Trans: Latin prefix implying "across" or "Beyond", often used in gender nonconforming situations – Scend: Archaic word describing a strong "surge" or "wave", originating with 15th century english sailors – Survival: 15th century english compound word describing an existence only worth transcending.

Category: Lifestyle/How-To (Page 1 of 6)

Obliterate non-removable MDM profiles enforced by Apple’s Device Enrollment Program

Or, when life gives you apples, use Linux

Seemingly harder to remove with every eye-glazing gist and thread... A mac plagued with an is_mdm_removable=false Mobile Device Management profile: the worst! 🙂

First, boot into recovery mode by rebooting while holding down the Command & R keys.

At this stage, you'll need to connect to the internet briefly to download the recovery OS. This provides a few tools including like disk utility, support, an osx reinstaller- at the top menu, you'll find an option to access a terminal.

Once in there, you'll want to:

Disable SIP:

csrutil disable

Then reboot:

reboot now

While holding down Command + Option + P + R to start afresh with cleared NVRAM.

Reboot once again while holding down the Command & R keys to return to the recovery OS. Reinstall whatever version of OSX it offers- instead of trying to deal with the slippery, network connected DEP plists & binaries contained within the various LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons found in the /System/Library directories directly, we'll let Apple finish with the ConfigurationProfiles first, then sneak in and remove them.

While this stuff is cooking, get yourself a usb stick and a penguin, such as Budgie:

wget -nd http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-budgie/releases/20.04.1/release/ubuntu-budgie-20.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso
umount /dev/sdc 2>/dev/null || true
sudo dd if=ubuntu-budgie-20.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdc bs=1048576 && sync

Boot up again, this time holding the Option key for the bootloader menu. Once in the live usb system, make sure you can read Apples HFS filesystem:

sudo apt-get install hfsprogs

For me at least, I needed to run a quick fsck to fix up the headers before I could mount the osx filesystem living at /dev/sda2 (sda1 is the efi partition):

sudo fsck.hfsplus /dev/sda2

Now, lets go in there and remove those ConfigurationProfiles:

mkdir badapple
sudo mount -o force /dev/sda2 badapple
cd badapple
sudo rm -rf private/var/db/ConfigurationProfiles/*

🙂

clipi CLI!

Find this project on my github here!

...post updated 07/19/2020

An efficient toolset for Pi devices

Emulate, organize, burn, manage a variety of distributions for Raspberry Pi.


Choose your own adventure....

Emulate:
clipi virtualizes many common sbc operating systems with QEMU, and can play with both 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems.

  • Select from any of the included distributions (or add your own to /sources.toml!) and clipi will handle the rest.

Organize:
clipi builds and maintains organized directories for each OS as well a persistent & convenient .qcow2 QEMU disk image.

  • Too many huge source .img files and archives? clipi cleans up after itself under the Utilities... menu.
  • additional organizational & gcc compilation methods are available in /kernel.py

Write:
clipi burns emulations to external disks! Just insert a sd card or disk and follow the friendly prompts. All files, /home, guest directories are written out.

  • Need to pre-configure (or double check) wifi? Add your ssid and password to /wpa_supplicant.conf and copy the file to /boot in the freshly burned disk.
  • Need pre-enabled ssh? copy /ssh to /boot too.
  • clipi provides options for writing from an emulation's .qcow2 file via qemu...
  • ...as well as from the source's raw image file with the verbatim argument

Manage:
clipi can find the addresses of all the Raspberry Pi devices on your local network.

  • Need to do this a lot? clipi can install itself as a Bash alias (option under the Utilities... menu, fire it up whenever you want.

Shortcuts:

Shortcuts & configuration arguments can be passed to clipi as a .toml (or yaml) file.

