Hurdles and Moving Forward

Who would’ve known it required quite a few changes to switch from Wordpress to a jekyll site hosted on github. My domain registrar is Namecheap and I had to delete Digital Ocean’s nameserver off the domain. Create some A names to point to github’s servers and a CNAME to the .github.io. Since the domain wasn't pointing to Digital Ocean, my DO created A name for the subdomain broke. I had to go back to Namecheap to create an A name so that my subdomain pointed to another droplet.

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Syncing OwnCloud with Outlook and Android

With online connectivity increasing ever so much year by year it is about time I ‘sync’ my work environment.  I’ve loaded up an owncloud server on my digital ocean droplet and installed the calendar app.

Connecting Owncloud with Outlook

  1. Visit here
  2. Extract and run the CalDavSynchronizer.Setup.msi
  3. Launch Outlook, plugin should be started
  4. Click on Calendar at bottom of outlook
  5. To the right of File, Home, Send/Receive, Folder, View is a new view window called CalDav Synchronizer
  6. Click on it
  7. Click on Synchronization Profiles
  8. Set Name to what you wish it to be called
  9. Outlook Folder should be set to Calendar
  10. Check Synchronize items immediately after change
  11. DAV URL you can get by hovering over your calendar name in owncloud via a web browser.  Usually is http://domain-or-ip/remote.php/dav/calendars/owncloudusername/calendarname-1/
  12. Enter in username for owncloud
  13. Enter in password for username
  14. Click on test settings
  15. The rest you can setup as you wish

If it doesn’t sync right away, click on CalDav Synchronizer and hit synchronize now.  Also refresh your calendar view in owncloud browser.

Connecting Owncloud with Android

In my search for a simple synchronization for android and owncloud I came across this blog post.

  1. Essentially, download or open F-droid
  2. Search for Caldav Sync Adapter
  3. Install
  4. Go to settings, Accounts
  5. Add Caldav sync adapter
  6. Input your ownbox credentials (caldav url, username, password)'
  7. Save/accept
  8. From the Settings, Accounts window click on Caldav Sync Adapter
  9. Slide to enable calendar sync

Now you can use the built in google calendar app which will pull in your calendar data.

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@Dell #XPS13 great product but service needs serious improvements

Disclaimer: This is mostly a rant

I was very happy to receive my Dell XPS 13 9350 in November.  It was the laptop that fit my needs like a glove.  Unfortunately, a corrupted bios upgrade forced me to send it in for RMA repairs.  This is where my impression of Dell’s product vs their customer service gets ripped apart into two different worlds.  Unlike the well built laptop the customer service needs serious improvements.

Timeline of Customer Service

Dec 9, 2015 - Corrupted bios and phoned Dell to arrange a RMA.  The agent on the phone promised a swift service.  I was promised a full repair and getting my laptop back in my hands before Christmas.

Dec 11, 2015 - Receive the empty shipping box and sent it out the same day.

Dec 17, 2015 - Dell receives the laptop and the repair will be ‘ON HOLD’ until January 2016.

January 14, 2016 - Pick up laptop and realized they took out the motherboard (as expected since it was a corrupted bios), and my nvme pcie ssd.  Unfortunately, I was traveling so the pickup address didn’t match my driver’s license.  Purolator informed me that I could not pick it up until Dell allowed them to release it without confirming address.  It took me 1.5 hours of being transferred and waiting to finally speak to someone that could assist me.  Unfortunately, Purolator’s customer service department already had closed for the day.  Luckily I tried to bring my brother in law, his driver’s license, and a recent bill which allowed me to retrieve the package.

January 15, 2016 - I left my in law’s house and drove 10 hours to my home town.

January 20 (ish), 2016 - Reinstall Linux and during partitioning I realized my partitions were labelled SDA1, SDA2, etc.  Woah, hold up.  This was an indicator that my ssd was no longer an NVME PCIE.  I rebooted and entered bios and read the descriptor of the ssd and it stated “M.2 SATA SSD”.  I knew then and there that they had swapped out my pricier ssd and installed a cheaper ssd.

I phoned them right away.  The first agent told me that I am mistaken.  He also said he double checked the system and it showed the same model # for the SSD that was removed and added.  I told him that that can’t be right and I am 100% sure that the new SSD is inferior and not what I had paid for.  As I could see he wasn’t budging I got transferred to a supervisor who took 15-20 minutes to really check.  He confirmed that they messed up and installed the wrong type of SSD.  He promised an expedited service and told me that I will get my laptop back faster than last time.  I informed him that my address is different from the last service.  I gave him my new address and prayed for the best.

January 26, 2016 - Email notice of empty shipping box sent to the wrong address.  I emailed them right away that the shipping address is wrong.

January 28, 2016 - Phone call from Dell to ensure I received the box.  I told them that the box was sent to a different address.  They said they will phone me back.  Another dell agent called to request my new address.  I gave it to him and now I am waiting for the shipping box.

Update to timeline since January 28th 2016:

February 9, 2016 - Dell received laptop and begins working on repairs to replace the inferior SSD that they accidentally replaced.

February 16, 2016- Dell posts on the repair status that the estimated return date will be Feb 17th 2016.

February 23, 2016 - Dell is still working on a simple swap of SDD.  We are beyond the estimated return date with no explanation.  During this time they call me every single day telling me “we are working on your laptop”.  Great!  How about stop calling me with useless information?  Dell, when I asked your supervisor if this will take another month you promised me that this would not take that long.  You said this will be expedited and will be taken care of promptly.  I’ve lost all faith in Dell customer support.

Reaching out on Twitter

I even tweeted my torturous relationship with Dell to @dellcares and their response was:

“Sorry for the all the trouble you had to go through. Unfortunately the system us out of return period. As per the warranty, we see system has depot warranty and we request you to send the system to depot for repairs. Please send the system to depot and we will keep a track of the repairs to ensure this is resolved. ^TM”

Where is the “care”?  I feel abandoned by Dell.

Closing Statement

There were many, many small inconveniences that I left out.  I only wanted to highlight the main events.  I’m not sure what they can do to improve their service as many of their agents (from India) were not following standard procedures.

  1. Do not over promise and under deliver

  2. Listen to your client carefully

  3. Ensure you do the job properly.

  4. Build an elevated customer service rep that is empowered to take action and keep your customer’s happy.

 

 

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Installing Archlinux on Dell XPS 13 2016 Skylake 9350

[caption id=”attachment_547” align=”aligncenter” width=”300”]dell-xps-13-2015-archlinux dell-xps-13-2015-archlinux[/caption]

Changelog

  • January 29 2015 - Please visit the archlinux page for updated information.  My xps 13 is no longer in my possession since December 9th 2015 so I have been unable to update this page.

  • November 24 2015 - White noise fix patched.  Incoming to 4.4-rc3 or via my github
  • November 19 2015 - Github updated with 4.4-rc1 kernel
  • November 17 2015 - Added Archlinux Forum link for our device and a bugzilla bug report for white noise
  • November 14 2015 - Added troubleshooting section, references, and a link to my dell xps 13 9350 github

Installation of Archlinux on Dell XPS 13 late 2015 skylake 9350

Disclaimer:  I just went through a day of installation as there were some unforeseen situations.  Therefore, the information here is written down from memory.  I will update as I remember more.

1. USB installer

I’ve always carried an updated archlinux iso on my Drive Droid (android app) so this is what I used.  However, you can alternatively use rufus and usbwriter from windows.

