Category Archives: Hardware

SSHD vs SSD

So the read/write speeds of SSD comparing to SSHD on SATA II is about 4.5 times faster giving about 460MB/s to previous 110MB/s.

SSD READ:
Timing cached reads: 5260 MB in 2.00 seconds = 2633.81 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 1476 MB in 3.00 seconds = 491.58 MB/sec

SSD WRITE:
4096000000 bytes (4.1 GB) copied, 9.02934 s, 454 MB/s

Dell XPS 13

This laptop looks very promising to me however without this Thunderbolt adapter there is no way to connect to HDMI.
I think I have to wait a little bit for the price to go down and also so they can release other relevant peripherals.

Intel AMT

Intel Active Management Technology (AMT) is hardware and firmware technology for remote out-of-band management of personal computers. Almost all AMT features are available even if PC power is off, the OS is crashed, the software agent is missing, or hardware (such as a hard drive or memory) has failed.

A Ring -3 rootkit was demonstrated by Invisible Things Lab for the Q35 chipset; it does not work for the later Q45 chipset as Intel implemented additional protections.[38] The exploit worked by remapping the normally protected memory region (top 16 MB of RAM) reserved for the ME. The ME rootkit could be installed regardless of whether the AMT is present or enabled on the system, as the chipset always contains the ARC ME coprocessor. (The “-3” designation was chosen because the ME coprocessor works even when the system is in the S3 state, thus it was considered a layer below the System Management Mode rootkits.) For the vulnerable Q35 chipset, a keystroke logger ME-based rootkit was demonstrated by Patrick Stewin.

Another security evaluation by Vassilios Ververis showed serious weaknesses in the GM45 chipset implementation. In particular, it criticized AMT for transmitting unencrypted passwords in the SMB (small business) provisioning mode when the IDE redirection and Serial over LAN features are used. It also found that the “zero touch” provisioning mode (ZTC) is still enabled even when the AMT appears to be disabled in BIOS. For about 60 euros, Ververis purchased from Go Daddy a certificate that is accepted by the ME firmware and allows remote “zero touch” provisioning of (possibly unsuspecting) machines, which broadcast their HELLO packets to would-be configuration servers. Source: Wikipedia

Noise cancellation

Applications can be “1-dimensional” or 3-dimensional, depending on the type of zone to protect. Periodic sounds, even complex ones, are easier to cancel than random sounds due to the repetition in the wave form.

Protection of a “1-dimension zone” is easier and requires only one or two microphones and speakers to be effective. Several commercial applications have been successful: noise-cancelling headphones, active mufflers, and the control of noise in air conditioning ducts. The term “1-dimension” refers to a simple pistonic relationship between the noise and the active speaker (mechanical noise reduction) or between the active speaker and the listener (headphones). Continue reading Noise cancellation

Raspbmc Kodi and CEC remote control problems

Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) is an HDMI feature designed to allow the user to command and control up-to 15 CEC-enabled devices, that are connected through HDMI

If you experience problem with your Raspbmc not detected by a TV set and in result your multimedia setup is quite crippled – you cannot control your Pi using the remote control, but you are forced to use e.g. Yatse on your mobile.
These things you have to check:
1. Does your TV support HDMI-CEC?
2. Does your HDMI cable supports CES? Yes of course it supports it since version 1.0, but who knows some cheap crap does not have it? Of course as of today you want the latest HDMI v1.4b
3. Is HDMI-CEC is enable on your TV set?

From Raspbmc point of view it should work without any additional configuration needed.
In my case everything was ticked but for some reason still TV does not detect the Pi device. Of course I do have the display, but no remote control capabilities.
In my case it is Samsung.
From what I have discovered you have to do a proper power cycle of the this TV set to detect CEC capable device – Raspbmc.
You have to completely disconnect it from power for a decent 20 seconds. Pi can stay on and connected via HDMI to the TV.
Once you turn it back on it should detect it. If not please try couple more times or consider other options.
I think from what I see on the Internet it is quite common issue with Samsung and probably you have to repeat this action periodically.

SanDisk Cruzer

Don’t buy SanDisk crap!
I bought 4 of these 3 months ago and I do have serious problem with transfer speed on NTFS file system.
I haven’t tried on any other file system, but my old Kingston DataTraveller of the same 8GB size is still 10x faster than this piece of junk.
Any copy operation goes from 1 min to 18 minutes rendering this device completely unusable! Ridiculous

My future laptop

will be Probook 430 G2 with Intel i7. I was using Probook 5320m for quite some time and I have to say that it performed very well on Linux (on Windows it was a terrible experience) – I could not upgrade RAM on it, but just run everything on one 4GB stick. Whatever is inside I like the finish the most – it is very stylish, better than Apple products :-P

Lenovo touchpad

Lenovo laptops like ThinkPad Edge E540 has a terrible touchpad.
It is completely on the left side I do not know for what reason and when you press left/right mouse buttons the whole touchpad is pressed making some noise.
Everyone in the vicinity knows when you press a touchpad.
After a while you will realize that pressing this thing is more laborious task than compared to other laptops.

