Z340 Zodiac Killer Letter

I’m always interested in solving the unsolved mysteries (Murders, Space, Ciphers, Medicine).

Anyway, I’ve been looking at the Z340 Zodiac letter and how it’s already partially solved, I’ve been studying the letter and here are my thoughts relating to it

Some of the letters look like they would be in a PigPen Cipher

The Zodiac killers letter seems to be using a mixture of plaintext + encoded text, or at least 1 the entire full work + one ciphered word (or at least the ones that are easy to guess, the more detailed information is already encyrpted plus their words (accounting for spelling mistakes) also have one or two letters in the string encoded, or swapped around & encoded

They’ve linked periods to full stops to end sentences.

Examples from the first line

HER> = Here
TGOB = Both (

DWY = Day

Also near the end they’ve written POSHT = Poshtwats?

That’s my theory, so it’s what I’m working with at the moment

UPDATE : 27/07

Finding some interesting strings of words that make up a fuller story. Currently playing around with them. As the answer doesn’t match the solution already posted for about the first 8 lines

Views – 177

How I fixed my Car Audio with Zip Ties

I recently wrote how I replaced my factory head unit in my car with an aftermarket one. One of the problems I’ve been experiencing however, was intermittent sound AND no radio. I had a weird issue where the head unit also wasn’t powering up too. The speakers were dropping in and out, and also the next time I fitted the aerial wire, the head unit would no longer power up.

Needless to say this confused me, until I did a bit of investigation

Turns out that the ISO adapter harness I purchased to fit the head unit to my car, was connected to the block. However there was always a little bit of “play” where you could wiggle the connector in and out 2-3mm which I was never happy with

This small amount of “play” was enough to break the connection between the pins and cause a signal loss, and power loss. Hence why my previous testing on the head unit wasn’t showing any problems and why it randomly powered up again after I tested it

Basically I added two zip ties tightly against the harness, one near the speaker wires, and one near the power. It’s now permanently solid and worked flawlessly since

Views – 201

Finally some sounds in the car

This has been going on for some time now, but I’ve wanted to replace my factory head unit with a better one. The standard one in the Nissan isn’t exactly the best, it does the job but the CD player part was broken and it was annoying me.

I didn’t want to chop any of the wires incase I decided to sell the car at a later date, so I purchased an ISO harness.

As an FYI, the Nissan Almera doesn’t have an earth connection through the factory wiring harness. The earth connection is done to the chassis of the vehicle through the earth wire and the metal cage that holds the head unit in

Now, I fitted the head unit to the vehicle, wouldn’t power up. Balls. Went over it again, now worked. Great. I had to order an DIN–>ISO aerial adatper because the factory one didn’t fit my Alpine head unit. The standard aerial is one of those thick ones, and the normal adapter you get is usually the reverse (thin > thick), so I purchased a replacement

I went to it the next day, no power again…. annoying.

I pulled it out the day after, multimeter at the ready and tested the earth and +12 power wires. All working, test the head unit fuse, that works, ok, must be the head unit. No power… shit. Did head -unit

I unplugged the power wire and plugged in again, now working. What the hell. Sod it, it’s working for now. That will do

I’ll look into it further when I get the replacement aerial wire to see if I can figure out what’s wrong. It’s using a harness wire and there’s a connector which goes from factory harness (albeit it’s a bit loose) to the alpine ISO

I’ll post more if I figure it out

Views – 218

Home Asterisk Server

One of the things I’ve wanted with my Home IT Setup is as much control as possible. My Internet service (and analogue telephone line) is provided by British Telecom (BT).

Not that there’s anything wrong with it, I just simply prefer to have a lot more control over the phone line when it enters my household, and coming from a technical background being able to view the statistics for the phone line and how it’s connected. Plus the call control features you get with Asterisk PBX are way more advanced.

I like being able to control my calls, and being able to record all calls and leaving voicemails whilst ignoring unknown numbers appeals to me. I’ve been familiar with Asterisk PBX now for a few years, so looking into developing a system I can use with it.

Ideally I’m going to need an Asterisk PBX Server. Should be simple enough. The technology is cheap enough to purchase. A cheap old PC should do the basic functionality.

