Remote access to a DSL-2750U ADSL Router (a sort-of hack)

Usually I use a SSH connection forwarded through my ADSL router to one of my home servers for remote access to my network. The server in question though had become un-responsive so I had no way remotely into my network.

For fun I nmap’d the public IP of my ADSL router and found the following interesting port open:

80/tcp   open   http

I thought I had switched off all the “remote” control methods on my router but clearly not, visiting the page gave me the following (scary) login screen. Continue reading

Notes on getting Motion + MotionEye working with the Aprica CCTV DVR

The web interface on the Aprica CCTV DVR is terrible, it requires a proprietary plugin to view video and doesn’t have many of the features I would like.

In the past I’ve played with MotionEye for recording and managing IP network cameras, MotionEye uses motion in the background to get the video streams from the cameras. Unfortunately motion does not support the RTSP protocol or H264 codec used by the CCTV DVR’s web interface.

Continue reading

Creating a SOCKS proxy using SSH to get YouTube working

Something odd is going on with YouTube not working with Afrihost‘s ADSL service. It appears to have something to do with the local YouTube caching servers. Clips will often only playback at 144p or 240p and never at 480p or higher, considering that YouTube has become my main source entertainment this is a problem.

This is a quick and simple workaround that sets up a SOCKS proxy on a Linux machine hosted outside of South Africa. I’m using a Digital Ocean (Referral link that gets you $10 credit if you sign up) Linux VM running in the US.

On the VM you just need SSH running, nothing else and on your PC you need to be able to make an ssh connection from the command line.

On Windows I used the GIT Bash Shell as I had it installed and it includes ssh (You could probably do this with Putty or something similar.) and on Linux I just run the command below from a prompt.

ssh -D 8080 -CqN youruser@vm

All this will do is accept connections on your local machine on port 8080 and forward them through to the VM.

connectionSettingsNow open your browser (I like using Firefox for this as the proxy settings are separate from the system ones in Windows) and set your socks host to and the port to 8080.

I find this works best with YouTube when using the Google DNS servers ( and on your local machine.

This solution seems to work reasonably well and allows me to watch the videos that don’t want to work, obviously it does add additional overhead to the connection so its not ideal.


Post Bag – Saturday 9th May 2015

I order a lot of odd items, mostly electronics related, from eBay. @WrathZA gave me the idea to start documenting what arrives and when for those of you who are curious about what you can get, the quality of the items and how long these items take to get here.

Today I had 14 parcels (originally thought it was 11 until I saw a few got stuck together) all arrive at once at the post office, this is a new record for number of parcels in a week and I assume has a lot to do with the recent problems with international shipping and the SA Post Office.

Continue reading

Fix for “Invalid Pointer” error when attempting to login on Windows 7 on a HP ProBook

A colleague at work had a problem on her HP ProBook after applying the HP Updates.

When attempting to logon to Windows you would get a message saying “Invalid Pointer” and then be taken back to the login screen, just pressing enter at the login screen (blank password) would do the exact same thing.

All my Googling showed that other people had the same problem and the recommended solution was to re-install Windows, which seemed overkill.

I’ve found a different way to fix the issue that is a little less drastic but will take a few minutes and some registry editing to fix. It appears to be the HP add-on/plugin that is wired into the login process to support the Finger Print reader that was failing.

These are the steps I followed to fix this issue:
Please be careful, this requires registry editing and other tasks that should only done by someone who knows what they’re doing.

  • Boot into Safe Mode (During bootup press F8 and then select Safe Mode or Safe with Networking)
  • Login normally using your password. (You’ll see that this login screen looks different and works correctly.)
  • Follow these steps to allow uninstalling of applications under Safe Mode.
  • Open Programs and Features in Control Panel, find the HP Client Security Manager application and select it. Then select Uninstall/Repair and perform a Repair following the onscreen instructions.
  • Reboot the laptop and it should allow you to now login again.

ESP2866 ESP-07 Wifi Module


esp2866 My ESP2866 wifi module arrived, this particular module is nice as it has most of the GPIO pins available. By default the module has a serial interface that makes use of AT commands sent from your microcontroller to use Wifi, personally that seems a bit of a waste as the module has a nice powerful CPU built in.

RFduino – Adventures into the world of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

A quick write-up on the rfduino which arrived yesterday.

The rfduino started life out as a kickstarter project to make it easy for hardware tinkerers like myself to get access to BLE and incorporate it into our projects.

rfduino pictured next to an SD card for scale.

My rfduino pictured next to an SD card for scale.

It consists of a Nordic Semiconductor nRF51822 chip, support circuitry and Bluetooth chip antenna all on a nice tiny board. The nRF51822 contains a custom boot loader written by rfduino which when combined with an add-on to the Arduino IDE allows you to code for the device as if it was an Arduino device. This means you don’t need the Nordic Semiconductor development kit or API’s but does limit what you can do with the nRF51822 slightly.

What’s the big fuss with BLE you ask?

Continue reading

Get rid of the Floppy Icon in (x)Ubuntu

By default Ubuntu is configured to load the floppy kernel driver on start-up, if you don’t have a floppy drive though this can be annoying because the icon will appear as a un-mounted drive on your system. In Xubuntu on my machine the icon and entry in thunar (the file manager) looked like this.FloppyIcon

The fix is to unload the floppy driver from memory, thankfully on Ubuntu its a module so you can unload the module with the following command:

sudo rmmod floppy

If you want to permanently stop it from loading on boot you can blacklist the driver as follows:

echo “blacklist floppy” | sudo tee /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist-floppy.conf
sudo rmmod floppy
sudo update-initramfs -u