Lately there seems to be a rash of the APT package management system suddenly dying on Debian / Ubuntu based systems.  Troubleshooting this on a Linux Mint 17 install using MATE, we discovered several possible palliative measures along with a working solution to the problem of apt hitting a segmentation fault and crashing during cache loading. Continue reading “Troubleshooting Apt, Aptitude and Synaptic Crashing” »

Over the last few years, Samsung has emerged as the foremost Android device manufacturer.  While their customized user interface Touchwiz is not without issues and their addiction to bloatware is second to none, the fact remains that Samsung puts out high quality hardware with boatloads of good software features and apps as well.

Nowhere is this more apparent than the Note line of products.  With the line’s innovative features, notably the distinctive large form factor and the lovingly engineered stylus and S Pen app infrastructure, these flagship products are truly marvellous chunks of glass and copper.  And while the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2″ tablet isn’t perfect, it is far and away the best tablet available for it’s target market.

Continue reading “Review: Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2″ (SM-P9000ZKVXAR)” »


  1. Setting the Static IP Address in the Modem
  2. Obtaining the PPPoE Login Credentials from the Modem
  3. Configuring the Replacement Router
  4. Setting the Modem’s Router to Transparent Bridge
  5. Connecting the Replacement Router and Modem

While CenturyLink definitely has sub-par speeds and poor customer service compared to other ISPs, they are a good choice for a home business or serious computing enthusiast for a few reasons:

  • Unlike most ISPs, they do not block consumer accounts on ports 80, 443, 25, etc.  In other words, one can host one’s own servers for websites, email, etc.
  • They offer static IPs for consumer accounts (highly unusual!), and the monthly charge is reasonable (currently $5).
  • While their speeds are low, their prices are reasonable.

Unfortunately the modem + router supplied (ActionTec C1000A) is pretty poor, and while it offers a decent range of features the level of control is not adequate for any serious networking (eg, mapping incoming ports to different local ports).  In order to get the most out of a CenturyLink connection, it’s necessary to use a different router and so the provided unit’s router needs must be re-purposed as a transparent bridge.

While easy enough to do, the process is complicated by the fact that the replacement router also needs to be set up with PPPoE credentials that are not provided by CenturyLink by default, in conjunction with CenturyLink’s terrible website simply failing to redirect or display help or FAQ pages – sadly, this “please wait” redirection page is a not uncommon end point when clicking around on CenturyLink’s website:

CenturyLink Fail

A good alternative resource for information on the ActionTec C1000A can be found on Rachel Bauer’s Setup Router.

Continue reading “How to Set Up a CenturyLink Router as a Transparent Bridge” »

While the average consumer and SMB class router these days is quite powerful, their full potential is usually heavily limited by the stock firmware installed by manufacturers.  While limiting available options by collecting them behind an ‘advanced’ section is an excellent idea for guiding the Joe User, cutting advanced feature access out altogether is a disservice to the more technically savvy.  Why provide high capability devices at all if they are only going to hamstrung out of the starting gate by the stock firmware’s GUI?

  1. DD-WRT – What is it?
  2. ASUS RT-N66U – Why choose this router?
  3. Which DD-WRT Version to use with the RT-N66U
  4. Installing DD-WRT on the RT-N66U

Continue reading “How to Install DD-WRT on the ASUS RT-N66U” »

The latest Samsung Galaxy Note III Android upgrade is from 4.3.0 (Jellybean) to 4.4.2 (KitKat) and mostly offers some performance boosts with a few cosmetic upgrades.  Rooting is a bit difficult, unfortunately, thanks to most manufacturers + carriers striving to lock users out of their own devices – something that has few benefits to the user, but is enormously to the manufacturers + carriers’ advantage.  However, there are always people and groups that are able to get around the policy to unlock the full hardware and software potentials of Android mobile devices so that users may be in complete control of their devices.  This article roots a model SM-N900W8 (see the N9000 specs) from  the Canadian carrier WIND Mobile (almost identical to the T-Mobile model) via a Windows 7 PC with the Odin firmware flashing software installed. Continue reading “How to Root Samsung Note 3 with Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)” »

Samsung’s Galaxy Note III has a truly gorgeous screen, boasting one of the brightest screens available at 660 cd/m2 with extremely high contrast to match.  Strangely, Samsung has opted to set the default DPI to a screen space wasting 480 (388 PPI) – wasting the huge amount of available screen space (though still an impressive HD 1920×1080 – the same pixel resolution as a 50 inch living room HDTV!).  With a rooted Android device though, nearly anything can be customized and the screen DPI / resolution is no exception. Continue reading “Samsung Note 3 Optimization: Higher Screen Resolution (DPI)” »

The Note III is Samsung’s latest offering in the oversized phone market (or for those of us with larger hands, the “finally a phone that doesn’t feel like a toy!” market).  This amazing powerhouse of a machine could easily double as a laptop replacement if coupled with a dock.  That being said, it also comes preloaded with an amazing outhouse’s worth of bloatware.  While Samsung’s S Pen apps are great apps, there are definite advantages in being able to pick and choose exactly what apps and Samsung ecosystem infrastructure are on a device as opposed to running the entire stack – which is waste of CPU cycles, RAM, bandwidth, and most important of all battery life.

Google’s apps on the phone suffer from the same issue, and of course there is a healthy dose of carrier bloatware to boot (how much there is depending on your carrier).  Thankfully Samsung’s phones are still based on Android (until Samsung brings Tizen onto the market later in 2014, at least), and with root there is complete control over a device’s software.  As such, the Note 3 can easily be optimized via bloatware removal. Continue reading “Samsung Note 3 Optimization: Getting Rid of the Bloatware” »

Some manufacturers or carriers may hide some settings from the end users, making life difficult if you want to do something simple like enable MTP when you connect your Android phone to your computer.  However many of these settings can still be accessed via dial codes – and the USB to PC connection mode is one of those. Continue reading “Getting an Android Phone to Connect to a Computer using USB” »

Many Canon printers make use of a specialized interface called UFR II.  However, Linux doesn’t support the (highly proprietary) UFR II interface out of the box, and Canon’s website often doesn’t list the driver download as an option for some printers such as the imageCLASS MF6590.  However, you can still download and install the drivers… if you know where to find them! Continue reading “Tutorial: Linux Driver for Canon UFR II & UFR II LT Printers” »

RAID is a wonderful way to achieve faster disk access speeds, data security or both.  Here’s some ways to get the most bang for your buck out of setting up a RAID: Continue reading “Tips for RAID Setup” »