  • Shortcut files access clipi's tools in a similar fashion to the interactive menu:
# <shortcut>.toml
# you can access the same tools and functions visible in the interactive menu like so:
'Burn a bootable disk image' = true  
# same as selecting in the interactive cli
'image' = 'octoprint'
'target_disk' = 'sdc'  
  • clipi exposes many features only accessible via configuration file arguments, such as distribution options and emulation settings.
# <shortcut>.toml

# important qemu arguments can be provided via a shortcut file like so:
'kernel' = "bin/ddebian/vmlinuz-4.19.0-9-arm64"
'initrd' = "bin/ddebian/initrd.img-4.19.0-9-arm64"

# qemu arguments like these use familiar qemu lexicon:
'M' = "virt" 
'm' = "2048"

# default values are be edited the same way:
'cpu' = "cortex-a53"
'qcow_size' = "+8G"
'append' = '"rw root=/dev/vda2 console=ttyAMA0 rootwait fsck.repair=yes memtest=1"'

# extra arguments can be passed too:
'**args' = """
-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd-root \
-no-reboot -monitor stdio
"""

# additional network arguments can be passed like so:
# (clipi may automatically modify network arguments depending on bridge / SLiRP settings)
'network' = """
-netdev bridge,br=br0,id=net0 \
-device virtio-net-pci,netdev=net0
"""
  • Supply a shortcut file like so:
    python3 clipi.py etc/find_pi.toml

  • take a look in /etc for some shortcut examples and default values

TODOs & WIPs:

bridge networking things:

  • working on guest --> guest, bridge --> host, host only mode networking options.
    as of 7/17/20 only SLiRP user mode networking works,
    see branch broken_bridge-networking
    to see what is currently cooking here

kernel stuff:

  • automate ramdisk & kernel extraction-
    most functions to do so are all ready to go in /kernel.py

  • other random kernel todos-

    • working on better options for building via qemu-debootstrap from chroot instead of debian netboot or native gcc
    • add git specific methods to sources.py for mainline Pi linux kernel
      • verify absolute binutils version
      • need to get cracking on documentation for all this stuff

gcp-io stuff:

  • formalize ddns.py & dockerfile

  • make sure all ports (22, 80, 8765, etc) can up/down as reverse proxy

# clone:
git clone https://github.com/Jesssullivan/clipi
cd clipi

# preheat:
pip3 install -r requirements.txt
# (or pip install -r requirements.txt)

# begin cooking some Pi:
python3 clipi.py

Parse fdisk -l in Python

fdisk -l has got to be one of the more common disk-related commands one might use while fussing about with raw disk images. The fdisk utility is ubiquitous across linux distributions (also brew install gptfdisk and brew cask install gdisk, supposedly). The -l argument provides a quick look raw sector & file system info. Figuring out the Start, End, Sectors, Size, Id, Format of a disk image's contents without needing to mount it and start lurking around is handy, just the sort of thing one might want to do with Python. Lets write a function to get these attributes into a dictionary- here's mine:

import subprocess
import re

def fdisk(image):

    #  `image`, a .img disk image:
    cmd = str('fdisk -l ' + image)

    # read fdisk output- everything `cmd` would otherwise print to your console on stdout
    # is instead piped into `proc`.
    proc = subprocess.Popen(cmd, stdout=subprocess.PIPE, shell=True)

    # the raw stuff from stdout is not parseable as is, so we read into a string:
    result = proc.stdout.read().__str__()

    # figure out what type we should iterate with when looking via file / part contained within image.  I have no idea if anything besides .img will work- YMMV, but YOLO xD
    if '.iso' in result:
        iter = '.iso'
    if '.qcow2' in result:
        iter = '.qcow2'
    else:  
        iter = '.img'

    # chop up fdisk results by file / partition-
    # the resulting `parts` are equivalent to fdisk "rows" in the shell
    parts = re.findall(r'' + iter + r'\d', result)

