Saturday, June 15, 2013

Adding a spinner to a X-Arcade Tankstick for a MAME cabinet


Decided to add a spinner to an X-Arcade Tankstick. This is how and why I decided to do it the way I did.

You need.
1 - A spinner unit. (If you're wondering, it's the free spinning knob that breakout or pong games used instead of joysticks or gamepads). Ordered the spinner from GroovyGamerGear.com, and they were great. They checked my order and even refunded me a little because I'd ordered an option that I didn't need. Excellent service from them, I'm definitely going to be using them again.
2 - A place to mount the spinner. I used an X-Arcade Tankstick because it had the space to place it, without getting in the way of the other buttons, player 2, or my fat sausage fingers.
3 - A 1 1/8 spade bit. Looks like a drill bit, but has a very wide piece to make the hole for the spinner.

Process is fairly simple. I did not measure, or do anything to prepare. I just kept eyeballing the innards to see if what I was going to do would fit, and I could get tools, wires, and fat sausage fingers into those areas. There are only two extra wires for the spinner. A USB cable to attach a little circuit board to the PC, and a tiny ribbon cable to run from the circuit board to the spinner itself. GroovyGamerGear.com included all the screws and pieces you needed to attach it.

Spinner control board, it's really small.

Spinner connection, it's really REALLY small.

Screws and standoff plastic to secure the board in your control area.

I tried out different places on the control panel to see where my hands would be when I was using the spinner, and putting it just to the left of the player 1 button seemed the best for me. It was near enough to the original player 1 buttons for other functions, and away from everything else that it didn't get in the way or be impossible to use comfortably.

So hear goes... After looking inside the Tankstick, and seeing how tall the spinner was (I ordered the energy storage cylinder, which is a weight on the bottom that adds an inch or so to the depth), the upper area of the Tankstick seemed the only reasonable place to put it. Most other places had wiring or button hardware in the way. The Tankstick is higher at the top (1 and 2 player button area) than it is at the bottom. You could add it near the bottom, under the player buttons, but with the extra length there would have been more fiddling with drilling out even more holes to accommodate it. I wasn't keen on drilling into my Tankstick to begin with, let alone into the MAME cabinet itself.

The large square in the middle is the trackball housing, and just up to the right of that is where the spinner is hopefully going to go. The black tubes are the mechanisms for the buttons on the rear of the Tankstick, and the left one has to move to make room for the spinner.


1 - Drill extra hole in the back of the Tankstick to move the button.
In my case only one of the buttons on the back had enough slack in the wiring of the switch to be able to move it. No idea if they all come that way, this is how mine was. So that's why I moved them the way I did. One leapfrogging over the other. It just means that on the back of the Tankstick they appear to be switched around. No biggie, as one is for programming and the other is to lock the trackball into one axis. Not every day occurrences. I put duct tape over the spot I was going to drill, and drilled from the finished side down. Don't know if this helped protect the wood or not, but I hear everyone say to do it this way, and it worked for me.
Guess where the hole is going to be....

This makes it look like there was a little dust after drilling. This is a lie, there was a LOT more than this, be prepared.



2 - Move button.
This is so simple. Just unscrew the ring underneath that holds the button in place, take off the switch (it just pops out), and then pull the button up through the hole. Put the button in the other hole, screw the ring back on so it sits tight, and then replace the switch on the bottom of the button. Takes two seconds. I'd never removed a switch part before I did this. I discovered that it just clips in place by matching two holes with two bumps on the switch.

Before the hole, showing which button had enough spare wiring to reach, by removing the switch mechanism and laying it where it would eventually sit.

Button moved to the new hole and mechanism replaced in the base. This part is done.

3 - Drill spinner hole.
Drill hole with the spade bit, exactly as you did before. Use the included tools to take the top off of the spinner, and drop it through the hole. Attach the top again, and you have a spinner seated in your control layout. Go ahead, I'll let you spin it a few times before the next stage.
Marked out where to drill. The moment the drill touched this, the tape wrapped around the bit like a cotton candy machine, but it didn't seem to affect anything. The edges of the hole turned out fine.

Hole done but had to remove a tiny metal L shaped bracket from inside the Tankstick as it was just a smidge in the way. You can see the original screw holes of the bracket just above the hole.

Spinner inside, but touching an existing cable from the trackball.

Showing the depth of the spinner.

