Plasma Arch

I finally got around to installing Arch on Virtual Box, I followed this guide from addictivetips that was simple… although the updates seemed to take an age.

First impressions are that I like it, I’m impressed with the bare simplicity, maybe even enough to try it as a primary OS.

One thing that I did take back to Ubuntu was the KDE Plasma Desktop. I’m not fully sure what I think about it as an option long term, as I’ve grown to like my Gnome 3 desktop, with the Unity like setup.

I do like the clean line styles, and access to widgets, I’m not too impressed with the alt+tab window switch view… but I’m sure this is tweakable, and is certainly no deal breaker.

Off to see how I can play with the setup and widgets, hopefully be able to get KDE Connect to work

I etch a lot of distros to usbs then this app is perfect

I came across a link to Etcher, a tool to easily burn ISO’s to USB drives, available for Windows, Linux, and MacOS

Here’s a link to a more detailed OMG Ubuntu article, described by them as:

The app is described as “a powerful OS image flasher built with web technologies to ensure flashing an SDCard or USB drive is pleasant and safe experience. It protects you from accidentally writing to your hard-drives, ensures every byte of data was written correctly and much more.”

For those who would like to see, here’s the github: resin-io/etcher

Have fun 🙂

Windows 10 locked out shared partition in Ubuntu

Thought I would post this story of how Windows 10 locked out shared partition in Ubuntu, and how I sorted it.

Hope I don’t require this again [yeah right], but hope it might be useful to others.

Fix, or TL:DR, first, story below 🙂


  • In Windows 10 I ran chkdsk at the advice of users on the Ubuntu irc
    • when selected it Windows claimed there was an error on the drive, but all this caused was to reboot several times, and roll back the changes
  • back in Ubuntu I checked dmesg
    • all this showed was a known AMD graphics card error, nowt to worry about,
      or show what the hard drive issue was
  • next step was to check fstab to see if the partition was listed
    • had to force my way in: sudo nano /etc/fstab
    • here was my first clue, there were no deets listed for the partition in question
  • from the terminal I ran sudo blkid to find the relevant UUID
  • back in fstab I made the addition:
    #Entry for /dev/sd## :
    UUID="HEX_CODE" /media/sd## ntfs-3g defaults,locale=en_NZ.UTF-8 0 0

    • still no success, still not writable 🙁
  • refusing to give up, it was the wrong side of midnight, I pulled out the big guns with sudu su, and ran sudo chown -R 777 /media/sd##
  • returned by to the normal user to find all rights had been restored 🙂 …
    although I haven’t booted Windows 10 as yet to see if there are any implications, but even if they are, I now know how to fix it 🙂


Continue reading

Aug 17 games and fuck up

Yesterday I fucked up… a little

I’ve been playing with a Python script to re-arrange the films in my movie directory; it moves everything of a selected file type from directory and sub-directory to a selected directory.

Useful eh?

Thought I might use it to group all of my photos too.

Last night I ran it on a drives root directory for all *.txt files.

Let me rephrase that, I moved every text file from all directories to my root directory.

This was only a backup drive, but I expect there might be a few programs that fail, as config files may have moved… on the upside, I know a good place to look for them is the folder in the root directory named ‘txt files’ 🙂

retro need

Tired of current gen titles, plus mates have borrowed the games I fancied playing, I setup my XBOX 360 and PS3 again.

Such an awesome collection of titles, I can’t wait to introduce to the boy.

Found it mad that there are a few of them that I’ve bought the PS4 remakes of 🙂

This then took me down a retro root and I installed a Linux MAME emulator to go back to my favourite platform title Wardner.


Not everyone sees the beauty of the game, but I have fond memories of playing a Japanese version of it at lunch, and after school, being able to get through the full game on 10p.

The rest of my game time as been committed to Elite Dangerous.
A colleague is new to the game, so I logged on with the intention of passing on some credits to help him on his way.

Within the first hour I made 3 insurance claims on expensive ships, simply because I’d forgotten the controls.

Mitigation kicked in and I bought a Sidewinder to bring back the muscle memory and remember what the fuck I was doing.

2.4 is in alpha testing, to be released soon, named ‘The Return’ – Thargoids are coming!
So naturally I’ve been hooked again in preparation.

I’ve been grinding out at Sothis / Ceos, increasing Federation and Explorer rank, currently sitting at Lieutenant / Baron / Expert / Entrepreneur / Ranger… Elite not too far away.