    # dictionary `disk` contains each "row" from `parts`:
    disk = {}
    for p in parts:
        # sub dictionary 'part' contains the handy fdisk output values:
        part = {}
        # get just the number words with regex sauce:
        line = result.split(p)[1]
        words = re.split(r'\s+', line)
        # place each word into 'part':
        part['Start'] = words[1]
        part['End'] = words[2]
        part['Sectors'] = words[3]
        part['Size'] = words[4]
        part['Id'] = words[5]
        part['Format'] = words[6].split('\\n')[0]
        # stick this part into 'disk', move onto next disk part:
        disk[p] = part
    return disk

The eBird API & regionCode

get this script and other GIS bits here on github

The Ebird dataset is awesome. While directly handling data as a massive delimited file- as distributed by the eBird people- is cumbersome at best, the ebird api offers a fairly straightforward and efficient alternative for a few choice bits and batches of data.

  • The eBird AWK tool for filtering the actual delimited data can be found over here:

    install.packages("auk")

It is worth noting R + auk (or frankly any R centered filtering method) will quickly become limited by the single-threaded approach of R, and how you're managing memory as you iterate. Working and querying the data from a proper database quickly becomes necessary.

Most conveniently, the eBird API already exists- snag an key over here.

...The API package for R is over here:
install.packages("rebird")

...There is also a neat Python wrapper over here:
pip3 install ebird-api

Region Codes:

I'm not sure why, but some methods use normal latitude / longitude in decimal degrees while some others use "regionCode", which seems to be some kind of eBird special. Only ever seen this format in ebird data.

For example, recent observations uses regionCode:

# GET Recent observations in a region:
# https://api.ebird.org/v2/data/obs/{{regionCode}}/recent

...But nearby recent observations uses latitude / longitude:

# GET Recent nearby observations:
# https://api.ebird.org/v2/data/obs/geo/recent?lat={{lat}}&lng={{lng}}

Regardless, lets just write a function to convert decimal degrees to this regionCode thing. Here's mine:

#!/usr/bin/env python3
"""
# provide latitude & longitude, return eBird "regionCode"
Written by Jess Sullivan
@ https://transscendsurvival.org/
available at: 
https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Jesssullivan/GIS_Shortcuts/master/regioncodes.py
"""
import requests
import json

def get_regioncode(lat, lon):

    # this municipal api is a publicly available, no keys needed afaict
    census_url = str('https://geo.fcc.gov/api/census/area?lat=' +
                     str(lat) +
                     '&lon=' +
                     str(lon) +
                     '&format=json')

    # send out a GET request:
    payload = {}
    get = requests.request("GET", census_url, data=payload)

    # parse the response, all api values are contained in list 'results':
    response = json.loads(get.content)['results'][0]

    # use the last three digits from the in-state fips code as the "subnational 2" identifier:
    fips = response['county_fips']

    # assemble and return the "subnational type 2" code:
    regioncode = 'US-' + response['state_code'] + '-' + fips[2] + fips[3] + fips[4]
    print('formed region code: ' + regioncode)
    return regioncode

Prius, Printers

Add EV only mode button for 2009 Prius-

Pinouts and wiring reference here:
http://www.calcars.org/prius-evbutton-install.pdf

Big shiny EV mode button in the Prius!

Fusion 360 files here: https://a360.co/2zOACJJ

Files uploaded to thingiverse here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4422091

xposted to prius chat too:
https://priuschat.com/threads/3d-printed-ev-mode-button-xd.216774/

PLA & Carbon Polycarbonate button housings:


While we're at it....

See more notes on D&M 3d Printer stuff on github here:
https://github.com/Jesssullivan/Funmat-HT-Notes
...and here:
https://github.com/Jesssullivan/AeroTaz5_hotfix

Install Adobe Applications on AWS WorkSpaces

By default, the browser based authentication used by Adobe’s Creative Cloud installers will fail on AWS WorkSpace instances. Neither the installer nor Windows provide much in the way of useful error messages- here is how to do it!

Open Server Manager. Under “Local Server”, open the “Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration”- *(mercy!)* - and turn it off.

