Tesco Mobile add Personal Hotspot for iPhone after 3 years

April 27th, 2014

The option to share internet access through your mobile data connection (3G or 4G) from your phone to a laptop, tablet or other device is now know as tethering (for those with long enough memories it was called a “data modem” in the Ericsson T39 days but worked via a cable rather than with WiFi).

Ericsson T39Data Cable Ericsson T39

With the Apple iPhone the ability to tether (worked on iPhoneOS 3) is now known as Personal Hotspot (introduced in March 2011) as the internet connection from the mobile data contract is shared by WiFi.  In iOS 7.1 the use of tethering has been tightened up by Apple. However, this feature can be disabled by the mobile phone carrier as was the case with Tesco Mobile when iOS4.3 introduced the feature.  The Tesco Mobile website FAQ stated for several years that they were working on adding the feature.  With iOS 7.1 Tesco Mobile have added the Personal Hotspot feature to the iPhone.


BFBS Germany Satellite Reception

February 2nd, 2014

The BFBS Satellite system in Germany needs updating to take into account changes to the transmissions on EutelSat 10E.

The transmissions have been changed from DVB-S to DVB-S2. The TechniSat box needs to be retuned.

BBC Satellite TV in Germany

January 20th, 2014

humax 90cm satellite dish

The BBC have migrated all services from Astra 1N to Astra 2E and Astra 2F at 28.2E


BBC have launched 5 new HD channels

December 9th, 2013


In addition to BBC One HD and BBC Two HD the new channels available in HD are:

  • BBC Three HD
  • BBC Four HD
  • BBC News HD
  • CBeebies HD

They are available on Sky HD, Freeview HD, YouView, Virgin Media and Freesat HD.  The new BBC HD launch was brought forward in time for Christmas, as originally they should have launched in early 2014.

Humax HDR-1010S freesat+ HD with < free time >

November 25th, 2013


The Humax HDR-1010S set top box is the latest generation of satellite television recorder for the UK’s free-to-air Freesat service.  Freesat HD refers to devices that can decode High Definition TV channels with Freesat+ and Freesat+ HD referring to devices that can record content following on from  the branding of Sky’s first recordable TV service Sky+.


<free time> refers to the new Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) that has introduced for Freesat.  It ties in with Internet based On Demand services including the BBC iPlayerITV Player and 4OD to allow looking earlier in the guide and watch shows that have already been broadcast.

Configure a Virtual Private Server (VPS) for a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

October 12th, 2013

I purchased a years worth of Virtual Private Server (VPS) from httpzoom.com for the purpose of setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

The VPS costs £12/year and comes with 500GB bandwidth.  It runs CentOS and I installed a PPTP server to connect iPhones, iPads and Macs through the VPN.  I will look to add OpenVPN later and a method of supporting Apple TV and PS3 in the future.  I soon leart that I needed to protect the server somewhat better on the internet so I installed fail2ban on CentOS to protect from bot hacking attempts.

La Fonera hack for Raspberry Pi network connectivity

September 10th, 2013

Adding a Wi-Fi router to a Raspberry Pi to provide wireless connectivity but through the ethernet port rather than by a USB dongle.

The La Fonera 2100A/B/C routers were given away for free by Fon to grow the number of Fon Wi-FI Hotspots.

You need to put DD-WRT onto the router but first you need to hack La Fonera to get at the firmware.  Enabling SSH access on a La Fonera 2100A/B/C.

La Fonera

CalendarAgent error in OS X Console for Google Calendar

August 24th, 2013

On viewing the Console in OS X I discovered I was getting lots of CalendarAgent errors:

CalendarAgent[437]: AOSKit ERROR: (-) RAF: Invalid url -- https://<username>%40gmail.com@www.google.com/calendar/dav/<username>%40gmail.com/

It turns out that a bug in the Mail, Contacts & Calendars section of System Preferences causes a Google Calendar to be misconfigured.

A free case (Punnet) for a Raspberry Pi

July 16th, 2013

Punnet for Raspberry Pi

The Punnet is a cardboard case for the Raspberry Pi that you can print yourself from the PDF and cut out.  You can print to paper and then glue that onto card if your printer isn’t really up to it.


Inspired by the Fusion Drive

June 30th, 2013

Apple Fusion Drive

Adding an additional SSD to OS X and retaining the original HDD in a MacBook Pro.

By adding a small SSD to OS X congaing the Operating System and Applications an increase in performance can be achieved. Boot times can drop by as much as 50% when compared with a standard 5400 RPM HDD as fitted to a MacBook Pro.

A 64GB SSD can hold OS X Mountain Lion and a reasonable sized Applications folder. However, it is not a suitable size to hold much user data in terms of photos, music and films. Retaining the internal HDD of 750GB allows all that information to be stored on the slower but larger volume.  A MacBook Pro with an SSD and HDD performs much like the new Apple Fusion Drive but without the dynamic data tiering.  Moving the OS X Users folder to the SSD from the HDD may be required due to space constraints.

Clone the HDD to the SSD and then use the old User folder on the HDD.

Elements that broke during this process:

Steam – SSD had been formatted as Journaled Case Sensitive HFS+ which breaks Steam
Desktop links to iPhoto
BBC iPlayer