I suddenly got a retrogaming jones on, and had a strong need to play Robotron. So I downloaded MAME and some ROMs, but no dice — every archive was missing files. Seems that to get the few games I need, I have to download a 16GB torrent of ever game that MAME supports.
My arcade game sensors withered about 18 years ago, so nothing past about 1988 registers with me. You could probably fit every pre-’88 ROM onto a couple of floppies. And it’s not like I’m not allowed to play the ancient Williams games; I have the Arcade Classics CD somewhere which has the games in licensed (but MAME-incompatible) form.
I think I’ll have to install Ubuntu for i386 on the Sempron box, as too many hardware things don’t work. At the moment, I’m stuck with unaccelerated graphics and wired etherent; the via graphics driver isn’t yet 64-bit clean, and none of my wireless adaptors have 64-bit drivers, either.
Configuring the rest of the Sempron box has been a slog. It seems that there isn’t a single wireless adaptor that works with 64-bit Linux. I might have to resort to a wireless ethernet adaptor, like the D-Link DWL-G820. They’re not cheap, but they may be the only option.
Picked up the new computer from Canada Computers yesterday. High-end it isn’t, but it’s more than adequate. It’s an AMD Sempron 3000+ (on a Foxconn K8M890M2MA-RS2H motherboard), with 1GB RAM, 80GB SATA disk and a DVD±RW drive. There was change out of $400, including tax.
It’s running Ubuntu for AMD64. While there are a few things I don’t have configured, it was all installed in under an hour. It reminds me a bit of OS X. There’s one thing it does better than the Mac; it knows about duplex printers, and assumes you want to be able to print duplex. Under OS X, you have to choose two-sided every time you print. Thanks to Davey for originally putting me on to Ubuntu. My life’s too short to mess with linux configs.
Now I need to move the old hard drive over as a spare, and fit the various cards from the old machine.
Strange to think that I’m on the east coast, but actually further west than home in Toronto. That whole curving away to the Gulf of Mexico thing will get you if you’re not careful.
The strange thing is, if you take my current longitude, and the latitude of our house, you get a point near Rte 16 near Brussels, ON that I’ve been through on the way back from the wind farm. That’s like, y’know, stuff, and some like other stuff too, whoah!
Was up in Markham at Pacific Mall. Having a few minutes to spare, I went over to my favourite groundhog-spotting spot on Warden north of Dennison. Horrors! It has been landscaped, and all the burrows filled in.
My 4 year old Athlon XP box finally gave up this week. It had been acting ropily for a few months, and now it won’t even boot. Don’t really need to replace it with anything powerful; maybe just a cheapo Sempron box. We’ll see what Canada Computers has to offer.
Paul Carter died in a car crash yesterday near Edinburgh. We were inseparable as kids.
He was an inspired artist, even when I knew him. I’ll never forget him asking of his ZX Spectrum: How do I get more colours from this?
This is me and Paul (right) in the summer of 1983. Paul was wearing his Beatles t-shirt, as usual; I think he’d just painted his bedroom wall with scenes from Yellow Submarine. We were just about to set out on a sponsored cycle. We belted round the track at Crookfur Park until everyone else had gone home, leaving one poor hapless lap-counting volunteer waiting in the dusk.
Update, 21 Aug: Paul’s funeral is this Friday in Joppa at St Philip’s Church, Joppa Road at 10.30 am. There is a wake in the church hall after until 1pm. Thanks to Chris Hill and John Beagles for finding this.
I fear my plan to have the T21 as a home server has gone wrong. Looks like the mini-PCI network card has blown, leaving it invisible to the network. Since the screen backlight is dead, I can read no diagnostics … ;-(
Update: Aha! The backlight gods must’ve heard me, for the T21 actually graced me with a visible screen for a few hours. It was down to:
A bad line in my fstab which was trying to mount an unattached USB drive. This drops OpenBSD into single-user mode.
no dhclient configuration, so the machine would not automatically appear on the network. Since I swapped out the purportedly faulty mini-PCI network card for a spare (what?! you mean you don’t have spare mini-PCI network cards about the house? Tsk.) I had to tell the system that this was the new card to get a DHCP address.
So all works now, and I’m happy. Now to attack the LaserJet 4 duplexer, and swap it onto my refurbed printer …