Category Archives: Tutorials


Sign up for Google Voice outside the US

If you’re in Canada and want to try Google Voice, here’s a way around the US-only verification system.  This should work for free, but requires a bit of patience.  It should work in other countries as well.  I’ve done this twice in Canada, and now have two Google Voice numbers. This should allow you to set up Google Voice outside the USA.

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Using an iPhone on a Pay as You Go plan in Canada

Note: This post is more than a year old, so I’ve edited it with updated info. Edits are indicated.

Update 2:  I’ve made a new post with information on using an iPhone with the Speakout data plan, as well as Using an iPhone 5 on SpeakOut.

If you’re interested in using an iPhone in Canada, but aren’t interested in being stuck in a lengthy contract, perhaps using a prepaid service can be an option. Here’s my 3-step guide to using an iPhone on a Pay as You Go plan in Canada.

Step 1: Acquire an iPhone in Canada.

First thing you’ll need is an iPhone. You can grab one on eBay or from your friendly neighbourhood iPhone seller. I’m not going to go into how to acquire an iPhone in Canada, you can figure that bit out yourself. Maybe your husband just bought a new iPhone and wants you to have his old hand-me-down iPhone or something like that.

A few things to watch for, though. If you get a first generation iPhone (sometimes called a 2G or 2.5G iPhone), you’ll have to unlock it, since it was never sold in Canada. This is trivial, and can be accomplished using the iPhone Pwnage Tool on either Mac OS X or Windows.

First Generation iPhone

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Slackware Linux Tips

Slackware Linux is arguably one of the oldest, surviving versions of Linux; it is my distribution of choice. I am currently running Slackware 12.1 with the shiny smp kernel. Slackware is very robust and secure, it does not use a lot of system overhead to run. This means that Slackware will run very efficiently on high-end machines and also on older hardware. Slackware has a reputation for being very difficult to use, this reputation is partly deserved.

Slackware does not use many graphical interfaces to set-up, configure your computer. You will be required to use a text editor and a root shell prompt to set-up many of the system functions. The installation procedure uses a ncurses based installer, an easy-to-use text based installer. If you are willing to learn, read, and have a lot of fun, then give Slackware Linux a try. If you feel comfortable with navigating on the command-line interface and using a text editor you will love Slackware. Once a Slacker, always a Slacker:-)
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Jailbreak without a computer

Ok, this is neat.

With every update of the iPhone firmware, the hacker community has stepped up and created a way to install third-party apps on the iPhone. This is known as a “Jailbreak.”

The approach taken with the latest version of the iPhone and iPod Touch firmware, 1.1.3, is a little different.

Since the iPhone and iPod touch are running a version of Mac OS X, they have a nice BSD Unix layer underneath. So some hackers (including a 13-year old kid) have figured out a way for the jailbreak operation to take place right on the iPhone itself. No need for a computer. It downloads the firmware from Apple using “curl” then decrypts it and jailbreaks it.

All without any intervention. Check it out: iJailBreakMobile 1.0.


I did this today and it took about 45 minutes. It worked flawlessly.

Screenshots inside.

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Windows Fundamentals on an ASUS eeePC

The Asus EeePC is an awesome little machine. I have the 701 model, which has 4GB of hard drive space (basically a 4GB flash card), and 512MB of RAM.

This model comes with Xandros Linux pre-installed. Xandros is very useable out of the box. By default, the EeePC is in “Beginner mode” but you can switch it to use “Advanced mode” which is a KDE-based Linux desktop.

Linux is just fine for 99% of what you’ll want to do, especially since all the apps (OpenOffice, etc) are preinstalled and preconfigured. There’s no reason for most users to want to change the OS on the EeePC. But we’re going to install Windows on it, just because we can.

Photo by Jeff MThis is where Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs comes in. This is an OS that Microsoft put out to its corporate customers to install on Windows 98-Class machines. The requirements are super light — it needs 64MB of RAM, and 700MB or so of hard drive space. I had used Windows FLP before, but mainly on really old hardware or inside VMware virtual machines. It’s basically a very light version of XP SP2.

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