Friday, April 15, 2016

Even more speed, speed, speed

Just two weeks after I upgraded my DSL line to 100/20 Mbps, my employer was nice enough to move our mobiles to a new contract where we finally have LTE/4G included.

116 M down/ 41 M up

Wow... that was from my Nexus 5 this afternoon in Vienna, i.e. I was not looking for an "empty" cell during off-peak hours... pretty good.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Speed, speed, speed

After a chat with a friend (and former colleague of mine) I decided to trust my telco (A1 Telekom) to upgrade to a higher speed, though I only got 12 Mpbs down on my 16Mbps ADSL line because of the age-old copper lines.

I called them, they checked the line and told me that they could guarantee 92Mbps if I go for the 100Mbps option (VDSL).

So I did. Got a new modem (TG 588v), plugged it in and interestingly already for 14Mbps though I only had 12 with the old modem (same line, still ADSL). Then a couple of days later (as announced) they changed my line on the switch/exchange and now I'm running almost 100 down (and 20 up).

With two kids in the house, netflix, two tablets and four smart phones... it was overdue to say the least.

So finally I can work while everyone else is watching Netflix (or the other way round).

Sunday, February 21, 2016

MWC 2016 - need to go offline

So, as every year, just after CES the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is starting right now. Time to go offline for a week... or be bored to death with all the new phone, screen, GHz, multicore and VR announcements.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Google Play Services networking error > Phishing?

Last week my son approached me, because his Samsung all of a sudden started to show networking errors for YouTube, the PlayStore and G+ app.  Connectivity was fine, we switched from 4G to Wifi and back, with no change (he would not have asked me for a pure/true connectivity issue). The Youtube app itself worked fine and played videos, he just could not log in with his Google account.
So no wonder this problem exists across several google services/apps, but nothing else.

Opening in the browser also showed no problem, so definitely not a networking, dns, routing... problem.

I did some googling and found (apart from nonsense like "turn on wifi"...) some hints about a broken hosts file.  So I adb'd into the device from my computer, pulled the /system/etc/hosts file:    localhost
With a hint from the ever-helpful stackexchange and the fine coincidence that he (or was it me?) rooted his phone sometime in the past, I was able to shell in, su to root, mount the file system as read-write, comment out that last weird line (for and change the file system back to read only. Check the details on this post on stackexchange.

And then it worked.

This looks suspiciously like a phishing attempt by some malware, that managed to manipulate the hosts file to get the google password. So thirst thing after fixing this, chance the password.
Next thing, find that f*ing app that did this.

That's the downside of having rooted your phone. So finding the phone rooted was not such a coincidence after all. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

What happened 2015?

So, as you noticed, I did not really blog a lot this year, i.e. 2015.
Let me quickly recap what I was busy with in the last couple of month (lame excuse, I know).

In summer I changed job from Oracle to vmware. Still handling the channel/partner business, but now no longer for (boring) hardware, but for - to me - exiting software. The concept of the software defined datacenter - or SDDC for short - is something I really like. Virtualize everything. Move from on-premise to cloud(s) seamlessly... pretty cool I think.

Enough of the professional plug.
I still found time for some nice hacks at home.

I've been recording my electricity and gas consumption at home for years, nay, decades now. What started with a plain ascii file in the early 90s, turned in to a DB2 application on OS/2 (with visual REXX) , and then to a very rudimentary web application (against the same DB2 database) under Windows XP and 7. Over the years I slightly modified the web application to also be mobile friendly, so I could take my phone (Nexus 5 right now) or iPad and enter the data while I was reading the meter.
Did I mention that I'm a nerd and do this weekly? No?
Well perhaps I should.
Not very interesting from a hack perspective, is it?

So this year I decided to change this, and I

  1. created an Android app for it
  2. added the anyline meter reading to it (because I did not want to get into the OCR stuff myself)
  3. created a REST interface to my database (building upon the old web application I had), using Jersey.
Two really impressive things here. Anyline... check it out. Excellent meter reading SDK (and other OCR stuff) on iOS and Android. 
And Jersey, wow!! REST with the click of a button, yet you are still in full control. And also getting JSON and XML with the same code. Nice.

Now for step 4 I'll re-write the old web-app to a pure Ajax/jQuery/JSON thing, and will only keep the REST interface to the database.

And step 5, already started: I bought some NFC tags (from whiztags, thanks for the hint, Max). One will go to the gas meter, the other one to the electricity meter, and both are registered to my app on Android. So when I go near the meter, it will automatically open the app with the OCR scanner for the respective meter. Click, and done.

So that's the last half year - or so - in a nutshell.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

NetBeans and DB2 again

So for various reasons (mainly the 64bit v 32bit problem with the native driver) I changed my DB2 JDBC driver to type 4, i.e. the Universal driver.
However, when I connect from NetBeans with an URL like jdbc:db2://localhost:50000/sample the schema would stay empty.
Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Zero.
Quite some googling and debugging - mainly with a little java program like this:

import java.sql.Connection;
import java.sql.DatabaseMetaData;
import java.sql.DriverManager;
import java.sql.ResultSet;
import java.sql.SQLException;

public class MainDB2 {
    private static final String URL = "jdbc:db2://localhost:50000/SAMPLE";
    private static final String USER = "roman";
    private static final String PASSWORD = "max11";
    private static final String SCHEMA = "roman";
  public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        Connection conn = DriverManager.getConnection(URL, USER, PASSWORD);
        try {
            DatabaseMetaData dmd = conn.getMetaData();
            ResultSet rs = dmd.getTables(null, SCHEMA, "%", new String[] { "TABLE" });
            try {
                while ( {
                    int count = rs.getMetaData().getColumnCount();
                    System.out.println("Column count: " + count);
                    int i;
                    for (i = 1; i <= count; i++) {
                        try {
                        } catch (SQLException e) {
                            System.err.println("Exception reading column " + i);
            } finally {
        } finally {

I was able to trace it back to an SQLCODE -443SQL0443N with diagnostic text "SYSIBM:CLI:-805". SQLSTATE=38553. Google this and you will get to here and learn that - again - a package was not bound, this time the db2schema.bnd file. Bind it as suggested in the article with the usual db2 bind db2schema.bnd blocking all grant public

and voila, NetBeans will find the schema.

Gets me every second year, it seams.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The iOS9 Podcast app is totally broken

Usually I hate and hence avoid to slam an app or service like this, but the podcast player in iOS9 really sucks. At least for video on an iPad.

No full screen video anymore, too much white space, and even with all that unused space, the controls are too small

Exhibit A:

Please Apple, we need an urgent update to fix/revert this.