I write serious blog entries as well as nonsense. Different opinions welcomenegative feedback without any reason not so much. Feel free to comment in any way that is okay with GBAtemp rules.

  • KleinesSinchen

    I am an Idiiot – really [pictures 800kb]

    I, LittleSinchen, proclaim myself as a complete idiot.


    If you ever buy a Wii with the description "faulty disc drive" don't be as dumb as I have been yesterday. My thoughts:
    • Faulty disc drive? Maybe the lens is dirty.
    • It is a black Wii → Most likely D3-2 drive which means it will ignore anything that is not a genuine Wii or GC disc.
    • Let's see if the drive even recognizes a disc. *Inserts Wii disc*
    The result? The drive pulled in the disc like normal. The disc starts spinning. Normal sounds. Why does nothing show up on the Disc Channel? Not even "The disc could not be read."? Suddenly the sound changed! The drive almost sounded like some electric grinding machine. Krrrrrrrzzzz! Rrrrrrr! Mooooooop! Krrrrrz!

    Then "An error has occurred. Eject the disc…blablabla"

    Disc comes out… deep scratch, perfectly circular. What on earth did this drive just do with my game disc?! I was able to get rid of most of the scratch with car polish. However, CleanRip still reports an unrecovered read error. Circular scratches are very bad for optical discs.
    =======

    Today I decided to open that thing up. There was children's play money in there. A cardboard 2-Euro "coin" as well as cardboard 5 Cent. The position was perfect. It reached above the laser and would have f…ed up every disc.
    Sinchen[​IMG]

    Note to self: Always disassemble a Wii with "faulty drive" before inserting a disc. You never know what the previous owner put in there – other than discs.

    Pictures:

    01.JPG 02.JPG 03.JPG


    Update:
    The disc drive is fully working now – since I took out that &"$"(.
  • KleinesSinchen

    How to ruin a young life (3)

    There are at least two topic left. I’ve covered most of what happened had been done to me in previous entries of this series (and in the comments to those entries). The first missing topic is about school and teachers. The second is about my general opinion on all this – my conclusions and my decisions.

    Even more than in previous entries I feel I’m not up to the task of expressing all this is a foreign language. In both of these topics there are very specific things like institutions and laws which I can’t translate. I will have to use some German words and explain what they mean. If this text looks somewhat silly or even outright wrong to a native speaker: Please be lenient. I tried my best and used various dictionaries for hours.
    =========

    Part 1: The Unfair School

    Because of the things I described in the previous texts I had missed almost a year in school. After getting over the forced drug abuse it was time to visit school again. Being somewhat different than most children (and later teenagers) I was pretty used to the normal mobbing this causes. The “not-like-us”-phenomena. It’s not a nice thing, but the effects had faded over the years. In elementary school it hurt pretty badly but after that… meh. Coming back from the nuthouse I was prepared for some intense mobbing by fellow students. “You may try!” I said to myself. “You can’t impress me.” Seemingly prepared for the worst… what could possibly go wrong now? The unexpected: Mobbing by the teachers – by the very institution school itself.

    They did not want a “psycho” at their school. Having me coming back was like this for them:
    Major_Psychic_Psycho.png

    A "psycho" could damage the reputation of this educational institution – Decision from the headmaster and his “deputies”. Now what? A public school can’t just say: “We don’t want you anymore… so just leave already.” The school needs a good reason to throw someone out. And there was none. I did literally nothing wrong. Nothing against any rule. To get rid of a student without a lengthy process, without any warnings, they would have needed strong evidence of criminal activity. “Imminent danger” But… there was none… nothing at all. What could they do?


    Idea #1: Treat Sina like a piece of sh.. so she switches to another school
    I will not go into detail here. A bunch of adults throwing mud (metaphorically) at a teenager. It is hard to sink lower than they did. So immature! Unfairness, looking away when other pupils attacked me, giving me bad grades (that was not easy – I’m not that dumb)…
    They tried everything – but it didn't work very well.
    Brainshock1.png Brainshock2.png

    Idea #2: If there is no reason to throw her out… Fake it, Baby!
    That is on a completely different level. If only I had been able to get proof for this…
    I always liked writing stories. Mostly for myself. Some of these stories are quite big – they would fill books. As a teenager I made a mistake: Showed some of my stories around. It were harmless and fictional things… but it was enough for the headmaster to dish out his suckerpunch (again: metaphorically).
    This is alarming. As I interpret this… Sina may plan going postal.
    (nothing even remotely close to this was in the stories, no horror, no violence)​

    My form teacher asked my mum to come to the school for a talk – when she arrived, there was not only my form teacher but the headmaster and his “deputies”. They told her it was not justifiable to tolerate my presence at school until experts have examined if I was bearable and not a ticking time bomb. “We have a responsibility for all the other pupils here and we must protect them. The authorities have to deal with that case.” (Gesundheitsamt – health authority) They simply claimed I was about to go postal and repeated that word alarming over and over again. They just could not stop saying “besorgniserregend” which literally means something like “arousing worries”. The dictionary suggested alarming as translation but I don’t think this fits. Nothing dict.leo suggests really sounds like the German word.