2. Bios Settings

Keyboard shortcuts:

F2 = Enter setup

F12 = Select boot device

Enter into setup and ensure these settings are in place:

General -> Boot Sequence = UEFI (Choose Legacy just for booting off usb arch iso if you have problems, just remember to switch back to UEFI when done)

General -> Advance Boot Options = Checked Enabled Legacy Options ROMs, uncheck Enable UEFI Network Stack

System Configuration -> SATA Operation = Disabled

Secure Boot = Disabled

POST Behavior = Fastboot = Minimal (this is so that systemd-boot can show menu)

3. Partition

Depending on which SDD you selected you may or may not see the nvme partitions.  I have them and this is what I have.  I used cfdisk.

nvme0n1p1 vfat /boot

nvme0n1p3 ext4 rest of disc

4. Boot Loader (from archwiki)

Install a boot loader

See Boot loaders for available choices and configurations. If you have an Intel CPU, install the intel-ucode package, and enable microcode updates.

UEFI/GPT

Here, the installation drive is assumed to be GPT-partioned, and have the EFI System Partition (gdisk type EF00, formatted with FAT32) mounted at /boot.

bootctl is part of systemd, and as such part of the base installation.

# bootctl install

Create a boot entry in /boot/loader/entries/arch.conf, replacing /dev/nvme0n1p3 with the root partition:

/boot/loader/entries/arch.conf
title          Arch Linux
linux          /vmlinuz-linux
initrd         /initramfs-linux.img
options        root=/dev/nvme0n1p3 rw

Modify /boot/loader/loader.conf to select the default entry (without .conf) suffix:

/boot/loader/loader.conf
timeout 3
default arch

See systemd-boot for more information.

5. Follow the rest of the beginner's guide

6. Install linux-bcm4350 from AUR

4.4-rc1 is out in testing so I wrote a new pkgbuild in my github.  We no longer need the broadcom patch/bin.

Until kernel 4.4 rolls out we have an unsupported broadcom 4350 chip for wifi.  Fortunately, someone was able to extract the module and created an AUR package for this.  Just remember to add a boot entry for this new kernel.

Note: You can visit my github for a 4.3 testing kernel with patch and .bin

In /boot/loader/entries:

arch.conf
bcm4350.conf
dell.conf

Cat dell.conf:

title Arch Linux - DELL
linux /vmlinuz-linux-dell
initrd /intel-ucode.img
initrd /initramfs-linux-dell.img
options root=/dev/nvme0n1p3 rw i915.preliminary_hw_support=1 elevator=noop pcie_aspm=force i915.enable_rc6=7 i915.enable_execlists=0

7. Intel skylake support

As you can see in my options above, I had to add in i915.preliminary_hw_support=1 to get into X.  Otherwise you’ll get some error message saying [EE] can’t open /dev/dri doesn’t exist. No longer needed in latest kernels.

Troubleshooting

  1. White hissing noise/sound when wearing headphones
  • This was a strange issue for me.  I first had to enable powersaving via TLP to AC and Battery mode.  Then I had to run alsamixer and increase mic volume 1 step from 0.  If the mic volume is at 0, the hissing starts.  There are two sound issues.  This is one.  The second one is that you can hear the EMI interference.  I could not fix this latter issue.
  • I've written a bug report on bugzilla.  Please feel free to participate.
  • SOLUTION: white noise patch fixed.  please refer to 0003 patch in my github or wait for 4.4-rc3
  1. DW1820A wifi chip.  Broadcom 4350.  Please download the .bin file from archwiki and use the patch in bcrm4350 kernel in AUR.

  2. Intel video skylake flickering.  Do not use the fbc kernel parameter.

  3. Slow bios during reboot = turn off legacy rom in bios (doesn’t help much though)  [credit to SheepOnMeth]

 

References

I found some interesting reads that you may like:

Dell XPS 13 9350 Archlinux Forum

My dell xps 13 9350 github

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Dell_XPS_13_%282016%29

http://oli.me.uk/2015/11/06/installing-arch-linux-on-a-dell-xps-13-9350/

https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/3p4bx8/dell_xps_13_9350_15_9550_linux_support/

http://nerdjusttyped.blogspot.ca/2015/11/linux-debian-testing-on-dell-xps-13.html

 

 

 

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Leaving Macbook Air 2013 for Dell XPS 13 Skylake

bye

Leaving Macbook Air 6,2 2013 for a Dell XPS 13 Skylake

My wife had her pc die recently so I decided to format my macbook air and update it to El Capitan Mac OSX.  I’ve placed an order for the re-released Dell XPS 13 Skylake with i5/8g ram/256ssd/FHQ screen.  So one chapter ends and another begins.  I’ll post my own review of this device.  I did read many reviews and youtube videos and was a bit indecisive about getting this model as the keyboard just sucked.  The travel distance was bare minimum.  It is due to arrive just before I take off for my month long winter holiday.

Thank you to all of you who’ve visited my blog in regards to the Macbook Air over the years.  Hope it will help others who may get the MBA as a second-hand gift.  It is a nice device with its own quirks.

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Global Dark Firefox Userstyle CSS (Based off of Twily)

Lately I’ve been doing my browsing at night in bed with the wife next to me.  She can’t stand light when she falls asleep and I sleep later than her usually.  This made me search for a global dark theme.  I went to userstyles.org and tried all the global dark css themes they had (midnight surfing, global dark style, and myfavcolours).  They didn’t interest me too much.  One of my search took me to Twily’s webpage where I found his/her userscripts for Firefox.

I had to customize it a little as there was too much transparency on menus and the colors didn’t go well with my overall theme.

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/frank604/configs/master/firefox/firefox.png

I’ve edited the tabs and overall colour theme.  There are some other css added for specific websites in my sqlite. The sqlite file just needs to be copied over to your firefox profile directory.  For me it is located at $HOME/.mozilla/firefox/<profilename>/

Just make sure you backup your existing stylish.sqlite file or if you haven’t installed stylish yet, go download it here.

 

Edit:  Oops forgot to provide the link to my stylish.sqlite which can be found on my github.

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DWM screenshot update

Wow time flies. I just realized it’s been awhile since I posted my recent screenshot. Still using the same patchset that you can find in my github.

For this month I tried to keep it simple.  I used the monokai colors to bring a vibrant green on a 50/50/50 rgb background which is the closest I could get to the wallpaper.  I increased the taglinepx to 4 giving that underline for the tag a more noticeable look.  As for the icons, I’m using faenza (darkest).

I had to go through my config.h and fix the runorraise for filezilla.  To be honest, I went away for a few months to try out gnome 3.16 (hype-train).  Gnome 3.16 was nice but I missed having a tiling wm and solely move around windows with the keyboard.  Anyways, here is my screenshots.

