Author Archives: carnifex - Page 2

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons

Christmas of 1979 was a banner time for playing D&D, we were out of school for 3 weeks, and there was snow up to our butts. We did what we had to do, we gamed all day and half the night, most every day, and it was glorious. I believe we slayed Tiamat and stole all of her stuff during one of these games. It was this Christmas that my mother gave me what has become one of my prized possessions, a copy of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Players Handbook. It was at this point that my gaming split into two distinct groups. Bruce continued to run his game, although we paired it down to a small core group of Bruce, Ed, Chad, Darren and myself. Ed for whatever reason, referred to the group as the Vortex. I also joined a game being run by my Stepbrother Jerry. Both of these games were fun as hell and I have great memories of both groups. Bruce’s games were young and innocent, and filled with interpersonal conflicts that could only be generated by the drama queen known as Ed Badura. Jerry’s game was more mature, the plots ran deeper and tended towards the grim. I played in both groups until I moved to Bozeman in 1984.

Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set

My first experience with Dungeons & Dragons was the blue box basic set. This boxed set was released in 1977 and was the first mass produced version of the game. It targeted new players and was sold in hobby stores and bookshops. When I was in High School I belonged to the Billings Parmly Library Science Fiction Club. Mostly the club was there to keep teenage nerds from causing trouble in other parts of the library, it was a containment measure of sorts. We did discuss books and movies, and at one point we even made our own home movie, it was mildly amusing for the most part. Our adult supervision, a great lady named Caroline, discovered D&D and thought it would give us something to do, so she bought this Basic Set and brought it to the next meeting. For many of us, this was the beginning a life long hobby. My friend Bruce ran the first game, he put us through the sample dungeon in the back of the rule book, The Tower of the Mad Wizard Zenopus. My character died when he rounded a corner and ran into a giant centipede. I wish I could say I was a good sport and I immediately rolled up a new character and jumped back into the game. However that was not the case, I pouted for a couple of weeks before I started playing again. By that time the rest of the group had made it out of the tower and was making their way through B2 The Keep on the Borderlands, which came with the boxed set. At that point I was hooked and I went out and bought my own set, although the box is long gone, I still have the rule book and a couple of the dice.


I have been advised that it was not B2 The Keep on the Borderlands but rather B1 In Search of the Unknown that came with that boxed set and what Bruce ran after the Tower of the Mad Wizard Zenopus.

Converting PDF files to cbz

This is one of those things I am blogging about simply to have ready instructions for the next time I want to do it, so I do not have to go searching google again. What I want to do here is convert comic books that are in PDF format to the more generic cbz format so it can be read by apps like ComicBook Shelf, iComic and some others. The cbz format is simply each page of the comic being saved as a jpeg file, then it is all compressed into one zip file. It is simple enough that the conversion is pretty easy with just a couple of commands, I did not even have to install any extra software. Its so simple I am not even going to explain it, here is the shell script.

mkdir tmp
pdftoppm -jpeg $1 tmp/page
zip $1.cbz tmp/*.jpg
rm tmp/*.jpg
rmdir tmp

Equifax pretty much sucks

Apparently one of the largest credit reporting companies in the world was the victim of a terrible data breach. They are publicly admitting to a couple of hundred thousand people being affected, but it will probably be more like millions when the dust settles. They managed to keep this a secret for the better part of a month, just enough time for their upper echelon of management to dump their stocks. Once the breach became public, Equifax then promptly showed the world exactly what not to do when faced with a problem of this magnitude and turned a security fiasco into a public relations fiasco as well. I have two things to say about this.

First, go freeze your credit reports. This took me about an hour to do both PezWitch and I, it also cost me a little bit of money, but it was not terrible. What this does is it stops the credit reporting companies from reporting your credit to anyone, including lenders. This means you will not be able to get a new credit card or a car loan until you unfreeze the reporting. This also stops criminals from trying to get credit cards in your name. Its does add a layer of complication to doing some things like opening checking accounts or renting an apartment, but it also provides you with an extra layer of protection. Here is the real problem with this breach. Part of the information that was leaked was Social Security Numbers, these number don’t change, so this information will be valid and usable until the day you are reported to be dead. This is not a short term thing, this is a rest of your life problem. So don’t wait, don’t put it off, just go do it now.

