newspaint

Documenting Problems That Were Difficult To Find The Answer To

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Cyanogenmod 7.2 com.android.mms Crash in Messaging

I have been running Cyanogenmod 7.2 on my HTC Desire Z for the last few weeks.

Today I had a message that wouldn’t send (because I took an escalator deep underground going out of range of the mobile phone signal as I pressed the send button). Thereafter my Messaging application would keep crashing with the following message whenever I tried to send another SMS:

Sorry! The application Messaging (process com.android.mms) has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again.

com.android.mms crash error message

com.android.mms crash error message

I tried rebooting my phone, wiping the cache partition (from ClockworkMod Recovery), and going through the Settings->Applications->All->Messaging->Clear Data route – all to no avail.

I read somewhere that com.android.mms can crash when a single message becomes corrupted in the message database.

So I used the SMS Backup & Restore application to:

  • make a backup of my 5,000 messages (takes about 2 minutes)
  • delete all messages (takes about 5 minutes)
  • restore all messages (takes about 10 minutes)

The next time I started Messaging it displayed my threads (i.e. the names of contacts) and when I opened up the messages from the first contact the screen went blank for about another 5 minutes – (probably rebuilding the message database internally) – but afterwards I was able to see all my messages and successfully send a new SMS!

Setting the Timezone on a Casio Waveceptor Solar Edifice Watch

To Set the Timezone

  • press and hold the top-left button.. you will hear one beep, keep holding, you will hear two beeps, you can release
  • use the bottom-right and top-right buttons to change the home timezone
  • press the top-left button again, now you will see the alternative-timezone selection
  • use the bottom-right and top-right buttons to change the alternative-timezone
  • press the top-left button again, and the analogue hands will move to reflect the new home timezone

Pictorially

Start from the main time screen.

Start from the main time screen

Start from the main time screen

Next press and hold the upper-left button.

Push and hold the upper-left button

Push and hold the upper-left button

You will notice the information screen says GET. Ignore this and keep holding! You will hear a beep and the screen will go blank. Keep holding the upper-left button down – don’t let it go yet!

Keep holding the upper-left button even after you hear the beep

Keep holding the upper-left button even after you hear the beep

Eventually you will hear a double beep and the timezone (and time) will be displayed.

Release the upper-left button after you hear the double-beep

Release the upper-left button after you hear the double-beep

You can release the upper-left button.

Now you can change the home timezone of the watch. When all is said and done the analogue hands of the watch should move to the new time of the timezone you set here. Press the lower-right button to move forward a timezone.

The lower-right button moves forward a timezone

The lower-right button moves forward a timezone

Press the upper-right button to move back a timezone.

The upper-right button moves back a timezone

The upper-right button moves back a timezone

Finally press the upper-left button when you are done. You will now be able to set the secondary timezone (which doesn’t affect the analogue hands). Press this upper-left button once this is complete and the new settings will take effect.

The upper-left button will now take you into the secondary timezone configuration

The upper-left button will now take you into the secondary timezone configuration

All done!

To Manually Set the Time or Change the Date

  • press and hold the top-left button.. you will hear one beep, keep holding, you will hear two beeps, you can release
  • use the bottom-left button to cycle through various settings including:
    1. home city
    2. daylight savings (auto/on/off)
    3. 12/24 hour mode
    4. seconds
    5. hour
    6. minute
    7. year
    8. month
    9. day of month
    10. power-savings (on/off)
  • use the bottom-right button to change any of the settings above
  • when you are finished press the top-left button to get to the second-city timezone setting, and top-left button again to return to the current time

Ganglion Almost Disappeared in Hours

I’m writing about this because I can’t believe it.

For the last 2-3 months I’ve had a fairly hard solid ball like growth under the skin on my right wrist. I’ve had these before – years and years ago in my late teenage years. They just went away.

I was worried that this one was sticking around because it’s been months and it hasn’t gone away.

But in the last two hours or so (between 3pm and 5:30pm) the hard ball has almost disappeared – not entirely – there’s still a bump, but it’s a lot softer now. I’m amazed because it was there this morning – I was running my hand over it feeling frustrated with it.

What have I done in the last few hours? Well – my car has developed a small leak – and after torrential rain over the past 24 hours there’s quite a bit of collected rainwater in the rear passenger footwell. I’ve been using my right hand (same as the wrist the ganglion was on) to press down with a sponge, then wring it out. I did this many times (maybe 50-100) because there was a lot of water there.

Could it be this action has allowed the fluid in the ganglion to free up? I don’t feel any pain (although I haven’t felt any pain the entire time I’ve had the ganglion).

I’m going to add some pictures of the motions I was using. The first was pushing down on the sponge – the awkward angle (pushing back on the wrist) was because I was pressing down from the back seat of the car into the footwell.

Angle Used When Pushing Down On Sponge

Angle Used When Pushing Down On Sponge

Then I would hold the sponge outside the car door and squeeze tightly to wring out the water.

