UZLGastennetLogin v0.7.1 beta release

Most important changes are use of wakelock for more robust login and about screen for beta info. I also discovered some Samsung devices put quotes around the network SSID which caused the network detection to fail..

Changelog

v0.7.1
======
* fixed network detection on some Samsung models
+ use wakelock for more robust login while on the move
+ about screen for beta info
* changed pending intent flags for notification
* clear error notification on successful login
* internet access check "not ok" reports as error

Internet Explorer basic authentication automation

At work I tried setting a custom header (for example for basic authentication) when navigating the internet explorer activex component using OLE automation. I didn’t find much info on the web, so I post it here as a reminder.

Setting custom headers is in fact supported by the navigate method on the IWebBrowser2 interface as stated in the msdn: simply supply a 5th element. For example, in java it looks something like this:
invoke("Navigate", new Variant[]{
new Variant(url),
new Variant(),
new Variant(),
new Variant(),
new Variant("Authorization: Basic QWxhZGRpbjpvcGVuIHNlc2FtZQ==")
});

UZLGastennetLogin v0.6.3 stable release

After over 2 years of “testing” version 0.6.3 of the UZLGastennetLogin android app has been promoted from the beta channel to the stable channel. Important changes since the previous stable 0.4.2 include a widget indicating login state and notifications for login errors etc.

Since Google Play now supports beta APKs, the beta app itself will be removed from the market In the near future and a beta channel will be added to the stable app instead.
If you’d like to join the beta, surf to beta access. Currently only IT staff at UZ Leuven is given access. If you’d like access too, please join this G+ community.

Changelog

v0.6.3 / 12th September 2011
============================
+ optionally check internet access periodically, configurable interval
* restore last login time at activity resume
+ log last check timestamp

v0.6.2 / 30th August 2011
=========================
* widget: attempt at fixing click listener not working anymore after extended usage
* moved checkoutside worker to service
+ pref: automatically check internet access after each login
+ added extra app states communicating internet access check status
+ added notification when proxy problem occurs
* activity: properly preserve gui state when rotating device

v0.6.1 / 12th August 2011
=========================
* fc on startup: fixed bug in retrieving notification level when no setting is present yet
+ translation update

v0.6.0 / 11th August 2011
=========================
+ notifications, configurable through 4 levels
+ configurable notification sound
* automatic login retry on login/pwd change
* avoid multiple instances of activity
– disabled install to sd to prevent widget trouble

v0.5.1 / 1st August 2011
========================
* widget: attempt at better distinguishable init icon

v0.5.0 / 31th July 2011
=======================
+ widget: shows login state, click on widget to open activity
+ activity: show last login time and ip
* service: correctly parse json response to allow proper logout
* service: moved logout action into service
* service: use AndroidHttpClient instead of HttpClient to avoid IllegalStateExceptions
* service: don’t attempt login on portal error
+ activity: initial localisation support

VLC on opensuse 12.3

Last week, I installed opensuse 12.3 and encountered the following problem with VLC:

main decoder error: no suitable decoder module for fourcc `mpgv’. VLC probably does not support this sound or video format.

I had this for about any video format (mpgv for a DVD in this case). Turned out it is a package problem. Simply install vlc-codecs and you should be good to go.

Update: apparently, this is not a bug, but a feature, see
google+ post
mailing list post

Using KDE systray notifications from bash scripts

I just improved my Extract audio script to show a system notification when it’s finished. In the meantime I also have a “convert to mp3” script which proves useful if you don’t care about the original audio stream and/or you target a platform with limited decoding abilities:

ffmpeg -i %u -acodec libmp3lame -ar 44100 -ab 160k %u.mp3

To popup a KDE4 system tray notification at the end of the encoding process, simply add the following:

kdialog --passivepopup 'Finished converting %u' 3

The last value simply specifies the timeout in seconds. To chain the commands together, use a semicolon, so it also executes when the encode fails.

Using your EID on opensuse 12.1

In Belgium you can use your EID to login onto the federal portal for using electronic services, for example, for filing tax return. Installation instructions are provided for Windows, Mac and (Ubuntu) Linux. This is what I had to do to get it working on opensuse 12.1 on a Dell Precision M4600.

Installation

smartcard reader

Since the M4600 is a fairly new model, I had to upgrade my pcsc/ccid package to the latest version. It seems the M4600 comes with a Broadcom Corp 5880 smartcard reader which is connected through USB (internally).

