Geeky/Programming Life Ramblings Random

More Boring Tech..Atari, Brats, iPhones, Rock Band (fake and real!)

Well, new job is going OK. Not much to report really, as you can see from the lack of posting. No new tech or anything interesting leads to… well, boring posts like this. Basically I am knee deep in an older ERP system, and doing report mods and small .NET applications to automate some things, but nothing really exciting. A couple of weeks ago though I went through some online MSFT trainings for .NET 3.5 and SQL 2008 (free clinics on and that was some good info, now only if I could use it. 🙂

In other news, I picked up an SNES and TWO Atario 2600’s for like 55 bucks, with like 30 games, which is pretty cool. Went to “Bratfest 2008” and helped set the new world record for brat’s consumed.

Picked up Rock Band, so have been hitting that a little bit, but even better news is that I have been playing keyboards more now, and if everything goes right, will be playing with a local band here in Madison in a little while. I am learning the songs now and have some down and ready to go already.. fun stuff.

The iPhone 2.0 Firmware is going ok. Kind of slow at times. I am kind of mad, I lost all my pix of BratFest and other things from Memorial Day weekend, when the new Beta6 firmware came out, I updated, but dummy me forgot to download my pics to my computer first. I tried the Paraben Device Seizure tool that has been used to forensically get data off refurbed iPhones, but it didn’t work, didn’t find anything. oh well, I won’t forget to get the pics from now on 🙂

There is a lot of hoop jumping to get the new firmware loading. Creating certs, importing their certs, creating appid, provisioning profiles, blah blah blah. I do really like the exchange push email, and with my fetch Google Apps email, its like everything right there. That coupled with Google Reader and the Facebook iPhone site, I don’t even need a laptop to browse around anymore…

Also waiting for this Democratic Primary to be over, so things can move on to the General Election. This year needs to be different, if the last 8 years are any indication of what could be, things just need to change.

Last year on this day, my first day in PDX. Time flies.


HowTo: Hack Your PS3: Installing Yellow Dog Linux 6.0, and Actually Getting It To Work!

So, a couple of weeks ago, I bought a PS3, for the Blu-Ray disc capabilities. Since HD-DVD has died and I can get Blu-Ray discs through Netflix, and since the PS3 can be updated with new features, I figured I would give it a try. (The 100 dollar EB games credit I had made the decision easier as well)

After playing around with the PS3 (I bought one game disc ; Uncharted, Drakes Adventures, and one Online game; Pain) I figured it would be good to hack around and install Linux on it. With the PS3, Sony makes it really easy to install Linux.


I decided to go with Yellow Dog Linux (YDL), version 6.0 (the latest). Other distros will work, but this is the main one they support – you can download it here –

After getting the 3.7 GB file, which took forever, I burnt the ISO to DVD using Active@ ISO-Burner (a sweet ISO burner BTW). Ok, all set to install. A few things to consider

1) You need a USB keyboard and mouse

2) You need a HDTV for this to work

In the PS3, go to settings, system settings, and then format utility. You can format a 10 GB partition for “Other OS”.  Restart the PS3

Then put in the Linux DVD, go back to settings, system settings, Install Other OS. YDL said /ps3/otheros/otheros.bld  … so, hit start. Then it will tell you how to get to the other OS.

Go then to “Default System” menu and choose Other OS, and then restart..

It should restart into Linux. It will be at a prompt, “kboot:” – hit enter, it should get into setup, you can follow the onscreen instructions from there. Everything is pretty much default and hitting yes to any prompts, a basic install. You set up a root password, etc. Reboot after it is done, it will go through some final setup steps (checking sound, etc), after that, you should be able to login.

Logging in, first thing I wanted to do was get networking set up. I am not using the wired connection, rather I am using wireless, with WPA. Here is where the fun starts, and why I hate Linux.

YDL doesn’t support WPA out of the box, isn’t that awesome? The wifi was there in network config, etc, and I could put in settings, but it would never connect. I do love the error it gives you as well… “Check Cable?” umm… well, I would but Linux, remember we are configuring a Wi-Fi Connection? No Cable?

