HP Elite Thunderbolt Dock Firmware Update

Docking stations are quite a pleasant thing, because they save you having to plug in and out a lot of different cables (network, USB, monitors, power,…). Meanwhile, docking solutions via USB-C/Thunderbolt are also available. This means that a single USB cable is all it takes to connect the computer to the peripherals and the power supply. Practically USB-C or Thunderbolt are standards, so you can combine different devices like the HP Elite Thunderbolt Dock with a Lenovo X1 Carbon, right?

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Mount DigitalOcean Spaces with Linux

Introducing DigitalOcean Spaces

DigitalOcean LogoDigitalOcean Spaces is a new product from DigitalOcean, which offers a S3 compatible, flexible storage place for your data – and it’s much simpler to configure compared to Amazon’s S3 or other solutions i know.

Because uploading the whole stuff via a web based interfaces is really annoying, i tried to mount the storage with my Ubuntu Linux. Here’s the result, which may help you to success faster than i did.

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Outlook.com SMTP Sender Delisting

How to get your mails delivered to Microsoft’s SMTP servers

When setting up a new SMTP server (i needed one for my GitLab instance), sometimes it happens that you get a new IP address which was used before for sending spam mails – or other mysterious things which might end up at the blacklist of (major) email providers – like Microsoft. So i just found this:

<xxx@outlook.com>: host
 outlook-com.olc.protection.outlook.com[] said: 550 SC-001
 (COL004-MC6F4) Unfortunately, messages from aa.bb.cc.dd weren't sent.
 Please contact your Internet service provider since part of their network
 is on our block list. You can also refer your provider to
 http://mail.live.com/mail/troubleshooting.aspx#errors. (in reply to MAIL
 FROM command)

So… i am my own internet provider, what now?

After some time of searching, i found a list of multiple links to the Mircosoft Delisting Service – and none of them is working, except only one. If you want to save your time when having the same problem – here it is:


After using the form, it may take some time until the request is processed. After processing you will receive a mail from Microsoft with the confirmation or rejection. If successful, it would take up to 24-48 hours to be unblocked from all relevant mail servers.

As far as i know, this applies for outlook.com, live.com and hotmail.com email addresses.

Monitor your IP’s status

Microsoft offers mail server administrators the Smart Network Data Service platform (https://postmaster.live.com/snds/), on which they can register their IP addresses and view the corresponding status, e. g. whether the IP is blocked or not. It is also worth taking a look at the Junk Mail Reporting Program to find out which mails classify users of Microsoft mail services as spam.

MG5350 Setup under Ubuntu

How to set up Canon MG5350 with Ubuntu

Now that I was repeatedly faced with the same problem to set up my printer (Canon MG5350) under Ubuntu. So i decided to write a small documentation which steps are necessary for the successful operation. The instructions refer specifically to my printer, but in my experience all models of Canon can be set up in a similar way.

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And the winner is…


Vielen dürfte das Problem nicht mehr ganz so am Herzen bzw. eher in der Magengrube liegen wie früher: Der Betrieb, oder noch herausfordernder, die Wahl einer Projekt-Verwaltungs-Software ist inzwischen Dank GitHub und einer Vielzahl kostenloser wie frei zugänglicher Open-Source-Lösungen heutzutage kein Problem mehr. Früher (aus meiner Perspektive am Anfang meiner universitäten und beruflichen Laufbahn) war das nicht ganz so leicht.


Vielleicht erinnern sich einige noch an Trac: Ticket-System, Wiki, Verwaltung des Code-Repositories – und das alles webbasiert. Für mich als Entwickler damals beim ersten Kontakt ein Meilenstein der Software-Entwicklung, da man eine zentrale Anlaufstelle für Code, Aufgaben und weiterführenden Informationen hatte. Wenn man als Team jedoch mehrere Projekte zu stemmen hatte, kam man dabei auch schon recht schnell an die Grenzen von Trac: Pro Projekt musste eine neue Instanz eingerichtet werden, ein automatisches Setup oder gar eine komplette Verwaltung über das Webinterface war nicht ohne Weiteres möglich. Ein bis dato noch nebensächliches, kleines Manko: Trac war limitiert auf SVN, Git, damals gerade dabei bekannt zu werden, war auch nur durch mehr oder weniger stabil laufende Plugins nutzbar.


Auf der Suche nach einer Lösung für die Multiprojektfähigkeit, ohne jedesmal einen Administrator bemühen zu müssen, landeten wir dann bei Redmine. Webbasiertes Einrichten von Projekte, nach späteren Updates sogar mit der Möglichkeit mehrere Repositories pro Projekt anzulegen – und nebenbei natürlich Unterstützung für Git – sorgten recht schnell für eine Migration aller Trac-Projekte hin zu Redmine. Kleiner Schönheitsfehler hierbei: Die Repositories mussten immernoch per Hand initialisiert werden.


