Guide: Using/installing Signal-desktop without a phone [Debian]

Please double-check the instructions and continue at your own peril, but the following steps were verified to work by me on Debian Gnu/Linux 9 “Stretch”, at the date of this post. Feel free to point out any errors or potential security risks in the comments. (Also, remember that it is generally considered a bad idea to copy-paste to terminal.

1. If you don’t have it already, install Flatpak

2. Install the Signal Flatpak (scroll down on the page for command line instructions). This should give you the Signal-Desktop app in Gnome.

3. Install signal-cli. The command line instructions are:

    export VERSION=
    sudo tar xf signal-cli-"${VERSION}".tar.gz -C /opt
    sudo ln -sf /opt/signal-cli-"${VERSION}"/bin/signal-cli /usr/local/bin/

The first command might be hard to interpret. What it means is: open the list of versions and check out what the latest one is. Replace the text within the tags with the version number. Currently, that means the command should be export VERSION=

4. Launch Signal

5. Take a screenshot of the QR code. Crop it, and upload it to a QR decoder. I used ZXing. Copy the code it gives you (should be something starting with tsdevice:/?

6. Time to register your phone of choice. In Terminal, enter:

signal-cli -u USERNAME register

Replace USERNAME with your phone number, in its international format (starting with a + sign). There’s also a way to register with a voice call, more information can be found on the signal-cli pages on GitHub.

7. You should get a text message with a verification code. Use this to verify your phone number:

signal-cli -u USERNAME verify xxx-xxx

Again, replacing USERNAME with your phone number, and the x’s with the verification code you just received.

8. To link your phone number with the Signal-Desktop app, replace the word CODE with the code you got in step 5, and, again, USERNAME with your phone number in the following command:

signal-cli -u USERNAME addDevice --uri "CODE"

9. That’s it, Signal-Desktop should now launch. If you want to, you can clear the variable attribute you set by running the command export -n VERSION

Signal-Desktop might ask you to “relink” your phone after a certain time. If that happens, just go through the steps 4-8 again.


Fix: No wifi login prompt on Firefox

When connecting to a public wifi, you are often given the message “You must log in to this network before you access the internet”. You are prompted with accepting the terms of the network in question – a so-called captive portal.

Especially when using a hardened Firefox version, the web login page might fail to display, leaving you connected to the wifi but with no internet access. Here are a few steps that should resolve this issue.

  1. Restart Firefox in safe mode.
  2. If necessary, disable your VPN and restart Firefox in safe mode once more.
  3. You should now be prompted to login to the network, and can restart Firefox in its regular mode, with add-ons enabled.
  4. If you’re still not able to reach the network login page, try entering an URL associated with the place you’re in, such as if you’re in a Starbucks.

Svenska: Denna metod fungerar för att få upp inloggingssidan på SJ-tåg. Ibland kan man dock behöva skriva in inloggingsadressen ( manuellt och logga in genom den.

Buy vintage Barbour jackets/coats in London

Taking the advice of this post (mirror here, here and here), I went to Robert’s vintage Barbours on Portobello market in London. I went on a Friday in September of 2017, and, sure enough, Robert’s stall was right there under the Westway, off Portobello road, a couple of minutes walk from the Ladbroke Grove tube station. (Google map here.)

Prices ranged from £79 to £110 for all sorts of Barbour jackets – mainly olive, waxed ones (Bedale, Beaufort, Northumbria, Border – no Ashbys, as far as I could see) but some blue, too. Quality varies, but all of them are acceptable. Pay by cash – ATMs are to be found nearby.

Swedish: Ladda ned MP3 från Sveriges Radio Play

Dessvärre verkar Jacques de Lavals lovvärda initiativ Pirate Player inte längre fungera eller uppdateras. Den som vill ladda ned MP3-filer från Sveriges Radio (alltså filer som inte görs tillgängliga som poddradio, som Sommar i P1 med all musik, eller P3:s En kärleksattack på svensk hiphop) kan ändå, i skrivande stund, göra det utan några som helst plugins eller tillägg genom följande metod. Den är testad och fungerar i Firefox.

1. Öppna sidan för det program du vill spara ned – det kan alltså vara ett program som enbart har en “Lyssna”-länk.

2. Högerklicka på “Lyssna”-länken. Du bör få en länk som slutar med &playepisode=XXXXXX, där x:en är siffror.

3. Öppna den länken.

4. När sidan har laddats, högerklicka någonstans på den och välj “Visa källa”.

5. I texten som kommer upp, sök efter ordet topsy. Du kommer att hitta en länk som ser ut ungefär så här (klicka för att förstora bilden):

Klicka för att förstora bilden

6. Kopiera den här länken.

7. Nu kan du antingen öppna den i en ny flik, och spara hem programmet som en MP4-fil på hårddisken, eller helt enkelt klistra in filens URL direkt på mediekonverteraren för att konvertera den till MP3-format (tryck på “Importera en URL” och klistra in adressen du kopierade i steg sex).

(Någon driftig person bör kunna snickra ihop ett Greasemonkey-skript som automatiserar den här processen, och helt enkelt inför en Ladda ned-länk som pekar på MP4-filen i de fall en vanlig MP3-länk saknas.)

Download DINPUT8.DLL for GTA San Andreas here

According to several forum posts, DINPUT8.DLL seems to be necessary to run GTA San Andreas under Windows 7.

Here is the file:

Since WordPress doesn’t allow .dll files, I had to rename the file to .jpg. Please rename the file from .jpg to .dll when you save it (right-click and select “Save as”).

(Disclaimer: I found the file myself through some forum post/file host, and it worked for me. I have checked it for viruses, and it seems okay. I can’t vouch for its quality, though.)

Update, 2013-11-08: Anders Hartzen kindly notified me in the comments to this post that the file does indeed seem to work for more people than just me.