Building the 7e Arcade HD Prototype MAME Cabinet – Part 1

Half complete MAME Cabinet

The 7e Arcade HD MAME cabinet is my second arcade cabinet build. You can view my Atari 7800 Arcade Cabinet by clicking HERE. This cabinet is a much bigger and more complex arcade cabinet then my first.

Goals

The goals I want to achieve with this MAME cabinet will take some time and money to complete, so this will take several months to build. I want this machine to have the ability to emulate most arcade cabinet games and console games. In addition I will be able to play PC games that function well with the consoles control scheme.

The front end menu system I will use is Hyperspin, which will start after Windows has booted. This gives you an arcade look and sound while choosing your game.

Controls Included

  • 4 arcade quality joysicks with 8 buttons for player 1 & 2 and 6 buttons for players 3 & 4
  • 3 Pinball Buttons – Two for flippers and one for the launcher
  • Trackball
  • 2 Spinners
  • 2 Lightguns
  • 2 USB ports for game controllers and RockSmith guitar cable

Design

MAME Cabinet in Google Sketchup

MAME Cabinet in Google Sketchup

I began with the design stage of my MAME cabinet with some sketches on paper. With the help of my buddy Richard Boots converting it into Google Sketchup we finalized the design, size and features the cabinet would have.

Building the Cabinet

We began the project with two free pieces of 8’x4’x3/4″ MDF that we got from a bankrupt custom cabinet store. Our goal was to make the entire cabinet out of just these boards, but we ended needing an addtional 2’x4′ piece of MDF for the top control board.

3 - Sides

When we got to the point of tracing the cuts for the side panels we began to realize that what looks good in CAD doesn’t always translate well to the real world. The base of the cabinet was too shallow, so we streched it out to give the cabinet a more stable footing. This also caused us to change the angles on the bottom front of the cabinet so that the depth of the control panel would not change.

With all the lines traced we made a stencil and drew the other side on the same board in a ying yang fansion to optimize board useage. Next we made a rough cut on one of the sides so that we could make the final cut for both sides at the same time. This technique made both sides identical.

Half complete MAME Cabinet

Half complete MAME Cabinet

At this point the cabinet has really begun to shape up.

Prototype Control Panel

Mini Prototype Control Panel

Mini Prototype Control Panel

Richard and I created a small prototype control panel to wire up and test on my desktop PC to ensure proper functionality. This allowed us to test out the button layout and joystick placement before implementing the final design to the cabinet.

The final template is on the left.

The final template is on the left.

The final design is on the left shows the button layout I will be using. I will use this as a template to trace and drill out holes on the final control panel.

Planning the Layout

Planning the Layout

Above I am planning the layout. The buttons and Joystick in their final poisition, while the spray paint cap repristents the trackball and the Atari paddles are placeholders for the spinners. The Start, Coin and Function Buttons have changed location in the final layout.

This is as far as I have gotten with my MAME cabinet so far. Check back in a month or so and I will post part 2 with the progress of my cabinet.

Atari 2600/7800 Arcade Cabinet

Finished Atari 7800 Arcade Cabinet
Playing Space Invaders for the Atari 7800. Published by Atari Age

Playing Space Invaders for the Atari 7800. Published by Atari Age

This project began as a cabinet to house an Atari 2600 with a Harmony multi-game cartridge. While searching for a donor Atari 2600 unit I ran across an Atari 7800 to use as the brains and I couldn’t resist. This would allow for a larger library of games, but would make the build slightly more complex.

The Atari 7800 console was an underdog that never really got a fair shake against Nintendo. The 2 year delay of the console may have been the reason that Nintendo was able to get such a good foothold in the console market. This console was capable of graphics similar to the NES, but was lacking in the audio department due to the use of the TIA chip that was also used in the original Atari 2600. This can be overcome by adding a Pokey chip to the game cartridge itself, but this increased the cost of the game cartridge making it uncommon.

Changes

Because I used the Atari 7800 for the brain of the system I was able to include Atari 7800 in the library of games, but building in the paddles became to complex to permenitly wire into the system. In the future I would like to add a DB9 port to allow for the use of all Atari controls with this system.

Hardware Mods

I modified the Atari 7800 in several ways to make it feel at home in the arcade cabinet. I added an aftermarket component/s-video mod to remove the interferance that you typically get with the RF output. I also hardwired the Power, Pause, Reset and Select buttons to Arcade Quality buttons mounted just under the display. The front mounted power button allows for power cycling of the console to select a new game from the multi games cartridge.

Construction

This cabinet is my first real attempt at working with wood, so fortunatly I still have all my fingers. Since the completion of the project I have learned many skills, fixed old mistakes and I will be much more confident with my future wood working projects. *cough* MAME Cabinet *cough*

The primary building material in this cabinet is 3/4″ MDF, of which I have used two 8’x4’x3/4″ and a single 8’x4’x1/2″ boards. In addition I used 2×1 for screw strips  and 1/4″ piece of plexiglass.

