LocalBar: Install signed BAR files directly from PlayBook

I’ve reverse engineered the protocol used by blackberry-deploy to install apps file (BAR file) into the playbook. Then I made an app to Install signed BAR files directly from the playbook itself. You can find my work here:

http://yohan.es/playbook/localbar/

  • I am using https://localhost method. To put it simply: it works like other desktop installers that connect via network or USB, it sends commands to an HTTP service in the playbook. The only difference is that it works through the playbook itself.
  • It is possible that in the future RIM may block requests from localhost
  • I don’t have time to develop nice GUI for this, so I just use the basic GUI API that is accessible using NDK. For example: in the NDK there is a “login dialog” but no “password dialog”, so for the password dialog I use the “login dialog” that shows the “user” field (which I don’t need).
  • This works on OS 1.0.7 and on 2.0 (developer beta)
  • With this you can sort of OTA install through the playbook. From your PlayBook Just go to a website that has some bar files (for example this forum) , download it using the built in playbook browser, then run LocalBar to install the downloaded bar files.

EZ430-Chronos OTP

After wanting the EZ430 Chronos watch for a long time, I finally ordered one on Febuary 20th from TI eStore, and I got the watch on February 24th (Tax Free). So this is another stuff in my long list of “things to hack”.

I had a good idea to use my Ez430 Chronos as OTP generator for Google 2 factor authentication. Before my long weekend, I did my research on Thursday (24 February) and that time no one had implemented it. So I wrote a small modification to OpenChronos, and just before I finished my implementation on Sunday (I was quite busy during the long weekend helping to move our company’s office), I looked at Chronos Wiki again to find some links to the chronos documentation, and found out that Huan Truong has just implemented his version of OTP by modifying OpenChronos.

After learning that in his version the clock function doesn’t work yet (in his readme it says “THIS FIRMWARE CURRENTLY HAS A YET-TO-IMPLEMENT CLOCK FUNCTIONALITY, SO IT WONT DISPLAY TIME PROPERLY”), I decided to continue my implementation. My implementation doesn’t change the time logic so you can still use the stock Control Center provided by TI (Huan Troung changed the OpenChronos code to use epoch implementation, and he modified the control center) . Instead of replacing all algorithms to use timestamp, I use a simple mktime implementation to convert existing year/month/date data to unix timestamp.

After flashing the image to the watch, a new menu is added to the second line after “rFbSL”, it will show a heart icon and first 2 digits of the OTP (I will never buy a heart monitor for this watch so I use that icon just to show that I am in OTP mode). Pressing the “#” key for a few seconds will show the remaining 4 digits. Just for your information, enabling CONFIG_OTP adds 2914 bytes to the code size.

So here is my version of Google OTP (If many people are interested, I can put it in github):

http://tinyhack.com/files/OpenChronos-joe-otp.zip

I am too lazy to implement the “make config’, just edit otp.h with your key, and fill in the timezone offset (+N from UTC). You can get the key from base32 encoded string using codegen script that I made, for example:

bash$ python codegen.py pf xwqy lomvz wu 33f
\x79\x6f\x68\x61\x6e\x65\x73\x6a\x6f\x65

https://github.com/yohanes/OpenChronos

You can use make config to set your secret key in base32 (that means you can just copy paste from the auth code presented by Google), and you can set the timezone offset.

New Adventures

My last post was about 6 months ago. Now I am back with some new adventures. The first one is Jonathan, my first baby:

Jonathan

And the next one is BeagleBoard-xM from John Nicholls.

BeagleBoard-xM

About a month ago I found a promotion and got this free MSP430 USB development tool:

eZ430-F2013

It got me interested in MSP430 in general and bought some LaunchPad (only 4.30 usd each). My first project is to control the plug so i can plug and unplug BeagleBoard-xM through PC (so I can control it remotely via SSH). With this, I should be able to work on BeagleBoard remotely (like when I am in my room holding my baby boy).

