Archive | February 2009

XAMPP Apache and Skype (port 80)

We started some internal web development projects recently using OSCommerce and Magento for webshop development plus Drupal and Kaltura for video sharing portals. As a matter of fact Amazon also has some interesting services to host video files: Amazon S3. ApacheFriends is producing a nice toolkit called XAMPP Lite which is easy to install on a local PC and has all what you require for web development: Apache, mySQL and PHP.

For communications, however, I mostly use MSN and Skype on my PCs. Finally I resolved the mystery. If Skype is started, it will occupy port 80. When you start Apache from the XAMPP Control Panel afterwards Apache will not start and will show no trail whatsoever in the logfiles (located in (<installdir>\apache\logs) about the cause of the failure.

The solution is to first start Apache, then start Skype. If that case Skype will search for some other port for communication as Apache will already have captured port 80. Hope this help for anyone using Skype and XAMPP.

OMAP experiments

As we can succesfully flash an Android device now it will be fun to see if we can achieve a couple of other things. Among these would be to get Android running on a Texas Instruments OMAP1623 development board (H2) and on a ASUS Eee PC (eeepc.asus.com). Information on how to get Linux running on OMAP can be found here.

Cell ID

There is different ways to retrieve the location of a mobile phone. We are currently evaluating some options. Each of the options seems to have quite a lot of drawbacks. To support a large number of mobile phones it would be required to write a J2ME application.

The Cell ID can be retrieved if the phone has no GPS, but supports the JSR-179 location API.  This new J2ME optional package, however, is only implemented on the most recent mobile phones.

As an alternative we could read a system property on the mobile phone using a J2ME application. On Nokia Series 40 phones this requires operator signing which will be difficult to achieve.

In our quest to read the Cell ID we also ran into an interesting option by getting the Cell ID through the SIM card. For J2ME applications this seems to be possible through JSR-177. This allows you to send APDU commands to the SIM card. Also in this case there only a few phones which support JSR-177.

Interestingly we also discovered Turbo SIM and Rebel SIM. Turbo SIM is an additional SIM card which you can insert in your phone. It is possible to write applications which are stored on the Turbo SIM card and to interact with both the phone and the operator SIM card. We purchased an evaluation package from Bladox. So you expect some more findings from Inmote about this technology in the next months.

Android DevPhone

Being Symbian experts we are playing around with Android currently. Quite interesting: using a DevPhone we succeeded to build the ROM image ourselves and flash a new ROM image in the Android phone. The source code however is huge (5.5 Gb). The small objective to find out more about the telephony interfacing on Android turns out to be a bit more of a challenge as expected.