 

Clean:

screenshot2

Vim (monokai theme) in monacle view:

screenshot3

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ATA errors on macbook air 2013 6,2 with TLP after suspend/resume

I haven’t checked my dmesg in awhile and when I did, I was shocked to see it flood with ATA errors.  The errors look similar to:

[  +0.000001] ata1.00: status: { DRDY }
[  +0.000003] ata1: hard resetting link
[  +0.719684] ata1: SATA link up 3.0 Gbps (SStatus 123 SControl 320)
[  +0.000465] ata1.00: unexpected _GTF length (8)
[  +0.000546] ata1.00: unexpected _GTF length (8)
[  +0.000073] ata1.00: configured for UDMA/133
[  +0.000110] ata1: EH complete
[  +4.384538] ata1.00: exception Emask 0x10 SAct 0x80000 SErr 0x4040000 action 0xe frozen
[  +0.000004] ata1.00: irq_stat 0x80000040, connection status changed

Keep in mind that I had turned off NCQ by putting libata.force=1:noncq in grub as per user Yesbabyyes on the arch forums.  Upon careful reading of the dmesg errors I saw that the SATA link was connecting at 6.0 Gbps to 3.0 Gbps to 1.5 Gbps.  So I tried manually setting the link speed to 1.5 Gbps by default with libata.force=1:1.5G,noncq but this didn’t resolve the issue.  I googled around and read countless documents with search terms of “ata error after suspend” and likewise.  The links in the references were ones that shoved me toward a better understanding of the issue and finally a fix on TLP’s github issue tracker.

The solution is quite simple.  You need to comment out 1 line in /usr/sbin/tlp.

# set_sata_link_power $1

References:

https://github.com/linrunner/TLP/issues/59

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MacBookAir6-2/Trusty

https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/Known_issues

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=672723

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=165237

 

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Finally A Rom Worthy Of The S6 Edge

Screenshot_2015-07-07-16-16-34

After purchasing the S6 Edge W8 Canadian Variant from Telus, I’ve been waiting patiently for root, recovery, and a decent rom to flash.  After much lurking around, here is what I’ve done.

Root Method: Ping Pong (link to XDA thread)

Recovery: TWRP (link to a guide using flashify)

Rom: [ROM][G92x][17JUN] XtreStoLite Universal Deo-Mod Edition 1.5 [468MB ° S6 & S6 Edge °] (link to XDA thread)

Note I didn’t use that flashify guide but just manually downloaded from the twrp site and used odin.

Note Remember to download the addons for the rom as it includes a few nifty items you may want such as a choice of Alliance Framework or 3minit mod.  These two particular mods don’t work together though so you’ll have to pick and choose.

 

Some screenshots for now:

Screenshot_2015-07-07-16-17-47

Screenshot_2015-07-07-16-16-58

Screenshot_2015-07-07-16-17-20

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Upgraded to S6 Edge

 

[caption id=”attachment_471” align=”aligncenter” width=”300”]Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge[/caption]

On the launch date, I decided to give my mother my Note 2 and purchase an S6 Edge.  I will stop writing about Note 2 and begin updating on my findings with the S6 Edge.  This is the Canadian variant W8.

 

PS.  Sorry I haven’t updated in a few months.  I’ve been busy traveling for the past couple months and now I’m back home and caught up with work!

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Hong Kong here I am

My wife is from Hong Kong so with the birth of our first born daughter we traveled to Hong Kong!  I just arrived and am connected through a 3G data router.  I will try to write a few posts here and there but am not sure if I’ll have the time to do so.  I’ll be here for a month so if you have any recommendations of cool tech places to check out, then let me know!

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Macbook Air 2013 6,2 – Better battery life in Arch Linux

battery life

 

Better Battery Life in Arch Linux (Macbook Air 2013 6,2)

For those that have spent some time using the Macbook Air in OSX, you probably were fond of the 11+ hours of battery life.  I for one enjoyed not having to be a battery-watcher.  As with all laptops and linux, this combination will never provide as much battery life as Apple’s OSX.  However, fear not!  We can get as close to it as possible.

Battery life in linux during the writing of this post: 10% =~55min

Disclaimer #1: I am fairly new at understanding all the little pieces that help save power so if you feel something I wrote about is incorrect or have a better way in doing it, please let me know!  This post is mostly for my understanding and recording my findings, but felt others could benefit from it.

Disclaimer #2: Do not blindly copy paste what I have written here.  Seek to understand it even if I don’t.

Step 1: Read The F***'n Manual

The Power Saving Archwiki is a perfect start, where it shows how to create udev scripts and modify kernel parameters via sysctl.d.  Due to Step 2 of this post, I’ve removed all of these suggestions from the wiki.  However, if you wish, I’ve saved them in my github.

Step 2: Powertop Service

I just enable this service.


[Unit]
Description=Powertop tunings

[Service]
Type=oneshot
ExecStart=/usr/bin/powertop --auto-tune

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

Step 3: TLP

Read the TLP archwiki and get it installed.

Configure /etc/default/tlp to your preferred setting.  I don’t control the cpu freqs as that will be done in step 4.  I also use linux-ck so instead of selecting an IO scheduler I leave it commented out.  CK patchset uses BFQ.  Go take a look at graysky’s repo if you wish to use the CK patched kernel.

A TLP config I am working on is on my github.

Note: I had to edit TLP which was causing an ATA error after suspend.  Read about it here.

Step 4: pstate-frequency-git (AUR)

Install pstate-frequency-git from AUR.  This is a handy tool to help control cpu governor, cpu frequency, and turbo boost.  For normal day to day stuff leaving it at powersave plan works best for me.  That is a min/max of 30% cpu frequency which is 800mhz and no turboboost.  When I do something heavier besides browsing, music, weechat, etc. like compiling, then I would bump it to the performance plan.  Optionally you can stay in powersave and just increase cpu max from 30% to 100% and enable turbo.  Create aliases in your shell for these manual changes.  Automatically via udev, this will go from powersave plan on batt and performance plan on ac.

To see how to use pstate-frequency, visit the upstream github page with syntax and info here.

Step 4: Get thermald and macfanctld

Install both items from AUR.

Step 5: add 'acpi_osi=' to kernel boot option

Add to /etc/default/grub

Conclusion

That’s it!  The battery life with this setup is not on par with mac osx but it brings enough life where I’m not constantly worrying about the battery life.  It also keeps my MBA cool like a pickle.  I used to use powerdown but realized development stopped awhile ago.  TLP was mentioned to me by Iamikon, so thanks brother for letting me check this out.  As always, if you guys feel like there is something better out there, please share!

 

 

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Xposed Finally Arrives For Lollipop Roms Armv7 Only

Xposed-Framework

Xposed Framework For Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (n7105, sgh-i317, sgh-i317m)

When I first read this article, I was heartbroken to see that the dev for xposed wasn’t in any hurry to get xposed updated to work on ART instead of Dalvik.  I was one of the many who didn’t want to upgrade to lollipop without xposed.  However, with lollipop’s awesome battery saving ability, I crossed over saying goodbye to the many wonderful xposed apps I grew quite fond of.

As of this week, xposed has been released to armv7 devices only.  Thankfully, the note 2 is one of these devices.

This is in alpha, it is known to cause bootloops.  Proceed if you understand the risk.

Please ensure you understand how to use odin, custom recovery, are rooted, and have a nandroid backup.

Links

xposed xda forum

Files

Flashable zip - Installs the framework

APK  - App to manage the xposed modules

 

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Archlinux Beginner’s Bible

archlinuxlogo

 

Arch Linux Beginner's Bible

Whether you are already using Arch Linux or are contemplating hopping over, these links provide a good idea of what the community is and expects.  I’ve also expanded the Bible to include blog and basic troubleshooting links.

 

Joining The Arch Community

Xyne’s post on Arch Community Ethos

Arch Forum Rules

Arch Forum Etiquette

Xyne’s Arch Linux Help Guide

 

Basic Troubleshooting

Common Problems and Issues

How to ask questions the smart way

Using Journalctl / Using Systemctl (These two readings are mandatory to know)

Downgrading packages (If a new package update borks you, just downgrade)

XY Problem (“The XY problem is asking about your attempted solution rather than your actual problem.”)