I’ll need to integrate the phone lines. BT provide their Analogue phone lines of POTS. Which means I’ll need at least an Interface card which offers FXO functionality (may aswell get FXS card too since Fax Machines are old technology but you never know when you might need it). As I plan on integrating them with VOIP phones (I’m familiar with Avaya) I’ll need to buy a card that supports an FXO Gateway.

I’m still researching at this point. I only have one phone line entering the household (which is both my phone calls / internet)

If I’m using multiple VOIP phones (I’ll need at least two), does that mean I’ll need two FXO gateways, or can I get away with one and it’s looking after with Internal routing via my network switch?

I’ll keep posting as I go

Views – 299

I think clearer when angry

Ever had those moments of zen? I was doing the dishes in the house and whilst doing them my mind went over an argument I had at my place of work recently.

I realised that for some strange reason I think clearer when angry. I get the red mist, my adrenaline flows, and my temper goes off the rails. For some reason however my mind never phases, it actually zones in when I’m angry and I seem to have an acute point of reasoning or understanding of the problem at hand.

I don’t know whether to be worried or interested about myself. Probably means I’m borderline psychotic, bi-polar or have ADHD. Most likely something along those lines, but for now I’ll go with the flow.

I’m not a shrink so can’t really analyse myself; I just for some reason at times reach complete clarity and realise things. I just now have to figure out how I can use my anger to fuel a solution to problems rather than to increase my mental stress when I encounter them

Views – 405

Old RAC Sat Nav Files

I’m busy working on an old Sat Nav for someone but one problem I’ve come across which seems to be regular. Is that the site which used to be used by them for all the files (it was known as Route 66) is no longer online

 

It was taken down due to more and more people going to mobile apps

 

This is a pain in the arse when you need Old RAC Sat Nav Files

My colleague uses an RAC5000Wide model.

 

If you have any (firmware, original maps, software, manuals), I’d love for you to email me a link to it so I can add it to an online database (admin – at – andrewhope.co.uk)

Views – 416

AudioEndpointBuilder – The Dilemma

Thought I’d make this post to help save some time if someone else came across it. I was recently asked to fix a Windows 8.1 64-bit Laptop with no sound. The problem being specific to Windows 8 laptops

 

Talk about a night mare. The sound wasn’t working basically because the “Windows Audio” service wasn’t started. The problem is this thing relies on 3 other dependancies before it can work

– Remote Procedure Call (RPC)

– Multimedia Class Scheduler (MMCSS)

– AudioEndpointBuilder

 

Everything would start except for the AudioEndpointBuilder. It would fail with an error code 193:0xc1. The log in even viewer said it was not a 32-bit application

 

After going through various troubleshooting procedures after going through the usuals. I trailed the web and checked everything suggested

  • Reinstalling the sound drivers, motherboard drivers
  • Running SFC.exe
  • Checking the registry – making sure the paths were correct
  • Accepting the windows drivers
  • Booting into safe mode
  • Recreating the service.

None of it it worked, the only thing I could do would be either reinstall windows or find a solution

 

Luckily I found a solution (or rather a bodge)

Basically to fix the Windows 8 audio problem I did the following after finding it online…

 

– Open the registry

– Navigate to Microsoft\Windows\Current Control Set\Services\AudioSrv

Look for the path which talks about dependancies, there will be 3 entries

– RPC

– MMCSS

– AudioEndpointBuilder

 

You need to open this and delete the values for AudioEndpointBuillder and Rpc

Save it and reboot. The audio, should now be working

Views – 578

Home IT : New Addition – Laserjet Printer

For a longtime I’ve had a Canon Inkjet MP180 Printer. It has been reliable and served me well, it still works to this day but it’s a bit iffy. When I first purchased it, I was on Windows XP. Since then I’ve done many migrations up to currently Windows 10. Canon have been a bit reluctant to update their drivers however for the MP Navigator software and it’s a bit finnicky when trying to connect the printer for printing off jobs.

 

Time for a replacement!

