TideLog Archive for May, 2010

I’ve been working on a new mod for Saints Row 2 on PC. I’m a member over at The Row, and have been working with the guys to fix the silly vehicle powertrain characteristics of some vehicles. This is a little mod I’ve done to fix some of the big and small vehicles in SR2 that use Front Wheel Drive (FWD), that should really be Rear Wheel Drive (RWD). I’ve also increased torque and max speed on the slower vehicles.

Tidosho’s Vehicle Powertrain Mod is born!

Tidosho's Vehicle Powertrain Mod Logo by Kalahee from The RowThe vehicles I’ve fixed are:

Septic Avenger

Stilwater Municipal

MixMaster

Bear APC

Voyage

Topher

Go!

Komodo

KeyStone

Overall, they’re much more fun to drive. The Topher, Komodo, and Go especially have been sped up considerably, with more set off power. In the future, improvements will include gear additions, to extend power and speed.

To download my Mod, visit my TVPM Release Thread to get the latest version. Also, to discuss it, visit my TVPM Discussion Thread over at The Row. My mod has also been integrated into The Gentlemen of The Row (GoTR) Mod, which is a massive mod with many fixes, features and unlockables by the community at The Row. Click HERE to visit the GoTR Mod thread.

Combined, the GoTR Mod makes SR2 so much more fun and enjoyable!

Register, and say Hi to us all!

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Kassie has just ever so kindly given me her iPhone 3G, as she’s upgraded to a 3G S. So, before it arrives (she’s shipping it back home for me later this week) I decided to write an article on how to Jailbreak an iPhone. Before I start, don’t confuse the two iPhone phrases Jailbreaking, and Unlocking. They’re two completely different things:

Jailbreaking: Allows the use of unsigned Apps

Unlocking: Removing the SIM restriction to allow your phone to be used on other networks.

Please note that Unlocking IS NOT illegal, 02 themselves here in the UK can do it for you for free, whereas Jailbreaking possibly is. Apple have bricked phones in the past by releasing updates that disable iPhones that are jailbroken. Luckily I’ve never had one that I’ve done for a customer actually do it! Kassie’s always backed off from doing it to hers herself. Even though she’s helped in OS X x86 dev before, having her £400 phone wrecked is a scary thing to take in, even for a financially well off lady as herself.

The best thing to do once jailbroken is to not update the iPhone firmware, unless you notice any bugs or new features you want to use. This itself though is risky, as we never know what Apple are up to. That aside, let’s begin:

First of all, I WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE for damage or bricking caused by you following this article. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, don’t do it, or get someone to do it for you!

1. Before we start, MAKE SURE you’re on FW 3.1.2 or earlier. The newly released 3.1.3 in February is currently unable to be jailbroken. What we’re going to do is RESTORE to a hacked 3.1.2 firmware on our hard drive, we don’t UPDATE to newer hacked, it doesn’t work like that.

2. Download the 3.1.2 hacked restore firmware from TideLog, by clicking HERE (Link not ready, file being uploaded, check back later!). Download it anywhere you like. Update to iTunes 9.

3 Open iTunes, connect your iPhone. Click on your iPhone in the left sidebar of iTunes when it appears.

4. Hold the Shift key, and click the Restore button. Browse to the .ipsw file you downloaded from TideLog earlier. Let the process complete, and you’re done!

Enjoy your Jailbroken iPhone! The world of Apps is much nicer when you’ve not got Apple holding the reins on what you can buy from the App Store, because you DON’T need the App Store!

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I had one of the good oldie Liteon DD-A100X DVD Recorders in for repair today. I’ve got one of these beauties myself, and they’re really cute! The power supply was whining on Standby making a fizzing noise, the DVD recorder actually powered up, until a disc was inserted, then it shut down, with a scream from the PSU. This told me straight away that there was a failed capacitor on the PSU board.

There was. It had burst, and was slightly burnt where the vent had burst. Checking the terminals of the cap solder pads after removing it revealed a fluctuation, which I knew was an in-line resistor. After I replaced the two components, the supply was fine, and the recorder read discs again. My standard procedure when I repair a DVD recorder is to upgrade the firmware, and remove Macrovision. Any FW before 2007 on these Liteons is buggy, I know from my own machine, so I’ll walk you through it.

Checking current firmware revision

To check your current firmware, look at the label on the right side of your machine, there should be a white sticker with a barcode and a silver rating plate. On the barcode sticker it looks like this:

Model: DD-A100(3902205216)

S/N: 002648605362 – – Manufactured Date: November 2006

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

F:LNQGE032*1 – – D:BC70 – – HI-POT OK – – MADE IN CHINA

It is the F: and D: numbers that are important. The F: is the Firmware revision, and in this case the upgrade version we’re going to install is LNQGE034, so we’re OK, the upgrade is newer. The D: number is the Drive software version, which doesn’t matter, as this latest FW doesn’t have a drive upgrade with it.

Please note I CANNOT BE HELD LIABLE for damage due to mistakes or hardware errors, or injury that may occur from you performing this procedure. You do it at your OWN RISK!!

This procedure is for the LITEON DD-A100X ONLY, other machines are NOT COVERED here! ILO Hacker does many Liteon clones, but CHECK FIRST before doing it!

1. Download ILO Hacker

ILO Hacker is a great little tool. This program removes Macrovision, sets Region Free, and enables LP Record Mode if the firmware does not have it. This will work for future firmware releases (and already has, without having to be updated!). This is because the program searches for the correct area of the firmware to hack, and then hacks it for you! Works for *ALL LiteOn LVW-XXXX and ILO firmwares (*except LiteOn model LVW-5101)

It should also work for Daytek and Gateway and Philips Clones. (ILO is a rebranded LiteOn). All we need to do is run ILO Hacker, load the firmware, let ILO do its work, and then flash (or reflash if you’re hacking current FW. You can’t dump without a Debug tool, which I have, as it solders to a header on the motherboard, and also allows me to do bad flash recovery).

Click HERE to download it. Extract it anywhere you like, it doesn’t need installing. Keep it handy in case Liteon release new firmware, which I doubt as the machine’s 4 years old, and discontinued.

Download latest FW from Liteon

I’ve saved you the job, as I already have the latest from 2007, just in case they ever remove it, it’s permanently on TideLog. Click HERE to download it. Next, extract the contents using WinRAR or similar.

Hack with ILO Hacker

Open ILO Hacker. Leave the two checkboxes ticked. The DD-A100X already has LP mode, so this won’t make any modifications anyway. See the button labelled “Select Firmware File”? Hit it! Then browse to the .DA0 file you extracted.

It’ll make the possible changes, and save the hacked firmware in a Hacked folder relative to wherever the original firmware was extracted. How easy was that? Now all we need to do is get the firmware into your machine’s innards….

First, though, we’ll refresh the machine. This is optional, as not all A100 machines have it. In the Setup menu of the unit, look for “Restore” and select it. (The unit will do a system restore).

Create the firmware upgrade CD

This is another easy step. You require Nero, or similar burning program, and a blank CD, I recommend you use a CD-RW, as the firmware is only 3MB, so if you use a write-once disc, it’ll be wasted. Burn the .DA0 file to the root of the CD, no other folders or files, and finalize the disc.

Upgrade the firmware

Simply turn your Liteon on, pop the disc in, and the firmware upgrade will start. Follow the instructions on screen, and when done, remove the disc.

You now have a Region Free & Macrosvision Free recorder!

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Because this court case involving Ventura seems to be just about Linux. <startSpoiltBratChildishVoice>“I can’t run Linux on my expensive crap liquorice slab PS3 anymore! BooHooHoo!”</endSpoiltBratChildishVoice>

To prove my point, why didn’t anyone complain or sue when Sony removed the PS2 compatibility? Because they knew it was crap anyway? Surely some die hard Sony fanatic must have cried because his new PS3 wouldn’t run the games of his PS2 that he’d thrown in the bin because the laser voltage had carked it for the 67 millionth time? And then felt the need to sue for $4 million to compensate for all the money he spent on tissues while crying?

Linux + Sony/Apple fanatics = Very sad deluded immature people easily conned into paying hundreds of pounds for cheap Chinese built TAT, and then can’t live without it!

