Category: Hacking and Tech

RFID-RC522 RFID Reader Modules – Why they don’t work and how to fix them

  Recently I purchased a lot of the RFID readers with the name “RFID-RC522” from China.  These were sold as using the MFRC522 chip, but on inspection the chip was blank beyond an orientation marker on them.  Initial experiments showed that these boards could read the MiFare Classic cards reliably, but I couldn’t get them…


Office 365 backdoor message routing

Microsoft would like you to think that Office 365 just works and that online Exchange is just a service you can consume without worry.  However scratch below the surface and you discover their architecture has a few flaws. Office 365 is ever changing – so what I write now will probably be wrong in 3…


OpenHab 2 – Home Automation

Something I’ve wanted to do for ages is setup some home automation. I grabbed myself a nice USB Z-Wave interface and a few devices and had a play with OpenHab2.  At the time of writing OpenHab2 has some great bits and some really clunky bits.  I decided to write this as a bit of a…


Exchange Mailbox Move Diagnostics

Sometimes moving mailboxes fails, and it can be for the strangest reasons. Many reasons are quite easy to identify, but some are a real pain! Here is a quick guide to diagnosing the root cause of the problem, following the process I used to identify and fix some failed migrations. In my instance I had…


Lenovo Laptop – Not charging while booted

A problem that occurred a few years ago return – my laptop a Lenovo T540p would not charge while it was booted.  However shut it down and it charges fine!  This problem had just suddenly appeared and was very obviously not a hardware issue.  I disabled the power services and remove the battery management entry…


Nextion Displays

I recently purchased a couple of Nextion displays.  These clever little things combine an ARM processor and a resistive touch screen display in to a single unit.  Not too amazing on its own, but what is great is ability to rapidly create a UI and link that back to whatever you wish via TTL serial….


Rapid Image Manipulation and 3D on the Raspberry Pi

I wanted to be able to move images rapidly around the screen on the Raspberry Pi with Python, loading new images while the app was running as they became available.  My initial attempts were a flop, I tried PyGame and various other methods.  This either resulted in utter confusion for me, or failure to do anything…


Addressable Pixel LED Strips

With the advent of cheap RGB LED strips it was only a matter of time before they managed to integrate more intelligence in to the LEDs to make them addressable.  They’re plummeting in price every day and they’re amazingly simple to control thanks to a great library available for the Raspberry Pi.  The LED strip…


Exchange 2010 Cluster Account on W2012

Recently I had to install Exchange 2010 on Windows Server 2012.  This was great until I tried to add mailbox servers to the DAG, only to get a bunch of obscure error messages that didn’t mean anything! It would appear that from Windows Server 2012 it can no longer create the cluster account correctly.  When…


Peer-to-peer Name Resolution (mDNS)

When you don’t have a monitor and have plugged your Raspberry Pi in to a network –  how do you know which IP address it got?  This was a real problem for me with a plug-and-play use for the RaspberryPi that I’m working on.  Without knowing anything about the network I’m on, how can I find…