Monday, September 30, 2013

Here is what "closing down the government" will bring

Here is what "closing down the government" will bring:

    • State department will be able to operate for limited time
        ° Ho hum

    • Department of defense would continue military operations
        ° Yah, duh

    • Department of education would still distribute $22bn (£13.6bn) to public schools, but staffing would be severely hit
        ° $22 BILLION!! Holy cow! Good grief! this is but part of the problem...

    • Department of energy - 12,700 staff would be sent home, 1,113 remain to oversee nuclear arsenal
        ° For which there is absolutely no use. Oh darn.

    • Department of health and human services to send home more than half of staff
        ° And what have they done for you recently except concoct Obamacare?

    • The Federal Reserve, dept of homeland security, and justice dept would see little or no disruption
       ° Duh. Follow the money, the jackboots, and the lawyers. They won't touch that one.

    • US Postal Services would continue as normal
       ° FWIW, delivering nothing but junk mail. Hello USPS, wake up. Mail is dead. Anyone with a brain does it electronically. Sorry Ben, 1737 was a good year, but it is now 2013.

    • Smithsonian institutions, museums, zoos and many national parks would be closed
      ° Oh darn. Hello, it is September and everyone is now back in school or at work, or looking full time for work. Everyone in the upper 51%, that is.


So how does this really affect your life?

Not at all.


I am truly sorry for the people being unpaid. Sort of like me, without a formal job for a year, despite trying desperately.

But it is a matter of choices. That's what savings are for, and if you choose to work for an unreliable employer then you are responsible for the outcome... A choice: risk, reward... Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

What part of this do we not understand, details of which I have already published numerous times:

• We have a huge debt, but are continuing to spend at some half again the current income.

• We have increased that debt by half again since Obama took office.

• We have almost half of the population NOT WORKING.

• We are taxing people almost half their income and giving it to the people that are NOT working or to totally unnecessary "services", see above.

• We have half the world hating us for wading in with jackboots, drones, and bombs (Africa, Middle East, Far East, etc...)

• We have two thirds of the country hating the incumbent Government (check the numbers on Republican vs. Democrat governors, demography of the House of Representatives, etc. etc. etc. Google is your friend...)

• We have the NSA spying on each one of us, and the DHS giving jackboots and combat SUVs to local police departments

So why can't we wake up and acknowledge that there is a HUGE problem?

Tell me what part of this is not true.

You can't.

But today I lost a respected correspondent over my "rant".

For not being nice.

No, it's not pretty and no, I'm not being nice.

The time for being nice is over.

Thanks to another for these quotes:

"Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles". Ayn Rand. .

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the flag, and begin slitting throats”. H. L. Mencken

This is one of those times. If you do not acknowledge a problem then you are part of it.

In which case I'll see you on the train to Dachau.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Connect Android Nexus 4 Android 4.3 to openSUSE 12.3

So totally pleased about today's accomplishment of connecting the Android to Linux openSUSE 12.3. 

Easy when you know how.

The BLUF is gmtp and adb but there are several other steps.

The first problem was that the Android (LGE Nexus 4) was not being recognized as a Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) device.

You have to activate Developer Settings in the 'droid to fix this. 

Here is how:

  1. Go to the settings menu, and scroll down to "About phone." Tap it.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom again, where you see "Build number."
  3. Tap it seven (7) times. After the third tap, you'll see a playful dialog that says you're four taps away from being a developer. (If only it were that simple, eh?) Keep on tapping, and *poof*, you've got the developer settings back.

Intuitive, eh?

Anyhow, the next step is to change the mode. 

Go to the now visible {}Developer Options and make sure that
USB debugging
is checked. Now 
• Go up to the main Settings page
• Click Storage
• Click the three dot settings icon in the upper right hand corner
• Click on USB computer connection and choose Media device (MTP) instead of Camera (PTP).

Now, on the computer, install both gmtp and adb. Both are available under the respositories under openSUSE, but if you can't find them then google.

gmtp succeeds in waking up the system to the presence of an MTP device. Just plug in the 'droid. A window will pop up. Select "Open in File Manager" and you'll have an instance of konqueror open to

     mtp: Nexux 4

You can then manually drag and drop files back and forth if you open a second window in konqueror.

You need Android Debugging Bridge (adb) if you want to use BASH scripts to transfer files. adb is included in the openSUSE package android-tools.

This may help:

It just works. 

For example, issue the following terminal or script command after plugging in the 'droid to transfer a file to  the 'droid:

      adb push /data/finance/transactions/transactions.xls /sdcard/data/finance/

Or use the following to copy a batch of files from the 'droid:

      adb pull /sdcard/DCIM/Camera /data/action/latest/

The source in this case is not intuitive: initially I used .../Camera/* and it choked. But dropping the wildcard resulted in copying all files in .../Camera to the computer.

