Raspberry Pi is Alive, and the Dawn of the New Year

The title says it all. The Raspberry Pi-based weather station is reporting live to Weather Underground, allowing access to the weather conditions in Magheralin from anywhere in the world! Trying to get the Pi to do what I wanted was tricky, but the solution was a different program. I changed from pywws to WeeWX which had a simpler setup, but not before spending hours trying to get the damn thing working. My lack of Linux experience wasn’t helping and I was continually running into issues with administrative access, which is probably still ongoing. I was being lazy and using a GUI text editor to change system files, instead of using the command line text editor nano with root access. In my defence, I have spent my entire computer life working with graphical user interfaces, and avoiding command lines like the plague. There have been times when I have had no other choice but to use the command-line, notably when working with Android phones and some data analysis programs, though I did not delve any deeper than copying commands from tutorials. I had to sort out the intermittent internet issue first, but once that was cleared up, there was no stopping progress. My next goal is to establish the Pi as a print server for our Samsung monochrome laser printer in the hall. I had a little Linksys PSUS4 print server running for a few years which did an excellent job, but unfortunately it kicked the bucket a few months back. Since the Pi is residing in the server’s old home, then it is only fitting that it should take over the job. There is so much potential with low-power tiny computers, and I am only starting to realise that potential. After living with Drawputer (my garage drawer-based computer) for several months, I’m starting to wonder why I never thought of the Pi! There was already a low-cost compact low-power computing solution to my problem, and one that would play HD video and stream happily, unlike the aging AMD Athlon XP processor in the drawer. The Athlon XP makes for a reasonably fast computer, but it was from an era where HD video didn’t exist, and YouTube  had not even begun to be conceived. I might have to pick up the newer Model B+ Raspberry Pi now that I’ve thought about it.

The Raspberry Pi!
The Raspberry Pi! It fits a lot into a tiny form factor.

Metal Gear Rising: Preposterous

Metal Gear Solid, the so-called tactical espionage thriller, prized stealth and strategy as the core principles of gameplay. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance does not. Aside from the presence of Raiden, codecs, and some of the Metal Gear technology, Rising bears little resemblance to its namesake. It is a third-person hack and slash/beat ‘em up centred around Raiden, but not the whiny insecure character from Metal Gear Solid 2. No, this is the Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 4 – the katana wielding cyborg. Instead of avoiding encounters, Rising encourages you to actively engage large numbers of enemies in frantic fights. There are hordes of enemy cyborgs, and plenty of traditional boss battles to keep you busy. It has been so long since I’ve played a game with a proper boss battle, with multiple stages testing all of the skills you have acquired up to that point. I am nearing the end of the game now and the insanity levels continue to increase. If you’re a Metal Gear fan you’ll either love or hate Rising, but it’s definitely worth playing if you get a chance. And it’s cheap! I picked it up for about £5 on Amazon for the Xbox 360.

The answer to every question in the Metal Gear universe...nanomachines
The answer to every question in the Metal Gear universe…nanomachines

New Year

So this is 2015. We are distinctly lacking in hoverboards, futuristic clothing, and Michael Jackson video waiters, but we’re not doing too badly. My 2014 was fairly action packed and full of excellent memories (apart from one weekend following the chip shop that shall not be named). I got to spend New Year’s Eve surrounded by friends, watching questionable anime and cartoons…is there any better way? Here’s to a great year!

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