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~ $>  Splurged on a Google Pixel Live Case... #noRagrets

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make my own PCB-themed Live Case using Google’s amazing web tool. I was very impressed by the quality as it had arrived today. The NFC button requires a bit of a firm press, but that’s good so that there’s no accidental triggers. I’m pleased as punch!

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~ $>  Pi Zero Painsaw :: A Raspberry Pi Zero toy chainsaw that runs DooM

this post is also operating as:

I never get creative ideas, but the Pi Zero Painsaw was an exception. It’s a Raspberry Pi Zero, that I crammed into an Echo Junior Chainsaw toy, along with a bunch of other things, and it runs Doom. It’s a love-letter to Doom, the things I’ve learned from my Raspberry Pi(s), and a special, unique piece of memorabilia that I hope to keep forever.

Next up, the full details of the Pi Zero Painsaw project:

~ $>  Gameboy DMG-01 Backlight Mod with Bivert Chip

This was a challenging project due to the most precision soldering that I've had to do yet. Everything turned out great on the first shot, which I didn't really expect!

Details of this mod include:

  • Clear DMG-01 case
  • White LED backlight (w/resistor)
  • Bivert Chip (vastly improves contrast)
  • Blue power LED swap
  • Original Play It Loud screen bezel
  • Grey NES-style D-pad and buttons

~ $>  Just picked up a Raspberry Pi Model B+!

The Raspberry Pi has always caught my attention, however I hadn’t thought hard at the possibilities I would find useful. After finally being tempted enough to get a Bitcoin cold storage wallet going, this was finally the time.

Raspberry Pi Logo RPi Model B+

I went to a local shop to pickup the Model B+, barebones, as I had a microSD card prior. After having an excruciating time trying to download Raspbian due to my ISP having an issue (of all nights, as they’re quite good normally), I was finally booted into it.

Next steps for me would be to:

  • Get DooM running on it
  • Look into emulation frontends
  • Test hardware such as USB gamepads + external HDDs (since the model B+ now provides up to 1.2A)
  • Throw it into my C64x barebones case, of which I haven’t used yet for 4 years
  • Oh yea, grab another SD and create a cold storage BTC wallet

I’ll be sure to update this post as I learn, tweak, and (maybe) solder more with this awesome little PC.

~ $>  Enjoy CSS is a great tool for visual creators

Great webdev tool I came across which is like jsFiddle, but for CSS. It allows you to fork and update “CSS fiddles” if you will. Give it a shot!

» 3D Effect example (on

~ $>  Commodore 64 for Facer (Android Wear)

A retro-themed watch face with many features bringing back the old days on your wrist. Because after all, who doesn't have a special place in their heart for the cold, blue, pixelated interface of the C64? ** NOTE ** - For the Samsung Gear Live watch only at this point (320 x 320 resolution)

Grab Facer from the Play Store, and enjoy this Android Wear watch face while reminiscing about the C64:

Follow me on Twitter (@scar45) to check for updates.

~ $>  Retro LCD for Facer (Android Wear)

Using Facer alone, I've created an Android Wear watch face to compliment my existing UCCW theme:

I'm really happy with how it turned out, and I'll continue to tweak/update it, so bookmark this page or follow me on Twitter (@scar45) to check for updates.

~ $>  Shutting down Linux with plink from Windows

Recently, I setup a VMWare ESXi 5.5 server which runs a few VMs in my homelab. Attached to this ESXi host is an APC BackUPS 1300 UPS unit. In case of a power outage, my goal was to have one of the Windows VMs trigger a shutdown to the ESXi host, while also safely shutting down each VM in sequence.

Read on for more details on how I did it…

~ $>  8-bit AOKP Unicorn Wallie

Just a lil' something I whipped up that I felt had to be shared. Hoping others may enjoy it. Special thanks to +Tha Phlash for the original logo source!

~ $>  8-bit Android Arcade Bootanimation

Android allows for custom boot animations if you're running a ROM that's rooted. I've created an 8-bit, old-school arcade inspired animation which attempts to bring back some nostalgia :)

~ $>  RetroLCD widget (for UCCW) - Bring that nostalgic look to your Android home screen

After coming across the awesome LCD style from z3u5, I set forth to create a similar setup on my Android phone. I ran into difficulty when trying to duplicate z3u5' exact configuration, as there were quite a few apps required, wallpaper cropping/resizing, etc..

I figured that creating a _single widget_ which held all of the info that I wanted to display was my best choice, as it would also be easy to re-setup after flashing a fresh ROM.

~ $>  PCB Series for Theme Chooser ROMs

A clean, detail-focused, and awesome (if I may say so) theme for Android ROMs that support system themes. Printed circuit board patterns adorn many of the system elements in a subtle form.

~ $>  Parsing multiple JSON objects from Gerrit using PHP and jQuery

Note that this PHP script should to run as a CRON job to grab the latest merges intermittently. I currently have it running every 30 mins on the site below. Also, I cannot grab the 'user' field, as it is nested within the JSON response, and that has totally thrown me for a loop :'( - Will try to correct it in a future version.

In the meantime, find it on Github or View the example on

~ $>  Holo theme for Conky (Linux System Monitor)

Updated version for 2016 here!

Conky is a free, light-weight system monitor for X that can display a wealth of information from Linux. Unfortunately (to some) it is a bit tedious to configure as it's based on a resource/text file. I do really like having it on my desktop though, so that didn't stop me.

After spending more time than I probably should have, I came up with this (based on this):

~ $>  TSF Shell versions of PCB Themes

TSF Shell is a premium launcher app for Android. It features super fluid animations and many features. Since I use it, I've also created versions of my PCB Themes.

~ $>  Write up about on Android Police

This is quite awesome. Jeremiah Rice wrote up a review on the new homepage that I designed and coded. I wasn't expecting such an article to pop up, but it was a pleasure to read.

Check it out here »AOKP's New Homepage Has More Swagger Than A Drunken Unicorn: Android Police

~ $>  Force refresh of MP3 tags in HTC Sense Music on Android

After recently getting my new HTC Desire, which is an absolute dream to use, I started copying over my fave audio tracks. I noticed that the HTC Sense UI Music player renders album art quite nicely, and when the phone is locked, overlays the current playing song with art. I then set forth editing and downloading art for all of the tunes that I was copying, using Mp3tag v2.46. It works great, albeit tediously, with the exception that once you disconnect the phone and Android remounts the SD Card, the Music app is not updated…

~ $>  Cool down your Acer EasyStore H340 Windows Home Server

I have recently “relocated” to a new office where sunlight seems to beam in constantly during the latter half of the day. My H340 Home Server was running quite hot because of this, and I had found some tips that helped to decrease the temperature by almost 20C! Acer’s Home Server has suffered this problem as many users have noted, however you can’t really blame them because the box is a Micro-iTX implementation with 4 hard drives squished into a very neat (and small) cube design.

~ $>  Project Geneva - Sega Genesis Mini-iTX PC

This original Sega Genesis was converted into a full PC that is capable of emulating many retro gaming systems. It was one of my most unforgiving builds, as there is literally no room for error. I got everything to fit in the end, albeit with some Bondo and hot glue, but I am VERY happy with how it turned out!

Project Geneva - Sega Genesis PC Mod

~ $>  Who says a 1983 TV is garbage?

I was about to throw out my first 13" colour TV that I had when I was a young'n. I couldn't quite let go, and decided that I should chop it up and revive it to something that could be used today. I then put a Micro-ITX PC inside, complete with everything that you'd need.

Hitachi 1983 TV PC Mod