Here are some photos from The Forbidden City and The Great Wall of China that I recently took. My favorite have to be Rainbow on the Wall🙂
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Lately I have been traveling a bit to Beijing, China to do some Open Source trainings. Before I went here the first time I installed a OpenVPN and tinyproxy on my QNAP (running debian) at home. This allowed me to bypass the restrictions of the Chinese internet connection and access sites like facebook, arstechnica and twitter. It worked great for my laptop, but I could not get it to work on my iPhone without jailbreaking it. Since I didn’t want to do that I looked at the built-in VPN functionality of the iPhone to see if I could utilize that together with tinyproxy to provide a work-around.
The iPhone supports two different VPN protocols. L2TP and PPPoE. I quickly dismissed L2TP for my usage since it requires a full IPSEC stack and it didn’t seem trivial at first glance. PPPoE on the other hand seemed quite easy to install and configure. Note that L2TP probably is the better and more secure alternative of the both, but it seemed like a huge overkill to me, I just wanted to access some websites with my phone and it’s not that of a big secret.
For Debian there was the pptpd package that was very easy to install and configure. I just followed this guide: http://www.hacktopia.net/wp/set-up-pptp-vpn-server-on-debian-40/
Instead of configuring the iPhone for direct NAT access from the VPN I wanted to use the same tinyproxy that I used for my laptop, but it didn’t work well at all. I often got reset messages or it stopped loading the page in the middle, etc etc. I tried to some basic troubleshooting, making sure that the VPN tunnel worked fine and soon it was evident that the iPhone didn’t play well with tinyproxy.
The solution was to use Polipo (http://www.pps.jussieu.fr/~jch/software/polipo/), Polipo has the added benefit that it can cache webpages as well. I can really recommend the solution of PPTP + Polipo if you need to work-around firewalls or similar blocking behavior, it also good to use this solution when you are on a open WIFI network, so that people are not sniffing your credentials.
Next up is to try to figure out how to configure proxy-autodetect for both iPhone and the mac so that I don’t have to use manual settings when I connect to the VPN. But that seems to be a can of worms…
I must have missed that Apple have started to approve Podcast apps for the iPhone, I am really happy that I don’t have to use my Android phone for podcasting anymore (Google Listen is decent, but horribly buggy). Podcaster is probably my new favorite iOS app. Now I can listen to Dr. Kiki without having to remember to sync with iTunes or go through the pain of manually downloading the files to my Android because Listen crashes. Go check it out: http://podcaster.fm/
Yesterday I meet up with Kristoffer (@isallmaroon) and we talked about our next iOS app. I am not going to announce it yet, but I can tell you it involves Music, streaming and metadata madness🙂 I will post more about it in the coming weeks I hope. But since I am a family man these days a release schedule will be pretty hard to nail down🙂
XBMC on the Apple TV (Generation 2) is a pretty awesome project. I just installed it (jailbreak + installation less than 30 minutes) and now I am watching 720p MKV series on my TV without any hiccups at all! Very impressed by the XBMC team. Now I will probably get rid of my old Mac Mini! Relevant link: http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=Install_XBMC_on_ATV2
I heard the buzz about the p2 theme for wordpress, kind of making it like a small twitter page. I kind of like it and it might suit my style of blogging better oh and the comment threads are nice.
I just submitted a proposal to OSCON 2011. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that I will be accepted. Here is the abstract of my proposed talk:
Apple and iOS is not known for it’s great commitment to Open Source and Openness, that said the Open Source community is still vibrant and growing with the popularity of the platform in whole. This talk gives a brief overview of the different Open Source projects that the community has produced for the platform and also the Open Source software used in the platform itself.
We will start with the platform and the Open Source software involved in getting all the iPhones, iPod and iPads to run as smoothly as they do. We also cover Apples development tools and how they relate to the Open Source community, this includes GCC, LLVM and LLDB.
At the second part of the presentation we will dwell into the different vibrant and growing open source communities around iOS. This includes the Three20 framework by Facebook which is one of the biggest third party frameworks for iOS, ShareKit that allows users to add sharing to their applications and Cocos2D which is a game centered open source framework for iOS.
The presentation will end with the problems of Apples tight control over the App Store and what negative effects this will have on the Open Source community, we will also discuss the recent GPL + App Store controversy.
Lately I have been fighting cocos2d and orientations a bit. I have detailed it over at http://ohminteractive.se/2010/07/15/cocos2d-and-orientation-madness/ and see the code over at http://github.com/tru/cocos2d-iphone.