Category Archives: Hardware

Great Scott!! My Volkswagen can travel in time.

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Filed under Hacking, Hardware
Tagged as ,

Here is a little gem that my brother found. He is working with cars a lot. And there is a special software he uses called VCDS (formerly VAG-COM) which is used for diagnostics and adjustments of cars. Mainly VW, Audi, Skoda and others. And it seems to contain a cool easter egg. In one of the menus it offers the option to enable the flux capacitor (= Fluxkompensator in German).

VCDS Flux Capacitor

VCDS Flux Capacitor

I heard that even though this would work in theory, you would still be short of 1.21 jigawatts to trigger the thing :-).

Great Scott

On a side note: In the German dubbed version of the movie, they translated “Flux Capacitor” wrong. Fluxkompensator actually means flux compensator. Where it should heave been Fluxkondensator.

Reset the Toner Cartridge of a Samsung CLP-510 with a Raspberry Pi

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Filed under Hacking, Hardware, Linux, Raspberry Pi

Update: In the meantime I developed a user friendly Python program which does all the work with a single command line: SPEER – Samsung Printer EEprom Resetter for Raspberry Pi.

Lousy Business Practices

A little bit more than a year ago I bought a used Samsung CLP-510 color laser printer for a few bucks. It printed fine, but I suspected that the toner was probably almost empty. And with laser printers it’s almost as bad as with ink jets. New toner cartridges are more expensive than the value of the printer. It is even worse with color laser printers, since they need four cartridges. But I figured that I would try to refill the toner cartridges once the time comes. So I bought it. It turned out that the toner cartridges where not completely empty. I used the printer for almost a year. But eventually the printer informed me that it was empty. It contains three toner cartridges:

  • CLP-510D7K/ELS – That’s the black color for 7000 pages.
  • CLP-510D5C/ELS – That’s the cyan color for 5000 pages.
  • CLP-510D5M/ELS – That’s the magenta color for 5000 pages.
  • CLP-510D5Y/ELS – That’s the yellow color for 5000 pages.

The black one was the one which was empty first. So no problem, I thought. Let’s refill them with some new colorful powder. Only then I found out that the cartridges contain a build-in page counter – a little electronic circuit board – which stops you from using the cartridge even if it’s refilled. Well, those are really lousy business practices if you ask me. The manufacturer forces you to buy an expensive new cartridge, even though it would continue to work perfectly by refilling it. Luckily there are some solutions to that problem.

  • You can replace the counter board inside the cartridge with a new one. You can buy those for a few bucks on eBay.
  • You can reset the page counter by reprogramming the EEPROM of the toner counter board.

Solution 2 sounded really geeky. So I went for that.

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Compiling an Android Linux Kernel for Xperia Phones

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Filed under Android, Hacking, Hardware, Linux, Xperia T
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The Linux kernel for Sony Xperia phones is open source. So nobody is stopping you from compiling your own custom kernel. All you need is a Linux machine, the kernel sources and a couple of tools.

custom_kernel

I will explain the steps needed to build, package and flash a custom kernel by using the Xperia T (LT30p) as an example. The steps should be pretty similar for all other modern Xperia phones.

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