Category Archives: Projects

VmSphere – Copy files from datastore to guest OS

I currently have a minecraft server running on one of my virtual machines on my server. This requires me to move a decent amount of data whenever I update the mods to newer versions. Normally this is only a couple mods that I will push the Jars to dropbox and use wget to download them onto the server. This last weekend however I updated close to 50% of the mods and it was going to be easier to just copy the entire mods folder from my test server (on my desktop) then individually moving each Jar and deleting the older version. This however left me needing to move over 100 MB of data.

The VmSphere client has an easy way to upload files to the hosts datastore. Nothing hard there, push the button and choose the file. The problem I was having was figuring out how to get the file from the datastore into the VMs local filesystem. I found an easy solution of setting up SSH on the host and using scp from the guests console. Setting up SSH from the VmSphere client was easy once I knew where to look. Here is an article with how to turn on SSH and here is the article with using scp. 

TL;DR ssh is turned on in the security profiles configuration and then run scp root@hostserver:/vmfs/volumes/datastorename/path/to/files/*

Making beef jerkey

This past weekend I purchased a dehydrator. I have been wanting to try this for some time. I consume large amounts while traveling for work and I thought this would be a way to cut back some of that spending. I started looking for recipes and didn’t have to look far until coming across Alton Browns recipe. Back in the day I use to watch his Good Eats show and he is one of the few TV hosts that really gets me excited about cooking.  I plan to start out with his recipe as a base and start my experimenting from there.

Based on a few reviews I bought the Nesco American Harvest Snackmaster. The main points from the review (espicially related to their Pro version) was that the handle on this one was much sturdier and properly centered. This keeps the lid from tilting too much allowing an easier time getting it back on. Also that it is an “All in One” kit which provides some nice extras that the pro does not.

I will report back how it all goes!

Premiere Pro CC hangup-not responding

I recently have been recording my gaming sessions because why not? This has finally given me a reason to play around with Premiere Pro. I originally was just looking at live streaming and taking highlights from that footage but due to where I spend half my life for work I can’t get a decent internet upload speed. This has led me to locally recording which therefore has led to needing to edit the footage into something more interesting.

I was starting through the first few tutorials and in one it shows you how to import a folder of files into your project. I had chosen the folder with my footage (which there was quite a bit) and part way in the program would stop responding. I figured I would let it sit since it was probably just taking a long time to import and make previews for such a large amount of data. Coming back a few hours later and it still in the same spot I closed the program and tried it again. Again I got the same behavior.

After going through all the files in the folder I realized there was one I couldn’t open in my video player. This was certainly caused by the crashes with OSB that I described in an earlier post. I thought I had cleared all the bad files out but I guess I had missed one. With that file removed the process ran without problem.

TL;DR make sure you don’t have any corrupted/unplayable files in the folder you are importing.

 

While trying to import a folder of game footage the program stopped responding. This was due to a corrupted video file it was trying to import from one of the crashes posted about before.

Open Source Broadcaster Crash

Ran into a problem today where no matter what I tried Open Source Broadcaster (OSB) would crash when trying to record anything in Kerbal Space Program (KSP). As soon as either I would alt-tab into KSP or start it up (both 32 and 64 bit versions of both) OSB would crash. It had worked for the past few days without any problem.

I finally read on of the crash reports and it seemed to be stemming from an unhandled exception in the graphics driver. I finally checked through my OSB settings and noticed that I had the resolution set for something larger then what my laptop screen was running at. Once I matched the currently running resolution everything seems to be working again.

TL;DR Check to make sure OSB isn’t trying to pull a larger resolution then what your monitor is running at.

VmSphere – Free hypervisor, setup and first thoughts

Over the past weekend I got around to setting up my server. The physical machine has two sides which are each their own computer. For the last year I have only been using one of them. While talking with the IT guy at work, he mentioned that Vmware has a barebones free hypervisor. So I decided I would load it on the other half of my server.

Install was quite easy. After registering on Vmwares site, I downloaded the ISO to create a boot disk from. I don’t have a disk drive on the server so I wanted to boot from a USB flash drive. After reading a few articles I went with unetbootin and couldn’t have been happier. Downloaded, ran, selected Ubuntu for the planned OS (I read somewhere that was the one to use) and selected my flash drive and the VmSphere ISO file. This I then plugged into the server and booted it up. Just left all the defaults during install, choose a root user password and that was it! Once it booted up I did change some settings (static IP, etc) but there wasn’t much more. So easy!

Back on my desktop I first navigated to the machines IP in my web browser as I had read that Vmware had a web interface. Apparently that is  for a more complex (paid) setup but there was a nice little webpage shown explaining that I should go get the Vmsphere client.

