About gonzobrains

I am a multi-cellular organism.

How to unlock Blackberry 8700c

Okay, so I scored a Blackberry 8700c on ebay for a mere pittance, but it is locked to a single carrier.  My goal was to get it to work with any SIM card I want to use.  It is ridiculously easy when compared to other phones:

1.  With a SIM card and battery already installed, turn your phone on.  You may be able to get this to work without a SIM card but I did it with a non-working SIM installed.

2.  Navigate to the Settings icon and select it.

3. Navigate to the Options icon and select it.

4. Choose Advanced Options from the menu.

5.  Choose SIM Card from the menu.  You should now see your SIM card’s ID and phone number.

6.  Type MEPD on the phone’s keypad.  You will not see what you are typing on the screen.  This entry is not case-sensitive.  You will see a lot more data about your SIM card.

7.  Look for the Network attribute listed under the Personalization category.  If its value is set to Active that means your phone is locked and that you should continue with the rest of these instructions.  If it is set to Disabled that means your phone is already unlocked and the rest of these steps are unnecessary.

7. Hold down the ALT Key and type MEPE.  You will not see this text on the screen.  This entry is not case-sensitive.

8. You should now see a prompt that says Enter Network MEP Code.  Enter the unlock code and press in the jog dial when finished.

9. You phone will now be unlocked.  If you enter the wrong code you will be notified of such and will have to re-enter it.  You only get 10 tries to enter the code in successfully.

Have fun with your phone’s newly-found freedom!


How to fix no sound in Windows XP under VMWare Fusion on Mac OS

I haven’t been using my Windows XP VM lately, but I had to install a game to review and was having trouble getting the sound to work for some reason. Maybe it never worked before. I don’t know because I don’t really use anything in my XP VM that requires it.

But this game needed it, so here’s how I fixed it:

1. Activate your Mac’s root user account:

From the Apple menu choose System Preferences….
From the View menu choose Accounts.
Click on the lock and authenticate with an administrator account.
Click Login Options….
Click the “Edit…” or “Join…” button at the bottom right.
Click the “Open Directory Utility…” button.
Click the lock in the Directory Utility window.
Enter an administrator account name and password, then click OK.
Choose Enable Root User from the Edit menu.
Enter the root password you wish to use in both the Password and Verify fields, then click OK.

2.  Once you have finished enabling the root account, log out from your own account and then log back in with root user (the username is “root” just in case you didn’t know).

3. Goto System Preferences, open the Sound control panel, and specify the correct sound output settings for your particular setup. For me, I chose “Built-in line output” for my MacBook.

4. Log out of the root user account.

5. Log back in with your own user ID and disable the root user.  This basically entails undoing what you did in step 1.

6. Launch VMware Fusion and check for sound in your virtual machine.

Mad props to these two sites for helping me figure this out:




Android – How to add a progress dialog to your app

This site was totally helpful when it came to explaining how to add a progress dialog.  Using threads and handlers is totally the way to go:


But I had a problem because, like this other guy, I am an idiot, too:


I was relying too much on Eclipse when I had this error.  I tried to use the code from the first website but kept getting an error about not being able to override handleMessage().  It kept telling me to remove the @Override clause.  But doing that causes the progress dialog to never go away because the handler method never gets called.  I had to import the “Message” library just like this other dude did.  I was relying too much on Eclipse.


Android app cannot access Internet

While making a new Android app, I kept receiving errors like UnknownHostException, null pointers, and unresolved hosts.

It turns out you need to add a permission to your app within the app’s manifest file:

uses-permission android:name=”android.permission.INTERNET” />

Massive props goes out to this site for helping me out:


Sierra Wireless C885 Aircard cannot see micro SD card

Hey party people,

I have a Sierra Wireless C885 Aircard. The 3G portion of it works fine. I can connect to 3G/EDGE/GPRS networks just fine. But I have tried inserting 2GB and 4GB micro SD cards in it to no avail. The memory card doesn’t get recognized in Mac and Win32 PCs. What’s wrong with it?


How to view and kill tasks from the command line in Windows XP

So I was sitting in an Internet shop today and needed to check what processes were running in the background. I hate using Internet shops because you never know what kind of viruses/virii and keyloggers may be lurking in the background.

But many shops disable ctrl-alt-del, thus preventing you from opening the task manager. I’m sure there is a way to do this from windows->start but I don’t remember.

But I found this useful tidbit of information…use tasklist and tskill to save your life. They work similar to ps and kill in Linux.

More information a this site: