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Windows 10 is a Winner, but...!

on Mon, 10/12/2015 - 01:00

Microsoft seems to actually have 2 winners on their hands this year (go figure). The first, a gap-bridging update to the iconic OS that brought modern computers into our homes. The second, a new Surface Book laptop/tablet hybrid aimed squarely at maximizing the best that the new OS can offer. The last piece to this puzzle will depend on adoption, not only from users, but more importantly the would-be developers and vendors that might generate an honest-to-goodness ecosystem for Windows to thrive in.

Red Hat Certified.. Me?!

on Sat, 08/08/2015 - 11:53

Funny, I didn't think I was certifiable? Anyway, took the accelerated (RH199) course in a bootcamp this week. Then took the EX200 exam on Friday. It was one of the toughest exams I have taken--I have been through 2 Microsoft cert course bootcamps for MCSE several years ago, though the certs have now expired, so I'm not exactly a sysadmin noob (having 20+ years experience). It was tough, but here's how I made it through.. 

I haven't actually worked much on Unix systems for the last 10 years (because I drew the short straw in the office the day they asked if anyone wanted to become MS

How Macbook Changed My Computing Life in 30 Days!

on Sat, 07/11/2015 - 17:39

I always thought Macheads were dangerous weirdos who would physically attack you if you came anywhere near criticizing their precious Macs. I'm not talking about rabid iPhone people (who are not quite as exclusive of a group, nor seemingly as crazed). I mean the everlasting, dyed-in-the-wool Machead.

Cheap Arcade and Entertainment System Upgrades!

on Fri, 07/03/2015 - 13:34

Recently bought a few new gadgets (and one furniture item) to enhance the various entertainment areas of the home, all for around 100 bucks. First was a new replacement joystick for my Arcade cocktail table. I bought the stick on Amazon for like 10 bucks (see this). There is still a few left in stock, and I can vouch that it is very responsive and works perfectly. I was a little worried as it came in a box without any documentation at all and no packaging.

Arcade Cocktail Table - All Systems Go!

on Tue, 03/10/2015 - 00:55

The arcade table project I undertook to use an old netbook to run MAME-emulated games in a game table configuration is finally mostly functional. I have both player controls wired and working. The coin door is wired and working--well only one coin slot is actually wired, because I preferred using a button for player 1 coin op and only have a 2-player config--though I still need to add a power source for the lights. The key to making this easier is bundling and labelling the wires properly, which I kind of learned the hard way on Player one, LOL.

CI20 First Impressions...

on Mon, 03/02/2015 - 03:23

Imagination Technologies (see my CES 2015 experience here) kindly sent me a CI20 development board to check out after the show. I'll be doing a more thorough review later, but wanted to get some of my early thoughts and experiences down first. It comes loaded out of the box with Debian and enough space left over on flash storage NAND to install plenty of packages that will let you kick the tires (see the full tech specs here). I haven't done so yet, but you can also format Android onto an SD card and boot it as a second OS.

Arcade Coin Door installation!

on Sun, 01/04/2015 - 18:34

This took way longer than should have (see the full post up on the Arcade Cabinet project here). It was so simple once I borrowed my daughter's jigsaw. I simply had to modify the shape and size of the default holes cut for the cabinet, and shim up the bottom edge a bit. Came out looking pretty decent. Still need to install fans and a power supply, but can now actually run the switch that senses the coin entry off the I-PAC mini control board! Read on for the full ordeal, though it was really pretty painless.

Need a shooter accessory? Make One!

on Tue, 12/30/2014 - 02:56

What do you do when you get a really cool FPS game for Christmas, but not the fancy gun-like accessory designed to be used with it? You make one! Yeah, it looks like hell, but it works a lot better than it looks.It doesn't take fancy looks to make a passable "zapper" Wii shooting accessory; just a piece of wire conduit (or similarly elongated plastic casing/tubing), and some bungee chords. As long as you have a hardy piece of something in between, you would be amazed how deadly stable the aim and control of a home-made weapon becomes in the hands of the average human (even the totally weird

On Like Donkey Kong! Build a Home Arcade System!

on Wed, 12/17/2014 - 03:07

I got the idea a while ago to either purchase or build an arcade-style cocktail table this year (what I really wanted was a pinball machine--one can always dream). After seeing the crazy high prices being asked for real arcade stuff online, I quickly decided I could build my own cocktail machine for probably around $500 or less. The project isn't 100% complete yet.