The every day things from Thalamus' life.

Thalamus' Blog

14 November, 2016

Good news and testing of the AMP

Filed under: Pinball — Thalamus @ 23:26

So, last Wednesday evening I was kind of bored after staying home being sick – and, wife was not at home either. Hmmm … I had this Amplifier that I hadn’t had the time to test yet. So, I cut myself some short speaker cables and went to work. The sub will be facing downwards, so, I kind of emulated that by putting it upside down on the floor and laid a bit of the cable underneath on of the edges. Your see me test the following tables. Sword of Fury, Tales of the Arabian Night, Terminator 2 and Sopranos.

I used rest of that evening to secure the GPU better. I might go with it as it is right now.

Further, today I got the mail I have been waiting for. Steve had forgotten to write down my telephone number, so he asked by mail, confirming that it will be shipped tomorrow. So, maybe. I will get the parts I’ve really been anxious to get my hands on next weekend ?

Update : Uh, got a SMS today – saying that the parcel is expected to arrive on the 18th. That I don’t believe.

• • •

3 November, 2016

Parts arrived and trying out stuff

Filed under: ComputerStuff_en,Pinball — Thalamus @ 01:12

So, a couple of days ago I got the shipment from VirtuaPin. The most exciting item was definitely the DMD. But, also the AMP is kind of cool. The later, I haven’t really setup yet. I change the electrical socket from US standard to EU, but, it is still just relaxing in the corner of my now so untidy room. I fear my wife will kick my ass out the door the day this build is finished …


I’ve been a Desktop VP player for years. Going from that setup to use a DMD had some tweaks that I’m going to redo once I’m working with the real computer that will control the cab. One thing I learned. If you plan to use a PSU, without it being connected to a computer, you will have to short the green and the adjacent black cable in order for the PSU to start to deliver any power.

First, to run in native full screen, since I’ve been running a lot of tables in beforehand, there are some registry changes that can be done. You need to change, for the current version of VP at least, the registry entry for ddraw to 0.


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Freeware\Visual PinMame\lotr]

– or, you could do it in one sweep … add this key to

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Freeware\Visual PinMame\default]

Another thing you might need to do for some tables is the change in the script, .hidden = True.

I’ve also made a note to myself that I really need to make sure that the table monitor needs to be at the same Hz as the back-plane monitor. I expect that to become 60Hz. Having a hard time to find any Monitor or TV in around 43-46″ with higher refresh rates that hasn’t been reported to have bad frame lags. I’m currently considering going for a 43″ monitor, but, it is not set in stone just yet. Right at this moment, the monitor in question is not readily available to buy. Expected mid November.

I emailed Steve about the parts I’ve ordered from zebsboards. He told me that he expected the set to be completed and shipped by the end of this week. If that is true, I might get the parts by the end of next week.

Another note to myself, not really pinball related is that … if for some reason you can’t upload files to a samba server – or should I say, only very small files but download is OK. Then, it might be that you need to turn off “Large Send Offload” under the Advanced NIC settings. I must have used a couple of hours before I found this to be the culprit.

• • •

21 October, 2016

While waiting for the parts …

Filed under: Pinball — Thalamus @ 10:35

Being the pinball nerd I am. I’m going to study this video – time and time again. The latest VP version and work from freneticamnesic is amazing.

Wish there where more this detailed tutorials out there.

• • •

14 October, 2016

More parts ordered

Filed under: Pinball — Thalamus @ 19:01

When I noticed that the plunger on zebsboards wasn’t available, I sent Steve some questions about general weight and size so I could plan for shipment. It ended up with me ordering the kit today. Steve was able to get a better deal sending it straight to my doorstep via UPS express.

He will begin building and testing new kits Tuesday next week. I’m not first in line – so, an exact date for shipment isn’t known.

So, what is the stuff ordered ?

Will post more picture on arrival.

• • •

12 October, 2016

The beginning ?

Filed under: Pinball — Thalamus @ 21:42

So, I’ve decided that I will try to build myself a virtual pinball cabinet.

