I decided to move these weekly updates to Tuesday so I’m not feeling compelled to write on Sunday, so that’s my first tweak of this weekly experiment. Also, kinda fitting to move to Tuesdays given the site is titled bavatuesdays. I’m finding the quick 20-30 minute jotting of notes before writing a weekly review quite useful, and the subsequent organization of pictures from the week is a much needed element of structure to my daily documentation. I hope I can make this habit stick. Anyway, let’s begin…
- Finding my mornings taken up with a lot of end-of-the-year accounting. One of the things I learned about myself since starting Reclaim Hosting is how much I enjoy the accounting and projection piece of running this business. I became obsessed with it early on because watching the money made sure we were not going broke, but it has evolved into a healthier process of investing in people and growing the business slowly and surely.
- There has been a lot of interest amongst existing Domain of One’s Own (DoOO) schools in Reclaim Cloud. Part of this was fueled by our retiring Cloud Linux on our shared and institutional servers, but also the questions various admins bring to us around what can and cannot be run on DoOO has led to new conversations about what’s possible beyond cPanel, and we can finally say maybe, or even yes, do those questions, which is awesome. Yesterday Pilot, Taylor, and I met with Skidmore to get them playing with Reclaim Cloud as a sandbox, and on Thursday we’ll be meeting with the folks from NYU Libraries, so that has been pretty fun, and hopefully a sign of things to come.
- Speaking of Pilot and Taylor, I really do feel like the emerging Instructional Technology “group” is starting to take shape at Reclaim. It is nascent for sure, but last week we had a great meeting with Taylor about his experience as an admin at St. Norbert College, which led to an inspiring discussion around baking in a community site to Domain of One’s Own, more targeted outreach around what admins need in terms of Domains analytics, and more. I feel like we are finally moving the discussion of our products to a more proactive, exploratory approach–which is refreshing and energizing after over 8 years of just trying to keep up. We’re including Pilot in more of the instructional technology discussions going forward, hence the suggestion a “group” is forming. I am hoping over the next 6-12 months we start experimenting and sharing some of what’s possible in both the cPanel LAMP stack and on the Cloud and documenting recipes, possibilities, and reaching out to the broader Reclaim community to find out what needs they have and how we can help. Exciting stuff!
- I had a lot of fun finally getting the Phoenix High Score Save kit working. It was a bit of an odyssey, but I believe I am the better for it. I blogged about it last week: “Phoenix High Score Save Kit and then some…Redemption!”
- I started mapping out the Gyruss multi-game high score save kit project on Friday, with the idea I would be working on it over the weekend. I started on Saturday by reassembling a Gyruss bootleg game board I bought earlier this year as a backup for the original game board I will be working on, etc. That bootleg has two auxiliary boards that are pinned in, but not soldered, so they can and did come out during delivery. Making matters worse, it was the larger of the two which is more complicated to align given there are seven different sets of pins across the board that need to be almost perfectly lined-up and then pushed back in. Long story short, it proved a total nightmare. And even after thinking they were back in, the game board did not work. Still going to try working on the original Gyruss board this weekend, but now without a back-up board, so the pressure is on. I’m probably going to have to ship the bootleg out and get it tested and have a professional reset and solder the auxiliary board.
- In more frustrating arcade news …. I have two Italian-made Sidam arcade machines from the early 80s, Explorer and Asterock, bootlegs of Scramble and Asteroids respectively. I bought them over the summer, and the Explorer has not worked right from the get go, there were vertical hold issues on the monitor out the gate, but I thought it was an easy fix. Back in nAugust, while trying to fix it, the the power supply unit started acting up. Soon after that the power supply unit (PSU) on my other Sidam game, Asterock, went bad. So, in an attempt to cut losses, I had them both serviced this fall and they came back yesterday. The power supply unit worked on Explorer, so that game was back up, but the Hanterex 9000A monitor chassis was still not holding vertically, so I am getting that worked on. I hope to have Explorer up and running. once I get the chassis serviced. After plugging in the PSU for Asterock that game was back up, and it’s so beautiful. But after about 15 minutes it started getting wonky, and soon was just a blank screen with solid lights for players 1 and 2 with the sound board making a loud humming noise (and the occasional thrust sound effect). From what I have been reading this is a voltage issue on the sound board, so it may still be a power issue, but this time at the sound board level—it’s always a power issue with these games. So, there may be yet another thing to fix on this Asterock as well, but first we need to do some testing. That said, this was a bit of a bummer and consumed me most of yesterday cause I really wanted to play a gorgeous black and white vector Asteroids knock-off.
- Finally, I got a new marquee light for Astro Invaders, but that game was converted from 110 Volts (US) to 220 Volts (European) so there are some weird things happening with the power. While testing voltages I tripped the circuit breaker on the first floor, so I am getting some advice on this before pushing through.
- But despite the perceived setback of Asterock, once I have the chassis for Explorer fixed all but one game of eleven will be fully operational, and of those 7 will have high score save and free play capabilities, and four of those feature multiple-games (Millipede, Donkey Kong Jr, Cheyenne, and Gyruss—assuming that last one works). So the arcade is looking quite solid, and my goal is to have every single game working and minted out before the Spring shipment comes with another 10-15 games. Overall I’ve made quite good progress on the fledgling home arcade this year, but next year will have even more projects given some of the incoming cabinets need some TLC, so I have to get out in front of what’s here now and finish strong.
- Chahira and I did the Friday Night Karaoke session for the OERCamp Global conference and that was a blast, as always. Chahira is a great co-conspirator, and it helps that we both love singing karaoke. I learned a few things from this iteration: 1) it takes a good 20-30 minutes for folks to warm up to it, but they do want to sing; 2) an hour is too short cause folks are just getting going; 3) I could do a better job demoing how to share audio for a video in Zoom—and make a point of testing audio before folks get in the groove. I’ll try and bring these lessons learned to tomorrow evening’s Karaoke session for ALT’s Winter Conference. Things will go wrong, as they always do, but I get a rush from when folks sing and have fun.
- Still lacking here, had Sonny and the Sunsets album Antenna to the Afterworld on constant play
- Better Call Saul continues to consume my evening watching, and I just started season 4, so getting there
- No reading beyond the web, so I am getting stupider by the week, but I did receive this ridiculously awesome gift from Anne-Marie Scott, it’s good to know people in high places like Edinburgh — Ray Harryhausen: Titan of Cinema will be my holiday read for sure.
- Battling the Christmas mania is never fun, but trying to keep spending and my corrupted spirit in check. The fact it snowed earlier this week helped with that holiday feeling as well.
- Hiking/walking more always helps me this time of year. I’ve been much better about getting out with Duke every day and we did a beautiful 8 mile hike to the Bindesi in the snow on Sunday. It was precious time with my special lady friend.
- After the hike the whole family made headway on the decorating, which was fun. We fought, we laughed, we ate some good pizza. A near perfect day.
- Also, looks like we might be taking a 3 or 4 day snowboarding/skiing trip in early January, which has me excited. Been too long off the slopes with all this COVID insanity, and I am ready to get back to the wilds of Trentino given all the snow we already have.