Top view without the top of the spinner attached. GroovyGamerGear.com includes an allen wrench for attaching and re-attaching the knob or the weight.

Spinner top attached and it was higher up than I was expecting, which was good because it kept my sausage fingers well away from the nearby button.



4 - Mount the tiny circuit board.
Find a spot in the case where you can mount the board, and screw it in place using the supplied screws and plastic standoffs that keep the board secure. I had to remount it at an angle because I was lucky that the USB cable attached as it did, but as it looked like it might be pressing against another button, so I decided to move it to take the strain off. It ended up at a slight angle rather than laying straight inside the Tankstick. As I said, I didn't measure, I just did it.



5 - Plug in the wires.
Plug the supplied USB cable into the circuit board, and the small ribbon cable into the spinner. The hole left when I moved the original Tankstick button was used to take the USB cable out of the Tankstick.


That's it, you're done. Just replace the Tankstick base and get spinning.



Other little details that came up while I was installing the spinner.

A bracket inside the Tankstick just happened to be in the way of the hole, so I removed it. Can easily stick it nearby later on.

The spinner was touching the trackball cable that comes into the back of the Tankstick.

You can see it here, how the weight on the bottom of the spinner brushes up against that trackball cable.

A cable fastener that came with the spinner was just right to keep the trackball cable out of the way.

Checking the width of the drill spade by pushing it into the original button hole.

A button without the switch in the three fingers at the base. Here you can see the nut that tightens it against the case when it's put through a hole. So you would unscrew it all the way off, drop the button through the hold from the outside and then screw the ring back on again from underneath.

Overall it was really simple. I'd only kept putting it off because I didn't want to drill into the X-Arcade Tankstick case, but as it worked out things went smoothly. A few games of Arkanoid were played shortly afterwards. The spinner acts just like a mouse and if you spin it while at the desktop, your mouse just moves from side to side.





Saturday, November 17, 2012

Upgrading your PS3 hard drive


With Playstation Plus continually giving out free full games, my 160GB PS3 Slim was getting rather stuffed. Noticed at first I would have to keep deleting rented movies from it, so I could download more things. I knew this day was coming but I just kept putting it off.

Yes you CAN use a 1TB drive, but it must be 9.5mm tall, otherwise it will not physically fit into your PS3. Most are 12.5mm tall which is too big. I found the Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB 2.5inch internal hard drive to be the correct size. The model number I had for my PS3 Slim was WD10JPVT. Shop around but make sure you know how tall the drive is.



There are 6 steps.
1. Format the backup drive to FAT32
2. Plug it into your PS3
3. Back up the files from the PS3 to the external drive.
4. Take out the old hard drive and put in the new one
5. Download and perform the PS3 firmware update.
6. Restore the back up to the new hard drive.


1. By default the 320GB hard drive I had was formatted to NTFS, which needed changing to FAT32 before the PS3 could even know it was there and back up the files. I found a utility here called Fat32format, and left it at the default settings. I just ran the program. Within a couple of minutes I had a completely formatted external USB drive that the PS3 would be able to recognize.

2. Plugged it into the PS3, and selected Backup from the System menu of the PS3. The PS3 will recognize your external drive and tell you if you proceed, that is where your files will go. I tried without formatting the external drive to FAT32 and leaving it at NTFS, and the PS3 didn't see it. So when I selected to do a backup it was as if there was no external drive plugged in. You have to format your backup storage to FAT32.

3. Then you sit back and wait for the backup to happen
I have no idea if just over 4 hours is normal, but at least you now know rough wait times.

4. Then you just pop out the old drive, which is super simple. Hats off to Sony for making this such a breeze.
Click here for the link to the most no-nonsense video on YouTube, which the creator disabled embedding for so it can't be included in this page.
4a. Flip over the PS3 and pop off the screw cover that's in the center of the front edge of the unit.
4b. Take out the screw.
4c. Slide off the small hard drive cover (it's very easy to do).
4d. Pull out the tray containing the hard drive.
4e. Remove the 4 screws which keep the hard drive in the tray.
4f. Pop it out, pop in the new one and do the above in reverse. It really only takes as long to read as it does to do it.
Yep, that's a 1TB drive going in there. You just have to make sure it's only 9.5mm tall, otherwise it won't fit. The 160GB original drive on the right is still in the tray which slides out of the PS3. The hard drive is attached to the tray with 4 screws. The piece of metal in the center (part of the metal tray) is for the single screw on the bottom of the PS3 Slim to secure the tray once it's back inside the unit.

