Fasteroids Development Update (still working on the UFOs)

  • Posted on: 21 July 2018
  • By: charm
The new UFO for Fasteroids

I'd hoped by now to be a lot further along than I am in the development of Fasteroids. At this point I'm stuck solving some issues surrounding the UFOs that spawn in Fasteroids. I also wasn't particularly pleased with how the UFO looked. I modelled the original UFO after a print I saw, the print looked neat, but my implementation of it just didn't look right to me. I came up with a new sprite for the UFO (pictured below). It's also the first time I've used one of the new tools I bought, the Aseprite sprite creator.


Fasteroids development update (UFO's)

  • Posted on: 12 July 2018
  • By: charm
UFO spawning on the left side of Fasteroids

Since revising the web site I haven't been posting very frequently about Fasteroids. This post is just to let everyone know that I am working on Fasteroids. Much of what I've been working on is fixing little issues, but I also have a few "features" on tap for the future. To start with Fasteroids now has the beginnings of an enemy UFO (see screenshot). This is just the start. For the moment I'm just spawing the UFO at certain intervals. The UFO spawns at a random Y axis location but spawns either on the right or left and streams across the screen.


Data recovery

  • Posted on: 26 June 2018
  • By: charm
Recovering data with Photorec

Recently someone dropped off a laptop for assessment. The laptop powered on, but couldn't boot from the hard drive. We booted to a Linux live environment and ran Gsmartcontrol. GSmartcontrol showed the drive had unrecoverable errors. When we mentioned that the drive was failing the person asked if it might be possible to recover data.

Basic LAMP development environment on Xubuntu 16.04

  • Posted on: 18 June 2018
  • By: charm
Geany text editor showing a PHP script from our POS system

One of the jobs I've wanted to work on for awhile is to convert the Point-Of-Sale (POS) we use at work over to PHP7 and to make it available to the open source community.

Despite the fact that I've written a few BBS door games (using a Synchronet developed language), a text adventure (using AGT), a racing game for the Commodore 64 (I don't even remember what language I used, but it was probably basic), some RPG tools for gamers (using Tcl/Tk), and most recently an Asteroids-like game (using Game Maker Studio 1.4), I don't consider myself a programmer.

GMS 1.4.x or GMS 2.x?

  • Posted on: 14 June 2018
  • By: charm
Windows 10 reinstalled on my laptop

The past two days I've been setting up my laptop so I can work on Fasteroids and other games. I originally bought GameMaker Studio 1.4 on a Humble Bundle. A couple of months ago I bought a license for GameMaker Studio 2.x. Version 1.x is being retired at the end of July 2018 (barely a month away). I was thinking of forgetting trying to develop Fasteroids on GMS 1.4 and just learning 2.x. The code I wrote on GMS 1.4 doesn't work in 2.x, enough has changed that I'd have to redo a lot of Fasteroids if I decide to move to 2.x.

Getting System Specifications

  • Posted on: 28 May 2018
  • By: charm


Xubuntu Linux has several software packages that can give a range of information about the hardware inside a computer. I'm going to cover quite a few packages here so refurbishers can decide what they want to use. Not all the packages are included in the default installation of Xubuntu, some may have to be installed through the software centre.

Work desktop .conkyrc

  • Posted on: 25 May 2018
  • By: charm

I recently changed up my desktop system at work for an almost "stock" Gateway DX4860-EF11P (I changed the graphics card). The system I had prior was overkill for what I use my desktop for and was better suited as a server (it had 32GB of RAM). The Gateway is powered by a Core i5 processor and is powerful in its own right. The exact specs are:

Processor: Intel Core i5-2320 @ 3.30GHz (4 Cores)
Motherboard: Gateway IPISB-VR v1.01
Memory: 8192MB
Disk: 500GB Western Digital WD5000AAKX-7 + 250GB Portable
Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro K2000 2048MB (954/2000MHz)


KODI Server Performance Upgrade

  • Posted on: 17 May 2018
  • By: charm

Recently I came across an interesting old (2009) article by Don Woligroski on Tom's Hardware entitled Gigabit Ethernet: Dude, Where's My Bandwidth? At the time I stumbled upon the article I was transferring some media from my main desktop system (which I use to rip and encode media) to  our KODI server. The files were transferring slower than I expected and slower than I remember on other hardware I've had in our server.