Notepad++.

<?php
$html="<area href=\"#\" alt=\"state\" title=\"lazio\" shape=\"poly\" coords=\"74.513,86.938,75.667,87.365,75.667,88.007,74.744,89.077,75.436,90.467,76.359,90.039,77.857,90.039,78.319,90.039,79.127,90.788,79.588,91.857,79.588,92.606,80.049,93.034,80.51,93.034,81.317,94.103,81.779,94.852,82.24,94.959,83.74,94.852,84.201,94.959,85.123,94.959,86.392,94.103,87.43,93.141,88.122,93.141,89.39,93.141,89.967,92.713,91.351,90.895,91.813,90.895,92.274,91.216,93.196,90.895,94.349,90.788,94.926,90.467,96.31,89.825,96.886,90.467,96.656,90.895,95.849,91.323,95.387,92.072,94.234,92.072,92.965,92.713,92.505,93.676,92.505,94.317,92.734,94.959,91.928,95.28,91.813,95.922,91.467,96.778,92.505,98.382,92.505,99.023,92.505,99.986,91.928,101.804,91.928,103.194,92.734,103.837,94.234,103.623,96.31,104.264,97.579,105.013,99.309,106.51,102.191,108.543,103.229,108.543,104.728,109.077,106.113,110.361,106.574,111.965,106.804,113.035,106.574,113.783,106.574,114.425,105.882,114.853,105.305,115.067,104.844,115.067,104.728,116.029,104.728,117.099,104.152,118.061,103.46,118.703,102.999,119.345,102.999,120.093,101.961,120.308,100.23,120.735,99.539,120.308,98.271,119.345,96.656,118.489,95.156,118.275,92.965,118.489,91.005,118.703,89.39,116.885,89.506,116.029,88.122,114.639,85.931,113.997,83.97,112.607,81.548,110.574,78.55,107.687,77.627,105.869,76.128,104.692,74.975,102.874,73.706,101.056,71.745,99.023,70.131,97.098,67.594,94.959,69.093,93.676,70.131,92.606,70.592,91.216,70.592,90.039,71.745,89.611,72.553,88.649,73.014,88.221,72.553,86.938,73.245,86.189,74.513,86.938\" />";
echo preg_replace("/([0-9.]{2,}),([0-9.]{2,})/e","round(\\1*2,3).','.round(\\2*1.5,3)",htmlentities($html));
?>

All you need to do is change the parameters inside the regular expression (numbers in red), first is for horizontal proportion, second for vertical; in this example the imagemap will be resized to 2 times its length, and 1.5 times its height, if you want to make the size three times bigger, change it to

echo  preg_replace("/([0-9.]{2,}),([0-9.]{2,})/e","round(\\1*3,3).','.round(\\2*3,3)",htmlentities($html));

Then, copy the php script to your server, open it in a web browser, and copy/paste the result. Note: according the the way the imagemap is originally formatted, you may need to edit the regular expression to accomodate for spaces, tabs, linebreaks or whatever; in this case, since the coordinates were listed with just commas inbetween it was not needed. If you are stuck, write in the comments an excerpt of your imagemap code and I’ll try and help you.

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