Archive for November, 2015

Connecting to devices via a Serial USB cable

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Short set of notes.

The most reliable way I’ve found to connect to a remote device is to open a connection immediately after connecting the USB cable to the PC.

At this time, I haven’t figured out a clean way to disconnect and reconnect without physically unplugging. Closing the screen session (ESC->CTRL+A->SHIFT+D->SHIFT+D) makes follow-up connections via the same line unreliable.

EDIT: This should work:

Connections require the Black GND (Ground), White TX (Transmit), Green RX (Receieve) pins connected. Connecting the Red VCC (Power) pin is STRONGLY discouraged.


Other methods:

And if you’re feeling silly, data can be send directly to the connected TTY like so.


I’m running Armbian (Ubuntu 14.04) on my Banana.

MariaDB Cluster Install notes

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

I don’t write blog posts anymore. I write notes. 🙂


Microserver Pros/Cons

Saturday, November 21st, 2015


DRAFT: How I ended 2014, and plan to end 2015 (Jam-like?)

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

EDIT: Final version is over here:

This is a story.

Near the end of 2014, I started researching how to makes stuff for Commodore 64. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. The Commodore was the computer I grew up with as a kid, but as a kid, I only ever wrote some lousy BASIC programs on it. I never made anything that truly utilized the hardware.

Then I stumbled across this video, and there was no turning back.

After figuring out how to get code running on a C64, I decided to set a goal for myself. Since the Commodore was the gaming machine of my youth, I decided: In the final days of 2014, I would create a small game based on something I wanted to make as a kid.

After digging through my sketches, doodles, and notes, I chose to do something with these:

This was me from the early 1990’s, probably 11 or 12 years old. I used to draw pixel art and game maps on graph paper (I used to paint them on my Commodore 64 too, but I don’t have backups).

In the 20+ years since then, I’ve learned a thing or two about drawing. I’m not great, but I have improved. So I decided to re-create the character.

Using some of the excellent free tools available for Commodore 64 dev, I made sprites.

After a bunch of work, I got this running in an emulator.

Before finally getting it running on an actual Commodore 64.

(NOTE: I stole the SID music file, but it’s playing for real on the C64)

At the end of the day, there wasn’t really much of a game there, but I was very proud to have finally make something that ran on the Commodore 64.

Want to hear something interesting? I wasn’t the only one.

A couple friends on Twitter were also playing with little retro projects.

Ryan made a game run on the Nintendo Famicom (NES).

Tim made a game run on the Atari 2600.

As you can see, we were sharing Vines of our progress while we made them. It was pretty cool. 😀

I think we might be doing something like this again (I know I am). 🙂

* * *

Me, for 2015, I’m planning to dabbling with hardware this year.

Some weeks back I ordered some old sound chips such as the Commodore 64’s SID (6581), Yamaha YM2612 (Sega Genesis/Mega Drive), and an AY-3 (other). I’m going to try directly interfacing with those sound chips using either an Arduino or Raspberry Pi (still deciding).

I ordered them via AliExpress, which means China, which means shipping can take a month+ to get to me. That’s why I’m bringing this story up now, a good month+ in advance, so you too can make preparations.

* * *

This isn’t a Ludum Dare, or an announcement for a new Game Jam. This is merely an invitation. Maybe you too have a few spare days before the year ends to do something. I usually have a few just after Xmas and Boxing Day, so I’ll be doing something then.

I suggested to the guys that we should come up with a common hashtag (not sure what it should be yet). That way, it’s easier to find the stuff we’ve been up to. Photos, Videos, Vines.

You’re welcome to join us. 🙂