Anyway’s.. debacle time.. found this after some searching –

This works… I just connected to a “linksys” for 2 seconds to download the RPM (or you can just put it on a flash drive as well), and then disconnected. Going through that tutorial though,there was one thing I was getting hung up on. The networking commands were not working for me. I was logged in a regular user, so I tried “su” to switch to root. Still no dice. I had to logout, and login as root, and run through that tutorial (unpacking the RPM with –force works with “su”).

Awesome, my networking is working and I am using WPA… yesssss! Now, just check a few things, email, reader, Facebook, cool. How about YouTube… wait… no flash. Check Adobe’s site.. no flash for PPC architecture.. WTF? So no flash at this point…which stinks..

Whew, all the Linux hacking is making me thirsty.. ok, lets boot back to the PS3 OS…wait.. how?

After doing some more digging, there should be a command “boot-game-os” you can run from the terminal and it should reboot. Wait, trying to run that command, it says “command not found”… another WTF…

After some more digging, it turns out the command resides in the “/sbin” directory, which users don’t have access to… (even root? man…)

So we need to make a sym-link. You can do this as a regular user, but you need to “su”, then run

cd /bin

ln -s /sbin/boot-game-os boot-game-os

Then, you can just go to the “start” menu in TDL, and there is an option then to “Boot Game OS” – works like a charm, reboot and you are back to the PS3


Free Xbox 360 Live Game – Undertow

If you are a XBOX Live 360 Subscriber and you had issues over xmas break, get on the marketplace and download Undertow – its free, the full game. That is the gift you get for dealing with issues.. get on it!

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Programming Home Projects – Like Playing Nintendo?

Ever since I started programming, I have always had some crazy idea on the side that I would be working on, some project, some program I could write. A few have seen the light of day (Fat Finger Media Center, Pocketblogger, amongst others..). I was thinking tonight, and it dawned on me. Doing development projects on your own, at home, is like playing Nintendo. Why? Well I say Nintendo because that is what we did when we were 8. It is like people that call all types of soda pop “coke”, I call all video games “Nintendo”, ok so we have that down,

Doing development projects on your own, at home, is like playing Video Games.

How is like playing video games? Well, everyone who has played video games knows about it, and here is how it goes. You have this awesome game, but it is 1 player. You and your buddy can play together by switching off when you get killed, or if one guy is better than the other, then the other guy just watches, helps, looks for stuff the other guy will miss, goes and gets chips, beers, looks stuff up on the net, etc, a video game co-pilot if you will. Always have to get that Simpsons reference in there too (From the Episode: Alone Again, Natura-Diddily)

BART (playing a Christian video game while consoling Rod and Todd): Ooh, full conversion!
ROD: No, you just winged him and made him a Unitarian.
TODD (after Bart beats the first level of the video game): Can we play now?
BART: We are playing. We’re a team.
ROD AND TODD: [pause] Yay!

See, Rod and Todd are having so much fun, and so is Bart 🙂 – And also, don’t forget cooperative video games! Working together to get to the end – perfect!


No, seriously though, to me it is the same as doing home dev projects. When you do them yourself, it just isn’t as fun as doing them with someone else, as a team. People can bring different skills to the table, which make things better. (artistic abilities for graphics for example, is something someone else could totally bring to the table, even networking, server setup, backend stuff)

Now, if I could just find some motivated people with some extra time that want to learn how to do some cool stuff, and end up making some cool stuff in the process, all the while having fun, well, then, we would be playing, we would be a team.

BTW: I have a couple cool projects I want to work on, I have them in my head or semi-started, just need to get motivated!

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Life Product Reviews

King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

Thursday, I went and caught the last showing of “King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters”. What a hilarious movie. It is about basically, the Donkey Kong world record. This guy Billy Mitchell had it in 1982, and this guy is just a real character, like thinks he is the best player ever, just very cocky. Then this guy Steve Wiebe beats his record but there is all the controversy behind it, tons of video game nerds in the movie getting excited over high scores and things like that, just so funny…


It is funny because all of these guys are like in LOVE with Billy Mitchell, and they don’t want him to lose his record, but Steve Wiebe just keeps coming back, and finally they have to accept he is better..

some of the quotes are just great, especially from their little daughter

“Work is for people who can’t play video games”

“Some people ruin their lives to get in there” (talking about the Guinness Book of World Records)

and there are tons of other quotes from the other people in the film that just make you laugh. If you have a chance to see this movie, I recommend it!