Good Lord

##### Tada! The sign on handoff from the installer→Browser→ back to installer will now work fine. xD

Convert .heic –> .png

on github here, or just get this script:

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Jesssullivan/misc/master/etc/heic_png.sh

Well, following the current course of Apple’s corporate brilliance, iOS now defaults to .heic compression for photos.

Hmmm.

Without further delay, let's convert these to png, here from the sanctuary of Bash in ♡Ubuntu Budgie♡.

Libheif is well documented here on Github BTW

#!/bin/bash
# recursively convert .heic to png
# by Jess Sullivan
#
# permiss:
# sudo chmod u+x heic_png.sh
#
# installs heif-convert via ppa:
# sudo ./heic_png.sh
#
# run as $USER:
# ./heic_png.sh

command -v heif-convert >/dev/null || {

  echo >&2 -e "heif-convert not intalled! \nattempting to add ppa....";

  if [[ $EUID -ne 0 ]]; then
     echo "sudo is required to install, aborting."
     exit 1
  fi

  add-apt-repository ppa:strukturag/libheif
  apt-get install libheif-examples -y
  apt-get update -y

  exit 0

  }

# default behavior:

for fi in *.heic; do

  echo "converting file: $fi"

  heif-convert $fi $fi.png

 # FWIW, convert to .jpg is faster if png is not required 
 # heif-convert $fi $fi.jpg

  done

D&M Shields – Fusion 360

As of 4/4/20, we are busy 3d printing our rigid shield design, efficiently hacked into its current form by Bret here at D&M. click here to visit or download the Fusion files!

The flat, snap-fit nature of this design can easily be lasercut as well- the varied depths of the printed model are just an effort to minimize excess plastic and print time.

More to come on the laser side of things- in addition to the massive time savings- like <20 seconds vs. >3 hours per shield- we can use far cheaper and varied materials with the addition of our sterilizable and durable UV resins and coatings. Similarly, lasercut stock + resin offers the possibility quick adaptation and derivative design, such as [flexible](https://a360.co/2UFKRHM) UV cured forms.

When it must be Windows….

Edit 07/26/2020:
Check out the expanded GIS notes page here!

Regarding Windows-specific software, such as ArcMap:

Remote Desktop:
The greatest solution I've settled on for ArcMap use continues to be Chrome Remote Desktop, coupled with an IT Surplus desktop purchased for ~$50. Once Chrome is good to go on the remote Windows computer, one can operate everything from a web browser from anywhere else (even reboot and share files to and from the remote computer). While adding an additional, dedicated computer like this may not be possible for many students, it is certainly the simplest and most dependable solution.

VirtualBox, Bootcamp, etc:
Oracle's VirtualBox is a longstanding (and free!) virtualization software. A Windows virtual machine is vastly preferable over Bootcamp or further partition tomfoolery.
One can start / stop the VM only when its needed, store it on a usb stick, avoid insane pmbr issues, etc.

  • Bootcamp will consume at least 40gb of space at all times before even attempting to function, whereas even a fully configured Windows VirtualBox VDI will only consume ~22gb, and can be moved elsewhere if not in use.
  • There are better (not free) virtualization tools such as Parallels, though any way you slice it a dedicated machine will almost always be a better solution.

Setup & Configure VirtualBox:

There are numerous sites with VirtualBox guides, so I will not go into detail here.

Extra bits on setup-

  • Guest Additions are not necessary, despite what some folks may suggest.

  • Dynamically Allocated VDI is the way to go as a virtual disk. There is no reason not to set the allocated disk size to the biggest value allowed, as it will never consume any more space than the virtual machine actually needs.

  • Best to click through all the other machine settings just to see what is available, it is easy enough to make changes over time.

  • There are many more levels of convoluted not worth stooping to, ranging from ArcMap via AWS EC2 or openstack to KVM/QEMU to WINE. Take it from me

xD

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