The second thing I have to say about this is it proves beyond doubt that most of these companies spend far too little money on securing your data. Seriously, how does one miss a hacker downloading a database, how does someone miss having terabytes, possibly petabytes of data being transferred to an IP address outside their network, worse this was going on from May through July, how do you miss someone guzzling down data for months? The answer to the question is simple, they really don’t give a shit. These companies need to get serious about this because otherwise it is going to get worse.


Roleplaying games and me

Normally by this time of year I have made some serious headway in designing the campaign I will be running next year. This year I seemed to be stumped as to what to do. Part of my problem is D&D 5E has not quit lived up to my expectations. Don’t get me wrong, its not a terrible game, but it is also not a great game and as Bruce said when we were talking about it, “5E leaves me wondering if I missed something”. So one of the things I am thinking about is what game to play.

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition: As I said, this is a decent game, its pros are that it is a modern game with a unified dice mechanic, it is well supported and will probably be THE D&D for another decade. The cons are its not really our game, I think Bruce and Thor feel uncomfortable with it and I know I do. While there are a lot of options for making interesting characters, the game still manages to come off as rather flat.

HackMaster 4th Edition: We played this game solidly for 12 or 13 years. The pros to this game are we know it inside and out, we have house ruled it just enough to keep it sane. The game at its core is AD&D 1E, but manages to fix about 50 things that were broken with that game. HM also does not take itself too seriously and is just a lot of fun to play. The cons are, it is out of print and we have pretty much played through all of the published modules. Another problem is HM has no game balance whatsoever, Monks and Battle Mages are broken as classes and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Advanced Dungeon & Dragons 1st Edition: This game is like wearing an old shoe for us. It is the game of our youth. It is easy to play, you can literally generate character in under 10 minutes. Even though the system has been out of print for 25 years, the books were so heavily printed that it is easy to find cheap copies on Ebay and on top of that they reprinted them in 2013 and made them available as PDF’s. The downside here, is AD&D is not a modern game at all, it is poorly structured and has many bad rules and modern younger players don’t like it very much.

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy: It is very unlikely we would seriously consider playing this game, but it is possible. The great thing about GURPS is the depth of characters, even in the limited environment of DF, it is still possible to push your creativity and make new and interesting character types. Steve Jackson games is about to release a boxed set for DF where they rewrote and streamlined the rules, so it is somewhere between GURPS Lite and the full blown game. The down side here is complexity and too many choices, I think players get bogged down when thinking about how to design their characters and even how to grow them over time. The other problem with GURPS is I always got the feels no one truly loves to play the game, that is a game you play because there is not another game that fills the niche you want to play in. It is sort of like using a Leatherman tool, sure its got a screwdriver and pliers built in, but it hurts your fingers to use it.

At this point I am sure my players just want me to shut the fuck up and run what I want to.

South Park

I was asked recently why I don’t like South Park. I gave the short answer at the time, “I don’t find stories about animated poop particularly funny or entertaining.”. This of course is in reference to Mr Handie, and I got the usual response, which is, “But that is only a couple of episodes, what about the other stuff?”, to which I usually respond, “It goes down hill from there.”. That is generally the end of the conversation.

The long version is, the show is basically glorifying a truly evil character who has murdered other characters on the show and sexually molested at least one other. I know Stan and Kyle are suppose to be the main characters but they are really not. The primary character is Eric Cartman, Kyle and Stan are just foils for him. They almost never win over him and even when they do occasionally win, the victory is short lived. Cartman is a complete shit bag, Kyle and Stan should just kill him and bury him in the back yard, because that would be doing humanity a favor and apparently there are no repercussions for murder in South Park. I dislike South Park for the same reason I dislike Game of Thrones, nothing good ever happens, and you cannot relate to any of the characters nor are any of them even particularly likable, even Stan and Kyle are smug little twits.

And this is without even getting into the obvious political bias of the show.