Paint

4 - Painted

I have learned a lesson on the paint step of this project. Don’t use Latex Paint. It peels far to easy.  Otherwise the Onyx Black paintjob makes this cabinet look like the real thing. A temporary black mask has been added to the screen until the printed graphics show up.

Nearly Finished

Nearly Finished. Updates will include T-Molding, Decals and the addition of paddles or DB-9 ports.

Nearly Finished. Updates will include T-Molding, Decals and the addition of paddles or DB9 ports.

The Atari Arcade Cabinet is nearly finished. I plan on adding a few cosmetic updates to the cabinet. The first update I will make will be T-Molding, possibly black or Red. In addition I’m think about adding brushed aluminum with decals symilar to the orignal console system decals to the sides of the arcade.

Additional functionallity I would like to add would be built in paddles or DB9 ports that could accomadate additional controllers such as paddles, drive control or light guns. Finally I would like to add a coin slot that will function as the reset button. When these are added I will post an update.

Planned updates to the Atari 7800 hardware are planned as well. I have pre-ordered the Atari 7800 XM expansion module, which adds the ablility to save high scores, adds additional RAM and a Pokey sound chip. Also, I would like to add the Harmony 2 multigame cart to the system when it’s released.

The addition of the Harmony 2 cart will allow the cabinet to be used as originally designed, without having to swap out game carts for the 7800 games. Currently you can play all the Atari 2600 games from a single Harmony multi-game cartridge, but playing Atari 7800 games requires you to change cartridges. Because of this I have just left the back panel off. When the Harmony 2 is released this will become just a service panel.

Conclusion

This arcade Cabinet is capable of playing hundreds of classic Atari games. In the above gallery I have included pictures of the cabinet playing Classics such as Asteroids, Combat, Joust and Space Invaders. It will continue to hold a place in the family room for years to come.

Setup of Samba4 4.10 on Ubuntu Server 12.04 LTS and 13.10

Ubuntu Logo

ubuntu-logo14

An Active Directory Domain Controller is a vital tool for business network administrators. It allows the centralized management of all the computers in a business network, whether it’s local, nation or worldwide. You can add a user to the network with all there information, set their limits to features on a computer and they will be able to login to any computer on the business network.

Active Directory Domain Controllers used to be a costly feature exculsive to Microsoft Windows Servers, but with the recent open source release of Samba 4.0 stable all of these features are now avaliable for free. This will allow small businesses and home users to utilize this Active Directory Domain Controllers on a limited budget. Today we will walk you through the steps to setup your own Samba4 Active Directory Domain Controller on Ubuntu

Tips Before we Begin

  • Before setting up your Samba4 domain controller you will want to remove any older versions of Samba 3.x to prevent interference with Samba4, unless you plan on migrating an old NT style Samba3 domain controller to Samba4. ***If this is the case, this tutorial is not for you***
  • If you are starting with a fresh install make sure to enable xattr on any partition that Samba will be running on or accessing. This will be addressed later if you have a currently running install.
  • Resolv.conf is often a source if issues as it typically gets overwritten automatically. If you run into issues down the road make sure that this file hasn’t changed.
  • If you are new to Linux tutorials commands that are typed into the command prompt “aka Bash” will appear in a grey box and will start with “$ “. You can omit the “$” sign and just type that command. See the example below:

$ echo “This is an example of a command to type at the Bash prompt”

  • If the grey box doesn’t contain the “$ ” then apply the contents as described in that step of the process.

Installing Dependancies

1) Install Samba4 dependencies and utilities required for this tutorial with the following command.

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential libacl1-dev libattr1-dev libblkid-dev libgnutls-dev libreadline-dev python-dev python-dnspython gdb pkg-config libpopt-dev libldap2-dev dnsutils libbsd-dev attr krb5-user docbook-xsl libcups2-dev acl

2) The krb5-user package will ask for the following questions, highlighted in bold text. We have included the proper responses in the example below.

Default Realm: test.lan
Default Realm: 127.0.0.1
Administrative Server: 127.0.0.1

FSTAB File Setup

Now that all dependencies for Samba4 are installed we will now configure the /etc/fstab file.
Warning: If you are not farmiliar with the contents of this file read your distrobutions manual. Edit at your own risk!!!

1) Open the /etc/fstab file in your preferred text editor. For this example we will use nano.

$ nano /etc/fstab

2) Within the fstab file you will find your hard drive partition configuration. Add the following parameters if they aren’t present, and you are using ext3/ext4: user_xattr, acl and barrier=1.  If you are using another file system like btrfs then you don’t need to make any changes to your fstab file. View the example below.

UUID=db6f8346-60ca-47b4-8ab2-046337abd834 / ext4 user_xattr,acl,barrier=1,errors=remount-ro 0 1

NOTE: If you are using the btrfs file system no changes need to be made to your fstab file.

3) You must apply these setting to all partitions that Samba4 will access and remount your partition with the following command.

