The Thargoids have arrived

Thargoids
No posts lately as I heard that the Thargoids have arrived in Elite:Dangerous last Friday 🙂

How has this caused my hiatus?

I rushed out and picked up a new graphics card (Radeon RX 480) and a 256 Gig Samsung SSD so I could play the game with ease.

That’s when the trouble began! I found I couldn’t migrate Win7 easily off a partition on a 2TB HD to the SSD; or rather I could, but Windows wouldn’t open.

I also had issues installing the Radeon drivers on Debian. I tried and failed to rebuild a kernel (first attempt), and I didn’t know there were new Linux kernels available, still not sure if they would work.

So I re-installed Ubuntu, as I knew there were Radeon drivers available. So after installing Ubuntu on my original SSD I found after many attempts that I couldn’t install Win 7 on my new SSD… but I could install Ubuntu on it, and Win7 was happy to install on my original SSD.

Best part of 3 days it took me to remove my old graphics card, slot in the new one, plug the new SSD into a SATA port on the motherboard, install 2 new operating systems, and setup Steam and Elite:Dangerous, including the Horizons DLC!

Thank the Linux gods that I have a weekly backup of my Home directory that’s easy to bring back with Deja Dup.

For the rest of the 2 weeks I’ve been flying around space 🙂

Elite:Dangerous Vulture

I didn’t jump straight back into my Clipper; after accidents when coming back to E:D after a break in the past. So I mapped my keys to a wired xbox controller (I still find the ergonomics suit my large hands better than the PS4 pads) and took my Vulture out for a ride.

I didn’t take many risks, practiced takeoff’s and docking, all was going well, so thought I’d try comabat.

Now I remember this ship could hold its own so I was quite confident approaching a Conflict Zone, even after time away.

I was destroyed within 5 mins, WTF! It felt like the ship had been nerfed, or it could have been my new lack of skills.

So I cashed in the insurance and bought one of my favourite ships in the game, an Asp. I moved over what hardware I could, and sold the rest.

For the next few days I flew my Asp around Imperial space, running data, fetch, and delivery missions, not wasting weight on weapons. I didn’t realise immediately that I had purchased an Asp Scout, and not the model I’d had fun exploring and trading with in the past, the Asp Explorer… or am I just confused and was there only the Asp available on launch? Shit it was over 2 years ago!

Elite:Dangerous Clipper

Anyway I was then confident enough to have my Clipper delivered to me and things have been going well, except for one failed planetary landing that cost me another insurance claim.

The game seems to have improved in many little ways, and now it’s easier on the eyes with my new graphics card, and stutter free.

I’ve even done something that I once though pedestrian, and have installed a docking computer on the Clipper, loving the sylish landings and how Frontier have kept the classical music that kicks in with the computer as on the original.

So I’m cruising around Harm with some nice one jump return 3.2k/tonne loops, working on saving credits to afford maybe a Python next so I’m not limited to large landing pads.

Loving picking Elite up again, and I haven’t set out yet to find the Engineers, Alien Ruins, or the Thargoids 🙂

from Ubuntu to Debian

Yesterday I did something that I’ve been considering for a while; I burned my installation of Ubuntu and installed Debian.

I’ve been a long time fan of Ubuntu, since before the Unity days, I stuck with the Canonical distro through the Amazon debacle, and the community as been awesome and supportive over the years, and I have loyalty to them.

Although yesterday the KDE plasma installation started having issues, as ever with Ubuntu I find it easier to create a fresh install of the OS rather than try and fix the issues when I’ve installed a broad selection of drivers and programs and I’m not sure which ones have gone tits up.

I was tempted to try the latest Fedora 25, that I’ve been playing with in VirtualBox, but I’m a little too attached to apt-get 🙂

The Debian experience

  • installation has been a straightforward
  • biggest pain was having to install the Debian non-free firmware… or more identifying that I needed to install the Debian non-free firmware 🙂
  • I installed synaptic and deja-dup to access my backed up home directory, which also gave me my .bashrc file back with aliases
    • now have all my usual programs installed, and everything is running as quickly as ever
  • I love the option when installing to add different desktop environments, I’ve been playing with Gnome 2, Gnome 3, KDE, Xfce, Mate, but settled for now on Cinnamon
  • and as a great bonus Steam and Kerbal Space Program installed without issue 🙂

Everything seems to be stable and running well… think I need to change the headers on this blog from Ubuntu to Linux 🙂

first techy projects of 2017

Status

Things I’m playing with over the Xmas NY break 🙂

  • installed KDE desktop, not sure why I haven’t tried it before, although I did try Mate a few weeks ago that I can’t get to work correctly
  • excited about season 2 of Street Fighter V I’ve reinstalled it on the PS4, and I’m more frustrated and annoyed by Capcom’s servers than ever
    • repetatively the server connection keeps dropping, the only solution I can find is to close the game and re-load
    • the novelty of getting to practice with Akuma wore off quite quickly, I couldn’t even find a single game 🙁
  • I’m excited about Elite: Dangerous coming the the PS4 this year, although not sure I can be motivated to put the hours in again, and I don’t think Commanders will be able to migrate over saved profiles
  • currently downloading the one game I’ve purchased on Steam Kerbal Space Program yet again.
    • I’ve just searched and found that it’s already available for the PS4… not sure how I missed this!

