External Hard Drive Breaking WiiU WiFi

Strange thing I discovered today. A family member of mine got a new external HDD to expand the storage of their Wii U. After plugging it in and configuring it correctly, they later discovered that the console would no longer connect to WiFi. Curious, we experimented by powering down the console, turning off the drive, then powering it back on. Sure enough, the console connected to WiFi without issue. A bit of googling lead me to this page, which explained the problem. Apparently the HDD in an enclosure created enough electromagnetic interference that it conflicted with the wireless bands used for wireless internet. The solution: move the drive 1 foot away from the console. I couldn’t help but laugh that this worked, though it makes sense. The range of interference is rather small, and since the USB cable for the drive wasn’t overly restricted, increasing the distance between it and the Wii U was sufficient to avoid the problem.


The Current State of Gaming on Wayland

With new emerging technologies and advancements in Linux, one that has been in news often over the past few years is of Wayland: the successor to the X11 display server standard. Although it is now available publicly, most notably for Fedora users (Fedora 25 enables it by default), it is not yet accessible to everyone, and is likely to take several more years before adoption becomes widespread. My interest in Wayland stems from my previous difficulties with hybrid graphics support with X11 (i.e. Nvidia Optimus). With new standards, I expect to see improvements, which is why I’ve done some of my own investigating in how well one can play games under Wayland.

TLDR Version: yes, gaming works on Wayland, provided client and drivers support it. Continue reading

Efficient AFK Fishing Farm in Minecraft

While it’s not something I normally do, I’ve decided to make a YouTube video. I recently discovered a technique for AFK fishing (i.e. fishing while not being present at the computer) which I felt I should share with the community. The design for the system is much more simple than other ones I’ve seen, as it doesn’t use clocks or pistons. It’s also very accurate, meaning the bobber is seldom reeled-in at the the wrong time. The video can be seen here. The only downside (if it can be called that) to my design is that it only works in Minecraft 1.11 and newer versions of the game, due to a bug that was fixed.

Preparing for a faster Firefox

Over the course of the next year, there are many exciting features being brought to Mozilla Firefox, particularly in the aim to improve the browser’s performance. Most notably is project Quantum, which is Mozilla’s new web engine. What makes this interesting is that its using the Servo browser engine, which is being developed in Rust. This allows it to easily adopt parallel processing constructs which can improve performance, particularly for users with multi-core CPUs (mostly everyone). An excellent overview of the development and current status of this back-end can be viewed here. While this major update is still many months away from public stable release, there are a few things to be done in the mean time, in preparation for this. Continue reading

Configuring the power button in Gnome

As many Gnome users know, since Gnome Shell 3.18, the option to power down (much less prompt the user) by pressing the power button has been removed by the developers, now only allowing either Suspend, Hibernate, or simply to ignore the button press. While existing workarounds for this include using systemd to ungracefully shut the system down (no prompts), set a separate keyboard shortcut to achieve the same behaviour, or re-implementing the functionality manually in gnome-settings-daemon, I found these unnecessarily complicated or lacking value. Instead, I have developed my own method, which properly maps the power button to prompt the user to shutdown, reboot, or simply cancel. Continue reading

Cartoons to RSS

While I’ve already proclaimed my love for RSS, I’ve discovered yet another reason for it, and it makes me giddy. One website which, while I desired to follow, didn’t seem to offer proper feeds, is on Watch Cartoons Online. This website provides watchable content for various cartoons and anime. While poking around at the idea of using a 3rd party service to generate a feed, and having difficulty accomplishing this, I began searching for pre-generated feeds for this website. To my surprise, I discovered that it in fact already fully supports RSS, though it is not well advertised. Put simply, given any page on that website, adding /feed to the end of the URL turns it into an RSS feed. With this, I can find out exactly when new episodes for my shows are out. Hooray!

Binding mouse buttons to keyboard keys on Linux

I’ve recently acquired a mouse that has extra buttons on it (side forward/back buttons), which I used on Windows for certain games. I discovered that while the keys were fairly easy to configure on Windows, it was more difficult to do on Linux. After looking up several guides, including information on the Arch Wiki, I had to put together something a bit different, which seems to be more simple than other suggestions I found. As a result, I’ve bound my forward and back keys on my mouse to Page Up and Page Down. Continue reading