$ mount -a

Download Samba4

We will download the latest version of Samba4 via a program called git. The following command will download the latest stable version.

$ git clone git://git.samba.org/samba.git samba-master

Compile and Install Samba4

Compile and install Samba4 with the following commands.

$ cd samba-master
$ sudo ./configure
$ sudo make
$ sudo make install

Provision Samba4

1) Provisioning the Samba4 Domain Controller creates the configuration files and the Active Directory database. Use the following command to start the process.

$ sudo /usr/local/samba/bin/samba-tool domain provision –use-rfc2307 –interactive

2) The provision command will ask you for some information about your network. Use the following example as a guideline, but modify the info as needed for your network.

Realm [test.local]: TEST.LAN
Domain [S4]: TEST
Server Role (dc, member, standalone) [dc]: dc
DNS backend (SAMBA_INTERNAL, BIND9_FLATFILE, BIND9_DLZ, NONE) [SAMBA_INTERNAL]: SAMBA_INTERNAL
DNS forwarder IP address (write ‘none’ to disable forwarding) [192.168.2.1]: 8.8.8.8
Administrator password: Ex@mpleP@$$word
Retype password: Ex@mpleP@$$word

You should see output similar to the following example:

Looking up IPv4 addresses
Looking up IPv6 addresses
No IPv6 address will be assigned
Setting up share.ldb
Setting up secrets.ldb
Setting up the registry
Setting up the privileges database
Setting up idmap db
Setting up SAM db
Setting up sam.ldb partitions and settings
Setting up sam.ldb rootDSE
Pre-loading the Samba 4 and AD schema
Adding DomainDN: DC=test,DC=local
Adding configuration container
Setting up sam.ldb schema
Setting up sam.ldb configuration data
Setting up display specifiers
Modifying display specifiers
Adding users container
Modifying users container
Adding computers container
Modifying computers container
Setting up sam.ldb data
Setting up well known security principals
Setting up sam.ldb users and groups
Setting up self join
Adding DNS accounts
Creating CN=MicrosoftDNS,CN=System,DC=test,DC=local
Creating DomainDnsZones and ForestDnsZones partitions
Populating DomainDnsZones and ForestDnsZones partitions
Setting up sam.ldb rootDSE marking as synchronized
Fixing provision GUIDs
A Kerberos configuration suitable for Samba 4 has been generated at /usr/local/samba/private/krb5.conf
Once the above files are installed, your Samba4 server will be ready to use
Server Role: active directory domain controller
Hostname: LinuxServer
NetBIOS Domain: TEST
DNS Domain: TEST.LAN
DOMAIN SID: S-1-5-21-1811932520-1978264231-2890610938

Modify resolv.conf and hosts File

1) Edit your resolv.conf file in nano

$ nano /etc/resolv.conf

2) The following info should be sufficient as long as this system is running only Samba4.

domain test.local
nameserver 192.168.1.2

3) Ubuntu by default will overwrite the /etc/resolv.conf file with updated DHCP and other network services. To prevent this we make the resolv.conf file read only.

$ chattr +i /etc/resolv.conf

Note: This is not the most elegant solution, especially if you are running other services. Other solutions to this issue are out of the scope of this tutorial.

Mangage Kerberos

1) Samba4 has created a krb5.conf for you to use as a replacement for the existing configuration file. Use the following commands to backup the old file and copy the new configuration file.

$ mv /etc/krb5.conf /etc/krb5.conf.bak
$ cp /usr/local/samba/private/krb5.conf /etc/krb5.conf

2) Now you must edit the new krb5.conf file to include your domain realm info.

$ nano /etc/krb5.conf

3) Modify the “default_realm = SAMDOM.EXAMPLE.COM” line to contain your domain info. In our tutorial it is “TEST.LAN”

NOTE: The domain realm MUST be typed in uppercase!

Start Samba

You should now have a functioning Samba4 Domain Controller. Start Your Domain Controller by using the following command. You should now be able to connect your Windows and other device to your Active Directory Domain Controller.

$ sudo ./usr/local/samba/sbin/samba

Add Samba Directories to PATH Variable (optional):

1) Edit your enviromental variables with nano.

$ sudo nano ~/.bashrc

2) Add the following to your .bashrc config file

PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/samba/sbin

PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/samba/bin

Post Setup Tips:

  • Any devices that you will connect to your domain should have the primary DNS of your Samba4 server. (ie:192.168.1.2)
  • If your windows machine doesn’t seem to be connecting to the Samba4 DNS server, try the following command at the Windows command prompt.

ipconfig /flushdns

Setup a Samba4 Domain Controller on Debian 6.0 Squeeze

SAMBA Logo

SAMBA Logo

An Active Directory Domain Controller is a vital tool for business network administrators.  It allows the centralized management of all the computers in a business network, whether it’s local, nation or worldwide.  You can add a user to the network with all there information, set their limits to features on a computer and they will be able to login to any computer on the business network.