    And their (the teachers) words were credible – by definition. They were experts themselves: Pedagogues! Educationalists! They have studied these things at university! They have seen young people grow up countless times. They must know, when there is an alarming deviation (“besorgniserregende Abweichung”) from normal development of a young human being. They can judge this! It is a big part of their job! (Errors/Mistakes: Impossible. Abuse of their position: Even more impossible.)
    But finally – to get rid of me – they needed the confirmation from medical experts. To send me back to the nuthouse once and for all without any chance of ever leaving again alive. The only institution which is allowed to enforce this kind of examination is the “Gesundheitsamt”. The school was overconfident. They thought they had already won. Just a matter of form… They must have thought the same medics that did their very best to ruin my life would be in charge of this.

    There were doctors at the Gesundheitsamt. But not for children and youths – and no pedagogues. They were not entitled to confirm if there really was an alarming problem/deviation/whatever. But the Gesundheitsamt was entitled to call other experts for this. The people on the Amt were no idiots. And they seemed to be skeptical – to say the least – after they had spoken to me (and my mum). The Beamten relegated me to an institution that deals only with problematic children and teenagers. Because it was an emergency – the school really went all out to finish me off (again: metaphorically But… GBAtemp is a gaming site, I just have to bring some gaming related stuff. Please forgive me the association, that came to my mind just after writing “finish me off”.) – a psychiatrist and a psychologist visited us at home.



    Part 2: The Big Change


    This is where the situation fundamentally changed. Those guys from the institution for problematic children and teenagers were not biased in any way. They had heard/read the opposite party’s “opinion” (lies!) – but had not yet come to any conclusions. Wow! The psychiatrist and the psychologist did want to hear my point of view. Now… that was so… new! Somebody actually wanted to hear what I, LittleSinchen, had to say. For the first time, I was allowed to D E F E N D myself. And the positive surprises did not stop there: After talking to me for two hours (“crisis intervention”) they came to a stunning conclusion:
    Your teachers are the ones that have bats in the belfry.”
    They… did not actually say it like this. Of course not. That’s not something one can say when having to fulfill an assignment for the authorities. So they just said: “We don’t see any risks and take the responsibility. Sinchen may continue to visit the school. We will investigate this further.”

    This is what they did. I visited this institution for about a year once a week – almost like in case of a “normal” psychotherapy. After a while two things happened:

    1. Diagnosis
    They told me that the mental “hospital” where I had been locked up, the doctors and their methods were… controversial to say the least. Again, this is not something that can be said in a blunt way officially.
    Further examination showed no signs of schizophrenia, psychosis or whatever had been stamped on me in the past and had been used to nullify my human rights “for my own good”. The only thing I had and have to this day is depression and anxiety – largely caused by the very friendly nuthouse and the equally friendly school.

    • There are some parts, some things, that were done to me which I do not want to write down here. I just do not want to talk about this.
    • Then there is the problem from the very first entry in this series: I cannot prove anything of all this. Because of that I have to stay vague in some parts. This is very unsatisfactory for me. It makes the complete story line kind of hard to understand – especially since I can’t provide details for the initial “reason” for starting forced medical treatment. (I tried to help somebody)

    2. Feedback for the school
    This was so funny! Statement: “Nothing can confirm the worries the nice teachers (and the headmaster) had uttered.” The psychologist called the school after I had met him about five times and made an appointment. He wanted to talk to them… he gave the school a broad hint what they had to expect in the report.
    The teachers were so angry that I had been sent back to school right after the first talk with the institution. After this phone call they really knew it: Their attack against me backfired big time! They would get it in black and white, a report written by medical experts, attesting my innocuousness… and they could not impeach the credibility of that statement. I was now officially:
    NOT INSANE!
    That’s what I call Eigentor! (own goal, a real boomerang, shot in the own foot)

    Five minutes (literally!) before the psychologist arrived at the school they canceled the appointment and told him there was no need for talk anymore… “If the medics take the responsibility, school will accept this.Herr Direktor (mister headmaster) essentially surrendered at this point… helplessly. How pathetic! He did not even have the guts to face the psychologist. Nevertheless the school revived Idea #1 and tried to make my life as hellish as possible – which was even kind of funny… to see their helpless tries.





    ==============
    There is still something missing here:
    “How can you sure this is not a product of your imagination and paranoia? The doctors had diagnosed schizophrenia and paranoia. Do you really think you were sooo important, that the headmaster and the school decided to battle you? That does sound like the doctors were right. You must have been quite mentally disordered after all if you have had that kind of perception!”

    The blog entry is already too long and I doubt many people will read it in the age of tl;dr.

    Continuing now would hurt anyway. Until next time.

    Thanks @alexander1970 for reading the "beta version" of this entry some months ago. I was unable to complete it until now.
  • KleinesSinchen

    HELP!!11! I accidentally uninstalled CFW on my 3DS

    Sometimes there are threads that make me shake my head. I was thinking about creating one myself in the EOF – but I usually stay away from there. Because this is kind of sarcastic or a parody it does not belong into the regular forum (e.g. off-topic section). This is why it became a blog entry. Does this entry make sense? Not really. It's only purpose is venting a bit of frustration.

