How to format a disk GPT in FreeNAS

gpart create -s gpt adaX
gpart add -t freebsd-ufs adaX
newfs /dev/adaXp1

Also reference this post for more info:

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Counterfeit Prolific programming cables and the Baofeng UV-B5 and UV-B6

Miklor has an excellent tutorial which explains the situation with counterfeit Prolific cables, and how to get the correct driver installed and working.

In short, it’s simply a matter of installing the correct cable driver (the older Prolific driver), plugging in the cable, and then choosing the correct driver in Device Manager. In Linux, the cables seem to work fine with no issues.

There are a couple of additional things to keep in mind:

1) After installing the working driver, make sure you continue to plug the cable into that same USB port. Plugging it in to a different port will cause the Windows driver to reload. If you do, just update it with the working driver again.

2) Windows Update may offer an update to your “outdated” Prolific driver. Just block or hide this update.

3) If you plug the Prolific cable into your radio with the wrong driver installed, the LED will turn red. You ARE transmitting a carrier. Keep that in mind. Make sure your radio is tuned to an in-band, unused frequency before plugging the cable into your radio if you’re not sure of the driver situation, or just check Device Manager, as the wrong driver will show a yellow exclamation mark.

Here’s a photo of the led gone red from the wrong drivers installed:


Have anything else to add to this? Please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you!

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Baofeng UV-B6 frequency issues above 499Mhz

The Baofeng UV-B6 (and B5 too, I’m assuming) are factory programmed to operate UHF up to 480Mhz. You can easily unlock this to 520Mhz through either the Baofeng software or CHIRP.

However, the radio exhibits some really strange display issues when you tune above 499Mhz. Take a look at the two videos below for a demonstration.

It’s also worth noting that the UV-B6 antenna that mine came with was only indicated for use up to 480Mhz. Yours may be the same.


If you have anything to share about this, please do so in the comments section below. Thank you!

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Leave a comment mail server settings


  • Server:
  • Port: 587
  • Encryption: TLS


  • Server:
  • Port: 993
  • Encryption: STARTTLS


  • Server:
  • Use SSL: Yes


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Fix for Fallout 3 randomly freezing

It seems that Fallout 3 does not handle being run on a processor with more than 2 cores, which leads to random freezing.

Fix: Edit the fallout.ini file in “C:Users(your name)DocumentsMy GamesFallout 3″ (Windows 7 and above)

In the [General] section, locate the bUseThreadedAI=0 line and change it to bUseThreadedAI=1

Below that, add iNumHWThreads=2.

Save the file and restart Fallout 3.

Note that if you’re having issues where Fallout crashes after starting a new game, it’s most likely due to incompatible video hardware, most notably trying to run it with Intel-based graphics.

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Skype no audio and crashing on OpenSUSE 12.3

Skype for OpenSUSE (download link) may have no audio and frequently crash. This issue is caused by missing packages for the audio subsystem.

Solution: install the packages alsa-plugins-pulse-32bit and pavucontrol

sudo zypper in alsa-plugins-pulse-32bit pavucontrol

Please feel free to leave any feedback in the comments section below.



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Cannot delete a RAID swap partition during Ubuntu installation

During some tests of Ubuntu in a virtual machine, I ran across an issue I’ve seen before, but never been able to fix, until now.

If you have a RAID array that contains a swap partition, you will not be able to delete it in the Ubuntu installer. Here’s the situation:

A swap partition on a RAID-1 array

A swap partition on a RAID-1 array

And if you try to delete the RAID array (“delete MD device”), here’s the error message:

Failed to delete the software raid device. There was an error deleting the software RAID device. It may be in use.

Failed to delete the software raid device. There was an error deleting the software RAID device. It may be in use.

An educated guess at the problem would be that the swap is in use, and as such, not able to be deleted. You’re right, but it’s (almost) not that simple. But let’s hit CTRL-ALT-F2 to get a console open, and try to turn off swap:

swapoff -a

Yet it still won’t delete.

Okay, let’s try to force-stop the MD array. First, let’s find out for sure which MD devices there are. Doing this:

ls -l /dev/md

Shows this:

linux:0 -> ../md127

So we know the device is md127. Let’s try to force-stop it now:

mdadm --stop --force /dev/md127

Gives this message:

mdadm: Cannot get exclusive access to /dev/md127:Perhaps a running process, mounted filesystem or active volume group?

Well, what now?

The solution:

swapoff /dev/md127

Note: If you’re jumping back to the installer, don’t do an mdadm –stop /dev/md127. That’s going to confuse the installer. Just swapoff and then return to the installer and delete the software raid.



