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xrayspx's picture

Terminals

Music: 

The OS on the laptop I'm typing on goes back probably at least 3 years and spans a couple of different laptops that I've swapped between. I've done dist-upgrades on it and kept it current, and use it for hours a day. A couple of things stand out to show how little "work work" I do on this.

I tried to traceroute something and traceroute wasn't installed.

I was looking in my terminal config and the scrollback is only 1000 lines and not unlimited.

xrayspx's picture

PiST

Music: 

Peter Murphy - The Sweetest Drop

*Skip to the RetroPie customization stuff*

Like every other moderately Vintage / Retro Computing person,
not to mention my whole job being what it is, I immediately bought one of those
12" IPS 16:9 Eyoyo monitors when I started seeing them pop up on some YouTube channels. Thing works great as a bench monitor, but it's kind of a weird size for use with 1980s OSes that expect 4:3. I found that Eyoyo also makes a 4:3 12" 800x600 monitor with all the same inputs so I grabbed one. Since the Atari branded monitors for the ST were 12", and I never saw any of these machines on anything much bigger than a 13" TV back in the day, this looks pretty much exactly as I remember and the correct aspect ratio makes everything feel "bigger" in the right way.

The Pi 3 seems to be completely sufficient for emulating a stock 8Mhz 68000, it just needs enough power, swapping a 750ma power supply for 2.5A made a huge speed difference in emulation. I'm not trying to make this a "modern" experience like PiMiga or anything that requires any more horespower. For software, I started with RetroPie for their package management and the fact that they've already done the work of building all their packages to run from the command line with SDL/framebuffer, plus the ease of tweaking things like the boot splash screen, etc.

Aside from that, it's really just Hatari and Amiberry. I found a 1GB ACSI disk image for the ST which is split into thirds and had a bunch of preloaded software. I've not added anything to it yet, but apparently the hero at 8bitchip has also archived over 1500 ST games and has patched them to run from a hard disk so I won't need to sort through a bunch of disk images which is great. I already spotted Oxyd in the list.

That all makes me want to get NeoDesk running, which I gather is possible though it didn't immediately work in the 5 minutes I had to spend on it. Like I said, for this machine I'm not interested in running a "modern" take like PiMiga. But "nostalgia", well, while I'd certainly love to have original ST or Amiga hardware, I really am more nostalgic for the content and getting in front of Vroom or Nebulus for 10 minutes every 2 months, and it's awesome that it's using the same desktop I spent so much time in front of.

The little boot menu I wrote just replaces the RetroPie autostart.sh file at /opt/retropie/configs/all/ with one that shows the user a menu to select the boot OS or shutdown. Windows 3.11 is a menu option, that's kind of TBD. DosBox is installed but I haven't done the full Windows install yet but it'll be fun to play Solitaire on this thing.


Little tweaks I made to RetroPie

I used RetroPie as my base rather than regular Raspbian because of their great packaging and basic customization tools. I just installed Hatari and Amiberry from the retropie_setup installer and they worked immediately at the command line. The retropie_setup tool also lets you swap out the default boot splash screen. I was expecting to just find the location of the file and swap in an Atari Fuji logo and be done with it. But they've built the tool into their setup utility, and even let you assign an MP4 so I was able to use an animated rainbow Fuji logo so it just looks awesome.

I made one edit to /boot/cmdline.txt to suppress the bootup log output, so cmdline.txt looks like this now:

console=serial0,115200 console=tty1 root=PARTUUID=8ee2ea28-02 rootfstype=ext4 fsck.repair=yes rootwait loglevel=3 quiet consoleblank=0 plymouth.enable=0

I copied /opt/retropie/configs/all/autostart.sh out of the way and replaced it with:

#!/bin/bash

/home/pi/bin/menu

That's pointing to the boot menu screen. It's really simple but really what am I trying to do here? I did add a countdown timer so it will automatically boot to an ST desktop after 20 seconds:


