Bring Boxee Box back to life

If you haven't met this beauty when it came out then you have been missing out! It was so forward-thinking and so well designed. As often happens to great acquired products, they are killed for reasons beyond the compressible path to the mere mortals.
I was helping my friend Cristiano in setting up his Synology system along with Plex. And every single time I dealt with Plex I regretted every second of just installing and then figuring out how to remove that cancer from the system. I know that some people out there must have a good experience about that product otherwise I don't understand how they still alive... but over many years that hasn't been me and now Cristiano too :-)
So I was digging in my garage for something that I could have used as tvbox with some Linux distro on it. And that's when I ran in this wonderful piece of tech. Sitting there without love and full of dust bunnies. It booted at the first attempt and the remote battery was still alive!!
Sadly, it woul…

Cat Scratcher

My friends just got a cat after their hamster kicked the bucket. They were complaining that the new family member is scratching around to file his nails. I was 30 minutes away from going at their place for some post-Corona quarantine time together. When I ran by a piece of wood that made me think "Pinocchio"!
I first draw a bottom hole to hold a screw and a nut that would be flush with the bottom so that it wouldn't touch/scratch the floor. How ironic it would be if it would fix the scratcher fluffy creature and at every itch it would dig a hole in the floor... Some Microsoft product does that by the way...
I then rolled around a pipe (cardboard) a string using a drill because by hand would be taken the same time that is taking to Trump to figure out a plan to address the Corona crisis.

I found a scrap of would for the leaderboard of the scratcher where I figured would have hosted its name (LEO) but it had some crap glued on it and the edges were too sharp, so I fixed them.

Digistump and Arduino

Say that you have a passion for retro computing. Let's add that you have fond memories of when you were playing Amigas, a lovely clone of Arkanoid, on Commodore Amiga.
You fire up either FS-UAE launcher or even turning on a real amiga. Boot the game and after a few frustrating attempts, you realize that there's no way to play that game either with keyboard or a joystick.
You need a dial joystick. They are also called spinners or rotary and ten other slags around the globe but the formal name is Paddle.

Now, that is the time where you are thinking. OH! I can build one and I can use Arduino. That's when sanity walks back in your brain room, slaps you in the face, and tells you, how about a DigiStump??

Because they are cheaper, much smaller. And most important you are not using a cannon to kill a fly that has not spent some quality time with Godzilla!
If you have never used DigiStump hardware before this post will take you through the first baby step and in future posts, we will b…

Converting MP3s to M4A

If you have audio books DRM free in an ancient format like MP3 you can convert them using the awesome FFMPEG open source utility.Here is how I did it for me without using any crapware shared as free (which are not at the best) and ultimately using the same utility in the background.ffmpeg -i AwesomeYou.mp3 -c:a aac -vn AwesomeYou.m4aThe -vn option allows the transcoding skipping the artwork that often is embedded within the file you are converting.

TempleOS, a story that shouldn't be forgotten

A few days ago while reading an article I end up by means of clicking on a random link to browsing YouTube. I stumbled over the creation of Terry Davis. That is TempleOS an operating system he built completely by himself! I wanted to know the end to end story of this man and his work so I educated myself and this is the summary of what I researched. I hope it will help others that end up having the same questions I had.

He was mentally ill and unfortunately was treated as many people today react to mentally ill people, mostly cruelly and mockingly while a few acts with understanding and kindness. The long story of what I learned.He had begun live-streaming, where he wouldtake call-ins to his landline. It's there that a concerted campaign to get Terry to alienate himself from his parents (with whom he lived) and stop taking his medication. This is not to mention how they egged on romantic feelings for a YouTube personality who they would later impersonate andtorture himwithin awful …

Converting images via terminal

Every now and then while working on an app or simply automating some recurrent dev tasks I ran into ImageMagick which you can get installed via brew install convert.

The tool is incredibly powerful and as all Unix command-line tools have more switches and order of using those switches and gibberish sequence of characters than a pack of cats times their lives and power of their cousins' lives.

So this post is for the occasional desperate moment that I figured how to do something very simple and specific for which I have the guarantee that next time that I want to do the same or very similar thing I won't remember how I did it before.

Once you installed you can call convert followed by arguments. Chances are that before you actually convert anything you need to re-organize or find your files that will be subject to the conversions. Let's document that part first. There are millions of ways to that, the below is what worked for me.

If you have all images in multiple folders a…

They Stolen My GoPro Story and How I got it back

There's so much to unpack here... however, the best way to make you live my brain phases is to take you through the journey I had.

The Filini's gang on the last day of February, clearly a special leap one, decided to go to BDOS. It's really fun and offers a lot of variety in cross country efforts. Really good for building up muscle structure and develop jumping skills.

After the ride, which by the way was super as my (now found) Garmin shows.

The last three jumps are off the Super Charge segment, my favorite kamikaze trail at BDOS. Anyway... we get back to the car after our traditional ~10 miles of fun and sweat. I am fairly methodical when it comes to save time. Leaving my bike stuff container a mess means waste more time later on it to clean, fix, search, unpack and all that. Therefore, because time is opportunity and wasting time is...well wasted opportunities, I put everything back as I usually do and particularly doing a better job then normally with my devices.
My de…