 

Arch Blogs To Learn From

Allan McRae - Proclaimed “Breaker of Arch”

Jason W. Ryan - Great tricks and projects

Arch Linux User Blogs - Numerous Arch bloggers

Xyne - His thoughts, repos, scripts, and more!

Falconindy - Maker of burp and cower.  Two of the most useful tools I use day to day.

 

 

 

Do you have another link that should be added here?  Send the link in the comments below.

 

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Tired Of Ditto Note 3/4? Try Out Lollipop AOSP Rom

attachment

 

Tired Of Ditto Note 3 Or 4?

Touchwiz is great but a bit boring.  It is also cumbersome to manually change DPI per each app instead of just changing a system-wide DPI through build prop.  On top of this, Ditto Note 4 is on Kit Kat.  Although you can get most of these features through xposed mod, it takes some hunting down and trial and error.  I also noticed GPS was iffy at this moment with Ditto Note 4 for many of its users.

Enter Wilson3q's Lollipop Rom!

This rom is a relative newcomer to the Note 2 Android Development scene and I was really impressed by the stability of this rom.  Check out my initial review here.  Today is a continuation of that review.

AGNI Kernel

The AGNI Kernel is by far the best kernel I’ve used, if you can get it installed.  With the latest wilson3q’s roms, it is a bit tricky, as you will boot into a black screen.  What worked for me is this.

  1. Download the PSN_pureCM_11-12_ANYROM-AROMA-v2.9.1_R2_N7105_OC.zip

  2. Download AGNi_MALI_R3P2-rel3_API-23_blobs.zip

  3. Wipe both caches

  4. Install the kernel, then install the blobs

  5. Wipe both caches

  6. Reboot

AGNI Settings

If you aren’t too sure how to configure AGNI, take a look at the bottom of my Cyanide V4 Review where I wrote the settings I use.

 

Links:

Don’t forget to check out wilson3q’s XDA Thread.

As well as psndna88’s Agni thread on XDA.

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Best Note 2 Rom – n7105 sgh i317 i317m

wpid-wp-1423035331768.png

Updates

Feb. 07, 2015 - Netflix now working!

Feb. 08, 2015 - Seems the 02/07 build is having some blank screen issues.  Please use 02/06 until the dev fixes.

Best Lollipop Rom For Note 2

CM12 has been released to Note 2 devices since December 2014. Many of the earlier Roms were in alpha stage. Although I really like the way lollipop looks and feels, I was a little disappointed at how unstable it was. Bluetooth would randomly disconnect. Data would not connect successfully and would even lose signal randomly. Sound would skip intermittently. Proximity sensors weren’t working. Gps wasn’t locking satellites. The list goes on and on about why lollipop sucked in alpha.

 

It’s February now and there has been rapid development. Bugs have been ironed out. There is one Rom so far that I’ve been really happy about. I’m talking about wilson3q’s unofficial cm12 Rom.

wpid-wp-1423035711905.png

I’ve just installed this and checked the most irksome bugs so far.  Proximity and data. Both worked flawlessly out of the box. To be honest, this is the first lollipop to have such a strong and stable data connection.

WiFi and data on. Turn off WiFi, data connects right away.  Brilliant.  WiFi and data on. I walk away from router till there is no WiFi. Data kicks on. Beautiful.

I made some photos calls and proximity worked. In other lp Roms, I’d need to flash a fix. Even with the fix, when the screen turns on/off it would flicker. I was able to enjoy a smooth on/off of screen with Wilson’s rom/proximity sensor.  Great job!

This Rom is not about neat tricks and enhancements. This Rom provides stability and functionality. I like this approach as Wilson put into great care about the user experience from a “let’s make this work first” perspective.

The rest of the potential problem areas will be tested tomorrow. As for tonight, I will let it charge and see how battery goes tomorrow at work. I’m hoping for good news tomorrow.

 

Link:  Click here for wilson’s xda thread

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Latest SGH-I317M Modem (Telus) I317MVLUDNH2

note 2 sgh i317m modem4.4.2 Modem

People ask me what modem I am using for my SGH-I317M so I wanted to take a quick minute and share with you a flashable zip of the modem I use (NH2).

Disclaimer:

Please create a nandroid backup including your current modem prior to using this.  I will not trouble shoot for you if your phone blows up.  Use at your own risk. Please note that this may void your warranty.

Download:

NH2 Modem Download

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Domain Expired And DNS Troubles/Optimization

server-down-it-was-aliens

Last night something dreadful happened.  My website was inaccessible! This was strange as my server was still pingable and I was able to ssh in and see that it was running fine.  A WHOIS showed that yesterday was the expiration date for my domain.  It’s a long story but let’s just say this was a very time consuming experience where I hope to rectify it so that I won’t have to go through this again.  Apparently all the other DNS resolvers updated my domain but I was on my ISP’s and it was not updated.

While the rest of the DNS resolvers propagate my domain information, let’s talk about DNS!

 

 

DNS Resolvers

demoHave you heard of openDNS, openNIC, Google DNS, and Comodo?  They are alternative DNS resolvers that you can use.  In Archlinux, we can simply modify /etc/resolv.conf and add at the top of the list

nameserver 8.8.8.8
nameserver 8.8.4.4

This would automatically connect you to Google's DNS resolver, which in fact is one of the best free alternatives.  I ran a tool called namebench.  Google Link and AUR Link.

Using namebench showed that the promised faster host name lookup from openDNS was false, at least for me.  Use the tool and check out which nameserver you should use.

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Suppressing CFG80211 Errors In Broadcom-wl

cfg80211

Annoying cfg80211 Errors In Dmesg/Journalctl

[ +0.000005] ERROR @wl_cfg80211_get_tx_power : error (-1) [ +1.194918] ERROR @wl_dev_intvar_get : error (-1)
[ +0.000005] ERROR @wl_cfg80211_get_tx_power : error (-1) [ +1.194918] ERROR @wl_dev_intvar_get : error (-1)

For anyone using the proprietary driver, broadcom-wl, you may be spammed by the cfg80211 API error message when it is collecting tx power info, or that’s how I read it.  Anyways, this has plagued me for over a year and recently I’ve finally figured out why this is happening for me but not for many others.

For my dwm statusbar I called iwconfig to grep its ESSID:


print_wifiqual() {
wifiessid="$(/sbin/iwconfig 2>/dev/null | grep ESSID | cut -d: -f2)"
wifiawk="$(echo $wifiessid | awk -F',' '{gsub(/"/, "", $1); print $1}')"
wificut="$(echo $wifiawk | cut -d' ' -f1)"
echo -ne "${color6}¤${color0}${wificut}"
}

Calling upon iwconfig will always result in the error message and with my statusbar calling upon it every second, you can imagine the flood of errors in my logs which I am now happy to say no longer shows up.

 

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Remove Facebook Messenger! Use Facebook Messenger Again

Facebook enable chat

 

Facebook Messenger

Facebook’s attempt at creating a mobile solution for instant messaging resulted in the creation of Facebook Messenger.  Unfortunately there is no choice given to the user.  All Facebook users are being forced to install messenger.  They are implementing this country to country so it will come to you sooner than later.  Recently, for Canadians, we are now seeing this enforcement.  No longer do we get the ‘Not Now’ choice.  Here is how to fix this.

Remove Messenger

If you manually installed it, just simply uninstall it.  If Messenger came preinstalled with your phone, you must have root access, then go to /system/apps and remove the facebook messenger APK from there by deleting it.

Download The Fix

The current version date of the fix is the January 9th 2015.  You can download it here.

Just simply open that APK file and install.  That’s it!  You are done.

 

Links

XDA Developer’s Thread

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Facebook Notification Fix For Android

top

 

Facebook Notification Fix For Android

For the longest time Facebook has never popped up a notification for me on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2 SGH-i317M.  My initial thought was that Greenify was not working correctly.  However, on a cleanly flashed rom I didn’t install Greenify and wanted to test my notifications.  They still didn’t work.  How odd.  I scoured the net and came across a fix someone suggested.  It sounded far fetched but at this point I was already in a sinking boat.  Would it hurt to try?

Step 1:

1

Login with your pc and go to ‘Settings’.  You can do this on Android but it takes more time to do what we need to do.

 

Step 2:

2

Go to ‘Apps’ on the left side.

 

Step 3:

3

Under the ‘Logged in with Facebook’, remove all accounts.  Don’t worry, your accounts will still be active and any purchases made through those accounts will still be there.  This just disables logging in that account with Facebook.  Once you cleaned out EVERYTHING, make sure to disable the two sections below.

 

Step 4:

Screenshot_2015-01-30-14-36-51

Go into your Facebook on your android device.  Go to settings and scroll down to Notifications.  Disable notifications and enable them and make sure the settings look like mine.

 

 

Now wait for a notification and see how it goes.  Leave a comment below if this helped or if it didn’t work.

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Looking Back In The Past

Riding

 

Looking Back At How Far We Came

Today I take a moment to look back at the shared memories I’ve had with my wife.  We’ve known each other for almost 8 years now? Or is it 7?  Time literally flew on a jet plane.  Do you remember how happy we were to finally be done with college?  We both left Nelson, BC with adventure in our eyes.  You would be living and working in Whistler and I would be in Vancouver.  Thinking back to those days brings out some good memories.  I wanted to remind you of them.

 

I know how much you hate reading, so I will just let the photos tell the rest of the story.

 

[caption id=”attachment_276” align=”aligncenter” width=”225”]Emily in whistler Do you remember driving up and down the Sea To Sky Highway?[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_277” align=”aligncenter” width=”247”]Awesome Neighbors Car Awesome Neighbors Car In Whistler[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_282” align=”aligncenter” width=”210”]h0ora You caught me peeping and look at that angry face![/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_283” align=”aligncenter” width=”152”]Goofy us. We were goofy.[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_310” align=”aligncenter” width=”227”]251013_505801957955_4761_n We flew in a float plane![/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_311” align=”aligncenter” width=”252”]252194_509829501725_922889_n We visited Macau and HK for my first time.[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_313” align=”aligncenter” width=”247”]426981_536609938515_1120859467_n We spent a couple nights at a luxurious boutique hotel in France. I still remember that view from our room! (Thank you Daniel if you are reading this!!)[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_314” align=”aligncenter” width=”208”]560728_550177009995_987457250_n We married on Sept 29 2012![/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_307” align=”aligncenter” width=”300”]8305_573358988125_858102400_n For our Noneymooh (misspelled on purpose) we went to Thailand and HK.[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_316” align=”aligncenter” width=”200”]10329764_583891391105_8462237305985029535_o Olivia is on her way!!! Still can’t believe she was born on our anniversary! Sept 29 2014!![/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_315” align=”aligncenter” width=”300”]1908453_599786048085_7959633838046569234_n Here we are now as parents.[/caption]

The phrase “opposites attract” really defines us.  Without being too mushy I just want to thank you for being a wonderful home maker.  You’ve made me into a better person and that is the real test of a relationship.  We should push each other to better ourselves and perhaps pick up a new talent or two.  I admit, I haven’t been the perfect partner but I’ve given my all.

We’ve traveled the world together and settled down to start a family.  I’m excited to start this new adventure with you in being a parent.  Looking forward to other adventures on the near horizon.  Don’t forget the memories we’ve made.  This ones for you :)

 

 

 

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Segfault Humour From An Arch User

[caption id=”attachment_267” align=”aligncenter” width=”300”]Segfault Humour Segfault Humour[/caption]

#Archlinux Humour

Today in #archlinux on freenode, an arch user (Earnestly) said, “when I read ‘xft fonts’, I segfault”.  Maybe it’s because I’m new to the scene, I found this joke (word usage) hilarious.  He then pointed me to an xkcd comic.

[caption id=”attachment_268” align=”alignnone” width=”300”]compiler_complaint compiler_complaint[/caption]

 

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Android Fixes/APKS/Misc For Note 2 (n7105, sgh-i317, sgh-i317m)

[caption id=”attachment_264” align=”aligncenter” width=”187”]Android Recovery Android Recovery[/caption]

My Library For Note 2

Over the years I realized how important it is to carry a library of fixes, apks, roms, kernel, gapps, etc.  I’d like to list the ones I use.  Unfortunately, I am too lazy to find the origin of each file so if you are the creator, please let me know so I can credit you or remove it if you wish.

CLICK HERE to browse the library.

Table of Content

  • extra
  • fixes
  • gapps
  • kernel
  • recovery
  • su

EXTRA

In extra you will find the latest AdAway (host style ad block).  Prior to this, I always had to download F-Droid and then install AdAway (which is outdated on F-Droid).  Both the files say 2.9.2 but this one is built from latest git pull.

Wiziconizer allows me to change icon themes when using a Touchwiz rom such as Ditto Note.

Netflix 1.8.1 is the only way at the moment to use netflix on a lollipop rom.

Viper4Android gives me eargasms.  Need I say more?  I will write a post about this soon, including my setup.

FIXES

The only fix I use these days is the Shift-DB-Kernel-AOSP-SensorUpdate.zip

GAPPS

Lollipop: gapps-L-minimal-signed-12-14-14.zip

Kit Kat:    Slim_mini_gapps.4.4.4.build.8.x-385.zip

KERNEL

For Cyanide:     PSN_pureCM_12_ANYROM-AROMA-v3.0.3_N7105_OC.zip

For other Lollipop builds: Either Stock or Shift-LP-4.2.zip

RECOVERY

I use twrp 2.8.3 or Philz-Dualboot-F2fs-6.58.9-.zip

SU

Currently using UPDATE-SuperSU-v2.40.zip

 

It is wise to keep a similar library on your external sd card so you can fix things as you go

 

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How Awesome It Is To Be A Father

[caption id=”attachment_258” align=”aligncenter” width=”225”]olivia shin Olivia Shin yawning on grandma’s lap[/caption]

I'm Pregnant (No! Not Me You Fool!)

That moment when your wife comes up to you smiling, you already know deep down inside what she is about to say – I’m Pregnant!!! This is the moment in my life where everything becomes surreal.  No longer was I just a regular joe, eating Doritos and Coca Cola while browsing the web.  I am now a role model, a protector, a teacher … a FATHER?!  Ahhh~  As my wife’s belly grew and grew, I went through judgement day.  What kind of human do I want to be portrayed as?  What are my good characteristics?  What are bad hobbies of mine?  The list goes on and on.  No father in their right mind wants to be a bad father by choice.

The Cries Of The Baby

Olivia Shin was born Sept 29 2014 around 8pm.  I was overwhelmed.  I cried.  Yes, I admit that.  It was a beautiful moment to see your first child for the first time.  For the next two months, I took care of her from evening till morning.  She would sleep on my chest for awhile and sleep in her baby pod.  These moments were filled with cries and sobs but cherish them I will [Yoda Voice].