    I'm not entirely serious with anything below this line.
    ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓



    HELP!!11! I accidentally uninstalled CFW on my 3DS

    I was playing around with GodMode9 and started the Un-install Hax option in the Megascript. Then the touchscreen suddenly turned red. I panicked and when trying to cancel this I accidentally put in the random code. Now my 3DS won't load Luma anymore and I can't start any games. Then I panicked even more, deleted my SD and formatted the 3DS… but strangely this did not bring Luma back. I already replaced boot.firm multiple times… it just does not work.

    How do I restore everything?

    Please help!!!

    p.s. I have no backups.



    DSi with bad update. How to repair?

    I bought a DSi last week, took out my old Acekard 2i… and it still worked. Then I connected the DSi to the internet and it showed an update. The update was faulty. Now it says “An error has occurred” whenever I try to start the Acekard.

    How can I repair this borked update?

    HALP ME!!!




    Wii does not work since yesterday


    My Wii does not boot since I installed some theme I found on the internet. Searching the forum all the people here always say I need to install a Priiloader or something to repair this! How am I supposed to install this Priiloader BS when I can’t even start up my Wii?! This is crazy!

    How to I get it back to stock? I don’t want my Wii hacked anymore. This hacking stuff does not work anyway.




    [Generic uninstall CFW]


    I installed […] last week on my […]. How can I undo everything because:
    • I don't want to get banned from online (shiver, shiver *scared*)
    • I want to make some big $$$ by selling my […]. But I will never be a millionaire when I can't safely uninstall CFW.
  • KleinesSinchen

    Prescription drugs not available

    In the last few months I’ve had trouble getting all of my prescribed medication. Waiting for some days… trying at multiple pharmacy shops.

    Today the pharmacist told me: “Venlafaxine has been unavailable for weeks now. No vendor has any left. Nothing I can do about it… unless you pay more yourself.” She said this as if it was normal.
    • Hey, it has been unavailable for weeks now.” (How should I know? A package is enough for three months.)
    • Tell your doctor to prescribe another antidepressant.” (Nice idea. I tried A LOT of them. And Venlafaxine works for me. The others don’t and/or have unbearable side effects.)
    The country Germany – this is my very personal opinion – is broken beyond repair for various reasons. But if there is one thing that did work all the time in the past it is the public health insurance. I’ve never known that feeling: “Oh… what if I visit a doctor? Will I be broke afterwards? Should I wait and see if it gets any worse?” and I will certainly not support paying a lot more than the normal price in order to get my medication.

    I’m just agitated and angry at the moment. This feels so wrong. This is just awful. Civilization end or what?

    Edit:
    ====

    Got Venlafaxine for now. See my last comment.

    Thanks to everybody for the comments and the help. Really appreciate this.
    You, Ammako, IncredulousP and 3 others like this.
  • KleinesSinchen

    Unpopular opinion: I don’t like Christmas at all.

    For me it is the annual festival of abundance and waste. And a symbol of hypocrisy that has long lost it’s meaning.


    Once more I’m facing the problem finding balance between a long “essay” (which sadly just gets tl;dr nowadays) and a too short text (which looks extremely polemic and does not provide any arguments). I’m prepared for the worst storm of protest and/or full ignorance. I had to hear and read “Christmas, Christmas, Christmas…” for the last few weeks without a break. Now I will express my opposite view.

    It is a christian festival that also many non-Christians celebrate. Even convinced atheists celebrate it. The economy likes it obviously. Many people go nuts weeks before and start buying presents. In the last week before the 25th December it is almost impossible to buy foodstuff without getting a “Merry Christmas!” from the till girl. I told her: “I’m not a Christian.” She answered: “Where’s the problem? This has nothing to do with being a Christian.” Okay, the German words “Fröhliche Weihnachten!” do not directly contain it like in the English “Merry Christmas!” but… this opinion is strange. I’m done with the church (too much protection for child abusing priests). And I chose to be an agnostic for various reasons – which goes to much off-topic here.

    I do not celebrate religious festivals. People, just be tolerant: Leave me alone with your religious things (that oddly enough have been stripped off their religious context and are now mostly obeisance for the God of Consume, Waste and Overeating) and don’t get on my nerves. I will not try to stop anybody. Everybody who likes it: Fine… but leave me alone.

    I hear people moaning: “It is sooo stressful… Buying all the presents. Preparing the feast. So much to do! 25th celebrating at home. 26th going to the grandparents. So much to do! So much to do! Hustle and bustle.” They buy loads of stuff they don’t need. They have stress. They have family quarrels. They don’t enjoy it. They eat until they feel nauseated. Some drink more alcohol than they should in addition to that. All the whining about the stress, about the upset stomach… the enforced happiness and harmony when meeting relatives that do not care to even call or text the rest of the year.