Already purchased :

Intel Core i5-6400 Skylake Prosessor
Socket-LGA1151, Quad Core 2.7GHz, 6MB, 65W, 14nm, Boxed inkl. kjøler,

MSI Z170-A Pro, Socket-1151
Hovedkort, ATX, Z170, DDR4, 2xPCIe-x16, CFX, M.2, SATA Express,

Crucial DDR4 2133MHz 8GB
2x4GB 2133MHz (PC4-17000) DDR4 CL15 SR x8 Unbuffered DIMM, 288pin,

Akasa AK-959CU Komplett Edition
CPU Cooler, LGA 1150/1155/1156, 115W, PWM

ASUS GeForce STRIX GTX 750Ti 4GB OC Edt.
PCI-Express 3.0, DirectCU II, GDDR5, DL-DVI-I, native-HDMI, DisplayPort

Corsair CX750M, 750W PSU
ATX 12V V2.3, 80 Plus Bronze, Modular. 4x 6+2pin PCIe, 8x SATA, 6x Molex

Crucial® MX300 275GB 2.5″ SSD
SATA 6GB/s, 530/500MB/s read/write, 7mm med adapter


Had to build by own custom USB thumb drive in order to install Win7. Installed latest PinballX frontend, VPX and the one table that I do get very noticeable lag on during multiball when running on my old Desktop computer. No problems.

Did strip down a old metal ATX cabinet I had in the basement. At the moment, the gfx card is very wobbly. Need to find a solution to that.

Ordered today :

Purchase Details

Description: PinDMD v3 FULL COLOR Dot Matrix Display, Item #: PinDMD-3
Description: Ultimate Cab-Builder’s Kit (Widebody), Item #: Ultima42
Description: Blank Coin Door and Frame Assembly, Item #: 40-0706-00
Description: Complete 5.25 Flipper Fidelity Sound System w/Amp, Item #: FF5inSetwAmp
Description: Ultimate Cab-Builder’s Button Kit, Item #: ButtonKit

I expect that I will replace at least the buttons in this kit, but, at a later date. It simply was very convenient to put the necessities in the same order. Pimping the cab, later.

When these parts arrive. I don’t really get to test the functionality. I’ve chosen to go for EZ install kit, and at the same time buy his mod of the plunger. Unfortunately, the plunger itself is unobtainable waiting for parts to get built. Might take a couple of weeks it seems.

Should give me time to learn how to implement the DMD in a proper way.

• • •

11 September, 2016

Min nerdetur til Trondheim

Filed under: Dagbok_no — Thalamus @ 12:06


Så, etter å ha sittet å sett på websiden til bestemte jeg med for å ta en tur innom. Det er blitt alt for lenge siden jeg har hatt mulighet til å spille flipper på godt vedlikeholdte maskiner.

Jeg må nesten begynne med en shoutout til Øyvind og Knut som arrangerte en turnering på maskinene de har satt ut i kjelleren på work work. Virkelig et morsomt tiltak det å få brynt seg litt mot andre spillere. Maskinene på det noe uklare bildet er fra venstre mot høyre. Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Attack from Mars, Spider-man, Game of Thrones og Sword of Fury. De hadde også en LED modifisert Creature from the black lagoon stående.

Før selve turneringen, drepte jeg LOTR. Venstre flipper bare ga opp og de klarte ikke lokalisere feilen før start. Den ble altså skiftet ut mot CFTBL.

Dette var første gang jeg forsøkte meg på en konkurranse og jeg kunne merke at selv om jeg sa til meg selv at dette bare var for å ha det morsomt. Så gjorde det noe med nervene.

Runde 1: Stern, Spider-man. Kom på siste plass. Øyvind, eieren av spillet satte flere Jackpots og var innom Battle Royale. Jeg tenke med meg selv da at jeg håper jeg slipper å trekke Øyvind i neste runde.

Runde 2: Bally, Attack from Mars. Her fikk jeg meg en uventet andre plass. Jeg trakk sammen med Øyvind og tenkte med meg selv at dette kunne aldri gå bra. Det var en skikkelig ruske omgang for alle oss. Ingen klarte å passere Ikke mye å skryte av med andre ord.

Runde 3: Jersey Jacks. The Hobbit. Her fikk jeg en relativt ok runde. Endte opp med å vinne med ca. 3 ganger så høy score som nestemann.

Runde 4: Bally, Creature from the Black Lagoon. Igjen var det ingen som virkelig spilte bra. Jeg var i en gruppe med bla en jente, som vant forrige turnering. Og jeg kunne se at hun hadde peiling på hvordan creature skulle spilles. Hun tabbet seg derimot ut ved å tilte spillet i forsøk på å hente ut noen ekstra runder i creature poolen. Jeg hadde fordelen av å starte sist, så når jeg sanket inn en hurry-up til snackbar var runden min.

