Author Archives: McSwindler

About

Not only am I awesome, I do awesome stuff! Such as Web development with a little bit of design built in, and other programming on the side. I do enjoy games, but I don't play them as much as people assume I do. I am more a fan of old gaming and I sort of collect classic systems and games. Currently my focus is working as a Web Developer for SearchDex in Dallas, TX. Besides all of that, I like pie.

Signatures, Merchanting, and Exact Prices


Today, I am announcing several new features for the Grand Exchange Updater. First off are the RuneScape signatures. This new feature will allow users to create signatures for use on blogs, forums, and any website. The signatures show off your latest adventures in the Adventure Log signature or your latest achievements in any skill or activity with the RuneScape goal signatures. The process is simple, enter your information in the form and submit, then copy your chosen code format provided and paste where ever you want to show off.

Secondly, I am announcing a new list of items called “merchantables”. This list is updated monthly with items that are good to merchant with in RuneScape. This is however, not an exact science. So, please have a look at the merchanting guide before diving in to these items, some of the items may not be very good to merchant. The merchantables are split up into three groups based on price fluctuations; high risk, medium risk, and low risk. Generally speaking, the more expensive an item, the higher risk.

The third and final feature being announced is more for the back-end. From now on, the updater will catalog exact prices down to the 1 gp for every single item. This means no more margin of error in the 50m gp range. You will be able to notice differences in the item graphs, and will see the exact price below the rounded price on the item pages. The downside is that the process takes much longer, so will not see the exact prices immediately after an update; but fear not, the notifications are still top priority and have been modified to work faster and more exact.

Convert Video to HTML5 in Ubuntu


I wanted an easy way to convert videos to HTML5 formats (mp4/ogg/webm). With Linux, I could easily create a bash script to do all three and even create a screencap for the poster attribute.

The install process is a bit tedious and time consuming, but after it’s all installed you’re good to run the script for all your videos. The script uses ffmpeg to convert to all 3 formats, and it supports most any video format. The script also uses ffmpeg to generate a random screenshot, and even writes the HTML5 code for you.
Read the full install process and download the script

MAME Cabinet: Completed


I have finally completed my MAME cabinet after several months of hard word (tbh, and a lot of waiting). So, here is the completed cabinet, and some resources to help you build your own.

MAME Cabinet Completed

The final piece to the puzzle was the motherboard. While installing some new LEDs to the coin door, I managed to burn out the motherboard audio. Luckily, I have a 1-year warranty; unluckily, it was two days after the 30-day return window for Newegg. I contacted Asus for a replacement, they told me Newegg would handle it. It took about a month to get in touch with Newegg who told me Asus would handle it. Asus was much faster responding, and I finally got my replacement installed and working.
Check out the resources to build your own MAME cabinet

Acer Iconia Tab W500 Review


Recently, I acquired an Acer Iconia Tab W500, and here is my review. The Iconia is a 10.1″ Windows tablet PC. I wanted a tablet, and after some research I purchased this one. My main contemplations were between the Iconia and the MSI WindPad 110W. Without further a-do: the review.

Acer Iconia Tab

Introduction

The Iconia is one of a few Windows tablets out on the market currently, and even fewer utilize the AMD Bobcat APUs as the Iconia does. Windows tablets are scarce because Microsoft hasn’t released a tablet OS yet, but Windows 8 is just that and will come with a huge influx of tablets. I wanted to give Windows 8 a try with the Developer Preview, so immediately after receiving the tablet, I upgraded to Windows 8 Developer Preview. Initially, I started with the 64-bit version, but discovered not all of the drivers were supported, and installed the 32-bit version instead. I picked this tablet up off of eBay as a refurbished model for $355, new they run about $500.
Read the full review

Review Schema Markup v1.0 – WordPress Plugin


This is a plugin I wrote for a games review site called Uninstalled Gaming. The plugin adds Schema.org markup for reviewed items.

Review Schema Admin Panel
The plugin adds fields for the reviewed item on the post page. After filling this out, the data will be formatted in HTML as a Schema.org/Review. At the bottom of the post, the appropriate amount of stars will appear. The stars are the only thing with specific styles, the text is completely customizable through CSS.
Check out the plugin

Do A Barrel Roll – CSS Animation


If you’re here, you’ve probably seen what happens when you search for “do a barrel roll” on Google. This is done by some simple CSS animation.

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@-moz-keyframes roll {
    100% {
        -moz-transform: rotate(360deg);
    }
}
@-o-keyframes roll {
    100% {
        -o-transform: rotate(360deg);
    }
}
@-webkit-keyframes roll {
    100% {
        -webkit-transform: rotate(360deg);
    }
}
body {  
    -moz-animation-duration: 4s;  
    -moz-animation-name: roll;  
    -moz-animation-iteration-count: 1;
    -webkit-animation-duration: 4s;  
    -webkit-animation-name: roll;  
    -webkit-animation-iteration-count: 1;
    -o-animation-duration: 4s;  
    -o-animation-name: roll;  
    -o-animation-iteration-count: 1;  
}

The CSS is simple enough, it sets the duration to last for 4 seconds, then the type of animation is set by “name” which is “roll”, and finally it is set to play only once. The important thing is how you get the animation “roll”. This is set by using the @-prefix-keyframes with the identifier “roll”, this enables you to create sort of animation functions. @keyframes allows for standard CSS properties to change based on the percentage of the duration completed. Within the @keyframes you can use any percentage, and as many as you like, to set properties; or the to and from keywords. In the above code, 100% could easily be replace with the to keyword. The same code is then repeated with the various prefixes for cross-browser compatibility. Currently the only supported browsers are Chrome, Firefox 5.0+, Safari 4.0+, and Opera? (Opera has not been fully tested).
Read on to see this post do a barrel role and learn more about CSS animations

Control Panel Graphic Install


The other day I received my control panel from Game On Grafix, and I got around to installing it which just about completes my MAME cabinet. I also picked up some joystick surrounds.
New Control Panel

First, I had to remove the buttons and joysticks from the panel. This, and replacing them, is probably the worst part. (I really need to get some better cable management) After I got all the buttons off and removed the panel from the rest of the cabinet I sanded it down a bit to smooth out the hole filling I did prior. Then, I cleaned it up a bit so I didn’t have a bunch of dirt and hair stuck under the graphic.
Read about how the graphic was applied

MAME Marquee and Lighting


This is just a quick update. A few days ago I received my marquee from Game on Grafix and installed it. My marquee installation was pretty easy because I already had plexiglass since it is a conversion cabinet. All I had to do was trim the marquee a bit off the sides and I taped it to the back of the plexiglass. Then, it was just a matter of sliding into place and replacing a few screws.
Lightning Marquee from Game On Grafix
Check out the status of the remaining parts

Installing AimTrak into a GunCon Case


I wanted light guns for my MAME cabinet, who doesn’t? Am I right!? So, basically the only choice now-a-days is the AimTrak from Ultimarc. This is a nice, semi-cheap option. I say semi-cheap because you can get the module by itself and put it in your own gun casing which can be pretty cheap off eBay if you don’t have anything laying around. I originally thought of using the NES Zapper, however after receiving the module and trying it out it didn’t fit so well. So, I ordered an old GunCon for the original Playstation off of eBay which I heard was a nice casing for the AimTrak. Here is a small tutorial of how I put it all together.
Blue Painted AimTrak GunCon
Read the full guide

 
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