Visiting iFixit and finally fixing my laptop!

be3n at the iFixit set

I got the full tour, the place is amazing and far tidier then any workshop I have been in. They have pieces for nearly everything and almost everything in pieces. I got to try out their tools. I even touched their flame thrower!

iFixit’s Boring Conpany flame thrower

It turns out this little bugger was the cause of all my problems or at least my technical ones. Once I got this guy replaced, my 2011 MacBook Pro was back kicking ass. Thanks Daniel you are awesome!

MacBook Pro 13-Inch SATA cable

I brought this gift to show my appreciation, I hope you like it. It is TechStep diagnostic tool from Apple for testing and diagnosing vintage Macs. I don’t even remember what i traded it for nearly 20 years ago, but i never once used it. I hope you enjoy it and maybe even do something cool with it. I cannot wait to come back.

Apple TechStep Diagnostic Tool

my Asterisk PBX is back!

Google Voice Killed Asterisk SupportAfter Google killed XMPP support for Google Voice, I no longer had a house phone. I was using my Google Voice number as a home phone and for the gate info our building.  This lead to the whole system being ignored and neglected. By the time the SD card gave up the ghost, even the backups were in poor shape. I rebuilt the whole system fresh from the latest RasPBX dist and it’s working better then ever. Bought a real DID so i could continue to use Google Voice on our handsets at home. It’s great to have my Asterisk back.

More then printing out, I’m printing up! Experiments with my first 3D printer!

3D Printing: My Third PrintWhen a colleague offered me a great price to buy his barely used Monoprice Maker Select V2 , I was instantly transported into the future. No more waiting for amazon deliveries, now i can download things straight into reality from the inerwebz!  Well, that’s almost what happened.

The learning curve was not as steep as i expected. my 3rd print was actually perfect; or would have been if i hadn’t run out of filament.  Funny story… i inherited with the printer a 1Kg spool of PLA. Unfortunately, the Monoprice Maker Select’s included spool holder doesn’t support large spools like this one.  So I had to maintain the slack on the spool or break off pieces for prints.  That is no way to live. The very next pint was of course was Maker Select V2 Spool Holder Mod by toastedsilicon

3D Printing: Monoprice Maker Select V2 Spool Mod Continue reading “More then printing out, I’m printing up! Experiments with my first 3D printer!”

Back to reality after another amazing DEFCON!

I met a pile of incredible people.  Bought some amazing toys (for science), some i’ve even got working.  Saw some talks and demos.  Talked to some of my heroes and listened to even more.  I saw Ladar Levison talk about epoxying your ports and adding thermite to your hard drives.  I played with the ECU of a fake car!  now i just have finish building the DarkNet Badge!  enjoy my pictures. The hat data is still being analyzed.  I’ll try to build something out of it eventually.


DEFCON26 - Badge Acquired DEFCON26 - Car Hacking Village Badge DEFCON26 - Blockchain Badge DEFCON26 - Show us what you got?! Battlefield Las Vegas - Mac-10 Battlefield Las Vegas - Tank Collection Battlefield Las Vegas - Tank crushing car Battlefield Las Vegas - Tank crushing car close
Continue reading “Back to reality after another amazing DEFCON!”

Introducing DEFCam or how i made a hat for DEFCON!

DEFCam hat

This is a silly project that i have spent probably too much time on.  First I thought, why not time-lapse my upcoming defcon trip.  Then i thought, why not live stream it.  So… I started with a Pi Zero and a Pi Camera v1.  Wired some pins to the GPIO for power.  Made a custom wire and hot glued it into the hat.  Done!

https://be3n.com/defcon

DEFCam - pi zero cam case

DEFCam - prototypeDEFCam - original wiringDEFCam - can see itself
Continue reading “Introducing DEFCam or how i made a hat for DEFCON!”

My first purchase from a KeyMe kiosk and I have notes!

KeyMe Kiosk

I have used MinuteKEY in the past to easily bypass DO NOT COPY keys. Today’s errand was more about a quick solution then a security bypass. I was just copying normal keys today.  Here is what i learned.  With MinuteKEY, you could only make batch copies of the same key.  In fact, the MinuteKEY kiosk locked your key into the machine until all the copying is done.  There were zero protections against DO NOT COPY keys.  They do however print keys right there in a variety of styles and colors.

MinuteKey - DO NOT COPY close Continue reading “My first purchase from a KeyMe kiosk and I have notes!”

It’s finally fixed!

 

As you can see, it did turn out to be hardware, a GPU and CPU (ouch!).  The flash storage was not it, but I figured that out eventually. This has been an issue since October!  With many fixes attempted.  It was a bit of a blow to my pride eventually having to turn to Apple, but they stepped up and got it done with only mild frustration on my part.   Plus, they picked up the tab as my warranty is certainly expired.  There comes a time when you realize that a fix would require more parts then you had at hand.  I have been enjoying my functional desktop again, just in time for the new iMac Pro to make it obsolete.