Total Pageviews

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Linux Mint and more boxes.

This is yet more notes on Virtualbox, and to be honest I still haven't gotten anything much to work in it though to be honest.  We got a newer version of Linux (Mint as the more observant of you have seen) and tested Android instead of AROS.  Theres a great guide to putting Android on Virtualbox here but all the machines I used are either junk or not worth it, except for Linux Mint and that was basically running it from a live CD. More later. 

First of all a diversion into junk tour territory, I had the chance to go to a bootsale for the first time in ages, down in SE12 (Well hall / Eltham boundaries).  It was billed as busy and large which actually meant having 6 stalls with a few people loitering about.  To say its disappointing was an understatement and coming home with M.A.W mixes of Hardrive Deep Inside was about the only consolation of a poor day out.

To make up for the fact we decided to mess around with Linux Mint which we previously had as a virtual machine but decided to make a full on Live install.  You can do this in windows from the Live CD and create a dual boot setup, my old XP workhorse now comes with linux power and looks 10 times better.  Everything intergrated well hardware wise and there were no errors.  I haven't had to touch the notorious terminal yet, but if you are a windows native I would say give this a go.  Bits still remind me of Workbench (I think its the dual icons on screen) and sometimes it reminds me of Mac stuff especially the windows and that.

I have even briefly scanned some stuff with it via simple Scanner (not sure its real name but would love a windows version) a small program that scans an image and saves it to desktop or disc.  I had a brief poke around gimp (horrible as always) and Libre Office (use this on PC rather than word).  Looking to poke through some old hard disks if I can get them to recognise them Mint (drew a blank in windows they don't have drive numbers it seems as they don't show up) but so far I'm well impressed with mint has to offer.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

This is a box a Virtualbox.

Wrapped up and ready to go. Hello readers this is a short musing on virtualbox and Linux in general, its possibly not that helpful but its been keeping me interested for the past few days. 

We've been wanting to explore some old hard disks and as part of a recent Maplins binge have got ourselves a Hard disk / card reader all in one job.  Most of what I have isn't really readable and as I found out dead.  What I did find out reading around that booting some form of Linux could make those drives with missing letters readable.  To be honest I still haven't gotten them read as you will see but so far I'm not all that struck with virtualbox.

If you want to do what I did you'll need the following:

A USB flash drive (mine was 8GB we wanted to put PS2 isos onto it of course that never came to fruition)
A linux live USB creation program.
Some sort of Linus image see top.
Some sort of Linux Image.

And follow the straightforward instructions on the Linux live USB creator.

For our test program and first foray into Linux we trialled 2 tiny linuxes as our target Machine, an old XP beast liberated from work years back would struggle with current popular builds such as Fedora and Ubuntu (incidentally could some distro guys actually come up with Linus Linux or Ubunton with the face of Emma Bunton as desktop wallpaper just to satisfy my stupid sense of humour). 

First up as everthing seemed to be going well we had our download verified (we used Puppy Linux and DSL) and installed.  Our key was created and loaded, we found out we had a portable version of Virtualbox
and our Linux ran from this environment.  So far so good, we decide to boot up our virtual Puppy and see how it goes, except we get to a start up screen that goes nowhere and does nothing.  I'm no good at programming and command line stuff yeah I know Linux is all that even with its windows veneer over it, its still command line at heart.  So we try another distro Damn Small which is smaller than Puppy and thankfully has none of the issues either as we successfully boot it into its GUI and then discover Virtualboxes other dickish thing getting a mouse pointer to work.  If you've ever used WinUAE emulator its a bit like that there is a hotkey to trigger mouse capture (or in WinUAEs case to switch screens) except it captures fuck all and does nothing.  We decide to do the decent thing and burn it to a CD via IMGburn and switch priority at the bootscreen to see it in action.

Our main thoughts on DamnSmall is that it reminds me of Workbench 3.5 not the old school 4 colour Amiga OS, but something from 1998 with all the hacks added to make it 32 colours or so.  PC owners of an age may recall Windows 98 instead (only a lot greyer).  Its rather nice and the mouse works in the live CD just like a boss, I still didn't get my drives to work or be read so will have to read up on that via on line with my current PC.

They had a lot of stuff to look at including Firefox and a few file manager stuffs as well as a cute version of Tetris that looked like it was an exile from Workbench or Win95 and wasn't half bad.  After some tinkering and that we decided to close down and remove the CD. 

We may download Virtualbox proper and try out something more modern like Mint  or obscure such as AROS (which I remember from Amiga Format way back in 98).

Monday, 16 September 2013

More Old TV discoveries.

I know some of you are waiting for this, but I had a good day yesterday marred by the fact that google wouldn't let us login or update.  So I've prepared a short statement beforehand and copypasted it so you all know the score.

Because Google is being cunty as usual I'm having to pre write this in Notepad
but let me assure you we have made a few major discoveries regarding a few
lost things.  Its not hen a pippa but it does involve old eastern bloc cartoons and
old cable memories.

