ARCHOS Cesium 80 — support?!

Well, it’s that time again. I got something to blargh about.

Keeping it short and to the point: I recently bought a shiny new Archos Cesium 80 tablet with Windows 8.1. All very nice, being able to run w32 apps without any problem. But there’s one bottleneck: it only has 16GB of available disk space. Which is not much, but it should be plenty until you break it down:


Partition 0: Operating system and files – 9GB used; after updates ~10GB (without removing the default additional language packs like Russian and Spanish)
Partition 1: Recovery — 4GB
Partition 2: just the usual bootstuffs — 100MB


So that leaves us with very little workspace. I decided to remove the language packs (by ‘adding’ them and removing them, basically) and to delete the recovery partition. Which I shouldn’t have done: the EFI/GPT scheme doesn’t allow that for some reason, so you get a BSOD 0xc0000225 and no recovery options ofcourse. So I decided after inserting a recovery USB stick with EFI and trying to fix stuff with bcdboot and diskpart (which did not work at all; strangely enough, ‘no operating system’ etc.), and plenty of other methods. Not only that, the touch screen did not work by default in the non-Archos Windows 8.1, so I had to attach a USB hub and a keyboard.

After trying several thousand things, I decided to install Windows 8.1 Pro. And yet again, to my surprise, no drivers anywhere to be found on the entire net. I e-mailed Archos, they just skipped reading and said ‘we do not support this OS’ and that was that.
Terribly enough, no support at all — not even a recovery image or anything like that. So I took a twisted turn, I decided to make a deal with a webshop and ‘buy’ a new tablet: the same one. The plan: get a recovery image and extract all the drivers.

So I did just that. And it works. Here is the recovery image for Windows 8.1 with Bing for Archos C80:
Here are all the drivers (working in Windows 8.1 x86 and Windows 8.1 Pro x86):

And that’s all I got, and here are some interesting links:
Full recovery image(use Win32 Disk Imager to write this to a 16+GB USB stick or network-disk): http://a.eth9.org/

NOTICE: This image is only for use on the Archos 80 Cesium tablet. —
Trying this on a laptop or other type of tablet will cause unwanted results and might corrupt your partition table and EFI-stored Windows serial number if it does not correspond with the type and model if you do a forced install.
After installing this image, you can also upgrade to Windows 10 Home after installing all Windows updates and connecting an external USB stick once again for the installation files (see the Windows 10 Upgrade application (GWX) for more  information)

Drivers (7z): http://dl.marlon.ws/Media/archos80c.7z

The end?

I guess I’ve come to a point where blogging isn’t a viable hobby anymore. I wonder what to post, sometimes I get an idea and next thing I know I’ve forgotten everything.

Well, I guess this just means there’s a pause now in my blogposts, while I’m focusing on the better things in life. See you soon!

Happy 2014!

I have not been very busy with my blog lately. This is mainly because I don’t really have good ideas (or just forget them), or just because I’m distracted (study). I consider my blog my side project, and not really my main area of work.
This is why my blog isn’t updated as frequently as I would like.

I also enabled (no I just disabled it – because it doesn’t work with my things I use) caching via Cloudflare, so everything will be faster and more secure (or so their site says ;) ).

Edit: Just tested it, and it’s bloat unless you want to pay mighty cash.

Anyhow, I want to give all my readers best wishes for 2014!

A quick portable server: Raspberry Pi

A portable server for around $85. Yes, if you told someone just that 10 years ago, you were put in an isolation cell in the worst-case scenario.
But today it is possible, and nobody will call you crazy with this setup you can put in tiny handbags, dog or spaceship capsule. (unless you are going to host The Pirate Bay this way, or automatically dump passwords on Pastebin for example)

Getting started:

Here is a shopping list to start with (the prices are an indication e.g. cheapest (or similar) on eBay/Buy now):

  • Raspberry Pi model B [$35]
  • Bag, suitcase, storage box (as long it’s ventilated) [0$]
  • 3G router with dongle[*] (I used: EDUP EP-9501N router (since it has a battery) and a Huawei E220 3G dongle) [$40]
  • 2 USB solar panels (w/ internal battery of 1000mAh, or 1 of 2000mAh. The higher, the better, the bigger, the longer battery life. [$6-$20]
  • USB Y-split cable (if you have 2 solar panels) [$1]
  • SIM card with huge internet bundle [$?, varies per country]
  • Dedicated VPN (for remote port forwarding, since you have 3G)[$10]
  • Some IT experience [priceless]

Step one:

Get all the items, charge the solar batteries and the portable router.

Step two:

Remove unnecessarily services and applications. I’m assuming you’re controlling your Pi without a display and using SSH. If not, connect to your Raspberry Pi over the network (connect it to your own network).
Now, set-up the VPN, and make it automatically connect. Write the IP address down of the VPN.
Make your server software ready, eg. Apache to use this IP.

Step three:

Configure the router. On most EDUP models, this is 192.168.1.254 or 192.168.1.1. If you’re unsure, check the sticker on your router.
Connect your 3G dongle and insert your SIM card. Next, set the APN, username, and password.

Also, there are some 3G dongles that do not need an external power source to be connected to the Pi. Use Sakis3G on your Raspberry Pi.

Step four:
sudo poweroff your Raspberry Pi.
Now, connect the 2 charged solar batteries using the Y-cable.
Connect the Ethernet cable from the portable 3G router to your Pi, and also connect the 3G device.

