Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Kobo Arc - Fixing a startup boot loop

Kobo Arc stuck in a boot loop
A friend of mine had their Kobo Arc suddenly stop working.  The device would start booting then not make it past the boot animation (hang and not make it to the OS).  Of course they followed all the typical troubleshooting found on Kobo's Website with the link below.

However this doesn't help typically when you can't get to the OS level and my friend even booted into fastboot/recovery and did a full Factory Reset of the device.

However this doesn't help you if there is an issue with a corrupt file or if the built in storage is starting to degrade.  Remember it's 2019 and this device was released November 2012.

However I like a challenge and had a look at it.  Since it could get into fastboot we have some options.

There are Roms on XDA we could play with and help us troubleshoot

We can re-flash the OS and see what happens which can be found here

We chose to just to re-flash the stock OS, which is fine by me, but we have to have an android dev setup on a device, which I happen to have.  If you don't you will need a PC with the Following setup

Download and Install the Android Dev Studio

Once Completed Under Appearance & Behavior -> System Settings -> Android SDK -> enable the Google USB Driver

Enable Google USB Driver
Now you can get the ADB tools from the SDK Manager but for my workflow and using the command line I like putting everything in one place so I went and downloaded the Platform-tools from the link below and extracted it to C:/ and renamed the folder to adb.

Open CMD prompt as an Administrator and CD to C:\adb  (Keep this open were going to need it later)

ADB Directory for working out of for flashing
I downloaded the Stock ROM for the Arc from Kobo's website and copied it from my downloads folder to the adb folder on C:\ as shown below.

ADB Directory on C:\

Then I booted the Arc up into fastboot and connected it with a good USB cable (I had issues with 2 cables hooking up the kobo as it was only charging and not detecting the adb connection).

IMPORTANT!!!  Windows should see the Kobo in fast boot mode but it won't be accessible.

Select Apply Update From ADB
Once you select apply update from ADB you will see the following screen on the kobo

Now send the package you want to apply to the device with "adb sideload "
From your administrator command prompt window type the following command

adb sideload ""

If your kobo is seen by Windows, you will see the following

ADB Push
Once that has been pushed to the device it will verify and either install or abort installation.  In my case it installed the firmware without an issue and we have a working Kobo Arc.

A working Kobo Arc

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Where have all the Adobe Updates Gone?

Adobe Creative Suite Patches
For anyone not on creative cloud and are holding on to their old Adobe Creative Suite versions for dear life, having the original disks or images of the disks are fine but there are updates that are helpful for making the programs more stable.  To that end and until Adobe takes these links down you can get your software updates for your old creative suite programs from these two links.

Mac Adobe CS Updates

Windows Adobe CS Updates

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Adding mx records to a webhost for sendmail use for Google Apps & Office 365

If your a google apps user or an organization that uses google apps and you would like to use a sendmail form on your 3rd party hosting provider such (greengeeks, bluehost, justhost, etc) you will need to add the following information to your hosting provider to allow your gsuite email to accept mail from the webhost.

If you don't do this your host will try to deliver the mail locally as the default is to associate all domain settings with the host, typically with a @ mx record for the localhost.  Below is a sample failed email from a webhost without the google mx records setup.


Return-Path: <>
Received: from
by with LMTP id 8GQACpV7fVynYi8AqIeWRg
for ; Mon, 04 Mar 2019 14:25:09 -0500
Return-path: <>
Delivery-date: Mon, 04 Mar 2019 14:25:09 -0500
Received: from mailnull by with local (Exim 4.91)
id 1h0tD3-00D8fw-3q
for; Mon, 04 Mar 2019 14:25:09 -0500
Auto-Submitted: auto-replied
From: Mail Delivery System
Content-Type: multipart/report; report-type=delivery-status; boundary=1551727509-eximdsn-1324812479
MIME-Version: 1.0
Subject: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2019 14:25:09 -0500
Content-type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.
A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:
    No Such User Here
Content-type: message/delivery-status
Reporting-MTA: dns;
Action: failed
Final-Recipient: rfc822;
Status: 5.0.0

To enable google mail forwarding we need to setup mx records that point to google to do this you go into you login to your cpanel

You need to modify your domain zone on the host.  Select Zone Editor

If there are any MX records setup, delete them.  Then add the following using zone editor. (change to your domain).  You can also reference this google kb

Name TTL Class Type Record 14400 IN MX Priority: 1
Destination: 14400 IN MX Priority: 5
Destination: 14400 IN MX Priority: 5
Destination: 14400 IN MX Priority: 10
Destination: 14400 IN MX Priority: 10

then save your changes.  You should now be able to send email to within your organization, but to make it a little bit more secure you should login to your google admin account and limit the scope of your third party hosted server.  To do that go to

Apps > G Suite > Settings for Gmail > Advanced settings

Add a SMTP Relay service

Now you would need to verify that your host supports pear php if you want to use smtp authentication as for TLS you will need to verify your host supports that as well. 

The same applies to Office 365 if your using it 

@3600INMXPriority: 1
Destination: MS=ms XXXXXXXX 
**Note:**This is an example. Use your specific Destination or Points to Address value here, from the table in Office 365. 
How do I find this? 

There are other settings you can include such as SPF if your host supports it.

These settings should allow you to email use php sendmail for google apps and office 365.


Tuesday, July 02, 2019

How to renew the Apple Push Certificate for Cisco Meraki MDM

With Apple equipment when used with a MD such as Cisco meraki you have to update your push certificate every year otherwise your connection between the devices and your MDM will break and then you will be doing manual updates until you get the devices reset with your MDM.  Here is how you update your apple push certificate to your apple devices before the expiration date so you don't lose the connection between your MDM and your apple devices.

1 - Login to your Meraki MDM

2 - Select MDM Network -> then under the Organization menu under "Configure" select MDM

3. Once here select the Update/Renew Certificate button.

4.  Download your CSR File.  If you don't keep a clean house (or download folder) note the name and date of the file as it is very important.  In my case it is "Meraki_Apple_CSR (4).csr"

5. Then click on the link for the Apple Push Certificate Portal and login with the ID you are going to use or using with the MDM.  (It is the ID is tied to the CSR) so in this case  Don't forget that you will need your 2FA device to be able to login.

6.  Select Renew on the Certificate you want to renew.  Then upload the CSR; this is the file from step 4 - "Meraki_Apple_CSR (4).csr"

7.  Then once done you will download your new Certificate to use with your MDM.  Again make note of the name and date if you don't keep things tidy.  In my case it is "MDM_ Meraki Inc._Certificate (1).pem" 

8. Now go back to your meraki mdm and enter in the email address and upload the certificate we got from apple (MDM_ Meraki Inc._Certificate (1).pem

9. Save the settings (this is usually on the bottom of the page or on the bottom right)

10.  Now your certificate expiry should be from 1 year as shown below

You can view a youtube video of the process here


How to fix CURL call imporitng an RSS feed on a site blocking CURL calls

There is a 3rd party service provider that my organization uses called bibliocommons.  They have these nice book carousels.  However the car...