There isn't anything that is hard to remove, or you might break. All the parts easily come off and on again without having to worry if you've done it properly.

5. Download a firmware update from the Sony Playstation website, to get your PS3 in a working state. Without it, your PS3 says it cannot do anything and asks you to insert the storage medium with the firmware on it, and hold Start and Select for 5 seconds. So I plugged in the flash drive, held down Start and Select on the controller. A few seconds later it went through the firmware update process to get me to a standard PS3 with nothing (yet) on it. You need to do this step to be able to navigate through the system menu to perform the restoration of your backed up files from the external hard drive.

6. Restore the files.
This took longer than the back up, and you're probably looking at similar times.
I was wondering what it would back up, and having PlayStation Plus, would it back up the games that were free for a limited time only and the time had run out. It restored everything. Even the wifi settings. So once the backup was restored it was exactly as before I'd started the process, except that now I had a LOT more space.
931GB looks to be the space I'm left with for now, but it does beat just the 160GB I had previously.

Now with PlayStation Plus I get the option to back up saves to the cloud, which in the event of a hard drive failure means you don't have to start games over. In these current times of 60 hours or more to finish games (or cross play on the PS Vita) it's a nice not having to worry about backing up saves.

I would say that upgrading your PS3 hard drive is the perfect project for someone who may be a little nervous of taking a screwdriver to a piece of expensive electronics, but needs that first success to get over it once and for all.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Used games won't be part of the new console future?


With recent news that the next PS3 and Xbox 360 may not be able to play used games, be it without being able to physically insert the disk or some system of checking serial numbers, just as the PC has had, I don't see what the fuss is all about.

To me it's simply the companies that produce the games want to maximize their investment in a game, by making everyone that wants to play it, pay for it. Being unable to give a game to someone else in what ever way, is obviously good business for them. If you want to lend someone a game, it would be the entire console, not just the disk. If they go download only, then instead of lending your buddy a copy of something they might like, you just lend them the whole unit.

The part that is irksome is the person that originally purchased the game payed for everything. The content, the game, any online component it had, and the game was priced at what ever that company thought was the most they could get out of people for it. How does someone who is totally nuts into a game and plays it for ever, differ from someone who doesn't bother with a game and gives it to a friend, or sells it to a used games store?

The game still gets played, only so many individuals have to be supported for patches, online etc. When someone buys a used game, they're not making another copy of the game, they are just taking over from someone else.

If Bob buys a game and loves it for ever, plays it every day for 5 years, but Jim doesn't and just sells it to a used games store for someone else to buy, maybe even multiple people. How is that any different to Bob and Jim playing two copies of the game for a long time?

I rarely buy used games, or use the online component of any I do purchase, but I know this would kick my Gamefly right in the balls, and probably end that service for me, which I like very much thanks. I hope they find room in this new world, for rental plans, I really do. The PlayStation Plus plan is really starting to pay off with a few good titles here and there, and is delivering much more value than I thought it ever would.

Once people see the benefit of not having to swap, or care for, disks, and keep track of cartridges, they'll simply enjoy not having to move when choosing which game to play. In a very short time, you wont be able to remember what owning disks was like. Like a lot of technology, it'll just get easier to use, and why would anyone do it differently?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Microsoft, why won't you help?



Microsoft apparently want everything to eventually be Kinect enabled.  How are those of us that are on the lower limit of the spousal approval rating, supposed to get our gaming in while pretending to watch a movie/TV show with their significant other, if you have to keep TALKING to the Kinect device?

Sony have the PSVita arriving that means you can get supposedly better games on the go, and Nintendo's Wii U allows for gaming on the controller portion of the device.

Picture the default scene...

You have (as usual) managed to be trapped into watching some movie you know is going to be painful for you.  You also know that after what feels like hours you're going to look over and see them fast asleep.  Normal rules apply.  If you so much as move an inch towards turning off the TV they will wake, say that they still want to watch it and you have to keep winding the movie WAY back so they can get to the part they last remember.

With the Nintendo Wii U, or Sony PSVita, you can simply get it from the pre-movie storage spot you stuffed it into.  So while some woman in the movie is crying over her brother being killed by an uncle after 20 years of not wanting to be married to the other guy who really wasn't a bad guy after all (all in the rain and slow motion) you can carry on that game of Mario or Wipeout you have. Remember, you must store it within arms reach or they will detect movement and make you suffer most of the movie again.

