Would you like to be Google free?

By now you have probably heard that Google spys on your growing habits, searches, traveling locations, app usage and more. Google is so pervasive that it’s almost impossible to stop from being “the product” that gets sold and resold right? Wrong!

Now there are great Google alternatives.

Duckduckgo has setup a great guide that you can follow to help free yourself from the clutches of Google.

Gaming on the Raspberian Stretch Desktop

It really surprises me that there isn’t a Raspberry Pi gaming scene. I’m not talking about emulation. I’m talking about games that run native on the Pi in Raspbian. Old machines like the Atari 2600, Colecovision, ZX Spectrum and the Commodore 64 have an embarrassing wealth of new games coming out all the time. The Vic 20 still gets releases for God’s sake! So where is the love when it comes to our tiny Pi friend, which is much, much more capable?

Here’s a small list of games you can run on the Stretch Desktop. There are more but these seem to be the most popular. Let me know if you have any favorites you want added to the list!

For the 3D games, a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ is highly recommended!

Battleball – a 3D Tank arcade
sudo apt-get install battleball

Flare – Diablo-like RPG
sudo apt-get install flare-game

Freesweep – a console based Minesweeper
sudo apt-get install freesweep

Funny Boat – funny arcade game
sudo apt-get install funnyboat

Gnome Nibbles – a snake game
sudo apt-get install gnome-nibbles

Quake 3
-> Setup:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install quake3
game-data-packager quake3 -i

Minecraft Pi edition 

Open Arena – open source version of Quake with different maps
sudo apt-get install openarena

OpenTTD – based upon Transport Tycoon Deluxe sudo apt-get install openttd

TINT – a Tetris game
sudo apt-get install tint

Manually Install RetroPie over Raspbian Stretch

If you are enjoying a full or lite install of Raspbian on your Raspberry Pi, you can also manually install RetroPie rather than work off of a RetroPie SD image.

It’s advisable to first tell your Pi to boot into console mode at boot. 

pi@raspberry:~$ sudo raspi-config
Choose (3) Boot Options
B1 Desktop/CLI
B2 Console Autologin (optionally, you could select B1 to log in)

Install RetroPie manually

Start by updating your system:

pi@raspberry:~$sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

Verify your local settings for a smooth installation.

pi@raspberry:~$sudo update-locale LC_ALL="en_US.UTF-8"

Now we install the packages needed by the installation script:

pi@raspberry:~$ sudo apt-get install git lsb-release 

Download the RetroPie setup script using git. If you don’t have git installed:

pi@raspberry:~$sudo apt install git-all


pi@raspberry:~$ cd
pi@raspberry:~$ git clone --depth=1 https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup.git 

Now run the script:

pi@raspberry:~$ cd RetroPie-Setup
pi@raspberry:~$ chmod +x retropie_setup.sh
pi@raspberry:~$ sudo ./retropie_setup.sh

The installation dialog appears:

Choose the basic install and then optional packages, settings and drivers. Once you are done, reboot and launch with:

pi@raspberry:~$ emulationstation

Raspberry Pi as a Spotify Connect source

This is verified to work with a Raspberry Pi model 3 B+ with Raspbian Stretch on 01/20/19. It really should work with any Pi using Jessie too.

The program we will use to stream music from any device to our Pi is called “raspotify“, which makes our Pi into a Spotify connect source. We will install the program and then make changes to the configuration file to customize the bit rate and Spotify Connect name which can be anything you choose.

Install raspotify from console:

From script:

curl -sL https://dtcooper.github.io/raspotify/install.sh | sh

Or manually:
# Install curl and https apt transport
sudo apt-get -y install curl apt-transport-https

# Add repo and its GPG key
curl -sSL https://dtcooper.github.io/raspotify/key.asc | sudo apt-key add -v –
echo ‘deb https://dtcooper.github.io/raspotify jessie main’ | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspotify.list

# Install package
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y install raspotify

Restart raspotify:
sudo systemctl restart raspotify

If raspotify does not appear after boot, here are some options.

Now you can send Spotify to your Pi using Spotify Connect from any device!

If you want to make changes to the Pi as a Spotify Connect source:
sudo pico /etc/default/raspotify

You will need to comment out the “#” for each option.

Change the device name:
DEVICE_NAME=”Spotify on the Pi”

If you want to change the bitrate:

Change the audio output, first the :
–device hw:0,5
(Note: you will need to type “lsusb” to find the Bus and Device Number)

Save the file and restart the service:
sudo systemctl restart raspotify

Final comments: I found this to work beautify.  Regarding the option to change the audio out hardware, my USB device was spotty. If you leave this option alone and simply use the audio out jack or HDMI you will find it is very reliable.

Emulating the Sony Playstation 2 (PS2) with Windows

To run a PS2 emulator in Windows 10, you will first need:

The emulator itself: PCSX2.
BIOS files.
Properly configured emulator.

