Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Notes: Customizing Ubuntu

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Yay more notes.

Changing the File Manager (Nautilus to Nemo)

So, I hate the default file manager in Ubuntu. Unity is fine (meh), but the file manager is dumb. Super dumb.

In this article, a dude did a comparison of file managers available for Linux.

Nautilus is the default, but dude liked Nemo (very much a Sea theme going on here).

His instructions for installing Nemo weren’t too useful (old), but these are totally fine.

Long story short:

Keep in mind, this has changed the default. If you search applications, you should 1 or more programs named “Files”. Click on it and see if it start the correct program.

Remember, you still have Nautilus installed, so if you have an icon on the Unity bar for Files, it links to the old program. Start Nemo, pin it, and unpin the old one.

UNFORTUNATELY this has no effect on the File->Open or Save dialogs. Those are rooted in a GTK 2+ vs 3+ issue, which is unclear. Bah.

A summary of Mike 2016

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Hello! If you’re here, you probably saw me mention that I’ll be looking for work in 2017.

I haven’t had to look for a job since 1999, so I don’t have a resume/portfolio handy. If you follow my work, you’ll know that I’m very busy right now working on Ludum Dare, and I will be for the rest of the year. Formal stuff is going to have to wait until then.

But thanks to Ludum Dare, I know that a number of people do follow my work. So I wrote this to confirm that yes, I am looking for work, and give folks an opportunity to reach-out early. My apologies if I don’t get back right away.

So here’s a brief post about myself. If you’re feeling nosy, you can browse my public GitHub repo, or even this blog, but this blog is an anomaly (some parts a decade out of date).

These days my blog is more of a notebook; Collecting thoughts and details on topics I’ve researched, so that I can more easily repeat them or pick-up where I left off.

About Me

I run Ludum Dare. I didn’t start it, but I am its caretaker. I have been a part of it since the beginning (2002).

Besides that, starting in 1999 I worked for several game companies over the years (Sandbox Studios, Digital Illusions Canada, and Big Blue Bubble). I’ve done contracting as well. I’ve shipped more than a dozen commercial games (mostly licensed games, including a few more Barbie games than I’d care to admit); Written lots of low-level C and C++ code for Nintendo and Sony consoles, and a few games entirely in Assembly. I’ve also written lots of OpenGL, ES, and SDL code, shaders, and ported code to dozens of popular and exotic mobile and embedded platforms (most don’t exist anymore). I can 3D math, build engines, assemble a toolchain, and wrangle my way through physics. I’m formerly the Technical Director of a large Canadian game studio (Big Blue Bubble), and I ran a “financially underwhelming” indie studio for many years. That was until this side project of mine (Ludum Dare) became my focus.

I’m based in London Ontario Canada (yes, there’s a London in Canada).

I enjoy doing low-level, performance, and optimization work. I’m at-home on Linux, but spent many years on Windows using Cygwin. I’m not a fan of “black boxes”. I like to know how everything works, and know exactly what to expect. Thanks to Ludum Dare, I also know a lot about PHP, JavaScript, MySQL, Linux Servers, and all those trendy web technologies and standards that are all-the-rage. I like Vulkan and VR, but I haven’t done anything real with them.

In my spare time (ha) I toy with a bunch of other projects. I like to dabble with Arduinos, Electronics, Retro Computers, exotic SBC’s (Single Board Computers), and IOT devices. I get nerdy about getting the most out of the least expensive devices (the old cost vs power ratio), and I think eSports is cool (I used to be really in to Starcraft 2 and Smash).

I’m a pretty good cook too. 😀

I’m looking for something interesting. Not necessarily gamedev, but who knows. Something compatible with me having my own projects and commitments, like Ludum Dare. I can’t relocate to the US, but I can visit (I have no diploma. I dropped out of college to take my first industry gig). I really don’t know what options I have, but I’ve done soooo much low level and backend work, that despite industry trends, taking a Unity gig just seems like a waste (I’ve barely touched it, and I have “opinions” of C# 😉 ).

To summarize, I’m looking for: “interesting”, “flexible”, and “not Unity”.

Still here? Want to tease me for being so picky? You can get in touch with me here:

Notes: USB/IP

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

USB/IP is a Linux tool for sharing USB ports with other computers on your network.

It’s been available as part of the Kernel since 3.2, but thanks to the older package still being in the Ubuntu repository, it causes confusion. The following is the proper way to use it.


Notes: Time Sync

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

TBH I don’t have this figured out yet.

In my case, the HW clock is wrong (off by 1 hour).

It should be using NTP, but NTP doesn’t seem to take effect. I’ve read a bunch of conflicting information, like using “ntpd -qg” (which can’t be run until you stop the ntp service), or that a command “hwclock –systohc” will do it. One other dude said there’s some sort of check by hwclock that wont do it unless the date is only slightly off (safety feature). I don’t really buy that though.

Ah well, I just wanted a quick note for this.

Notes: Setting up a Webcam Server

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016


I have a small room, also known as a closet *cough* that I have my printer and some small computers in. Some day I plan to put a 3D printer there as well. It would be wise to set up a simple webcam, so I can check on it. You know, in case of fire and stuff. 😉


Notes: Rogers Wireless E-mail to Text

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Rogers has 2 ways (that I know of) for sending short e-mails to people as text messages.