Enable RFID reader on Dell laptops

Some Dell Laptops have a Broadcom 5880 chip set which controls all the smart card and fingerprint readers installed. On Windows there are some tools you can use to work with the RFID-card reader. On linux you can use libchipcard, opensc and openct.

By default the NFC communication is disabled. To enable it first you have to turn in the Bios menu. Enable PM Security under the Security section.

After doing this you use the RFID-card reader only for Dell special authentication issues. Read this article for more information.

For using the contactless reader in your own applications you have to disable the “CV Only Radio Mode”. To do this for your Linux box you have to do the following.

1. Create a DOS bootable USB-Stick

Follow the instructions on this website

2. Get the required software

Download the file Broadcom_Unified-Security-Hu_A07_R210234.exe from this location http://ftp.us.dell.com/Security/

Rename Broadcom_Unified-Security-Hu_A07_R210234.exe to Broadcom_Unified-Security-Hu_A07_R210234.zip

mv Broadcom_Unified-Security-Hu_A07_R210234.exe Broadcom_Unified-Security-Hu_A07_R210234.zip

unzip it to a directory

unzip Broadcom_Unified-Security-Hu_A07_R210234.zip

copy the DOS folder to the usb stick

cp -R DOS /path/to/usbstick

3. Disable CV-mode

Boot your laptop from the prepared usb stick without any driver (4th menu point)

Enter into the DOS folder

cd DOS

Check chip status

ushdiag -u -stat

you should see something like this

RFID Radio: Present; Enabled 
RFID: Not Locked CV Only Radio: Enabled

We have to disable “CV Only Radio”

ushdiag -u -dd 4

Now ushdiag -u -stat should show

RFID Radio: Present; Enabled
RFID: Not Locked
CV Only Radio: Disabled

If something goes wrong call

ushdiag -h

this shows all the options available

4. Test NFC-reader on Linux

When everything went fine, on Linux you should do the following:

Start pcscd daemon, this depends on your Linux distribution. On opensuse type

rcpcscd start

When you call

opensc-tool -l

you should see something like this

# Detected readers (pcsc) Nr.  Card  Features  Name 
0    No              Broadcom Corp 5880 [Contacted SmartCard] (0123456789ABCD) 00 00 
1    No              Broadcom Corp 5880 [Contactless SmartCard] (0123456789ABCD) 01 00

When you put a an NFC-Card over the reader and your output is like this

# Detected readers (pcsc)
Nr.  Card  Features  Name
0    No              Broadcom Corp 5880 [Contacted SmartCard] (0123456789ABCD) 00 00
1    Yes             Broadcom Corp 5880 [Contactless SmartCard] (0123456789ABCD) 01 00

everything works fine 🙂

This work is based on this articles:

  • http://ridrix.wordpress.com/2009/10/13/how-to-enable-pcsc-support-for-dell-contactless-reader/
  • http://natisbad.org/E4300/index.html

New: WP-banner plugin 2.0

With this version comes full Visual and Text editor integration. This helps you to integrate a wp-banner very easy in your post by selecting the banner from the drop down menu.

After a banner is selected the plugin adds a shortcode [wpbanner client="<clientname>"] into your post.

Image1 is showing the Text editor integration:

Image1: Text editor integration

Image1: Text editor integration

Image2 is showing the Visual editor integration after selecting a banner:

Image2: Visual editor integration

Image2: Visual editor integration

The BannerAdmin menu is also new designed. Now there are three sections:

In the Client Data section you can add or edit the banner name later used for integration.

The Contract Data section has a new Price input field. Here you can input a value for the money you get for the advertisement integration. You can select whether you get payed per view, click or month. Below the Price field you can insert some limitations for showing the ad if there any.
Impressions Purchased defines how many times a banner has to be shown. A zero defines unlimited times.
Start end End Date defines a period of time to show the ad. If there is none the End Date is zero.
With the next option of this section you can define if th banner is active or not. If its not active the banner name does not appear in the editors drop down list.
On the last line of this section shows some basic statistic data. This line only appears if you selected an exiting banner.