Pomysłowy Dobromir

This was something I'd long forgotten aboutand involved a small ginger kid who dreamt up
stuff with his grandpa. A small ball would bounce on his head and he would sketch
up something to bail him out of a problem.  Now watching it I remember the little
green bird as well, in fact this is real cute I used to beg my mum to tell me
stories about that guy and his chickens.  Episode here.

Nickelodeon Pinwheel.

Like some horrible racial memory, this I think there was a badly made snail called
Silas. Indeed Wikipedia agrees and throws up the Admiral bird as well as a few other
characters (oh and this is probably where I remember Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings from). 
We never formally had a Nickelodeon channel till about 1993 and even then
it was shunted off in favour of the Family Channel.  This could have been part of
TCC's (now trouble) daytime line up.  In fact as soon as the theme tune played I knew
exactly what this was, something long buried and filled with janky puppets.

Finally our google fu managed to rustle up a name for an old hardcore record
I had that masqueraded as an Altern 8 white label.  Its Reel II reels MDA EP, and
was the dogs as usual. 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Konami Round Up.

This is a round up of all things Konami. There may be some other stuff in here mainly about the end of WOS (main site up but forums now closed for those interested) and Jim Nick Nick Davidson but damn there is a lot of Konami stuff here to deal with.

First up there are a few translations to deal with, mainly Suikoden Spin offs, so if you have a hankering for Suikogaiden 1 and 2 on the PS1 then your prayers have been answered. 

These are side stories from the original PS1 Suikoden games and play out like a visual novel rather than the RPGs you would be familiar with.  A much better description and a download can be found here.

Next is a translation of Suikoden Card stories a GBA version of a physical card game from Konami (its not just Yugioh stuff they do).  They say its not as polished as the two visual novels above but still good enough to get a release.

Finally there is a translation out for Konamis "Ladyius" shooting game Otomedius, Gradius in skirts if you will, for the arcade.  The site there is good for both general information on all of Konamis Gradius games and the patch itself.  Incidentally this was the first in a week of Konami Kracks and what set the idea off originally.  I really didn't know what sort of hardware it ran on, but it seems that its some sort of PC equivalent like Taitos Type X hardware.   If you get it working the forums there have a massive compatibility thread, to help you along.

Jim Davidson Still Unfunny.

In other news Jim Nick Nick Davidson moans that Ade Edmonson is smug and his wife (Jennifer Saunders) is funnier than him after winning Masterchef.

Put it this way what would you rather have Bottom, Filthy Rich and Catflap and The Young Ones all proper laugh out loud funny shows with Ade Edmonson in.

Or Jim Davidson doing his bloody Chalky White impression on Big Break.

I rest my case.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

ZX People.

Well this is awkward. I am going to bite the bullet and be brave about myself and write what I have long suspected... that I'm autistic or have some sort of disordered Spectrum (face it you have to be to own a Speccy).  It only really dawns on you  that you aren't like other folk when you see other folk.  They know how to speak and how to do stuff that isn't awkward.  They aren't narrowly focused, obsessive and inward looking plus they have it all.  Me, well I have my family and... thats it.

I guess it started when I was little, I don't quite know how or when, but my primary school referred me to a patient group at the Maudsely Hospital at Denmark Hill, I remember going I think I still have some of the stuff they used to give out (a Postman Pat pencil sharpener of all things) and my mum made friends with the mum of a kid in my group.  He was called John and was much further down the spectrum than me, what we call Autism proper, I remember he read Lord Of The Rings and swore like a bastard.  His little brother was cool and we shared a love of snooker, both of us having tables to play on, but as for John well he wasn't like me and I wasn't like him, so didn't pay much attention.

I don't know if this intervention helped or not all I knew is that I was like no one else, few friends, odd hobbies and mostly alone.  I always though of myself as shy rather than an autist, not talking much helped and thanking my lucky stars that I could read and write and do base maths so wasn't quite a spacker like a lot of folk possibly think I am.  Then about 30 years later I read a book (actually this book) I loved cats having many over the years and it spelled it out in no uncertain terms.  I'm a cat (an autist). 

I knew what I was and where John was in the scheme of things, I was high functioning and he was somewhere below me (but thats OK, he's a fellow robot and us robots stick together). 

I still don't really fit in to the whole autism thing though, I hate sudden loud noises and loss of routine (ever wondered why this is updated on a Sunday and Sunday only), and get distracted easily, mostly though I have about 16 different things on the go at once, and while I may have laser like focus (to such an extent that I block out most things) I can lose focus easily unlike you more typical autist.  I actually wondered why other people didn't zone out like I could and wonder if its like altered states or deep meditation done by yoga practitioners or alternative therapy students / psychedelic drug users.

Finally its taken a long time to even find a name for what I am, I really hate the term aspie, its weak and stupid and reeks of weasel worded leftist PC speak.  Whereas Sperg, or spurge just makes me think of Euphorbias. It wasn't until Facebook and a post to a group (I've forgotten where they are Autistic artists if it helps) calling themselves Autists that the name clicked.  So yeah this is me autist and proud(ish).