Seva's notes

Wisdom, Awareness, Responsibility :)

Xiomi POCO F1 Locked with Numeric Keyboard (solved)

leave a comment »

I’ve got my Xiaomi Pocophone F1 Global version in September 2018. The main pros were the price, the feature set, the responsiveness of the development team, the speed of releasing the software updates, and especially the sweet security compliance with my employer’s policies.

Speaking of which, one of the security requirements was that the device must be locked with a complex password. Pattern or PIN was not enough. Nevertheless, I needed to type the password only after reboots, which were very rare, thanks to phone and OS stability.

Yesterday I was excited to find that a new version of MIUI based on Android Pie (9.0) has been launched globally and landed on my phone. I upgraded the phone with no hesitations, as always…

The unpleasant surprise hit me when the installation was complete. My employer’s security team has not yet certified Android Pie, so the phone kept rebooting after logging in. My obvious reaction was to wipe out the data and remove the employer’s software until it’s certified. Ouch, that was a mistake.

After wiping out the data, the device was left locked to the existing Google account. And the Google account was locked with the phone protection password. Wiping the data did not annihilate that relation. So when proceeded with the fresh MIUI setup of the phone, it asked to confirm the phone protection password. I had the password memorized password perfectly, but there was a roadblock: the text field to type the password was numeric. Meaning, it allowed only to tap numbers. And here my saga began.

My 1st approach was to find an open a text field, type my password there and then paste it to the protection password field. I found my way via the WiFi setup wizard, where I hit “show password” button and could type and copy the unlock password. However that didn’t help, since the numeric field was not only disallowing typing non-numeric characters but also filtering them out on pasting.

The 2nd approach was to follow the conventional phone unlock process with MiFlash Unlock utility. However, that required linking the device to account retroactively in Developer Options, which I could not complete since device Settings were not accessible. For the same reason, full firmware reinstall would not work – it required changing “OEM Unlocking” flag in Developer Options.

The 3rd approach was the less straightforward “FRP bypass” method. In few words, the method is to exploit a variety of sideways in the setup process to access external sites and install specific APKs that help triggering system APIs to run system calls directly. I managed to reach Youtube, Google and even download a few different apps with that method, but none of them really helped.

Finally, after a few more random frictions, I found my way through. In very brief, I reached out from WiFi setup to Phone Calling app to Contacts to GMail to Exchange account setup to Certificate storage, that allowed me to change the device password-locking properties without entering the password. Posted my step-by-step guide here:

After resetting the password protection to Pattern, I went back and successfully finalized the MIUI setup process.

Written by Seva

2018-12-16 (December 16) at 12:14:30

Posted in hardware, mobile, past, software

Singularity Song

leave a comment »

How amazing progress been!
Full of miracles unseen.
Went all way into to the deepness.
And all way into the sheen.

Stopping all the vanity,
All the troubles gone.
Cherishing humanity,
Robots grubbing on.

How amazing progress shined!
No more sore for human kind.
No more labor for your body.
No more struggle for your mind.

Stopping all the vanity,
All the troubles gone.
Cherishing humanity,
Robots grubbing on.

How amazing progress beamed!
There was always time regime.
Now you spend it all on travel,
Whether real or in dreams.

Stopping all the vanity,
All the troubles gone.
Vanishing humanity,
Robots living on.

(Transcribed from Приключения Электроника – До чего дошел прогресс)

Image result for робот

Written by Seva

2017-07-06 (July 6) at 09:57:32

Posted in future, leisure, thought

Constructive News

leave a comment »

It’s important to mention that I consider myself an info-mole. I’m addicted to thinking, discovering new data, researches, speculations and connotations. I continuously consume information from social media, news outlets and periodicals (much less from books, as they are often outdated). This lasts since I remember myself, and will hopefully last until I stop doing.

At some point I realised that information is an independent value, not necessarily related to data, knowledge, opinion, etc. I started viewing information as fundamentally indivisible from its production and consumption. Information for me became a captured or projected process of transferring data or knowledge from agent to current or prospective observer[2]. Information is generated at source to be absorbed at target. So each quantum of information for me has a purpose.

That may sound a bit too abstract, but I apply this approach both as motivational explanation of social communication, and as a way of interpretation of environmental phenomena in general. And the purposes are just two: distributing physical energy and maintaining entanglements (while the second can be also reduced to the first one deferred).

So, in the context of personal information consumption I empirically stabilised the analytic approach to each piece of information that becomes available for me:

  1. Who is sharing the information?
    • The chaining source agents of each piece can be multiple;
  2. Why is it shared by the agents?
    • Explicit, implicit or unintended purposes;
  3. How does it affect the observers?
    • Myself or other actual or potential consumers.