RE: Nibiru

So the chunk of Nibiru I busted off has hit earths atmoshere on schedule, although it is a bit further north than I anticipated. I probably didn’t use enough WD40. The upside is, the chunk did not hit anything and it looks better and better that Nibiru’s course has been corrected and should miss our solar system by several million kilometers now.

Hal and Ollie Together Again

One of the best buddy teams in comic books has always been Green Lantern and Green Arrow. Their partnership heralded in the Bronze age of Comic Books with the Hard Travelling Heroes story line of the mid 1970’s.  Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen are two sides of the same coin. Green Lantern is a cosmic cop, interested in keeping the peace and enforcing the law across the universe, he is powerful, he is disciplined and he is a symbol of what it is to be a hero. Green Arrow is a street level vigilante who is interested in serving justice and helping those in need. He is passionate, reckless, and occasionally crosses the line, but he fights from his heart. They come together because they each want to do right, whether it is out in space or down on earth, they each give the other something they need. Hal Jordan is seconded only to Superman in shear power, and his scope extends far beyond earth, Oliver Queen reminds him that there are real people with real problems that cannot be wished away with a magic ring. Oliver Queen is focused on the little guy and problems in the here and now, Hal Jordan provides him with the big picture, shows him its not just him, its not just earth needs help. You just know they spend Sunday afternoon watching Football and eating bad chilli together. Something Superman and Batman would never do.

Since the Flashpoint event, this relationship has effectively been retconed out of the continuity. They have had very few interactions and those they had were all wrong and out of character for both of them. This month with Green Arrow #30, DC has reintroduced this friendship into the DC universe. The story had many nods to their original relationship and is shaping up to be a great story. The alternative cover for the book was even done by Mike Grell, who paid homage to his own work from 40 years ago. I would love to see DC pull Hal from his current gig with the Green Lantern Corps, kick the current Green Lanterns upstairs to the Corps and let him return to doing what he is best at, being the Green Lantern for space sector 2814. I am not saying we should merge the two back together, but I would love to see yearly crossovers.

Summer is over

Once again summers end has come and once again I feel as though I should have went somewhere and done something, but I didn’t. While here in Texas the it will be hot for several weeks yet, the really hot sultry days are now behind us. As the cooler air from up north starts making its way down, we will get warm breezy days and chilly nights. As a kid I loved the dog days of summer because we were out of school and were free to roam unshackled and unsupervised. Like it or not, those were the best days of our lives, we will never have that kind of free time again until we are too old to enjoy it.

Summer of Ed the Undying

In the Browser based game Kingdom of Loathing, they have seasonal paths, which change how the game is played, sometimes in small ways, sometimes in big. One of those paths is Ed the Undying. This path is nice because it is easily scripted and you can make a 3-4 day run with no resources. This makes it perfect for karma whoring, karma being the way you acquire permanent skills and such. I spent all summer running all three of my character through Ed runs just so I could accumulate skills and build them up. On my primary character Arrowroot, I made 20 runs over the summer, 18 of which were Ed the Undying, I stopped twice to make normal runs just to break the monotony. It is time to go back to more traditional runs.

Crowdfunding and you

There is this thing on the internet these days called crowdfunding. Basically this guy, we will call him Bob, has an idea to sell something, but Bob does not have the $10,000 he needs to manufacture it. So he goes to Kickstarter or similar website, sets up an account and basically begs other people to give him $10,000 so he can bring Bob-O-Matic to the market. Of course the problem is most of these crowdfunded projects fail, the reasons can vary, but generally it is one of two reasons. Either because Bob really only had an idea and had no clue how much time or money it would take to develop the idea and get it to market or second Bob is a con artist who had no intention of bringing his product to market and basically took the money and walked.

