About a year ago, I built my own RetroPie, a Raspberry Pi retro gaming machine that runs just about every video game published more than 10 years ago. Perhaps you’d like to build your own?

Here is how I built mine. I use it to run games from the Arcade (MAME), Commodore 64, Famicom and Famicom Disk System, Game Gear, Game Boy (+ Color, Advance), Neo Geo, NES, PC Engine (+ CD), Sega Genesis/MegaDrive (+ CD, 32X), Sega Master System, SNES, and Vectrex. But it supports many more.

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The question of “who to trust with my personal/private data” comes up a lot when you work for Google.

Caveats: I work for Google; you should consider my bias. I drunk the Kool-aid the day I accepted the job offer. These opinions are solely my own and do not reflect those of my employer.

Habits are more effective than laws. When you consider to whom you should entrust your data – Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, governments, etc – ask yourself what that entity’s record is on respecting your privacy and acting ethically. Not just “within the bounds of the law” but “does the right thing, even when it is hard”.

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SSL fixed (for now)

I’ve temporarily fixed the SSL cert on tolaris.com by rolling back to an older still-valid cert that lacks some DNS names I don’t really need. In the next few months, I intend to upgrade this server and then configure Let’s Encrypt. I’ve had enough of manually dealing with SSL certs.

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My SSL cert is broken

Thanks to everyone who warned me that my SSL certificate is broken. I’ll find a new issuer soon.

This happened because Google and Mozilla have distrusted my SSL issuer, StartSSL, for very good reasons. I was unaware of this action – StartSSL apparently took no effort to warn its customers – until the warning appeared in recent releases of their browsers.

Shame on you, Wosign and StartSSL.

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Seeking a new TV

I’m seeking a new TV. This is a hard problem because my use case is atypical (I can’t imagine why), and because the features that interest me are not in the comparison matrix of most sites.

My user stories:

  • I want to watch Plex, Netflix, Youtube, and iPlayer.
  • I want a 10-foot interface (sit on sofa, use remote control) for most watching.
  • I want to Chromecast/Google Cast at any time. I want the TV to switch automatically from whatever it is doing once casting starts.
  • I don’t care about broadcast / freeview. I will never use this.
  • I want good sound, and am willing to buy a sound bar.
  • I want to play Wii, and will soon upgrade to a Wii U.

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If you are like me, you are notified of both email and syslog errors from your Linux hosts. If you aren’t, you don’t know what’s wrong with your computers. But if you are, you sometimes have to deal with noise, like this totally useless message:

This is caused by a logrotate definition using “compress” without “delaycompress”. The error message is especially unhelpful because it doesn’t contain the filename causing the problem, due to the way logrotate invokes gzip as a pipeline.

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Merry Christmas!

It’s that time again! $happy $holidays, everyone! We have a special card just for you:

http://www.tolaris.com/xmas/xmas2015.php

After years of fun with the “madlib”-style card, we tried something very different this year!

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In late 2005, my wife and I were living in Sulimaniya, Iraq. As I was preparing for bed one night, I decided to play a prank on her. Shaving the beard from my goatee to leave only a filthy little mustache, I slid next to her in bed.

molestache1

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I use an advanced ping template with Cacti to monitor ICMP latency. Advanced Ping is based on a template originally found on the Cacti forums, but modified to look more like Smoke Ping. My thanks go to my colleague at Talia, Enno, for making it look beautiful as well as functional.

Advanced_Ping

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Merry Christmas!

It’s that time again! Merry Christmas, everyone! We have a special card just for you:

http://www.tolaris.com/xmas/xmas2014.php

(In case you miss it the first time, try reloading or clicking the button.)

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