Active Directory Domain Controllers used to be a costly feature exculsive to Microsoft Windows Servers, but with the recent open source release of Samba 4.0 stable all of these features are now avaliable for free.  This will allow small businesses and home users to utilize this Active Directory Domain Controllers on a limited budget.  Today we will walk you through the steps to setup your own Samba4 Active Directory Domain Controller on Debian 6.0 “aka Squeeze”.

Tips Before we Begin

  • Before setting up your Samba4 domain controller you will want to remove any older versions of Samba 3.x to prevent interference with Samba4, unless you plan on migrating an old NT style Samba3 domain controller to Samba4.  ***If this is the case, this tutorial is not for you***
  • If you are starting with a fresh install make sure to enable xattr on any partition that Samba will be running on or accessing.  This will be addressed later if you have a currently running install.
  • Resolv.conf is often a source if issues as it typically gets overwritten automatically.  If you run into issues down the road make sure that this file hasn’t changed.
  • If you are new to Linux tutorials commands that are typed into the command prompt “aka Bash” will appear in a grey box and will start with “$ “.  You can omit the “$” sign and just type that command.  See the example below:

$ echo “This is an example of a command to type at the Bash prompt”

  • If the grey box doesn’t contain the “$ ” then apply the contents as described in that step of the process.

Installing Debian 6.0

If already have a working install of debian 6.0 then you may skip this section.

Installing Dependancies

1) Install Samba4 dependencies and utilities required for this tutorial with the following command.

$ apt-get install build-essential libacl1-dev libattr1-dev libblkid-dev libgnutls-dev libreadline-dev python-dev python-dnspython gdb pkg-config libpopt-dev libldap2-dev dnsutils libbsd-dev attr krb5-user docbook-xsl libcups2-dev git acl nano

2) The krb5-user package will ask for the following questions, highlighted in bold text.  We have included the proper responses in the example below.

Default Realm: test.local
Default Realm: 127.0.0.1
Administrative Server: 127.0.0.1

 FSTAB File Setup

Now that all dependencies for Samba4 are installed we will now configure the /etc/fstab file.
Warning: If you are not farmiliar with the contents of this file read your distrobutions manual.  Edit at your own risk!!!

1) Open the /etc/fstab file in your preferred text editor.  For this example we will use nano.

$ nano /etc/fstab

2) Within the fstab file you will find your hard drive partition configuration.  Add the following parameters if they aren’t present: user_xattr, acl and barrier=1.  View the example below.

UUID=db6f8346-60ca-47b4-8ab2-046337abd834 / ext4 user_xattr,acl,barrier=1,errors=remount-ro 0 1

3) You must apply these setting to all partitions that Samba4 will access and remount your partition with the following command.

$ mount -a

Download Samba4

We will download the latest version of Samba4 via a program called git.  The following command will download the latest stable version.

$ git clone -b v4-0-stable git://git.samba.org/samba.git samba4

Compile and Install Samba4

Compile and install Samba4 with the following commands.

$ ./configure –enable-debug –enable-selftest
$ make
$ make install

Provision Samba4

1) Provisioning the Samba4 Domain Controller creates the configuration files and the Active Directory database.  Use the following command to start the process.

$ /usr/local/samba/bin/samba-tool domain provision

2) The provision command will ask you for some information about your network.  Use the following example as a guideline, but modify the info as needed for your network.

Realm [test.local]: test.local
Domain [S4]: SAMBA4TEST
Server Role (dc, member, standalone) [dc]: dc
DNS backend (SAMBA_INTERNAL, BIND9_FLATFILE, BIND9_DLZ, NONE) [SAMBA_INTERNAL]: SAMBA_INTERNAL
DNS forwarder IP address (write ‘none’ to disable forwarding) [192.168.2.1]: 8.8.8.8
Administrator password: Ex@mpleP@$$word
Retype password: Ex@mpleP@$$word

You should see output similar to the following example:

Looking up IPv4 addresses
Looking up IPv6 addresses
No IPv6 address will be assigned
Setting up share.ldb
Setting up secrets.ldb
Setting up the registry
Setting up the privileges database
Setting up idmap db
Setting up SAM db
Setting up sam.ldb partitions and settings
Setting up sam.ldb rootDSE
Pre-loading the Samba 4 and AD schema
Adding DomainDN: DC=test,DC=local
Adding configuration container
Setting up sam.ldb schema
Setting up sam.ldb configuration data
Setting up display specifiers
Modifying display specifiers
Adding users container
Modifying users container
Adding computers container
Modifying computers container
Setting up sam.ldb data
Setting up well known security principals
Setting up sam.ldb users and groups
Setting up self join
Adding DNS accounts
Creating CN=MicrosoftDNS,CN=System,DC=test,DC=local
Creating DomainDnsZones and ForestDnsZones partitions
Populating DomainDnsZones and ForestDnsZones partitions
Setting up sam.ldb rootDSE marking as synchronized
Fixing provision GUIDs
A Kerberos configuration suitable for Samba 4 has been generated at /usr/local/samba/private/krb5.conf
Once the above files are installed, your Samba4 server will be ready to use
Server Role: active directory domain controller
Hostname: LinuxServer
NetBIOS Domain: SAMBA4TEST
DNS Domain: test.local
DOMAIN SID: S-1-5-21-1811932520-1978264231-2890610938

Modify resolv.conf and hosts File

1) Edit your resolv.conf file in nano

$ nano /etc/resolv.conf

2) The following info should be sufficient as long as this system is running only Samba4.

domain test.local
nameserver 192.168.1.2

3) Debian by default will overwrite the /etc/resolv.conf file with updated DHCP and other network services.  To prevent this we make the resolv.conf file read only. 