LaunchPad MSP430

And I have updated the CNS21XX code in my gitorious repo with the latest head. Hopefully I can put the code to SVN HEAD in the near future.

CNS21XX port completed


About six months ago, Stefan Bethke donated me some money to buy a device from dealextreme so I can port FreeBSD to that device (you can see the pictures here). This device uses ARM Cavium Econa CNS21XX (formerly known as STR8132). Within few days I have completed the driver for serial port, interrupt controller, EHCI/OHCI. Then I stopped working on it, three months later I continued and finished the network driver, then I stopped again.

The last part that wasn’t finished was the SPI controller and the SPI flash driver, so this weekend I spent some time to finish it. So now, I can say that the port is finished, all drivers have been written for the device. With SPI flash support, I can now write the kernel to the device, and boot it from there (I don’t need to boot from network anymore).

Actually I am not really finished yet, since I still need to reformat the code according to the FreeBSD standard, and there might still be bugs in my code, so I invite everyone that have this device to try it out. There is also a feature in the network driver that is not implemented yet (multicast filtering), because the datasheet is not very clear (i would be very happy if someone could help me to complete this, wait now i suddenly understands the documentation).

For the boot loader, I am still using the default boot loader. This boot loader will load the kernel from memory 0×600000, and since I can’t change the boot loader configuration in this particular device, I modified the kernel configuration to match this. The latest code can be accessed at http://gitorious.org/freebsd-arm.

To do initial boot, you will need serial port. You will need to put your kernel on your tftp server. Hit any key during boot, and type:

setenv serverip 172.17.1.1
setenv ipaddr 172.17.1.2
tftpboot 0x600000 kernel.bin
go 0x600000

and to make it permanent:

dd if=kernel.gz.tramp.bin of=/dev/flash/spi0 obs=4k conv=osync seek=96

Please note that the blocksize is 4k, and 96 means the offset is 0×60000 (96*4096) which will be mapped to 0×600000 by the boot loader. If you are brave, you can just compile the image and dd using the default Linux, but I don’t recommend this, since you may have different hardware (espcially SPI flash chip).

Another news: I have completed the driver for ThinLinx Hot-e NAND using NAND2 framework. I also completed the SPI part and support for the flash SPI (read only).

D-LINK DIR-300 Serial Port and SD mod

The latest progress of my freeBSD port for CNS21XX and ThinkLink Hot-e was three weeks ago. The CNS21XX network driver and Hot-e network driver was completed. I haven’t touched anything since then because I had to work on weekends at the office. This weekend, I could have continued coding, but I don’t feel like coding, so I did a hardware project: adding serial port and SD card slot to my D-LINK DIR-300 that I bought April last year.

This is not a difficult project, I already added SD/MMC card to my WRT54GL about 2,5 years ago. The difference is that there isn’t much guide about the hardware part (which GPIO pins to solder), and the software part (how to activate the drivers). So here is a short guide to anyone who needs it. Note that I already installed OpenWRT Kamikaze using the guide from: OpenWRT site.
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ThinLinx Hot-e and CNS21XX

I am still fixing the Cavium Econa CNS11XX network driver with the guide from Pyun YongHyeon. He is guiding to make the network driver more robust. Unfortunately, we still don’t know why the driver is slower than the Linux version. The port is currently accessible through FreeBSD CVS at:

http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/cvsweb.cgi/src/sys/arm/econa/

I asked in the freebsd-arm mailing list if anyone would like to donate me a CNS21XX device, and Stefan Bethke immediately offered me to buy one for me. I bought the device from dealextreme with the money donated to me. It took 9 days until it arrived.

Meanwhile John Nicolls from ThinkLinx sent me a Hot-e, a device based on AT91SAM9G20. I told him that I have received mr Stefan offer, but he said I can work on it anytime I want it. Since the Hot-e arrived earlier, I have managed to get it to boot. At first i was going to use the work from Sylvestre Gallon on at91sam9621(mailing list archive), but it turns out that it is not usable yet.