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Beer and Nintendo, at the bar.

Nuff Said.


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Is Oregon Really "The Empire of Tamriel" (The Elder Scrolls – Oblivion)??

Walking through the park today I snapped a picture


Washington Park 031

Now, take a look at this screenshot from Oblivion (the video game)



Obviously the lighting is different, but yeah, I think Oregon might be part of the video game 🙂

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Wii Golf: Hole in One!

Was playing some Wii Golf (which I never play, this was the second time) and on the second easy hole, I scored a hole in one! Awesome!!

Hole In One Wii Golf



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Piano Playing – MusicNotes and Video Game Music

I bought a piano back in October, and I am really liking it. I probably don’t play as much as I should be, but I try. Its actually easier for me to play guitar than piano – I can get through more songs without screwing up 🙂

Anyways, even when I was in piano lessons, I really wasn’t into playing classical music and all that, I was more into rock n roll, The Beatles, John Lennon, things like that.

I know I have blogged before about music you buy, that it is the lyrics in the treble clef, which I hate. Like you can listen to a song, and hear them play one thing, and they sing the lyrics, but in the sheet music, the try to incorporate all that into the piano part – I hate that!!

Even so, I still buy some sheet music, and now, I just do it online, and print it off. The site I primarily use is – it seems to have the best selection and price. I know Schmitt Music has an online store, I haven’t heard the best things though.

With MusicNotes, you can get music, listen to it before you buy, print off the first sheet before you buy. You can even transpose it before you print, which is exactly what I did yesterday. I have a recording of John Lennon playing “Real Love” on the piano, just him. If you don’t know the song, The Beatles put it out on their Second Anthology in the 90’s – its really the last “new” Beatles song ever. Well, when the Beatles recorded it, the jumped the key up “The song has been sped up 12% from the demo” – so, the default key on the music was too high (it matched the Beatles but not Lennon’s version), so I transposed it down to the right key. And I have been playing it the last day, but yet, I am not playing the music. Looking at the chords, taking bits and pieces, and trying get rid of the damn lyrics in the treble clef notes!!

Where else does a piano playing geek look for music? Video games of course! A while back I found a site with a ton of music from video games. Super Mario Bros. is the ultimate piece, most everyone knows it. There is the Overworld, Underworld, and Underwater themes. I can play Underworld and Underwater themes fairly well, I might even try to record Underwater. The Overworld is a bit tougher.  One of my best memories of growing up was playing “The Goonies II” on NES. I remember playing with my cousins and sister. That game, in my opinion, was one of the best. Music was great, just fun game to play. I found the music for that as well! Great stuff, tough though. Fast and crazy. I lost the original link to the site where I got the music, so I will just post up some copies here, they are zip files, containing a midi of the song, and a PDF of the music. I have more than these 4 and maybe I will post them all up on a sub site of my website.

 Super Mario Bros. Overworld Theme

Super Mario Bros. Underworld Theme

Super Mario Bros. Underwater Theme

Goonies Overworld Theme

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My Mii can hit triples like Sam Crawford

Looks like my Mii can hit triples every time he’s up to bat accordning to Jen. (btw jen, thanks for nod, how about a link?) That rocks. Although I’ve heard reports that when he plays catcher, he sometimes misses sac flies. Oh well right?

The Mii/Wii system is pretty cool. I think if they made it easier to register consoles with your friends it would open up tons of possibilities. Also, if you could just play against your friends over the network, that would be awesome!!

Playing the Xbox 360, I see how easy it is to connect to friends and play, and with the Wii, it’s just cumbersome to get going.

I subscribe to Nintendo Power (yes folks I’m stuck in 3rd grade when it comes to video games), and they have a new game coming out, MySims. Looks pretty cool, but you have to design new characters in the game. Why not let you use your already pimped out Mii? And, if you want to really go Mii crazy, Kyle has some tips on how to get rockin.

Oh, and who is Sam Crawford you ask? Why, none other than the all time career triple leader in MLB. Ty Cobb is a close second though.