Showing posts from 2018

Spotify (and Netflix) on Chromium, with help from Steam, without root!

Users of Chromium will have trouble listening to Spotify, even if "protected content" (another word for "we own you") is on. This is because there are missing Widevine libraries.

The usual way to find them is to copy them from your Chrome installation, sometimes at /opt/google/chrome, sometimes at /usr/share/chrome, but these can also be acquired from Steam installations (since Steam embeds Chrome).

If you're running Steam, copy both





then restart Chromium.

If you use Netflix, use a user agent extension to set your user agent to Chrome, so Netflix won't automatically assume that you can't use it.

Hope that helps anyone coming across this issue.

Till next time.

Quick phone tip: make your phone seem faster by disabling animations

In Android, go to Settings -> Developer Options -> Drawing and change Window animation scale, Transition animation scale and Animator duration scale to "Animation off".

Issuing modem commands to an unrooted Android device

Did you know that Android devices expose a modem on the USB interface, even when "Tethering" is turned off? It appears like this in dmesg:

[22338.529851] cdc_acm 1-3:1.1: ttyACM0: USB ACM device

You can connect to this as a raw serial console like:
screen /dev/ttyACM0
minicom -D /dev/ttyACM0

This will accept GSM modem commands prefixed with AT, and give information about the phone, and presumably allow a dialup-like interface.
Many of the examples on will work with the phone, depending on which manufacturer and capability set, presumably. With my Samsung Galaxy XCover 4, I got the GSM capability set.
Try playing around with this, but don't get charged by your provider too much for making calls you never end! Make sure you hang up properly as per the protocol.
For more on standard modem commands, see the Hayes command set article on Wikipedia.
That's all for now!

Retro dial-up network fun

I remember those days when your computer hissed and made strange noises in order to connect to the Internet. Today, most of us look back at those days in disdain. But for some, we want to repeat the same kind of experiences that we used to, just for the pure nostalgia of it. Some of the most remembered operating systems can take us back to those days.

Windows for Workgroups 3.11 is remembered for its Terminal application and ability to use a multitude of networking technologies to connect to networks back in the day.

DOS also had limited support for networks - but this required third party software, unless one would talk directly to "COM1" as it would name the serial device.

Windows 98, although it has proper TCP/IP and Ethernet card support built in and there's therefore no need to use serial for internet when virtualising, for the most part it is remembered for its dial-up connections, since when we were using it, no one had broadband yet. But one of the best things ab…

The solution to clickbait: put the answer in the title

And perhaps a short explanation or description of the details as a subtitle. Then maybe an in-depth description with history.

Break it up with paragraphs for easy reading, but don't put anything in between to break the readers' flow.

When you've finished, maybe explain how to get more of your ideas if you like, or some you particularly like, don't let an engine do it for you, since whenever that happens, it inevitably invades the users' privacy and shows them something inevitably irrelevant, because that's what pays the maker of the engine of "recommended links".

You'll then get liked and viewed more, because your content was easy to read, and wasn't riddled with irrelevancies that inevitably steal the users' attention, and think that the article has finished when it hasn't.

Now it has.

If you liked this, please check out more of my stuff, because I say things that are on my mind, rather than let machines speak for me for a quid.


Algebra is not hard

If I were to tell you that I was taking two apples and three oranges home, you'd know what I mean.

Algebra's the same.

You'd know that if I told you that my friend Geoff (I don't have a friend called Geoff) came home with three more apples and five more oranges, that we would have a fruit party, because we're pathetically hungry.

Using algebra is just the same as having shorthand. Maybe it's not the concept, but it's the shorthand that bothers some people?

I don't know that if algebra is difficult for one person then arithmetic is also difficult, but do let me know if it is this way for you!

All algebra's doing is giving things shorter names so that they can be manipulated more quickly. Perhaps that's where the issues start?

If this therefore confuses you, it may be something deeper.

I'm going to have the letter "r" short for oranges here, as having "o" is too much like zero:

2a + 3r + 3a + 5r = ?

Is it easier if I write i…