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Namecheap Shared Web Hosting Subdomain Dynamic DNS workaround!

EDIT: something still isn’t right in this. I’m investigating.

 

Oof. That title is a mouthful.

Here’s the rundown. pizzaboy192.com is registered via Namecheap. I also use them for hosting. I’m also cheap and it doesn’t need much, so it runs off shared hosting.
Up until about an hour ago, I was also using a free Dynamic DNS provider. I’ve used them for years. Every few weeks I have to click through the nag page to renew my free Dynamic DNS hostname because I’m cheap and don’t want to pay extra.

Then someone on reddit suggested I use Namecheap’s Dynamic DNS tools. Looked into it, looked easy enough.

Except the disclaimer where it says:

Dynamic DNS is a feature that allows you to point a domain to any IP, and the changes are almost immediate. It is available only for the domains pointed to our BasicDNS, PremiumDNS or FreeDNS.

Yeah, I’m on shared hosting, which means I use their webhost DNS. Even talking with their first level support, I got the same response: You can’t do that because your domain is on shared hosting. Bummer.

Then I talked to another support person last week. They got me about 80% of the way there. You can set up a subdomain to use the namecheap freedns. Here’s how:

Smash your desired subdomain into https://www.namecheap.com/domains/freedns/ and check out. it’ll create a sub section under your account’s domain with the Advanced DNS tab that you need for that oh-so-precious DynamicDNS password.

To configure your DynamicDNS updater client, where it typically asks for your domain, put in your subdomain.domain.tld instead of just your domain.tld that you have registered with namecheap, and it should start updating.

BUT WAIT. When I check the DNS records, I don’t have anything. WHY???
There’s an extra two steps you need to do.
1: make sure your subdomain is NOT set up in cpanel
2: contact namecheap support and tell them you want them to change the NS servers for subdomain.domain.tld to the FreeDNS NS servers. it’s under WHM and if you’re using shared hosting you don’t have access to it, but eventually you’ll get a tech who actually understands you and can set that for you. Takes only a few seconds on their part and it should be configured.

Then all you have to do is wait about 30 minutes for the dns to propagate and you should be golden.

HP officeJet Pro X476 firmware update issues

HP recently broke their firmware update for the OfficeJet Pro line of printers that are the Xx76 line. I’ve been fighting this printer for a few days now but have successfully gotten it fully updated after a bunch of hoopla and nonsense.

First, HP did their best to scrub a perfectly fine firmware update from the internet. Firmware revision 1604 was released to remove their silly 3rd party ink restrictions. There’s links to that firmware file everywhere, but HP pulled the file itself off their website. Don’t ask me why. They’re probably wanting to brick these printers in order to sell new ones for all I know.

Fortunately there’s at least one known download link for 1604 that works. Hopefully it keeps working. DriverGuide was kind enough to mirror most of the Xx76 line (X476, X576, etc) and they have the firmware! Just browse to your specific model and see if it’s there. The X476DN firmware wont work on an X476DW and vice versa. I’ve got the 1604 firmware for the DN and DW models of X476 and plan to mirror them soon, but for now DriverGuide is your best bet.

Next: You need to do some firmware jiggerpokery in order to step firmwares. You’ll also need an active network connection on the printer, along with a USB cable available.

First we need to prep the printer. Make sure it’s fully booted and then press the Home button, the back button, and then the Home button 3 more times. (It should start loading after 2 presses, but 3 just to be safe).

You should see a manufacturing mode menu. It’s really neat. Tap the Manufacturing Mode choice. You’ll see a blank screen and up\down arrows on the bottom. Scroll using those arrows to land at the “NVM\FIRMS clear” option. Press OK to enter that menu.

Scroll until you see “Clear Firms” and press OK. It will inform you that you need to reboot the printer. Do so by pressing the power button and allowing a graceful shutdown, followed by a normal power on procedure.

Plug in your USB cable, make sure Windows sees your printer, and run the 1604 firmware update tool. It should see and update to 1604 without issues.

Next, if HP E-Print \ Web Services are not enabled, do so. You will need internet access on the printer to do so, and to download the 1819 update.

Once E-Print services are enabled, Press the button to bring up the menu (Top right button, looks like a PDA with a few “wifi” lines on it). Once E-Print loads, press Settings. Then Printer Update, and Check for Update Now. it will download and install 1819 successfully.