I have fixed the clock computation in at91_pmc.c, and currently writing a new timer driver (at91_pit.c), because the system timer device (at91_st.c) no longer exists in AT91SAM9G20. Currently the timer device is still not working properly, but I think I will be able to get it work this week.

When the CNS211XX LAN device finally arrived, I stopped the work for Hot-e for a while to test the new device. I bought a CA-42 cable to connect to it, but I can’t send anything to the device. I thought that the device was faulty, but turns out that the cable is faulty. I was disappointed because usually I used that type of cable (it is cheap only 132 baht or 4 usd). Fortunately I still have one MAX3232, and I can make my own cable.

I think porting CNS21XX will not be so difficult. I made some small adjustment for the serial port driver to make it show something. Memory mapping is different compared to CNS11XX, but that can easily be adjusted. The Interrupt controller is different, so I need to rewrite some parts. After it works, EHCI/OHCI was working fine. The network driver will need major adjustment (may be I will just write a new driver for this one), and the device doesn’t use CFI for Flash, it uses SPI, so I will need to write a driver for SPI bus.

For CNS11XX and CNS21XX You can see my progress in this wiki page:
http://wiki.freebsd.org/FreeBSDcns11xx

CNS11XX FreeBSD port completed

It has been a long time since I started this project, and even though I am making a good progress at the beginning, my progress was getting slower lately. Today I decided to take a day off from work to finish some remaining task: network driver, automatic memory detection, and flash device support.

Pyun YongHyeon have helped me a lot with the network driver. The speed is still not good, but he have helped to make the network driver to more correct (better, more reliable). I will still need to ask him to check for the final version, but I believe I have fixed most errors he pointed out.

My agestar, which also uses CNS11XX devices comes with 32Mb memory, while the Emprex NSD-100 have 64mb of memory. I have added a code to autodetect the memory size. So one binary file should work on both devices.

The flash device in Emprex NSD-100 complies with CFI, and it was very easy to use with the existing CFI driver. I just need to write several lines of code. The next step is to boot freebsd directly from the flash (with the root filesystem on USB). Unlike in Linux, the flash device can not be accessed as partitions (not yet).

First, we need to write the kernel.bin to cfi0, because the first 132 kb is used by boot loader, we need to skip to somewhere > 132kb. To make it easy, i just skip 1 megabyte from beginning of flash.

dd if=kernel.bin seek=1 bs=1m of=/dev/cfi0

be very very very careful with the dd command. Without correct seek and bs, you may overwrite the bootloader. The command will take quite a long time to finish (3 minutes).

Next step is to set the initial boot command. In the boot loader, setup bootcmd to copy the data in ram to 0×1000000 from 0×10100000, then boot the device:

setenv bootcmd cp.l 0×10100000 0×1000000 0x1a0000\;go 0×1000000
saveenv

Now when we boot the device, we should go directly to freebsd.

I won’t provide binaries, but the latest source code is in:

http://p4db.freebsd.org/depotTreeBrowser.cgi?FSPC=//depot/projects/str91xx/src/sys/arm/econa&HIDEDEL=NO

CNX11XX/STR91XX FreeBSD Progress

Last weekend I continued my work on FreeBSD port. I am concentrating on the network speed improvement, and I made a good progress with it. The network speed is now about 2.1 Mbps (FTP upload from device), this is still slower than the Linux version but i think it already reach a usable state (I think I should be able to stream some DivX files through HTTP from it). I will ask around in the freebsd-arm/freebsd-net mailing list so I can do more improvement on the driver.

I am still a bit worried playing around with the Flash, since I don’t have anything to restore it back in case I made a mistake. So I think I will leave this part for a while.

For everyone who have NSD-100 with Serial Port attached to it, you can try a precompiled binary thah I have prepared, or you can compile from source. To use the binary version, you will need a USB disk (at least 2GB in size), and a TFTP server. Actually you only need about 256 megabyte if you prepare your own disk instead of using my image.

