New Technologies for a New Year

Starting with the new year, I decided to move my domain and related stuff away from my account at Dreamhost, a shared hosting server, to my virtual machine at I have nothing but good things to say about Dreamhost though, they are excellent at what they do. However, I wanted to do more than what a shared hosting provider could do for me, I needed Root! Moving my websites and dns to a dedicated server grants me the ability to implement a few technologies to usher in the new year.

Solving “Role Playing 4”

Last month Games Magazine published their Online Contest 29 - Role Playing 4. Here is the puzzle: The circles represent actors, the diamonds represent movies they have been in. Pink is for actresses and blue is for actors. The numbers represent the numbers in their name: First, Last. Question marks indicate the number in their name is 3,4,6, or 9 letters. The center actress is what we are after. Note there are no clues for her name, but she has been in 13 movies.

Plug Computers!

Recently I gave a presentation on Plug Computers at the local NCLUG. Plug computers are inexpensive, small, and low power computers, about the size of a wall wart. They make great home servers, appropriate for file sharing, exporting media files for your devices (DLNA), making backups (backuppc), etc. If you would like to check out the slides for my presentation: Plug Computers Presentation If you would like to see my wiki notes on plug computers: http://wiki.

Bash Boggle - A Boggle Solver Written in Bash!

Bash is my favorite computer language. I also love writing programs to help human problems. Inspired by this online Boggle solver, I decided to write my own solver while my friends were too busy playing the game and having fun :) If you would like to test my work, here is the code: You will need the linux “words” dictionary, which is installable on Ubuntu by running “sudo apt-get install wamerican”

Computer Assisted Jenga with the Wii Balance Board and Linux

I like to think about how games work, in the case of Jenga, it is just physics! But don’t you wish you could peel back reality and see what is happening with the physics from the inside? Well now you can, with the help of a Wii Balance Board. For the setup you need these ingredients: Wii Balance Board Computer with Bluetooth Linux, preferably Ubuntu Jenga Set, alternatively “Tension Tower“

The Seagate Dockstar: A Very Cool Linux Device

What if I told you there was a computer out there, a small one, with gigabit ethernet, 4 USB 2.0 ports, runs on 5 watts, and serves as a great NAS (network attached storage) for your home. It can share files, serve media, be a router, make backups for you, host a lamp stack, be a mail server, etc. It can do whatever you can think up. How much would you pay for such a neat little device?

Setting Up Your Very Own PXE Server!

Ever fumbled around your house looking for a Linux CD, but you can’t find it? Ever suspected that your ram was going bad, but you didn’t have a way to test it? Ever needed to backup files on a computer that had a dead and broken operating system? A solution to all these problems is a super cool tool called PXE booting. PXE booting allows you to load alternative operating systems over the network, without the need for cds, cdroms, etc!

ISPs Should Capitalize on their Reverse DNS!

Actually… no they shouldn’t. Here is what it would look like: My traceroute [v0.75] kyle ( Tue May 18 15:14:52 2010 Keys: Help Display mode Restart statistics Order of fields quit Host Loss% Snt Last Avg Best Wrst StDev 1. 0.0% 10 12.0 15.6 11.3 33.6 6.7 2 0.0% 10 13.1 15.8 11.5 31.1 5.9 3. 44.4% 10 15.3 17.7 11.8 23.1 4.5 4. LIKE-WHAT-YOU-SEE?-GET-WITH-LEVEL3! 0.0% 10 27.

Stream of Conciousness Youtube Videos on Linux

While sitting watching TV I yearned for a more stream-of-consciousness experience. Youtube was the answer. However, Youtube requires too much interaction. I wanted to vege out and let it just feed me the stream of random images and sound. Selecting purely random youtube videos sounded like a bad idea though… I decided to do a twitter search for anything with a youtube link, and then let a script just enqueue them into totem, ad-infinitum.

Sparkfun’s Autonomous Vehicle Competition

The Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition (AVC) was a smash! You can watch some footage of the event at Sparkfun’s Ustream page. Here is what the starting / finishing line looked like: And some judges on the roof watching to make sure the Flying robots do not cut corners. [](/uploads/startingline.jpg) I was very impressed by the UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). Most of them were able to complete the course in record time.