Add the chipcard repo:

sudo zypper ar -r http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/security:/chipcard/openSUSE_12.1/security:chipcard.repo

and “switch system packages” in Yast. You should have installed at least the following packages: pcsc-lite, libpcsclite1 and libpth20.

Depending on your smartcard reader, you need a different pcsc plugin package. The Broadcom 5880 smartcard reader is supported through the ccid driver. This means we have to install the pcsc-ccid package from the chipcard repo.

eid middleware

Add the following repo by Pascal Bleser:

sudo zypper ar -r http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/pbleser:/belgium-eid/openSUSE_12.1/home:pbleser:belgium-eid.repo

and install the eid-mw package. I also noticed the eid-mw-firefox package in this repo, but it did not seem to work in my case, possibly because I’m using 64-bit firefox.

configuring firefox

  • Install the belgium eid firefox add-on.
  • Trust Belgium Certificate Authority: Edit menu -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Encryption -> View Certificates -> Authorities -> Belgium root CA2 -> Edit trust -> check all checkboxes
I’m not sure whether the firefox add-on is really needed. Afterwards I uninstalled it and it kept working.

Troubleshooting

smartcard reader

  • check in /var/log/messages which device you have
  • most devices are connected through usb protocol. Check your usb device list:
    lsusb -v
  • google the device or check the device compatibility lists of the pcsc-<driver> packages. You can find the ccid device list here.
  • if you have a pccard interface for your reader, check whether the device is installed with:
    pccardctl ls
  • install the pcsc-tools and perl-pcsc package to have access to some smartcard reader analysis tools. Running the pcsc_scan tool should yield similar output like this:
  • If you get a segfault when loading the pcsc-ccid driver, for example:
    pcscd[3228]: segfault at 0 ip 00007f98bec38121 sp 00007fff2e806208 error 4 in libc-2.14.1.so[7f98bebb8000+187000]
    check whether you updated your portable thread library with the one in the chipcard repo (package name is libpth20)
  • be sure to be using all the packages from the chipcard repo by using the “switch system packages”.
  • firmware upgrade as suggested here, was not necessary. Read the whole thread to find out why a ccid upgrade was actually necessary.

eid middleware

The government created an application eid-viewer which you can use to read some public data from your EID. It’s a java-based app so you need a java JRE to run it:

java -jar eid-viewer-4.0.4-146_tcm227-178503.jar

You can obtain it from this page under the catory “other”.

firefox

Although I installed this add-on, I don’t believe it is needed. I did have trouble the first time I signed in: it succeeded, but redirected me to a page where I would again need to choose whether I wanted to sign on with EID or password. I closed firefox, and tried again, this time it just worked. You can surf to this test page to test whether everything is configured correctly.

Mirror’s Edge revisited

About 2 years ago, I reviewed Mirror’s Edge as an excellent and refreshing game. Recently I stumbled upon this interview with one of the artists which made me replay the game, on hard this time.

Hard in Mirror’s Edge means: no runner’s vision (highlighting objects in red that you can use in your parkour) and of course more vulnerable to damage. Once you know how to move about in ME’s world, you don’t miss the vision. Of course you have to be quick to scan the environment for possible exits while keeping momentum, but it’s fairly easy.

Being more vulnerable is in general also no problem since you’re not supposed to be hit anyway. 🙂 If you take a hit, you’re slowing down hence taking a second hit which most likely kills you. So it wasn’t until the final chapter that I got stuck because I couldn’t disarm a heavy guard. Kicking was no solution since there were other guards around but no light guards to pick their gun. Watching a walkthrough vid, I was reminded of the “bullet time” feature (called reaction time in ME). I never used that as I thought it was only meant for cheaters. 😉 Turns out it’s about the only way to take out the heavy guards when there’s more than one of them. Another thing I learned is that you need to dodge-jump when fighting runner-like enemies.

I had more fun than the first time I played it since I quickly remastered the movement combo’s which allowed me to play in a more relaxed way but also in the way it’s meant to played. You know, without being killed all the time or falling off a building. 🙂 It took me about 7 hours, which is slightly more than the first time (which I played on normal).

Made some steam screenshots on the way.

As a closer, here my favorite parkour vid so far: