lunedì 15 gennaio 2018

How to install TWRP (and LineageOS) with Samsung S5 (G900F)

I tried following the official LineageOS installation guide here, for klte (G900F) model, but the described procedure doesn't work (always).

If you broke your phone following my tips, it's your fault, not mine.. I'm not responsible in any way. Read all the linked resources first.

I'm not going to copy&paste here the official LineageOS installation guide, please refer to the LineageOS site for the complete procedure, I'll only fix the wrong parts. I have verified these steps with my Samsung S5 (G900F) phone, with a fully updated Android Marshmallow from Samsung.
Let's fix the wrong part, the TWRP installation:

The TWRP installation - the right way

The official guide tells you to use the heimdall opensource tool in order to flash the new recovery, TWRP. Forgot it and let's use the Odin software for Windows instead of heimdall. Odin is the official Samsung tool for flashing/managing the firmwares.
You can find it here on the xda forums.

If you have already installed Windows Samsung software.. like Smart-Switch you should have all the needed drivers for the Samsung phone. You can also use the Smart-Switch software to do a full backup... that is not a bad idea...

Google for it 

  1. Download the TWRP tar image for S5 klte into your Windows PC
  2. Activate the Android phone USB debugging mode (please Google about it)
  3. Connect the phone with a USB cable to your Windows PC
  4. Press the Volume Down+Home+Power buttons altogether, then confirm in order to enter the Download Mode.
  5. Open the ODIN application
  6. The phone may be detected and a confirmation brief message appears in the log tab (OK+something)
  7. In the AP field select the downloaded TWRP .tar file
  8. Select only the 'Reset Time' checkbox in the Odin Options tab (Re-partition is DANGEROUS and should be unchecked! And also the other checkboxes should be unchecked)
  9. Press the START button and the recovery will be flashed
  10. Reboot into TWRP recovery by pressing at the same time the phone buttons Volume UP+Home+Power
Full instructions:

After TWRP installation you can follow the official instructions in order to install LineageOS.
Have fun

With S5 you need to uncheck Odin "Automatic Reboot" checkbox.
This is needed because the automatic reboot replaces the TWRP with the original Samsung recovery.. you need to manually boot in TWRP at least once in order preserve it right.

domenica 3 dicembre 2017

WYSIFU vs WYSIWYG - What You See Is Fucking Useless

I'm pleased to introduce a brand new acronym: WYSIFU 
Self coined by me during my pleasant LaTeX sessions.

What You See Is Fucking Useless

LaTeX is a pain the ass, is anachronistic and the syntax sucks.. and is one of the best expressions of WYSIFU
But LaTeX is mandatory in a lot of fields, people is totally insane, damn!

When using LaTeX I feel like an ancient scribe on a stone tablet.

L'immagine può contenere: sMS

lunedì 18 aprile 2016

WIND disabilita l'eurotariffa.. che manco il gioco delle tre carte

Premetto che con WIND mi sono trovato sempre abbastanza bene ma IMHO, stavolta, l'ha combinata grossa.

  • L'europa impone delle tariffe massime agli operatori per il traffico all'estero, tale tariffa si chiama "eurotariffa"
  • tale tariffa è aggirabile dall'operatore solo se il cliente richiede all'operatore l'abilitazione di una tariffa che impone condizioni diverse (anche peggiori)

Soluzione WIND, abilitare a tutti, di default e senza avvisare, una opzione "Offerta Regolamentata UE", che badaben


"Offerta Regolamentata UE" (ORU per gli amici) permette all'operatore WIND di applicare tariffe peggiori della eurotariffa, 2 euro al giorno per 15 minuti di telefonate, 15 sms e 50MB di traffico. 
Ovvero, con ORU, se uno deve mandare solo 1 sms dall'estero, WIND si prende sempre i 2 euro.
O in altre parole: con ORU, se andate all'estero e mandate 1 sms, non pagherete la esigua eurotariffa per un sms ma, SBANG!, pagherete 2€.

Potreste contestare che usando tutti  e 15 i minuti e tutti e 15 gli sms e il traffico dati, forse,  ORU convenga rispetto alla eurotariffa, ma vi prego di verificare che al superamento di tali limiti le condizioni diventano peggiori della eurotariffa.
E ancora più gradita sarà questa opzione agli utenti che vivono a ridosso dei confini e che a volte prendono la cella telefonica straniera.

Potete verificare l'abilitazione della nefandissima opzione ORU accedendo al vostro account wind e controllando sulla pagina "La tua offerta".