I’m running a Clipper with 2 class 6 First Class cabins, with a single jump I’m making as much as 2.5MM credits, inching up the rank with each departure of passengers.

I’m tempted to follow the Road to Riches, for something different to do, I always enjoyed flying the Asp… also fancy climbing back in a Diamondback and getting my combat skillz back up to speed; think that could be useful with the Thargoids return.

Great that these are not mutually exclusive as my bank balance is looking healthy enough to kit out a few ships to a high grade.

I’ve been tempted to go down the Python route, although not sure why I’m reluctant… maybe it’s the idea that I’ll then have to grind engineers to better equip the ship?

I’ve also joined the Mobius group, which means I can play on-line without the distraction and stife of players who would want to blow away, or steal, my hard earned credits.

To paraphrase Braben, see you all in the black o7

Game Building with Unity – Space Shooter tutorial


I’ve a couple of ideas for simple games, and after doing a little research decided on giving Unity a try as a platform, and C# as a language.

I was reluctant at first as I found I could only get it to work on Windows… in hindsight I could have probably used a Virtual Box, or even Wine, but there’s still time to change.

Python was my first choice, although Unity won me over with the user friendly GUI and heaps of free content, tutorials, assets, and community discussion to reference.

Not saying that I’m no longer playing with Python, just not for this project.

Unity Personal is a great place for beginners and hobbyists to get started. It includes access to all core game engine features, continuous updates, beta releases, and all publishing platforms.

Unity Personal

Here’s the Wiki Unity extract:

Unity is a cross-platform game engine developed by Unity Technologies, which is primarily used to develop video games and simulations for computers, consoles and mobile devices. First announced only for OS X, at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in 2005, it has since been extended to target 27 platforms.

Six major versions of Unity have been released. At the 2006 WWDC show, Apple named Unity as the runner up for its Best Use of Mac OS X Graphics category.

Unity is marketed to be an all purpose engine, and as a result supports both 2D and 3D graphics, drag and drop functionality and scripting through its 3 custom languages. The engine targets the following APIs: Direct3D and Vulkan on Windows and Xbox 360; OpenGL on Mac, Linux, and Windows; OpenGL ES on Android and iOS; and proprietary APIs on video game consoles. Within 2D games, Unity allows importation of sprites and an advanced 2D world renderer. For 3D games, Unity allows specification of texture compression and resolution settings for each platform that the game engine supports,[7] and provides support for bump mapping, reflection mapping, parallax mapping, screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO), dynamic shadows using shadow maps, render-to-texture and full-screen post-processing effects. Unity also offers services to developers, these are: Unity Ads, Unity Analytics, Unity Certification, Unity Cloud Build, Unity Everyplay, Unity IAP, Unity Multiplayer, Unity Performance Reporting and Unity Collaborate which is in beta.

Unity is notable for its ability to target games to multiple platforms. Currently supported platforms are Android, Android TV, Facebook Gameroom, Fire OS, Gear VR, Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, HTC Vive, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Hololens, Nintendo 3DS line, Nintendo Switch,[14]Oculus Rift, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation VR, Samsung Smart TV, Tizen, tvOS, Wii, Wii U, Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Store, WebGL, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Unity formerly supported 5 other platforms including its own Unity Web Player. Unity Web Player was a browser plugin that was supported in Windows and OS X only, which has been deprecated in favor of WebGL.

Unity is the default software development kit (SDK) for Nintendo’s Wii U video game console platform, with a free copy included by Nintendo with each Wii U developer license. Unity Technologies calls this bundling of a third-party SDK an “industry first”

Wiki Unity

Unity – Space Shooter tutorial

I’ve been working through this awesome tutorial for the last few days, completing all but the final section.

Bug checking and seeing a working final product has been satisfying, Adam Buckner is a great teacher who I owe several pints to for his great guidance.

I now feel confident enough to try a couple of my own ideas, and will hopefully finish this last part of the tutorial and publish the finished product to Android.

In the mean time here’s a link to a Mega repository containing a working Linux version of the Space Shooter game I built from the tutorial, have fun 🙂
Mega: Linux Space Shooter

Here’s a summary of the course contents, I went in as a n00b and found it understandable and achievable.
Continue reading

April 17 updates

Both Android and Ubuntu received official updates today 🙂

Made a clean install of Ubuntu 17.04, everything works well out of the box.
Then there’s the compulsory: 17 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 17.04

Was surprised at the size of the Android security patch at over 300 MB to version 7.1.2!
All was well until a week later my phone bricked; I pulled it out of my pocket and it wouldn’t respond to my thumb print.