Hopefully this works for you and should save a few headaches.

Diy scan cable for 3100 Chevy Corsica/Beretta

Ironic that I am throwing this together after I no longer drive my Corsica. Might as well toss this together though as a simple document for anyone else who doesn’t know how cheap it is to get all your sensor data from the Corsica. I know it works with the 94/95 years (should work on the 96 year as well) but you may need different ECU files for older years and different engines.

ALDL is the diagnostic system GM used before OBD 2 was developed. The plug is pretty well documented and easy to use. This cable is also well documented. I am just putting some information together for the Beretta and Corsica owners so that they can diagnose sensor and engine issues.

First you need an FT232RL cable or board. Clones may work, but official ones are best. I get mine off eBay, and buy from US sellers only. Price is twice as much as Chinese sellers but the quicker shipping is worth it. If you end up with a clone the official ftdi drivers will NOT work. No data is passed through clones. I will provide a link to drivers that do work with clones. This eBay link is a random one I found with wires included. No idea if it’s a fake or a real one but it looks like some I’ve used so it’s worth a shot.

You will also need some way to splice this cable into your car’s diagnostic port. On my 94 and 95 Corsica this was pin M for data and pin A for ground. You can use wire taps or cut the wires or use a cable end. I have done all of those options at different times. If you tap or splice, make sure your connections are isolated and clean. aldl

For software – use Tuner pro RT. It’s free, and supports the ECU very well. You will also need an ECU file. It will be attached to this post. I found it somewhere online but that was years ago. To find ECU files for other models you will need the GM part number off the ECU in your Corsica or Beretta. It’s behind the glove box. Easy to get to.

Wiring up is dead simple. On the ft232rl end, tie the TX AND RX pins together. Do this however you want. I use pin headers soldered together but you can do it however. Add a wire to the GND half as well. Run the TX/RX wire to pin M on the ALDL connection connect ground to ground.ft232rl

Next is to test your cable to see if you have a legit or a fake ftdi chip. A legit one will pass the tuner pro cable test. a fake one will fail it. To fix a fake chip, just install the older drivers and restart.

Gearhead-efi has a great write-up on this cable. (Thread titled “Uber easy diy USB ALDL cable”. )

HERE IS THE LINK TO THE COUNTERFEIT FT232 driver.

HERE ARE THE ECU DEFINITION FILES

Basic TunerPro RT tutorial:

Load ADX file (unzip files first) tunerpro2

tunerpro1.PNG

Set up cable (Cable shows up as a COM port. Just pick right one. Press “TEST” button to see if it’s legit or not). tunerpro3.PNG

Push the highlighted button to connect to the car’s ECU as long as the car is ON (Does not need to be running but doesn’t hurt).

tunerpro4.PNG

To load up drivers on a fake FTDI chip, extract the drivers linked. (go to 7-zip.org to extract if you don’t have it installed yet).

Open Device Manager (Windows 10: Right click flag in corner, choose device manager. All Windows: Press Windows button and R on keyboard to open Run dialog, type devmgmt.msc )

Find your FT232RL device (should be under Ports (COM & LPT). Right click your device, choose “update driver”, press “Browse for Drivers” and then “Let me choose” or “Let me Pick” Click Have Disk, and point it to the file in the FT232RL folder you got from the drivers file. It should install and start working.

Classic Gameboy Cellphone Cartridge – Thought page

So a comment on Reddit got me thinking: How hard would it be to make a specialty cartridge for the Classic Gameboy handheld that contains a GSM radio, an antenna, and possibly a battery? Calling would be a secondary function, but the ability to text via Classic Gameboy. That’s a neat idea.

Step 1: Research. How many different ways are there to make cartridges?

Turns out there’s quite a few. One is just a PCB with a flash chip and possibly a memory controller. The other, more feasable method will be the STM32F4 method. Why not stand on the shoulders of giants?

Step 2: How would it work?

With any cartridge, you need a ROM, and since we’re using a GSM module, we’ll need a way to communicate. Option 1: PCB with flash chip and memory controller, you’d have to talk over the link cable socket. The basic method doesn’t support games that have saves or writing back to the chip.

Option 2 is the way we could easily implement this. Dhole seems to have figured out how to make the Gameboy read & write back to an emulated cartridge. This is to our advantage.

I have literally no idea how difficult this would be, but here is the basic concept:

Part 1: Software.