Once you install the PCSX2 emulator, you must tell it where to find the BIOS files.
From the menu:
>Config>Plugin/BIOS Selector
Select BIOS from the left pane. Browse to your BIOS directory and select the BIOS file. Select OK

You will need to configure your gamepad so it works with PCSX2.
Menu – Config > Plugin/BIOS Selector
PAD – Configure (button on right)

Highlight each button in the area within the green boxes, then press the button on your controller/gamepad. Select OK when you are done.

Now that your emulator is in working condition, it’s time to configure it to optimum settings. Visit this video to find the right settings. The most important setting from my experience is the MTVU box in the Emulation Settings under Speedhacks.

After this is done, your emulator should be working great! To run a game:
Menu – CDVD > ISO Selector > Browse
Pick an ISO or BIN file
Menu – System > Boot CDVD full

To get games (ISOs) for this emulator, you will first need to rip your PS2 discs into ISO images. I found a great guide to do this here.

Happy retro gaming!

*With Windows 10, you may need to run PCSX2 in Administrator mode.

Ubuntu: Mounting a USB hard drive at reboot

First, if you have an exFat drive, you will need to install the Ubuntu exFat utility or you will get a “unknown filesystem type ‘exfat’” mount error.
To avoid that, in a console type:
sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse exfat-utils

Before we update anything, we will need to find out what your hard drive is called in the system before we mount it.
Any of these commands will tell you the drive name.
sudo blkid
sudo fdisk -l

Look for something like this: /dev/sdb

You will need to create a mount point for the system.
>sudo mkdir /media/usb
You can replace “usb” with any name you like.

Now you will need to update your “fstab” file so Ubuntu can mount the drive at startup.

Important: find the Device and Filesystem with this command:
>df -T
Look for “Filesystem” and “Type”.
Filesystem Type 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2 ext4 959862832 368219792 542814880 41% /
The “Filesystem” is /dev/sda2 and the “Type” is “ext4”.

Edit fstab:
sudo nano /etc/fstab

Copy this statement into the file, replacing the #Device (example: /dev/sdb1) and #fs-type (example: exfat or ext4)

#Device #Mountpoint #fs-type #options #dump #fsck
/dev/sdb1 /media/usb exfat defaults 0 0

^O to write out, ^X to exit.
Reboot your machine:
sudo reboot

Your computer should mount your USB hard drive to /media/usb

Update Subsonic on Ubuntu

To update Subsonic from the Ubuntu console, it’s best to log into a terminal window from Windows or Mac using Putty (or the Mac terminal).
Using your web browser from Windows/Mac, visit the download page.
Find the Ubuntu download link and copy the link location.
Example: http://www.subsonic.org/pages/download2.jsp?target=subsonic-6.1.5.deb

Log into your server using Putty/terminal. Download the new file.
wget http://www.subsonic.org/pages/download2.jsp?target=subsonic-6.1.5.deb

Now execute the update command:
>sudo dpkg -i subsonic-6.1.5.deb

Updated and back in business!

New WordPress Editor is the most horrific thing ever

If you updated WordPress like I did and found the most irritating, horrific editor you’ve ever seen or used, follow these instructions to get the old one back.

Go to your WordPress Dashboard.
Select Plugins.
Add New.
Search for “Classic Editor”. (Blue Square with three white lines).
Install and Active. Back to business.

PS: If you are having trouble with these directions, here’s a video I found on YouTube.

Update Subsonic on Ubuntu; Mount USB drive at boot

Update Subsonic:

Download the subsonic package and execute this command:
sudo dpkg -i subsonic-6.1.5.deb
Mount a USB drive in Ubuntu Console:
Find the drive (three commands that will do it):
sudo blkid
sudo fdisk -l

(example: /dev/sdb)

Create a mount point:
sudo mkdir /media/usb

Mount the drive:
sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /media/usb
Mount error: “unknown filesystem type ‘exfat’”

Install exfat filesystem utility for Ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse exfat-utils
How to automatically mount usb flash drive at startup

List your drives:
sudo fdisk -l
(example: /dev/sdb1)

Edit /etc/fstab and place this info in the file, replacing the #Device and #fs-type with your own:

sudo nano /etc/fstab
#Device #Mountpoint #fs-type #options #dump #fsck
/dev/sdb1 /media/usb exfat defaults 0 0

Radio Station Links

CKWW-AM Windsor 580

WUOT-2 Knoxville 91.9

WRCJ-FM Detroit 90.9

WDET-FM Detroit 101.9

WCSX-FM Detroit 94.7

WOMC-FM Detroit 104.3

WRIF-FM Detroit 101.1

WUPS-FM Harrison 98.5 (West Branch)

WKQZ-FM Midland 93.3 (West Branch)