My Interests This Week podcast – Episode 11

This week, I talk about how your software may go away, how I made an NES mini (sorta), and an update to that little NAS I’ve been trying to build.

Show notes

When that software eventually goes away

  • We currently have all the necessary software we need running on our devices (PCs, laptops, and mobile phones). We have it on our devices, and we can change or modify the software easily.
  • With faster connections, though, some of that software is going away.
  • Most people nowadays only require a browser to do their jobs. What happens when the software you use gets virtualized and thrown on a server that’s miles from where you live?
  • It’s going to be hard to type up documents or lay out spreadsheets if the server crashes, a bug crops up, or the connection goes out.
  • This will also be a problem for games that are hosted on servers.
  • When fast 5G connections (and beyond) become the norm, more and more games will be hosted on other servers, and people will play them through their mobile phones.
  • This will be convenient, for easy gaming on the go.
  • I had talked about this in a previous episode.
  • But when that server goes down, when the company that supports it goes bankrupt, or when the servers shut down forever, players will no longer have access to those games.
    • An example of a long-running game that was shut down was Club Penguin.
      Club Penguin was brought back by fans for a short time, until Disney sent a cease and desist notice to the maintainers of that game.
  • Is there any way of preventing this? Not really.
  • Use the services from sources you know will be here tomorrow.

Making tiny NES out of Raspberry Pi

  • Arcus speedrunning Metroid.
  • I made a portable NES mini four year ago.
  • Got the RetoFlag NESPi case and got the case to mostly work.
  • Threw Retropie on there, as well as pretty much every NES game ever made.
  • I even have an NES controller that I used for my “portable NES” build from 2018.
  • I got this cool case that looks like an NES. Even has buttons on the front for powering on the device as well as resetting it.
    • Those took a bit of trial and error to get working.
  • While the makers of the case provide code for getting the buttons to work, I modified the code to fit the distro.
  • RetroFlag’s code uses /etc/rc.local to run the code which operates the power and reset buttons. Since Retropie is based on Raspbian (which is now Raspberry Pi OS), which uses systemd, I wrote a service file for it.
  • After getting that to work, I had a scraper utility (it comes with Retropie) identify and tag all of the games on the NES.
  • While it was fun manually tagging the first 100 or so, it got tedious. Good thing there’s an optional auto tagger.
  • Now I can play nearly every NES game (including some European and Japanese exclusives). It even has some cool shader filters for making the games look retro (I like the one with scanlines).

State of NAS on Raspberry Pi

  • Had a problem with the micro HDMI connector not working. Turns out the connector was too short to fit into the slot.
    • Snipped off a bit of the rubber around the connector, and now it fits.
  • I’m trying to get it to backup my sites.
  • That’s difficult because I want the device to connect to the servers and download the data.
  • Currently trying to use SSH and rsync for this task.
  • It still has problems with connecting to my servers (the NAS is only on WiFi) and backing up data (the data storage keeps giving out either because of the mediums I used or the USB interface it uses).
  • It’s still going to be a while before I use it for regular backups and other stuff.

Podcast theme by Kevin Hartnell under the CC 4.0 license.
Source

Jason Anderson

Jason Anderson has been hacking up computers for nearly 20 years, has been using Linux for over 15 years, and has studying and practicing IT security for over 3 years. Among that, he has a BBA in Accounting, an A+ certification, and a Linux+ certification. Look him up on Twitter at @FakeJasonA and on Mastodon on @ertain@mast.linuxgamecast.com

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