Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0

Last weekend I have bought myself the Lego Mindstorms NXT 2.0 set. I’ve always been a huge fan of Lego Technic. I also bought the set 8094-1 in the early days. This time i want to make more advanced robots. I have started working on a spider-like model and came across the “strandbeesten” of Theo Jansen. I have created a model of one leg in the Lego Designer tool. Hopefully I will be able to use this design in a spider model.

Alternate Vodafone connect software

I was always irritated by the bloated software Vodafone NL delivers to its customers to connect the datacard to the netwerk. Some time ago somebody suggested that you should flash your dongle and remove that Vodafone software. Flashing devices is not my favorite activity, so i decided to use the software only and not flash it. I found the application Mobile Partner and it works like a charm.

Settings that work for Vodafone NL:

APN: Dynamic
Access number: *99#
User name: web
Password: web

Thats it. Use this new profile to connect to the network and you are set.

Cisco VPN and Vodafone dongle

I ran into a problem that my VPN connection failed to work when connected through a Vodafone broadband dongle.

Thanks to RSCC blog I could solve the issue: http://blog.rscc.co.uk/2010/09/cisco-vpn-client-not-working-with.html

Solution is that you do not use the Vodafone software but use a Dial-up connection in Windows. You are not able to track your data usage with this approach so I hope it will be fixed in the Cisco client quickly.

OpenSUSE in VMWare on Windows 7

I had some issues getting OpenSUSE to work in a virtual environment. The mouse and keyboard were not working. To make this work, i restarted the virtual machine and entered a ‘3’ at the Grub bootloader prompt to start OpenSUSE in runlevel 3. In this level the keyboard works ok.

Next I edited the file /etc/X11/xorg.conf and placed the following section at the top of the file:

Section "ServerFlags"
  option "AutoAddDevices" "off"
EndSection

… and restarted the computer. Both the keyboard and the mouse are working now.

Install Cisco VPN Client on Windows 7 64-bit

Update: also check out the ShrewSoft VPN Client. The versie 2.1.5-rc4 runs perfectly on my Windows 7 64-bit machine and is able to import Cisco VPN profiles.

The RTM version of Windows 7 Premium and Ultimate (are there more version that allow this feature?) comes with Microsoft Windows XP mode. This enable you to install and run application that are not compatible with your current running Windows version.

A funny thing about this new feature is that all applications that you install in that virtual machine are automatically available in your Windows 7 start menu.

Install Cisco VPN Client

The first prerequisit is the Windows XP Mode being installed on your system. See http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx for a detailed description on how to install Virtual PC and how to obtain the Windows XP Mode image.

  1. In the virtual environment copy the VPN Client installer locally on the virtual machine
  2. Click on Tools in the Virtual PC main window and disable the integration (this will disconnect all external drives, so that is the reason you have to copy everything locally first)
  3. Now you can install the VPN client in the virtual environment (the above step is very important, because the VPN client will not install when in Remote Desktop modus).
  4. During the installatie of theVPN client, re-enable the integration again from the Tools menu.

When the installation has been completed your can simply kill the virtual machine. In your start menu you will see a couple if new entries added to the Windows Virtual PC section:

Windows 7 Start menu with VPN Client installed

You can now start the VPN client by clicking on the VPN Client icon. In the background the Virtual PC is started again and the VPN Client appears locally on your desktop.

Have fun.

Thank you Atlassian

At the JavaPolis 2007 in Antwerp I spoke with Joshua Wold of Atlassian. He was very pleased to see somebody who is contributing to the open source community. To support my ongoing development of the JIRA plugin I wrote, he donated me a Developer license of the latest JIRA version. Thank you Atlassian for this great application.