#!/bin/bash
# /opt/retropie/configs/all/autostart.sh

clear
echo "POMPEY PIRATES" | sed -e :a -e "s/^.\{1,$(tput cols)\}$/ & /;ta" | tr -d '\n' | head -c $(tput cols)
echo ""
echo ""
echo "Press '1' For Atari ST"
echo "Press '2' For Amiga"
echo "Press '3' For Windows 3.11"
echo "Press '9' For Bash Shell"
echo "Press '0' For Shutdown"
echo "Press 'T' For Trainer"
echo ""
echo ""

msg="Booting Atari ST in"
tput cup 12 0
echo -n "$msg"

l=${#msg}

l=$(( l+1 ))

for i in {15..01}
do
tput cup 12 $l
echo -n "$i Seconds"

read -t 1 -n 1 system 2>/dev/null

if [ "$system" = "1" ]
then
/opt/retropie/emulators/hatari/bin/hatari --timer-d 0 && reset; /home/pi/bin/menu
elif [ "$system" = "2" ]
then
/opt/retropie/emulators/amiberry/amiberry.sh && reset; /home/pi/bin/menu
elif [ "$system" = "9" ]
then
exit 0
elif [ "$system" = "0" ]
then
sudo shutdown -h now
fi

done

/opt/retropie/emulators/hatari/bin/hatari --timer-d 0 && reset; /home/pi/bin/menu


To-Do

  • I'll probably install Windows and Mini vMac just to do it
  • Add ST High Res mode
  • May add a timer to the menu to boot to the ST after some number of seconds just to make it more immersive.
  • Add a "POMPEY PIRATES" at the top and "PRESS 'T' FOR TRAINER" at the bottom for authenticity



  • xrayspx's picture

    Nixie Clock

    Music: 

    Bloodshot Bill - Mary Ann

    Natalie got me a cool nixie clock project for Christmas. We've split duties putting it all together and we just finally got it all worked out and on the shelf.

    Overall the project was pretty easy, though you can see there's one pretty badly folded in place resistor that wasn't in the directions so we had to cram it in last minute. And we had a couple of issues with certain numbers on certain tubes, but it looks great in the end.

    xrayspx's picture

    2021 is Dumb

    Music: 

    • February: Given until Sept 1 to vacate Atlanta datacenter and move to new facility. At the time, I thought that was crazy aggressive and unlikely. That was cute
    • February: Painful breathing led to shallow breathing led to collapsed lung. This turns out to be a chronic problem with the cartilage in my chest, chostochondritis.
    • March: Given 6 weeks to vacate our corporate offices. The only way this was achieved was to move all our datacenter items to our ISP's hosting facility over a weekend.
    xrayspx's picture

    Lattice of Convenience - MP3 Playlists

    Music: 

    Underworld - Kittens

    Hopefully everyone can live in the future someday.

    We do a lot with MP3 playlists. I run Airsonic for streaming around the house and in the car, and we have a playlist-based FM transmitter setup, etc. So I have scripts which run every night and generate playlists based on star ratings and other things (GET THE LED OUT ANYONE?).

    Previously what I've done is dump the contents of a bunch of Smart Playlists in Clementine to a file and use those files to generate the randomized 200 track daily playlists. The downside to that is that every time I add music or change star ratings, I'd have to refresh these "base" files like some kind of animal. I had base playlists for "3+ stars", "4+ Stars" and "5 Stars", among others.

    Today I decided to fix all that. Clementine uses a SQLite3 database, so now I'm just querying it instead, and it seems to be working well. For example, my "5 star" playlist in Clementine results in 10800 or so tracks. The same one built from the DB ends up with a couple hundred more tracks, but is pretty close. I'm not entirely sure what the difference there is just yet, but "close enough". What it looks like to me is I probably need to enable Samba case sensitivity.

    The DB records ratings as decimal numbers from 0.0 (Zero stars) through 1.0 (5 Stars). So to build a "4-Star +" playlist, searching for rating >= "0.8", you get ratings like this:

    1
    1.10000002384186
    0.800000011920929
    0.800000011920929
    0.800000011920929
    1.10000002384186
    1.10000002384186
    0.800000011920929
    0.800000011920929
    1
    1
    1
    1

    ! Caveat: Prior to Clementine 1.4.0rc1-533-gf4e70face there was a bug where it was possible to give a song a higher than 5 star rating (higher than 1.0 in the DB) as you can see above, so know that if you have Clementine from the repositories, it's likely you have that bug. For instance in the UI, if you want to show all 5 star songs, use "Rating is Greater Than 4.5 Stars" rather than "Rating is Equal to 5 Stars".

