Category «Blog»

Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server 1.12.2 Installation Script / Optimization Guide

Many things have changed since I wrote my last Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server guide.  OpenJDK is now the better supported Java for Raspberry Pi and Oracle is discontinuing support for Java 8 in January 2019.  Java 9 is out and Java 10 is soon to follow.  The Raspberry Pi 3B+ has also arrived!  After testing the server on the new 3B+ using Java 9 I was blown away by the performance and decided to write an updated guide and a script that will have you up and running in minutes.

To give you a taste of how smooth the timings are in Java 9 OpenJDK headless using the Paper Spigot Minecraft Server here is a nearly 2 hour session I played with my girlfriend.  This was played in survival mode on a brand new server so no blocks had been pregenerated and no settings were modified from the defaults.  Nothing is overclocked except the SD card.  There was even a village right by the spawn so many entities were in use.  Here’s the timings output report:

Raspberry Pi Minecraft Server Timings

Turn Old mSATA SSDs To Fast USB 3.0 Flash Drives

Since the M.2 NVME form factor has won the high performance solid state drive war many of you may be stuck with older micro SATA (mSATA) drives.  These still have a very awesome use that will only cost you $10 to take advantage and have a blistering USB stick instead of throw them away!

These are full blown SSDs and their performance blows a regular USB flash drive out of the water.  They support the trim command and show up as “fixed disks” instead or removable storage.  This means they support cache write optimizations that normal USB removable drives don’t.  This allows you to do all sorts of awesome things on them.  Some examples:  Windows to Go, Fast Portable Linux, Virtual Machine storage, etc.  You can also just use it as a really fast drive to transfer files back and forth with your friends while looking like a total techie badass.
Looking down the barrel of the mSATA drive
View of the top of the drive

ServiceNow Automation Using Chrome Extension

I am releasing my Google Chrome extension with tools to automate many ServiceNow ticket tasks.  It is a easily extendable extension in which you can autopopulate and autoroute tickets, automatically refresh your queues, play a sound when a new chat comes in, present hints and tips to agents, and many other features.

Every ServiceNow implementation is different so don’t expect to be able to drop this extension right in. To use it will require modifications specific to your implementation of ServiceNow.  If you understand basic Javascript you should be able to make use of this.  No APIs are used other than what is available in ServiceNow itself.

This tool was developed using the Chrome Developer Tools (Ctrl+Shift+I) to get fields and ids you will need to make the tool work. I do not recommend even attempting to use this unless you are a fairly experienced web developer.

All code is available at my GitHub link at the very top of this web site or click here

UDOO X86 Microboard Breakdown

The UDOO X86 is a microboard that runs an Intel 64-bit chipset.  It also has a separate chipset with a full implementation of Arduino.  It runs Windows 10 and any flavor of Linux.  The board is touted as as the “new PC that can run everything.”  That is quite a bold claim!  In the 2017 hacker SBC survey the UDOO X86 came in as the #2 choice microboard for SBC hackers beating even the Raspberry Pi Zero W.  What?!  The only board that beat it was the Raspberry Pi 3 at #1.  So what on earth is so exciting about this board other than it has a Intel x86/64/Arduino chipset?  Take a look in the full article!
Front of the board
Back of the board
Reverse side of board

Old Skool NES Classic Case Fan Mod

This is a followup to my awesome Old Skool NES Classic RetroPie build (click here to view).  When I posted my build on Reddit several users that already had the case noted that the case tends to get very hot.  That’s not good, but since the case is so awesome I was determined to find a solution.  This mod requires no soldering, no drilling, and is dead simple and cheap.  It also does not modify the look of your NES Classic RetroPie setup at all.  We will use the preexisting vents in our case to create air displacement and pull the heat out of our case and let the cool air flow in from the lid gaps across the board.  Without further disposition:

Pi Classic Fan Case Open

Raspberry Pi 3 NES Classic RetroPie Build < $100!

I confess I have never been a big fan of emulation.  It never felt like playing the real thing to me.  However this setup really looks, feels and plays like the genuine article.  We will use a nice case, premium controllers and a Raspberry Pi board with RetroPie to create a truly authentic retro gaming experience.  If you haven’t heard about RetroPie yet it is a Raspberry Pi distribution that supports emulation on dozens of systems such as the NES, SNES, N64, Sega Genesis, and a whole bunch of other awesome retro systems.  An entire system can be built for less than 100 dollars.  If you missed out on the $50 NES Classic release before it was shortly discontinued (I did) then here is a really cool build that will let you build your own version that has many advantages such as being able to play NES / SNES / GameBoy / Sega / N64 / many others.  It’s also about half the size of the NES Classic.  Here’s a comparison of a NES Classic (the new tiny one, not an original NES) vs our build:

NES Classic vs RPI 3 Build

Measure Raspberry Pi Undervoltage + True Clock Speeds

I uploaded a quick gist that will measure your Raspberry Pi’s true clock speeds using the vcgencmd. Don’t believe what other tools like cpufreq tell you that your Raspberry Pi is running at because they are lying to you! The true clock speeds are controlled by the firmware and vcgencmd is the official way to interact with the Raspberry Pi’s firmware and hardware and are the only readings you can really trust! Available at https://gist.github.com/TheRemote/10bda1ac790f959210db5789f5241436 or click read more to view it directly on my site.