Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Going back to the iPad after using Windows 8 Tablets. From a DevOPS Dad.

The picture above summarizes what I use my tablets for. As a convenient on-the-go device when I am out and about. I regularly take my kids out to the local play park on a daily basis. I'll pull up in a stroller and watch them play. Occasionally, I’d get a call to log into some remote Linux server in the cloud or query some database for a client report. In these instances, I don’t want to lug around my $3,400 laptop, a top-of-the-line 15” Macbook Pro Retina. A Macbook won’t fit inside the diaper bag or the stroller. After trying a bunch of Windows 8 All-in-Ones and convertible tablets (as chronicled on this blog), I've decided to go back to the iPad. The iPad Mini.

Pictured above are a Dell Venue 8 Pro, the iPad Mini Retina, and a 10" 1920x1200 HiDPI Lenovo Miix 2. With all the hype of convertible, do-it-all all in one and the allure of running native x86 software in a tablet, I mistakenly went for that sales pitch. I ended up getting a few devices I no longer use. Now, I decided I need something that simply works when I'm out and about. That device ultimately is an iPad.

Read On.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

iOS METAL Graphics iPhone 6 Plus versus HTC ONE (M8) SnapDragon 801

With the release of iOS 7 and iOS 8, Apple introduced a new bare metal graphics API. This new framework promises to give iOS an edge in mobile gaming. So how does it compare to a standard Android Flagship running something like the SnapDragon 801 SoC? The new A8 chip on the iPhone 6  Plus is indeed a powerhouse. Well, I took it for a spin and compared two cross platform games that has Metal support on iOS. These are merely screenshot comparisons as I played some games on both platforms.

I think comparing the HTC ONE M8 to the Apple iPhone 6 Plus is a fair comparison. Both are driving 1920x1080p resolution. Both were set at full detail max resolution gameplay.

Asphalt 8: Airborne and Beach Buggy Racing.

The differences on Gameloft's Asphalt 8 is very hard to tell. You really have to look for it and I don't think it really makes a compelling difference in gameplay. Yes, there are some differences but again, you really have to look for them.

Here are some screenshots.

On the first track, at launch, you can see the iPhone has some extra details. The other racer's launch usually has a flamed induced burn-out. Everything else is the same. The texture mapping and polygon count on both platform are the same. You are not going to see anything majorly different.

iPhone 6 Plus


Monday, October 6, 2014

Fixing the BASH Shellshock vulnerability on OSX 10.5.8 and 10.6.8

Apple released a BASH update that addresses the vulnerabilities of ShellShock but they neglected operating systens older than 10.7 Lion.

Well, I happen to know people who are running various 10.5.8 and 10.6.8 Snow Leopard machines in production. They are used in automation and rely heavily on BASH. Thus, I upgraded  over a dozen legacy Mac OSX Servers and it was pretty straightforward.

I'm not going to take the credit but most of what you need is at this link:

You will need to download the latest Xcode for each respective OS.
The only gotcha as 10.5.8 and cURL. 10.5.8's built in cURL does not support SSL so you will need to add a -k (insecure SSL) flag in the instructions.

Here is an example:
For 10.6.8

curl  https://opensource.apple.com/tarballs/bash/bash-92.tar.gz | tar zxf -

For 10.5.8
curl -k https://opensource.apple.com/tarballs/bash/bash-92.tar.gz | tar zxf -

That is it. For 10.5, add the -k flag for each cURL request you download from Apple's servers.

Once finish, you should be able to address all of these vulnerabilities:

Bash should be updated to 3.2.55(1)

Once you are patched, it is time to test.
You can go to shellshocker.net and download a bash script that run through all the vulnerabilities.

Or run it from the shell via cURL.
curl https://shellshocker.net/shellshock_test.sh | bash

I hope this helps.

Once you compile it, you can easily tar the files up and use it for re-distribution to similar machines. I only had to compile BASH twice (one for 10.5 and one for 10.6). I then took my Releasebuild binaries and rsync them across various OSX machines from my iPad.

I tested it extensively on some VMs and then to production servers. I was a bit worried about going the homebrew route as that method will install newer 4.3. That is a major generational change and there would be some major breakage somewhere. Thus, sticking with a 3.2.XX version of BASH with all the updates will be the most painless. I have OS X servers running MailMan listservs, some are used for  production automation that runs rsynch, mounting NFS shares, CalDAV, and the likes. So far, nothing has broken.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lenovo Miix 2 10 inch 2-in-1 hybrid tablet ultrabook

 A new toy so I have a new write-up. Today's gadget is the Lenovo Miix 2 10 is a 10 inch Windows Bay Trail 2-in-1 hybrid tablet.

Here are the specs:
10 point multi-touch FHD screen (1920x1200)
1.33 GHZ ATOM Z3740 QUAD Core Processor
2GB RAM and 64GB Flash Storage