2008-06-26

iPhone hang, Cydia crash, and apt-get bus error

I wanted to install a new application through Cydia today. When I tapped Cydia's Install button, though, Cydia and the entire iPhone froze. The usual power off button didn't work, and I couldn't ssh into it. Thankfully, other people knew how to power off and reboot a hung iPhone.

I tried to run Cydia again, and it crashed immediately. I tried to reinstall Cydia, but there was a seemingly bigger problem:
mirex:~ root# apt-get install cydia
Bus errorackage lists... 0%
mirex:~ root#
andreev2001 had a good suggestion, but it had the same result:
mirex:~ root# apt-get update
Get:1 http://apt.saurik.com tangelo Release.gpg [189B]
Get:2 http://www.zodttd.com stable Release.gpg [189B]
Hit http://www.zodttd.com stable Release
Hit http://apt.saurik.com tangelo Release
Get:3 http://modmyifone.com stable Release.gpg [189B]
Ign http://www.zodttd.com stable/main Packages/DiffIndex
Get:4 http://repo.smxy.org xena Release.gpg [189B]
Hit http://modmyifone.com stable Release
Ign http://apt.bigboss.us.com stable Release.gpg
Ign http://www.zodttd.com stable/main Packages
Get:5 http://apt.bigboss.us.com stable Release [147B]
Hit http://repo.smxy.org xena Release
Ign http://apt.saurik.com tangelo/main Packages/DiffIndex
Hit http://www.zodttd.com stable/main Packages
Ign http://apt.bigboss.us.com stable/main Packages/DiffIndex
Ign http://modmyifone.com stable/main Packages/DiffIndex
Ign http://apt.saurik.com tangelo/main Packages
Ign http://modmyifone.com stable/main Packages
Ign http://apt.bigboss.us.com stable/main Packages
Hit http://modmyifone.com stable/main Packages
Ign http://repo.smxy.org xena/main Packages/DiffIndex
Hit http://apt.saurik.com tangelo/main Packages
Get:6 http://apt.bigboss.us.com stable/main Packages [30.5kB]
Ign http://repo.smxy.org xena/main Packages
Hit http://repo.smxy.org xena/main Packages
Fetched 30.8kB in 3s (9145B/s)
Bus errorackage lists... 0%
mirex:~ root#
Fedor had the definitive solution:
mirex:~ root# rm /var/cache/apt/*.bin
mirex:~ root# apt-get update
Get:1 http://modmyifone.com stable Release.gpg [189B]
Ign http://apt.bigboss.us.com stable Release.gpg
Get:2 http://apt.saurik.com tangelo Release.gpg [189B]
Get:3 http://www.zodttd.com stable Release.gpg [189B]
Get:4 http://repo.smxy.org xena Release.gpg [189B]
Get:5 http://apt.bigboss.us.com stable Release [147B]
Hit http://apt.saurik.com tangelo Release
Hit http://repo.smxy.org xena Release
Hit http://www.zodttd.com stable Release
Ign http://apt.bigboss.us.com stable/main Packages/DiffIndex
Ign http://apt.saurik.com tangelo/main Packages/DiffIndex
Ign http://apt.saurik.com tangelo/main Packages
Ign http://repo.smxy.org xena/main Packages/DiffIndex
Ign http://apt.bigboss.us.com stable/main Packages
Ign http://www.zodttd.com stable/main Packages/DiffIndex
Hit http://apt.saurik.com tangelo/main Packages
Ign http://repo.smxy.org xena/main Packages
Get:6 http://apt.bigboss.us.com stable/main Packages [30.5kB]
Ign http://www.zodttd.com stable/main Packages
Hit http://repo.smxy.org xena/main Packages
Hit http://www.zodttd.com stable/main Packages
Hit http://modmyifone.com stable Release
Ign http://modmyifone.com stable/main Packages/DiffIndex
Ign http://modmyifone.com stable/main Packages
Hit http://modmyifone.com stable/main Packages
Fetched 30.8kB in 4s (7324B/s)
Reading package lists... Done
mirex:~ root#
Problem solved. Cydia ran properly again, and I installed the new application.

2008-06-23

iPhone Google Calendar sync with Nemus Sync

Since day one, I had been looking for a way to synchronize the iPhone and my Google Calendar over the air, like I used to do with GooSync on the Pocket PC. Today, I discovered the relatively new application Nemus Sync and took it for a spin. I installed both the Google Data Objective-C client library and Nemus Sync through Cydia. Plenty of other people have documented installation and setup. It was easy, and the initial OTA sync from Google Calendar took about 30 minutes.

2008-06-17

Living in the cloud

I almost never bring my laptop home, so I almost never bring my laptop to the office. Yesterday was no exception: I didn't bring my laptop to the office, even though I had brought it home the previous day.

