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Jul 22, 2014

XBMC and Emulation

So I finally went back to trying to get emulators setup in XBMC (OpenELEC specifically).  It took me a while to get everything setup, but in the end everything is working perfectly.  This all stems from the fact that I got my kid into SNES games to distract him on a long-haul flight.

Now there are several post out there with pieces of information, but solbero posted a great and complete guide on the openelec forum:

http://openelec.tv/forum/128-addons/71535-guides-retroarch-friends

This venture into emulators is not a big leap from XBMC's future, rumours have been around for a while regarding XBMC implementing emulators directly into the XBMC build.  There is even a branch of OpenELEC which contains these modification - I am slightly tempted to try this,  Retroplayer + XBMC:

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=173361

When it comes to emulation they key component for realism is the joypad, in my humble opinion.  Amazon sells a USB compatible SNES replica controller, and it seems to get some ok feedback:



I myself have gone down the route of Logitech Rumblepasd 2 (Wireless), simply because it has more buttons for arcade based games - and I'm a fan of Logitech products.




The main complaint I hear about the Logitech Rumblepad 2 is the analog sticks are in a square boundary - so you can't recreate free flowing circles with the sticks.  Beware the price of these things, Amazon was selling for $99.  I picked up a couple on eBay for $55 shipped - I know have 3 and will no doubt sell one to recoup.

My implementation uses ROM Collection Browser to fire up the initial games, but after that I use the back-end emulator (RetroArch) to switch games.  I configured my left analog stick to save/load states using up/down, and I configured my right analog button to bring up the retorarch menu, left analog button is configured to exit the emulator and go back to XBMC.

If anyone tries out Retorplayer + XBMC, let me know your thoughts please.

I do have a spare Pi lying around, so I am also considering RetorPie http://blog.petrockblock.com/retropie/retropie-downloads/

For XBMC here is the version of RetroArch I used:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/zaggxbmcaddons/files/?source=navbar

Containing the following list of cores/emulators:
http://sourceforge.net/p/zaggxbmcaddons/wiki/Core%20List/

Jul 2, 2014

Using DYNU as Custom Dynamic DNS on DD-WRT Router

This is a guide to setup a custom dynamic DNS on dd-wrt, specifically I have my dd-wrt router connected to my externally facing modem - it doesn't have a direct WAN connection (this is important). The configuration details should however work in most cases, it will be a simple process of changing "Do not use external ip check"

I am personally using the Netgeart 3500L, which I paid $180 for a few years ago, but you can get at a steal now - NETGEAR WNR3500L RangeMax Wireless-N300 Gigabit Router with USB - Manufacturer Refurbished

I decided to create this guide due to recent issues with no-ip.org.  Other than the fact that they were served with a take-down notice from Microsoft, I was getting tired of logging in every 30 days.  I came across the following site:

http://www.gnutomorrow.com/best-free-dynamic-dns-services-in-2013/

And decided to go with dynu.com.  The configuration is as follows, and I got most of the information from the following page with their api:

http://www.dynu.com/default.aspx?page=dnsapi

You should replace the following fields in the screenshot:

youusername with your the username found under Main Menu >> Dynamic DNS Service Details >> General Settings in your dynu.com account settings - I do not believe that your email will work.
yourpassword with yourpassword to log in to your account
yourserver with your configured dynu hostname



Note that the "Do not use external ip check" is set to no, so that the router determines it's external IP and sends it - since it isn't connected directly, and therefore has no WAN address.