    And if I dare to ask: "Why don't you just stop celebrating Christmas if it is so stressful?" I get looked at as if I had just sad: "Why don't you just stop breathing?"
    You have to participate on Christmas. That is a natural law. Like gravitation. Two masses attract each other. You have to celebrate Christmas!
    Every single person I ask answers with: "We do not do much, but…"

    I did not buy any presents. I did not get any and this is good. If I want to show appreciation this neither needs material presents nor a special day – no matter if it is some universal holiday or a person’s special day (birthday). On the contrary: This is what I call hypocritical. People who I appreciate deserve this any time – and if I feel it fits showing this appreciation with some present: Then I do this without asking my calendar for permission. If somebody remembers my existence only on "special days" I quickly hang up the phone or show them the way out of my house. Those social conventions don't mean anything to me.
  • KleinesSinchen

    A BIOS/CMOS battery is a wear part! (rant) [pictures ≈ 300KB]

    Dear manufacturers I have big news for you: Batteries don’t last forever. This is nobody’s fault. But it is a fact. Sooner or later any battery will be drained. This is also true for low-power devices like clocks and SRAM. A CR2032 will last some years. After this it has to be replaced.

    Why do I have to disassemble a complete laptop just to get to the BIOS battery? What were they thinking?! No, I will not throw away a working computer because of a dead BIOS battery! Thank you for the “TERRA MOBILE 2103 – MODEL M66SE”!

    Model.JPG


    I just unscrewed a million screws, disconnected a bunch of ribbon and antenna cables just to reach the battery. And guess what I found?
    Battery.JPG

    Laptop.jpg


    I can’t help myself but to think about the little Brothers Grimm fairytale: The Wishing-Table, the Gold-Ass, and the Cudgel in the Sack. [Wikipedia]

    I don’t have one of these batteries with cable and plug. Last time I met one of these I cut off the cables and soldered them to a CR2032 battery holder, wrapped everything in insulating tape and put it back into the laptop. Works. Hope I can fit a battery holder into this machine as well. Then to reassemble this piece of sh electronics…


    Edit:
    The computer is working again. Not enough space to put a battery holder for CR2032 there. I used CR2032 for SNES games to solder the cables on the tabs and wrapped this into insulating tape. Looks almost like before.
  • KleinesSinchen

    Yellow flowers (nonsense, experiment)

    Argh! I don’t like yellow flowers. Whenever I see yellow flowers I get angry. Even if it is just on a picture. Yellow… who thought yellow was a fitting color for plants? Blue, red, violet or white. All nice to see. I even will accept orange, but:

    I hope I will never see a single yellow flower again in my life. Grrr.
  • KleinesSinchen

    My short Android experiment – conclusion (pictures 1.1MB)

    It was a stressful experience! As some of you already know: Learning new things is very hard for me. Having to deal with an Android phone was certainly no exception. Searching the web for what I wanted gave an overwhelming amount of information. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack.



    Problems already started with small details like the hostname. In our network (combined with the neighbors) are quite a number of devices. The routers (Fritz!Box) keep track of all the computers showing their hostnames and IP-addresses. How am I supposed to know which of the devices "Android-[hex numbers]" (MAC address?) is mine? How am I supposed to find the phone in the network when it has a name like this? For something as simple as setting the computer name you need the ADB.

    Next… Why don’t I have root access on the phone by default?!¹ I hate it when my computers disobey.
    If I say “delete”, this means exactly this: “DELETE!” and not “This is a system app. You may not delete system apps.
    If I say "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda" this means "Overwrite the first HDD/SSD with all 0x00!" and not "You may not do this for your own good."
    I give my computers orders; commands… Not ideas to serve as a basis for discussion.

    You &§&%”§ phone!! Want to meet a dear friend of mine? His name is Hammer. Sledge Hammer.

    =================
    I probably did it wrong using a tool like this but it worked (some others did not): Kingroot. It gave me root privileges and the possibility to delete Chrome, YouTube, Play Store, Google+, Google Maps, Google, Google, Google… Sadly it integrated itself somewhat in the OS and shows a colorful “Security Index” number and asks me to tap here to fix ‘problems’ – like some rouge anti-malware on Windows PCs. This gave me a bit of the feeling… can’t express that in English: “Den Teufel mit dem Beelzebub austreiben!” (literal translation “Exorcising the devil with Beelzebub!” dict.leo.org suggests "to jump from the frying pan into the fire” Mhmm. That’s not as good… but okay.)
    Eventually I got Kingroot to shut up and only show a message when some program wants root access.

    Home screen – pretty much all programs that are now on this phone:
    1.png

    Lock screen – I took this photo years ago in a pretty cold winter:

    3.jpg

    Sinchen’s Paula avatar is also there:
    2.png

    I will stay true to myself and have no plans of using this device as a cellphone. For testing purposes I inserted my SIM into the Wiko Rainbow and used it for some time like my normal mobile phone. This means pretty much not using it at all besides listening to music or audio books sometimes. To simulate some usage I used Firefox in the WiFi network for some minutes each day. Surfing the web with such a small thing was awful.

    The battery seems to be in working condition. However the result was not on the same level as my non-smart phone. I had to recharge the Wiko after only about 5 days where my normal phone lasts about two weeks.

    Because nobody wants this thing I will keep it as an offline audio player.



