The Treehouse Blog

Tag: android

Android certificate store

by on Jul.07, 2012, under Computers

Just a few notes on Android certificates – so I don’t have to re-google this in the future.

This is based on Android 2.3.7 / CyanogenMod 7.1.0.

Installing certificates (Settings – Location & Security – Credential Storage – Install from SD card) only looks on the root directory of the SD card for certificates – don’t bother putting them in sub-directories.  It also removes the file after installation.

If you have individual key and certificate files that you need to package into a PKCS12 for Android to import, the following works:

openssl pkcs12 -export -inkey Android.key -in Android.crt -certfile ca.crt -out Android.p12

(Courtesy: http://forums.openvpn.net/topic9062.html)

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Device Convergence: GPS

by on Jun.01, 2010, under Technology

Are cell phones yet to the point where they can replace a hand-held hiking GPS?  Up until recently, I’ve been quick to dismiss this notion.  The announcement of Garmin’s latest hand-helds that appear to be moving closer to their cell phone brethren has me wondering.  Reports of the new touch-screen interface are about as bad as one would expect.

So, what are the issues?  I tried my G1 running OruxMaps on a 3.5hr / 10 mile hike in the mountains on Monday to get a better perspective.

Battery Life. It barely survived.  I would probably expect twice the battery life from my Garmin GPSMap 76S with a constantly running display.  Can the battery life issues be solved with an external AA-based battery pack to keep the cell phone charged?  I have no experience with these things.  Reviews indicate that ones without regulators aren’t worth much.  I might have to try one.

GPS Hardware. Cell phones may have GPS receivers, but it is not their primary function.  Most Android phones I’ve looked at seem to use the Qualcomm gpsOne chipset instead of a dedicated chipset such as the oft-mentioned SiRFstar III.  This is a cause for concern, since gpsOne currently seems to lack support for WAAS and likely is not as sensitive as the SiRFstar.  The upside of gpsOne is that AGPS will provide a faster lock when within range of the cell network.

Usability. Another major hurdle is the availability of high quality GPS software for the phone.  I’ve tried Maverick Lite, OruxMaps, and My Tracks and found them all to be lacking the necessary features of a hand-held GPS.  My Tracks is the Google-sponsored outdoor activity tracking app that was very recently open-sourced.  Maverick and Orux both provide offline map access (another must), but they seem to accomplish this with saved graphic tiles and not vector data as would be desired.  Any new GPS solution I get should have high-resolution topo maps included.

Durability. Hand-held GPS receivers tend to be waterproof and a bit rugged.  I’ve dropped my GPSmap 76s a number of times – and it once fell off my bike at 15+ mph.  There’s no way any phone I’ve owned would be happy with that kind of treatment.

Bottom line?  Not sure yet.  I do think the concept of a hand-held GPS is already starting to fade.  I’m not ready just yet to give mine up in favor of the cell phone.  I hope the newly open-sourced My Tracks starts gaining some useful hand-held features.

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G1/Linksys Wifi Problems

by on Mar.13, 2010, under Networking

Awhile ago I finally upgraded my home wireless network (a single WAP54G v2) from TKIP to AES.  This has been something on the to-do list since I got rid of the Axim (which wouldn’t support AES).  I tested my two wireless client devices – a laptop and my G1, and they seemed fine at the time.  All was well.

Later I noticed that the G1 was not functioning on my home network, yet worked on other similarly secured networks I connect to.  It would connect, obtain an IP address, but not pass traffic – which is a pretty bad scenario since the G1 wouldn’t automatically fail back to its GSM data connection.  I did the typical troubleshooting with “forget”-ing the network and reconnecting, etc, but this was unsuccessful.  More detailed analysis showed that almost immediately after DHCP completed successfully, the G1 would see no traffic generated from the network, and the network would see no traffic generated by the G1.  With the laptop working fine through all of this, it really seemed to be a problem with the G1.

After essentially exhausting other options, I turned my attention to the WAP.  I tried changing the SSID which didn’t help, and reverting back to TKIP, which worked fine.  I then decided to upgrade the WAP’s firmware, from 2.07 (2004 era) to 3.04 (2005 era – still 5 years old!).  The wireless security settings are more granular than the former version – and after reconfiguring – the G1 works on AES.

Hopefully this time it will keep working.

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Android Music Index

by on May.17, 2009, under Technology

I’ve not used Android’s music player much, but today I FTP’d some MP3s to my G1 and they would not show up in “Music.”  I remembered that when I tried it once before it had “just worked.”  After much Googling revealing nothing (which is really annoying, and hopefully this post will fix) I removed and reinserted the microSD card, and magically the media was indexed and available in Music.  The only mechanism of rebuilding the android media index seems to be inserting the SD card.  It seems this has to be physical as well – while Android has an “unmount” option for the card, it doesn’t give you a mount option afterwards.  The music program itself really should have a menu item for performing a re-scan, at the very least.

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G1 migration

by on Apr.12, 2009, under Networking, Technology

I went to a local AT&T store last Tuesday and signed up for service on the G1.  I put the phone on the counter and after the sales guy asked if it were unlocked, and I said that it was, things moved on quickly.  He took my information and began the process.  I walked out with a G1 on AT&T’s network and a receipt for $0 for the SIM.  I checked out data in the car, and it was working despite not having the “wap.cingular” APN settings, which I added later just in case.

I checked my online account access upon getting home.  The sales guy hadn’t setup data access, so I quickly selected the unlimited data and text option.  It also seems that the phone hadn’t been branded a “smartphone” so all of my options were for non-smart phones.  I asked the tech for detailed billing to be enabled (apparently there’s a fee for that in AT&T land) but I couldn’t tell from the website whether it was or not.  Later detailed call logs became available, so I guess it is enabled.  Unlike Verizon, only outgoing numbers are listed, which is a lot less helpful.  UPDATE: Either I missed them before or they didn’t work before, but the detailed call log does seem to have originating numbers now.

I am understandably nervous about data usage charges until I get the first bill.  Recently the bill amount was listed – something like $114 – but I can’t see the bill itself for a few more days.  Some quick figuring suggests this is reasonable for a month’s worth of service and an activation fee, but I’m not sure that’s what it is listing.  Even more recently, itemized data sessions began appearing in the details, all under my unlimited data setup, so I think things are setup correctly at this point.  UPDATE: I have now been able to see the whole bill, and everything seems to be in order.  The changes I made to my account seemed to be retroactively applied on the date I made the change (ie, the date of service start).

The number port from Verizon took about 14 hours.  This was a lot longer than Chris Z. had experienced.

I’ve purchased a few accessories – an adapter to allow both 3.5mm audio and power to be connected simultaneously – for occasional audio use in the car.  Also a mini-USB car charger and additional mini-USB to USB cables for use at home and work. I have not bought a case.  The slide-out keyboard seems to make the possibility of a good skin-type case almost nonexistent.  I also didn’t buy a charging cradle, so even though I have two batteries, I’d have to swap them to charge (like the VX8600 which I also had two batteries and no charger, and unlike the X30 which I had two batteries and a charging cradle).

A few software migrations (updated in previous entry) have been completed, so the X30 will be placed in deprecated status this week.  The 5 items I always check my pockets for before going to work can now be reduced to 4.

One other minor annoyance is that I’ve already found some places that AT&T has lower signal strength than T-mobile had.

I might be turning into an Android fanboy.  The iPhone is still much prettier though.

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