Android Archive

Updating US Cellular Galaxy S4 w/ Vanir ROM

Posted April 30, 2016 By Landis V

My wife’s phone was having some space issues that I finally got around to looking at today.  I recently upgraded my S5 to a 32GB SD card and it gave me plenty of space, so I was surprised when I checked hers and saw that it already had a 32GB card.  Had I looked a little closer, I probably would have realized that the card itself was not full, and in fact barely had anything on it.  I didn’t even have it set to store pictures on the external card :/

Having already bought a 128GB Class 10/U1 card, I decided to go ahead and install it.  I had run across an app a while back that actually allows the apps to be linked over to the SD card, so they don’t jump back to main memory every time they update, which is annoying as hell. I deleted the partition table on the SD card (referenced, specifically answer 5 for a Windows machine… after updating VirtualBox and installing the current version of extensions, I was actually able to recognize and pass through my USB to SD adapter to my Linux guest) and recreated with a 96GB FAT32 partition and a 32GB ext4 partition (great thread on this setup here), formatted both appropriately, copied the data over from the old 32GB card to the FAT32 partition in the new card, installed, and booted.

I then configured the camera to save new pictures to the external SD card (FAT32 partition) and installed the Link2SD application from the Play store.  Had some difficulty figuring out why I couldn’t get root on the Vanir ROM, tried installing a couple of the SU apps with no luck.  Turned out I had not enabled it by 8x tapping the build number in about phone, and then apparently you have to select a different option in the “enable root” developer option… even though it shows apps + ADB, apparently it doesn’t set it.  Once I set it to apps only, I was prompted for root authorization as I had expected.

I then linked several apps over to the SD card, which seemed to be pretty straightforward and to work well.  Assuming this fix holds and continues to work as expected through updates, etc., I should have this phone pretty well fixed up for its usable lifetime.

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LaView CUBE camera system

Posted November 14, 2015 By Landis V

Bought one of these a while ago.  It’s alright.  Not particularly secure, software is annoying, and I think there’s a lot more that can be done with it.  Gradually working on improving it, this post will capture random notes on it.

Bought tinyCam Monitor Pro in the Play store when it was on sale a while back, fought with cameras for a bit before giving up.  Came back to it for a bit today and was able to make it work with the following settings:

  • Camera vendor:  (Generic)
  • Camera model:  Generic URL
  • JPEG/MPEG/RTSP request:  rtsp://ip.addr.or.hostname:554/H264?ch=(1-8)&subtype=1
    • Where ip.addr.or.hostname is the IP or hostname of the LaView device and (1-8) is the channel/camera number you wish to add.
  • Protocol: RTSP over UDP (MPEG/H264/H265)
  • Username: valid username on device (default “admin”)
  • Password: valid password for username provided above (default for admin “123456”)

ONVIF Device Manager on SourceForge, appears to provide an NVR for network video forwarding and storage on port 8000.  Not  a ton of info on the port/protocol, but did run across it in the setup.

Somewhat relevant manual:

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Recent mini-PC/router devices of interest

Posted January 5, 2015 By Landis V

RockTek RT-A1, priced at $65 on NewEgg Flash on 1/5/15.  Quad core, HDMI output up to 2048 x 1536.  Appears to be only a 10/100 ethernet, but has a couple of USBs to which GigE adapters could be connected for up to 480Mbit theoretical throughput.   Also has a composite video out, which could theoretically be paired with one of these 4.3″ LCD “backup camera” displays for a convenient method to apply updates, etc.  Caveat is that there does not seem to be much hackery on it to run Linux natively, but it is tempting to pick one or two up to play with and see what could be done.
Also ran across this Foxconn AT-5570 (manufacturer page here, also on sale at NewEgg Flash for $90, though it would need to have RAM and storage added).  Higher price and lower performance would make this somewhat less appealing.

The Foxconn was perhaps most interesting because it led me to the Jetway motherboards with multiport ethernet daughterboards.  This auction page had a six port GigE model.  The four port daughterboard is the Jetway ADE4RTLANG, and several of the Jetway mini-ITX mainboards include dual ethernet ports natively.  Quite a bit higher priced, but might prove useful at some time.

