Retro Tea Breaks 1 – A Book to Preserve Video Game History

I’ve been watching the RetroManCave YouTube channel for a while and, when Neil Thomas (the chap who runs it) announced that he was going to launch an edited volume of his interviews with various pioneers of the computer and gaming industry, I figured that it was time back my first Kickstarter.

It looks like it should be a good quality product on an interesting set of topics and I’m looking forward to receiving my copy in November.

Anyway, the Kickstarter for Volume One can be found here. Do hurry, the backing ends on the 13th of August.

PSPB – Period Sites in Period Browsers

So, I’ve built a new toy. It’s called PSPB (Period Sites in Period Browsers) and it pulls pages out of the Wayback Machine and renders them in various period specific browsers and operating systems (stripping off all the Archive.org rubbish as it does so).

As of launch it only has a half-dozen Operating System/Browsers combinations and around a dozen source sites – and the site that it posts them too is rather austere – but that’s likely to change as I poke around with it and get things up and running.

While I have no real idea how long it’ll last, PSPB can currently be found here.

WWDC 2020

As it’s less than a month to the virtual WWDC, it’s time for an Apple/WWDC wish list.

On the MacOS-next side of things:

  • AV1 support baked in (CoreVideo and wherever else it’s needed).
  • APFS idle-time dedup.
  • January’s ‘Pro’ mode rumours coming to fruition.
  • And it’s equal and opposite ‘super battery saver’ mode.
  • Time Machine revamp/APFS based time machine.
  • Internet Time Machine.
  • BetterTouchTool clone. The touch bar remains a very expensive white elephant, this may make it less of a failure for most.

On the iOS side:

  • Options for simultaneous multi lens pictures/video in default camera app.
  • Raw photos option in default camera app.
  • Option to replace default protocol handlers.
  • AV1 support.

Hardware wise:

Not in a million years but I still want:

  • Aperture 4 with local AI powered object recognition, smart photo manipulation/editing, multi drive support and highly configurable iCloud storage options.

Tags

More site potterings; I have now implemented blog post tagging with jekyll-archives and some hacked together template pages. A list of all tags can be found here and each post will have links to it’s own peer group at the bottom of the post in question.

My Space

whois chrisrcook.com  
    
Domain Name: CHRISRCOOK.COM  
Registry Domain ID: 2351378318_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.google.com
Registrar URL: http://domains.google.com
Updated Date: 2020-01-10T23:13:50Z
Creation Date: 2019-01-10T21:43:23Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2021-01-10T21:43:23Z
Registrar: Google LLC
Registrar IANA ID: 895
Registrar Abuse Contact Email: registrar-abuse@google.com
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.8772376466
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
Name Server: NS-CLOUD-C1.GOOGLEDOMAINS.COM
Name Server: NS-CLOUD-C2.GOOGLEDOMAINS.COM
Name Server: NS-CLOUD-C3.GOOGLEDOMAINS.COM
Name Server: NS-CLOUD-C4.GOOGLEDOMAINS.COM

It’s a little over a year since I registered Chrisrcook.com and wrote my first post. With that, I think it’s time to look back at the original goals for this site and to share a few thoughts.

The Hardware

I originally decided to use a Raspberry Pi 3B+ as a host. The Pi has performed well and, after a year, I remain happy with that decision and do not plan on moving to another solution. The single caveat to this is that I plan on moving away from using a Micro SD card for permanent storage to a full blown SSD.

In the future I aim to explore PeerTube (or similar) and, at this point, I may have to move to a more powerful board than my now superseded 3B+.

The Software

The Raspbian/Nginx/Jekyll stack has worked well and I plan to continue with this configuration – albeit with a little more automation. My move to SSL via Let’s Encrypt was easy to set up but seemed to upset Google for a month or so. In hindsight, I should have implemented SSL from day one.

The Connection

I continue to use Google as a domain registrar thanks it it’s support for IPv4 Dynamic DNS however I am considering moving to Mythic Beasts both to reduce my dependency on Google and due to their support for Dynamic DNS for both IPv4 and IPv6. As Virgin Media does not yet support a native IPv6 connection this will be a low priority move.

The Virgin Media connection continues to be reliable enough to self host. While the April bounce to upload was nice, I’m not certain that there would have been any material difference if the previous 20Mb/s speed had been maintained. Should I start to self host video (rather than use Youtube) then I suspect additional upload will be required.

The Content

Jekyll has worked well for me; I produce a reasonably modern site without the hassles of maintaining a WordPress (or otherwise) stack. Personal and professional commitments mean that I have not been able to update as often as I would like; there are a number of projects and a number of images I would like to have uploaded that I have not yet had chance too. In spite of this lack of content, I remain happy that I have control of content availability and location.

Roundup

All in all, I believe this has been a good first year and, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I plan on continuing to run chrisrcook.com into the 2020s.

The Apple Memory Hole

The (Unofficial) Apple Archive is a newly launched collection of historic Apple media and video.

It must have been a tremendous amount of work collect and catalogue and, for me, the most interesting years are 2004 and 2005 – the years that lead me to purchase my first Mac (and yes, I did buy into PPC after the intel transition was announced!). I doubt it’ll last – Apple’s lawyers must be itching to write takedown notices – but while it’s there it’s an interesting place to poke around.

I still have that old first machine somewhere and I should dig it out; last time I checked (perhaps 5 years ago) it seemed to run ok. I do hope it’s still in something of a functional state.