Now don’t get me wrong, crowdfunding can be a lot of fun and allow you to get products early and at a discounted rate, but there are a couple of things to remember;

  1. You are not an investor, you are customer who is pre-ordering a product and further, the person is actually under no obligation to deliver the product, just understand that and accept it.
  2. There are two categories of crowdfunded projects;
    1. Established companies with a good track record of delivering product
    2. No names with no track record of doing anything ever
  3. It is okay to contribute a nice chunk of change to a project being run by an established company with solid track record. I have given a couple of hundred dollars to Steve Jackson Games and Foglio Studios, both are good companies that have been in business for decades and they use Kickstarter to fund cool projects that would otherwise never see the light of day.
  4. It is also okay to contribute to a project by a no name with no track record, however you should heavily limit the amount of money you give them, because you are probably never going to get the product.
    1. I measure this in Starbucks Coffee, I ask myself how many Starbucks Coffee’s am I willing to go without if this project never produces anything. Usually the answer to this is somewhere between 0 and 2, or roughly $0 to $10. Honestly you should never be giving more than a few dollars to a project like this, you are essentially playing the lottery and only a total idiot would spend their rent money on it.
    2. The recent Top Secret RPG Kickstarter is an example of this. Small Company, first major project, I love the idea, but there is no way I am giving them $50 to get the printed product of a game I will likely play exactly once or more likely never. So I gave them $10 for the PDF.

I do not want to discourage people from using Kickstarter, I actually think its a great idea. But I am preaching moderation. Don’t get carried away, never contribute more than you can afford and if the product never ships, don’t bother sending hate mail to them, either they are bad at business or just bad people, either way you are not getting your money back, just move on.

Nibiru and back again

I believe decades of playing Dungeons & Dragons along with having watched every episode of Star Trek uniquely qualified me to undertake this project. I was of course right, everything went exceptionally well all things considered. Re-entry was a bit tricky, guidance systems don’t really work all that well when you are talking about a couple of tons of steel traveling at terminal velocity. The farmer in west Texas was pretty pissed off about his barn, but to my credit, while his cow Millie will probably be giving sour milk for a couple of days, she is otherwise just fine. My plan executed near perfectly, I think I may have deflected Nibiru by more than my original calculations indicated.

Anyway, the world is saved, your welcome!

Say Goodbye to Nibiru

I am beginning preparations to execute my plan to divert Nibiru from its current path. At it’s current distance from our solar system and the speed it is travelling, I only need to change its trajectory by slightly more than 1 degree and it should miss us entirely. Wish me luck.

Count down to Nibiru

This weekend I will be implementing my plan to save the planet. Planet X, also known as Nibiru is scheduled to collide with the earth on September 23rd. Several days ago after verifying the work done by “Christian Numerologist” David Meade showing that Nibiru would in fact destroy the planet, I set about planning to stop this great catastrophe.

I did have some issues with the County Zoning Commission coming by and asking me and I quote “What the hell are you building here?”. I explained it to him and he asked if I had a building permit, to which I replied “SAVING THE WORLD DOES NOT REQUIRE A BUILDING PERMIT!”. He seemed unconvinced and stalked off.

I also had some challenges with the guidance system, getting the Apollo 11 Guidance Computer software was easy, finding hardware to run it on was a bit tougher. Fortunately you can buy literally anything on ebay these days.

Rocket fuel was not any problem at all. Home made rocket fuel is actually pretty easy to make, the primary ingredients being potassium nitrate (KNO3), and plain white table sugar, both of which you can get delivered in bulk by Amazon. For anyone wondering Stump Remover is a great source of potassium nitrate.

At any rate, I should be ready by Saturday.

The End is Here

Apparently we have 32 days until the world ends on September 23rd.

So-Called ‘Experts’ Predict The World Will End 33 Days After The Solar Eclipse On August 21st

PezWitch has informed me that she will not accept this as an excuse for not getting her a birthday present. I told her not to worry, I have a plan to save the planet, all I need is; 20 fifty gallon fish tanks, 330 meters of copper tubing, 400 rolls of duct tape, 40 cans of WD40, 1000 gallons of glycerin, 22 motor boat batteries and a pink 1968 Cadillac.

Eclipse day 2017

I bought myself 3 pair of Amazon eclipse glasses and I used one as a camera filter. Most of the pictures were pretty unusable, but I did get 2 decent shots.