Also interesting was the Odroid-C1 currently selling at the same price as the RPi, and their intro/getting started kit with the required SD card as well as a breakout board and some basic electronic components to get familiar with the device is on sale for under $70 through January 7th when paying with PayPal.  The C1 is, I believe, almost pin-compliant with the header on the RPi.  It has a quad core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB DDR3, and a gigabit ethernet interface.

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Some cool stuff here if I get a chance to get back to it.  In most cases I don’t care too much about where a notification comes in, but there’s some useful info on communications between systems.

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How to Root US Cellular Galaxy S4 SCH-R970

Posted February 8, 2014 By Landis V

Nice, functional root page for the US Cellular (USCC) Samsung Galaxy S4 SCH-R970.  Haven’t checked into it much to see what flags it sets, but the instructions seem to work well, and ChainFire has been around long enough I consider them fairly reputable.

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Infrared/Remote control related stuff

Posted September 17, 2013 By Landis V – Specifically AndroidIR, but looks like some other interesting posts to check out, time permitting. – link to the above article, plus links to a few related posts.

The Logitech Harmony Hub and Harmony Smart Control are essentially pre-built, ready-to-use alternatives to the DIY models noted above.

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Gallery, OpenSSL CA, and TrueCrypt volume

Posted July 31, 2013 By Landis V

I’ve been thinking about, and even making attempts at, getting Gallery set up within my home network to allow automatic uploading from my Android devices.  There are a few things I wanted to do as part of this post, and since I’m getting around to doing it at 11:00 at night, it’s going to be more of a notes-style document than a well-structured post.

First, my goal.  I want to be able to automatically upload images taken on my Android devices to a “private cloud”… also known as a computer (VirtualBox VM, actually) on my network running the Gallery software.  I want this to be at least as simple as it currently is (I currently use Dropbox with instant upload enabled on both my wife’s and my phones).  I want our uploads and the account information associated with them to be secure, both on my private network and particularly across the Internet if I decide to go that route.  I have been thinking about setting up a trusted certificate authority for some time.  It’s an opportunity to learn and practice with software I don’t use on a daily basis.  I have an innate distrust for the cloud.  And because I think I can and I want to confirm.

Why am I doing this?  Dropbox works fairly well, and it’s nice to have the pictures replicated to both the cloud and our PCs… but we have exhausted our space (if you don’t already have Dropbox and would like to sign up via the link above, that will get me another 500MB 🙂 ).  While there are a couple of workarounds for this such as moving all the current photos out of my upload folder, there are some things I gain from Gallery that I’ve been wanting.  I may make an effort at integrating the Dropbox functionality alongside Gallery at some point down the road, but there are several steps to get there first. My wife also typically turns off automatic upload and replicates images manually.  I think she told me why, but I’ve forgotten; I’d like to get this set back to an automatic function so it’s not something she needs to remember to do.

Here’s a list of the parts involved in my venture, and a short explanation of why:

  • My Asus RT-N16 router with Tomato firmware
    • Provides internal DNS service and external-to-internal firewall access and port mapping
  • Android
    • Both our phones are rooted US Cellular (awesome carrier… comment if you’re considering changing carriers and interested in hearing more about them) Samsung Galaxy series Android devices.  I don’t have a great deal of love for iOS.
  • OpenSSL
    • I’ve wanted to configure a CA (certificate authority) to provide clean SSL service for a few of my internal web services for a while.  This seemed like a good opportunity to do so, especially when I considered potential public access to my Gallery server.
  • TrueCrypt
    • I’m planning to store my CA files in a volume that is both encrypted with TrueCrypt as well as offline except when I need to sign a certificate.
  • ReGalAndroid
    • Android client app to support automatic uploading
  • TurnKey Linux
    • Lightweight guest for Gallery VM.  I had almost forgotten that I had downloaded the pre-built Gallery appliance from them until I started this post.
  • Gallery
    • In addition to what looks to be a good gallery interface to my photos, I can configure automatic, private backup.  I gain the ability to tag and comment on photos, and lose the risk of having photos exist “in the cloud” by default.

This ends up being a moderately complex setup for a “typical” home environment.  Some might even say it’s excessive.  However, when assembled together, each of these pieces helps to reach the aforementioned goal.

