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Overlord's LJ - Gaming & Coding & Randomness
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Date:2037-12-31 00:00
Subject:Welcome to my Livejournal!

Hello, and welcome to my LJ!

It's worth noting that if something is little and/or bitty and isn't worth a full LJ post (or if I simply don't have time to do one), I often post stuff on Twitter - for ease of use, an embed of my most recent Twitter posts is to the side. Enjoy! The main blog is below.

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Date:2012-10-18 00:31
Subject:Fixing APNs for Pay As You Go Internet on Android

My first post in absolutely forever, but this has taken me all evening to figure out and I figured that there should be a record of it somewhere, so here we go. Please note this was done & tested with Ice-Cream Sandwich running on a stock, free-of-carrier-fuckery Galaxy S3. Your milage, and ability to adjust features, may vary; especially if you're in the United States whose mobile phone carriers are near legendary for taking features off phones.

I've recently purchased a Galaxy S3 mobile phone, to replace my aging Nokia handset. On playing about with MMS messages I discovered that my phone couldn't actually download any, which I found odd - I then realised with a bit of Googling that this was because data was disabled on the phone. I enabled it to test, and as soon as they saw an internet connection my email application & Android's service settings jumped onto the 3G and started slurping away - I quickly turned this back off.

Now, this is a problem, because I don't have unlimited data - left to their own devices, these 2 would wipe out my phone credit within a week: my carrier charges £1 for 25MB of access, which is reset every day at midnight.

The solution as it turns out, is to take the single APN setting that Android creates and split it into 3, one for MMS, one for the internet settings, and a completely fake nonsense one that will be used as a buffer for your data-hungry applications. First, turn off your wifi on the phone so it doesn't confuse things, then bring up the APN settings screen. This can be found in your Apps, under:

Settings --> Wireless & Networks --> More Settings --> Mobile Networks --> Access Point Names

Remember this path - you're going to need to use it from now on whenever you want to turn 3G internet access on and off. Incidentally, while we're here, untick Use Packet Data under the Mobile Networks step - we'll put it back on at the end of all this.

Anyway, you should see a screen that'll look something like this image (courtesy of http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=79701753 , which helped me realise the solution to this):

Note how one of these has a radio button by it, and one of them doesn't. This is apparently due to some quirk in Android which says you can have multiple APNs with data connections and choose which is used, but one set for MMS usage can't be used for non-MMS/WAP data access. As such, it doesn't have the selection box, so it is essentially always enabled.

OK, so what are we doing here? If you've got the same setup I had, then your phone provider's default APN setting has ever-so-unhelpfully put both the data & MMS into the same APN settings. You're going to need to split them apart. If this is the case, like it was for me, what you need to do is make a second APN just for your internet access - copy the settings from the first APN, until you have 2 identical ones. Now, select the first one, and change the settings accordingly:

For the MMS APN
Name: Set to "MMS" (without quotes)
APN Type: Remove everything except "mms" (without quotes)

For the Internet APN
Name: Set to "Internet" (without quotes)
MMSC: Remove setting, leave blank
MMS Proxy: Remove setting, leave blank
MMS Port: Remove setting, leave blank
APN Type: Remove only the "mms" part of the field, leave everything else - in my case, this was "default,supl" (again, no quotes).

The actual specifics of the rest of the fields will differ depending on your provider - check their help pages for what these should be.

OK, so at this point you should have something like the above screenshot - one with a circle in (that'll be selected) for Internet, and one that has no selectable circle for your MMS. We have our data set up, we now need the ability to turn it off and leave MMS usable. Create a new APN, and set the following values:

"Internet off" APN (all fields below are entered without quotes)
Name: "Internet Off"
APN: "example.com" (as per internet standards, this domain doesn't exist, and is therefore safe to use)
MCC, MNC: These two fields will likely be prefilled by your phone, depending on your country of residence and/or carrier - leave these as what your phone sets them as.
APN type: "default, supl" (basically the exact same string as is set in your Internet APN)

Save the APN and you should now have 3 APN values - Internet Off, Internet, and MMS; with the first 2 having a radio button by them. Set the Internet Off APN to be the enabled one, then hit the back button - this will bring you back to the screen with the Use Packet Data option on, which you can now enable, then go back up to the Android home screen.