$ chattr +i /etc/resolv.conf

Note: This is not the most elegant solution, especially if you are running other services.  Other solutions to this issue are out of the scope of this tutorial.

Mangage Kerberos

1) Samba4 has created a krb5.conf for you to use as a replacement for the existing configuration file.  Use the following commands to backup the old file and copy the new configuration file.

$ mv /etc/krb5.conf /etc/krb5.conf.bak
$ cp /usr/local/samba/private/krb5.conf /etc/krb5.conf

2) Now you must edit the new krb5.conf file to include your domain realm info.

$ nano /etc/krb5.conf

3) Modify the “default_realm = SAMDOM.EXAMPLE.COM” line to contain your domain info.  In our tutorial it is “TEST.LOCAL”

NOTE: The domain realm MUST be typed in uppercase!

Start Samba

You should now have a functioning Samba4 Domain Controller.  Start Your Domain Controller by using the following command. You should now be able to connect your Windows and other device to your Active Directory Domain Controller.

$ /usr/local/samba/sbin/samba

Add Samba Directories to PATH Variable (optional):

 1) Edit your enviromental variables with nano.

$ nano ~/.bashrc

2) Add the following to your .bashrc config file

PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/samba/sbin

PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/samba/bin

Post Setup Tips:

  • Any devices that you will connect to your domain should have the primary DNS of your Samba4 server. (ie:192.168.1.2)
  • If your windows machine doesn’t seem to be connecting to the Samba4 DNS server, try the following command at the Windows command prompt.

ipconfig /flushdns

Ubuntu for phones announced, adding one more mobile OS to the mix

Ubuntu Phone

Ubuntu Phone

Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu linux Distro, has announced Ubuntu for phones.  Ubuntu for phones seems to use the same Linux kernel that powers the desktop version of ubuntu, but with a touch based UI optimized for mobile phones and tablets.

The major benefit of Ubuntu for Phones is that you will be able to run the same apps on both the Desktop and Phone versions of Ubuntu.  App developers don’t even need to compile a separate version from each platform.  This interoperability between each version of Ubuntu will surely continue to Ubuntu for TV’s and Automobiles.

Not only will this phone run the same apps as the Ubuntu Desktop distro, but it can function as a desktop as well.  Canonical has stated that they would like Ubuntu phones to dock to standard a keyboard, mouse and monitor a la the Motorola Atrix.  Docking the phone will allow users to use the phone as a thin client or to run the standard Ubuntu Unity desktop UI, essentially giving users a full featured PC in their pocket.

Canonical has stated that Ubuntu phones will not available until 2014, but in the mean time any phone that runs Android will do.  Ubuntu for Phones uses the same drivers as the Android platform allowing users to easily run Ubuntu on their current phones.  Not only will Ubuntu run on Android phones, but its only a matter of time until you can run Android apps as well.

One major advantage that Ubuntu for phones seems to have is that native apps will not rely on Java for its apps like Android does, instead apps will run on native code.  Because Java has so much overhead this should mean better performance out of the same hardware that a Android uses. 

In a crowded mobile OS world it’s hard to be optimistic about a new mobile OS, but Ubuntu seems to have a well formulated game plan to take on Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.  Ubuntu for Phones looks to be gunning for the coveted #3 spot in the mobile OS world, and may be an a position to become #1 in the future. It looks like 2013 is shaping up to be and intresting year for mobile phone users.

Feature Highlights

  • Uses the same device drivers as Android
  • Can run on any device that runs Android
  • The phone becomes a full PC and thin client when docked
  • Docked phones can feature standard desktop Unity UI
  • Flow naturally from app to app with edge magic
  • Native or HTML5 based apps
  • Apps will work on both Ubuntu Desktop and for Phone without recompiling

Source: http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/phone


Samba 4 with Active Directory gets a stable release

SAMBA Logo

Samba 4 has been a long time coming, and now the world has a stable, free and full featured alternative to a Microsoft Server Active Directory Domain Controller on Linux/Unix based systems.  Head over to http://Samba.org and download Samba 4 now!

Samba Press Release:

The Samba Team is proud to announce the release of Samba 4.0, a major new release of the award-winning Free Software file, print and authentication server suite for Microsoft Windows® clients.