Do you see us 360 users complaining we can’t run Linux? No, because Linux is for spotty nerds, it’s crap anyway, and with our console we can actually HACK IT TO PLAY BACKUPS, because we didn’t jump into Sony’s fantasy Blu-Ray world! That’s enough of a selling point for us!

Hah! And if you wanna run Linux, GET A PC!! PowerPC CPU’s are crap for Linux anyhow!

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I’m sick to the back teeth of this Election already. All the pre vote slagging off matches. Most of all I’m sick of the Tories, and here’s my reasons why you shouldn’t let Cam in, instead keep him OUT!!

  1. “Mr Osborne, I really don’t know which economists are advising you on this brilliant strategy to increase unemployment, but feel free to give me a call. Unemployment makes voters unhappy.”Professor David Blanchflower, former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee
  2. Cameron always mentions his son Ivan’s death in PR stunts to get the females to feel sorry for him and increase votes. That riles me when people do that. I lost my unborn daughter 5 years ago, I never keep using her as an attention seeking unit. It’s a shame, but Cam’s using Ivan as a vote-getter, and it’s downright cruel.
  3. Cameron always uses personal attacks against Gordon Brown. Gordon Brown doesn’t do it back.
  4. The Tories are simply rehashing Labour policies without the investment needed to make them work.
  5. The Conservatives say Google or Microsoft could host NHS patient records, instead of setting up a central database. Please let that be a joke…oh, it’s not.
  6. Mr Cameron said (18/3/09) he wanted to create a “low-tax, low-debt economy” – or massive cuts in public services, as we know it.
  7. David Cameron would leave young people like me on the dole, do you know he opposed the labour guarantee that all people under the age of 25 who are unemployed for a year will receive either a job or training?
  8. David Cameron would cut support for families under real pressure because of this recession and who need to defer interest payments so they don’t lose their homes.
  9. If David Cameron had been in power I wouldn’t have had this year’s £60 cash boost and the Tories are even threatening to do away with free TV licenses and free bus passes for the elderly.
  10. David Cameron would scrap the right for every patient to see a cancer specialist within two weeks if they are suspected of having cancer
  11. David Cameron would cut a £160m from crime-fighting budgets right now, that is the equivalent of losing three and half thousand police officers, how can we afford to take this risk? We’d have scrotes and chavs with knives running the streets!
  12. On the other hand, what David Cameron would do is give £200,000 to 3,000 millionaires.
  13. Two racist far-right parties in Europe have today announced a new alliance with David Cameron’s Conservative Party.
    Representatives of the Czech Civic Democrats (ODS), the Polish Law and Order Party (PiS) and the Tories have confirmed their plan to leave the moderate and mainstream European People’s Party-European Democrats (EPP-ED) after the forthcoming EU polls and form a group of their own, because of their opposition to further European integration and the Lisbon Treaty.
  14. David Cameron, now Tory Leader, said ‘…an enthusiastic Tory backbencher like me can hardly wait to switch on the Today programme every morning in order to listen to all the bad news.’
  15. Andrew Lansley, Tory Shadow Health Secretary, says, ‘On many counts, recession can be good for us’.
  16. George Osbourne, Tory Shadow Chancellor, says, ‘No one takes pleasure from people making money out of the misery of others but that is a function of capitalist markets.’
  17. Their policies produced 18 per cent interest rates and thousands of repossessions.
  18. They pander to right wing Eurosceptics.
  19. They will cut benefit and tax relief for small businesses.
  20. And break up the Unions.
  21. They will lose the gains we’ve had in the NHS. Waiting times for operations and donors will go UP rather than down, forcing more people to go private.
  22. If the Tories win the next election it will break up the Union. Concerning the $40 million we pay to the EU fatcats that’s not a bad thing but we’d lose all the GOOD benefits.
  23. They want to charge an extra 5p a litre for fuel.
  24. They are more interested in cheap political stunts than national security.
  25. If politicians are self-serving, Tory politicians are more so.
  26. Tories won’t stand up for people like me.
  27. Cameron understand the price of everything and the value of nothing.
  28. They don’t understand the need for the minimum wage.
  29. And will scrap child tax credits.
  30. They will reduce the time limits for abortion.
  31. The Tories will bring back hunting foxes with dogs.

