The Midlife Geek

Ramblings of a middle aged engineer, runner and open source enthusiast

Category: Misc

Chill JRPG

I hacked a SNES Classic Mini with Hakchi2 the other day.  Wanting to replay a bunch of old school RPG (Lufia I and II, Chronotrigger, Secret of Evermore and Earthbound), I took the name “Dude”.

It’s just like my opinion but it changes the dialogue of the entire game.

 

Is your PS4 ignoring your controller?

Weird one, pressing PS button and it flashes but doesn’t turn on the PlayStation.

Power off the console (hold the power button for about ten seconds or so), connect USB, console comes on when the controller PS button is pressed!

Go figure.

Unexpected footnotes

I am reading “Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class” by Owen Jones. Borrowed from my local library, a previous borrower has made their own addendum.

owenjoneschavs

It reads “keep them out of mischief“.

There are lots of these. Some reinforce points (or disagree). Some are checking the author’s arithmetic. Why make notes in a borrowed book? There’s not enough time to read it twice and it is unlikely you would borrow the same copy (there’s a waiting list).

My favourite – “Hazel Blears” always annotated “Chunky Kit-Kat“.

Paranorman

Took the family to see ParaNorman the other night. I really enjoyed it (then again I love this sort of movie) – if you liked Coraline it’s along the same lines (its by the same people).

Its always a bit tricky trying to find something to watch together, especially as the kids get older but this had a good balance for adults, teenagers and younger children. There were a surprising number of people with very young children and I heard a few scared cries in the back of the theatre.

Check out the web site, the trailer is worth a watch and there’s a bunch of free downloads.

Repair Samsung NC10 MBR

I removed Ubuntu from a Samsung NC10 yesterday, now the F4 recovery option doesn’t work. Please excuse the lack of screen shots on this Howto but I couldn’t think how to capture from the recovery manager and camera shots look rubbish.

It would appear that Samsung uses a custom Master Boot Record (MBR) – so for Grub all is well because you can choose to boot into the recovery partition and away you go. However if you have followed any of the usual guides to removing grub (such as running an XP CD to a recovery console and typing fixmbr) F4 will not launch the restore tool.

System Rescue CD is a great tool to have handy on a USB key. You can, so booting into it run this command:

fdisk /dev/sda

Now pressing “p” should show you that the recovery partition is 1, so type “a” then “2”, “a” then “1” to make it bootable. Now write the partition table by typing “w” then reboot. At this point you will boot into the recovery manager and be able to recover but the F4 key will not still not be available at boot and of course trying to create a backup will not work either (as Windows will be booted on restart).

Once Samsung Recovery Manager III has loaded up, press Ctrl+Alt+F10 – I had no idea there was a management mode until I read this page (French) but be aware its only available from the recovery partition. It asks for a password – “secos” (without the quotes). Once in management mode, click the “Image” tab and select “Export” then “Select Location”, I used “D:”. Click “Start” and accept the dialogue box that comes up. This is a backup of the recovery partition.

Once this stage is finished, select the “Tools” tab, insert a spare USB stick and click “Admin Tool USB”. It will format the USB stick and then install some utilities. It takes a couple of minutes. Once finished click the close button in the top right and it’ll ask if the computer should be turned off – say yes.

Boot with the USB key we just made, bringing you to a completely different recovery menu. Click “MBR Fix” and then close the application.

Now when you reboot you’ll notice that the MBR has been repaired and F4 once again boots into Recovery Manager III.

Don’t fix it, censor it

The Security Research Computer Lab at Cambridge University posted an article about industry response to a fundamental flaw in the “chip and pin” system in February. The paper, by Omar Choudary (a PhD student), highlights a flaw in the standard that permits the use of any PIN number. The University passed it to industry two months before publishing.

Now, some eight months later, the only bank known to have addressed this is Barclays. Instead of addressing the issue, the bankers’ trade association feels the best course of action is to tell the University its being irresponsible [pdf] in publishing the information! Given the Streisand Effect, is that not trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted? The University’s response is an emphatic no, at the moment.

It is interesting that the UK Cards Association feels an offence was committed in proving the vulnerability. I would have thought they’d welcome the information, given their front page statement:

We inform and engage with stakeholders to advance the industry for the ultimate benefit of our members’ consumer and retail customers. Our work includes preventing card fraud, contributing to legislative changes, collating industry statistics and developing industry standards and best practices.

San Diego suggestions

I’ve never been to the US before but I’m going to San Diego this week with work.

Although I’m not sure how much free time I’ll have, as I’m there for a few weeks I was wondering if there’s anyone has any recommendations on what to see.

My son suggested Rockstar San Diego (Red Dead Redemption is very popular here just now) but frankly I’d like to see a bit more than that.

So, any thoughts?

Licensing

Never thought I’d have to publish this on my personal blog but I’d like to draw attention to the license:

For any CC work that you use from this site, please use the following attribution:

This work by Dougie Richardson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK: Scotland License. Based on a work at http://blog.lynxworks.eu, permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://blog.lynxworks.eu/about/

I chanced upon a site earlier (not linking to it – as I see no need to further their hits) where my post has been lifted verbatim and reprinted as the owner’s – with my name and as a link right at the end.  It’s not asking much that if anything helps you, redistribute it under the same terms and give credit where it’s due.

Certainly don’t want to see someone else’s name attached at the top!

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