Congrats, we're now done! You should be able to send and receive MMS messages at this point, but you will not be able to get email, use your browser, or do anything else data related. When you do want to do these things over 3G (and can keep an eye on exactly how long you're doing it), go back to the APN menu via Settings --> Wireless & Networks --> More Settings --> Mobile Networks --> Access Point Names , and set the radio button to Internet - after a few seconds, you should see the 3G data indicator come to life at the top of the screen, at which point data access will work. Remember to turn it back off again when you're finished, lest you incur a huge amount of charges!

One potential note - the boards.ie post also mentions that not every phone provider bothers to auth the Internet details, in which case the dummy APN will not work as a block - if you have wifi turned off and can still get online through your phone's browser with the dummy APN selected, I'm afraid you're out of luck.

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Date:2009-12-20 22:59
Subject:Killing In The Name Of Reaches UK Xmas #1

Kemp already summed this up over here but to summarise - Rage Against The Machine was propelled by an internet campaign to the top position on the UK charts today thanks to a grassroots internet campaign spearheaded on Facebook, breaking a 4 year monopoly on the spot by the utterly dire X-Factor. It sold 500,000 copies to X-Factor's 450,000. Simon Cowell has been given a sucker punch to the ego, and I'm personally delighted. =P

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Date:2009-11-16 20:17
Subject:STS-129 Launch

Crosspost of a quote from Kemp's blog:

(7:24:19 PM) Overlord: 4 mins =)
(7:28:31 PM) Overlord: GO
(7:28:32 PM) ***Overlord is currently listening to: Star Trek - First Contact - Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf (Star Trek - First Contact).mp3 [04:25m/320Kbps/44KHz/foobar2000]
(7:29:59 PM) Kemp: I was about 10 seconds behind
(7:30:09 PM) Kemp: at least I knew it didn't blow up on the pad :P
(7:30:12 PM) Overlord: hehehe
(7:30:44 PM) Overlord: SRBs are off
(7:31:09 PM) Kemp: arced away perfectly
(7:32:26 PM) Overlord: Song's finished
(7:32:27 PM) Overlord: XD

Launch went perfectly, and Atlantis is now on it's way to the ISS. :)

I need to post more, I know. I've not been in a particularly good place for a while, I hope the motivation to start writing again will come back soon =/

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Date:2009-08-22 23:17
Subject:Fixing Your Busted NES - A practical and pretty guide with pictures

I have a fair few NESes that I've picked up from car boots over the years. With one single exception, every one I've bought has suffered from the infamous Blinking Light Of Death™ problem, where the system stops reading cartridges. Hell, on one notible occasion I brought a system home that briefly worked, then got killed after I'd put a couple of cartridges in and simply stopped booting.

This blatantly won't do.

So what can you do to fix this problem, and why is it even occurring in the first place? Well, that would be because Nintendo are cheap fucks who used shoddy substandard components in the NES - but we'll get to the exact specifics later. As for the fix - though you can just bend back the pins later in this guide of the original part, a more permanent solution that won't require the system being opened again at a later date is to go onto eBay and look for a 72 pin NES connector - plenty of people sell these, just make sure they're new ones and not the original Nintendo crap ones. These retail for around $10 or so - they're far from expensive.

Once it's arrived in the mail, we can break the system open, so let's do it!

Take your NES and flip it so it's upside down, the text on the label on the base orientated so it's readable, as in the shot. There are recessed holes in the 4 corners, and 2 at the top and bottom in the middle. Each of these 6 holds a brown screw. Don't undo the 2 grey screws on the bottom on the black piece - they aren't needed. Make a note of the screw layout as you go (note here my screw placement matches where the holes they came from were) - though not necessarily important here it will be later on, so get into the habit now. Note that the text on the label here says that unauthorised repair attempts invalidate the warranty - you have now just broken any warranties, congratulations! =D Flip the NES over again so it's facing you - the top should now lift off. Move the screws and the top piece to one side - step 1 is completed.

Next to remove is the metal RF shielding that's over the cart bay. There are 7 screws here (or at least were on my model - the number is usually 7 but can differ) that I've marked the positions of with green dots. Get those out, again marking where they came from, and remove the RF shielding.

The RF shielding off, we can now see the part we're replacing - though we're not quite in a position to do so yet. Move the shielding and the screw layout for it out of the way, then undo the 6 screws holding the cartridge bay in place, highlighted here as green dots. Note this time the screw placing order is actually important, so make sure to keep a track of what goes where for this step if nothing else.