Doing graveyard and sleeping in the morning drives me a little crazy.  Perhaps I had sympathetic postnatal depression.  It’s funny how those days seem far away but in reality that was just a couple months ago.  Olivia is sleeping well now without needing me and is slowly on her way to independence.

Her Smiles

The single greatest reward in parenting is having your baby look at you and giving you a big smile accompanied by laughter.  Olivia, thank you for noticing me.  Thank you for giving me your big smiles.

 

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Solarized RXVT with VIM in Archlinux

2015-01-28-133518_1440x900_scrot

Solarized RXVT with VIM

It is pretty common for a linux user to spend most of his/her time in a terminal.  We enjoy the low overhead, responsiveness, and customizeability of cli programs.  It is critical that we find a color scheme that is not only pleasant to look at but is functional and easy to read.  I’ve been using various color schemes throughout the year and although I knew about solarized by Ethan Schoonover I’ve never personally tried it out - until yesterday!

Installing Solarized - RXVT

The best RXVT available in Archlinux is  rxvt-unicode-patched.  As of this post it is out of date and you will have to manually enter in the sha1sum of 33297e5303e45d27e07f40060d3655ae019eefdc for 9.21.

If you aren’t too sure, we can manually skip integreity check:

wget https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/rx/rxvt-unicode-patched/rxvt-unicode-patched.tar.gz
tar -xvf rxvt-unicode-patched.tar.gz
cd rxvt-unicode-patched
makepkg -s --skipinteg
pacman -U rxvt-unicode-patched-9.21-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz

You will need to download the solarized color scheme either at Ethan’s github or from here.  Save it in your ~/.colours folder or wherever you store your color schemes.

Your .Xresources should include:

#include "/home/frank604/.colours/solarized" <-- Obviously modify it to where you saved the color scheme

 

Installing Solarized - VIM

Ethan explains the installation succintly and there is no need for me to reword it so here is a quote from his Solarized Installation Instructions.


Option 1: Manual installation

    Move solarized.vim to your .vim/colors directory. After downloading the vim script or package:

    $ cd vim-colors-solarized/colors
    $ mv solarized.vim ~/.vim/colors/

Option 2: Pathogen installation (recommended)

    Download and install Tim Pope's Pathogen.

    Next, move or clone the vim-colors-solarized directory so that it is a subdirectory of the .vim/bundle directory.

    a. Clone:

        $ cd ~/.vim/bundle
        $ git clone git://github.com/altercation/vim-colors-solarized.git

    b. Move:

    In the parent directory of vim-colors-solarized:

        $ mv vim-colors-solarized ~/.vim/bundle/

Modify .vimrc

After either Option 1 or Option 2 above, put the following two lines in your .vimrc:

syntax enable
set background=dark
colorscheme solarized

or, for the light background mode of Solarized:

syntax enable
set background=light
colorscheme solarized

I like to have a different background in GUI and terminal modes, so I can use the following if-then. However, I find vim's background autodetection to be pretty good and, at least with MacVim, I can leave this background value assignment out entirely and get the same results.

if has('gui_running')
    set background=light
else
    set background=dark
endif

See the Solarized homepage for screenshots which will help you select either the light or dark background.

Fixing Background Issue In VIM

I hope you’ve read this far because with rxvt + vim + solarized there is a glaring issue that needs to be resolved.  If you choose the dark color settings for solarized, the background will be white in vim.  This issue doesn’t happen in termite and only rxvt so far.  Here is how to fix it:

Add this line to ~/.Xresources

URxvt.intensityStyles: false

Add these lines to ~/.vimrc

  7 set nocompatible
 set t_Co=16
 call pathogen#infect()
 syntax on
 set background=dark " dark|light "
 colorscheme solarized
 filetype plugin on
 filetype indent on

Now you are good to go! Enjoy!  

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New Cyanide V.5 Not So Good For SGH-I317m

vngvsy

Time To Update?

A new update to my favorite rom Cyanide L for N7105, SGH-I317, SGH-I317m has arrived.  Version 4.0 has been rock solid for me and is my personal daily driver for the week it’s been out for.  I decided to update due to the amazing new additions in the changelog:

 

**CHANGELOG FOR CYANIDEL V5.0** *Added Expanded Desktop *Added Color Customizations for Quick Settings TIles *Added New Quick Settings Tiles *Allow Disabling of Force Close Notifications *More custom Options for System Animations *Introducing Cyanide Central *Added Lockscreen Slider *Custom Lockscreen Shortcuts *Added Option to Accept All Files via Bluetooth *Customize Navigation Ring *Fixes for Dark Text on Dark Background in Notifications *Ambient Display *Updates Theme Manager *Various UI Tweaks *Optimizations and Code Cleanup **KNOWN BUGS IN CYANIDE L V5.0** A few UI flaws you will see creep up. Mainly dark text on dark background in a few times with alert dialog. and popup dialog. With the next update, we will have a lot of theme changes. Mainly coming in the way of introducing the theme through Theme Engine, instead of it being coded into the ROM itself. Over time, there will be several colors to choose from for Cyanide Themes that will come with the ROM. Please bare with us (mainly me) as we work to resolve the theme issues by the next update. LTE tile text doesn't show and AudioFX tile doesn't actually show up if selected as a custom tile **D2ATT DEVICE SPECIFIC CHANGES** *Updated Device Tree *Packaged with Updated Shift Kernel (NOTE, THERE IS A POSSIBILITY OF THE KERNEL STICKING AS IN THE PREVIOUS BUILDS. IF THIS HAPPENS, FLASH THE STANDALONE FROM HERE - https://www.androidfilehost.com/?fid=95916177934517931 IF FOR SOME REASON THAT ALSO FAILS, THEN USE THE OLDER SHIFT KERNEL FROM HERE - https://www.androidfilehost.com/?fid=95897840722643729 I am still trying to find out the cause of the CPU sticking like it has been. Seems to be holding up okay right now, but I won't put 100% stock in it quite yet. That's it! You all know the standards: If something doesn't work right at first, clean flash, make sure you are on the shift kernel, grab a log, so on and so forth, so help you Android. THANKS!

 

Unfortunately, with V.5.0 I could not get the proximity sensors to work with the fix that worked for me in V.4.0.  Suffice to say I exhausted all known options and sadly went back to restore a nandroid I had for V.4.0.  There is high hopes for a fix coming in soon, perhaps in the next build.  Also, this only seems to affect the “M” variant of the Note 2.  The sgh-i317’s seems to have a smoother ride.

 

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Android? More Android?

samsungnote2

It isn't a secret that I view my blog's read count every hour.  Ok I lied again, more like every 10 min.  From the looks of it there are quite themany people interested in my Note 2 posts.  Here's a todo list for upcoming posts hopefully this week:

  • Odin new firmware for bootloader and modem
  • Odin recovery (twrp/philz cwm)
  • Odin root
  • Hosting all the files on top of providing link to originals for convenience (maybe)
  • Cool apps

Let me know what you think in the comments.  What would you like to see more of?

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Installing MPD with NCMPCPP on Archlinux

2015-01-26-191341_1440x900_scrot

Installing MPD with NCMPCPP on Archlinux

MPD (music player daemon) is an audio player that has a server-client architecture. It plays audio files, organizes playlists and maintains a music database all while using very few resources. In order to interface with it, a separate client is needed.” - Archwiki

Install MPD-GIT from AUR

 wget https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/mp/mpd-git/mpd-git.tar.gz
tar -xvf mpd-git.tar.gz
cd mpd-git
makepkg -s
sudo pacman -U mpd-git************.pkg.tar.xz

Once that is complete, we have to set it up.  The easiest way to setup mpd is to download Rasi’s MPD Install Script.  Please remember to enable mpd through systemctl.