So YMMV, you may have to farkle with this.
Note that the first argument in the push statement or the second one in the pull statement is the fullpath_and_filename on the computer. The other argument substitutes


for the 'droid value seen in konqueror above of

      mtp:/Nexus 4/internal storage

So whatever 'droid path you wish to target that you see in konqueror is translated. 

For example:

      mtp:/Nexus 4/internal storage/data

in konqueror needs to be translated to


in a script.

The following script automates synchronizing selected files back and forth after doing all the foregoing:

#! /bin/bash
# Check for Android plugged in
  echo "Connect the Android."
  echo "Continue? (y|n):"
  read user
# If Android connected
  if [ "$user" == "y" ]; then
# Transfer to Android
  echo "Transferring transactions.xls to Nexus."
  adb push /data/finance/transactions/transactions.xls /sdcard/data/finance/
  echo "Transferring itinerary.xls to Nexus."
  adb push /data/info/itinerary/itinerary.xls /sdcard/data/info/
  echo "Copying latest photos to /data/action/latest"
# Transfer from Android
  adb pull /sdcard/DCIM/Camera /data/action/latest/
# Finish


Easy when you know how.

Monday, September 23, 2013

hostapd setup


We have successfully created an Access Point (AP) after ten days of working at it. 

Easy when you know how, but not easy if you don't. 

The various all you have to do is sites over-simplify things enormously. They ass-u-me knowledge that just may not be there, even for a geek:


• You need a grounding in firewalls, networks, domain name servers, dynamic host configuration protocol daemons (dhcpd), the Host Access Point Daemon (hostapd), and their configuration files. These are not trivial.

• In particular, you need to understand:

      + Internal, external, demilitarized firewall zones

      + the interaction (under operSUSE) between NetworkManager, yast2 network, and yast2 firewall.

• You need to have two separate interface devices: one, an "external" zone device to access the internet, another, an "internal" zone device, to provide the AP.

• You need to read the instructions in the various configuration (.conf) files carefully. For example, in dhcpd.conf there is a benign little entry:

      # Don't forget to set the DHCPD_INTERFACE in the

      # /etc/sysconfig/dhcpd file.

Guess what, it won't work if you don't do this.

• You need to use the correct copy of the particular .conf file. Sometimes there are multiple versions floating around on your system. If it is a script, enter something like:

      echo "This is the one!"

to make sure that you are running the correct version.

• You need to understand the various WiFi protocols. In particular, use only WPA-PSK, identified by setting


(not =2) in hostapd.conf.

• You need to understand that all NICs are not equal. You must select one that is AP-capable:

     iw list

gives the capabilities of the card. The list must include AP.

• Additionally, some NICs have Linux drivers, some (notably the NetGear 300 series) do not. If they do not then you have to use ndiswrapper, which introduces yet another set of unknowns and learning curves. 

I have been delighted with the ΣDIMAX, which has a NIC in the base of a USB antenna.

• it is very much a step-by-step process. Get one step working before continuing to the next. For example, setting up simple test AP before getting fancy with firewalls and DHCP:

• Watch ip address carefully. Most NICs are saved by their MAC addresses as wlan0, wlan1, ..., wlann

But then for some reason, wlan4 started being recognized as wlan1. We haven't figured that one out yet, but the bottom line is that then yo have to go back to hostapd.conf and /etc/sysconfig/dhcpd and change the NIC name.

• As a result, watch the interaction of the network setup tool and the firewall tool. They are linked under openSUSE. Once wlan4 changed to wlan1 the change was recognized by yast2 network but not by yast2 firewall. So we had to go into yast2 network, deactivate NetworkManager, delete wlan4, recognize and configure wlan1, reactivate NetworkManager, then go back into yast2 firewall to finish the firewall configuration,

• Watch dmesg for firewall drops. With declared external and declared internal we ass-u-me-d that would be accepted as internal. But it wasn't, resulting in dmesg showing a series of drops of as a Martian source. When we explicitly declared as an internal source under Custom Rules the drops ceased and the AP worked.

Bridging and masquerading are other topics that need to be understood. Ours works best with Bridging off and Masquerading on.


There are zillions of sites that address one or more of these, but none I've found that address them all.

So here goes:

1. Use your distribution software manager (yast2 under openSUSE) to download and install:



2. Configure them both.

     a. the creator of hostapd is at

      I used:

     primarily to configure hostapd.conf. Their activation script (see below) seems to be more professional than some others.

      was also helpful.

     b. dhcpd.conf setup was aided by

3. Write a script to automate the process.

Easy when you know how.