Friday, December 21, 2007

Reset BIOS password on an IBM Thinkpad T23

I had really hoped I could reset the supervisor password on a spare IBM T23 laptop we had around the office by - disconnecting the CMOS battery or shorting a jumper. Anything besides the procedure described on

But apparently there's no way to "reset it" you just have to build yourself a "testpoint" jig and read the encrypted data directly off the EEPROM connected to the main board.

So I picked up a few parts from RadioShack and went to work. BTW, The password turned out to be XPBIOS.

But, I feel it's important to note, I'm an idiot.

The image you see above here is NOT of a working cable. It is in-fact the improperly constructed cable which was later rebuilt and used to successfully dump the contents of the actmel eeprom on the IBM Thinkpad.

Apparently there isn't much standardization to diagramming a serial connector. It's hard to tell if the flat picture you're looking at is supposed to be a male or female connection. And even worse - true circuit diagrams will often show the BACK of the connector - i.e. they draw it so you would be looking at where the "wires" are ACTUALLY connecting to the BACK of the connector.


Your only real hope is to know the pin numbers of an rs232 cable. Thankfully, almost ALL diagrams will include pin numbers to specify the orientation of the connector and avoid this type of confusion.

Well... that doesn't help you much if you don't know which pin is which on your cable. So here is a picture of an rs232 / db9 / 9-pin serial cable - with both male and female connectors labeled pin 1, pin 5, pin 6, and pin 9.

Not even wiki has this kind of information...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Nokia 770 OS2007HE - Can't change Regional settings

Flashed my Nokia tablet with the new '07 OS "Hacker Edition" - it's been running strong all night.

The first issue I came into was a problem changing the Regional settings and Device language from English (United Kingdom) to English (USA). I would get an error:
Device storage memory full.
Delete some data to free memory.
Total rubbish, the memory was fine. Not surprisingly all this little drop down does is change a setting in a config file. Install xTerm, gainroot, find the file, edit the setting, reboot and now my date displays month/day/year - no problem.

**UPDATE** Ivie found an even simpler solution documented on her blog - you may want to try that first.

I found an updated version of xTerm that draws the screen quite a bit better, and supports color. To install xTerm on a Nokia 770 0S2007HE go to maemo-hackers and click on the .install link for "bora"

To gain root access on a Nokia 770 OS2007HE use the same old 2006 "becomeroot" package - download it here.

Then just open up xTerm, su gainroot and edit the following file:
change the last two lines to:
export LANG=en_US
export LC_MESSAGES=en_US
that is... as long as you live here in the states.

I'll probably have more updates as I run into more snags installing and reconfiguring all my packages. To-Do list updated.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Configure Nokia 770 Internet Search Applet

Add additional search engines to your Nokia 770 Internet Search Applet by creating carefully crafted .xml documents in /usr/share/mis. You can even make custom icons!

To add IMDB, Amazon, eBay, NewEgg & Google Maps (for Nokia 770) download from my media fire account, and add the extracted files to /usr/share/mis

Extract the files into a folder on your Nokia 770's memory card (something like internetsearch). Then you'll need to fire up xTerm and becomeroot. Copy the files to /usr/share/mis using a command similar to this:
cp /media/mmc1/internetsearch/* /usr/share/mis/
Reboot for changes to take effect.

I've added my favorite search engines. I particularly like the Google Maps for Nokia 770 - the trick to using this effectively is to "zoom in" to 150% using the buttons on top. Then instead of "dragging" around the map - you click where you want to re-center.

This is an update and repackage of work started by Moonshine.

For more details about the format of these .xml files reference this post on internet tablet talk.