I’ve recently had to fly oversea (yesterday) and this is usually for me the opportunity to try new things: can’t really sleep, in-flight entertainment is usually crappy, so here I go.

I tried a new game called Chromasquad. Reason why I tried this is simple : I recently got it in a humble bundle (monthly one I guess), it’s DRM-free (I could get it from humble bundle website easily), it’s small (in 100 of MB at most) and runs decently on a mac book air, which has close to no power.

I tried and I got surprisingly addicted: pitch is pretty simple, a bunch of stuntsmen go out of their studio and start making their own power rangers clone. The game itself is close to XCom, enemy unknown : you work your team, improve it then play in a turn by turn. Gameplay is quite addictive, not as easy as it sounds initially. Graphics are… well, let’s say they fit with nostalgia with a nice principle of hand drawn, blocky old fashioned sprites. Either you love or you hate, it personally reminds me of my youth 🙂

Seeing how cheap the game is, I strongly recommend to buy it. Seeing that I missed the trophies (playing out of steam), I’ll probably redo it really soon and keep it as a plane friendly, low-power game.

Of course, the other games I did in the plane were less fun. They included tearing of my seat with the help of the steward to fetch my headphones converter, 45 minutes of turbulence in the middle of lunch and using a 10 inches screen to watch an SD movie. I don’t understand how in-flight entertainment can still be that crappy.

Using Persistence of Vision on Ubuntu

I’ve been using Persistence of Vision for almost 20 years. By using, I mean thaat I had times when I was pretty intensive users and most of the time where I didn’t touch it for spans of multiple years.

I recently decided to install it on my ubuntu, and there are some caveats that I’ll document here for safekeeping.

Installation: pretty easy

apt-get install povray

Configuration: not so easy

You need to configure it to work easily from command line. The following files are involved :

  • povray.conf, which describes security limitations mainly
  • povray.ini, which defines default behaviour for povray command line.

Both file should be in ~/.povray/3.7/ (or whatever pov version you’re using) Assuming your pov scenes and personal includes are in ~/pov

$ mkdir -p ~/.povray/3.7

$ cat povray.ini 
# FULL HD 16/10
$ cat povray.conf 
[File I/O Security]

[Shellout Security]

[Permitted Paths]

Default file for povray.conf  is in /etc/povray/3.7/povray.conf and it seems that the user version can’t extend rights but only restrict them.

Rendering a scene: now trivial

It is now as simple as typing

$ povray -Isample_lego.pov

and results as a tga being outputted in the ~/pov/output folder.  Examples of dubious quality can be found in my git repository on bitbucket.


“infinite” bash history

I tend to use `screen`a lot and never reboot my computers. As my memory becomes flaky, I often need to search in my history and usually don’t remember which tab I used for a specific command.

I’ve solved this problem with my bashrc the following way:

# don't put duplicate lines or lines starting with space in the history.
# See bash(1) for more options
export HISTCONTROL=ignoredups:erasedups

# append to the history file, don't overwrite it
shopt -s histappend

# for setting history length see HISTSIZE and HISTFILESIZE in bash(1)
export HISTSIZE=100000
export HISTFILESIZE=200000

function history_sync {
 history -a
 history -c
 history -r

function hist {
 history -a
 history -c
 history -r
 builtin history

alias hgrep="hist|grep"

I can now use hist to “update history and display”  and hgrep to grep on history. Synchronization is still opt-in but it’s good enough.