The First Free Software Active Directory Compatible Server

As the culmination of ten years’ work, the Samba Team has created the first compatible Free Software implementation of Microsoft’s Active Directory protocols. Familiar to all network administrators, the Active Directory protocols are the heart of modern directory service implementations.

Samba 4.0 comprises an LDAP directory server, Heimdal Kerberos authentication server, a secure Dynamic DNS server, and implementations of all necessary remote procedure calls for Active Directory. Samba 4.0 provides everything needed to serve as an Active Directory Compatible Domain Controller for all versions of Microsoft Windows clients currently supported by Microsoft, including the recently released Windows 8.

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server provides support for features such as Group Policy, Roaming Profiles, Windows Administration tools and integrates with Microsoft Exchange and Free Software compatible services such as OpenChange.

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server can also be joined to an existing Microsoft Active Directory domain, and Microsoft Active Directory Domain Controllers can be joined to a Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server, showing true peer-to-peer interoperability of the Microsoft and Samba implementations of the Active Directory protocols.

Acknowledging the value of the interoperability of the Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server, Steve van Maanen, the co-founder of Starsphere LLC, an IT services company in Tokyo, said:

“Thanks to Samba 4, I have two fully replicating Active Directory Domain controllers that boot in under 10 seconds ! It is nice to have alternatives, and Samba 4 is a great one.”

Upgrade scripts are also provided for organizations using the previous Microsoft Windows NT Domain Controller functionality in Samba 3.x, to allow them to migrate smoothly to Samba 4.0.

Suitable for low-power and embedded applications, yet scaling to large clusters, Samba 4.0 is efficient and flexible. Its Python programming interface and administration toolkit help in enterprise deployments.

Created Using Microsoft Documentation

The Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible Server was created with help from the official protocol documentation published by Microsoft Corporation and the Samba Team would like acknowledge the documentation help and interoperability testing by Microsoft engineers that made our implementation interoperable.

“Active Directory is a mainstay of enterprise IT environments, and Microsoft is committed to support for interoperability across platforms,” said Thomas Pfenning, director of development, Windows Server. “We are pleased that the documentation and interoperability labs that Microsoft has provided have been key in the development of the Samba 4.0 Active Directory functionality.”

Introducing SMB2.1 File Serving Support

Samba 4.0 includes the first Free Software implementation of Microsoft’s SMB2.1 file serving protocol. Building on the success of the SMB2.0 server in Samba 3.6, the Samba 4.0 file server component is an evolution of the trusted Samba file serving code that is used worldwide by vendors of file servers, such as IBM’s clustered Scale Out Network Attached Storage (SONAS), and many other commercial products.

In addition, the Samba 4.0 file server contains an initial implementation of SMB3, which will be further developed in later Samba 4 releases into a fully-featured SMB3 clustered file server implementation.

Future developments of our SMB3 server and client suite, in combination with our expanding number of SMB3 tests, will keep driving the performance improvements and improved compatibility with Microsoft Windows that Samba users have come to expect from our software.

Integrated Clustered File Server Support

Building on our success as the first commercial implementation of a clustered SMB/CIFS server, Samba 4.0 provides industry-leading scalability and performance as a clustered SMB2/SMB/CIFS file server, using our “clustered tdb” (ctdb) technology – also available as Free Software.

Clustered Samba provides a “Single Server” view of clustered file storage, allowing clients to connect to the least loaded server and still providing a completely coherent view of the underlying clustered file system.

Written and tested to be compatible with most clustered file systems, both Free Software and proprietary, Samba 4.0 with ctdb provides a scalable clustered file server solution with full Windows file sharing semantics.

Samba and ctdb have been shipping in production file serving products for many years, to some of the most demanding customers in the world.

Easy Integration into Existing Directory Services

Samba 4.0 ships with an improved winbind, which allows Samba 4.0 file servers to easily integrate into existing Active Directory services as member servers. Both Microsoft Active Directory and Samba 4.0 Active Directory Compatible servers are supported.

Stability, Security and Performance

Samba 4.0 has been tested using our widely accepted smbtorture test suite, created by the Samba Team to test Samba itself and now used by most of the companies writing SMB3/SMB2/SMB/CIFS file server software to test their own products. We also regularly test interoperability with other major vendors at plug-fest events to make sure Samba 4.0 deployments work correctly with existing customer equipment.

In addition, Samba is one of eleven open source projects that leading software integrity vendor Coverity has certified as “secure” and has reached Coverity “Integrity Rung 2” certification.

The Samba Team provides immediate responses to any security vulnerabilities, and provides fixes to all vendors using the Samba code in coordination with industry standard security reporting agencies.

A Modular Toolbox for OEM Vendor Needs

As Free Software, Samba 4.0 is the ideal choice for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to use for their file, print and authentication products. It is easily integrated into a whole host of different tasks, and can be customized at will by the vendor to satisfy their needs.

In addition, Samba 4.0 includes a modular “Virtual File System” (VFS) interface that vendors can use to quickly and efficiently customize Samba to take advantage of any specific features of their underlying technology without having to modify any of the core Samba code. From advanced file systems to network traffic analysis, the Samba VFS layer allows external code to be easily integrated with Samba. Example modules are provided as source code for vendors to customize as they wish.