Install NCMPCPP-GIT from AUR

wget https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/nc/ncmpcpp-git/ncmpcpp-git.tar.gz
tar -xvf ncmpcpp-git.tar.gz
cd ncmpcpp-git
makepkg -s
sudo pacman -U ncmpcpp-git****************.pkg.tar.xz

Modify the config located in ~/.ncmpcpp/config A good starting config is MadCatMk2’s config on Archlinux Forums.

 

mpd_music_dir = "~/location/to/your/music/directory/"
visualizer_in_stereo = "yes"
visualizer_fifo_path = "/tmp/mpd.fifo"
visualizer_output_name = "FIFO"
visualizer_sync_interval = "30"
visualizer_type = "wave"
visualizer_look = "◆▋"
message_delay_time = "3"
playlist_shorten_total_times = "yes"
playlist_display_mode = "columns"
browser_display_mode = "columns"
search_engine_display_mode = "columns"
playlist_editor_display_mode = "columns"
autocenter_mode = "yes"
centered_cursor = "yes"
user_interface = "alternative"
follow_now_playing_lyrics = "yes"
locked_screen_width_part = "60"
display_bitrate = "yes"
external_editor = "vim"
use_console_editor = "yes"
header_window_color = "cyan"
volume_color = "red"
state_line_color = "yellow"
state_flags_color = "red"
progressbar_color = "yellow"
statusbar_color = "cyan"
visualizer_color = "red"

 

 

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Cyanide 4 – Lollipop Rom for (N7105, SGH-I317, SGH-I317m) Note 2

 

 Screenshot_2015-01-26-12-35-20

Cyanide V.4 Lollipop Note 2 Review

I recently wrote about Ditto Note 4 and saying how AOSP roms were getting boring.  Well, I lied.  I’ve been trying Lollipop roms on the Note 2 since they arrived as alpha builds, meaning there were quite a few things not working. First off, let me say that I love lollipop.  I love it more than touchwiz.  I love it more than kit kat.

Netflix

There are a few things that doesn’t work in lollipop but I’m sure they will be fixed soon.  Netflix doesn’t work unless you use the version 1.8.1 which is really old - but hey, it works!

Kernel

Also, I’ve been having some hiccups while using the provided Shift Kernel.  In the forums, I noticed people with SGH-I317m (canadian variant) had these hiccups.  I’m not sure how or why but I changed my bootloader from a 4.1.2 to NH2 (4.4.4) as well as using Agni Kernel instead of Shift.  So far, my experience has been golden.

Battery

Not only is the lollipop UI amazing but my phone’s battery gave me 6+ hours of screen time.  That is monster battery life of active using.  Most roms with good battery life gave me the ball point of 5 hours of screen time.  Touchwiz gave me 4.5-5 hours just for reference.  What I noticed about this rom was that lollipop handles sleep very well.  If you don’t use your phone, the battery hardly gets touched.  I think for a 6 hour period where I didn’t touch my phone, the battery dropped down by 1%.

Xposed App

We won’t see xposed anytime soon as it doesn’t work on ART only roms, which lollipop is.  But I can live without !!

 

Agni Settings:

Governor - ZZMove ZaneZ-inZane

Scheduler both with Noop

CPU Max Freq - 1704 MHz

CPU Min Freq - 300 MHz

GPU Frequencies - 266/350/440/533/640

LED Fading - Fading Dark

USB Charge Rate - 700 mA

LZ4 Zram Size - 500mb

Swappiness - 60

Touchkey Lighting Scenario - Always off

Mdnie Hijack - Natural

Mdnie Hijack Sharpness - On

Under Addon Tweaks:

Sound Control Master Switch - Boeffla Sound

Headphone Volume - 40 (Because I use Viper Sound Mod, otherwise I leave it at 50 or even 55)

Speaker Volume - 63

Speaker Tuning - Off

Privacy Mode - On

DAC Direct - On

DAC Oversampling - On

FLL Tuning - On

Stereo Expansion - Off

Mono Downmix - Off

Microphone Sensitivity Call - 30db

 

Rom Link To XDA (Rom, Gapps, Shift Kernel)

Agni Kernel Link To XDA For this rom, I’ve been using version 3.0.3 with very good results.

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Installing Archlinux alongside Mac OSX with Refind

Last year when I first got my Macbook Air 2013 (6,2) I immediately set off to delete Mac OSX and install a standalone Arch.  I even wrote a post about it here. At that point in time I’ve never used Mac OSX and wasn’t interested in it.  The problem with running an Arch only setup was that my wife would get annoyed because she couldn’t use my laptop.  So this winter break I reinstalled Mavericks and upgraded it to Yosemite and set off to do a dual boot setup with Arch.  My first worry was disk space.  I have a 128gb ssd drive on my MBA and splitting it in half would divide my precious data space for music and movies.

This is where the Jetdrive comes into play.  It fits snugly in the sdcard port and instantly gives me a share-able drive for data that can be accessed by both OSes.  Watch the video below for more info.

Video: [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j35ydHqCK-4]

So I split the mac partition to be approximately 60g with 60g of free space.  Then download refind-bin-0.8.4.zip from the refind website.  Please note for Mac users on Yosemite that 0.8.4 is the lowest version you can use for this.  Mavericks and below can go ahead and use 0.8.3 if you wish.  Proceed to install refind by unzipping the content and running the install.sh.  I used the default settings and it worked fine.

Reboot with your archlinux usb bootable inserted and the refind menu should pop up with mac osx and the usb bootable.  Boot into the arch installer.

With cgdisk I created three partitions (you can customize this to your preference):

/dev/sda4 = 128M space between mac and arch
/dev/sda5 = 256M for /boot as Linux Filesystem
/dev/sda6 = Rest of drive as Linux Filesystem

Then I formated and mounted:

mkfs.ext2 /dev/sda5
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda6 

mount /dev/sda6 /mnt
mkdir /mnt/boot

mount /dev/sda5 /mnt/boot
mkdir /mnt/boot/efi

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot/efi

As you can see, I mounted the ESP where refind is installed when we were in mac osx.  I proceeded as normal following the beginner’s guide in the archwiki up until the chroot portion.

arch-chroot /mnt
grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot/efi --bootloader-id=arch_grub --recheck --debug
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg 

Changelog:

March 2, 2015 - Realized there was some text pasted here and there causing confusion.  I’ve removed them.

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Macbook Air 2013 (6,2) Getting too hot to handle – How to fix it (WIP)

Edit: Feb 27, 2015 - Battery saving post is UP!

EDIT: Feb 14, 2015 - The below is my journal of what appeared to be an issue created with the yosemite firmware.  The final solution was to suppress the gpeXX that were creating an ACPI shit storm.  I do not use thermald, pstate-frequency-git, and macfanctld.  There will be an updated post this week, which I will link here, on how to optimize your battery life in Archlinux.  Stay tuned!

 

A few weeks ago, I decided to reinstall Mac OSX Yosemite and instead of a standalone install of Arch, I dual booted.  That way, my wife won’t flip out at me when she tries to use my laptop.  I find that Mac OSX had better battery life by a couple hours and ran under cooler temps.  So what do I do?  I start looking at my options.

