Review: Zenithink ZT-180 ePad

The release of the iPad has inspired many copy-cat devices, mostly originating from China. The Zenithink ZT-180 ePad is one of these devices, recently released with Android 2.1 as it’s OS. Being a Google fanboy, the idea of a 1Ghz tablet running Android had me very intruiged and I ordered one for $AU280.

I was excited to receive it and have a tinker. I quickly discovered that it is an absolute piece of garbage and here is why:

1. It does not in fact have a 1Ghz processor as advertisied, it is an ARM11 CPU with a coreclock of 800MHz. The OS is sluggish and it often freezes for 5-10 seconds as it catches up with what I am trying to do.
2. It has a resistive touch screen, not a capacitive one like the iPad. This makes it frustrating to use. It is also not multi touch. (Explained here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touchscreen#Technologies)
3. There is no access to the Android Market out of the box. You can get access to the market by following a series of unnecessarily complicated steps, which I did and they indeed work a treet. I have a lot of respect for the people who hacked this together. (http://bobhood.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/android-market-and-the-zenithink-zt-180/)
4. The wifi antenna is on a PCB, and about the size of a match stick. This causes the wifi to drop out if you walk more than 5m away from your access point.
5. It is called an ePad, with the ‘e’ of their logo directly ripped off from the Microsoft Internet Explorer logo.

But like a puppy with only three legs, it is impossible not to simultaneously love this device. It shows so much potential and I can’t wait for an Android tablet from a decent hardware manufacturer. Even with the above major flaws it is much better than an iPad in the following ways:

1. It has USB ports, allowing you to plug in a wide variety of peripherals such as web cams, USB sticks and 3G modems.
2. It has a MicroSD slot which means you can upgrade the memory whenever you damn please. You can also have more than one storage device for it allowing you to copy movies or music to it without having to bollocks around with itunes or DRM. At the time of writing 16GB and 32GB microSD cards cost $60 and $110 respectively.
3. It plays a wide variety of formats like Divx, and it allegedly does this in 1080p.
4. You can install apps from the internet without having to go through the market place. Just click on a link on the developers website, or even have a friend email the application to you.
5. It multi-tasks quite well.
6. If you use the Google cloud, then this is a perfect companion for checking your emails, calendar or documents when you’re on the couch and can’t be bothered waiting for your laptop to boot.
7. Using apps from the Android store, you can access file shares from other computers in your house using Wifi.

You have to hand it to Apple though, they’ve once again found a piece of technology that has existed for many years and re-invented it as something that excites people. I thank them for re-launching the tablet PC world with the enthusiasm it deserves.

At the end of the day, considering ZT-180 is 1/3rd the price of an iPad, you really can’t expect much. It shows excellent potential and will continue to keep an eye on the Android tablet PC market. There are some exciting projects in the pipeline from people like Samsung and Asus which will be worth a look.

I love living in the future.

UPDATE::
Since upgrading the device firmware to the latest version the device is infinitely more stable and the touch screen is somehow a lot more responsive.

Remove Buzz From Your Inbox

So my gmail turned into Google Buzz this morning .. Google’s instant method for launching into the social media space. The first thing that annoyed me was .. why are buzz updates appearing in my Gmail Inbox?

My GMAIL inbox is for EMAIL – not social media status updates ..

It’s a bit of a hack to get rid of them but here goes;

1) Up the top click the “Create a filter” link (next to the search box)

2) Where it says “has the words” .. type in “label:buzz” (without the quotes of course)

3) Click “Next Step” (Ignore the warning that pops up ..)

3) Then tick the box which says “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)”

4) Then click “Create Filter”

Done! Now all buzz notifications will NOT be displayed in your GMAIL inbox. Want to turn off Buzz completely? Luckily is a piece of pie. Scroll to the bottom of Gmail and click the “turn off buzz” link. BOOM; buzz is gone and your Inbox is safe.

How To: Kaspersky Anti-Spam

Every network administrator at some stage in their career will come into trouble with the influx of spam during their career because, quite simply, spammers are smart. If you did a Google search for “Linux Anti-Spam”, you’ll be bombarded with tutorials using the infamous, free, SpamAssassin software. However if spamassassin isn’t quite cutting it, you may want to give Kaspersky Anti-Spam 3.0 a whirl. (Please note, Kaspersky Anti-Spam 3 isn’t free and requires a per mailbox licensing fee)

The name Kaspersky is gaining quite a name globally, originally an Anti-Virus engine; Kaspersky Labs has developed tools to help assist network managers fight malicious attacks in all forms of life; spam, viruses, spy-ware and phis-hing attempts. Kaspersky’s anti-spam product, titled appropriately, Kaspersky Anti-Spam 3.0, is able to integrate with your existing Linux smtp engine to filter spam for your users. Kaspersky Anti-Spam (and from now on known as KAS) is able to integrate with;

- Qmail
- Sendmail
- Exim
- Postfix

Getting started

The first step is to obtain the package which suits your Linux distribution. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll install KAS using the debian packaged file.