Samba is the leading choice for Microsoft Windows connectivity

Samba is the leading technology choice for Windows file serving on Linux and UNIX platforms and in embedded Network Attached Storage (NAS) solutions. Samba is used by vendors selling NAS solutions ranging from high end clustered business-critical systems, to low end consumer devices, and everything in between. Samba is fully IPv6 enabled and meets all mandates for modern network interoperability.

Commercial support is available for Samba from many different vendors.

Getting Samba 4.0

Samba 4.0 source code is available now from the Samba Web site.

About Active Directory

Microsoft Windows and Active Directory are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

About the Samba Team

The Samba Team is a worldwide group of computer professionals working together via the Internet to produce the highest quality Free Software Windows (SMB3/SMB2/SMB/CIFS) server and client software. We are the undisputed experts in providing interoperability with computers running Microsoft Windows. Members of the Samba Team work for many of the largest companies in the software Industry and even helped Microsoft produce the protocol documentation that fully specifies the SMB/CIFS protocol.

Tech of 2012 that will shape the tech landscape of 2013

mayan calendar

With 2012 coming to an end(not the world), it’s time to reflect on this years tech that will help shape tomorrow. From the NASA Curiosity Rover, to the Microsoft Surface and the Tesla Model S, see the tech that will revolutionize the world in 2013 and beyond.

6) NASA’s Curiosity Rover & Sky Crane Landing System

NASA Curiosity Rover and Sky Crane

Manufacturer:
NASA
Cost:
$2.5 billion

NASA has made history in 2012 by landing the 1,982lbs Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars. Although this may seem like something we have done many times before, it was a revolution in spacecraft landing techniques.

All previous rovers landing on Mars were essentially wrapped in bubble wrap, given a parachute and we hoped for the best.  The Space Crane system will allow us to land much larger and more delicate mechanical systems on Mars by gently lowering the equipment to the surface of Mars, and then jettisoning the space crane miles away from the equipment.


5) MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer

MakerBot Replicator 2

Manufacturer:
MakerBot Industries, LLC
Cost:
$2,199

The MakerBot Replicator 2 allows anyone with $2,199 budget to easily fabricate and create almost anyting they can think of.  This device makes it much cheaper to prototype and even create products for sale.

The machine uses spools of plastic filament to lay down layer after high-resolution layer of resin that forms your object. The 3D printer revolution has begun.  Head over to http://www.makerbot.com  to make your imagination and 11.2 L x 6.0 W x 6.1 H your limits of fabrication.


4) Philips Dimmable LED 12.5 Watt(60 Watt equivalent) Light Bulb

Manufacturer:
Philips
Cost:
$21.23
Life expectancy:
22.8 years
Energy savings:
$130.62 per bulb

With the incandescent light bulb being banned in the United States in 2014 you will have no choice but to use a more efficient light bulb. Most people are familiar with the CFL(aka Compact fluorescent, aka squiggly bulb). These bulbs are an excellent energy saver, but have about half the life expectancy with the nasty side effect of releasing toxic mercury into landfills when disposed of improperly. That’s right, CFL bulbs are to be disposed of as hazardous waste. Save your self the trouble by investing in an energy saving bulb that doesn’t have to be handled as hazardous waste.

Philips 60 Watt LED equivalent bulb consumes only 12.5watts of energy, lasts 22.8 years, can be used on a standard dimming circuit and will not fade fabric or colors. That all sounds great, but a common argument they cost twice as much as a CFL. Keep in mind that that negligible 1.5 Watts saved with an LED light over a CFL is over the 22.8 years life span, which is over 3 times longer then the CFLs 7 year life span. Pay twice upfront, save energy and get and extra life out of the bulb. That sounds like a winner to me.


3) Second Generation Nest Learning Thermostat

Manufacturer:
Nest Inc.
Cost:
$249.99
Energy savings:
20% of HVAC bill

Your heating and cooling bill is typically 50% of you energy bill. This fact alone means small improvements in efficiency will save you a lot of money in the long run. The Nest thermostat can save you up to 20% of your heating and cooling bill. The Nest thermostat allows such savings by learning your living patterns, controlling your HVAC system more efficiently and allowing for remote control of your heating and cooling system via your computer or smart phone.

All of these features can be added to your home in less then 30 minutes. Not only will you save yourself some money on you monthly energy bills, but your thermostat will look a whole lot “cooler.” The savings of 20% on half of your energy bill, essentially paying itself of the first year, makes this the number one pick for saving money on your energy bill.


2) Microsoft Surface Tablet

Manufacturer:
Microsoft
Cost:
Windows RT – $499.99
Windows 8 Pro – $899.99

Microsoft has been in the tablet category for a while now, but never in a form that customers accepted. Microsoft made a bold move with Windows 8 by removing the Start menu and replacing it with the touch friendly Start Screen (aka Metro), and in the process they have created the Surface tablet that may even rival the iPad.