    ___________________
    ¹ I do know some of the pseudo security arguments.
    IncredulousP and alexander1970 like this.
  • KleinesSinchen

    Tobu Tobu Girl Deluxe has arrived (pictures 1.3MB)

    Finally my copy of Tobu Tobu Girl Deluxe for the Game Boy (Color) has arrived. This was the first time I paid for something on Kickstarter. I doubt many members of the forum are still interested in such things as new Game Boy games… but I decided to post this anyway. The idea of getting a brand new game for the good old Game Boy consoles in the year 2019 with colorful cardboard packaging, printed manual and plastic case for the cartridge like in the 1990s was tempting… I just could not resist.

    The previous (four grey green shades) version was already sold out when I found this game by complete accident. The ROM for the colored version is now available for (free and legal) download including the source code on Github.

    Story of the game:
    Meh. The girl has a cat. That cat floats away with a helium filled (party-)ballon right into the stratosphere. Tobu girl decides to follow/rescue her pet by jumping on various creatures like bats and birds. Although the third stage is already called “Space” neither the cat nor the girl die of suffocation despite not wearing anything remotely close to a spacesuit.
    That story is ridiculous. But… Princess Peach has been kidnapped for the 154th time is even more ridiculous.

    Gameplay:
    • The goal of each of the four main stages is simply getting up.
    • She bounces off of most creatures and can dash up to three times in 8 directions with (A)+Dpad. Then she has to bounce off another creature to reset that dash counter.
    • She can also “fly”with (B) a little as long as her energy lasts.
    • Energy can be replenished by dashing downwards onto a creature.
    • You have to be fast – there is short a time limit. To extend the time, collect alarm clocks.
    This game is hard. You need good reflexes, good reaction time and have to be able to tolerate lots of frustration. I failed some hundred times on the third stage (Space) and did not yet really try the fourth (Dream). Yes my Everdrive GB I used to play the ROM before public release is the X7 variant and has RTS. No, I did not use save states.

    Graphics and sound:
    Nothing special in my opinion. It looks and sounds good for a Game Boy game… but the system is fairly limited. Good choices for color palettes. Nice sprites for the protagonist and the cat. Nothing more to say. No complaints. I like the style – well done.

    =======

    More important (for me) than graphics is the game as such. What I have to criticize is the short length. Three stages to get the cat back and one bonus stage after that. Getting better “grades” and a high score for each level by being extra fast and stomping down on more creatures does add a little to the game if you want to master it. There also is an endless mode you can try to master.
    I understand: The game mechanic “Getting up and up and up and up” does not allow enough varieties to build 50 stages. Still: It is pretty short. (TASvideos has an impressive TAS for the black and white version.) This is fast!
    Back in the 1990s I would really have enjoyed such a game because of the challenge. If this had been an official game back then, I would have bought it – although it does not offer as much a some later, totally different Game Boy titles like Zelda Oracle of Ages/Seasons or Pokemon.

    Classic arcade mode feeling without any long text. Easy rules, but hard to master. No mercy! This is how I like it.

    Packaging has a good quality. The cartridge seems to be made out of good, durable plastic. To open it you need a triwing/tripoint screwdriver. A bit strange. If they where to mimic genuine Nintendo carts it should have been the inverse Torx you have to open with a “game bit”. I would have preferred standard Philipps screws. Well… doesn’t really matter.

    The PCB looks nice and has five chips. I don’t know why. ROM, SRAM, mapper and ??
    Nicely done is the (big!) SRAM backup battery. It can be replaced without soldering. But if the SRAM in the cart is as frugal as in the Nintendo games that would mean more than three decades before the battery fails.
    01_Alles.JPG 02_Platine.jpg
    =============
    One last comment: This thing was/is expensive. I had to pay about 50€ to get the physical release. But supporting development for new Game Boy games… this is no question for me. YES, OF COURSE! The game comes without any stupid DRM, is manufactured in a small quantity, no big company behind it and has even been released for free download now. The price was/is reasonable. So I paid for it. If they ever make more game(s), I will most likely support them again.
    =============

    Intro (GBC mode)

    01_intro.png



    First level (GBC mode)


    02_Plains.png




    First level (DMG mode)

    03_Plains_BW_mode.png

    Title screen with SGB border (SGB mode)

    04_SGB_Title_Screen.png

    Edit: Dang it! My camera gets worse and worse. Auto focus has gone mad… Sorry for the bad pictures.
  • KleinesSinchen

    My third contact with Android (Wiko Rainbow) [contains 10MB in pictures hidden in spoilers]

    First of all: Asking for help is not my (main) intention with this blog entry. My intention is describing what happened and venting anger/frustration. But if anybody can easily (without having to put much effort into searching themselves!!) help me… this would be awesome!




    What I don’t need is something like
    [URL=http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Wiko+Rainbow+custom+ROM]Here[/URL]
    Why mention this? Sadly such a lmgtfy link was the first comment on my last Android problem.


    The first time I had to deal with Android was my mum’s phone. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, it showed “kein Befehl” (“no command”) right next to the ugly green garbage can robot lying there like totally drunk. It took me two days to:
    a) find the firmware/ROM online (after literally more than 100 captchas)
    b) get it to stay in a recovery menu to install the ROM from micro-SD
    Finally the drunken garbage can disappeared.