In the last section you can define the banner options and where to place it.
An advertisemnt could be a text or an image so first select a media type. After selecting one of these option, another input field appears. If you selected an image put the url to the image in the next input field otherwise put the text you want to show.
Click URL defines the URL where your affiliate partner counts the clicks of the banner. If there isn’t any keep it empty. The clicks for the statistic of your site are counted anyway.

At last choose where to place the banner. If you want to place it in a post select nothing. If you want to place it in a widget choose this option.
The Expert mode is only for people who want to place a banner somewhere direct into the layout. Using this option you should know how your theme layout is desinged!
If you are not shure to use this option or not. Don’t worry you can play around with this option without destroying anyhing.



New WordPress calendar plugin

I needed a small and nice hassle-free calendar plugin which can show only some dates without a databases backend. I couldn’t find an appropriate plugin that fit my needs. So I decided to write the easy-calendar plugin.

This plugin uses the jquery-ui datepicker to show specific dates. The dates are read from a standard ini file.
Each line has a name = “value” pair where name is the date without leading zeros and the value is the description.

To put your dates you only have to edit the file feiertage.ini.php directly from the Worpress Plugins menu.

Download the plugin here


Can I change the calendar theme?

Basically yes. You have to go jqueryui themeroller, select your theme and install it manualy into the css folder.

Are there some Settings?
No. You only have to edit the feiertage.ini.php file

WP-Banner NG

Finally there is a new version of the WordPress plugin wp-banner available.

With this version the plugin took a big step forward to established WordPress usability standards. To reach this ambitious goal this plugin is mainly rewritten to use jQuery and jQuery-UI. To illustrate the alteration, the version number made also a big jump from 0.6.1 to 1.0.0.

In detail, now its easier to place your advertisement banner images or Flash films on your WordPress blog. With the help of a small abstract preview and a position slider you are now able to place the ads almost everywhere without editing the plugin script (see image 1). This new feature implies unfortunately a small incompatibility, when you update from an old to this new version, you have to place all the existing banner images again. But don’t worry, your existing customers will not be lost and no existing data will be deleted, you only have to place the advertisements once again.

New layout placement utility

image 1

The plugin checks automatically if you had put more than one image to the same position. If you did so,  a randomized banner rotation is activated.

The old version let you place only one advertisement at a time or two if you’re using widgets. This limitation is lifted with this new version, now you can place as much advertisements on your blog as you want, even between posts. This also applies to widgets, since WordPress provides multiple widget support.

How to place an advertisement

The WordPress layout has a standard structure based on div tags. Most of this tags have a distinct id. The div ids we are using to place the banner are listed under the drop-down menu WP Div ID, the body tag  is an exception to the rule. After you have selected a div id you have to choose if to append, prepend or to put the banner div after the selected layout id.

Wordpress layout structure

image 2

Image 2 shows you a sample structure of a standard WordPress layout with the symbolic blue banner div.

In this example the div with id=wrapper is chosen and  shows the position of the banner div with each option append, prepend and after. If you select a different div the behavior of the three options is equivalent.

By default the position of the ad is on the left. With the slider shown in image 1 you can adjust the horizontal position to fit your needs. Using a standard banner size of 480×60 a setting value of 25% might be the right choice to center the banner div.

Now your are also able to put the ad between two posts. The most top post has usually the highest post-number, here symbolized with post-n. If place a banner after a post, you have to consider that the  vertically position of the ad will change if you add a new post, so you may correct this after publishing.


If there is no entry in the WP DIV ID selection box, check your PHP-Installation if allow_url_fopen option is enabled.

If you see only the body tag your WP themes has no css-ids. The solution is: change your theme. There are lot nice themes using the id parameter.
So that is all for now.

Happy advertising ! 🙂

If you like this plugin and if it helps you to make money, it would be nice and fair if you would support this work with a donation.


The Zendframework is a huge collection of useful PHP-Scripts, which helps you to code less and create more.
The complete framework comes in an about 18 MB big compressed file.

Decompressed the Zendlibrary folder contains more than 2700 files in more than 480 subdirectories.
The folders are ordered in modules, where each module provides a specific code for a certain solution.

