Using Scraper on RetroPie

RetroPie is a fun little arcade system that runs on Raspberry Pi. It includes Emulation Station, which allows the user to select games using a USB game pad or joystick instead of a keyboard. One of Emulation Station’s features is a scraper, which analyzes your library of game ROMs and tries to download the appropriate artwork and game metadata from online databases. If successful, when you browse your library you will be presented with nice art and game descriptions. I was excited to try the scraper, but ultimately found Emulation Station’s scraper to be very hit-or-miss. Dozens of online forums …

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SCORM on Google Trends

Interesting stats from Google: SCORM is clearly on the decline, as is AICC, but both still much stronger than xAPI (aka Tin Can), which is barely registering.

I guess there’s no such thing as a secure PDF

I was reading the SCORM 1.2 reference docs today. I wanted to copy a passage for my notes, but the PDF is password-protected and prevents anyone from copying text. (REALLY irritating, considering the ADL is a quasi-government organization and the docs should be open to all.) What to do? Well, turns out there are at least two super easy ways to bypass the password protection: Upload it to Google Drive or import it to Evernote. Google Drive The Google Drive site includes a built-in PDF reader; when I opened the PDF in the web viewer, I was able to copy …

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iTunes, TV Shows and Apple TV

iTunes vexes me. For better or for worse, we’re an Apple household and own an Apple TV, so I’m kind of stuck with iTunes for managing my media files.

My wife and I have also purchased a significant amount of DVDs over the years, which I ripped to iTunes using the trusty old Handbrake (love you, Handbrake!). These DVDs include a lot of TV shows, such as Doctor Who and Magnum PI.

My workflow has always been: rip via Handbrake, then import into iTunes by dragging the m4v files onto the iTunes window. By default, the TV shows don’t have any metadata (no proper titles, descriptions, episode numbers, or artwork), and iTunes automatically files them under Movies. This means they’ll show up in Apple TV with no description, no preview picture (such as DVD box art), and no sequence information.

Setting OS X Desktop Picture Based on Time of Day

I recently changed jobs (Hello, FireEye!) and was issued a new MacBook Air. I spend a lot of time looking at the screen and was getting bored with the supplied desktop pictures. I also start work very early most days (7am-ish), and thought it would be nice to have a desktop picture that matches the mellow-ness of such an early hour. Of course, this leads to daydreaming — “scope creep” in professional parlance — and next thing you know, I started thinking “well, maybe I could also set it to show a nice evening-themed picture at night”. Then “maybe I …

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The lower 48

While doing some online shopping, I received a notice that said Estimated Economy Delivery (delivered via USPS): 6 to 12 business days within the lower 48 United States. All P.O. Boxes, APO/FPO/DPO addresses and shipments to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands will ship via Economy Delivery. I always get peeved when I see people use the phrase “lower 48 states”. Why?  Well, having grown up in the State of Hawaii, I can tell you with certainty that the Hawaiian islands are farther south than any other state in the United States of America, even the southernmost point …

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Importing Google Contacts into iCloud

I signed up for the new iCloud service, and wanted to sync my Google contacts so they will show up on my various Apple devices. MobileMe, iCloud’s predecessor, had built-in support for syncing with Google accounts, so I assumed iCloud would be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, it turns out iCloud does not auto-sync with Google. Here are some instructions for manually syncing your contacts.

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