Grab Kaspersky Anti-Spam here

wget http://dnl-eu8.kaspersky-labs.com/products/english/antispam/deb/kas-3-3.0.284-1.i386.deb
dpkg -i kas-3-3.0.284-1.i386.deb

Once KAS has been installed, it will show on the screen a number of steps you must perform to complete the installation. This includes installing the license key, enabling automatic updates and integrating KAS with your SMTP engine.

Configuring

You’ll need to transfer your kaspersky anti-spam license key file (.key) to the server so you can perform the following task;

/usr/local/ap-mailfilter3/bin/install-key /path/to/your/keyfile.key

The great thing about KAS3 over KAS2 is the web interface. Kaspersky Labs has developed a web interface, allowing you to configure various components of the software.

To access the web interface from a computer other than the one KAS is installed on, you’ll need to make a change to this file;

nano /usr/local/ap-mailfilter3/etc/kas-thttpd.conf

and uncomment the line

#host=0.0.0.0

Finishing up

Once that’s done, you can simply type in your browser; http://ip-of-kas-server:3080 and whola! You’re away. I won’t delve into how to configure the application as its pretty self explanatory. Simply hit the policy page and configure the action rules, which state what should happen to SPAM once detected (whether it should be deleted, redirected etc).

Screenshots

Essential BlackBerry Apps

A blackberry is one of those phones that once you’ve had one, you’ll never go back. (We’ll keep the iphone vs blackberry banter to a minimal shall we?). I wanted to share with you a few blackberry apps that I find essential and allow my blackberry to become more than just a communication device, but a full blown information portal.

Google Maps

Stock standard with many devices these days – an essential tool for any blackberry. Has the ability to pinpoint your location to find out where you are (within 200m). Great for those times when your not sure what train station your at ..

Dope Wars

Just a bit of fun …

Google Talk

A must have tool to keep in touch with friends and family, anywhere!

Viigo

Viigo .. is just awesome. An RSS feeder for your blackberry, keeping you informed on just about any topic thinkable. You’ll never read a newspaper again.

SSH on Blackberry (Mobile SSH)

Had troubles connecting to SSH servers using my Blackberry Pearl … Until I found the following;

While all Rove products are able to connect through the BlackBerry Internet Service, Research in Motion blocks all ports from 1-1024 except for ports 80 and 443 so the default ports for SSH and Telnet are blocked.

I followed Jonesy’s guide to allow SSHD to run on multiple ports and whoala – it works.

SQL Query to export/list all users in your Blackberry Server Farm

If you want a fast and easy way to list all the Blackberry users in your farm, with relevant information, run the below SQL query against the BESMgmt database on your Blackberry SQL database.

It will return the following information:
Users Display name
BES Server they are on
Exchange server their mailbox is on
PIN of their BES
IT Policy they are using
Software Configuration they are using
Model of their Blackberry
Versions of their BES software
IEME of their Blackberry

select userconfig.DisplayName as [Name], ServerConfig.ServiceName as [BES Server] , userconfig.ServerDN [Exchange Server], userconfig.pin as [PIN], ITPolicy2.PolicyName as [IT Policy], HandHeldConfig.Name as [Software Configuration], SyncDeviceMgmtSummary.ModelName as [BBModel], SyncDeviceMgmtSummary.PlatformVer as [PlatformVer], SyncDeviceMgmtSummary.AppsVer as [AppsVer], SyncDeviceMgmtSummary.IMEI as [IMEI], UserConfig.CreationTime as [CreationTime] FROM UserConfig left JOIN ServerConfig ON UserConfig.ServerConfigID = ServerConfig.ID left JOIN ITPolicy2 ON UserConfig.ITPolicy2Id = ITPolicy2.ID left JOIN UserStats ON UserConfig.ID = UserStats.ID left JOIN HandHeldConfig ON HandHeldConfig.ID = UserConfig.HandHeldConfigID left JOIN SyncDeviceMgmtSummary ON SyncDeviceMgmtSummary.UserConfigID = UserConfig.ID

Kaspersky Anti-Spam Error – Failed to clear reserve dir

I noticed that on one of the firewalls I work on, that the Anti-Spam updates were failing. The logs revealed;

[03-01-2008 12:25:57 A] File 'upd_terms_recent.trb.bz2' downloaded
[03-01-2008 12:25:57 E] Failed to clear reserve dir
[03-01-2008 12:25:57 F] Update 'Kaspersky Anti-Spam 3.0' failed

I fixed it by deleting the local update database and then manually starting an update.

mail:# rm -rf /usr/local/ap-mailfilter3/cfdata/bases/*
mail:# /usr/local/ap-mailfilter3/bin/keepup2date -c /usr/local/ap-mailfilter3/etc/keepup2date.conf

Reset Password Trend Micro OfficeScan Corporate

To save you the grief of a long wait, here is how to reset the password on office scan corp

To reset this, first go to the servers C:\Program Files\Trend\OfficeScan\PCCSRV and edit the ofscan.ini.