OK, step 4. Right, the screws are off - now this part is the one I had the most confusion with, hence the extra indicators - you need to lift up the side of the circuit board closest to the green arrow then pull the black cartridge bay up slightly and towards you, in the direction of the green arrow. This is because there's a lip - highlighted by the green oval on the right - that is under the circuit board on that side and without lifting it from that part of the board this thing won't come out easily at all. The bay removed, now comes what for me was the worst part - pushing the old connector out. This requires a fair amount of brute force - you need to rest your thumbs on the edge of the connector that's closest to the middle of the circuit board - i.e. the edge closest to you - and push the thing outwards in the direction of the red arrows. Increase the pressure slowly until the fucker finally comes off - in my case, almost flying across the room as it did so. Don't fret if you hear what sounds like a loud snapping noise - it's just the connector finally being free of the board for the first time in up to 25 years. =P

This is as naked as the NES is going to get - from here on in, we're adding parts rather than removing them. Here, my screwdriver is pointing to the newly-revealed cartridge interface on the NES, with the old connector on top to the right and the new one below. Speaking of, while we're here, why don;t we see what's caused this problem in the first place?

I apologise for the blur, first off - but this turned out to be the most noticeable shot. On the left is the original NES 72 pin connector. On the right is the new one. See the thin line on the left original connector? That's the part of the connector the cart touches. See the one on the right? Notice how the central part is about 4 times as thick? Yeah. This is the only reason the NES hasn't worked - purely because Nintendo cheaped out on the contact interface. *sighs*

Moving on, the new connector needs to go back where the old one was. Lift the circuit board up at the top and put the connector in - you'll have to use a bit of force to get it in there, it's a bit cramped. It may be easier to get one side in then just slide the connector in along the interface. Make sure it's fully in. At this point, the NES should now be in a position to be tested, so let's fire it up and see.

Here is my newly fitted 72 pin connector sitting with a gold Zelda 2 inside it. The power light is on - and note it isn't blinking (yes, yes, static JPG, shut up)


Take the cart out and put the cartridge bay back into place, lifting the part of the circuit board closest to you up to place it in. Make sure that the highlighted lip in the green oval back up at step 4 is UNDERNEATH the circuit board - you'll have to lift the board up and look at it side-on to see - then once it's in, insert the cart again like you would do if the system was fully closed up and make sure it still works. If you notice red pixellated squares on the screen, the connector has come a bit loose - shove it back in so it's squarely on the board and try again. It helps to push the connector back towards the board whenever you add or remove the cartridge. Assuming it's all still fine, put the screws you put aside earlier from the cartridge bay in, and test it again after that - this should be the last time the connector can conceivably move, so this'll be the last time we test it before it's all closed up.

Yup, still OK. Put the RF shielding back in place and screw it back with the screws put aside earlier from it, then place the top of the NES back onto the system. Flip it over so it's upside down again with the text facing so you can read it and put the last set of screws back in place.

In this case, fire wasn't needed. =P

Congrats, you have just revived a dead NES! The other thing you can do while inside the case is disable the NES10 lock-out chip which enables you to run games from any region, but that's another topic for another time - mainly because when I did this, I had no idea which line on the circuit board to cut and couldn't be arsed to look it up when I have no foreign carts. =P

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Date:2009-06-25 13:38
Subject:Ripping Mules

[13:33:49] Overlord: http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/24/buffalos-16gb-5mm-usb-thumbkey-its-really-small/
[13:33:59] Overlord: This is ridiculous. The drive is a third the size of the plug
[13:35:43] Kemp: that's pretty awesome
[13:35:46] Kemp: though too easy to lose
[13:35:48] Kemp: or swallow
[13:37:31] Overlord: XD
[13:37:41] Overlord: That's one way of getting MP3s past customs =P

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Date:2009-06-17 03:04
Subject:Random IRC Musings

[02:49:11] <@Overlord> http://www.stargate.com/index.html - I guess they finally got pissed off with people looking for an off-planet exit
[02:55:48] <+MadEchidna> OL: what
[02:56:24] <@Overlord> That's a hosting facility
[02:56:43] <@Overlord> They finally changed their name to something OTHER than a scifi franchise that was established before they were anyway
[02:57:45] <+Cryomancer> hah
[02:58:04] <+Cryomancer> "hosting availble anywhere in the galaxy for 38 minute intervals"

Yeah, I'm still not dead. Dependant on what happens in the next few weeks, I'm gonna try to blog more again, but there's always Twitter otherwise =P

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Date:2009-04-05 19:52
Subject:Come Visit The Democratic People's Republic Of North Korea

I've just found this rather brilliant series of short videos - 14, in all - shot by a documentary crew who managed to buy their way into North Korea and document some of the weird shit that goes down in there, from empty motorways to choreographed restaurants. Check it out, it's oddly compelling.