Here are the steps for the binary version:

  1. Download the disk image from here
  2. Decompress (bunzip) the disk image, use dd to write to your USB disk
  3. Since there is no boot menu, entering single or multi user mode is done by booting different kernel. Download the multi user kernel or single user kernel and put it in your tftpserver
  4. Boot the kernel

To boot the kernel, you need to access your device using serial port. I think You need to hold the reset button to enter the boot prompt (mine always goes to the boot prompt because Bruce did something with the configuration area). You should see

STR9100>

prompt.

setenv serverip 192.168.1.1
(you can also 'saveenv' to save the TFTP server address permanently)
tftpboot 0x1000000 name-of-kernel.bin
go 0x1000000

To build your own disk image, make an empty disk.img with the size that you want. Goto /usr/src and then (modified from instruction to make i386 image by Warner Losh)

export TARGET_ARCH=arm
make buildworld
mdconfig -a -t vnode -f disk.img
fdisk -I md0
fdisk -B md0
bsdlabel -w md0s1 auto
bsdlabel -B md0s1
newfs /dev/md0s1a
mount /dev/md0s1a /mnt/
make installworld DESTDIR=/mnt
make distrib-dirs DESTDIR=/mnt
make distribution DESTDIR=/mnt
echo /dev/da0s1a / ufs rw 1 1 > /mnt/etc/fstab
echo ifconfig_DEFAULT=DHCP > /mnt/etc/rc.conf
echo hostname=demo >> /mnt/etc/rc.conf

To compare your boot experience here is is the bootlog for the multi user mode, and the single user mode.

For the latest kernel source, you can see the perforce depot at:

http://p4db.freebsd.org/depotTreeBrowser.cgi?FSPC=//depot/projects/str91xx&HIDEDEL=NO

SmartQ7

I just got my SmartQ 7 few days ago. In this post I want to share some technical thing (not a full review, you can find it somewhere else). Before giving my opinion about this device, I want to give quick update: I haven’t done much progress on the STR9104 FreeBSD port except to keep it up to date with FreeBSD Current. I am planning to start to work on it again this week. Andrew Certain have added joystick support for AppleWii. See the Google Code for latest version.

I bought this device from DealExtreme for 206.1 USD , this is the first expensive thing that I bought from DealExtreme (I only bought small things from then, usually my total is less than 20 USD). The thing shipped in about 10 days, but I need to get the thing from the post office, because I need to pay extra tax 350 baht (~11 USD).
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Hostmonster 50000 files limit

I have been using Hostmonster for more than 2 years, and I was quite satisfied until now. When I registered in 2006, Hostmonster gives more than enough disk space, and bandwidth for me. Few months ago, I decided to extend my registration for another 3 years, I am doing this because the uptime of the server is excellent, and they are responsive to questions and requests (such as adding DNS record, or resolving some problem with CPanel).

Three days ago, I got an email from abuse department, it says that I have been storing to many files. I have about 300 thousands files, and their limit (that they just set on May) is 50 thousands file. You may think that 50 thousands file is a lot, but in reality it is not. Many software uses thousands of small files, for example there are more than 1800 files on gallery2 (typical install, english only), there are more than 1000 files for wordpress. Joomla with virtuemart will use more than 6000 files. I think this new limit has something to do with their new UNLIMITED HOSTING offer.

That is only the default install. Many web applications uses more files. For example, gallery2 will cache the resized sizes (thumnail, normal view, full view, etc) so if you upload 1000 pictures, it may end up becoming 3000 files or more. I got quite many blog entries (because I have been blogging in my Indonesian blog for 3 years), so I need to install wp-cache to speed things up. The cache is file based, so in just one of my blog, I use about around 4000 files.

The worst part is Hostmonster also counts their configuration files, empty directories, log files, and emails in the total. So if you have several email account, and you haven’t pop your email for a while, your file count will be high. If you use IMAP, then you can not have many messages, because every message is a file.

After cleaning up my files, removing my photos, uninstalling gallery, I finally lowered down my file count to around 44000. Now I only use about 1.7 GB of the disk space. So much for unlimited space hosting :(