Let’s take a random article from Google News for analysis… WTF Google News? What is this pathetic junk? Your information is completely useless. News are generated by a graph incompetent bloggers. They post their essays for traffic conversion and social coverage. As cheapest emotions to touch are fear and disgust, the major result of these articles is bad mood of the reader. They don’t offer an objective view on the topic or present a balanced spectrum of opinions. They amplify problems and don’t suggest solutions.

I don’t appreciate this kind of information. I’m used to and wish to continue to consume information for curiosity. Or information that helps me make decisions. Or information that confidently exposes risks. News outlets fail with it miserably (luckily there are other resources online, that are better, but sometimes I tend to think the set is shrinking).

So I’m stating my wish, hope, request and demand to you, o Internet of People: Do good. You can compile the same information in a way that can suggest a constructive action. And by that I mean, that if hypothetically all followed your advice, the world would at a step become a nicer place for all.

  • I demand writers to learn that spreading evil and useless information hits them back and focus on kind and constructive.
  • I request readers to learn that accepting information without evaluating the author, the purpose and the effect makes them vulnerable to evil and useless information that weakens them.
  • I hope both sides will realise they are of comparable scope – for reader the author is a neighbour and not an abstract trumpet, and for author the reader is a neighbour and not an abstract “crowd”.
  • I wish attention and advertence of all to spring and blossom.

So I could quietly continue to do my info-digging without wasting time and effort on filtering tons of annoying depressing bullshit.

Thank you in advance.

Written by Seva

2017-02-06 (February 6) at 01:37:05

Naming a Boat

leave a comment »

Today I had a chat with peer managers on effective project naming, and struggled to translate the Russian idiom “Как корабль назовешь, так он и поплывет” (literally: “The way you name a ship, the same way she will sail“).

Quick research exposed that the idiom originated (as I suspected) only in the cartoon series “Приключения Капитана Врунгеля” (“Adventures of Captain Wrongel”).

Image result for врунгель беда

The most common translation of the idiom I found was “A ship will sail the way you name it“. However after some thinking I personally prefer “As you name a boat, same it’s gonna float“. And the reasons are:

  1. Idioms about boats and floating are contextually closer than about ships and sailing.
  2. It rhymes.

Nevertheless, an advice to you, my dear friend:

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
If you bang a billy goat,
Don’t forget to scream.

Written by Seva

2017-01-05 (January 5) at 02:10:39

Posted in leisure, thought

Android adware removal story

leave a comment »

Yesterday started getting random spam ads on my OnePlus 2​:

  • overlay ads of certain popular junk games,
  • fake desktop icons linking to Google Play Store of same games,
  • fake missed calls linking to there.

It was virtually impossible to figure out the responsible processes without additional tools, mainly due to the hiding tactics of the adware.

To start I tried few most popular adware removers from the store, but they either didn’t detect anything, or crashed during the scan (maybe the adware killed them while they were running).

The first success was brought by Addons Detector (with all advanced detectors enabled). After another fake icon appearance it traced it to (“Search”) which comes with AirPush component.


Then I googled and found the package at AVG Threat Labs Android App Reports and used AVG to find one more malware process (“Processor”) which was reported to have AirPlus in it.

The processes were installed as system apps. So the easiest way out was to use Titanium Backup Root Pro I already had installed (my phone is rooted).

After that I tried to dig further to understand how these processes appeared on my phone in the first place. I didn’t install any new apps recently, neither run any updates on root enabled apps. So the adware probably was here, but didn’t expose itself for few months.

I’m very conservative to give root access to software without trust research, but don’t rule out the chance that the junk could be injected with one of the few Aptoide originated apps I experimented with few months ago.

However, since AVG also identified 2 preinstalled bloatware apps to come with other dirty ad frameworks, my current hypothesis is that AirPush crap was on the phone from the very beginning, patiently waiting for its time to activate.

Written by Seva

2015-12-09 (December 9) at 05:33:07


leave a comment »

Was waiting for darkness in childhood.
Expecting excitement and sense.
Leading a crew to the murk woods –
A tribe of Indian friends.

Watching the deepness of draw-well.
Wingless angelical croon.
Searching for wizards to marvel,
If any can take to the Moon.

Crescent, brother Moon,
Crescent Moon.
Crescent, brother Moon,
Brother Moon.

Was hiding in magical aspens,
From grandpa with punishing scourge.
Raising the clock hands all upwards,
So Night can take me and purge.

My lovely faith, Autumn.
The Sun is dreamlike and spoof.
Eight angels are flying from bottom,
Like birdies up to the roof.

Crescent, brother Moon,
Crescent Moon.
Crescent, brother Moon,
Brother Moon.

Written by Seva

2014-09-05 (September 5) at 01:38:26

Posted in Uncategorized

Cycle of knowledge

leave a comment »

0 – ignore
1 – try
2 – repeat
3 – assume
4 – ensure
5 – conclude
6 – utilize
7 – canonize
8 –  accustom
9 – neglect
10 – forget

Written by Seva

2014-07-04 (July 4) at 10:42:37

Posted in future, leisure, thought