    Now I can just have a cron job to copy the master Clementine DB once a day to my server and drop it in next to the playlist generation scripts.

    The downside to all this is speed. When using the Clementine-Generated base playlists, I could be sure all the files actually exist on disk. However while Clementine will only show you files that exist in the UI, it doesn't seem to do a very good job of cleaning the database of stale files which no longer exist. So if you move or rename files, the old DB entries stick around unless you purge it completely and start over from scratch. That means I have to test every single file as I add it to the playlist, which takes time. It takes about 5-8 seconds to generate my 200 track 5-Star M3U file.

    The 5-Star.sh script is below if you'd like to play along at home:

      


    #!/bin/bash

    rm /Volumes/Filestore/CDs/playlists/5\ Stars.m3u

    i=1

    while [ $i -le 200 ]
    do
     file=$(sqlite3 ./clementine.db "select filename from songs where rating > "0.9" order by random() limit 1;" | awk -F "file://" '{print $2}')

     ### Clementine data encodes special characters and accent marks and stuff so I'm using
     ### Joel Parker Henderson's urldecode.sh to undo that: https://gist.github.com/cdown/1163649
     
     data=$(urldecode.sh "$file")
     if [ -f "$data" ]
     then
      ### Have to escape leading brackets because grep treated it as a range and would allow duplicates ###
      ### Can't do that in "data" because \[ isn't in the filename so they'll fail ###

      escaped=$(echo "$data" | sed 's/\[/\\[/g')
      #echo "$escaped"

      ### Avoid duplicates
      match=$(grep -i "$escaped" /Volumes/Filestore/CDs/playlists/5\ Stars.m3u)
      if [ -z "$match" ]
      then
       echo "$data" >> /Volumes/Filestore/CDs/playlists/5\ Stars.m3u
       ((i++))
      fi
     fi
    done

    For the 3+ and 4+ lists, I repeat this main block, but instead each rating dumps into a text file that I randomize into an .m3u at the end. So for the 3-Star + script below, I collect 130 5-star tracks, 45 4-star, and 25 3-star, push them out to a temp file and then cat temp.m3u | sort -R > "./3 Star +.m3u". I could do all this by creating a new table in the database and stuffing tracks into that, but this was faster for me to write and it works well enough:


    #!/bin/bash

    rm /Volumes/Filestore/CDs/playlists/3\ Stars\ +.m3u

    i=1

    while [ $i -le 130 ]
    do
     file=$(sqlite3 ./clementine.db "select filename from songs where rating > "0.9" order by random() limit 1;" | awk -F "file://" '{print $2}')

     ### Clementine data encodes special characters and accent marks and stuff so I'm using
     ### Joel Parker Henderson's urldecode.sh to undo that: https://gist.github.com/cdown/1163649
     
     data=$(urldecode.sh "$file")
     if [ -f "$data" ]
     then
      ### Have to escape leading brackets because grep treated it as a range and would allow duplicates ###
      ### Can't do that in "data" because \[ isn't in the filename so they'll fail ###

      escaped=$(echo "$data" | sed 's/\[/\\[/g')
      #echo "$escaped"

      ### Avoid duplicates
      match=$(grep -i "$escaped" ./3-star-tmp.m3u)
      if [ -z "$match" ]
      then
       echo "$data" >> ./3-star-tmp.m3u
       ((i++))
      fi
     fi
    done

    i=1

    while [ $i -le 45 ]
    do
      file=$(sqlite3 ./clementine.db "select filename from songs where rating >= "0.8" and rating

      ### Clementine data encodes special characters and accent marks and stuff so I'm using
      ### Joel Parker Henderson's urldecode.sh to undo that: https://gist.github.com/cdown/1163649

      data=$(urldecode.sh "$file")
      if [ -f "$data" ]
      then
       ### Have to escape leading brackets because grep treated it as a range and would allow duplicates ###
       ### Can't do that in "data" because \[ isn't in the filename so they'll fail ###

       escaped=$(echo "$data" | sed 's/\[/\\[/g')
       #echo "$escaped"

