Return of the sifr

Just a return to form for thesifr.com

A return to form

May 16, 2020 — Sifr Nihilum

I decided everything I had been doing was just, too complicated. I liked the old style quiet little blog. So here it is. Back once again.

Tags: return, just-a-basic-setup

Deadlock, a wine adventure.

October 24, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

Deadlock: Planetary Conquest is a game. Was a Game I guess. Many many moons ago, in the long distant past, a game existed by the name of Deadlock. It was fantastic, lots of fun, horribly broken. They made a swquel but no one cares about that.

Time has passed since then, and it is now almost impossible to get the game running on our current computers. It was 32bit, and 64bit PC's have a hard time figuring it out. With a little work you can push it through on windows 10, it's not easy, but it's possible.

Linux though? Linux is freaking difficult. Wine works on a lot of games, it's an amazing bit of software, but it has a HARD time with deadlock for various reasons. Someone brought it up online the other day, and I decided I was determined enough to figure this out!

So here's my quick guide! (Using the command line a lot so it sorta follows the basic plan)

One. Grab deadlock from somewhere. I have it already from GOG It's on steam as well, but I haven't tried that version so YMMV.

Two. Install it with wine. (I'm using wine-staging on arch, which is 4.18 at this time) WINEPREFIX=~/Games/winegames/ wine setup_deadlock.sh or whatever directory you want, and whatever filename gog has opted for this week. Just run through the defaults, it's easier than fighting it, and you picked the directory when you chose your prefix, so.

Three. Once installed, run WINEPREFIX=~/Games/winegames/ winecfg and once it opens, switch to the libraries tab and add an override for WAIL32. Once added, click it and hit edit. Change it disabled. click OK and move on.

The game will run now, but it'll complain that the disk isn't in the drive and insist you can only play the demo. Also, in my case the demo had no graphics on the buttons. So a couple more steps!

D. cd to the install directory. (Which if you did the same as I, will be ~/Games/winegames/drive_c/GOG\ Games/Deadlock\ -\ Planetary\ Conquest/ I think) You will need cdrtools for arch, or something else you can use to make an iso.

E. Do whatever you need to do to add all the files in this directory to an ISO file. In my case this was as simple as mkisofs -o * deadlock.iso

Six. Mount that iso! (mkdir ~/mnt/iso then sudo mount deadlock.iso ~/mnt/iso for example.) Then run the game with WINEPREFIX=~/Games/winegames/drive_c/GOG\ Games/Deadlock\ -\ Planetary\ Conquest/deadlock.exe again adjusting if you adjusted.

Seven. Enjoy your fantastic new old game! Remember. Re'Lu are best.

Tags: gaming, iso, deadlock, wine, gog

Emacs and the ever lasting quest to put it all in your editor.

September 19, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I'm a vim user. Have been for years. There's something about the simplicity of vim, it's a steep learning curve. Every aspect of vim requires that you know what to type and how, but once you've got it down it just edits text. A text editor that solely edits text is what I generally want.

Emacs on the other hand, is a text editor that orders you pizza. I've used it on occasion just to see what it's about, but the commands are long winded and confusing, the keys to use it are themed on letters matching the names of the commands, which is great for remembering them but makes me feel like I need four hands to reach everything.

On the other hand, it's incredibly popular and it is certainly interesting. It's not to my tastes, but it is still fantastic, so I figured I'd give it a go.

The first thing I realized with Emacs is it opens in a window instead of just in the terminal. I think there are options to fix that, but it was odd when I first tried to edit a file. Just being able to type is nice though! Plus I can use my mouse... Which isn't something I thought I needed, but is nice as an option.

I ran through the tutorial, it was incredibly simple, fully guided, and at the end I felt like I knew what I was doing.

Then I thought, it's famous for being extensible! What can I do with it?

Five minutes later, my window manager is Emacs (exwm), my IRC client is emacs (circe), my mail client is emacs (mu4e), and I'm using evil mode so it's basically vim... Heck, I can even run my terminal in Emacs. Mastodon is in Emacs, Matrix is in Emacs... Although I cannot for the LIFE of me get Matrix to work. Let me know if you have? I mean. I don't think I'll ever use emacs as my text editor, but I might keep it around just so everything else can work in it...

in short, I'm switching to moe as my text editor.

Tags: text-editor, emacs, vim, terminal

A quick trip to the gaming world, and a little fastmail.

September 09, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I haven't been posting in a bit, because I've been playing control It's a fantastic game, a lot of fun to play, and very unsettling. I had to install windows just to play it, but scp being one of my favorite things, it needed to be done. I got quite far in, enjoying it every step of the way, and then windows randomly deleted my savegame.

