Firewall Port 9933 for My Singing Monsters

Just recording this, as I was only able to find an unconfirmed hint on a forum.

You need to open up port 9933 (not sure whether TCP or UDP … I opened both, and didn’t bother going back to experiment) on your firewall/router in order to enable the Big Blue Bubble iOS game My Singing Monsters to connect to its server. Otherwise, you’ll get the “Failed to Connect to Server” error from the game.

Hope this helps someone …

Fixing Facebook Chat (Messaging) on the iPad (iOS) by Opening port 8883 on the Firewall

My darling wife got a new iPad2 for the holidays.  Worked fine while we were out of the house … but as soon as we got home, the Facebook Chat (messaging) feature stopped working, and hung with a permanent “connecting”.  In case you’re not following, “chat” is what shows up in the right-hand column when you use Facebook for the iPad (latest version as of December 2011) in landscape mode (and only shows up in landscape mode).  To restate the problem (and help indexing <g>):  Facebook Chat (aka Facebook Messaging) on the iPad (right-most pane in landscape mode) hung with a “Connecting …” message due to firewall port blocking.

When I connected outside my firewall (directly to my DSL connection) it worked; it didn’t work from behind my firewall.  So … clearly a ports issue … but what ports?

Drove myself crazy trying to figure this out.  Nothing I could find by Googling.  Closest I could come was that Facebook Chat might be using XMPP (TCP ports 5222 and 5223), which makes sense … but opening those ports did nothing to solve the problem.

Eventually, I turned off the firewall (yikes) and turned on WireShark and ran the app.  Doing so, I saw a very strange pattern — connections to Facebook servers on port 8883, which is, technically, the “secure MQTT” port.  Long story short, I enabled TCP port 8883, and Facebook Chat suddenly started working.

Some additional notes:

  • I left XMPP (ports 5222 and 5223) enabled … so you might also need these ports, in addition to 8883.
  • 8883 is strange!  The only meaningful reference I could find was that SameTime, that old Lotus Notes IM app, used it.  Maybe someone at Facebook pilfered some old SameTime code?

If this helps you out, please leave a comment … I’m curious to know who else has encountered this, whether it’s something unique to me, or I just happened to stumble on it first!

Creating Large Partitions on Ubuntu

While I had my server open to mount the WD (formerly external) drive, I threw in the two 1.5Tb (!) drives I’d brought back from the US … yep, time to start regularly backing up all the machines sitting around the house.

GPartEd refused to create 1.5Tb partitions (kept getting the error “a partition cannot have a length of -1 sectors”).  Setting the disk label to GPT rather than MSDOS (as suggested here) didn’t do the trick.  Instead, what worked was a combination of cfdisk and mke2fs.  In my case (assuming /dev/sde):

sudo cfdisk /dev/sde
sudo mke2fs -j /dev/sde1

Finally, to get the volume ID (for ID-based mounting, which is always best!):

sudo vol_id /dev/sde1

… and add it to the fstab.