    The second time was this badly flashed Samsung tablet in a boot loop that would not even stay in Odin mode [turned out to be a deep discharged battery I had to “jump start”]


    And now to my third contact with Android
    ==============================================
    I got this Wiko Rainbow (just Rainbow, not JAM, not 4G or anything else). I neither need nor want a smartphone but now it is here and I am allowed keep it without paying anything. "Okay, let’s make the most out of the situation." I said to myself and turned it on. It booted to Android 4.1. Ouch! Even Android nooooob LittleSinchen knows that this is an ooooold version.

    But hey… my digital camera is failing. Maybe the phone can be useful!
    Two different pictures with both the (failing) dedicated camera and the phone.
    Camera:
    Gardevoir_camera.jpg

    Phone:
    Gardevoir_phone.jpg

    Camera:
    Graphics_card_camera.jpg

    Phone:
    graphics_card_phone.jpg
    That is thing unusable. This phone is clearly not up to the task of providing good pictures for the forum. I took more than 10 tries to take the those somewhat acceptable pictures with phone where the camera had instantly semi-success.


    What else could I do with it? Maybe there is a custom ROM with a newer Android version! Searched → found a graveyard full of dead links. No working download. The Wayback Machine did not have a copy or could not make one. Dead end. Or I'm too dumb to find something.

    Next. Searching the web over and over… everybody was talking about the stock ROM on Android 4.4. Why do I have 4.1?! Tapped on update. “No updates available.” it said. Wiko Homepage stated tapping on update would download the latest version right from the phone (yes it had internet via WiFi, tested). After entering the M_IMEI on their website Wiko allowed me to download RAINBOW_KITKAT_V16.zip containing a Windows .exe which installs unsigned drivers. Luckily I have a good old offline Windows XP machine for such cases and do not have to deal with disabling signature enforcing on modern Windows. Here is progress: The phone now has 4.4!

    Now I’m basically stuck. Still a very old version of Android and still the whole lot of apps with “Google” in their name. I’m sick of searching the web and have no idea how to get root privileges in order to get rid of Chrome, Playstore, Google Search… and all that “sign in with your Google Account” crap.

    I just want Firefox and an audio/video player that lets me see the folder structure (not scanning the “library” and “sorting” the music and audio books by their ID3 tags or something like that to show artists, albums and whatnot). Both Firefox and VLC seem to be available for download as APK and claim to work on Android 4.4 (not tried yet).

    That's it for today.

    Edit:
    ====

    Big thanks to @IncredulousP! His advise to get ADB was the key to success.

    After playing around for a while I found out “adb shell” opens a Linux shell and I immediately felt at home. Now that I knew what to search for, I got root privileges and was able to get rid of all the bloatware. This old phone runs fast… and the previous owner did not want it anymore because it was too slow. Firefox with it's add-ons works like a charm, VLC plays virtually everything (including HD H.264 video files), got an epub viewer, a small Word/LibreOffice Viewer and the keyboard from the Pokemon typing game can be used.

    Maybe this thing can be useful for somebody now.
    Sono and ry755 like this.
  • KleinesSinchen

    Is this good or bad?

    Two blog entries on one day? Never did that… but this one is short:

    I currently have a post count of 1034 and just hovered with the mouse above the “3DS NOOB PARADISE” thread. Then this happened:

    Noob_Paradise.png

    122 of my 1034 messages in this one thread – this means about 11.8%. Feels strange. Is this good or bad? Somehow I don’t know what to think about it.
  • KleinesSinchen

    (Really) using WiFi for the first time… and “Smart”-devices shocked me

    In the last couple of days I shared my internet connection with new neighbors. No, I don’t share my connection with strangers. We were friends long before they moved here. The internet providers are slow as **** and were not able to provide their connection on time.

    This was the first time I had to deal with two things I normally avoid like the plague: WiFi and “Smart”-devices. This blog entry is close to being a rant – maybe I chose some too extreme words. I’m clearly in a very small minority with my opinion. I hate WiFi and I hate "Smart"-devices. But I have my reasons for this (I will not include everything in detail because it is already long enough).

    Part 1: WiFi trouble
    The only reason for me to turn on WiFi (for minutes) in the past was to check the eShop with the 3DS because it does not have Ethernet. Setting up a WiFi network so that it worked across the street was a pain and required an outdoor access point and drilling a hole from my bedroom to the outside. Buying this was not a waste – we will continue to use this for sharing network resources, incremental offsite backups (don’t even think about an initial full backup – that would take ages) and the like.
    It does not work.

    Example #1:

    Friend: “Why do you still have wired keyboard and mouse?”
    Sinchen: “Because it works. Wireless does not work reliably.”
    Friend: “My keyboard never had any problems. I hate cables.”
    Sinchen: (tries to use friends keyboard) “Does not work.”
    Friend: “What?! Must be the batteries. Or try the sync button!”
    Sinchen: “…”
    Friend: (inserts new batteries, taps repeatedly on ‘sync’. Five minutes later…) “There you go.”
    Sinchen (Uses computer for some minutes.) “Keyboard does not work – again.”
    Friend: “It never did anything like that!!

