One thing that really annoyed me about the lights in my room is when I went to bed I would always forget to turn the lights off and have to climb out of bed and turn them off. That sounds like a first world problem, and well it is. But I had a solution in mind. Back a few years ago I would control my lights with one of those cheap remote outlets you would find at places like Home Depot or Lowes around Christmas time. I took the only one I had a long time ago to see what made it tick. Before I ended up frying the remote, I discovered that it was nothing but a RF transmitting remote and receiver. The receiver would get the signal from the remote and flip a relay.
Recently I built myself a nice media center. I obtained a 16×3.5″ bay IBM server case. It’s 4U tall and really makes one hell of a system. This case is very, very big so I probably shouldn’t be using it as a media center case but what’s technology if you don’t over do it here and there.
So as promised in my MAME machine build log submitted the day before this post, I have a pretty big announcement. Today I picked up my first pinball machine, a Gottlieb Super Mario Bros.
I never did a write up on this and just now I’m really wondering why. A couple of years ago I built a MAME cabinet — well rather I took an existing arcade cabinet and stuffed a PC inside of it.
For those that don’t know, MAME stands for Muliple Arcade Machine Emulator. The basic premise of MAME is to act as an emulator for, you guessed it, arcade machines. We’re talking Donkey Kong, Metal Slug, Centipede, you name it! Now this is all well and good playing it on your standard TV, but some people need a bit more physical feedback. There’s huge communities out there dedicated to either converting old arcade cabinets or building their own cabinets to put a PC inside of. There’s four basic but crucial parts to a MAME cabinet:
- The cabinet itself
- PC for running MAME
- Display / sound
Yeah, I bought a Mini Cooper S. 4 cylinder 1.6L turbocharged. And yes, it’s quick.
Table of Contents
- pxelinux – Messing with WDS’s TFTP PXE server
- Active Directory Authentication
- Using preseed to automate Ubuntu installs
- Setting up an APT cache
- Tying it all together
If you don’t already know, I work at a small Racine County school district in Wisconsin as the sole IT sysadmin. I started there about a year ago, and ever since I’ve been trying to figure out how to make my job easier while providing the necessary equipment to students and staff. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed is students rarely use Windows for anything other than accessing Google Apps via Chrome (and games, but that’s a story for another time). I started thinking to myself how we might be able to better utilize our existing hardware without spending a dime, and that’s when I came up with the idea to install Ubuntu on a limited number of machines. If you want to read on how I think that things like Ubuntu can get students more interested in technology, I’ve created a separate post here. Continue reading
As I started experimenting with Ubuntu here and there by doing things such as installing 12.04 on a Chromebook, I kinda liked to show things off to the students and they seemed pretty interested in it. As a school we do an event every year called High Interest Day, which basically is sort of like your standard career day, but it’s much more focused on doing activities with the kids and exposing them to some cool an interesting things. I was asked to do it a few months ago, and I knew right away I wanted to show them the Linux CLI/Ubuntu to try and see how well it would work in a classroom. Again, after the session most of them seemed pretty interested in it. Continue reading
I recently had to come up with a solution to administrate 70 Google Nexus 7 tablets for the small grade school I work at. There’s plenty of solutions and products out there that can take care of this, but I wanted something that was going to be invisible and simple.
I ended up writing a script and alongside some extra apps I finally had my solution. In essence, I can install Android apps on all the tablets by dragging APK’s into a Dropbox folder. After the APK is installed, it is deleted off the tablet (while not touching the copy on Dropbox) and it won’t try to install again until the APK is modified or another APK is put in the folder. I also found another app that will sync the settings of each app so you have one nice unified environment.
So while I’ve been playing Uncharted 3 I’ve noticed most recent adventure games are broken into chapters that you can find in any other adventure game. What do I mean? Well, the main plots of adventure games are starting to become pretty cookie-cutter. It doesn’t really matter what order they go in, but you can take any of these elements and make yourself a handy dandy plot:
- Intro to all the characters and their personalities in a tutorial level that is frequently interupted by cutscenes
- Something ends at the tutorial or “easy” levels that shows who the bad guy is. Will never kill you, but leave you to die and/or plot twist where you are saved
- Cutscenes or scripted game sequences that show the history of your companions and allies
- Some bad ass interactive game sequences that make you go WOW
- Throw in a couple puzzles here and there
- Must be captured by enemy at least once
- Must have at least one stealth mission, must not get caught no matter the circumstances
- One more stealth mission, but you can also just run and gun
- Get some cool final weapons with a big plot twist
- Travel to some unknown mystical area for the end of the game
- Giant scripted boss battle
- Cutscenes followed by credits