how to,Tinkering

root galaxy s3 on mac

21 Jul , 2013  

Android Download screen

This a quick way to root galaxy s3 on mac,tested with android 4.1.2 or better and with the international version of the phone.

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iPod & iPhone

Wet iPhone dissection

11 Jul , 2010  

My iPhone has been doing great since 2007, and no matter which kind of  “essential” features apple threw out in newer models, I was still pretty happy with my 2G… until yesterday, when it accidentally fell out of my hands and was dropped into water! The phone is dead, but at least I can have the pleasure of taking it apart.

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linux,Tinkering

ATOM/ION nas home server

18 Feb , 2010  

The replacement motherboard for my home server has finally arrived! This is the ‘master’ post in which I’ll detail the configuration of the system, from software services to integration in the home network (MAC/WIN/LIN).
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Tinkering

WordPress upgrade to 2.9.1: error 500

19 Jan , 2010  

Just got through a wordpress upgrade and got a 500 internal server error instead of your site? Here is my quick fix! Maybe it can save your site too.

Just a word before everything else: remember to backup just right before an upgrade. It’s been said millions of times, but for sure it’s never enough.

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Tinkering

Put that old stereo of yours to good use

24 Aug , 2009  

If you are like me you spent all of your teen years listening to music like mad, with your best friend from the past: a big, bulky and weirdly shaped stereo system with speakers. Here’s mine.

My old stereo system

My old stereo system

I never use it now: all my music is on the server or on my macbook, and thinking of CD’s and tape decks looks so retro these days. But what to do with it? I’ve turned mine in a fancy pair of bluetooth enabled speakers. With 10$.

I’ve bought a bluetooth headset from Hong Kong, off ebay. The quality is what you should expect: plastic feeling and headphones that break upon the moment you put them in your ear. But who cares: the headset is the important part. Even more important is that the headset you buy off ebay is A2DP capable, that is capable of delivering stereo sound.

Second step is making sure your hardware (phone, PC, MAC) supports the A2DP protocol as well. My black macbook does, and most likely your average 2-3 years old mac does too. And also make sure that your old beast has an auxiliary audio in port, but, again, most of them had this option.

Third step is to have a RCA to headphone jack cable (YMMV according to your stereo model), in order to link the headset to the stereo.

A junk headset and an old cable.

A junk headset and an old cable.

Finally it’s a matter of pairing the headset with the computer, plug it into your stereo and enjoy wireless music with a decent quality.

Well… to tell the truth quality is not the best feature of this setup… but surplisingly not because of the headset: I realized just how bad sounded my dusty stereo after years of in-ear headphone crystal-clearness. No dinamycs at all: I just had to shut it down. Probably its place is the junkyard now.

But I have also an iHome with a more decent sound output: the sound quality came back ok after trying the headset with it, and now I’m happy with my new bluetooth speakers. Next step is to integrate everything in order to keep that piece of plastic from HK always on, leeching supply from the iHome. But that’s for another time.

Sorry, old bulky dusty stereo, but modern tech has beaten you off one more time.

Coding,iPod & iPhone

Lyricwiki.org API ban workaround

4 Aug , 2009  

Lyrics can be fetched again from lyricwiki.org in spite of the ban of the API from major music producers. One more little victory of digital freedom!

Yesterday night I was so frustrated by my widget not working anymore that I had to find a solution. The workaround was very simple indeed: the lyricwiki.org lyrics pages have the author and the song title embedded in the URL of the page, with little or no difference from the previous REST method to access lyrics.

Check out the posts of the dashboard widget and the massive lyrics script for updates: I’m going to fix them soon so that they work again!

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Coding,iPod & iPhone

Simple Lyrics Widget: dadelyrics

17 Jul , 2009  

a screenshot of the widget

a screenshot of the widget

I built a simple lyrics widget playing around with dashcode. I’m sure there could be many improvements on the concept, but I wanted something as simple as possible to have quick and dirty dashboard lyrics.

It displays the lyrics from the current track playing in iTunes, taking them from the lyrics field.

The Lightning button will see if there is no lyric content in the iTunes song. If it is so, it interrogates lyricwiki.org and add the lyrics to the iTunes track.

in order to use the widget you have to run these commands in the terminal.

sudo gem install rb-appscript
sudo gem install curb

To have all your songs with lyrics added automatically check out my massive lyrics update script! Have fun!

iPod & iPhone

Massive iTunes lyrics update

17 Jul , 2009  

UPDATE: since there were some problems with appscript and the whole ruby script method wasn’t that user-friendly, I’ve made an osx app to do the work. You can find it here

I recently found a fantastic website to get lyrics for songs: lyricwiki.org
No ads and plenty of lyrics available for free, even for italian artists or pretty unknown songs. I was also pleased to discover that the website offers an handy REST interface to fetch (or upload) lyrics from scripts update: I found a workaround to retrieve the lyrics without the banned lyricwiki API: read more here.

So I coded a script to fetch and update the lyrics for the selected songs in iTunes automatically. It cycles through all the selected songs and if it finds the lyrics on lyricwiki it puts them into the corresponding field of the iTunes track. I tested the script on my whole library and – after 5 minutes – most of my tracks had lyrics attached.

massivelyrics More…

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Tinkering

Server is dead

6 Jul , 2009  

After three years of service my noisy home server is dead. I used it for torrent and storage of important backups, and now I have all my important (and not so important) stuff  lost on it.. so what to do? build a better one obviously!!!

watermelon server.. RIP

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iPod & iPhone

Offline webclips for the iPhone

21 Jun , 2008  

I did a lot of job interviews in Milan lately and I needed a way to have the subway map handy when I was in a hurry and with no wifi… so why not saving it on the iPhone for offline viewing? Here’s the map I want to use!

Milan subway system map

I knew that some hacks allowed reading PDFs on the iPhone offline, but that required having some bookmarks in safari both on the iPhone and on the Mac, or to mail it to yourself, but those methods aren’t so practical!

Instead it is possible to create handy offline webclips on your iPhone by using some simple steps!
A webclip is simply a web link with an icon that the iPhone puts among the icons in your springboard. In this tutorial we will create a webclip that instead does not connect to the internet, but displays your document right away! Let’s get started!
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