    Example #2:
    I forgot to turn off the WiFi after using it for the 3DS. The laptop does know the WPA2-PSK (I had to test the WiFi card when I got the computer) and I was wanted to copy a huge amount of data to my main computer. Signal strength nearly 100%, WiFi type “n” – up to 300MBit/s. Laziness won and I did not stand up to get the Ethernet cable. Actual transfer rate: below 50 Mbit/s.
    Laziness lost! I stood up and grabbed the cable. Actual transfer rate: about 1GBit/s.

    Example #3:
    Tried to use the Wii U Gamepad without TV in the next room: Forget it. Direct line of sight and don’t dare to put a piece of paper in between. I’m surprised Wii remotes work pretty good in the same room as the console.

    Honestly, I’ve never had such problems when connecting computers to the internet. Even the 56k-Modem in the 1990s never made such a nonsense like this wireless garbage. Sadly I’m not allowed to mount a cable on both roofs and span it across the street. That would work immediately. Whatever we tried with repeaters, antenna positioning according to 100s of contradictory advises it was impossible to bridge 20 meters reliably while both, the indoor access point and the repeater, were positioned at the windows.

    After hours of trying… all attempts were in vain. I lost my temper and ordered that outdoor thing. Standing on a ladder, five meters above the ground, to mount that thing to the outer wall was the next funny part. Finally my friends got internet access and we can combine our networks.

    Part 2: “Smart”-devices

    My personal opinion on this is: Putting a computer into a thing does not make it smart. This is more or less a marketing buzzword. Everything has to be smart nowadays. The local waste disposal company put RFID-chips on every garbage can and send letters to all customers: “Your garbage can is now smart.” Ehh… no! The garbage cans have the electronic equivalent of label with a number on it. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I do not want computers in all everyday things around me. Computers I cannot even (really) control, that receive no patches and offer nothing (for me at least; again: personal opinion). I do not need a washing machine that can be controlled from a phone. To fill and empty the machine you still have to walk there. While filling, you stand right before it → No need for remote control via app.
    A TV should turn on fast, not boot an operating system. And when the TV is five years old and not supported anymore I still want to use it. Therefore I watch my content with a Raspberry Pi – and no app is ever too old for doing stuff because my content comes form my main PC.

    *************************
    In my home network I use Pi-Hole for blocking all things I do not want:
    • Known malware domains
    • Trackers
    • Porn
    But on the blocklists are also a lot of things which my computers never would try to access:
    • Windows telemetry
    • Facebook
    • Google services
    This is because I sometimes repair computers or reinstall operating systems for other people. Their computers might try to connect to those.

    Computer used forbidden DNS-query!
    But it failed!
    Pi-Hole used big blocking list!
    It’s super effective!

    *************************


    And then my friends connected their home network to mine. A day later I opened pi.hole/admin and could not believe my eyes: There were 1000s of blocked DNS queries! Various Facebook domains, Various Alexa related domains, app.measurement.com, settings.crashlytics.com…

    I asked them: “What did you do?”
    Answer: “Nothing. Logged in the “smart”phones and Alexa-device and went to bed.”

    They did not do anything. And their devices tried to connect to all sort of garbage while not in use. Every few minutes. Okay, I should have told them not to try to include an Alexa-thing in my network, but the phones… I seriously did no expect phones which almost everybody uses to do things like that without user interaction. These things are even worse than I thought. Maybe it is possible to configure a “smart”-phone so it does not do garbage like this. I don’t know if this can be done – without root privileges (Wait a moment… Why am I not root on my phone by default?!) and without much work.




    ==================
    I do not want to study this topic and chose to stay away from “smart”-devices. This gets harder and harder. Often I’m treated like some kind of infectious mad alien because of my refusal to buy such a phone – and it gets harder and harder to use things without such a phone. “You cannot do this without our app.” is what I've heard quite a few times.
    ==================

    Attached Files:

    MicmasH_W, Sono, QuazaRayy and 7 others like this.
  • KleinesSinchen

    Open for opinions

    When writing blog posts I do this to express my opinion and/or tell about my personal life to make things for myself clear and (hopefully) improve my English. At this point: A big "Thank you!" to the admins for providing this possibility on the site. Having my own blog by simply joining a forum is really cool. There have been some comments I did not like: I don’t like negative feedback without any reason or impertinent comments. This is bad style. Nevertheless: Deleting them never came to my mind. Even if the comments are not helpful at all (like calling me an idiot or my text stupid without any kind of reason). Those unhelpful comments at least made me laugh and feel somewhat good.

    Agreement and positive comments are fine. I think everybody likes positive feedback. But I do like different opinions – with reason(s) – as well. These are often the most helpful comments making me think in various directions or forcing me to find more arguments or better explanations for my own point of view. And most important: They may – if not really change – influence my point of view a bit.
    Law and the site rules. Thankfully it is not up to me to decide whether some comment is okay with the rules or not. This means I only have deleted one single comment on all of my blog posts and that was my own answer to a comment deleted by the mods. Keeping an answer to a deleted comment was simply unnecessary and possibly confusing.
    The only situation I can image where I would use the possibility for “moderating” my blog is when I would see extremely illegal things like child abuse. In such a case deleting comments myself is better than waiting for somebody else to do this. Such things have to disappear as soon as possible.