Step five:

SSH into the IP of your VPN. Now you are connected to your Pi over 3G!
Put it in some case or bag, and travel for 5 hours without power loss if you’re lucky. For more power, upgrade the battery inside the router(this is the first device that will die, thanks to the 3g connection), and connect the router via USB to the Pi. This shouldn’t give any problems, since you have multiple power sources.

And of course, it is not completely low budget, but you can easily get the prices down if you know what and where to buy.

Download: Serious Overheat Icon pack

I decided to create an icon pack. Didn’t really post anything in the last weeks, my apologies. Also, there is going to be a new download section for everything you might need.

Download: Serious Overheat icon pack(format range: 16×16 – 256×256 pixels)
The pack contains 8 icons, with different styles and desktops.

License: Free for non-commercial use.

Preview (png):

Desktop (8) - Serious Overheat Desktop (8) (Beaten) - Serious Overheat Desktop (7) (Beaten) - Serious Overheat Desktop (7) - Serious Overheat BSOD (8) - Serious Overheat BSOD (7) - Serious Overheat Kernel Panic - Serious Overheat Serious Overheat

Oh look. Someone is trying to nuke things.

A quick blog entry, because I’m going to leave the house for a hour or two.

North-Korea. Some country, placed right above South-Korea, is threatening with war. Why? Because the U.N. gave new sanctions right after the rocket-launch test and possible nuclear experiments. North-Korea blames the United States, and threatens to launch a rocket to the U.S.

Experts say they do not have any rockets that are capable to arrive at the United States.

North-Korea, are you even capable of launching the internet and start a digital war?

Well, we will see.

Raspberry Pi: The included case -mod

I received my Pi a day ago, and without a case. I thought it was better to make my own case.

When I received my package, it included the following things:

  • 2 pieces of paper, one for the precautions, and the other one was a quick-start guide
  • The Raspberry Pi board
  • A protective case, with room for one SD card

Then, I had a great idea. The included case was well fit to be cut out.

Pictures shown below:

Before

Before cutting.

Cutting

Cutting2

25012013009

25012013008

25012013007

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25012013002

After cutting. Note the ventilation holes on the top. The only holes missing are for the GPIO port, and the RCA port.

After

WhatsApp? I know.

People always ask me: “Do you have Facebook on your phone?”, and I always reply “No, sorry.”
The next thing someone says is 9 out of 10 times: “Do you have WhatsApp then?”. Same reply, why not Skype, Messenger or SMS?

The thing is, I have Skype and Messenger (it’s integrated in Skype now), why do I even need additional applications for WhatsApp or Facebook? Why should I?
Short Text Messaging costs money(duh). That’s the reason why people use Skype or WhatsApp as a ‘free'(cheaper) alternative.

WhatsApp got hacked like 2 times, and leaks are dripping like an old tap. You only need someone’s IMEI and phone number to log in to WhatsApp. And it only supports file transfers and texts. But Skype has support for video chat, Facebook integration, messaging, calling, and more. But not only that, should I register for 16 services because I only need one?

It’s not about bandwidth,  it’s about usage. I have unlimited (FUP of course) mobile internet, and I must say that Skype works better than WhatsApp on a modem connection, even with video. Horrible quality, but messages were almost instantly delivered, but with WhatsApp, it took 30 seconds on the same network.

Peerbet 2. A website listening to its users.

This is a follow up article about the old Peerbet review, the owner of Peerbet contacted me according to the review.

I have had my own experiences with Peerbet. A good site, and it differs from other well known Bitcoin sites. I had some criticism about Peerbet, mainly because it had no option to ‘try’ or register without E-mail (which is something for privacy-parrots and real Bitcoin veterans). They offer instant withdrawals now, so take a bite of coins.

Their simple response to my review was: “We’ve added it now. Check your facts”. And now I did. I wrote this article as a huge appreciation and a apology. I underestimated Peerbet.

Well, a thank you to the Peerbet staff for reporting it and actually implementing the feature. Even if its criticism from a small blog like this, it’s a great improvement.

Until next time~

Peerbet: gambling with issues

Last time, on the ‘old’ version of my blog, I covered Bitcoin and SatoshiDICE. I’ve had a small review about it, combined in the About Bitcoin article. I visit Daily Bitcoins on a regular basis, and there was an ad about a service called PeerBet, and the ‘peer’ part in the name draw my attention.

This site claims to have ‘no-house edge’, so the betting usage itself doesn’t cost anything for the user. Gambling isn’t my thing as written earlier, but I was curious since I got a coupon code and saw a hole to review it. The coupon I got was of a low value: 0.001 BTC.

Here is how it works:

  • You can either create a raffle, or join a raffle.
  • This is why it’s called ‘peer’ bet, from user to user.
  • You can create a raffle with a maximum of 16 million tickets: a minimum of 2. (since you obviously win with only one).
  • You can make raffles private with a password.

It’s basically the same as SatoshiDICE, but again, without cost and you have a raffle.

The site itself looks dark and straight boxed, a clean interface. The user created raffles are usually a 50/50 raffle: two tickets. You can’t really sort the raffles though, and even when you do, you don’t have too many options. Also, a huge disadvantage is that you must register: something most Bitcoin users do not like (SatoshiDICE just uses your Bitcoin address).

Summary:

+

  1. User to user without fee
  2. You can buy unlimited tickets

  1. Payments take long and are not instant: payments are done manually it seems.
  2. You must register (including e-mail)
  3. The site needs tweaking
  4. Hack-Sensitive: you must withdraw payments on your own (not automatically), and thus there are Bitcoins on the site itself.

I do not really recommend this site, nor gambling at all. At the moment it is just too rough and quick build. This isn’t a huge difference from SealsWithClubs.

So, if you have a few pennies left, go ahead.