I really think millionaire MP’s need to spend more time in REAL LIFE SOCIETY, with ORDINARY struggling people, like us, then they’d see for real what a mess it already is, and what it would be like with them in power, and their “policies”.

DON’T VOTE TORY! Labour have made silly mistakes, but at least they’ve done mostly GOOD for people. Cameron has NEVER RUN ANY COUNTRY, whilst Gordon has experience at it

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The Optima XM is quite an old alarm panel, nearly 18 years old, but the ones that are still going strong are quite reliable. ADE Ltd (Advanced Design Electronics) are now owned by Honeywell, and the newer Optima G3/G4 panels are sold under the Honeywell name. There was a version of the Optima that used a keyswitch, but soon got discontinued, due to the system being too easily overridden. Burglars could just rip the front off the panel and short the keyswitch terminals to disarm the alarm.

Alarms are technically nothing but switches (normally closed type) in a circuit, and faults that occur are usually down to old and/or incorrect wiring, or faultysensors/PIRs. Pressure mats can stick closed (normally open) causing confusing triggers. The Optima panels had a microcontroller controlling the timers, triggers, zones and keypad, so was a bit more complex. Under Kitamura Security we’ve done quite a few, and can perform board repair and NVRAM repair on the Optima

One of the most common faults with the XM I’ve fixed in the past is when the customer calls me out saying the alarm is stuck in Tamper or Attack. This is usually caused by:

A. Faulty PIR/door magnet/panic button connected to any zone

If a sensing device is faulty, and or shorting, this causes the tamper. The system thinks it’s being attacked. To correct this, check the PIR/magnet/panic button internally for any obvious problems, and re-check/reform terminal wiring. Make sure the wiring is correct. One side is power, and the other is the pulse sense line to trigger.

B. Faulty wiring

I’ve had alarms go into tamper because of damaged wiring running under carpets that has had weight on it. Lazy engineering! All wiring should not be routed in traffic paths, under carpets or furniture. When I fit a wired alarm, I route all cabling under floorboards, where it can’t be disturbed. Trapped wiring causes shorts of the pulse line and power line, that can result in damage to the control board.

C. Faulty panel tamper switch

The spring inside the panel door connected to the door tamper switch has been known to slip sideways and off the switch due to the pressure of the door when screwed shut, and vibration, causing the Tamper. No matter how many times you reset it, if this switch is open, it’ll stay in fault until the Engineer code is input.

Fault Isolation

To isolate a wiring or detector fault, follow these steps:

a. Turn off the mains to the panel, and disconnect the battery

b. Remove the panel cover and remove ALL zone wiring, making sure you label what goes where.

c. Place service links across ALL 4 zones (any open zones will result in a trigger as soon as power is applied). DO NOT CONNECT LINKS ACROSS STROBE, ADE SCB, BELL OR TRANSFORMER TERMINALS!! Power on, and if all is fine, disconnect power again.

d. Re-introduce zones one at a time until the problem re-appears. Perform necessary repairs to faulty zone(s) and retry.

e. (Optional) Reset NVRAM, and perform factory installation programming.

f. Perform full system walk test to verify correct operation of all sensors, programming and panel.

g. Make a note of all zones, and customer code, handing them to the customer after showing them system operation.

The system should operate as a “skeleton”. This is my term for the way I set the system up on the floor loosely on a fresh install to test before screwing everything in place and routing wiring. I simply connect a door magnet, PIR, strobe and siren, and test basic operation. If the system doesn’t operate like this, the PCB requires service, which I can do.

There’s a lot of hype on the internet saying, “The Optima is utter shite”. That is so so untrue. They’re just awful cowboy engineers and whizz kids saying that. I have intimate experience of the Optima XM, as my parents still use one after 16 years of service, and myself in my repair outhouse at home, and serviced regularly, they’re great alarms. Quite rare nowadays, but if you can get a spare one working, it’d be great to keep around. I’ve even brought electrically dead ones back from the grave, and one of them is still running lovely 6 years later.

You could say I love the Optima XM. I do, greatly, and always will. It has protected the people and property who own them flawlessly, and it’s a joy every time I get called to service one that’s been in since new 10 – 15 years ago. They don’t make ’em these days like they used to!

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