The client asks for the machines IP and your login info that you set during install. This then presented a screen with some info about the machine and resources available. I was planning on moving a minecraft server I have been running on my desktop over and have some experience with Ubuntu so I went and got the latest ISO for the server edition. You could use a desktop edition too as the Vmsphere client gives you a “console” into the virtual machine that is graphical. Last time I tried installing Ubuntu without a CD I had a horrible time (12.04 had some known bug with installing from a USB flash drive) so I was a little anxious to see how it would go now.

new virtual machines are incredibly easy to spin up. The best part in my opinion is that the Vmsphere client can load ISO (from the computer running the client) into a virtual drive on the VM. This made installing Ubuntu very trivial. The only problem I faced was that I couldn’t seem to see any USB flash drives I stuck into the server. It took me a while to figure out that I never selected that I wanted any USB hardware available to the VM. This was fixed by shutting down the VM and adding in USBs in its properties (make sure you add the real ones and not vmwares virtual ones). When I started up the VM and Ubuntu the USB drive showed up under /dev as it was supposed to.

All in all it was a very strait forward process and setting up the host hypervisor was actually the easiest and least time consuming part. I am very happy so far with it.

Modding Minecraft – ForgeGradle setup and github

For a while now I have been thinking of creating a mod for minecraft. Something based around The Matrix’s construct. Some of the ideas had seemed a little far fetched but after seeing iChun’s Sync mod I really think it could be fun.

So first things first, I dived into setting up the latest version of Forge/MCP etc to start modding minecraft. With the latest version of minecraft (1.7) Forge and MCP have gone through a large overhaul. The new way of downloading and setting up everything is handled through Gradle. I had set up a Forge environment on an older edition but never really got around to doing much more then some basic tutorials. I am currently in a remote area for work and as such have a very slow internet connection. I started the install process but quickly got an error after it had downloaded a few things. I tried again but still got an “overlappingFIleLockException”. I searched the forums and google to no avail. I assumed something got messed up with whatever it was downloading but couldn’t seem to find or refresh it. Gradle caches what it downloads and there are no commands to clear it from the “gradlew.bat” file.  I tried rebooting, getting a new version of java, deleting the gradle folder and redownloading. Every time I got the same error. I finally came across the “-g” command that will allow you to specify a new folder for the cache. This worked for me.  Everything downloaded and installed (after a very long time).

After poking around the example file I decided to setup a github repo for my new mod. I have already used github and github for windows  before and had that already setup. I was however getting confused on how to get all my code (which is inside all the forge stuff) without changing the namespace or repo to one or the other (I wanted different names). I eventually decided to put all the gradle/forge stuff into the repo folder and use .gitignore to ignore everything but the folder my mod will be in.

Hope this helps anyone that came across the same problems as me.

3D printer build – Z axis test

I got the last few pieces in for the vertical axis. Here is a quick video of me testing the movement. I might need to re-drill those top blocks as the alignment might be slightly off. Either way I am really excited how well it is coming along and hopefully Ill get a few days to work on it in the next couple weeks to get the gantry in.

3D printer build – z axis construction

So after a couple month hiatus I finally got back to working on my 3d printer. For Xmas my girlfriend gave me an awesome work bench which I will post a review about later. So after putting that together I sat down to add in my vertical (z) axis.
Originally the plan was to add in more blocks in the corner to allow a threaded rod to run the length. After cutting some blocks out I realized they wouldn’t fit. So instead I took the older/current ones off and added an extra hole on them.
These length wise rods would hold and allow adjustment of the stepper motors that control the vertical axis. I made the height line up so the flat wood piece would rest on top of the stepper motor when the motor sat level with the surface the printer is on.
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Above is the blocks with all appropriate holes for the stepper motor, linear rod, and length wise threaded rod.
One thing I had been thinking abut was how to add the stepper and vertical control rod together. I finally came up with drilling a small block first with the size of the stepper motor shaft then drilling part way with the bigger control rod size. I would then add in some polymorph (awesome stuff) and while it was still hot, push in both shafts/rods. This appears to have worked really well but we will see how it holds up under use.
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Still have all the electrical and some small support stuff to take care of before I can test it out. Super excited to get this working!
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3D Printer Build – Initial design and thoughts

For a while I have been looking at building my own 3d printer. I think this will be a great project that will challenge me and be fun while also being a great help to projects down the line. I have decided that I want to build the whole thing from scratch if possible then use it to produce parts to upgrade it. For the most part this decision was made because I felt like I wouldn’t be really designing and building it if I was using others plans and parts. This isn’t to say I haven’t looked at pictures of others and taken thoughts from it. It is one thing to reverse engineer something and another to just buy/use plans. I will therefore try not to buy anything 3d printer specific (like hot ends or their parts) but try to build them out of other off the shelf parts.

I have decided to use what seems to be the most common setup for the 3 axis of movement: The bed will move in one axis and the hot end will move for the other horizontal axis and the vertical one. It will be similar to the RepRap Prusa. RepRap has been an incredible source of knowledge. My main difference is I will not be using 3d printed parts in the original design.

RepRap Prusa

I also stumbled upon a guy in Germany who built his initial printer with wood and drawer slides. He did it because it was hard to source the parts in his area of the world. I will be self imposing this.

Anyways, I look forward to getting this project underway. I already have most of the parts to build the guide frame (precision rods, threaded rods, etc) that I got from McMaster-Carr. These are probably way overkill for what is needed but I got them at a good price and it is nice to know that I have guaranteed straight rods to start out with.