With Microsoft Kinect, you already have to switch the TV over (and spouses can detect the difference between movie colors and game colors on screen, even through their eyelids).  So if you even make it that far, you still have to sort of whisper shout commands at the Kinect sensor, while it continues to tell you it doesn't understand or simply does nothing.  You're not going to be getting your game on this way.

Microsoft, sort it out, or there are going to be older gamers with less Halo, and more Mario and Nathan Drake in their lives.  Not to mention that if the movie you are having to endure is particularly awful, you can even start PSVita-ing or Wii U-ing in advance of the optimal time, as your significant other may be completely absorbed, but that's for advanced players only.

Nintendo Wii U
Nintendo Wii U - Good
PlayStation Vita - WiFi
Sony PSVita - Good

Kinect
Not helping

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Uberstudent applications list

I wanted to find the complete list of installed programs in Uberstudent, and as there didn't seem to be one, I figured simply listing what was in the Applications menu might be a start at least. So here it is in all its not-very-exciting glory.

To do this I opened a terminal, and moved to the desktop with
cd Desktop

Then to get a list of the applications directory written as a text file on the desktop I entered
ls -R1 /usr/share/applications >applist.txt

The file appeared on the desktop. You don't have to call it applist.txt. Then I just listed it here without the .desktop after each entry to try to make it easier to read.  The raw output is listed again after this one.  No matter what anyone thinks of Uberstudent, they might agree it has a LOT packed into it.