 

I decided to add a new addition to my network, I’m used to working with business class equipment. So recently purchased a HP Laserjet 4350 Printer (with Duplexer) to add onto my home network.

 

Not only is this more Universal (the printer drivers are bundled with Windows 10), it’s a lot higher quality to use and saves me money in the long run for printing.

 

The MP180 uses Inkjet Cartridges @ ~£13 per cartridge (490 pages)

The Laserjet 4350 uses B & W Toner Cartridges @ ~£165 per toner (10,000 pages)

 

To get the same amount of pages on my MP180 = 10,000/490 = 20.4 Cartridges

Total Cost would be 20.4 x £13 = £265.2 for same level

 

 

 

As you can see a Laserjet printer is more efficient at saving money when printing off jobs. Not to mention it’s faster. The MP180 prints 17ppm. The LJ4350 prints 55ppm

 

It will benefit me for my home network and when printing off information for eBay sales and general documentation. Already installed and chuffed with it because I’m used to the equipment

 

Total cost of printer was £99 including Toner.

 

Views – 652

Why I haven’t migrated my site to WordPress fully

This is probably something which someone may question at some point so here are the main reasons why I’m not (or currently haven’t) migrated my website into a WordPress or Content Managed Website

 

  1. Entire site needs rebuilding
    1. To migrate my website I’d have to modify a lot of code and go through all the articles again, quite frankly can’t be arsed. Also to have the site how I want it I would need to rebuild all of my website, and given the problem I’ve had moving between hosts, it would break everything meaning I’d have to fix it again and resubmit all site links to Google and generate new sitemaps.
  2. Static HTML suits me for the content I write
    1. Articles I write are DIY guides, I like the fact how they’re laid out within HTML and it’s just nice and simple. No OTT designs, or OTT in general. Just nice simple information which loads quickly what the end user wants
  3. Blogs are more for content which updates regularly
    1. Articles that I write are generally updated / created as and when I have to fix something on my car, I don’t really write very often, unless it’s crap. So doesn’t really suits me
  4. Static HTML is easier for me in terms of placement of pictures
    1. I don’t need to modify the code much, I just put in a simple HTML table, and insert the picture. If I wanted it somewhere specific I could have a little bit of CSS coding into the page. Having it on a WordPress/CMS system makes it annoying as a lot of my articles are full width and I’m yet to find one I like which makes it easier to add pictures and have them placed where I like. Plus uploading pictures is a chore as I have to upload them to a gallery then insert from gallery. Rather than just dump everything into an /images folder and simply hotlink from there
  5. Low server requirements
    1. My website if running on static HTML barely uses any resources. Websites running PHP/MySQL can be resource intensive, whereas a website designed to run nothing but static HTML could potentially hosts thousands/millions of websites on the same server because static HTML is reguarly cached and loads quickly
  6. More secure
    1. Whilst not impossible, it’s generally a lot easier and more secure when using HTML sites, because there is nothing happening in the background for pages to be loaded such as database or PHP requests. Pages are simply served, so it locks down the security a bit better as the hackers would have to be able to modify the direct HTML file itself
  7. Faster backups
    1. This is a bit irrelevant really because I can’t download my backups until I’ve created them, but the larger your site is the longer it takes, having a small website means it’s backed up within minutes, instead of being up to 1 hour on a larger size, HTML compresses very well too for backups which makes it quick to download. Useful if I’m on a low speed connection
  8. Easier to troubleshoot
    1. Whenever I get problems with HTML, it’s fairly easy, it’s displayed on the screen. You either make an error and it doesn’t work, or it works fine. You can make HTML pages look amazingly modern and very stylish by using basic .CSS stylesheets. If you run a site with WordPress or CMS, you have to have MySQL, CSS, PHP and a few other things. Usually a simple change can break your code which gives you hours of headaches. I’ve had to fix my site often so I’m familiar with the layout of it now
  9. Low disk space usage
    1. When my website only has HTML pages. It doesn’t consume much disk space. An average HTML page is around 5KB in size. So adding some pictures (reduced in size / compressed to around 100KB) and basic CSS, I could have an entire website with 100+ pages that only consumed 50-200MB of disk space with very low requirements and would be very responsive. HTML pages also load really quickly, because it’s basically text and nothing else. Nothing requires rendering or any function calls in the background which talk to database. It just has a request and serves it to the end user straight away. Whilst disk and file compression is possible on dynamic sites, putting everything into wordpress just increases the overall size due to the databases and PHP aspect of everything

 

Eventually, when I find something I like the entire site will be migrated. The PROS of having a WordPress or CMS based website outweight the CONS, but for the time being I can’t be arsed.