OpenSUSE 12.3 hangs on boot in VMware Player or Workstation

OpenSUSE 12.3 can be installed in VMware, but on reboot it hangs on the green splash screen as shown in the image below.



  1. Go to VM > Settings > Processors and set the number of processor cores to 2 or more.
  2. Go to VM > Settings > Display and uncheck ‘Accelerate 3D graphics’.

This allowed OpenSUSE to boot normally for me.


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Make a phone stand from an Altoids mint tin

During a FaceTime conversation tonight, I really wanted a stand for my phone, but didn’t have anything that seemed suitable. I do have empty Altoids tins lying around, and now you can add iPhone stand to the list of things they’re good for.

It’s actually quite simple to make, and you don’t need anything other than a minute of your time. Just take the lid off, flip it around, put it back on, and presto! Phone stand!

Here’s some photos for you. You’re welcome!

Have any other clever phone stand ideas, or even other uses for mint tins? Feel free to share them in the comments below! Thank you!

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Getting started with S/MIME-encrypted email

Just because you can’t protect the metadata of your email doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to protect the actual content of your messages, whether-or-not you feel you have “nothing to hide.”

Would you send all of your mail on the back of a postcard? Probably not, because it’s just none of some peoples’ business.

There’s a lot of material out there on how to use PGP/GPG for encrypted email, but it’s difficult to get started with and required some moderately-technical know-how. S/MIME is much easier, requiring only a bit of time, a few mouse clicks, and most importantly, an S/MIME-compatible mail client.

Here’s a list of a few common clients and whether they are natively S/MIME-compatible or not. Note that I’m considering the latest version of available software. If I’m wrong, please feel free to correct me in the comments :)

  • Webmail (reading email using your web browser) – NO (not without a plugin)
  • Outlook – Yes
  • iPhone / iPad (iOS) – Yes
  • Android – NO

So, how to get started?

First, you need to get an S/MIME certificate.

Here’s a link to a few providers known to provide free S/MIME certificates for at least personal use:

  1. Go to the above CA (Certificate Authority) and get a free certificate. That certificate will install in your browser. For this example, I’ll show you how to get a Comodo certificate installed. First, click the above URL. You’ll be taken to a page where your browser will prompt if you wish to perform a certificate operation. Say yes.
  2. Next, fill out the web form. Your first and last name and email address are essential parts of the email certificate, so use your real ones. Create a long and strong revocation password, and save it in a safe place. You’ll need it if you ever decide to revoke your certificate.
  3. Once the certificate is installed in your browser, you’ll need to export it to move it to your applications.

Exporting from Internet Explorer 10:

  1. Open Internet Options > Content > Certificates and you’ll see your certificate under the Personal tab. Click it and click Export
  2. Select ‘Yes, export the private key’ (you’ll need this to encrypt email!), and accept the default options. Make sure you add a long and strong password. Eventually you’ll be able to click browse, select a location and give it a filename, and export it.

Exporting from Google Chrome:

  1. Click the menu button > Settings > Advanced Settings > Manage Certificates and you’ll see your certificate under the Personal tab. Click it and click Export
  2. Select ‘Yes, export the private key’ (you’ll need this to encrypt email!), and accept the default options. Make sure you add a long and strong password. Eventually you’ll be able to click browse, select a location and give it a filename, and export it.

Installing in Outlook 2013

  1. Click File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Email Security. Under Digital ID’s, click Import/Export, and Import the file you exported in the previous steps.
  2. Next, check ‘Encrypt contents and attachments…’ and ‘Add digital signature…’.
  3. Next to the grayed-out Default settings box, click Settings. Since you will likely only have one certificate installed, the default settings are okay. Click Ok. Click Ok two more times to return to Outlook.

If you’re having trouble with Outlook freezing after installing your S/MIME certificate, the workaround originally posted here will take care of the issue:

  1. Delete certificate from User personal store (with IE)
  2. Import certificate from Internet Explorer. Go to IE options > Content > Certificates > Import. Important: Select the option that certificate export is allowed. (You still need the certificate password to do the export.)

Installing to iPhone.

  1. Since you’ve protected your certificate with a long and strong password, simply write an email to an address your phone receives, and attach your certificate.
  2. (Workaround for Outlook freezing when trying to send this email: Click the view tab, then turn off sign and encrypt before sending.)
  3. Once that email arrives, open it on your iPhone, and tap the attachment. When Install Profile appears, install it, providing the certificate password when prompted.
  4. Now, activate S/MIME signing and encryption by going to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > (your email account) > Account. Turn S/MIME on and turn on sign and encrypt, clicking Done when done.

Have any feedback on the above, or like to add anything I may have missed? Please feel free to do it in the comments sections below. Thank you!

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