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15Dec/180

Instructions for Konami PS3 Dance Pad on PC with Stepmania

TL;DR

Using two Konami PS3 dance pads on Windows at the same time and fixing the up+down or left+right combo steps is impossible. Use Linux instead, instructions below.

Background

While looking for things to do with my 5-year old I found the Playstation 3 Original Konami Dance Pad were less than $20 on Amazon and decided to buy two. Using these on the PS3 in 2018 turned out to be more difficult than anticipated:

  • The Playstation store doesn't have Dance Dance Revolution for download.
  • Only used copies were available on Amazon/Ebay and selling for $50+.
  • GameStop no longer sells Dance Dance Revolution because they don't sell the dance mats to accompany it.

The dance mats appeared to be plug and play with StepMania on Windows. Out of the box everything appears to work but there is a problem with the input translation when pressing Up and Down or Left and Right simultaneously. The Up+Down or Left+Right combination actions don't register as valid input. Windows sees the dance mats as a joystick so when pressing left the computer interprets it as a joystick being moved to the leftmost axis. So when two conflicting inputs are pressed such as Up and Down or Left and Right it doesn't register as valid input. There are various solutions floating around but none of them work:

  • Use raw_inputs_ps3.exe to work around the limitation - This works but only with ONE dance pad. Since I was using two dance pads connected at the same time this solution didn't work for me. If you're using only one dance pad try this first.
  • JoyToKey - This sort of worked, after fiddling around I managed to map the direction arrows on the pads to keys and then trigger a key combination when opposite arrows are simultaneously pressed. While this works with two dance pads I found the pad presses to not register accurately. I'm only a novice player but the results were frustrating.
  • Xpadder - I didn't try this solution and would have gladly paid the $10 to find a solution but the online store lack of a direct download concerned me. From what I read it relies on the same inputs as JoyToKey and would not accurately solve the issue.

After a couple of days of fiddling and searching, I tried followed some forum posts that talked about using the Konami Dance Pad with StepMania on Linux to solve the input axis problem and use two pads at the same time. This worked great for me and I have documented the steps.

Instructions for Ubuntu 18

As of this post StepMania 5.0.12 for linux requires libva.so.1 which is not available in Ubuntu 18. Ubuntu 18 has libva.so.2 so the solution is to compile StepMania using the new library. You'll need most of the common build tools installed.

  1. Download and compile StepMania following their instructions. The only variation is you need to use this command when you get to the cmake step per this forum: cmake -G 'Unix Makefiles' -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -DWITH_MINIMAID=OFF .. && cmake ..
  2.  You should be able to launch StepMania once compiled. The next step is to install HIDRAW
  3. Download and compile libsuinput-0.5.tgz
  4. Build it following the libsuinput instructions which is a requirement for the hidraw project.
  5. Copy the compiled module from the library source folder:
    cp src/.libs/libsuinput.so.4 /usr/lib/
  6. gitclone https://github.com/orochimarufan/hidraw
  7. Build hidraw:
    cd uinput_ddrpad
    make
    make install
  8. Once compiled plug in one dance mat and run uinput_ddrpad. It will detect the first dance mat.
  9. Launch StepMania and assign the key bindings as normal. You can use the input test to verify Up+Down and Left+Right options are both registered when pressed at the same time.
  10. Close uinput_ddrpad and StepMania
  11. Plug both dance pads in. The first pad will register as /dev/hidraw0 and the second will register as /dev/hidraw1. You must run a copy of uinput_ddrpad for each pad.
    uinput_ddrpad /dev/hidraw0
    uinput_ddrpad /dev/hidraw1
  12. Start StepMania and configure the directional arrows on each pad. The input test program should confirm both pads can be used at the same time and up+down and left+right combos work at the same time.

Happy Dancing!

Instructions for Ubuntu 16

I have not tried these instructions but I think you can use StepMania from https://www.stepmania.com/download/ and follow instructions 3 through 12 from above.

