Archives for category: Devices

On the day I bought it, the quickly deepening love I felt for my new LG G3 was seriously dampened when I plugged it in to my computer. I had unlocked Developer options and enabled USB debugging only to enter the default Installer Mode. It all came back to me: the same USB mode-switching rigmarole with past Verizon LG devices.

Today, I varied my Google search and stumbled on the solution, no root required:

  1. Open the Dialer
  2. Dial ##3328873 and press Send
  3. Enter the service code: 000000
  4. Uncheck the Tool Launcher enable box
  5. Reboot the phone

Now when you plug in your phone, it should enter the last connection mode you selected—which, if you need USB debugging, will be Internet connection – Ethernet.

$ logout

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I’ve accumulated a few laptops over the past five years. My first laptop “lasted” for four years of college (i.e. killed its first hard drive and was running Vista for most of its career), but I’ve since moved on to more powerful, non-Windows machines. Though four computers may seem a little unnecessary to my girlfriend, each still serves its own purpose in the various virtual ventures I partake in today.

Dell Inspiron · Windows 7 · Previously, my primary computer. Currently hooked to my MIDI-enabled piano for any time I want to work on some music. Occasionally turned on and remote desktop’d into when I really need IE or Photoshop.

System76 Gazelle Professional · Ubuntu 13.04 · Primary computer for everything; mostly-permanent denizen of my desk hooked to an external mouse, keyboard, hard drives, and second monitor.

Apple MacBook Pro · OS X 10.9 · Day job computer; occasional development and double pixel-density web testing at home.

Lenovo ThinkPad X201 · Lubuntu 12.10 · Primary “laptop,” i.e. portable computer; pretty much a dedicated development machine and replacement for my Samsung N130 netbook, whose two-year use inspired my full switch to Linux, and whose left-clicker recently went kaput.

$ logout

DRM is a common theme in the Internet Age’s story. Like watermarks on currency or microprint on checks, there are many reasons to prevent people from copying things, especially when you remove tangibility.

But sometimes it goes too far. I never bought music off the iTunes store again after I downloaded an album and found it wouldn’t abscond with me to another player. After I bought my first ebook today, I can’t say I’ll readily do it again.

I found an interesting technology book that I wanted to read on Amazon, ready for purchase in Kindle’s format. I own a Nook because it supports open formats (and PDFs), so I started looking around for a compatible version. Barnes & Noble only sold hard copies and the publisher only offered it in iPad format. I thought maybe I can convert it and I found out about a site that does just this. So I bought the book, and was told conversion wasn’t possible due to DRM. Ah, it’s so nice of Amazon to protect me from myself.

  1. So the first step was getting the book out of the cloud. For this I downloaded Kindle for my OS; I was on my work computer so I downloaded the Mac version. If I was at home, I would’ve had to get the Windows version and use wine to get it on Ubuntu.
  2. I found the AZW file for my book in the file system and copied it into a more visible location. It was located in:
    1. Windows: C:\Users\<username>\Documents\My Kindle Content\
    2. Mac: /home/<username>/Library/Application Support/Kindle/My Kindle Content/
  3. After reading a superuser question, I found a DRM removal tool for this exact situation. The standalone app didn’t work for me, so I downloaded calibre (cross-platform, nice!) and installed the DeDRM plugin from the previously downloaded tool, following the README instructions.
  4. Restarted calibre, opened up my book for conversion to ePub, and had a free and open copy in less than a minute.

I don’t believe in an era of innovation and free-flowing information ushered in by overprotective rights owners. From my reality, I’ve already given you my money–and for a mere $5 less than a physical copy, which is outrageous in itself. The least you could do is give me a quality product that will work with my gadget of preference.

So I can’t say I’ll be anxiously looking for my next ebook purchase. But it’s comforting to know that there are always ways to shake off the fetters of myopic companies and their ill-founded mechanics.