Thought nothing more of it, charged it overnight thinking the battery was drained, but it wouldn’t start the morning after 🙁

Tried booting into bootloader with zero success. So returned it to the store I picked it up from, stoked there’s a 2 year warranty… hope to get it back in the next few days.

In the mean time I’ve been using a fresh unboxed iPhone 6 we had sat around the house (don’t ask) and I’m shocled to say that I’m warming to it… or not as opposed as I thought I would be.


  • all the google apps I use are installed; mainly Gmail, Google Drive & Play Music
  • podcasts easy to subscibe, although the default player isn’t as intuitive as I’d like
  • think the sound and quality is better from Play Music
  • quicker to take photos, great quality… although not sure how the quality compares to Nexus 5x
  • photos upload to Google Drive
  • battery lasts longer than 5X, charges fast, but not close to the speed of USB-C


  • no NFC – can’t use Yubi Key
  • can’t set Firefox as default browser, but do get Firefox Focus

My biggest gripe though is the fingerprint unlock button.
I’m used to the 5X opening first time, with fingers and thumbs able to open up the screen.

The iPhone unlock seemed to work first time for the first week but now only works periodically, frustrating.

Also been playing with OpenSUSE in VirtualBox.

It does everything I need and looks great.
I miss apt-get, but maybe not enough to be a barrier to try it as my main distro for a while… then again I have my graphics card working perfectly in Ubuntu so not keen on rocking the boat.

The Thargoids have arrived

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


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/
rm ~/.steam/steam/ubuntu12_32/steam-runtime/amd64/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

tidal cycles

No time to install and code just now, but I’m very excited of playing with this application in my (salaried) work space

TidalCycles (or Tidal for short) is a language for live coding pattern. It allows you to make musical patterns with text, describing sequences and ways of transforming and combining them, exploring complex interactions between simple parts.

To see and hear Tidal in action, check out some videos of performances and demos.

Tidal allows you to express music with very flexible timing, providing a little language for describing patterns as step sequences (which can be polyphonic and polymetric), some generators of continuous patterns (e.g. sinewaves, sawtooths) and a wide range of pattern transformations. Tidal is highly ‘composable’ in that pattern transformations can be easily combined together, allowing you to quickly create complex patterns from simple ingredients.

Tidal does not make sound itself, but is designed for use with the SuperDirt synth, and can control other synths over Open Sound Control or MIDI.

Tidal is embedded in the Haskell language. You don’t have to learn Haskell to learn Tidal, but as you get deeper, it might help to pick up an introduction. You could try Graham Hutton’s “Programming in Haskell”, Miran Lipova?a’s Learn you a Haskell for Great Good. Or, you could try learning just by playing with Tidal..

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 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

yubikey-neo + KeyPassX + KeyPassDroid + OwnCloud


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 🙂

Cyanogenmod 12 arrives for Nexus 4

CM 12

I was so stoked Friday to find Cyanogenmod 12 arrives for Nexus 4!

The boards said it was stable, or that snapshot is the new stable, so I thought why not.
I’ve been doing this since the Nexus 1, so I dropped into the usual update process; I backed up everything and took advantage of being able to install direct from my copy of CM 11.

Everything went well, apps and info were restored from Titanium, at first CM 12 was buttery smooth… but then the day progressed, and smooth turned to chunky.

I was receiving a black screen every time I unlocked, the phone rang to the same black screen; only the power button did anything, thank goodness it actually answered the call!

So then this afternoon, after having had enough with the sluggish feel and no real benefits I decide to revert back to CM 11.
Running through the process Cyanogenmod ran into an eternal boot loop, after installing the ~120 apps… oh noes!

But I’m a veteran at this, I have backups, no need for a cold sweat just yet!

9 hours later I finally have my phone back to how it looked this time yesterday 🙂

CM 12 removed TWRP for Clockworkmod… those backups I had couldn’t be loaded!