I needed to use this guide to get Steam to load on Ubuntu 16.04

rm ~/.steam/steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/i386/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6
rm ~/.steam/steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/amd64/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libstdc++.so.6

Acorn BBC flashback – Thrust

Super Transball 2

There were a couple of games I’d seen before; a teacher booting up a 5 1/4 inch disk of Elite being the most memorable [this is how long ago it was, none decimal measurements in fractions], on a BBC Micro
BBC Micro
However the first game I had the privilege of playing, and becoming a trial, was Thrust
Thrust

Thrust is a 1986 computer game released on most home computers. The perspective is two dimensional platform-based and the player’s aim is to manoeuvre a spaceship by rotating and thrusting, as it flies over a landscape and through caverns. Gameplay of Thrust was heavily inspired by Atari’s Gravitar.

So how stoked am I to find Super Transbal 2 on the Ubuntu software library, free of charge 🙂

“Super Transbal 2” is the sequel of “Transball” and “Transball 2”, Inspired in THRUST type of games (and concretely in ZARA THRUSTA for the Amiga 500). In each level of Transball, the goal is to find the SPHERE, capture it and carry it to the upper part of the level. The main obstacle is the gravity, that impulses you towards the ground. But many other obstacles, canons, tanks, doors, etc. will try to make difficult your journey…

This so takes me back to my childhood lunch breaks, and is an amazing reproduction of what I remember as the original.

The download is tiny… although detrimentally so is the game play window, but everything else, including the tough challenge is as awesome as the original

Google Keep to Ubuntu

I’ve not been posting as often as I’d like due to the Android WordPress app not connecting… that’s another post.

What I have been doing over the last couple of days is dropping any stories that I like to Google Keep. This has to be the one mobile app that I find the most useful; from shopping, book, movie, games, and to-do lists, to inspirations, notes, and shit I must blog otherwise I’ll never think of the topic again 🙂

Trials of a 21st century digital life eh?

Google Keep is choice, but how do I access it from Ubuntu, I don’t even use Chrome?

Here’s a well explained guide from the Ubuntu Handbook: Install Google Keep in Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty

It does mean installing Google Chrome, not sure of any security risks, except the usual exposure to Google?

sudo dpkg -i google-chrome-stable_current_*.deb && sudo apt-get -f install

and voilà!

yubikey-neo + KeyPassX + KeyPassDroid + OwnCloud

KeyPassDroid

yubikey-neo + KeyPassX + KeyPassDroid + OwnCloud portable secure password vault

Searching through F-Droid for yubico I came across a link to KeyPassDroid; I’d come across a password safe solution on the yubico site using KeyPass, but was shied away as it mentioned the premium version… I don’t mind paying for shit, although if I can solve the issue with free open source alternatives I’ll spend hours trying 🙂

So the solution that I’ve pulled together:

  1. created a KeyPassX database on my Ubuntu machine with all login email details
  2. set password up in 2 steps
    1. self entered password
    2. password stored on yubikey-neo
  3. setup key
  4. saved key and KeyPassX database to OwnCloud
  5. from Android download key and database opened with KeyPassDroid
  6. password acquired on demand via NFC from yubikey-neo

Sorted, a free solution… excluding purchasing of yubikey-neo and host fee of website that allows for OwnCloud space.

Guess free alternatives could be Google Drive or MEGA for online file storage, and a more simple one step password 🙂

Quite happy with how it works, lets’s hope I don’t lose the yubikey-neo in the near future 🙂

slow game month other distractions


So it been a slow game month, although I’ve found other distractions!

The geek activites that have kept me occupied recently:

  • launch of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr), there are a few cool features
  • installed Kali Linuxon Virtual Box, and have been playing with some of the packaged tools
  • podcasts… think I’m late to the party of this one
  • it took me from the mid 80’s untill the last week to complete a Rubick’s Cube!
  • Bootstrap, playing with parallax scrolling, considering a project based on cube solution
  • lens blur on the latest Android camera app
  • plus many hours casual gaming 🙂

ubuntu 14.04 xbmc Zombieland

xbmc
After updating to ubuntu 14.04 daily build everything worked as expected, except I couldn’t play video files 🙁

Youtube and flash streamed ok, I installed VLC and ubuntu-restricted-extras, with no luck; each time I tried to open a video file Ubuntu would log out… until I installed xbmc!