How could I possibly get anything done without my PC? Fortunately, I live in the cloud. I do almost all of my work through Firefox and web app's. I borrowed a surplus PC and got to work. Here are some examples of web app's I depend on:
  • GMail: All of my new email arrives here, regardless of the destination address. Almost all of me old email, dating back over 15 years, lives here, too.
  • Google Calendar: All my appointments. I still need a good way to sync this with the iPhone native calendar.
  • Google Docs: Almost all of my documents are here, including all my work notes and my work to do list.
  • Google Browser Sync: All my bookmarks are here, including links to these web app's.
  • Meebo: All my contacts, all my IM accounts, both on the PC and on the iPhone.
  • Skype: All my contacts
There are others, but these got me through the workday. If only I had a good inexpensive replacement for Project, everything would be in the cloud.

2008-06-10

How to recover your QuickBooks product and license numbers

When you purchase QuickBooks through the Intuit web store, Intuit gives you an installer file to download, a license number, and a product number. The license number and product number are available on the web store for three years, after which Intuit removes the purchase record.

I wanted to move my QuickBooks installation to a new computer, but I had no record of my license number and product number. The solution? Run regedit and view registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Intuit/QuickBooksRegistration/15.0/pro. (I have a license for the "pro" version of QuickBooks.) Look for entries with names like InstallID and LicenseNumber. LicenseNumber is your license number, and InstallID is your product ID. I recovered my license and product numbers, installed QuickBooks on the new PC, and I was all set.

2008-06-08

How to create your own iPhone ringtone for free

Want to create your own iPhone ringtone? Here's how.

First, download and install an audio editing tool. In this article, I use Audacity 1.2.6. I also installed LADSPA plugins 0.4.15.

Run Audacity and open your favorite audio file. I open an MP3 of the Bang Camaro theme song.

Find 20 or 30 seconds of the song that you want to use as your ringtone. I think I like the section from about 1:10 to 1:40, so I zoom in, mark it, and play it. I repeat until I can mark exactly the section I want, from about 1:06 to about 1:24. I click the Trim outside section button, and all that's left is the section that will become my ringtone.

Zoom in on the beginning of the section. Mark the first second, and select Effect / Fade In. Zoom in on the end of the section, mark the last second, and select Effect / Fade Out. Play it from beginning to end--this is what your ringtone will sound like on the phone.

Select File / Export As WAV, and save the file. You are done creating the ringtone snip.

Now convert the WAV file to an iPhone ringtone file. Run iTunes 7.6.2.9. Select File / Add File to Library..., and add the WAV file to your iTunes Music Library.

Select Edit / Preferences... and click the Advanced tab. Change Import Using: to AAC Encoder, and click OK.

Find the WAV file in your iTunes Music Library, select it, and select Advanced / Convert Selection to AAC.

iTunes saves the new file with the extension .m4a. Use the file explorer or a shell prompt to change the file's extension to .m4r. I do it in bash:
my-pc$ cd /cygdrive/c/Documents\ and\ Settings/kasper/My\ Documents/My\ Music/Unknown\ Artist/Unknown\ Album/
my-pc$ mv 12\ Bang\ Camaro\ ringtone.m4a 12\ Bang\ Camaro\ ringtone.m4r
Copy the file to your iPhone. I use scp:
my-pc$ scp 12\ Bang\ Camaro\ ringtone.m4r root@192.168.1.104:/Library/Ringtones
root@192.168.1.104's password:

12 Bang Camaro ringtone.m4r 100% 298KB 297.8KB/s 00:00
ssh to your iPhone and modify the ringtone file's properties. Change its permissions from -rwx------ to -rw-rw-r--, and change its group from wheel to admin:
my-pc$ ssh root@192.168.1.104
root@192.168.1.104's password:

Last login: Sat Jun 7 22:47:24 2008 from 192.168.1.101

kasper's iPhone:~ root# cd /Library/Ringtones

kasper's iPhone:/Library/Ringtones root# chmod 664 12\ Bang\ Camaro\ ringtone.m4r

kasper's iPhone:/Library/Ringtones root# chown root:admin 12\ Bang\ Camaro\ ringtone.m4r

kasper's iPhone:/Library/Ringtones root# ls -l

total 3084
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root admin 304938 Jun 7 23:07 12\ Bang\ Camaro\ ringtone.m4r

-rw-rw-r-- 1 root admin 373092 Jul 30 2007 Alarm.m4r

-rw-rw-r-- 1 root admin 56893 Jul 30 2007 Ascending.m4r

...
On your iPhone, tap the Home button, then Settings / Sounds / Ringtone. You'll see your new ringtone in the list. Select it, give yourself a call, and enjoy.

Some of these sources gave me the clues I needed:

2008-06-07

iPhone screen shots: Capture

If you want pretty screen shots to accompany your iPhone blog entries, then you want Capture. Capture is easy to install through Cydia, where it lives in the Utilities category.

Capture save screen shots under ~mobile/Media/DCIM/100APPLE. Use scp or the Windows file explorer to move them to your PC, and upload them to your blog from there.

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