Nmap Portable

Sometimes you may have to run nmap from a Windows machine without installing anything.
It's possible to build a portable version of nmap that is somewhat limited (no winpcap), but still usable for a quick port scan.

First you'll need to build the portable package: use a windows machine where you have administrative access.
Download the Nmap windows binary file from here.
Install and run it at least one time to make sure all the DLLs were correctly extracted.
Now you'll have to manually put DLL from the MS VC Runtime in the same directory of nmap.

You'll need:
  • Microsoft.VC90.CRT.manifest
  • msvcp90.dll
  • msvcr90.dll
  • msvcp100.dll
  • msvcr100.dll
They may be in some unusual places like C:\Windows\winsxs\x86_microsoft.vc90.crt_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_9.0.30729.5570_none_509463cabcb6ef2aCopy them in the same directory of nmap.exe.

Now copy the whole nmap installation directory on an USB key, and you'll be able to run it from another machine without installing.


Hillclimbing with the Yaris Hybrid

It's a common belief that hybrid cars are best suited for urban usage.
Last evening I went for dinner hillside near my home town.
It was a 68 Km round trip.
Here is the elevation profile of the road:

It's a 34 Km road that crosses several small towns, max speed was 80 Km/h due to several speed cameras.
Starting elevation is 97 meters, ending is 329.

Ending mileage was 3.9 L/100Km.
By comparison, the week-long average consumption of my all-urban travelling was 4.4.
It seems that hybrid cars are not only for the city.


Mounting a disk image

Dumping a full disk is a quick way to perform a backup:

# dd if=/dev/sdb of=filename.dsk

But once you have such a dump, you can't directly mount it, you must use kpartx:

# kpartx -av filename.dsk
add map loop0p1 (252:0): 0 7830408 linear /dev/loop0 1144

You can see the partitions with fdisk

# fdisk -l /dev/loop0

Disk /dev/loop0: 4009 MB, 4009754624 bytes
128 heads, 22 sectors/track, 2781 cylinders, total 7831552 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xc3072e18

      Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/loop0p1   *        1144     7831551     3915204    b  W95 FAT32

Now you can mount the partitions that are inside the disk image.

# mount /dev/mapper/loop0p1 /mnt
# df -h
Filesystem           Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda5             31G   12G   18G  41% /
udev                 3.9G  8.0K  3.9G   1% /dev
tmpfs                1.6G  960K  1.6G   1% /run
none                 5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none                 3.9G  200K  3.9G   1% /run/shm
/dev/sdb5             20G  1.4G   18G   8% /home
/dev/mapper/loop0p1  3.8G  1.1G  2.7G  29% /mnt

Once you've done, you can umount it with

# umount /mnt
# kpartx -dv filename.dsk
del devmap : loop0p1
loop deleted : /dev/loop0

Ubuntu doesn't have kpartx installed by default:

# sudo apt-get install kpartx


Hybrid Synergy Forum

Chances are that if you landed on this page, you're interested in hybrid cars.
The real authority in the field is here:

For Italian speaking people, the Hybrid Synergy Forum is the best place to find info about hybrid cars and all that surrounds them.


Dashboard ergonomics

Nearly all new cars have on-board navigation.
But still many prefer old-style external navigators.
One of the reason is they have better ergonomics: they can be plugged on the windshield so they are in the line of sight while driving.
The new Yaris Hybrid is no exception: the infotainment system is way too low on the cockpit:

With the help of GIMP, I've tried a little redesign:

There's enough room for an higher navigator position, and lower air outlets would help air circulation also.

There's a thread about this on the Hybrid Synergy Forum here.


Yaris Hybrid first mileage tests

Here is my trip to work and back.
It's a 15 minutes, 13 Km trip, something like 3 Km of urban roads at the beginning and the end, and a small town in the middle.
Road is plain, no hills or overpasses: according to wikipedia, my hometown is 9 meters lower than my workplace.
Energy balance is even: battery gauge was at level 3 both at the start and the end.
Here is the trip from work to home:

Minutes -3, -8 and -15 are totally in EV mode.
Minute -15 was spent while exiting from the parking, while during the others I was actually driving.
Average is 4.6 L/100km

And now back from home to work:

First 2 minutes in EV, while driving around home, then again minutes -1, -3, -4, -7, -8 all electric.
Average is 3.5 L/100km

I don't use the ECO-mode nor EV-mode buttons.


Double click

Here's the key:

To lock or unlock doors only one press is required.
I keep all my keys in the same pocket, so while I was searching for my home key, the car lights flashed: the unlock button accidentally was pressed by the other keys rolling in the pocket.
Single click is a bad design choice:
single click -> select
double click -> execute
that's the way on my desktop, that should be the way in my pocket too.

Toyota Touch hidden menu

Keep SETUP button pressed while turning on and off the headlights 3 times:

Here's the hidden menu.
The "Next page" button leads to this screen:

No items are selectable here.


EV: share the fun

Driving the Yaris Hybrid is a relaxing experience.

Its ability to run only with its electric motor in the city traffic is rewarding.
There's an EV indicator on the driver's dashboard that lights up when the gasoline engine turns off and you're moving only on electric power.
It's a kind of a satisfaction switch: it turns on and bang! You're instantly gratified.
It's a feeling that must be shared: everyone should know that!
So it's a shame that the EV indicator is only on the dashboard: it should be visible from the outside also.
Stick it on the rear glass and make it glow when moving on electric power!

So who's following you can say: "Damn, he's moving effortless while I'm here wasting my gasoline".

Nvidia: the way it's meant to be driven.

There's a thread about this on the Hybrid Synergy Forum here.

Yaris Hybrid 12V battery

It's under the back seat, but its panel is kept in place by a couple of these plastic pegs:

You'll need a little screwdriver to extract the peg and his surrounding ring.

Here is it, removed from its housing.

Now it's possible to remove the plastic cover.
I've found it easier to start from the side of the seat, pulling to detach the cover.

Here is the 12V battery:

Lesson learned: always keep a screwdriver in the car, in case you'll need to charge the 12V battery while on the road.
Shame on you Toyota: why not just use a tool-less retention mechanism?
Every car driver, hybrid or not, has some story to share about low batteries, so access to the 12V one should be as easy as possible.


Yaris Hybrid engine threshold

On the Yaris Hybrid power meter, there's a mark that, when crossed, causes the engine to be turned on.
If you keep your accelerations below that "waterline" you can travel with the electric motor alone (if the battery is charged enough).

Here is the mark, highlighted by the red arrow:

Yaris Hybrid power meter