Tightly Squeezing a Sponge

Tightly Squeezing a Sponge

If you have a ganglion then maybe it will go away on its own. There’s not much known about what makes them appear and disappear (from what I can find online). My UK doctor could give me little advice – given that it wasn’t hurting. I don’t know if the motions described above have been the reason my ganglion has turned from a hard ball to a much smaller soft mush in the last few hours. But I’ve documented it in case somebody else happens to notice something similar!

Update 2013-01-18

The ganglion came back a while later – I don’t remember how long it was – and it’s since become bigger and almost disappeared over the space of weeks. At the moment it is small but present. So I guess it was just one of those things it went away in a day as above. Maybe it is diet. Maybe it is sleep. Maybe it is something else. I really don’t know. But it won’t necessarily stay around forever.

Making My Website IPv6 Enabled

Given that many other big companies have switched on IPv6 on 2012-06-06 I decided it was time to IPv6 enable my company website.

I asked my hosting provider to tell me my network address and they gave me a /64 prefix. I could pick whatever I wanted for the host portion of the address. I won’t reveal the actual network address but for the purposes of this article I will use 2001:db8:beef:2::/64.

I am using Debian for my operating system. I will go through the procedures for:

  • adding the IPv6 address to the Ethernet interface
  • adding the IPv6 address to my Bind (DNS) configuration
  • adding rules to ip6tables

Ethernet Interface

You cannot add an IPv6 address to a virtual interface like eth0:1. It must be added to a whole interface – like eth0 – where it will co-exist with the IPv4 address.

I added the following block to my /etc/network/interfaces file:

iface eth0 inet6 static
        address 2001:db8:beef:2::3
        gateway fe80::1
        netmask 64
        pre-up echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/eth0/autoconf

Note that I picked a host address of 3 – but you can choose whatever you like.

Next I ran ifdown eth0 && ifup eth0 – of course if you’ve made a mistake you might lose your connectivity to the device – so you should have a console connection standing by in case you lose your network.

Bind DNS

It is relatively easy to add an IPv6 address to your Bind DNS configuration. Merely enter a line such as:

www AAAA 2001:db8:beef:2::3

Don’t forget to update the serial number in the zone file.

To test this you can run dig AAAA www.mysite.com.

ip6tables

The ip6tables and associated tools ip6tables-save and ip6tables-restore function just like the iptables equivalent functions.

Note that ip6tables does not recognise the ICMP protocol. You must use the icmpv6 keyword, instead, when referring to ICMP for IPv6. You’ll also note that some response types such as port-unreachable are now icmpv6-port-unreachable.

For example, some catch-all reject rules at the end of my script:

-A INPUT -p tcp -j REJECT --reject-with tcp-reset
-A INPUT -p udp -j REJECT --reject-with icmp6-port-unreachable
-A INPUT -j REJECT

For a list of ICMPv6 types you can run the following from the command line:

user@host:~$ ip6tables -p icmpv6 -h
Valid ICMPv6 Types:
destination-unreachable
   no-route
   communication-prohibited
   address-unreachable
   port-unreachable
packet-too-big
time-exceeded (ttl-exceeded)
   ttl-zero-during-transit
   ttl-zero-during-reassembly
parameter-problem
   bad-header
   unknown-header-type
   unknown-option
echo-request (ping)
echo-reply (pong)
router-solicitation
router-advertisement
neighbour-solicitation (neighbor-solicitation)
neighbour-advertisement (neighbor-advertisement)
redirect

DON’T THINK ABOUT IPv6 ENABLING YOUR HOST WITHOUT A CORRESPONDINGLY NEW FIREWALL.

BT Handing Out Virtual Private Network IP Addresses Instead of Internet Addresses

So frustrating! Today my Internet was down from 10:30am until 5pm when I finally figured out what was going wrong.

Firstly – I lost my connection. So I rebooted my router. I’m not using a BT Home Hub – rather my own ADSL modem/router. And every time I tried reconnecting I kept getting assigned addresses like: 172.16.20.1, 172.16.20.2, 172.16.20.3 … 172.16.20.127 (when it would wrap back to 172.16.20.1).

The DNS assigned by BT when this happens is 194.74.65.98 which responds to all names thusly:

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;www.google.com.                        IN      A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
www.google.com.         0       IN      A       194.74.65.98

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
www.google.com.         0       IN      NS      dns.bt.net.

;; ADDITIONAL SECTION:
dns.bt.net.             0       IN      A       194.74.65.98

In other words it redirects all web pages to http://194.74.65.98/ – which gives you this page:

SERVICE INFORMATION
Close Window
	  	
You have been connected to this page due to 
one of the following reasons. You must now 
shut down your browser and Internet applications 
before attempting to reconnect.

    The BTWholesale access circuit to your Service Provider is currently down.
    Your service should be resumed soon.

    Or

    You are testing your local connection to BT using
    ‘bt_test_user@startup_domain’

    Or

    You are testing your connection to your Service Provider using 
    ‘bt_test_user@domain’ where domain is your Service Provider domain name.