I get lazy when it comes to playing with ADB, and I like my hand to be held, blessed that these 2 sources were available:
Universal Naked Driver Solves Your ADB Driver Problems on Windows
15 seconds ADB Installer v1.4.2

I’m not proud that I used Windows, and I will try and get au fe with ADB in Linux to ensure it never happens again, but Wugfresh’s Nexus Root Toolkit has me spoiled, it means I don’t usually need to think and stress too much to resolve my Android boot loader crisis.

Anyway normal service has been resumed 🙂

Make the most adorable little WiFi router

So between learning my way around an acoustic guitar and trying to finish the main story of withcer 3 before Metal Gear Solid 5 arrives, I’ve been trying to set up my Raspberry Pi as a VPN router… again 🙂

Here’re a few of the links that have helped my journey

To run the initial config at any time:
[code]sudo raspi-config[/code]

Raspberry Pi – Static IP address Essential, so I can work from a single screen… and use the other for guitar tutorials and Netflix 🙂

Setting up a Raspberry Pi as a WiFi access point aka Make the most adorable little WiFi router

This is useful if you don’t use linux dailyLinux Useful Command Reference Guide

I now have the router working 🙂
I can connect the Rasp-Pi to a VPN 🙂
But for some reason connecting a device to the router doesn’t then access the VPN 🙁

You can guess how my weekend is going to pan out

How to Show Text-Entry Address Bar or “Breadcrumbs” in Nautilus


Since there is no longer a toggle button, users with only breadcrumbs will need to hit Ctrl+L to show the text-entry address bar (and Esc to go back to breadcrumbs) You can also hit the / key and it will show the address bar, but empty (well, except for it beginning with “/“), ready for you to type or paste an address (so if you want to copy the address of the current folder, use Ctrl+L). Note that once you refresh a window, it will go back to breadcrumbs, so if you want to make it stick as the default, use the tip at the end of this article.

Ubuntu Genius

This has been bugging me for a while 🙂

0 A.D. Alpha 17 Available For Download

I only got into 0AD a couple of months back, and here’s a serious free update 🙂

Full details here: webupd8

Notable changes in 0 A.D. Alpha 17 “Quercus”:

  • Major Core Combat Rebalance:
    • if you send only one unit type to battle, it fares poorly against regiments of the same size that mix more than one type, e.g. melee and ranged units;
    • technologies as a whole have been made more expensive and unrelated technologies have been “unpaired”;
    • some stats have been adjusted to make training some units viable
    • buildings are now a bit easier to destroy;
    • formations were removed temporarily, but they will be reimplemented again some point, in a more balanced way.
  • Naval map support: the computer opponent now uses transport ships to colonize other islands and attack enemy bases, but naval combat (i.e. ships against ships) is not yet implemented;
  • Units On Walls: Units can be garrisoned in wall segments, and appear on the walls at predefined prop points;
  • Users can now view profiles of other players from within the lobby;
  • 2 new maps: a Oasis (skirmish map) and Schwarzwald (random map);
  • Implemented triggers: A “trigger” makes an action occur in the game if a specified event takes place;
  • A new Mod Selector allows users to enable or disable mods, save them or just restart into them to test them out. This way, it is a lot easier to test and play mods. This can be reached at: Main Menu -> Tools & Options -> Mod Selection. Also, modders can now easily make small changes to the game without having to copy and modify many files.

Another Linux flavour with bonus cache

I was playing about installing yet another Linux flavour via VirtualBox; CrunchBang. I’ve been a fan of Slackware for a while, so thought I’d give it a try.

It was a pleasent surprise, it worked well from boot, with a nice installation script that gives the option to install all of the bells and whistles extras. It’s feels light, but in a lumbuntu sort of way; not short on functions, but not resource heavy.

CrunchBang is a Debian GNU/Linux based distribution offering a great blend of speed, style and substance. Using the nimble Openbox window manager, it is highly customisable and provides a modern, full-featured GNU/Linux system without sacrificing performance.

The primary aim of the CrunchBang project is to produce a stable distribution offering the best possible out-of-the-box Openbox experience. To achieve this goal, CrunchBang pulls many base packages directly from Debian’s repositories, which are well-known for providing stable and secure software. Packages from CrunchBang’s own repositories are then customised and pinned to the system to produce what is known as the CrunchBang distro.

Put simply; CrunchBang could be thought of as a layer built on top of Debian, specifically to provide a great Openbox experience.

Anyway the other bonus was a link to this cool library of programming books, that I found linked on the community page: GitHub Free Programming Books

Enjoy 🙂