Review: GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Boxed Set

Product Summery:
Name: Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game
Publisher: Steve Jackson Games
Author: Sean Punch
Cost: $50/$35 for PDF
Pages: 474 (Spread across multiple books)

When the Kickstarter for this product was announced I was pretty excited. GURPS is one of two games I truly love, the other being HackMaster (also known as Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st Edition). DFRPG came about as a reaction to the Old School Renaissance in gaming. the OSR was a movement of gamers who felt the old ways were the best ways, they wanted to bring back the simple games of their youth where kicking down doors, killing monsters and collecting treasure was a way of life. DFRPG sought to simplify GURPS so it could be used for this genre. DFRPG was a big hit for Steve Jackson games, the line was PDF only, but since it required GURPS Character book, it helped to sell many of those. The Kickstarter campaign was an effort to bring DFRPG to the print world as a starter set not just for DFRPG but for GURPS in general. The boxed set is not due for at least another month, but this week in celebration of GenCon 50, they released the PDF’s to the Kickstarter backers and I have now had a chance to look at the game.

There is a lot of new art here, which is good, Steve Jackson games is notorious for reusing art. Thankfully they went with a two column format rather than the three column they used in GURPS Characters and Campaigns, this is much easier to read. They also used an orange colored font to highlight options and such, which I think added clarity and readability to the document. The game is well written and I think easy to understand.

I have always liked the GURPS game mechanic, at least in theory I like it. All resolution die rolls are done by rolling three six sided dice, trying to roll under your target number, whether that is an attribute or a skill level. This puts all resolutions rolls on a nice bell curve instead of a flat 1 in 20 type roll. I also like the customization options available for building characters, players can literally build anything they have points for. Of course the problem with that is too many options and a scaling problem. Like all point based systems it is very easy to fall into one of two traps, either your points are spread too thin and the character is really not very good at anything in particular or the character is spectacularly skilled in one or two areas and utterly incompetent at anything else. There also tended to be a lot of character overlap in skills and characters stepping on each other niches.

DFRPG solves this problem by reducing options down to a manageable level and takes a step further by using character templates. The templates emulate the character classes of Dungeon & Dragons, Fighter, Thief, Cleric, and Magic User. Once you have chosen your template there are customization options. This speeds up character creation, makes sure everyone has a niche to follow, while still providing for character development beyond the character niche as the game progresses. The author of DFRPG did a good job of distilling GURPS down to a good workable set of rules, slightly more complicated than GURPS Lite, but no where near and complex as the full system.

DFRPG does not as of yet have a true setting beyond the dungeon crawl trope. This is not really a problem as I think it lends itself well to sandbox games or even adapting something like Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms. The game really does have an old school feel to it. Personally when I get around to running this next year, I will be using the Castle Defiant sandbox I wrote about several months ago, although if I were going to run a lengthy campaign, I would have to develop and alternate reality Yrth where Clerical magic is a thing and pagan gods roamed the world. Frankly I am not even sure setting is even necessary for this type of game, just start everyone in a tavern and move on from there.

Overall, I am very happy with this product. I will be even happier when I have the box set in my hands. If you are looking for an easy introduction to GURPS or you are an old school gamer looking for something that feels like it was written in 1985 but plays like a modern game, this is the product for you. On the other hand if you are looking for a new GURPS source book with detailed background information or a generic game where you can dump cyborgs into King Arthur’s Court, you are going to be very disappointed.

Summery (Scale of 1-5):
Appearance and Layout: 4
Game Mechanic: 4
Setting: 3
Overall: 3.66666666667

What buttons does this press?

Answer, ALL OF THEM!

Dungeon Fantasy is coming

Last year Steve Jackson Games ran a Kickstarter to fund the production of Dungeon Fantasy RPG. Dungeon Fantasy is basically old school murder hobo style gaming done in GURPS. I went in as a $250 backer so I basically got everything that did not require me to go to GenCon to get. While the actual printed stuff is still a couple of months off, they did release the PDF version today to those who backed the Kickstarter, although I expect in a couple of weeks they will put the PDF’s up for sale to the general population.

