MediaWiki::API 0.41 Released

MediaWiki::API provides a Perl interface to the MediaWiki API ( which is the software behind the Wikipedia site (and my ExoticA site).

Just a couple of bugfixes since 0.41:

  • When using the max_lag configuration, if max_lag_retries was reached – the reported number tries were incorrect.
  • Fixed up the api->list function not continuing due to lack of rawcontinue parameter that is needed after MediaWiki 1.26.

Thanks to Derbeth for the bug reports.

The module can be downloaded from CPAN – The source code and main development is on github –

RetroPie 3.2.1 update

There was a set of configuration options introduced just before the release of 3.2 which didn’t get enough testing. The result is, if you installed a fresh 3.2 image, and are using a controller that lacks an analogue stick, the digital d-pad may not function.

If you upgraded via updating RetroPie-Setup and re-installing from binary, then your configuration won’t have been overwritten and everything should be ok – this only affects new installs.

Downloads available from the main RetroPie website –

If you have a 3.2 image and you want to manually fix it, load /opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch.cfg into an editor and remove the lines at the end that look like

input_player1_analog_dpad_mode = 1
input_player2_analog_dpad_mode = 1
input_player3_analog_dpad_mode = 1
input_player4_analog_dpad_mode = 1
input_player5_analog_dpad_mode = 1
input_player6_analog_dpad_mode = 1
input_player7_analog_dpad_mode = 1
input_player8_analog_dpad_mode = 1

You can do this manually from a terminal using nano or by editing the file via the network share (configs/all/retroarch.cfg) – you can also use the configuration editor from the RetroPie-Setup script.

RetroPie 3.2 is released

RetroPieLogo2015Soon after the release of RetroPie 3.1, we are please to announce v3.2. Although only a few weeks have passed, there have been a fair number of improvements include some new experimental emulators, and configuration module improvements.

Installation Instructions can be found here –

Downloads available from the main RetroPie website – For those who want to install on top of Raspbian Wheezy – the system can be installed directly from the GitHub project, where you can also find a detailed list of changes.

Full changelog

3.2 (26th Oct 2015)

  • Fixed binaries of mupen64plus and lr-tyrquake and removed mupen64plus-testing as it is now included in the default mupen64plus.
  • Updated to Hatari 1.9, and built in IPF image support.
  • Binary installs are now supported for those running under Raspbian Jessie – although there still may be bugs.
  • New experimental modules – ppsspp / lr-ppsspp (PlayStation Portable emulator), px68k (X68000 emulator – too slow to be usable on a rpi2 though), and opentyrian (a port of the DOS shoot-em-up Tyrian).
  • uae4arm is now moved from experimental.
  • Improvements to the generic bluetooth pairing module.
  • Improvements to ps3controller pairing
  • Fixed SNESDev driver building (failed on first attempt).
  • New Turtle Pi Emulation Station theme installable via the themes installer
  • Various other bugfixes.
  • GLideN64 video plugin for mupen64plus

RetroPie 3.1 is released

RetroPieLogo2015After a couple of months of work since 3.0, we are pleased to announce the next version of RetroPie – v3.1. Changes include a new default theme called “Carbon” which is much less memory hungry than the previous, new Arcade emulators (lr-mame2003 and lr-fba-next), and new GUI configuration tools. We now also provide images for use with Berryboot. See the changelog below for more information.

Installation Instructions can be found here –

Downloads available from the main RetroPie website – For those who want to install on top of Raspbian Wheezy – the system can be installed directly from the GitHub project, where you can also find a detailed list of changes.

Thanks to BuZz, Death259, Gizmo98, Herbfargus, PetRockBlock and Rookervik (amongst others) for their contributions to this release.

Full changelog

3.1 (6th Oct 2015)

  • Workaround for lr-snes9x-next crashes for certain games.
  • New theme installation script and excellent new theme “Carbon” which is lighter on memory than the Simple theme (no more white screen of death! – works with all systems).
  • Initial bluetooth module for pairing keyboards.
  • We now provide images for use with Berryboot.
  • Moved Super Mario War out of experimental.
  • New default lr-fba-next emulator for rpi2 owners.
  • Added lr-mame2003 (based on MAME 0.78) emulator.
  • Minor Emulation Station tweaks, reduced time to skip buttons, and improved parsing with brackets in gamelists.
  • New experimental modules – sselph’s scraper and lr-mame2010 (based on MAME 0.139)
  • Improved ps3 controller pairing.
  • Initial support for installing RetroPie manually on Raspbian Jessie and OSMC (via source only – consider this experimental for now).
  • Splashscreen improvements- can be added from samba shares, splash videos play all the way through without emulationstation cutting them off.
  • Lots of bugfixes, and improvements to the RetroPie Wiki.

RetroPie 3.0 is released

After 6 months of hard work we are pleased to announce the release of RetroPie 3.0.

