Archive | March 2014

All Praise GabeN: The beginning of a journey.

So anyway, last year or so, Valve announced their Steambox powered by SteamOS, and I thought that it’d be pretty sweet if I could be one of those lucky people to be chosen to try out a prototype unit (out of the many thousands who also applied).

Valve did the fun thing of releasing the beta of SteamOS in to the wilds for people to try out, mess with and generally try to break.
Naturally I grabbed it with the goal to test it out in a virtual machine.

With the help of the internet I managed to get it installed in Virtual Box and got to play around with it without hardware acceleration, I found it pretty neat.

I then of course blew away the windows 8.1 test install and then installed a dual-boot of SteamOS on my main gaming rig (Stitch).
The big thing that kept me from spending more time with it was that I didn’t have audio available due to using DVI output and not having a receiver or anything available to handle it.
I acquired a game-pad at this stage.

I was at Respawn LAN back this most recent January, lanning there like I have for the better part of 14 years, they have a tendency to do random draws for door-prizes from their sponsors.
Of course I’ve never won anything at that venue in the entire time I’ve been there, and tend to joke about the name selection code being incredibly biased as the same people tend to keep winning stuff.
So when a G1.Sniper motherboard from Gigabyte was held up to be the next prize I made a comment that I could use it to build a SteamBox.

GabeN heard me, my name was called, much to my surprise.

I’ve now finished the initial construction of the SteamBox codenamed OneWood.

Sadly the journey is far from over as it’s been impossible for me to produce audio output via HDMI, the Recon3d (from Creative) support is absolutely non-existent, and despite managing to get output from a USB DAC I haven’t managed to get that sorted in relation to the TV.

The journey will continue, I will be gaming fully in the loungeroom without so much as a sign of microsoft, sony or nintendo, I will be on the bleeding edge.

Praise GabeN!


A government that stands in the way of responsible technological advancement and innovation is not a government that represents me.

So I’m a relatively young guy who doesn’t really give a damn about politics.

Well rather I didn’t until last year, but then the Liberal/National Party Coalition decided to do make all these promises that it couldn’t fulfil, get in to power and then proceed to start breaking things.

Australia was beginning on a new major infrastructure project to finally replace the long out of date and far substandard network of copper telecommunications lines with a majority of fibre-optic cables.
Yes there were some areas which I disagreed with due to the force bundling of excessive installations of equipment (seriously, the supply of the termination point hardware should remain the province of the service providers) but on the whole it was going to fix the significant problems with the entire network.

The Liberals ran with a platform of a slower but guaranteed 25Mb/s replacement utilising a decent chunk of the copper for the last stretch from street cabinets referred to as nodes.
Sure nowhere near as awesome, but realistically if it supplied me with low consistent latency with no drop-outs due to weather conditions.
I point out that I currently get noticeably under 10Mb/s with latency spikes all over the place and consistently having to power cycle the connection in hot weather (sometimes in cold as well).

Cut to now, we’re not even going to receive the guaranteed speeds, we’re going to be utilising a hodge podge of different network components from VDSL to fiber to HFC to wireless to satellite with a baseline speed where I am not much better than I get currently in favourable conditions.
The guy in charge doesn’t see a need for us to even have 100Mb connections at any point.

So in other words we’re going to end up with something that can not do it’s job, will end up costing way more, and will not support an industry that is guaranteed to function when our non-renewable resources have long expired.

For me I’ll be stuck with terrible latency, the inability to stream media content at 1080p+ levels, and no certainty of an actual network connection at any particular point in time.

All this could have been avoided.

Seriously Australia, you’ve gone and frakked it all up.

This post brought to you by the guy who almost did an Australian Christian Lobby who let their domain expire.