Etter runde 4 var det oppsummering av resultatene så langt. Jeg lå da på delt tredjeplass og skulle spille siste omgang på Sword of Fury mot Kjetil, som ledet turneringen og blandt andre, han jeg delte tredjeplassen med.

Det gikk til skogen. De første to ballene var jeg knapt borti før de gikk ut. Den tredje og siste klarte jeg å få tilt på. Skikkelig overrasket ble jeg for jeg følte på ingen måte at jeg var røff med maskinen. Men, sånn er det. Det er en del av sjarmen med å spille på mekaniske maskiner.

Alt i alt var dette en tur jeg komme til å huske på lenge. Alle deltakere jeg møtte var hyggelige og blide og konkurransen var ikke mer alvorlig enn at flere delte informasjon om hvordan maskinene kunne spilles.

Jeg tror jeg komme til å dra tilbake ved en annen anledning.

Tja, hvem vet, kanskje blir det Oslo eller Pittsburg next ? 🙂

• • •

21 August, 2016

Netgear R7000 Nighthawk and auto negotiation issues

Filed under: ComputerStuff_en — Thalamus @ 11:50

I have a Netgear R7000 – code named Nighthawk AP in my home. I find that it has a nice range and I’m quite pleased with it. There is one thing though that irritates me. It sometimes doesn’t give me 1Gb link speed on the wire.

So, who is the culprit in this senario ? Not 100% sure, but I believe it might be the routers fault.

On my gaming PC, I have a dual boot of Fedora and Win7. Since it is a gaming PC, I mostly use it for gaming. And this is where the problem is most obvious. This PC has a rather cheap Realtek 1G Nic. I often, from poweroff, don’t get more than 100Mb link to the router. I’ve tried to force the NIC to run 1Gb in the driver – but, that doesn’t help. I can see the link going on/off … 5ish times, before ending on 100Gb. Yes, its the latest and greatest driver from Realtek.

So, now everyone would ask – have you tried another cable ? Yes, I have. The solution I’ve found is. Start Fedora, from here, force the driver to 1Gb. I see some of the same symptoms. But, it seems that Fedora doesn’t fall back to 100Gb as quickly as the Win7 driver does. So, after some up/down attempts, the R7000 “gives up” and accepts the 1Gb link.

From here, if I just reboot the machine, and fire up Win7. The link falls out just briefly as expected when the driver is loaded, but, it now comes up with 1Gb, every time.

Who to blame ? Hmm … it is not the NIC, it is not the cable – it might be crappy Win7 driver, but, I feel it is just as likely the R7000 fault.

I might some day soon reflash this router with DD-WRT, since it doesn’t have to do NAT for me.

• • •

22 July, 2016

xauth and sudo

Filed under: ComputerStuff_en — Thalamus @ 12:22

A tip that can be useful if you need to run as root an X11 app and you get auth error messages is ‘X11 connection rejected because of wrong authentication’ is to use xauth and .Xauthority to resolve the problem.

client $ ssh user@host
server $ sudo su
server # xauth merge /home/user/.Xauthority
server # /path/to/app &

• • •

3 June, 2016

Bash loops can be useful

Filed under: ComputerStuff_en — Thalamus @ 07:37

Checking the free mem usage of several – almost same named host.
This will start with 2 – loop to 5 – increment by 1.
The -n option is useful here, since it prevents ssh from reading stdin.

for a in {2..5..1}; do ssh -n rhev$a 'free -hw'; done
• • •

19 March, 2016

network manager and docker

Filed under: ComputerStuff_en — Thalamus @ 00:49

Today, I was asked a question aboiut fedora/gui and network manger + docker. I reported a bug about the list becoming so long that it was uncontrollable years ago, having internal wifi and an external usb years way back. Network mnager ain’t all bad – but the relationship with the GUI is … to put it midgly. Crap !

I suggested. Disable network manger. If your on a permanent location. And on a relatively new distribution ( rhel7 or fedora 2x ) – disable it. My experience to date has been that files generated from NetworkManager, is going to be read fine with the older ifup wrappers.

• • •
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