       ### Avoid duplicates
       match=$(grep -i "$escaped" ./3-star-tmp.m3u)
       if [ -z "$match" ]
       then
        echo "$data" >> ./3-star-tmp.m3u
        ((i++))
       fi
      fi
    done

    i=1

    while [ $i -le 25 ]
    do
      file=$(sqlite3 ./clementine.db "select filename from songs where rating >= "0.6" and rating

      ### Clementine data encodes special characters and accent marks and stuff so I'm using
      ### Joel Parker Henderson's urldecode.sh to undo that: https://gist.github.com/cdown/1163649

      data=$(urldecode.sh "$file")
      if [ -f "$data" ]
      then
       ### Have to escape leading brackets because grep treated it as a range and would allow duplicates ###
       ### Can't do that in "data" because \[ isn't in the filename so they'll fail ###

       escaped=$(echo "$data" | sed 's/\[/\\[/g')
       #echo "$escaped"

       ### Avoid duplicates
       match=$(grep -i "$escaped" ./3-star-tmp.m3u)
       if [ -z "$match" ]
       then
        echo "$data" >> ./3-star-tmp.m3u
        ((i++))
       fi
      fi
    done

    cat ./3-star-tmp.m3u | sort -R > /Volumes/Filestore/CDs/playlists/3\ Stars\ +.m3u

    rm ./3-star-tmp.m3u

    xrayspx's picture

    Dr Pepper Clock

    Music: 

    We just got a really great Dr Pepper restaurant clock, as featured in the arcade scene of Wargames. We think it's meant to be modular and can be attached to lighted menu-boards. It's got a pass-through 110V plug so you can daisy chain stuff off of it, and the side trim is easily removable to clip in a sigh board on each side.

    However, while it is beautiful, it doesn't need to be on all the time, so I added a switch. The wiring is very simple with just a couple of wire nuts tying the inbound power to the AC plug and fluorescent light. I found some suitably retro-ey looking switches on Amazon at 6 for $9.

    We decided to put the switch on the bottom just in case I cracked the plastic or something similarly horrible happened. All in all, very straight forward, but one pro-tip was in drilling the hole. I started with a small drill bit and worked my way up, but when I got to the larger drill bits I ran the drill in reverse to just use friction to make the hole rather than trying to hog out a hole in very thin and brittle material with a way-too-big bit. This worked /great/, thanks Dave.

    Wiring before:

    Switch:

    Wiring After:

    Switch external:

    Fixed Tags:
    xrayspx's picture

    Sharp Boombox Repair

    Music: 

    Tom Petty - Freefallin'

    xrayspx's picture

    DVD Ripping

    Music: 

    The Wipeouters - Ravin' Surf

    Another note for myself for later, and boy this is dumb.

    xrayspx's picture

    TV History Time

    Music: 

    Mojo Nixon & Jello Biafra - Nostalgia For an Age That Never Existed

    So this is super interesting. You know, interesting to me anyway.

    I'm compiling another week of vintage TV shows, this time from 1963. It's remarkable how easy it is to get the exact episode of many of these even compared to getting episodes from 1980's shows. I'm making a playlist for each night and mixing in 1963 commercials throughout, should be fun. But first, see if you can spot why this week's playlist may present a particular challenge:

    As I started out on Sunday night (TVue is boldly not adhering to the TVGuide dictate that Saturday is the first day of the week), I found that while I could find the episode of whatever show I was looking for, the air date listed in IMDB was for like, several months in the future, in some cases as far as March 1964. What the balls IMDB. So it made it kind of tricky to pin down given episodes.

    After the 3rd or so show with this happening, I kind of noticed a pattern. Sunday, November 24, 1963 just doesn't seem to exist. IMDB consistently showed "Nov. 17" and then the next episode aired was 'Dec. 1".

    So seriously what the he... Oh. Right. Yikes.

    My TVue, from the Boston Advertiser, is listing the TV schedule for the week after the Kennedy assassination. I am building playlists to recreate a week of TV which ... ... never existed.

    For the record, this being the 24th, we chose Mister Ed, My Favorite Martian and The Judy Garland Show. I got all the right episodes on those, but I'd have liked to have seen the Ed Sullivan Show, but since that's live I imagine it was just canceled altogether. It was supposed to have a Stiller and Meara sketch, so I just picked one of those sketches from another Ed Sullivan. Growing up with Seinfeld it's just so easy to see "SERENITY NOW!", or "I've got a lot of problems with you people!". Genius.

    As in my previous week of vintage TV, if I can't find a thing, I'll go for the nearest I can get. So for instance What's My Line on Sunday, Nov. 24 Instead I opted for the December 1 episode with Colonel Sanders. I don't know what was scheduled for that episode, or indeed if it was ever actually shot.

    In addition to the JFK assassination horror, one thing that bums me out about this week is that I don't seem to be able to find any episodes of Grindl with Imogene Coca. I really want to see Aunt Edna, but young ('er, she was still in her '50s).

    So here's to building a playlist for a TV Guide week that never happened. Obviously this is going to be oddly similar to 9/11/2001, and ... that's about it really. I can't really think of any other week where the machine of commerce would have simply ground to a halt entirely.

    xrayspx's picture

    Lots of RDP

    Music: 

    Annie Lennox - Why?

    Do you do lots of RDP? Like lots and lots? I do, and even with password management it's annoying. I tend to use generated passwords for all my normal user, Domain Admin user and obviously Administrator accounts. That means lots of workarounds to deal with those passwords while doing bulk RDP sessions.

    A typical use case for me is to RDP to 20 machines at a time, run a thing, wait, and log out. I've always scripted this, but not always in strictly the safest way. Plaintext passwords stored in a script, or read off disk. The philosophy is "if someone can read this script, I've already lost the game anyway", but still it's ugly and sick, and so I fixed it. In my defense, the Red Team never did pop my laptop...

    I already use gpg-agent to facilitate unpacking of log files. On my syslog servers I roll logs over hourly, gzip them and then gpg encrypt them to my key. Then I can download a bunch of them, run my logunpack script, enter my passphrase once and since gpg-agent caches that credential for a period of time, decrypt all my files in one go.

    What I wanted here was basically a way to have keepassxc.cli "hold the door open" and cache the passphrase like gpg-agent does. So what I've done is to use gpg-agent itself for that purpose. I have a GPG encrypted file containing my KeePass-XC passphrase, and I open it using gpg-agent, so it can be reused until gpg-cache-ttl expires.

    I've also always had slightly different copies of this script for use cases of "Fullscreen on my laptop" and "fullscreen on larger displays", so I have a switch here for "resolution" as well. "fs" for fullscreen or "fsbm" for "big monitors". Since I'll never go to my office again, that's pretty much never going to get used. The default for the $res value will remain 1280x960. Reasonable enough.

    I also added prompts so that it'll ask for host, domain, user and password if you run the script with no prompts from a shell. So /that/ will be super useful to me when I have to do a one-off connection to some remote host but don't need a whole launcher for it. While I'm at it, I put in the -b switch so that you can have it generate a launcher based on that input. That saves me hand editing a template when I add a new RDP host.

    I use Linux, but this should work with minimal-if-any changes on Mac and Windows/Cygwin, both of which can run xfreerdp and gpg-agent. I have a good automated ssh-tunneled RDP setup for my Mac, so I might try using that with this so I can use a 4k display for those "busy RDP days".

    Being that I do run Linux, here's how I launch this. KDE desktop files like this:


    xrayspx@dummyhost:~/rdps$ cat windowsmachine
    #!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
    [Desktop Entry]
    Comment[en_US]=
    Comment=
    Exec=/home/xrayspx/bin/rdplauncher.sh -h windowsmachine -d domain -u xrayspx
    GenericName[en_US]=
    GenericName=windowsmachine
    Icon=remmina
    MimeType=
    Name[en_US]=
    Name=windowsmachine
    Path=
    StartupNotify=true
    Terminal=false
    TerminalOptions=
    Type=Application
    X-DBUS-ServiceName=windowsmachine
    X-DBUS-StartupType=
    X-KDE-SubstituteUID=false
    X-KDE-Username=

    So anyway, here's the thing: RDPLauncher

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