The Microsoft Surface Pro tablet runs a full version of Windows 8 that runs all of your favorite x86/64 Windows programs in a form factor that was dominated by what is essentially an operating system for a smartphone. This allows for you to run any app that you would typically run on your PC like Microsoft Office or its free rival Libre Office. These full featured Office suites alone makes the Microsoft Surface, for many users, more useful then a tablet running iOS or Android.

In addition to the Surface Pro being able to run legacy Windows apps, a program call “Blue Stack” allows you to run most Android apps on your Windows 8 machine. With Blue Stack you have access to 700,000 Android apps to keep you busy until the Windows Store gets filled with apps.

Even with the oddities found in Windows 8 we think that the Microsoft Surface is on the path to being a no compromise tablet, even for hardcore PC users.


1) Tesla Model S

Black Tesla Model S

Manufacturer:
Tesla Motors Inc.
Cost:
$57,000

The Tesla Model S is in our opinion the single most influential piece of tech this year. The Tesla Model S is showing the world that electric cars are viable alternatives to standard gas powered vehicles, and that you can go green without driving a slow ugly shoe.

The Tesla Model S can get 300 miles on a single charge, while out performing many gas powered competitors in the same class.  While the Model S still suffers from the long charging time EV’s are know for, there are now options that allow you to charge your Model S to 80% in 30 minutes.


Fix for Google Chrome Crash on HP Touchpad with 120 or 132 dpi

Hp Touchpad with Chrome Working

User’s of the HP Touch pad may have noticed that the latest version of the Chrome browser crashes when loading unless your Touchpad is in 160 dpi mode. This isn’t an issue with Cyanogenmod, but with Google Chrome after version 18.0.1025308.

Workaround

  1. The workaround is as simple as downloading an older version of Chrome for Android until this issue is resolved.  You can download the last know working version at here.
  2. Once you have downloaded the APK run it to install the older version of Chrome over your current version of Chrome.
    Note: If you haven’t already done so enable installation of APK from unknown sources by going to  “Settings>Security” and checking “Unknown Sources” option.
  3. Important: After installing the working version of Chrome you must uncheck the automatic update of the Chrome app, or it will be auto updated to the latest non-working version.

 

Knights & Merchants Remake adds new life to an old game

Knights & Merchants: The Remake Multiplayer

Knights & Merchant is one of the games from my childhood that I will always remember.  Recently I had the itch to play again and discovered that it had be remade from scratch to improve compatibility, game play and fix problems that plagued the original game.

Knights & Merchants is an RTS style game with a complex economy and battle system.  The economy is much like playing a game of Sim City.  You must build multiple building for the merchant units that include farmers, bakers, blacksmiths and miners.  Each building and merchant depends on one another for food and supplies.  The Knights depend on the Merchants to produce their weapons and the serfs to feed them when they get hungry.  The Serfs moved around supplies, products and food to all the building and units in the game.

The fighting system in Knights & Merchants: The Remake is balanced and functions like the original.  Their is no technical limit to your army with the exception of available resources to build the needed weapons and armor.  Unlike most RTS games Knights & Merchants only have one civilization, so each player has the same advantages / disadvantages.

Both of the original single player campaigns are available in the Knights & Merchants remake.  The story remains unchanged and holds up very well with its age.  The tutorial has been improved and many bugs have been remedied with the complete rewrite of the engine.

Multiplayer has received the most significant improvement because they fixed the crippling multiplayer bug that caused the game to go out-of-sync, making the game unplayable in any condition.  The Knights & Merchants remake team has also included a dedicated server for both Windows and Linux.

To install Knights & Merchants: The Remake use must own the original Knights & Merchants: The Peasants Rebellion CD or purchase it DRM free at the GOG.com website at: http://www.gog.com/gamecard/knights_and_merchants_the_peasants_rebellion.  The Knights & Merchants: The Remake installer can be found at:  http://www.kamremake.com/download/.

I would personally like to thank the Knights & Merchants: The Remake team for all their hard work and attention to detail.  This game is a highlight in my childhood and they have made the memories better and now allow for me to battle my brother in a game of multiplayer without the horrible out-of-sync issue.

Bug Fixes:

  • Multi-player out-of-sync bug fixed

New Features:

  • Add a beacon with the new ‘B’ hotkey
  • Holding the “t” hotkey identifies plays units
  • Assign groups to number keys with ‘CRTL + 1, +2, +3, …’
  • New tutorial messages
  • Peacetime of up to 2 hours added to multiplayer games
  • Auto reconnect in multiplayer when server drops out of the game.
  • All standard resolutions are now supported, including HD resolutions.
  • Re-sizable chat window
  • New victory and defeat music
  • Music track shuffling
  • New stat screens
  • New icon when under attack
  • In-game map editor
  • Multiple language translations
  • Mutliplayer AI that build their town and fights is in the works
  • Windows and Linux dedicated servers