The ROM for the gameboy would require a basic UI to control the modem. Commands like calling, texting, and sending data (if supported by the GSM module) would be written back to the cartridge’s writable memory area (think save file, with the command being the part that is saved). The STM32F4 would then read the memory area every X number of cycles and execute commands to the GSM module. You’d need two sets of programming. One to run the GUI and save commands, and another piggyback program on the cartridge emulator to read the saved data periodically and do whatever it wants.

Part 2: Hardware.

For the hardware, we’d need either an STM32F4 or other compatible piece of hardware. Since the software to emulate a cartridge is already written and the process well documented, why reinvent the wheel. We also need a GSM module. For just texting, a $10 SIM800L Arduino module would work well. If you want to add voice, you’ll need to upgrade to something like the Adafruit Fona module (About $40 right now) or some other GSM Voice module (I’ve found them between $20 and $90 on eBay)

If you want to go completely crazy, you could use something like an Odroid or Raspberry Pi Zero and reinvent the wheel, using the research done and the example code provided.

That’s all I have now. I have no idea how to make this a reality, but it seemed like it would most certainly be possible to accomplish.

Windows Phone App Review: Pako

Pako is, for all intents and purposes, Grand Theft Auto, in your pocket. The gameplay is reminiscent of Driver: You Are The Wheelman for Gameboy Color, and some of the first installments of the GTA series.

Gameplay is amazingly simple. You are driving a small car, in a small world. Your entire goal is to outrun the cops, and not crash. Seems simple, right? As soon as you start playing, you realize just how difficult of a game this can be. Control is broken down into two sides of the screen. Press the left side to turn left, and the right side to turn right. You cannot slow down. You drive, forever, until you crash.

Pako is not a new app on the Windows Phone Marketplace. The game, in one form or another, has been around since at least 2014. It is currently available on all three of the major mobile platforms, thanks to the Unity engine it is based on. There is even a global scoreboard to compete against everyone else who plays the game.

Fortunately, this decent amount of time available on multiple platforms means that the app has matured greatly from it’s humble beginnings in 2014. Multiple levels, multiple vehicles, and even an option to remove Ads makes this app a very strong game to play. It’s availability across platforms means you can even suggest it to friends and enjoy friendly competition.

If you’re looking for a simple game that has endless possibilities, Pako is a very good contender.

Here’s where to grab it.

UNIVERSAL INSTALLER IS HERE!

Hi Everyone

I know it’s been a while since Outlook 2016 was released, just thought I’d share my latest update.

I’ve created a new installer, new way of patching, everything is self-contained now. Just select your version from the drop-down menu and click!

Also, I’ve designed it so you can designate your install location, just in case you have a Palm install that isn’t in C:\Program Files (x86)\Palm, but instead an older version using the PalmOne name or other variations.

The new, updated setup file is available either directly from http://pizzaboy192.com/downloads/SetupUniversal.exe or by visiting http://pizzaboy192.com/download/ to grab the file.

I have tested this update a little bit, but for the most part it is the old files from the older patches, just rolled into one installer.

Please let me know if you run into issues. I haven’t made one of these installers from scratch in nearly 5 years, so I am a little rusty.

You can also visit http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Palm-and-WebOS/Patch-Update-Universal-Outlook-2010-2013-2016-Hotsync-update/td-p/5474835 for the Palm Forum thread.

Enjoy!

Palm Hotsync with Outlook 2016 — update

Hi everyone,
Quick update on the Palm Hotsync Outlook 2016 patch.

First, It’s been over 5 years since the initial revision of the patch was released. The fact that I still get asked about it and getting support requests is amazing.

Second, I have a patch working for Outlook 2016. I do not own Outlook 2016 or any of the Office 2016 suite yet, but I have verified the patch working with at least one beta tester.

I am planning on releasing not only the 2016 patch, but an updated, universal installer and some other information in the next few weeks.

Unfortunately, I cannot promise an actual timeline for this. I plan to have a manual patch and instructions available by this weekend and a download link on my site. I am extremely busy with other life things, but know how much this means to a dedicated user base of Palm devices. I promise I will have it together soon. If you REALLY need to get Hotsync working with Outlook 2016, please feel free to email me or something and I will get you the beta patch I have.

Also, expect a new video soon explaining the universal installer and how it works.

That’s all for now. Enjoy!

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