    I have seen some blog posts in the past with disappearing comments – or even the removal of the complete article – presumably because of different opinions or critique in the comments. I think this is sad and a missed opportunity. I can handle disagreement. If I do not want people to react to my thoughts I do not upload them to a blog with commentary functions. Blogs without such functions do exist. Building my own echo chamber by deleting “unwanted” comments is useless for me.
  • KleinesSinchen

    Console malware – any ideas?

    It is easy to say things like: “Only run well-know software from trusted sources!! This is what I already do for my most important PC as good as possible. The most safe way to achieve this is a completely closed system – like it is the case on modern gaming consoles. But this is not what I want. I want to be able to run arbitrary software and not a guardian telling me what is allowed and what is unauthorized software.

    Trying various homebrew software is fun and that is what gaming consoles are for: Fun. There is more than Luma3DS and FBI to install commercial games – and even this is potentially problematic if a user obtains their .CIA files from illegal sources – I’m shielded from that kind of problem because I obtained my games from the eShop and from cartridges, but I guess many members of this forum are more morally flexible with that. At least for the Switch there have been malicious files (effectively trashing the OS) claiming to be Pokemon games. So it has happened.

    While bricking or infecting PC motherboards (BIOS/UEFI) is possible, I’ve never heard of any big attacks in the wild – just proof of concept. Normal computer malware does some damage to the software. Worst case is normally overwriting the HDD/SSD and reinstalling the OS. I’m pretty confident that the malware which is currently in the wild can’t do permanent damage to my stuff (prove me wrong – I’m really interested and hope to learn something). Being able to run arbitrary software on a device where this was never intended by the manufacturer is a worse situation than on a PC. Reinstalling for example Windows is intended (new Windows version, real bad misconfiguration, HDD died, experiments…). This BIOS/UEFI as a minimalist software stays and allows this. No problem here.

    Reinstalling the operating system of a Nintendo console is not intended. You’re not supposed to be able to damage the OS in the first place. There is no “Plan B” for the end user¹→ Messing up CBHC means “GAME OVER!” Not being able to restore from software damage makes consoles with CFW an easier target than PCs (not even taking software caused actual hardware damage in account). Writing very few bytes to the NAND can make a gaming console inoperable² to a point where advanced soldering skills are needed to revive it – given a backup exists – if not: that's careless.

    Long story short: Consoles being so vulnerable is terrible. Any ideas to minimize risks besides “Just don’t run any non well-known software!”


    ____________________
    ¹ ntrboothax on the 3DS family and fusee-gelee on early Switch models – possible because of security flaws – are a very welcome exception.
    ² I also have some other, possibly worse, ideas what malicious software might do on a console.
    Sono, IncredulousP, ry755 and 3 others like this.
  • KleinesSinchen

    How to ruin a young life (2)

    This is a difficult topic. Since end of January I continued this text – only for myself – a number of times… and deleted it right afterwards because the result did not satisfy me. Satisfying or not, I want to continue this and I will do. After all these blog entries are mostly just to clear my mind.

    There are some questions. I have been asked these questions in real life when telling my story:

    Why should anyone do this? And especially: why should a doctor to this?”

    Sounds a bit like “You’re a liar!”: Implausible! Because of this axiom:
    Doctor=good person, non hostile, (only) helps people; beyond any reproach

    My answer: Good questions! Go ahead and ask them! They did it. I do not know why and asked myself literally thousands of times without ever finding a reasonable answer.

    Pondering about this only lead to:
    Case 1: They did it on purpose (maybe because the wanted to torture a helpless teenager and enjoy the reactions; sadism).
    No comment of this one. Pure evil "Great" doctors!
    Case 2: They did not do it on purpose and had good intentions.
    They made a mistake. Should not happen, but it does. They put the wrong stamp on me and just started their machinery like they were used to do.​

    Looking further at case 2:
    Case 2a: They noticed at some point that their treatment had negative effects on my condition.
    So they noticed what happened and for whatever reason the chose to continue. Wow. This is almost equal to Case 1. Pure evil "Great" doctors!
    Case 2b: They did not notice the connection between their “medication” and my critical status.
    Wow! Well… a correlation is not a causality, this I have to admit. Someone’s condition can get worse and worse despite of medication.
    But a strong correlation can give a hint. If you prescribe drugs and a patient’s condition gets worse, both physically and psychic and each increase of the dose repeats that, maybe, just maybe there is a causality. How about trying the opposite and lower the dose and watch if this makes it a little better again? If the treatment does not help, any maybe even harms, why not try something else? " Pure incompetence "Great" doctors!

    Hanlon’s Razor
    suggests to choose Case 2b. But I’m not entirely sure stupidity is sufficient as an explanation here. I tend to choose Case 2a – not knowing the particular reason for continuation. Pride, fear of consequences when admitting a mistake or sadism.

    That's already enough for today.