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Date:2009-03-13 19:21
Subject:Bring Down IE6 Campaign

There's an interesting campaign going on over at www.bringdownie6.com - an attempt to finally get the POS browser phased out.

If you're still running IE6 somewhere, it's really time to let it go =P

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Date:2009-03-11 22:34
Subject:Netstumbler Wardriving Analyser 1.10

Not quite ready to release this yet as I need to add more SSIDs to the new feature I've just added, but it works, so let's see some shots!

My, this is a large and messy list. And all I want to view is the Sky routers, what if there was a way of doing that?

We're in luck! New to 1.10 is the ability to filter by manufacturer - just click the relevant button...

And there we go. All the Sky routers on this run!

Obviously I'll be adding more than those 3 manufacturers, and more routers made by each of the manufacturers too - right now it just detects one or two of the more common strings. ;) It scans by SSID only so won't put a router that's had the SSID changed in the relevant list, but let's be honest - most people don't.

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Date:2009-02-17 16:21
Subject:Japanese Phoenix Wright Musical

This is several SHADES of awesome. Gumshoe, Phoenix, Maya, Edgeworth... the gang's all here! =P The music, too! I have to get hold of a subbed rip of this...

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Date:2009-02-01 01:50
Subject:Society In Recession - In Song!

This is hilarious. XD

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Date:2009-01-23 10:12
Subject:Klingon Keyboard

This is quite possibly the geekiest thing I've ever seen.

Buy it here, if you want it. =P 105 keys, and PS/2. (USB is for Romulan scum, apparently)

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Date:2009-01-18 17:21
Subject:Where to Watch Obama’s Inauguration Online

In just under 2 days we will finally be shot of monkey-man George Bush, and you can watch the actual transition ceremony online if you're not near a TV at the time (noon, EST, which is GMT-5, so 5pm UK Time) at the following links:

BBC.co.uk - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/americas/2008/obama_presidency/default.stm will have a link to a video on the actual day - or you can watch on BBC1 if you're by a TV, of course.

CNN - http://www.cnn.com/live/

Faux Fox News - don't deserve a working link, but it'll be on the front page of their site. If you're that desperate to give Rupert Murdoch advertising revenue, use Google.

Hulu - Note this video might not work outside the USA, because Hulu is lame and uses region coding. The main reason I'm bothering to embed it is because it has a countdown timer in it.

MSNBC - They're broadcasting, but only in Silverlight. I'd look elsewhere. Again, use Google if you really MUST support Microsoft's attempted Flash-killer.

New York Times - http://www.nytimes.com intends to have a video on the front page on the day of the Inauguration.

There's a couple of others but out of all of these, honestly - I'd recommend the BBC. It's well known that Britain does everything the best, after all. ;)

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Date:2009-01-14 00:43
Subject:Mecha Porn

Overlord: <@*****> YOU GUYS
Overlord: <@*****> hahaha ####### just got a spam mail titled "get a stiffy in a jiffy"
Overlord: <@*****> almost as good as the one I got that said "initiate huge dick sequence"
Kemp: lol
Overlord: I love that second one
Overlord: It sounds like a h-manga with mechs
Kemp: mech 1: "Whorebot detected"
Kemp: mech 2: "Initiating huge dick sequence, prepare to penetrate on my command"
Overlord: LOL
Kemp: anywho, bed time for me
Overlord: I'll be going fairly soon
Kemp: and remember, there are hot mechs just waiting for you to call them...
Kemp: they really need a quote for those reactor heatsinks
Overlord: hahahaha
Overlord: Just call 1-800-MECH-SEX today
Kemp: we know what you like
Kemp: as long as what you like is 100 tonnes of metal crushing you
Overlord: LMAO
Kemp: thank you, I'm here all week
Overlord: Try the veal

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Date:2009-01-12 01:12
Subject:Crucial Enemy Data Retrival

This is a shot from the Japanese TV show Godzilla Island. It's set in 2097. In this particular episode, the female villain of the piece has managed to infiltrate the G-Guard headquarters (the base of the Island's operations), and is looking through a mountain of paperwork for any secrets. Her robot assistant Cameron (he's a camera, geddit?) is looking though the computer - to be specific, this piece of scrolling English text:

That is the StuffIt readme file. Not gonna find any secrets there. ;P I suspect they never intended the text to be read by English speakers...