Hanging iLO?

It happens that sometimes iLO will hang and has to be reset to work properly.
You don’t want to restart the whole server so you use SSH to reset iLO
ssh -l Administrator x.x.x.x
cd /map1
reset

HP Proliant server

F5 – Array configuration
F9 – BIOS setup
F10 – Intelligent Provisioning

Yes don’t bother with Windows SBS 2011 for Proliant servers as it still fails to detect a network adapter.
Use Intelligent Provisioning instead and choose Manual installation. It will preload the drivers in the memory (it creates some small drive partition) and when you leave Windows SBS 2011 DVD in the drive it will work this time and detect the answer file.

After the system has been installed. You can run HPSUB.bat from SPP DVD in hp\swpackages to installed all the missing drivers. Make sure you run the BAT file as domain administrator (it won’t work on different user).

At the end if you still see “No items” in the HP Management Homepage please install WBEM providers manually. Download from here.

HP website

Only HP knows how to use their website where many already indexed webpages are broken.
Trying to find the firmware and driver updates for Gen8 server for last the 30 minutes with no avail.
Now search has found HP ProLiant ML350 G4p?!

Is Wireless radio OFF?

Yes. First before you attempt to harm the configuration of your operating system try to look around your laptop for a little wireless switch.
Some laptops have this kind of switch + function keys, however if the switch is OFF you won’t be able to turn the wireless ON using the function keys.
If you are not sure if this is the soft or hard block use rfkill software.
rfkill list
rfkill is able to unblock only soft blocks.

Sonicwall configuration improvements

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

We strongly recommend you back your firewall and export your settings before making these changes.  As with any tweaking make sure you have a plan to undo or completely restore the firewall in the event it becomes unstable.

1.) WAN Fragmentation

Under Network > Interface > WAN > Advance Tab Enable “Fragment non-VPN outbound packets larger than this Interface’s MTU”  and disable “Ignore Don’t Fragment (DF) Bit”. Continue reading Sonicwall configuration improvements

Technicolor and OpenDNS

To setup new DNS server on Technicolor you have to get to the configuration via telnet.
telnet
dns server route list - listing
dns server route flush - remove existing
dns server route add dns=208.67.222.222 metric=10 intf=Internet
saveall

After firmware update to 10.2.5.2 to list DNS servers:
dns server forward dnsset list

To change DNS setting back again to Plusnet’s ones:
dns server config state=disabled
dhcp server config state=disabled
dhcp server lease flush
dhcp server pool config name=LAN_private primdns=212.159.13.49 secdns=212.159.13.50
dhcp server config state=enabled
dns client flush
dns client dnsadd addr=87.194.255.155
saveall
exit

HP and GNU/Linux

It is not a new that HP is utilizing Open Source technology for it’s needs. HP for long was and still is a major contributor in Open Source community. While installing their servers at least 2 things are Linux based:
– Intelligent Provisioning system on the server motherboard
– Service Pack firmware update software

HP ProLiant DL360e & DL380p Gen8

If you have installed a second array controller on the raiser card e.g. Smart Array P420 controller and for some reason Intelligent Provisioning is still not showing up the correct setup please continue reading this.
HP support has asked me to disable the B120i embedded controller in the BIOS.
Now the array was properly recognized, but for some reason the DVD with Windows was not booing up.

The solution:

BIOS configuration:
Please make sure that below is in place.
Boot Controller Order -> HP Smart Array P420 Controller to position 1

Disabling the embedded controller is not wise that is why the DVD does not work and you should change this setting instead to let it work:
System Options -> SATA Controller Options -> Embedded SATA Configuration > Enable SATA AHCI Support
instead of Enable Dynamic HP Smart Array B120i RAID Support

Piledriver

Very good AMD processor architecture even more tempting (performance & price) than Intel.
Two picks:
AMD FX 8350 – 8 cores, 4GHz each, ~160 British Pounds
AMD Opteron 6386 SE – 16 cores, 2.8GHz each, ~1400 US Dollars
Sooner or later FX8350 will become replacement for my current FX8120 which is less power efficient and saying shortly slower.