Issue solved for now, and with a fantastic treat, I get to see Zombieland for the first time! 🙂

Ubuntu Unity missing time

I noticed today that the clock was missing from the Unity funbar, funny I don’t know how long it was gone 😉
Here are the instructions I found from ask Ubuntu to restore it:

Reinstall indicator-datetime. It should be installed by default, but just in case you have removed it unknowingly, it is best to run the install command again.

sudo apt-get install indicator-datetime

Next, we are going to reconfigure the date time:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure --frontend noninteractive tzdata

Lastly, restart unity.

sudo killall unity-panel-service

Ubuntu screen real estate

OMG Ubuntu - Smaller Unity Launcher

I love this time of year leading up to a new Ubuntu release (sad eh?), and the next one is a LTS, so even more exciting 🙂

From my RSS Ubuntu feed this OMG Ubuntu article: 7 Improvements In Ubuntu 14.04 LTS That You’re Going To Love tells of how the Unity Laucher icon size can be reduced even smaller!

I didn’t know it could be reduced, and I’ve been using icons the scale and boldness of childs Fisher-Price toys on my desktop 🙂

I’ve now got them set at 32 (32 what?), they look fantastic, and free up heaps of my desktops! win win

cryptostorm VPN

#Cryptostorm VPN now live and accepting members, tokens available here.

Structurally anonymous, token-based, opensource, unlimited bandwidth network security/privacy service: old-style “VPN service” evolved to something entirely new, qualitatively distinct. Combining the technological insights of Tor/#torsploit with production-class infrastructure & battle-tested OpSec expertise, cryptostorm is secure darknet communications for everyone: all protocols, all applications, all OS/platforms | unlimited bandwidth & unlimited usage. Properly-implemented Diffie-Hellman ephemeral sessions (discrete log function-based asymmetric re-key of symmetric cipher suites every 20 minutes), token-based network auth, Privacy Seppuku Pledge. Redefining privacy service for a post-PRISM world: cryptostorm.

I’ve requested a months token, and am looking forward to giving the VPN a try.

useful links:

OpenSuse

OpenSuse
An online friend mentioned OpenSuse this week, a distro that I have heard of, but not yet played with.

So what a great geek treat, to have 2 new OS’s to get the grips of in one week 🙂

I’ve downloaded the 4.7GB iso and installed it via Virtual Box, opting for the KDE ‘Plasma Desktop’ over Gnome 3.1

It’s early days, I’m still updating the software, although already installed Tor 🙂

I’m still very impressed, first impressions are that it is running better than Fedora, and I think I may like it more, and find it quicker than the Ubuntu setup that I’m hosting it through!

As said early days, to play more, but it is looking very promising

Solution to missing mouse pointer in Ubuntu Unity and Gnome

Status

Since I last updated my Ubuntu ATI graphics driver the mouse pointer in Ubuntu Unity and Gnome has been missing.

I could still click on objects, and mouseovers would show, just no pointer!

This hasn’t been too bad, as I’ve taken the opportunity to get familiar with XFCE.. but I sometimes missed the shine of Unity and Gnome.

Today my GoogleFu paid dividends and I found this solution, thanks to webupd8.org

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.cursor active false

Ubuntu Kinect Mouse

Linux kinect
As much as I love the functionality of the xbox 360 kinnect, and there have been some cool games, I don’t use it too often.

So I got thinking about what would be an effective use for this sophisticated bit of kit.

My first thought was as an alternative cursor controller.
And being the 21st century, and having google available at my fingertips, I found that someone had done the hard thinking prior.

So here’s this weekends project, as well as scoring a present for my darling wife, and finding a battery pack for the PirateBox 🙂

So for starters, here’s A community based site focusing on development and programming for the Microsoft Kinect 3D depth sensor.
Develop Kinect


this didn’t work so well, so I tried a different tactic: OpenKinect

The beauty and simplicity of Xubuntu

xubuntu
By installing Gnome on 13.10 Saucy Salamander I lost my mouse cursor when opening Unity

Now I’ve never beent he biggest fan of Unity; but through asking advice on the irc freenode #ubuntu channel I was introduced to xubuntu. 🙂

I find it hard to believe that over the many years, installations, and virtual boxes that I’ve never tried xubuntu before!

I’ve fallen for its simplicity and ease, what drew me to Ubuntu originally!

Sure you’ll hear more on this from me in the future 🙂