IP camera password reset

I had some time today to finally change the webcam that looks over our driveway. I got a PoE security camera from an eBay trader a while ago but only plugged it in once for testing. There must have been default password which is now lost. So, you can reset these things, right?

First problem – there’s no hardware reset at all. Not that much hope via Google (or, rather duckduckgo which I use now) other than having to email stuff to the manufacturer. I tried a password resetter found on GitHUB but it does not work.

Ok, what do I need to do… 

First, get their software. Oh it’s only Windows, so fire up the old Windows laptop and wait for it to do it’s booting up updates and sort itself out, usually at least 5 minutes.

Next, run the software and select ‘forgot password’ at which stage I can download some XML or take a photo of a QR code. These go to the manufacturer.

Next, download their PDF which has to be filled in. Find the laptop does not have Acrobat Reader, so go and get that. IE insists on opening…

Next, find out that their software does not let you copy text from the various fields needed for filling in their PDF. Ok, it will export to CSV so do that.

Next, open the CSV into Excel, which for some reason thinks it’s unlicensed and sticks in read only mode. Discover that for some reason read only mode also means no copying!

Next, close and restart Excel to sort its licence out, and finally copy the relevant fields into the PDF.

Last, send an email with the PDF and the XML and wonder why the XMP does not include all the fields you have to type into their PDF.

Finally, turn laptop off and wait for it to do its updates, only 10 minutes this time.

Notice and autoreply from the company that the email has been received but suggesting I contact the local branch in the UK. Forward the email and wonder why they don’t simply say that in their instructions anyway…

Honestly, the time it has taken for me to do this far exceeds the cost of the camera. If the password reset code does not come within a day it would actually be cheaper to simply buy a new camera on one-day delivery!

Good grief…

Edit: so, the reset key arrived. It does not work.

Home automation

I have three ‘onewire’ temperature sensors running up from the hot water cylinder and central heating pump to a Raspberry Pi in the loft. These record the water temperature going round the central heating, as well as that going into the hot water cylinder and the temperature of the pipe back to the boiler. The Pi records these every minute.

Nothing whizzy in any of that, it’s all standard stuff. Only I discovered that the temperature readings make a lot more sense if the sensors are actually on the pipes and not sitting in a pile of fluff on the floor! Ah…

Busted phones…

I have not had a good day fiddling with iPhones.

The story started some time ago when one iPhone was dropped and suffered catastrophic damage. And I mean catastrophic. For anyone that has ever had an iPhone SE apart, imagine a phone where the screen had to only cracked but had come completely away from the backplate. All three cables from the screen were torn. The case had bent, the plastic at the bottom was broken, the camera had gone, the plastic at the top of the case was very dodgy and the battery had bent. How on earth – apparently it fell three floors on to concrete.

And of course there was no backup…

So, off to eBay. Having acquired various bits and reassembled it sufficiently to do a full backup this was then restored to a new SE phone. All was well with the world (well, actually the new phone soon suffered water damage and then another catastrophic fall and has since become an even newer phone… but that’s not my problem!).

I had assembled the repaired phone rather quickly as it only had to do the one task of the backup. The camera was not sitting right and was pressing against the screen. So it sat on the shelf waiting it’s turn to be re-repaired. For maybe a year.

Fast forward and one of our older phones no longer receives new versions of iOS. The app used for bus tickets, which originally split into two apps, one for timetables and one for payments, has been replaced by a new version that does everything. Only it does not work on the older iOS. So, the waiting-to-be-re-repaired iPhone came to mind. I wiped it and checked the battery will actually store charge for more than a few hours, and then set about pulling it apart to sort out the camera. It all went back together just fine. I updated iOS, set it up as a new phone and attached it to the relevant iCloud account. All was going well. Well, until I tried to call it. The call worked fine, good audio both ways… but…

…IT DOES NOT RING OR VIBRATE!

Typical. Everything else is fine, but useless as it does not give any audible alert on incoming calls, FaceTime or messages. The ‘silent’ switch and volume up/down buttons are very non-functional, and even setting the ring volume up via the app it does not ring. The assistive touch stuff does not help. I guess it’s stuck somehow on ‘silent’ in a way that the software cannot get round.

So it is destined for eBay as parts.

Notebook blues

A notebook came in the other day that had had tea poured into it and now refuses to work. I’d never seen inside one of these before and we wondered if the hard disk could be removed and installed elsewhere to recover any files. At that time I’d not been to Google to check on the model etc. because there was a disk-sized lump which surely must be it?

No, it’s part of an odd shaped battery! On inspection I could only see two connections and even though the whole ‘thing’ was connected by a multi-way plug it definitely looked very un-disk-like. Off to Google.

Yup. It’s a battery alright. This notebook has no disk, just some Gb’s worth of flash. All data is stored on OneDrive. Hopefully!

You live and learn…