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Turn Old mSATA SSDs To Fast USB 3.0 Sticks!

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.
Back of the drive
Looking down the barrel of the mSATA drive
View of the top of the drive

ServiceNow Ticket Automation Using Chrome Extension

I am releasing an old Google Chrome extension with tools to automate many ServiceNow ticket tasks performed by agents.

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.

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.

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 or click read more to view it directly on my site.

Backing Up amiibo Figures for Mobility and Safety

My girlfriend and I are huge fans of the Nintendo Switch and especially The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The Switch is praised for its portability but whenever she comes over she brings the Switch but carrying all the accessory was a big pain. There are over a dozen Amiibo figurines that work with Breath of the Wild and can give you very powerful items and abilities. But bring her whole collection of Amiibo figures on top of the switch itself became too big of a load. To solve this she found a very compact and protective carrying case that made it very easy to take the Switch around safely.

With that problem resolved, we now had to figure out how in the world we were going to transport a dozen Amiibos back and forth all the time. Thus, we looked for a way to be able to back up the Amiibos so that she could just bring that instead and I was able to discover several other methods. The easiest and cheapest solution is to buy NTAG215 tags from Amazon and back them up using a NFC capable Android phone. The most robust solution is to buy a special chip called a N2 elite or sometimes called “Amiiqo”. I will cover using both of these methods to make working backups of your Amiibos in this article.

Kali Linux 2017.1 + Raspberry Pi 3 + RPI 7″ Touchscreen = Plug and Play!

The Kali Linux penetration testing distribution has been available for Raspberry Pi for quite some time. However, it can be quite a chore to set it up, especially with a touchscreen. Recently I purchased the official Raspberry Pi 7″ touchscreen and was astonished when I put the SD card in and Kali booted up right to the desktop ready for me to log in with the touchscreen not only displaying but actually fully functional with touch enabled! Read on to see the setup and some basic instructions to do it yourself!
Kali actually running and connected to local WiFi

Raspberry Pi 3 + Samsung Pro + 32GB MicroSD Overclocking to 99MHz

In my quest for maximum performing MicroSD cards in the Raspberry Pi I decided to purchase the top performing card in most benchmarks which is the Samsung Pro+. However, the common overclock for the Raspberry PI SD port to 100MHz does not seem to work with these cards and they become unstable. However, through a little bit of tweaking and experimentation, I found that these cards can be clocked to 99MHz and work just fine and provide a substantial performance boost. Read on for the details!