This is the list as of May 25th 2011

280-slides
AcetoneISO
acroread
agave
agm-config
agm
ailurus
alacarte
alltray
anki
anki-online
application-browser
apport-gtk-mime
arista
ATEST
at-properties
audacious2
audacious2-gtkui
audacious-ladspa
autokey-gtk
autokey-help
banshee-1-audiocd
banshee-1
banshee-1-media-player
baobab
beagle-search
bleachbit
bleachbit-root
bluetooth-properties
brand-yourself
brand-yourself-trial
brasero-copy-medium
brasero
brasero-nautilus
bubble-us
buddi
buddi .distrib
byobu
calibre
calibre-viewer
cameramonitor
cameramonitor-prefs
ccsm
checkbox-gtk
cheese
chegg
chmsee
color-converter
compiz
computer-janitor-gtk
convert-files
davmail
default-applications
defaults.list
deluge
desktop.en_US.utf8.cache
devede
display-properties
DJL
djvulibre-djview4
docfetcher
docky
dvdisaster
dvdrip
dvdrip-queue
easytag
ecampus
editra
efax-gtk
emacs23
emerald-theme-manager
emusic-remote
eog
evince
favicon-generator
file-roller
filezilla
firefox-cheatsheet
firefox
firestarter
flashcard-exchange
fluendo
foldit
fotoxx
frozen-bubble
fusion-icon
gbrainy
gcalctool
gcolor2
gconf-editor
gdebi
gdmsetup
gedit
get-amazonmp3
get-edu-software
get-emusic
get-enotes
get-enotes-subscription
get-visualthesaurus
get-wiimote
get-windows-device-driver
gimp
gimp-grokking
gimp-wikibook
gitso
gitso-help
gitso-live-help
gksu
glabels
gmenu-simple-editor
gmobilemedia
gnome-about
gnome-about-me
gnome-appearance-properties
gnome-app-install
gnome-cc
gnomecc
gnome-chess
gnome-dictionary
gnome-do
gnome-font-viewer
gnome-nettool
gnome-network-properties
gnome-panel
gnome-phone-manager
gnome-photo-printer
gnome-power-preferences
gnome-ppp
gnome-screensaver-lock
gnome-screensaver-preferences
gnome-screenshot
gnome-search-tool
gnome-session-logout
gnome-session-shutdown
gnome-settings-mouse
gnome-sound-recorder
gnome-specimen
gnome-sudoku
gnome-system-log
gnome-system-monitor
gnome-terminal
gnome-theme-installer
gnome-translate
gnome-user-share-properties
gnome-volume-control
gnome-wm
gnomine
gnotero
goldendict
goldendict-get
googe-pde
google-calendar
google-chrome
google-docs
googleearth
google-mail
google-reader
google-wave
gotfreefax
gpacalc
gparted
gpodder
gscan2pdf
gstreamer-properties
gtkam
gtk-recordmydesktop
gtodo
gtweakui-galeon
gtweakui-menus
gtweakui-nautilus
gtweakui-session
guake
guake-prefs
gucharmap
gutenbrowser
gwibber
gwibber-preferences
hacking-college
hacking-college-the-book
hamster-standalone
hardinfo
hplj1020
htop
ibus-setup
imagination
impressive
inkscape-basic-help
inkscape
install-tweetdeck
InvulgoTracker
jay-cut
jobspice
jockey-gtk
kde
keepassx
keepnote
keepnote-manual
keybinding
keyboard
knight-cite
kompozer
ktuberling
language-selector
lecturetools
linux-file-system-schematic
lyx
mahjongg
mail-notification
mail-notification-properties
manage-print-jobs
mediainfo-gui
mendeleydesktop
menueditor
metacity
mimeinfo.cache
mint
miro
moovida-install
mount-archive
music-folder
nact
nautilus-autorun-software
nautilus-browser
nautilus-computer
nautilus
nautilus-file-management-properties
nautilus-folder-handler
nautilus-home
ndisgtk
ndisgtk-kde
net2ftp
network-scheme
nm-connection-editor
nobel-games
notecase-pro
onboard
onboard-settings
open-clipart
openjdk-6-java
openjdk-6-javaws
openjdk-6-policytool
openoffice.org-base
openoffice.org-calc
openoffice.org-draw
openoffice.org-impress
openoffice.org-writer
orca
osmo
palimpsest
pdfedit
pdf-escape
pdfmod
pepsipinball
pessulus
pictures-folder
pidgin
pinta
pitivi
pixlr
PlayOnLinux
PosteRazor
prezi
prism-eyeos
prism-facebook
prism-rtm
profilemanager
pycrust
pyNeighborhood
pyNeighborhood-help
pyrenamer
pyshell
python2.6
python-whiteboard
qalculate-gtk
quadrapassel
rasterbator
realplay
remastersys-gui
remastersys-gui-kde
restricted-extras
root-nautilus-browser
RSSOwl
sabayon
sbackup
schedgen
screenlets-daemon
screenlets-manager
screensavers
screen-toaster
scribus
seahorse
session-properties
shares
shotwell
shotwell-viewer
simple-ccsm
simple-scan
skype-buy
skype
software-properties-gtk
sol
soshiku
sound-juicer
sparknotes
spideroak-gui
srestore
stopwatch
studentuniverse
suggest-webapp
sun-java6-controlpanel
sun-java6-java
sun-java6-javaws
sun-java6-policytool
synaptic
synaptic-kde
sysinfo
system-config-printer
tasque
tell-about-educational-games
test
tetris-prism
textbookx
thinking-rock
thinking-rock-help
thunderbird
time
topshelf
totem
trigger-panel-run-dialog
tsclient
tuxgames
twl
ubernote
uberstudent
uberstudent-about
√úberStudent Donate
uberstudent-gethelp
uberstudent-help
uberstudent-homepage
uberstudent-moodle
uberstudent-partner
uberstudent-translate
ubiquity-gtkui
uget-gtk
unetbootin
update-manager
usb-creator-gtk
users
vboxgtk
video-folder
vinagre
vinagre-file
vino-preferences
virtualbox-ose
vlc
vmware-user
vue
vue-help
wammu
WebHTTrack
WebHTTrack-Websites
whyteboard
wiimost-whiteboard-howto
window-properties
wine-about
wine-browsedrive
wine
wine-notepad
winetricks
wine-uninstaller
wine-winecfg
wmgui
wordle
x11vnc
xgnokii
xine
xrced
x-tile
yelp
z
zotero-and-ooo
zotero-maximized
zotero-quick-start

Below is the original list as it came out

/usr/share/applications:
1
280-slides.desktop
AcetoneISO.desktop
acroread.desktop
agave.desktop
agm-config.desktop
agm.desktop
ailurus.desktop
alacarte.desktop
alltray.desktop
anki.desktop
anki-online.desktop
application-browser.desktop
apport-gtk-mime.desktop
arista.desktop
ATEST.desktop
at-properties.desktop
audacious2.desktop
audacious2-gtkui.desktop
audacious-ladspa.desktop
autokey-gtk.desktop
autokey-help.desktop
banshee-1-audiocd.desktop
banshee-1.desktop
banshee-1-media-player.desktop
baobab.desktop
beagle-search.desktop
bleachbit.desktop
bleachbit-root.desktop
bluetooth-properties.desktop
brand-yourself.desktop
brand-yourself-trial.desktop
brasero-copy-medium.desktop
brasero.desktop
brasero-nautilus.desktop
bubble-us.desktop
buddi.desktop
buddi.desktop.distrib
byobu.desktop
calibre.desktop
calibre-viewer.desktop
cameramonitor.desktop
cameramonitor-prefs.desktop
ccsm.desktop
checkbox-gtk.desktop
cheese.desktop
chegg.desktop
chmsee.desktop
color-converter.desktop
compiz.desktop
computer-janitor-gtk.desktop
convert-files.desktop
davmail.desktop
default-applications.desktop
defaults.list
deluge.desktop
desktop.en_US.utf8.cache
devede.desktop
display-properties.desktop
DJL.desktop
djvulibre-djview4.desktop
docfetcher.desktop
docky.desktop
dvdisaster.desktop
dvdrip.desktop
dvdrip-queue.desktop
easytag.desktop
ecampus.desktop
editra.desktop
efax-gtk.desktop
emacs23.desktop
emerald-theme-manager.desktop
emusic-remote.desktop
eog.desktop
evince.desktop
favicon-generator.desktop
file-roller.desktop
filezilla.desktop
firefox-cheatsheet.desktop
firefox.desktop
firestarter.desktop
flashcard-exchange.desktop
fluendo.desktop
foldit.desktop
fotoxx.desktop
frozen-bubble.desktop
fusion-icon.desktop
gbrainy.desktop
gcalctool.desktop
gcolor2.desktop
gconf-editor.desktop
gdebi.desktop
gdmsetup.desktop
gedit.desktop
get-amazonmp3.desktop
get-edu-software.desktop
get-emusic.desktop
get-enotes.desktop
get-enotes-subscription.desktop
get-visualthesaurus.desktop
get-wiimote.desktop
get-windows-device-driver.desktop
gimp.desktop
gimp-grokking.desktop
gimp-wikibook.desktop
gitso.desktop
gitso-help.desktop
gitso-live-help.desktop
gksu.desktop
glabels.desktop
gmenu-simple-editor.desktop
gmobilemedia.desktop
gnome-about.desktop
gnome-about-me.desktop
gnome-appearance-properties.desktop
gnome-app-install.desktop
gnome-cc.desktop
gnomecc.desktop
gnome-chess.desktop
gnome-dictionary.desktop
gnome-do.desktop
gnome-font-viewer.desktop
gnome-nettool.desktop
gnome-network-properties.desktop
gnome-panel.desktop
gnome-phone-manager.desktop
gnome-photo-printer.desktop
gnome-power-preferences.desktop
gnome-ppp.desktop
gnome-screensaver-lock.desktop
gnome-screensaver-preferences.desktop
gnome-screenshot.desktop
gnome-search-tool.desktop
gnome-session-logout.desktop
gnome-session-shutdown.desktop
gnome-settings-mouse.desktop
gnome-sound-recorder.desktop
gnome-specimen.desktop
gnome-sudoku.desktop
gnome-system-log.desktop
gnome-system-monitor.desktop
gnome-terminal.desktop
gnome-theme-installer.desktop
gnome-translate.desktop
gnome-user-share-properties.desktop
gnome-volume-control.desktop
gnome-wm.desktop
gnomine.desktop
gnotero.desktop
goldendict.desktop
goldendict-get.desktop
googe-pde.desktop
google-calendar.desktop
google-chrome.desktop
google-docs.desktop
googleearth.desktop
google-mail.desktop
google-reader.desktop
google-wave.desktop
gotfreefax.desktop
gpacalc.desktop
gparted.desktop
gpodder.desktop
gscan2pdf.desktop
gstreamer-properties.desktop
gtkam.desktop
gtk-recordmydesktop.desktop
gtodo.desktop
gtweakui-galeon.desktop
gtweakui-menus.desktop
gtweakui-nautilus.desktop
gtweakui-session.desktop
guake.desktop
guake-prefs.desktop
gucharmap.desktop
gutenbrowser.desktop
gwibber.desktop
gwibber-preferences.desktop
hacking-college.desktop
hacking-college-the-book.desktop
hamster-standalone.desktop
hardinfo.desktop
hplj1020.desktop
htop.desktop
ibus-setup.desktop
imagination.desktop
impressive.desktop
inkscape-basic-help.desktop
inkscape.desktop
install-tweetdeck.desktop
InvulgoTracker.desktop
jay-cut.desktop
jobspice.desktop
jockey-gtk.desktop
kde
keepassx.desktop
keepnote.desktop
keepnote-manual.desktop
keybinding.desktop
keyboard.desktop
knight-cite.desktop
kompozer.desktop
ktuberling.desktop
language-selector.desktop
lecturetools.desktop
linux-file-system-schematic.desktop
lyx.desktop
mahjongg.desktop
mail-notification.desktop
mail-notification-properties.desktop
manage-print-jobs.desktop
mediainfo-gui.desktop
mendeleydesktop.desktop
menueditor.desktop
metacity.desktop
mimeinfo.cache
mint.desktop
miro.desktop
moovida-install.desktop
mount-archive.desktop
music-folder.desktop
nact.desktop
nautilus-autorun-software.desktop
nautilus-browser.desktop
nautilus-computer.desktop
nautilus.desktop
nautilus-file-management-properties.desktop
nautilus-folder-handler.desktop
nautilus-home.desktop
ndisgtk.desktop
ndisgtk-kde.desktop
net2ftp.desktop
network-scheme.desktop
nm-connection-editor.desktop
nobel-games.desktop
notecase-pro.desktop
onboard.desktop
onboard-settings.desktop
open-clipart.desktop
openjdk-6-java.desktop
openjdk-6-javaws.desktop
openjdk-6-policytool.desktop
openoffice.org-base.desktop
openoffice.org-calc.desktop
openoffice.org-draw.desktop
openoffice.org-impress.desktop
openoffice.org-writer.desktop
orca.desktop
osmo.desktop
palimpsest.desktop
pdfedit.desktop
pdf-escape.desktop
pdfmod.desktop
pepsipinball.desktop
pessulus.desktop
pictures-folder.desktop
pidgin.desktop
pinta.desktop
pitivi.desktop
pixlr.desktop
PlayOnLinux.desktop
PosteRazor.desktop
prezi.desktop
prism-eyeos.desktop
prism-facebook.desktop
prism-rtm.desktop
profilemanager.desktop
pycrust.desktop
pyNeighborhood.desktop
pyNeighborhood-help.desktop
pyrenamer.desktop
pyshell.desktop
python2.6.desktop
python-whiteboard.desktop
qalculate-gtk.desktop
quadrapassel.desktop
rasterbator.desktop
realplay.desktop
remastersys-gui.desktop
remastersys-gui-kde.desktop
restricted-extras.desktop
root-nautilus-browser.desktop
RSSOwl.desktop
sabayon.desktop
sbackup.desktop
schedgen.desktop
screenlets-daemon.desktop
screenlets-manager.desktop
screensavers
screen-toaster.desktop
scribus.desktop
seahorse.desktop
session-properties.desktop
shares.desktop
shotwell.desktop
shotwell-viewer.desktop
simple-ccsm.desktop
simple-scan.desktop
skype-buy.desktop
skype.desktop
software-properties-gtk.desktop
sol.desktop
soshiku.desktop
sound-juicer.desktop
sparknotes.desktop
spideroak-gui.desktop
srestore.desktop
stopwatch.desktop
studentuniverse.desktop
suggest-webapp.desktop
sun-java6-controlpanel.desktop
sun-java6-java.desktop
sun-java6-javaws.desktop
sun-java6-policytool.desktop
synaptic.desktop
synaptic-kde.desktop
sysinfo.desktop
system-config-printer.desktop
tasque.desktop
tell-about-educational-games.desktop
test
tetris-prism.desktop
textbookx.desktop
thinking-rock.desktop
thinking-rock-help.desktop
thunderbird.desktop
time.desktop
topshelf.desktop
totem.desktop
trigger-panel-run-dialog.desktop
tsclient.desktop
tuxgames.desktop
twl.desktop
ubernote.desktop
uberstudent
uberstudent-about.desktop
√úberStudent Donate.desktop
uberstudent-gethelp.desktop
uberstudent-help.desktop
uberstudent-homepage.desktop
uberstudent-moodle.desktop
uberstudent-partner.desktop
uberstudent-translate.desktop
ubiquity-gtkui.desktop
uget-gtk.desktop
unetbootin.desktop
update-manager.desktop
usb-creator-gtk.desktop
users.desktop
vboxgtk.desktop
video-folder.desktop
vinagre.desktop
vinagre-file.desktop
vino-preferences.desktop
virtualbox-ose.desktop
vlc.desktop
vmware-user.desktop
vue.desktop
vue-help.desktop
wammu.desktop
WebHTTrack.desktop
WebHTTrack-Websites.desktop
whyteboard.desktop
wiimost-whiteboard-howto.desktop
window-properties.desktop
wine-about.desktop
wine-browsedrive.desktop
wine.desktop
wine-notepad.desktop
winetricks.desktop
wine-uninstaller.desktop
wine-winecfg.desktop
wmgui.desktop
wordle.desktop
x11vnc.desktop
xgnokii.desktop
xine.desktop
xrced.desktop
x-tile.desktop
yelp.desktop
z
zotero-and-ooo.desktop
zotero-maximized.desktop
zotero-quick-start.desktop

