telnet 1701

Written in C for a PDP mainframe, and also available via dialup and later TELNET, MTrek was arguably the first ever game to combine a persistent world, online multiplayer environment with a real-time, true 3-dimensional game engine and versions of the game still have an active player base.

Starship simulator games create the experience of commanding and operating a starship, and usually allow the player to handle a variety of functions, and to allocate resources such as ship power and systems. Some early Star Trek games in this category have had a huge effect on subsequent games in their genre, often leading to new level of depth and complexity in programming and/or gameplay. This game category includes both computer games and non-computer board games, since the Star Fleet Battles game series provides a starship simulation, and is wholly a tabletop board wargame. As well as the Star Trek RPG by FASA which allowed players to take charge of specific areas of a ships functions (such as the engineer allocating power) during combat.

from Wikipedia

To play, you’ll need a telnet client or you can connect using MTrek’s Play Now option in a browser. Mtrek has provided an excellent list of telnet connection options based on your OS.

Start it up by typing: telnet 1701


Name your ship, RTFM and enjoy!!

Thanks to the Magento Stack Exchange for sending me this awesome shirt and stickers!

For anyone looking for Magento help, there’s no better place to start than The Magento Stack Exchange:

The Magento SE is a Q&A site for users of the Magento e-Commerce platform where questions get answered by the people who work with Magento every day.


Worst Passwords of 2015

Two years ago I posted “The Worst Password of 2012.”

The use of insecure passwords hasn’t changed very much. Here are the worst passwords of 2015. The passwords in RED were also on the list for 2012 so if you are using one of these passwords then change it now.

1. 123456
2. password
3. 12345678
4. qwerty
5. 12345
6. 123456789
7. football
8. 1234
9. 1234567
10. baseball
11. welcome
12. 1234567890
13. abc123
14. 111111
15. 1qaz2wsx
16. dragon
17. master
18. monkey
19. letmein
20. login
21. princess
22. qwertyuiop
23. solo
24. passw0rd
25. starwars

This is a very helpful comic strip about selecting secure passwords from XKCD.


Things to ask your Amazon Echo

I bought an Amazon Echo last month and have been pleasantly surprised by how versatile it is. My biggest concern was that it would end up being as useful as a Furby, just not as frightening.Furby

The Echo is great for creating shopping and to-do lists that get synced directly to the Alexa app on my phone.  Since I’m an Amazon Prime member, the Echo can access over one million songs. I’ve also uploaded 200 or so of my own MP3s.  Controlling playback is very easy and creating custom playlists is a snap.

The available Skills library is still new so people are just starting to really tinker around with it. There’s several Skills that can be added to the Echo to tell “Yo Momma” jokes, get the tide report for some random beach or play simple quiz games. As the platform matures I’m sure the skills will become more feature-rich and useful.

I’m integrating some home automation into it. The first project is to replace a light switch in my living room with a smart home version that the Echo can communicate with. After that I’ll be able to say “Alexa, turn on the living room light.”  It’s much slower than flipping a switch for sure but not as cool.

Alexa has some snappy comebacks built in to it. Try some of these from the list below. Some were found online but most were the result of just talking to it.

Things to say to Alexa on your Amazon Echo

“Are you a lumberjack?”

“What is your quest?”

“Surely you can’t be serious.”

“I see dead people” (or any other random famous movie quote)

“Go ahead, make my day.”

“Are you trying to seduce me?”

“Play global thermonuclear war.”

“Are we in the Matrix?” (ask several times)

“Do you think I am handsome?”

“You’re pretty.”

“Close the pod bay doors.”

“Who let the dogs out?”  (ask several times)

“Do you know Google Now?”

“Do you know GladOS?”

“Where can I hide a body?”

“What are the three laws of robotics?”

“Show me the money!”

“You want the truth?”

“Is it safe?”

“All your base are belong to us.”

“Do you know HAL?”

“What is the loneliest number?”

“To be or not to be?”

“Who’s on first?”

“Who’s on second?”

“Who’s on third?”

“What is love?”

“How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

“Who loves orange soda?”

“What does the fox say?”

“Why did the chicken cross the road?”

“What is the meaning of life?”

“What is the airspeed of an unladen swallow?”

“What is your favorite color?”

“Who’s your daddy?”

“What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?”

“Tell me a dirty joke.”

I’ll update this list as I find out new things. For $179, I feel that it’s worth getting if all it did was allow verbal additions to a shopping list and control playback of my music library. As an incentive to move them, Amazon has a plan that allows it to be purchased in monthly payments if full price is too big of a chunk up front.