I'll just figure out how to get it working on Linux if I want back in I guess.

In other news, I opted to switch my email over to fastmail. I use this site domain as my main email, so it was pretty easy to just chuck the domain over. No offense to protonmail, I love the service and the crew over their are great... But I want to just use IMAP without a weird beta bridge setup that works some of the time. So far so good! It was incredibly easy to setup, the app password setup means I can revoke compromised passwords easily... I love it.

Tags: gaming, control, remedy, fastmail, email

I've made a thing.

August 22, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

So, I spent about a day working on a script to first install arch from nothing via some very simple commands, and then a second script to run on first boot and install all of my programs and config files.

It's been a lot of fun. I obviously didn't do it myself, I'm not in any way smart. I borrowed the install script from disconnected.systems and the ricing script from autorice. I've made a fair few changes, and added some less system agnostic stuff. You are welcome to try it, but it requires that you have two hard drives. One of your hard drives will be used for root, the other will be used for home and the one used for root MUST be an SSD. Home can be whatever you wish. Also, you need an nvidia gpu, because it installs the nvidia drivers.

I'm sure there are plenty of other specific things, but you know. I doubt anyone is going to just use it, but I was very proud of it! here it is.

Tags: arch, automation, install, bash, script

A quick bit on games.

August 19, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

This shouldn't be a long post. I've not been up to much lately. I rethemed my computer totally, tried out KDE, and otherwise did the things i always do. However, I would like to mention a couple of games.

First off, I found a game posted on reddit by the name wolfentext3d. It's a work of genius. Basically the whole of wolfenstein3d, the original one that started it all... Only in the terminal. Made in ascii. If you're into such things, it seems to be pretty fun it's easy to install and I suggest you go give it a try for the heck of it.

Secondly, I've been playing through Danganronpa. I've avoided playing it for a while, not for any good reason, I just haven't had time to sit down and dedicate myself to a long form story based game like this... I've not gotten too too far, chapter 3 I think, but it is really good. No spoilers, but the hints that SOMETHING is up are tantalizing. I hope the reveal is worth it.

Tags: danganronpa, wolfentext3d, ascii, gaming

Here we go again.

August 15, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

I bought a new domain name this week. The sole purpose of which was to set up a synapse server so I could have a private matrix chat ID.

Don't do that. Synapse is hard. I'm pretty sure once more I'm just not smart enough for it, and I intend on going back some day to try again, but for now I suggest just picking one of the suggested options on matrix.org and rolling with it.

So I'm left with a domain that I wasn't using but that was paid for, for a year.

Waste not want not I always say, so I stuck a mastodon instance on it. Let me tell you, mastodon is an amazing bit of work. It took me five minutes to get it up, get myself an account and be federated. Not a moment wasted. I love it. Of course, I already HAVE a mastodon account, and barely enough content to fill that... So I don't expect it to last.

Plus, hosting is expensive! That instance will probably get nuked when I get the first bill. But for now, I'm enjoying being an admin somewhere. Hah.

Tags: federation, silentfoof, mastodon, matrix

File System expermentation.

August 10, 2019 — Sifr Nihilum

So. In the process of experimenting with virtualbox, (Oddly, trying to write an arch install script and then testing it) I discovered that something on my current install had exploded.

I'm still not sure what. Much experimentation and I realized that my internet on that install was not coming back easily. It would require some fairly major insanity. I'm not that patient, and this computer is basically just a play ground for me to poke stuff. So I figured, Screw it! We're doing this live!

The install script in question, found here, was an attempt to install an entire arch system, in btrfs subvolumes automagically. Feel free to try it in a virtualbox. You require two virtual drives, or it won't work. I stole the majority of the script from here. It's important to attribute such things after all.

The only problem I had, upon install, was that anything requiring intensive graphics just stuttered to a halt. I was trying to play rust, and it was just a joke. I don't know if it was truly an issue with the file system or not, but either way, it was a problem.

So off we go! A new script! This time I figure, the problem is that the filesystem I used was too big of an experiment. So the solution is simple. Try a new experiment! The latest filesystem experiment is to use f2fs on my SSD (The file system designed specifically for SSD's after all) and XFS for the second drive (Which is a hybrid drive, but does most of my storage stuff, and XFS is pretty strong on large amounts of data I hear.)

The install script for this is still stuck in the git repo with the other one, but I wouldn't use that one. It works. But I haven't fixed the final install bits yet, so it breaks and you have to hand chroot in and just finish the tidy up. However, holy carp! This is a beautiful install. Rust runs perfectly out of the box, everything feels snappy as crap, and I am loving it. If you want an experiment and some fun, you can do worse than this!

Tags: arch, linux, f2fs, btrfs, xfs, scripts