Until I find something which suits the purposes and how I write my articles I’ll just keep going as needed then eventually change it over when I have it how I like it. Content becomes easier to maintain and increases my score in Google overall, so it will be done for end benefit

Views – 583

How I fixed my washing machine for £15

Over time my washing machine has been developing a fault. I thought I had spilled water down the back of it because when I switched it on, every light on the front panel would flash continuously. Sometimes it would stop, and others it would just keep going and going.

This causes an issue when I’m trying to do my washing up, did some research because I got sick of it and discovered it’s actually a really common fault with washing machines (usually by Hotpoint / Creda / Ariston). The main capacitor on the electronics board (usually C17 Capacitor) has failed.

Board Inpsection

Damaged capacitors

To fix the issue it’s a case of replacing the capacitors. Reading horror stories on the internet suggests calling out a washing machine engineer, they would simply replace the board and reprogram it. Costing the end user around £150

The article that follows shows how I fixed my washing machine for £15

COMPONENTS NEEDED

  • Solder Wick (2.8mm x 1.5m)
  • Soldering Iron, Tip Cleaner & Solder
  • Replacement Capacitor(s) – They need to be ELECTROLYTIC
    • You will need to double check, but most likely it will be…
      • 25V / 100uF
      • 10V / 680uF
      • 10v / 470uF

Once you have verified the correct capacitors for your board you will need to remove them from the board. I’m not the best at soldering, so everyone has their own technique, not to mention the soldering iron I had was a really cheap one that didn’t heat up well. This is the technique I used

 

  • Cleaned the tip of the iron after heating
  • Apply a small amount of solder to the iron
  • Put the solder wick over the board around the capacitor leg and wick it up
  • Keep repeating the procedure until the leg is free, clean iron each time

It’s hard to describe the wicking process, but basically having the extra solder on the iron seems to increase the heat and make it easier to wick the hold solder off. Don’t bother with those plunger removers, they’re just annoying. Use the reel and it will be all off really quickly. In terms of cleaning the tip I used one of those metallic pan scrubbers you get from Asda (the balls of metal) what you use for cleaning stainless steel. The true kits use brass balls, but for cheap soldering irons I don’t really care. It worked well

 

Once you have removed the solder from all the pins, remove the capacitors. Insert the replacement capacitors inside the holes you made which should be clean, making sure you align (+ to +) and (- to -). You should find that there is a small white circle for the negative side and a + mark on the board for positive. Also on the capacitor the negative side there will be lines down the side. If there are no lines, the “shorter” leg of the capacitor is the negative side

 

 

After you have inserted a capacitor, tip the board upside down. Clean the tip of the iron, and let the end hit up (to the point where solder melts on touch), clean the tip again so it’s shiny. Then hold the hot point of the iron to the metal leg of the capacitor and touch the solder onto it, you should find the solder melts. Apply a small amount of solder so it covers the peg and then remove the solder, then remove the iron (this entire process should only take 2 or 3 seconds).

Soldering capacitors

Soldering new caps

Clean the iron tip each time, and reapply solder to all the board points. Once you have resoldered all the connectors onto the board, snip off the end metal pieces with scissors / pliers. Your work should then be complete

Installed capacitors

The new capacitors installed

Now you just need to test the board, personally, I was paranoid of doing anything during first install so I hooked up all of the cables into the board and switched on the machine without the water connected so I had acccess to switch off the power if there was any problems.

Repaired board fitted

The board back in its housing

The washing machine switched on straight away with no flashing lights. Plumbed in the hose after switching it off again and set away two loads. It is now repaired and this is how I fixed my washing machine for £15

 

 

Views – 703

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