    Or

    Your Service Provider is currently unable to accept your connection 
    request please wait until service is restored or contact your Service
    Provider for further information.

    Or

    You have attempted to access an invalid Service Provider domain.

Pretty frustrating? Right?

This is typical of what my modem would show upon connecting in this state:

Getting a VPN Connection To BT Instead Of An Internet Connection

Getting a VPN Connection To BT Instead Of An Internet Connection

I fought with this for hours and hours. Until I came across a post suggesting that the correct username/password for CHAP authentication on PPPoA should be: bthomehub@btbroadband.com as the username with no password. That wouldn’t work for me, but it would if I supplied a password of anything (a blank password would not work but any other password would seem to work).

Here is a screenshot of my router settings:

Router Configuration for BT Home Broadband

Router Configuration for BT Home Broadband

What Happened?

Before today (2012-06-05) I had been using a username of “a” and a non-blank password. This had been working fine (except for the occasional VPN address being handed out in the form 172.16.x.x instead of getting an Internet address – but only happened rarely).

I wonder if today BT applied a new policy requiring the bthomehub@btbroadband.com username to be applied. This would make sense if other wholesaled products were confusing the DSLAM as they require a domain specific username. But funny day to apply such a policy – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

My other theory is that my local exchange was down for the whole day – and just as it came up I happened to apply the bthomehub username – and this is the username it has learned. Unlikely as it would have been incredibly coincidental my service just happens to start working the instant I apply the username change.

So – maybe this information will help others in future who want to use their own routers instead of the supplied BT Home Hubs – or are already using their own routers and discover, today, that they cannot use BT Broadband as a result of being placed in a walled garden.

Compensation Claim Companies Spamming UK Mobile Numbers

I received, on 2012-03-02, a SMS message from +447955700141 that contained the following text:

URGENT! We have been trying to contact you regarding your accident; you may be entitled to up to 5100 in compensation. Reply CLAIM for more info or stop

I tried calling the number today (2012-06-03) but got a recorded message announcing the number is “not recognised”.

Why This Is So Wrong

Firstly I have not been in an accident. Secondly this message was sent to a number from which I do not make calls. Thirdly nobody else should have this number (it was from a SIM obtained at a T-Mobile retail store for the purposes of mostly data only).

Two years ago my car insurance policy jumped 30+% in a year at Direct Line. With no change of address, no speeding tickets, no fines, no accidents, no claims. Thirty percent! Needless to say I left Direct Line. But competitors were not much cheaper. And the reason the industry gives for this inflation-ignoring gouging is because of exactly this scenario – claims companies artificially making claims on car insurance.

This following is entirely my opinion and should not be interpreted as fact. We are at war with the insurance industry, people! It is a monopoly (there is no competition) because it is something we must have, by law, to drive. And corruption is endemic. The problem with a corrupt organisation is that it doesn’t magically become uncorrupted. The whole system must be dismantled and rebuilt with ethical principles at the root. Every claims spammer must be jailed. Every insurance agent paying out a false claim instead of investigating the truth of claims should be incarcerated.

The Carphone Warehouse Is Spamming Personal Mobiles With SMS Messages

I have never been a customer of The Carphone Warehouse.

Years ago, now, I started receiving spam advertising messages from The Carphone Warehouse to my personal mobile (in the UK). These stopped.

Spamming a New Number

On 2012-05-29 12:46 (British Summer Time, or GMT+0100) I received the following SMS on a T-Mobile 30-day rolling contract mobile number:

Your Carphone Warehouse store at The Windmills, Smethwick, Birmingham, B66 3EN will be closed from 30th May for an upgrade. Reopening mid-June, it will have a new look and a wider range of products and services. To stop msgs txt STOP to 80091

(apparently sent from number Carphone).

Why This Is So Wrong

I’ve never been a customer of The Carphone Warehouse. I’ve not stepped foot in a Carphone Warehouse store since around 2006. I took out this mobile phone number in 2010 in a T-Mobile store in London. I’ve only visited Birmingham twice – a few years ago – and just for day trips.

What Can We Do?

If I complain to the advertising standards authority they will ask for my phone number. This defeats the purpose – if I hand my number to The Carphone Warehouse then they know about me! But the whole point of this unsolicited spam is that they know nothing about me – and yet are still spamming!

My personal opinion is that UK residents should keep out of Carphone Warehouse stores. I see no reason to walk in. If you want a phone you can buy it from Amazon. If you want a SIM card you can walk into any one of tens of mobile company retail stores in your area. I personally think you should not give Carphone Warehouse your patronage. I personally think they are a firm engaging in grossly unethical practices.

Update 2012-06-14

It’s happened again – at 12:07pm today! Here is the text:

Your Carphone Warehouse store at The Windmills, Smethwick, B66 3EN has now reopened! Visit us today and check out our new look, wider range of products and experience even better service. To stop msgs txt STOP to 80091

I would like an apology from a director of Carphone Warehouse along with a personal mobile number I can call at 3am in the morning on a regular basis. Anybody have that information?