I actually started down this path a little while ago and had a few of the foundational constructs in place.  VirtualBox was installed on my XP host system.  I had downloaded and configured a VM using the TurnKey appliance turnkey-gallery-12.1-squeeze-i386-vmdk and performed the basic setup for the TurnKey appliance.  I had installed the ReGalAndroid app on my SGSII and attempted setup with SSL, and discovered that a self-signed certificate on Android just wasn’t good enough.  Attempting to connect to the Gallery over my wifi connection via SSL yielded a “No peer certificate” error.  Not particularly surprising considering the SSL cert on the Gallery server was self signed.

So, at this point I essentially have two problems to address that more or less boil down to a single problem:  I need to create my own personal trusted CA (which has been near the end of my todo list for quite a while), use that CA to sign a certificate for the Gallery server (and preferably other internal web service servers), and trust certificates signed by my new private CA on our Android devices and internal computers.  I’ve made some effort at this previously as well.  I’m currently running PCLinuxOS on the laptop I typically use, and ended up annoyed about/failing to complete creation of a CA on that platform (especially in combination with my desire to store the CA in a TrueCrypt volume).

This evening I set out to create the OpenSSL CA on a well-established Ubuntu box on my network, largely based on the instructions at  This didn’t get completed, largely due to documentation efforts and to searching for a window I thought I had open regarding trusting new CA’s on Android.  At this point, I need to spend some quality time with iptables on another project so I’ll try to pick back up from here later.  (This highlights another minor gripe/difficulty/annoyance I’ve had… serial posts in WordPress… there has to be a good way to do it, and some day I’ll probably need to take the time to do so.)  Once I finish creating the CA, my next steps will probably involve either creating a TrustManager on Android as documented here or importing a new (private) CA root certificate as documented here.

After creating the necessary certificates largely as indicated in the Ubuntu OpenSSL link, I copied the certificate and private key for the Apache server for my gallery page over to the Gallery appliance.  I then ran a2enmod ssl as root to enable mod_ssl on the Gallery server per instructions at, HTTPS Configuration section, and received a report back that mod_ssl was already enabled.  I then moved the certificate and private key to /etc/ssl/certs and /etc/ssl/private, respectively, ran a2ensite default-ssl, and modified the SSLCertificateFile and SSLCertificateKeyFile directives to point to the correct certificate and key.  Though I am still expecting to need to create a concatenated certificate chain with the CA certificate and the server certificate, I went ahead and tested a restart of the server to see what I got.

I received a certificate error/”problem with the certificate on this server” page in IE, much as I had expected – the client I was connecting from doesn’t even trust my new CA as a root yet.  I continued past the error, and noted that I will probably have to do a little work on the default-ssl site file in /etc/apache2/sites-available, as it doesn’t load directly to the gallery page; much of that should be able to be copied from the ‘default’ site file in the same directory, and I will play with that later.  I first wanted to see if I could get rid of the SSL error on the default Apache page, so I installed my new root CA public certificate as a trusted root CA on that box and retried loading the page.  SSL loaded cleanly, oorah!

So, to enable Gallery on HTTPS, I checked /etc/apache2/sites-available/default.  No reference there.  Turns out I needed to edit /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/gallery (they didn’t do a symlink as is done for the default sites).  I updated the VirtualHost section for *:443 to include the cert and key directives from the default-ssl config file, ran a2dissite default-ssl to disable the default-ssl site, and restarted Apache again.  I was then able to load the gallery site with HTTPS and no errors from that system.

I copied the public certificate for my root CA to my Dropbox, clicked on the .crt file in the Android dropbox app, and was able to install the certificate after setting an unlock mechanism.  Following that, I tested access from the ReGal Android app, but received a mismatch on the CN.  Apparently the ReGal app will not accept a match on an altName, and I will need to match the FQDN (which I will have to use for the connection so it will work both when I’m at home and when I’m on the public Internet).  Time to re-issue the certificate with the CN set to the FQDN and the hostname as a subject alt name.

After correcting and replacing the certificate and key, and revoking the old one for whatever that was worth, I encountered a new error with details “”.  This was fixed by enabling the REST module as indicated here.  Once that was done, I was able to establish a secure connection to the gallery!

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