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.

Aseprite - Sprites on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X

  • Posted on: 15 May 2018
  • By: charm
Aseprite sprite editor running on Ubuntu 18.04

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours re-learning Gamemaker, or more accurately Gamemaker Studio 2. Fasteroids was developed in version 1.4 of Gamemaker. Just because I don't have enough to learn I decided to buy Aseprite. I've heard from a few people that Aseprite is one of the best tools for creating animated sprites, and at $14.99USD at the time of writing it seemed like a great deal.

Troubleshooting KODI add-ons (on Linux)

  • Posted on: 14 May 2018
  • By: charm
KODI event log

If you've already checked out our KODI setup page you already know that we mainly use KODI to organize our existing media collection. We don't use a lot of add-ons and we tend to steer clear of third party add-ons not found on the web site. But sometimes even the add-ons found on the web site don't work. Troubleshooting them can be a bit puzzling since the add-ons refer you to the kodi log file. When locally stored television shows and movies are scraped and not found they generate a log entry.


Fedora 28 Torrents

  • Posted on: 11 May 2018
  • By: charm
Front page of the Fedora Linux distribution web site

I'm a torrent kind of guy. Torrenting makes a lot of sense for distribution of Linux distributions, share the load among torrenters so the servers don't have to work as hard. It frustrates me a bit when I can't find a torrent for a particular Linux distribution. I'm a bit puzzled as to why a project as big as the Fedora Linux project wouldn't mention Torrent links below their download section. Does the project think it's going to make Red Hat look bad?

Our KODI Setup


KODI is open source entertainment system software commonly found on Android boxes and often used to stream Movies and Television shows. Our KODI setup is a bit different. While we do watch some streaming shows through the Crackle and Popcornflix add-ons, we mainly use KODI to store our Blu-rays, DVDs, CDs and Photographs. We run KODI on a variety of hardware: Desktops, Laptops, Android boxes, and we use our systems, tablets and phones to stream and control KODI.