- Search “_pwd” and then clear the string of stuff after the = sign.
- Change it to the value “70″
– Save the file, then copy it and paste over the old versions in the pccnt\disk1 and pcc95\disk1 folders.

Password is now reset as “1″

myspace can’t delete comment

Having trouble deleting a myspace comment? Spammers have found a way to insert a certain snippet of code into your myspace comment box, which removes/hides the “delete comment” link.

Damn annoying if you ask me.

However, not all is lost.

  • Login to your myspace
  • Click “edit profile”
  • On the right, select “safe edit mode”
  • Click the comments tab
  • Safely delete the comment that was undeletable

Script to check if a windows service is running, and email a user if it is not

This script will check if a specified windows service is running, and if not, it will email a user.

This script uses the Microsoft CDO service. You will need to ensure you have permissions to relay through the SMTP server you have specified in the variables.


'check service.vbs
'/*****************************************************************/
' ABOUT:
' Checks if a service is running and emails user if it is not
'
' USAGE:
' Put this script in as a windows scheduled task
' Create and modify a copy of this file for each service you wish to monitor.
' You must change the variables below to your own values
'
' Written by Alan Byrne - 20/02/2007
'/**********************************************************/

dim objShell, objNet
dim strToEmailAddress, strFromEmailAddress, strServiceNameToCheck
dim strSMTPServer, strSMTPServerPort
dim strComputerName

Set objNet = CreateObject("WScript.NetWork")

' **** Set Variables here *****
strToEmailAddress = "alanb@domain.com"
strFromEmailAddress = "administrator@domain"
strServiceNameToCheck = "TermService"
strSMTPServer = "192.168.1.2"
strSMTPServerPort = "25"

set objShell = CreateObject("Shell.Application")

If objShell.IsServiceRunning(strServiceNameToCheck) = false then
Set objMessage = CreateObject("CDO.Message")

'Send Message
objMessage.Subject = "Service Failed: " & strServiceNameToCheck
objMessage.From = "Service Failure Notice "
objMessage.To = strToEmailAddress
objMessage.TextBody = "The service '" & strServiceNameToCheck & "' failed on " & objNet.ComputerName & vbcrlf & "Time: " & Now
objMessage.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/sendusing") = 2
objMessage.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserver") = strSMTPServer
objMessage.Configuration.Fields.Item _
("http://schemas.microsoft.com/cdo/configuration/smtpserverport") = strSMTPServerPort
objMessage.Configuration.Fields.Update
objMessage.Send
End if

set objShell = nothing
set objNet = Nothing

Forgot your NAV (Symantec AntiVirus) Corporate Ed Password?

No sweat. The security conscious people at Symantec have provided a password reset tool for you.

It can be found in

C:\Program Files\Symantec\Symantec System Center\Tools (On a default install)

It is called iforgot.exe

Simply double click it, enter the new details you wish to have on the server, and away you go.

How to ghost/move a system from SCSI RAID to IDE and vice versa

Grab a copy of Symantec Ghost

Create a bootable floppy disk using a windows computer. (Insert a blank floppy, right click in my computer, format, tick “create an MSDOS startup disk”)

Copy ghost.exe to the bootable floppy disk.

Grab an IDE hard disk and install it into your server.

Boot off the bootable floppy disk and run ghost.exe from the command line.

Ghost will detect the SCSI disks and the IDE disk. Do a “Disk to disk” copy from the SCSI drive to the IDE drive (Make sure there is ample room for the SCSI data.) IMPORTANT: Keep the partition sizes the same, do not expand them to fill the disk.

When completed, reboot the server and check that all your data is on the IDE disk.

Shut the system down and unplug the IDE drive.

Using the RAID configuration program built into the card, create whatever arrays you require with the existing disks.

Re-attach the IDE drive and boot off the boot floppy disk again.

Run ghost.exe from the command line.

Do a “Disk to Disk” copy from the IDE drive to the new RAID array (It will appear as one disk to Symantec Ghost)

Once completed, remove the IDE disk and boot as normal.

You may have to boot to the recovery console and run a fixboot and a bootcfg

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