Ein Kollege unseres Teams kam dann auf die Idee, mal mit Git herumzuspielen, und – wenn man schon dabei ist – einfach mal GitLab auszuprobieren (“Ich hab’ da mal was gehört…”). Kurzum: Trotz der gerade erst erfolgten Migration auf Redmine waren gerade die kollaborativen Funktionen von GitLab in Kombination mit Git Killer-Features, welche sehr schnell gute Argumente für eine erneute Migration der Projekte auf den Tisch brachten. Recht schnell wurde die Plattform auch außerhalb des Teams und auch über die Abteilung hinweg genutzt. Entsprechend dem aktuellen Funktionsumfang von GitLab richteten wir noch Backup-Prozesse etc. ein, Änderungen am Kern der Software waren aus unserer Sicht nicht notwendig. Alles, was wir brauchten, war eben dabei. So beschränkte sich die Tätigkeit des Teams auf Benutzung (für die Entwicklungs-Projekte, die wir betreuten) sowie das Management (Server-Betrieb, Wartung, Updates, Migrationen und Schulungen) der Plattform.


Window buttons at Ubuntu Lucid – Round 2

Terrifying. With every Ubuntu installation I have been able to convince my window buttons to take the position on the right side of the screen via my instructions from here. Now, after an upgrade from Ubuntu 12.04 to Ubuntu 12.10, they were left again. Stupid thing: The old manual doesn’t work anymore!

For all frustrated users, here’s the command to straighten them out:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.preferences button-layout ‘:minimize,maximize,close’

Window buttons at Ubuntu Lucid

As far as new Ubuntu versions are concerned, I am a very brave person. Therefore, a few days ago I updated my netbook to the Alpha6 of the new Ubuntu Lucid. The first impression was very positive after the reboot was completed, but the only negative aspect that came into play was probably the only one, but it was very annoying: The artwork team decided to display the buttons for minimizing, maximizing and closing on the left side of the windows by default. For someone who has always been used to finding these buttons on the right since he started using his PC, this is an unpleasant experience. Again and again, the mouse moves up to the right – to click into the void.

So I started looking for ways to move these buttons to the right again. Here is the solution how it works:

In the gconf-editor tool, there is a key with the name button_layout in the category /apps/metacity/general. The value of this is set to maximize, minimize, close:. By adjusting this value you can influence the position of the variant I am using: minimize, maximize, close, but everybody can decide for himself. Click on each window again, then all the new settings should have been applied.


I had this problem once again, but the instructions don’t work anymore. For a new tutorial see here.

Huawei UMTS USB Stick with OpenWRT

Because of the increasing proliferation of mobile data services and the increased affordability due to falling prices and affordable flat-rate offers, I have dealt a little with the possibilities of this type of Internet access. My goal was to find out if UMTS (or GPRS) can be used as a replacement for a cable DSL connection.

Since the normal home user works with WiFi at home, I wanted to create a solution where a mobile data connection such as GPRS or UMTS can be shared by several clients via WiFi. Since most of the UMTS/GPRS receivers that can be used for this purpose are available as USB versions (the other few are PC Cards), a router with USB connection had to be purchased. Fortunately, I had a Asus WL500g Premium in my hands. A well known customizable firmware for self-build or self-download is OpenWRT, so I was looking for ways to get such a USB data stick with OpenWRT running on this WL500g. As a stick I used the K3520 from Vodafone, which is nothing more than a beautifully packed Huawei E620 (as far as I know).

A very nice manual that worked (almost) without any problems can be found at http://josefsson.org/openwrt/dongle.html. Using other Huawei UMTS/GPRS modems is no problem, you only have to find out the appropriate USB-ProductID (e. g. using a normal Linux, plug in the stick and run lsusb). Almost every commercially available device subsidized by the major mobile operators such as o2, T-Mobile, E-Plus and Vodafone is a renamed and repackaged Huawei card.

The only problem is caused by this strange dual-mode of the USB devices: The Huawei sticks log in (depending on your mood?) either as a mass storage device or as a USB modem. In the OpenWRT sources there is a small tool which can tell the device that the modem mode should be selected – but hardcoded to the product ID 0×1001, which I think applies to the E220, but not to the E620 (0×1003). Interestingly, the code for parameter use is already there, but is commented out….

To eliminate this flaw, I created the package myself again, this time with support for parameters. If you want, you can download the package, copy it to your router via SCP or wget and install the package with opkg install (please uninstall the old package first). Here are the commands for removing the old package (if installed), installing the new package, and an example of how to use the program:

opkg remove huaweiaktbbo  # remove old package
wget https://mlohr.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/huaweiaktbbo_1_mipsel.ipk  # download patched package
opkg install huaweiaktbbo_1_mipsel.ipk  # install new package
huaweiAktBbo 0x12d1 0×1001  # use program (use your specific USB ID)

After these actions it was no longer a problem to access the internet with the help of the above linked instructions. Even with GPRS, the speed for surfing is still acceptable, but fast is different. I haven’t been able to test UMTS yet, but I will be using it soon. I measured latencies between 1000 and 2500ms, bandwidth ranged between 20 and 35 KB/s.


In rural areas or for chronic chatters, this solution is very practical, as the data throughput is higher than first expected, but by far not as exhilarating as with “real” DSL. For chatting, blogging and further web browsing this solution is acceptable, most pages are visible after 5 seconds. If you have the possibility of a cable DSL connection, you should prefer this in any case. If you want to administrate via SSH server, for example, you are on a lost position because of the very high latency times. Multi-user operation also works without any problems, with simultaneous data transmissions it takes a little longer. Please note: The providers differentiate between single and multi-user tariffs. This is not easy to determine whether one or more devices are going online over the same connection, but it works. I don’t know to what extent this is used by providers.