Release the PDF’s a head of the printed product was a good call. This gets the product out there and into the hands of players and GMs. In the next few days, we will likely start seeing reviews popping up and forum discussions on Enworld and RPGnet. With a bit of clever marketing, this could easily be turned into momentum for the game by the time it hits the shelves. The set includes a couple of adventures, so I will likely run this as some filler games this fall. I am kind of excited about this, because it reminds me a lot of the early days of GURPS.

I Love RAID 5

Last week one of the hard drives in PezWitch’s computer failed. For those who don’t know, she has 5 drives in her system, one small solid state drive for the operating system, one 1 TB solid state for her games and three 2 TB spindle drives which are configured in a RAID 5, this is where she keeps her data, pictures videos, writing, whatever. Fortunately the drive that failed was in the RAID 5. The RAID 5 worked flawlessly, doing exactly what it was supposed to do. When I installed the new drive the RAID controller detected it and asked if I wanted to add the drive and rebuild the array. It was literally as easy as replacing a failed hard drive, only no data was lost and I did not have to reinstall Windows.

I am really sad today

I would not say that I am depressed, but I am very sad. Perhaps I have finally reached that age where I think the world is going to hell in a hand basket and if everyone would just listen to me, everything would be alright.

GenCon 50 is next week

I so want to go to GenCon this year. I would love to get out of town and put my life behind me for one grand weekend of killing dragons and scrapping clean a dungeon for every last copper piece. Instead of wondering why nazi’s are marching in the streets, I want to be chucking dice with like minded strangers, going to panels and listening to artists and creators talk about their games, and wandering through the exhibit hall looking for old and beloved games or perhaps, new and interesting games. Instead of wondering why I am $200 short on budget this month, I want to play a pickup game Call of Cthulhu in someones hotel room until 4:30 AM in the morning, then rush to McDonalds for coffee and breakfast taco, to make it just in time to an early morning game of Mutants and Masterminds. Oh and Red Sonja cosplay, I want to go to GenCon because I like Red Sonja cosplay.

Encryption 101

Not many people know this, but I am a published author. By published author I mean, I have been paid for my writing. I have been published in 2600 magazine, Dragon magazine, Linux Gazette and a little known magazine called DOS Resource Guide. I have never received more than $50 payment and in the case of DOS Resource Guide, they folded before I received any payment at all.

It is really kind of sad too, because that one is probably the article I was most proud of. I wrote a qbasic encryption program that I felt was kind of clever in its implementation. Of course it would never withstand the attention of the NSA, but as I said in the article, it would keep your little sister from reading your files. Most of the qbasic encryption programs of the time simply used the password provided to seed the built in pseudo random number generator and then used the XOR function along with these pseudo random numbers to encrypt the file. I took this a step further and used this process to generate a 128 character string which I then used via my own algorithm to fill an array the size of the original file with a pad, which was then used to encrypt the file. Again, this was not military grade encryption, but I think for a first try it was a novel idea.

This lead to another project which I actually did with a friend. He decided the best way to encrypt a file was to use another file as a key. His idea was to XOR the bits in the file you wanted to encrypt with the bits in the key file. The way we built the program was it required three things to decrypt the file, a user name, a password and the key file. I used more or less the same process I used in the first program, only instead of using my own number to encrypt the file, I would use my numbers to determine the location of the bit to be XOR’d within the key file. As close as I could tell at the time, as long as you never used the same key file twice, it would be basically impossible to crack the encryption. This of course was naive thinking back in 1994, today I suspect this could be broken in a weekend using a $400 laptop.

I wish I still had this code, unfortunately it has suffered digital death as many of my early projects have. I even went looking for a copy of the DOS Resource Guide where my original program was published, but unfortunately I have not been able to find more than a few issues here and there. I guess an old short lived magazine from the early 90’s covering an obsolete operating system holds little interest for anyone these days.

Oculus Rift and Linux

So there is some very tentative support for the Oculus Rift in Linux. Basically at this point, I am looking to just get my desktop extended to the Rift, to me this is a the most basic first step. I am not there yet, but I am close. Here is the step by step instructions for getting started. When I run one of the demos, like Simple or, it does light up my Rift and I do get an extension of my desktop, the problem is the displays are switched and I have not figured out how to change that yet.