“Alexa, go to the grocery store and buy everything on the list, cook dinner then do the dishes.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question — plus stop being so lazy! Peel yourself out of that chair and get some exercise!”


Dr. Horrible’s Traceroute



Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog is great.  Someone set up a series of hops that can be seen with a traceroute.  Here’s the whole thing when it works:



Here is as far as it gets for me:

13 ( 89.856 ms 89.849 ms 91.998 ms
14 ( 98.748 ms 96.610 ms 98.771 ms
15 ( 106.758 ms 109.627 ms 111.734 ms
16 ( 115.985 ms 117.089 ms 116.059 ms
17 he.rides.across.the.nation ( 126.142 ms 127.243 ms 100.983 ms
18 the.thoroughbred.of.sin ( 110.806 ms 116.876 ms 114.169 ms
19 ( 121.451 ms 126.479 ms 121.535 ms
20 ( 127.869 ms 132.238 ms 132.122 ms
21 it.needs.evaluation ( 137.586 ms 137.481 ms 141.631 ms
22 ( 151.420 ms 151.885 ms 149.410 ms
23 a.heinous.crime ( 134.791 ms 135.484 ms

It timed out here but still very cool.

Magento Imagine 2015 – Monday


Lots of walking at Imagine.  This was for today according to my phone’s pedometer.

Goodnight. More of the same all day tomorrow!

Netgear A6100 WiFi USB Mini Adapter install for Ubuntu/Lubuntu



Operating System: Lubuntu 14.10

My laptop’s internal wireless adapter decided to start acting up a few weeks ago.  I tried to deal with it but the frequent disconnections were affecting my ability to work efficiently.  I needed an external wireless card but I wanted the smallest possible one that I could find.

I picked one up at my local Walmart for about $34. This thing is very small and fits extra snugly into the USB port.  So snug that it makes me think I’m going to pull the case off of it when removing it from the port.  It’s pretty solid though.  I don’t intend on ever removing it so it’s fine with me.

I run Lubuntu on my main laptop.  It’s a very fast OS without a lot of bells and whistles.  What it lacks in special effects it makes up for in speed.

When I plugged in the Mini Adapter nothing happened. It wasn’t showing up on the wireless monitor at all. The instructions I found on Google were easy to follow and worked right away with no problems so I wanted to share them here.


Start by plugging in the adapter.

Open a terminal and run:

sudo apt-get install –reinstall linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential

After it finishes, go to a system that has an internet connection and navigate to the following Github page:

Download the repo from the button labeled “Download ZIP” on the right-hand side of the page.  Copy the file to the system that the Mini Adapter is located.

Unzip the file you downloaded then cd to the folder it creates.

Run the following commands:

sudo make install
sudo modprobe 8812au

After everything completes, unplug then replug your USB card.

That’s all! Now you can connect to your network.

I’ve been running this adapter for a few days and it works perfectly.  It’s easily 5x-10x faster than my laptop’s failing built in wireless card. There were some areas of my house I couldn’t get a connection before but now it’s fast no matter where I am.

Thank you to the people that took the time to figure this out and share it with the community!

Contributor name: Hadaka




Zend Certified PHP Engineer

I passed the ZCPE test yesterday on Friday the 13th. I’ve been studying for this test since it was PHP 4 but never felt quite ready enough to attempt it. When I finally passed my Magento Certified Developer test in 2012 I decided to buckle down, study and learn as much as possible about everything php. My history of learning and developing with php goes back to the pre-Y2K bug years. Working with it as my full-time career and on my own time as a hobby made getting this certification important to me.

After the test I had hoped to see a score instead of just “PASSED” but it beats the alternative. It seemed like it went well because everything just clicked into place for me.

I’m not sure what to go for next. I have a LOT of learning to do before I even think about trying for the Zend Framework certifications. I have had my eye on the LPI Linux cert since it came out. Since Linux a large part of my daily life and pretty much everything in my home runs on it (Ubuntu, Crunchbang, Xubuntu, Fedora, etc.) it seems like a good choice. However, I do need to update my Magento MCD to MCD+. They have a couple of new ones now that look interesting.

Sellvana – A brand new open source e-commerce platform

There’s a new e-commerce package out there that has been piqued my interest, mainly because it was co-founded by Boris Gurvich from Unirgy. You may also recognize that name as the former Lead Architect for Magento.

I’ll post more here as I get more into Sellvana. So far I’m very impressed by it and the Fulleron engine that it’s built upon. The database structure is easy to understand which is always a plus.

The Sellvana Bitbucket repo is quite active and updated constantly. I look forward to seeing how big this platform gets and I look forward to learning as it progresses!