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Date:2008-12-28 21:27

Fun little IM log of me explaining to a friend of mine how I disappeared last night from the internet:

[21:23:52] Overlord: Let me tell you about this morning's 2am power cut
[21:24:06] Overlord: At 2:20am ish I was sitting here on IRC
[21:24:10] Overlord: Chatting, as you do
[21:24:18] Overlord: When the power suddenly went out
[21:24:37] Overlord: Grasped around for the torch by the door in here, eventually found it after kicking several things
[21:24:57] Overlord: An alarm was going off outside - next door's, most likely
[21:25:11] Overlord: We assembled as it were, etc
[21:25:23] Overlord: After about 15 mins the alarm is still going off
[21:25:41] Overlord: Mum wondered why no-one was turning it off, and whether no-one next door was in. She said she'd go have a look
[21:26:02] Overlord: Comes back - turns out it is OUR alarm, which has been gaining in pitch and intensity for the last 15 mins
[21:26:18] Overlord: Attempt to remove the battery from the internal control box
[21:26:28] Overlord: Alarm gets even louder and faster
[21:27:10] Overlord: It ended up with me & my brother hanging out of the upstairs window unscrewing a plate from the external box, then as I held a torchlight at it to shed light on it he yanked the speaker out
[21:27:12] Overlord: XD
[21:27:32] Overlord: Power came back on about an hour later just as I'd decided to go to bed when they said power would be out for about 3 hours
[21:27:37] Overlord: So that was fun
[21:29:23] Overlord: Ruined my record uptime though. :( It's now a shade over 5 months 1 day
[21:29:24] Overlord: =P

It's been fixed and reassembled now. Still, interesting if nothing less. All I'm thankful for is that the power outage didn't break anything on my PC. =P

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Date:2008-12-27 17:11
Subject:Labour Retard Wants To Censor Every Single Website

What the hell has this guy been smoking?!

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Andy Burnham says he believes that new standards of decency need to be applied to the web. He is planning to negotiate with Barack Obama’s incoming American administration to draw up new international rules for English language websites.

The Cabinet minister describes the internet as “quite a dangerous place” and says he wants internet-service providers (ISPs) to offer parents “child-safe” web services.

Giving film-style ratings to individual websites is one of the options being considered, he confirms. When asked directly whether age ratings could be introduced, Mr Burnham replies: “Yes, that would be an option. This is an area that is really now coming into full focus.”

ISPs, such as BT, Tiscali, AOL or Sky could also be forced to offer internet services where the only websites accessible are those deemed suitable for children.

Uhm, how the hell do you plan to police several billion webpages? Why the hell do you think you have the RIGHT to police private webpages? Does this mean if I run a personal webserver I have to submit it to Labour to get it AUTHORISED?! You can fuck right off.

"If you look back at the people who created the internet they talked very deliberately about creating a space that Governments couldn’t reach."

Yes, and stunts like this are exactly why. The internet is a medium you cannot directly manipulate like TV and the papers, and it scares the shit out of you, doesn't it?

"Leaving your child for two hours completely unregulated on the internet is not something you can do."

You're right, it isn't! Know why? You should be doing some fucking PARENTING! But that doesn;t raise good little obedient sheep, does it?

This guy is an utter idiot and I hope he gets removed from a position of power as soon as possible. Nothing I admin is ever going to have a fucking retarded "Government Rating".

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Date:2008-12-23 09:33
Subject:iBoobs iBanned

Another reason why Apple sucks. :(

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Date:2008-12-20 09:13
Subject:Achievement Unlocked!

Check out this little game. Called "Achievement Unlocked", it's basically a game that isn't - 100 pointless little tasks to do that are the game itself.

See if you can beat that - you probably can, I wasn't putting too much effort in =P

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