So far so good, the problem is, that almost every module or standalone file within the framework depends on another module or file. This means that if you want to use only a specific module (e.g. Rest) you have to find out the dependencies to the other modules by try-and-error or to install the whole framework.

Sometimes it isn’t possible or recommended to install the whole framework, if you are writing applications for particular shared hosting enviroments or plugins for other applications.

So I was looking for an easy solution with which I can use only one of these modules without installing the whole Zendframework. So I wrote a small comandline php script that copies a module and all its dependencies in to a user defined folder.

This allows me to use the power of the Zendframework without the need to install it all. Another advantage is, that the distibution file set of the application or plugin will become much smaller.

How does the script work?

  • The script is a comandline script and needs three parameter:
    1. where to find the library files (modules) normaly they are installed under Zendframework/library
    2. The module (directory name) or file you want to useful
    3. The path where to copy the files

What does the script do?

  • it scans each file in the module directory if a line contains the function “require_once ‘”. If the script found such a line, it extracts the module name and path from the require_once function.
  • With this information the script looks up the modules needed.
  • Then the script looks up all dependecies from each module found
  • this goes until all dependecies where solved and copied to the directory you specified

Try it out

Put your ad into a widget

I must admit, that the widget functionality of the wp-banner plugin works slightly different from other WP-widgets. And after some guys mentioned that the wp-banner plugin using as a widget isn’t self-explanatory I will give you here a short howto.

Before you can put your advert into a widget, you have to make all the configuration in the Posts > Banner Admin menu. After you have put all the parameters needed, you can choose where to put the ad, into a own <div> or into a widget.

After you have chosen widget and saved the configuration you can go to the Appearance > Widgets menu where you can place the banner widget the usual way. No further options are needed. 🙂

Version 0.6.1 released

Hi all,

after a bug report from a wp-banner plugin user I made a small bugfix release of my wordpress banner plugin.

This release fixes a bug affecting the admin area, where the start_date and end_date values after a banner update were not correctly displayed.

You can download the new version at wordpress.org

WP-banner plugin update

This new version is widgetized. So now its possible to put banner ads into a widget and/or into a DIV. This means now you are able to include more than one advertise banner in your wp-blog.

To place the banner into a widget you have to choose the widget option at Position in banner admin menu. If divTag is elected, the banner position is to define as described in this post.

Please keep in mind, that if you put an advertisement into a widget, that you have to check that the banner have a corresponding dimension. If not, you may destroy your theme layout. You can adjust the banner to your theme by changing the styles in /styles/default.css.

The install process also is improved. Only unpack the plugin into the plugin directory and activate it, done. 🙂 To make an update, deactivate the old version first.

After an update you may change the Position option in the admin menu. The default option is divTag, so after an update everything may work as designed 😉

Download it here.

Programming SOAP Part I


This is a short tutorial that is dedicated to help PHP programmers who get in trouble connecting a SOAP-service using the native php5 soap functions.

This part describes how to check a SOAP-call on a command line. If you have trouble connecting a SOAP-Service you should do this first, to ensure you have created a valid SOAP-Request.

To check if your soap-request is well-formed, put it into a file e.g. soaptest.xml and check it with xmllint
xmllint soaptest.xml

If everything is ok, the program will output the file content, otherwise it will throw an error message.

When there appears no error, the second step is to check if the soap-request will produce a response without errors. To check this out we can use the curl program.
Sometimes you have to send several requests to the soap-server. To simplify the requests we create a curl config file (e.g. soapheader.txt) with the appropriate parameters:

header = "Content-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8"
header = "SOAPAction: urn:<uri to soap-function>"
data = "@soaptest.xml"
url = "<url to soap-service>"

Do the test request:

curl -K soapheader.txt

to format the output we can use xmllint again

curl -K soapheader.txt | xmllint --format -

If you are lucky you will receive a soap-response and if you are very lucky the xml-response is what you expected.
Otherwise there appears no response or rather no output, this occurs when your request produces a server error. To have a look to the server response you can dump the header information to a file (e.g. header.txt):

curl -K soapheader.txt -D header.txt

With this information you should be able to solve your problems 😉