With the summer heat finally here, I thought I’d mention a neat little command line weather report trick. Just type curl wttr.in in the command line. Obviously, you will need to have curl installed on your computer for this to work. I do enjoy good ascii art.
Curl’s website states that it is a command line tool for transferring data with URLs. And yes, wttr.in is in fact a standard website that you can visit in a web browser. This is probably the first time I’ve ever come across a website that ended in “.in” and I figured it was one of the newer Top Level Domains that had been added in recent years. I was way off. It is actually the country code for India. Seems sort of obvious in retrospect, but I had never seen one before.
After yesterday’s post on the Ninja Turtle fan game I had to post this speedrun of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project - the timing was just too good to pass up. I’m not going to lie, there is some small bit of satisfaction in hearing the speedrunners say Leatherhead is the second hardest boss in the game. Struggling against the mutant alligator boss that appears only half way into the game is what I remember most about TMNT III. Those old NES games often didn’t have so much a difficulty curve as they did a wildly fluctuating difficulty rollercoaster.
I just found out about an impressive fan made game called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rescue Palooza. It is guaranteed to be taken down at some point, but fortunately it is finished and on the internet. The game is for the Windows PC platform, but I’ve been enjoying it on Linux through wine. One stand out feature I haven’t been able to try yet is local co-op with up to 4 players. I haven’t beaten it yet, but I am having a blast playing it single player.
I’ve been a fan of Bear McCreary’s music ever since I first heard it on Battlestar Galactica. With his talent it is no surprise people keep turning to him to compose music. Two recent reboots/remakes/re-whatevers are the new Godzilla movie and Child’s Play.
I have no interest in horror movies so a remake of a movie about a killer doll gets an indifferent shrug from me. Still, McCreary clearly enjoys putting a sinister spin on the Child’s Play theme. The original theme seems to be going for a creepier vibe.
As for the new Godzilla movie it just screamed “catch it on Netflix someday.” Apparently I wasn’t the only one because the movie wasn’t the giant blockbuster the movie studio was clearly hoping for. Not that it was a failure, but it seems lately only movies owned by Disney make the mega bucks. If nothing else, the movie gave McCreary the opportunity make a “punchier” version of the Blue Oyester Cult song.
It has been almost 3 years since I first reviewed AM2R. While Nintendo wasted no time hitting the developer with a cease and desist, the game was already out on the internet where it remains available to this day. Some very dedicated fans have managed to reverse engineer the game and add even more polish and features to AM2R.
Having recently beaten the game, it is every bit as fun as I remember the unofficial Metroid outting to be. I finished it just under 4 hours and with a 95% item completion. Depending on where you get the latest version, you can get it with the higher quality music or seperate as part of an extras package. The higher quality music is highly recommended as the better bass made the experience even better.
So what are the changes from version 1.1 (the last version from the original developer) and version 1.4.3?
Item Collection % is now displayed at the save selection screen (a highly requested feature)
New uninteractable background creatures
Some flying creatures have new sprites
Color options for different types of game controllers. Select the controller you have (such as Xbox or european SNES style) and in the menus it will show the appropriate button color
A New Game+ option has been added
For the more dedicated Metroid fan an item randomizer mode has been created
A layer of additional polish and some bug fixes & tweaks
A new flying creature has been added to many areas of the game. If I remember Metroid 2 correctly, they were in that game but weren’t originally added to AM2R.
For those wanting to try the updated version (or try AM2R out for the first time) the best place to look these days is at the AM2R subreddit. The most common downloads are for the Windows platform, but I had no problem playing it on Linux through wine.
Update: The flying creature I have a picture of is called a Septogg. I was right that they were creatures featured in Metroid 2 but did not appear in earlier versions of AM2R.
While yesterday may have been the “Big Game Day” for some, this weekend also held Genesis 6 - the first large scale tournament event for Nintendo’s fighting game Smash Bros Ultimate. Being the first for the game means that people would be watching closely to see which characters would be making it to the top of the tournament. I certainly didn’t see any surprises when it came to character choices. Ultimate may be a better balanced game than Brawl and Sm4sh, but there was no chance a Bowser, Sheik, or Bayo was going to make it into top 8.
Nextcloud is undoubtedly the biggest name in open source cloud software right now. The list of features is substantial. Sure, it has the standard file sharing options and android/iOS clients, but it goes further with:
end to end encryption
optional server side storage encryption
optional RSS feed reader
I haven’t tested out the video chat capabilities and I doubt the Raspberry Pi 3 I run Nextcloud on is up to the challenge anyways. I’m generally a big fan of compiled binaries (like from Go) but there’s no getting around the fact that PHP does give Nextcloud a lot of add-on potential. The add-on I’ve been using the most is the RSS feed reader. I hadn’t even planned on using it, but when KDE’s Personal Information Management system bugged out (again!) I thought I’d try something new. Desktop or smartphone, the RSS feed reader works great.
With an open source project as popular as Nextcloud it should come as no surprise that there are multiple ways to install it. Yes, there’s always manual installation, but docker and snap options exist. The method I’m using is called NextcloudPi. NextcloudPi is an all in one download that has everything needed to run Nextcloud and even auto updates itself. I put it on my Raspberry Pi 3 and it has worked really well. I’ve been surprised at how well it has run. It isn’t the speediest thing but it is more than enough to do what I ask of it.
I see why Nextcloud is thought of as the first choice for personal cloud software. Over the month that I’ve been using it, Nextcloud has been a consistently great experience. Anyone looking into getting control of their own personal data should give it a try.
One of the gems of the Linux ecosystem that can never get enough attention is KDE Connect.
Connect to android devices with WiFi - no cables!
Easily transfer files
Use your phone to control media players on your computer
My favorite feature of KDE Connect is having text messages (SMS) pop up on my computer. I make heavy use of 2 factor authentication whenever I can (banking, email, domain names) for better security and it is very convenient to have the login password appear for copying & pasting.
You’ll need to install the KDE Connect app on your android device. It is a free app that can be downloaded from F-Droid or the Google Play Store.
On the Linux side of things it is a bit less clear. If you are using the KDE Plasma desktop you probably already have everything you need installed. If you are using something else, you’ll need to use your specific Linux distro’s package manager to install KDE Connect. For those looking for something more closely integrated into Gnome 3 there’s also GSConnect. I have no experience with it, but Canonical seems interested in integrating GSConnect into future versions of Ubuntu.
I’ve been a big fan of the music from Two Steps From Hell for over a decade now and it is always a pleasant surprise to find out there’s been a new release. Okay, so a new release from Thomas Bergersen (who happens to be half of the Two Steps From Hell duo.) This music compilation is found on the Two Steps From Hell Youtube page so I’m considering this new Two Steps From Hell music.