/usr/share/applications/kde:
kresources.desktop

/usr/share/applications/screensavers:
antspotlight.desktop
cosmos-slideshow.desktop
fiberlamp.desktop
footlogo-floaters.desktop
fuzzyflakes.desktop
glblur.desktop
glcells.desktop
glmatrix.desktop
glschool.desktop
glslideshow.desktop
gltext.desktop
hypertorus.desktop
personal-slideshow.desktop
uberstudent-logo_theme.desktop
ubertux_theme.desktop

/usr/share/applications/uberstudent:

That was the end of the original file.  I don't often use Linux, so if there are things missing from this list, let me know and I can add them if they are in some other location that this file didn't cover.

Sunday, November 28, 2010







I didn't pick the music, and can you spot me in the red van?  Gran Turismo 5 is great, and more fun than I thought it would be.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tritton AX 720 5.1 Gaming Headphones working with an HDMI Xbox 360



**UPDATE**
Just released is the new Xbox 360 console which includes an optical out (toslink) port on the back, and as soon as I can, I'll include some audio setup screenshots.

It took me WAY too long to get a set of Tritton AX 720 5.1 Surround Sound gaming headphones to work with my already hooked up with HDMI, Xbox 360.

The instructions say to plug the headphones into the optical out on the back of the Xbox 360, which I did.  In my case however, I could not hear the sound from the headphones.

The answer was this.
Instead of plugging the amplifier box of the headphones into the back of the Xbox 360, I plugged them into the optical out on the back of the TV.  Means you can leave your HDMI doing its thing with your 1080p crisp digital display, and not have to resort to endless wife-annoying cable swaps each time you want to do something different with your console.



This meant that I now get the sound from the headset, as well as from the 5.1 speakers, or TV if I switch those speakers off.  So just turning off the speakers, and then turning down the TV, I get it only from the headset.  So I could have saved the few bucks it cost to get the audio dongle for the Xbox 360. I couldn't find any reason why I should not have been hearing the audio from the headphones, as on the Xbox 360 settings only showed 5.1 or stereo output, not the actual port you want to output from (as the PS3 does).  Perhaps I had a faulty audio dongle, we may never know.

In my particular case this is a little fiddly as I have a PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 all hooked up to the same screen, and to use the normal 5.1 speakers it takes the optical out from the TV (for the PC sound).  So each time I want to use the headphones with the Xbox 360, I have to unplug the cable that runs to the 5.1 unit from the TV, and replace the cable with the one going to the Tritton AX 720 headphone amp.  It's not too bad because there is enough space to walk behind the set so swapping a cable only takes a moment.  Also I have to plug the headphone amp into which ever console I'm using anyway, so perhaps I am bitching a little too much here, but I do sympathize with those of you that (as most people do) have NO SPACE/LIGHT AT ALL behind their TV sets.  I could get into some seriously tedious optical cable splitting, but I'd need one for the back of the TV, and one for the back of the headphone amp, it's not really worth me doing that.** (Update - I think I'm wrong on the splitter thing, as it makes TWO optical connections, but doesn't switch between inputs.)**

Does the Xbox 360 route audio through HDMI only, if it finds that connection first?

In my experience the PS3 works just as the manual says.Overall on both consoles, the effect is pretty stunning and I am surprised I really get a sense of surround sound from just a set of headphones, plus there's a lot of bass in there too.

Red Dead Redemption got a lot red deadier with these serious cans on my head.

Just to be clear, when I mention headphone amp above, I am referring to the little box that comes as part of the Tritton AX 720 headphones.