Come abilitare l'eurotariffa e disabilitare ORU

Potete disabilitare l'opzione truffaldina solo abilitando esplicitamente l'eurotariffa:

via web: loggate con vostro utente wind e cliccate nell'ordine su "la tua offerta" -> "estero" -> "dall'estero" -> "Eurotariffa" -> "abilita"
via sms: inviare al 4033 un sms con il testo "EUROTARIFFA PRE SI"

Riflessioni etiche

Prima di tutto l'abilitazione silenziosa di una opzione che serve ad imporre una condizione peggiore al proprio cliente è proprio una carognata.
Nascondere la natura della opzione truffaldina con un nome fuorviante Offerta Regolamentata UE che le persone assennate interpreterebbero come "Ah mi hanno attivato la eurotariffa, che bravi..", è proprio una carognata.
Rifletteteci, è un vergognoso gioco di parole perché in verità "Regolamentata UE" significa che la UE prevede per regolamento che l'opzione, richiesta dal cliente, permetta l'uso di tariffe diverse dall'eurotariffa.
Una cavillo Euro-Regolamentato.

Per questi motivi non si può interpretare questa scelta di Wind come una sbagliata progettazione, un errore di comunicazione o simili, è un lucido e pianificato tentativo di ingannare e spillare soldi al proprio cliente

Vi è malizia e di quella brutta

A mio avviso qualche associazione dei consumatori dovrebbe svegliarsi e fare il culo alla Wind. Questa è veramente grossa.

P.S: una volta disabilitata la ORU abilitando la eurotariffa, controllate tra un mese lo stato della eurotariffa. L'eurotariffa dovrebbe tra poco essere modificata e non sia mai che WIND decida di proteggervi "Regolamentarvi" in automatico.

domenica 11 ottobre 2015

HOWTO: Moving a Windows (XP) installation from a broken PC to a new one... using Virtualbox.

Move one hard disk from a broken PC to a new one, usually, does not suffice in order to get back our OS installation; the problem is the lacking of pre-installed drivers for chipset and peripherals (the new PC ones) that prevents the system boot.

Few days ago my father's motherboard broke. I had no time to: install a new operating system and reconfigure tons of programs,I decided to try a desperate recover of the old installation.

And.. I had an idea.

Using virtualbox in order to boot up my father's OS and prepare the old installation to the migration to the new hardware; I hoped that the old OS already had the drivers for the old emulated hardware.
In order to boot the old installation, Virtualbox can use a physical device like virtual device for a virtual machine, this is not a well known feature.

The Performed Task

I recovered the old windows XP SP3 installation, moving it from a broken Asus k8n motherboard, equipped with Athlon x2 4200+, to an Asus p5n-d with Core2Duo Q9300.
The system hard disk was a 1TB WD green model.
The Virtualbox system host was my mighty laptop, equipped with the Intel 4720HQ CPU, and Linux Mint operating system.

The Procedure

I'll refer to my laptop as PC-host.


  • Take out the system hard disk (HD) from the broken PC
  • Connect HD to PC-host (for example via an external USB adapter)
  • Find out the assigned HD device name: dmesg or fdisk -l  linux commands (in my case it is /dev/sdb)
  • Mount the HD partitions and backup the data
  • Unmount the  HD partitions (mandatory)
  • give device access to the virtualbox user (for example via chmod 777 /dev/sdb)

Virtual machine setup

Create a new Windows XP (32bit) virtual machine(VM), but do not create ANY virtual disk, configuration details:
  • Chipset PIIX3
  • 2GB RAM
  • I have forgotten I/O APIC On, but I think this has no effect with winXP
  • Network NAT, PCnet-FAST III (Am79C973)
  • Pointing device: PS/2 Mouse
Create a virtual disk that connects to the block device:

This example is for my use case, Linux operating system and HD device /dev/sdb

VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename "myFatherDisk.vmdk" -rawdisk /dev/sdb

Add myFatherDisk.vmdk virtual device to the VM (you do it in the Virtualbox storage panel)

Recover and prepare OS

  • Boot the VM
  • Press F8 during boot in order to enter Safe Mode
  • Wait device driver installation to complete
  • Reboot
  • The VM might work fine, let's skip windows genuine registration
  • let's download the new motherboard/device drivers (in my case from ASUS page)
  • install the new drivers into VM
  • Disconnect HD from PC-host
Untested: you can also try disabling the WPA to avoid problems during migration, I think you can re-enable later. Or you can find a solution by your own (please read the next section about).

At this point you have the old OS already working as VM inside a new hardware (PC-host).