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential libusb-1.0-0-dev libudev-dev autotools-dev autoconf automake libtool libudev-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev libfox-1.6-dev libogre-1.9-dev libois-dev libtinyxml-dev cmake libogre-1.9-dev libois-dev libtinyxml-dev git cython sdl2-dev libglew-dev

mkdir src
cd src

git clone git://
cd hidapi
sudo make install

cd ..
git clone
cd OpenHMD
./configure –enable-openglexample
sudo make install

sudo -i

echo ‘SUBSYSTEM==”usb”, ATTR{idVendor}==”2833″, MODE=”0666″, GROUP=”plugdev”‘ > /etc/udev/rules.d/83-hmd.rules

echo ‘SUBSYSTEM==”usb”, ATTR{idVendor}==”0bb4″, MODE=”0666″, GROUP=”plugdev”‘ >> /etc/udev/rules.d/83-hmd.rules

echo ‘SUBSYSTEM==”usb”, ATTR{idVendor}==”28de”, MODE=”0666″, GROUP=”plugdev”‘ >> /etc/udev/rules.d/83-hmd.rules

udevadm control –reload-rules


#### Unplug your Rift from the machine at this time and plug it back in.

cd ..
git clone
cmake .

cd ..
git clone
cd python-rift
sudo ln /usr/local/include/openhmd/openhmd.h /usr/include/openhmd.h
sudo ./ install


That is it, at this point you should be able to run the demos. The next time you start Steam, it is going to detect the Rift and install SteamVR, which does not work, but it does cause some errors, so to fix that run this command;

sudo apt install libxtst6:i386 libxrandr2:i386 libglib2.0-0:i386 libgtk2.0-0:i386 libpulse0:i386 libgdk-pixbuf2.0-0:i386

Personal Security Vs Online Identity

Personal security is extremely important on the internet. Everyone needs to take steps to make sure their important personal data is protected. Everyone should be using LastPass or KeyPass to manage website passwords, I would also suggest two factor authentication where ever possible. It is also a good habit to not be too revealing about oneself while online and you need to be careful about who you are friends with or following you on social media. Do not allow strangers to have unnecessary access to details of your life. A good example is this blog, I have no control over who reads this blog, so I do not post things like vacation pictures until I am home and I very carefully manage my Facebook account so only people I personally know can see anything and I dutifully delete old posts.

The other side of this coin is managing your online identity. I have met people who stubbornly refuse to have any social media accounts at all because of the security risks involved. The problem with this, is it makes it easy for people to take control of your online identity. A few years ago as a prank, I opened a Facebook account for my Nephew. I purposefully got several details of his life wrong, like his birthday and his graduation date. I did not send out a single friend request to anyone, nor did I post anything other than setting his profile picture. Within 24 hours about a dozen people, including family had sent friend requests. I made it almost 48 hours before he found out about it and figured out it was me and asked me to close it. Pause and think about that for a little while. I had complete control over his Facebook identity for 48 hours, unopposed and unquestioned. I could have posted anything, or in a more sinister light, I had access to a dozen peoples Facebook feeds, who were happily sharing their lives with me.

The point of this post is to point out that while everyone needs to be security conscience, everyone also needs to have control over their online identities, if for no other reason than to control what is being seen and heard. If you have no online identity and you piss someone off, it is really easy for them to assume your identity and ruin your reputation. If you already have an online identity that you have properly managed, it is easy to say, that is not me, see here is my Facebook account, I don’t know who this person is. If you don’t have a Facebook account, it is very difficult to deny that guy posting “My Little Pony” porn on Facebook is not you. If you already have a Facebook account, you also have full control of the message and the image you are projecting. Make your profile picture a picture of you in nice cloths, a couple of time a week post something that shows you in a good light, keep a tight leash on who you friend and who you allow to see your posts, don’t let anyone tag you in anything you feel uncomfortable with. Even if you were at the bong party, you want to be able to deny it.