This retro-gaming project brings together a collection of popular emulators for those computers and consoles that you grew up with from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, all wrapped up and ready to run on the famous Raspberry Pi. From Atari 2600, to Sega Mega Drive to Sony PlayStation, all your favourite systems are covered. What are you waiting for – get playing!

Installation Instructions can be found here –

Downloads available from the main RetroPie website –

RetroPie 3.0 Key Features

  • Automatic controller configuration for RetroArch from EmulationStation.
  • New system for single per system rom folders, default / per rom emulator switching, as well as per rom configurations.
  • Lots of configuration tools accessible from Emulation station including setting up WiFi, a configuration editor, file manager, audio settings and more.
  • Per system and per game menu to set video output and default emulator setting.
  • Basic Joypad control in RetroPie-Setup menus.
  • Option to add game roms via USB without network access
  • Now offering over 20+ emulators + ports.
  • Lots of other improvements / bug fixes from the 2.6 release.

Thanks to PetRockBlock, BuZz, gizmo98, Herb Fargus, Floob and all others who have contributed to the project.


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Recent downtime

I would like to apologise to the users of this server ( for the recent downtime. There has been two very unlucky incidents in the last few weeks that were unfortunately out of my control.

I manage this machine, but it is a virtual server hosted on someone else’s hardware which is managed by them.

We recently moved from a dedicated machine over to a virtual setup in a different location. This was due to the age of the dedicated hardware and some filesystem corruption issues we were having. As we were hosted on a Mac Mini there was only a single disk, and I was worried about it failing completely

At the new location we were put onto a temporary machine as a new machine was being built. The move was to give us more memory / better performance and more reliable storage. Even on the temporary machine we had much better performance and more memory than previously.

Then a couple of weeks ago, during a routine upgrade of the XenServer host software, something went badly wrong, and some LVM meta data was corrupted. This was manually recovered and nothing was lost, however it took a couple of days to restore everything.

Then soon after the system was taken down as it moved over onto the new hardware which would give us more storage, and better performance (SSD for root and 1TB RAID 5 backed additional storage for data).  We had a bit of planned downtime during this.

Then yesterday morning (10th August) something horrible happened. Three brand new Seagate drives (~160 power on hours) that were part of the RAID 5 array on the host developed multiple read errors. Some of the read errors were also on the same stripe meaning some data could be lost. The owner of the hardware started recovering everything over to another machine. Our Root file system was known to be fine, however the state of our main storage was not known initially.

When it came to restoring our virtual server, we got lucky – none of the damaged areas of the disks affected us – so there was no data loss. Had there have been some – there wouldn’t have been any risk to users data on this server though – as an offsite backup was made just a few hours before the crisis – it just may have taken longer to recover.

Data is backed up from my server daily, and multiple snapshots are kept (I use which allows us to store multiple encrypted backups, with de-duplication. I have backups from yesterday going back to last year)

We are now up and running on a temporary machine again with a little less storage space than before – but everything is working.

Apologies again for any inconvenience caused. I would also like to thank the  owner of the hardware who is still recovering other systems from the machine, and has been working without sleep for the last two days to fix it. That on top of having a summer cold. Thoughts are with you! website update

Have been updating this site a little bit. I launched a short while ago as a way to connect things I work on in one place, and act as a bit of a portfolio site. I also had an old Magento blog, and a small website for the O2 Joggler which I wanted to manage in a single place.

So what’s new? Well, I have now switched the theme (off the shelf WordPress theme with minor tweaks – sorry!), and have added the following sections to Projects:

These are all projects I work on, or have contributed to. I also automatically pull in the news feeds from XBMC4Xbox and ExoticA to this site.

In other news, I have been busy on RetroPie getting it ready for the final 3.0 release, which I hope will be ready v.soon – there is an issue with a single emulator I want to look at, and then I’m happy to push out a new image.

RetroPie 3.0 rc1 is released

RetroPie is a system to build / configure and launch emulators on the Raspberry Pi.

3.0 Release Candidate 1 is now out – Changes since 3.0 beta 4 include:

  • Input configuration improvements / fixes / optimisations
  • Basic joypad control in RetroPie-Setup / emulator prelaunch menus.
  • Make libretro Fuse default spectrum emulator (for easier joypad control)
  • Added new spectrum emulator ZEsarUX to the experimental section.
  • Added launching RetroArch with RGUI from the RetroPie menu in EmulationStation.
  • Various other bugfixes – you can follow changes as they happen on the GitHub site –

Pre-built images and further information are available from the RetroPie project website. For those who want to install on top of Raspbian – the system can be installed directly from the GitHub project, where you can also find a detailed list of changes.

This video on YouTube covers some of the changes in the new version –

A Temporal Shift album by Uncle Art

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Just two weeks left to back this new Kickstarter funded album by Dave Lowe, which is to feature remakes of classic Amiga, Atari ST and C64 soundtracks. The highlight of the project will be a full orchestral performance of the Frontier soundtrack by the Chamber Orchestra Of London at the famous Abbey Road studios.