Move the HD to the new hardware

  • Connect HD to the new motherboard
  • Boot from HD
  • Press F8 during boot in order to enter Safe Mode
  • My case: Windows genuine activation request prevent you from proceeding and installing drivers; usb devices are not working yet, you need a connected ps2 keyboard in order to skip activation(*)
  • Wait device driver installation to complete
  • reboot
  • Clean installation, reinstall broken software (I reinstall video driver, just in case), install secondary lacking drivers, clean registry (for example via CCleaner)
  • Reboot few times :-D
  • Activate your windows
My father's new PC is ready!


I was unable to skip the windows genuine activation when booting with the new hardware, this prevents the driver installation.
In order to skip it you need a working keyboard or mouse, but the new USB hub device is not initialized, yet.
Luckily I had an old ps2 keyboard and the motherboard connector.

There may be alternative (untested) solutions:
  • you can force the hardware device initialization first, by using the sysprep windows utility.  A possibile solution, may be using sysprep before disconnecting HD from PC-host and connecting to the new hardware. I have not deepened this road. Please refer to the instructions of the  syprep utilty.
  • Disable  windows genuine activation service, and re-enable it later.

In the event that you have a smarter solution to this problem, please share it with me.

Have fun



giovedì 6 agosto 2015

Alita - Gally - Gunnm Motorball wallpaper (16:9)

Alita-Gunnm- is one of the best manga characters ever.
I was not able to find out a decent 16:9 Alita wallpaper, so I forged a very nice 4:3 wallpaper to 16:9.
I hope you'll like this extended version.
I have modified a wallpaper that was floating around for a while,I have found the original artist with an image search: the Benlo original paint is on devianart.

Download the wallpaper here:

sabato 6 giugno 2015

NFS over OpenVPN over ADSL(or slow connection), best settings

In recent years I have often used NFS shares through OpenVPN, with a 7Mbit ADSL connection, and I have always faced a great slowness in directory listing (takes a lot of seconds to do ls or update the file manager view) and file transfers.
For the sake of completeness, I'm using Linux Mint 17.. it's a Debian like distro.

I have read lot of posts and I have tried the reasonable subset of suggested solutions, I'm going to provide a configuration walkthru; this is the summary of the best tips:
  • use a NFS packet size smaller than littler MTU size (default is 8Kbytes, new values should be littler than 1500bytes, few guys suggest 1024bytes)
  • use NFS TCP connection type; do not use UDP on ADSL/WANs
  • use the NFS async option
  • do not set very small timeouts, left the default 60 secs (timeo=600) or.. I have tried with success 10secs (timeo=100) too
  • with the hard mount option, let's add the intr option

For linux users,  here is a little fstab configuration example for soft mounts:

servername:/shared/     /mnt/foldername/  nfs     rw,suid,dev,soft,exec,nouser,async,noauto,timeo=100,user,rsize=1024,wsize=1024,tcp 0 0

and here, for hard mounts:
rw,suid,dev,intr,exec,nouser,async,noauto,timeo=100,user,rsize=1024,wsize=1024,tcp 0 0

I have also used rsize/wsize = 1350.
These findings have been obtained with the typical mambo-jambo, fire&forget, try&see experimental procedure.
  • Yes, I have read the manuals (they suck)
  • yes, I have chosen only the reasonable subset of internet tips
  • yes, I have tried  lots of permutations 
I am far from a statistically significant sample :-).
These changes have improved my NFS usability, doubling the download speed for a single file and raising a lot the browsing responsiveness.
NFS over vpn+adsl is still dramatically slow (at the moment I am transferring files at about 150 KB/sec, and this is far better than without the proposed changes).
Please consider that my 7Mbit ADSL has a download bandwidth of 800KB/sec.

I hope that these tips are going to work in your case too..

Have you find out a better solution? Other magical NFS options? Please share, tips are welcome.
Have fun

lunedì 29 dicembre 2014

TD-W8960N V5, a very good ADSL router

I recently installed a TD-W8960N V5 WiFi-router at my father home.

I am very impressed by its features and performance.

Please note, previously I installed and used the W8960N V2 and W8961N routers.
They worked well; W8960N V2 is superior than W8961N, it has a fair amount of features and available settings.

Both W8960N V2 and W8961N have the usual Tp-link like "rough" web interface, providing lots of low level settings with no clear explanations or guide.

TD-W8960N V5 improves the web interface, respect the older models, the interface is better organized, and adds plenty of very useful features.

The preferred features are:
  • Per-user bandwith throttling-- Yes you can sharp the bandwidth!
  • Guest network-- you can create a separate wireless network for guests (your main wifi network is a totally separated network, if you like)
  • Bandwith throttle the Guest Network
These are features I have long waited for, in the low-price router segment.

I have also noted that the wifi connection, at my father home, is far more stable now (less wifi disconnections or hiccups) respect with the older W8961N.

I hope you find these informations useful.

TD-W8960N V5 Respekt