First, I installed cpupower which is “a set of userspace utilities designed to assist with CPU frequency scaling. The package is not required to use scaling, but is highly recommended because it provides useful command-line utilities and a systemd service to change the governor at boot.” - Archwiki  I tried setting the governor to powersave and setting the min max frequencies but for some reason, it had little effect on temp and frequency control.

Then I used i7z-git from AUR which is a very detailed monitoring system.  This is what I have running in the background to check my tests.

So while browsing the archlinux forums, I came across a few discussions about thermald, which is “a Linux daemon used to prevent the overheating of platforms. This daemon monitors temperature and applies compensation using available cooling methods.” -Archwiki.  Although thermald has run nicely for others out of the box without any extra configurations, for our MBA it had little effect.  Temps still idled around 78-84 for normal web browsing.

I then read about macfanctld (automatic fan control based on temp for intel macs).  As soon as I started the systemd service, the fans kicked in and tried to bring down the temps.  However, the root cause so far by looking at i7z was that the frequency was always hovering at max (2.6GHz in our case).

I then decided to do a blind look in AUR for our cpu frequency driver, intel pstate.  A quick search brought me to pstate-frequency-git and I checked out the upstream link to the author’s github which yielded some very nice documentation.  Finally, I found something that could control the cpu frequencies the way I want.  Albeit there is still some more tweaking left, my temps immediately dropped 20C and were now in the 50’s-60’s.  This post is a work in progress and I journey towards the nirvana of temp control and battery life without sacrificing performance.  Please feel free to share your own tips or tricks, perhaps one of them will be the key I am looking for.

Addendum #1 January 25 Sunday:

After going through and trying out all the possible solutions, the journey was tiresome.  I came across a dialogue on the Archforums and learned more about pstate driver and the c0->c7 cpu state.  That took me right away to powertop.  In powertop I then realized something.  My cpu was in c0% from 99%-100% of the time!!  In powertop the acpi was producing over 10,000 events per second - yikes!  Kworker was going bat shit crazy due to acpi as well.  Oh no.  Googling around for acpi+events+macbook got me to find that this was due to acpi interrupts for macbooks that have upgraded their Mac OSX to yosemite.  No wonder I didn’t remember this issue as I immediately removed Mavericks when I first got the MBA.

The macbook archwiki then confirmed all of this research.

I ran:

grep . -r /sys/firmware/acpi/interrupts/

Then I scrolled up and saw that interrupt gpe66 had over 10,000 interrupts. This was the culprit! However, disabling it would prove to be challenging. I tried crontab commands to start at reboot, manually doing it, and everything in between. I was desperate at this point to disable this ill begotton son of interrupt.

Thankfully some dude, who blogged his own adventures in Archlinux with his Macbook Pro, posted his solution, which was to create a service for systemd.  As an addition, I found that gpe4E also needed to be muted.  You can download both service files from my github.

Also, step-2 from the archforums mentioned that Yosemite has an update to 10.10.2 which resolves this issue.  For dual booters, this is a good fix but for Arch only installs, the service method is the best bet.  Unless you want to reinstall mac osx.

One thing to note is, gpe4E was still creating a lot of interrupts, even with the 10.10.2 update but gpe66 was fixed.  So, keep in mind to monitor your system with the grep command above, and apply this bandaid as needed.

His service is: # /etc/systemd/system/suppress-gpe66.service

[Unit] Description=Disables GPE 66, an interrupt that is going crazy on Macs

[Service] ExecStart=/usr/bin/bash -c 'echo "disable" > /sys/firmware/acpi/interrupts/gpe66'

[Install] WantedBy=multi-user.target

 

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Ditto Note 4 for Note 2 (n7100, n7105, i317)

Screenshot_2015-01-19-16-23-42

Flashing Countless ROMs

Introducing Ditto Note 4 for Note 2 variants n7100, n7105, i317.  Over the past six months, I have flashed mainly AOSP roms including the new lollipop roms.  Just to name a few, Slimcat, Blissroms, LiquidRom, W03Slim, Cyanide, UB, and CM M10+.  Although I enjoyed my time with these roms there was something about them that didn’t feel like home.

The lollipop roms still were in alpha stage with apps like Netflix not working at all and intermittent bugs that caused reboots or freezes.  The UI for lollipop was beautiful and was probably the only thing that made me stick to it.

The kitkat roms were solid.  Great battery life and minimal errors.  I even bought some themes for the cm11 theme engine.

Ditto Note 4

Although I was content running a cm 11 rom, I noticed that the ditto note 3 and 4 threads on xda were highly active with over 1.2 million views.  This made me wonder if I’m missing out on something magical.  Ditto Note roms are touchwiz as well, which I haven’t touched in over a year.  Out of curiosity I flashed ditto note 4.

Overall it is different.  How so?  Well, the xposed mods to use are different than the AOSP only mods.  The spen integration is neat.  I’m sure there are a lot of third party apps that could do the same but you would have to know about these features to begin looking for them.  For example, I didn’t know there was a feature called smart stay.  This allows the screen to remain on while you are looking at it.  On AOSP, I’ve been reading web pages but if there is a lot of content the screen timer would kick in and I’d have to wake it up.  With smart stay, my timer is set to 30s but it will stay on while I read.

Xposed Mods

Here is a list of Touchwiz friendly xposed mods I use.

App Setting - If you change dpi in build props, touchwiz will look ugly, including dialer.  This allows me to change my Note 2’s dpi to 240 for xda developer app, chrome, facebook, whatever.

Boot Manager - Disables apps from starting at boot.

Disable Charging Led - The name says it all.

Flat Style Bar Indicators - Changes the wifi/battery/data icons to look absolutely beautiful and flat

Flat Style Colored Bars - changes the sysbar on top to blend with the app you are on.

Greenify - Hibernates battery hungry apps like facebook, whatsapp, etc

L-Call Free - When someone calls, it hovers a small call screen instead of the full-screen call display

MinMinGuard - Disables ads in apps

Wanam Xposed - A plethora of tweaks that are touchwiz friendly

Youtube AdAway - Disables ads in youtube

 

Links:

XDA Thread - Ditto Note 4 Addon Patch

XDA Thread - Ditto Note 4 Release Page

Electron Team Ditto Note 4 LTE Page (Make sure to also grab the addon patch from XDA thread)

 

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DWM (Archlinux) – Patchset description

DWM is designed to be under 2000 SLOC (standard lines of code).  Due to this feature, DWM’s flexibility is entrusted to its user, you.  This means, you are free to use it as is, or to patch in whatever features you wish.  The only requirement is that the patch is already written by a community member, or that you write it yourself.  Lately, I’m looking to try different patches together and see what feels “right” for me.  Since there isn’t a single library for these patches, some digging around is required.

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Putty or Kitty – Changing Color Scheme

My work environment is on windows and often I need to ssh into my server with putty (edit: I now use Kitty).  The coloring is determined through the putty color settings and I quickly found that I couldn’t look at my terminal without wincing in pain when weird color combinations plague my sight.

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Archlinux – Exploring Into Tiling Window Managers

Mainstream linux news is filled with updates to desktop environments(DE) like Gnome, KDE, Cinnamon, Unity, XFCE, LXDE, etc.  As a newcomer to the linux world, these DEs are the only choices I had to try.  Each one has its advantages and disadvantages such as ram overhead of simply running the DE to the choice of preferred apps they utilize GTK vs QT.  But that is not the point of discussion for this post!

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