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1Oct/180

Tent Camping List

Perishable Food

  • Bread
  • Cheese
  • Pepperoni

Nonperishable Food

  • Maxim
  • Hot chocolate
  • Powdered milk
  • Instant mashed potatoes in cups
  • Ramen
  • Vegetable oil
  • Canned soup
  • Canned pie filling
  • Spam
  • Jiffy-pop
  • Gram crackers, marshmallows, chocolate
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1Aug/180

Stoja

DSC_4264_00001

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18Jun/180

Cannot connect with MySQL Workbench but can connect from shell with mysql command line client

Taken from https://askubuntu.com/questions/773446/unable-to-connect-via-mysql-workbench-to-localhost-in-ubuntu-16-04-passwordless/781136#781136 for my own reference:

 

The issue is likely due to socket authentication being enabled for the root user by default when no password is set, during the upgrade to 16.04. This important caveat is documented in the 16.04 release notes:

Password behaviour when the MySQL root password is empty has changed. Packaging now enables socket authentication when the MySQL root password is empty. This means that a non-root user can't log in as the MySQL root user with an empty password.

For whatever reason, the MySQL Workbench that came with 16.04 doesn't work out of the box with MySQL server, at least for me. I tried using "Local Socket/Pipe" to connect in a number of different ways but to no avail.

The solution is to revert back to native password authentication. You can do this by logging in to MySQL using socket authentication by doing:

sudo mysql -u root

Once logged in:

ALTER USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY 'password';

which will revert back to the native (old default) password authentication. If you've attempted some other method to fix the issue, you'll want to make sure the "plugin" field in mysql.user is set to "auth_token", which may require using mysqld_safe to log in to MySQL in the event you've been tinketing with things, like I did.

Credit to Miguel Nieto's blog post for this solution.

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14Jun/180

Review of Kindle Unlimited Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books with Audible Narration

This is an ongoing review of books available with Audible Narration in the Kindle Unlimited subscription program. I've been an Audible customer for several years and greatly enjoy the selection but it's too easy to burn through a credit each month when a good book is located. With Kindle Unlimited there is no monthly credit limit but the selection is more refined and I find it hard to locate desirable books. Below is a review of my favorite (and not so favorite) Sci-Fi and Fantasy books.

My Favorite Books

Frontlines by Marko Kloos - 6 Book Series

The books kept coming up as a recommendation but I kept putting them off thinking them to be a starship troopers genre space warfare series but I was pleasantly surprised to be disappointed. There were several good twists along the 6 book series and the level of detail was enough to be satisfying but not so much as to be boring. The story kept moving forward for a very satisfying listen.

The Origin Mystery by A. G. Riddle - 3 Book Series

If you like Clive Cussler style stories with adventure, mystery, and pseudo-history you'll enjoy this. It's a little slow to start with some seemingly unrelated events but as the story progresses it weaves into an epic science fiction adventure. It's an easy listen with plenty of interesting plot points without going overboard on inane detail.

Fight and Flight (Magic 2.0 Book 4) by Scott Meyer

I had listened to the other books in this series and was pleased to continue listening to the series without wasting an audible credit. I started to get a little tired of the series since it didn't seem that the universe established by the book was fully realized. The characters enter into interesting and funny situations and there were more than a few laughs but I always thought the premise of the book could lead to even more interesting adventures. Regardless of my opinion, it's an interesting and fun listen.

The Elven (The Saga of the Elven Book Series) by Bernhard Hennen

This book is epic. If you like the Lord of the Rings books you'll like this fantasy universe of elves, trolls, magic, and adventures that stretch time. While the universe reminds me a lot of Lord of the Rings the writing style is contemporary and easy to follow providing enough details to build a rich multi-layer story without going through superfluous narratives. The audio narration is very well done and the story will leave you satisfied in unexpected ways.

Childhood’s End (Arthur C. Clarke Collection)

Wow, just, wow. I've seen a lot of sci-fi and while the first part of this book reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode the unique ideas are captivating. While the content may seem dated by today's standards the story stands the test of time. I had previously listened to The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke and absolutely loved all of the original and unique sci-fi ideas. This book didn't disappoint and it was exciting to see a story so completely thought out and finished.

Books I Enjoyed

The Hobbit (Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien

Finding the audible version of this was a pleasant surprise. It's an entertaining listen and interesting story but a little slow at times.

A Fire Beneath the Skin by Victor Gischler

This series doesn't waste any time getting into the main story without wasting time while adding details about the world in just the right amounts. I found the fantasy concepts to be interesting and the story moved forward at a decent pace keeping my attention. Some of the plot points and themes are more mature and might come across as stereotypical (secret romances, brothels, wizard battles, pirates) but the universe tries to be unique yet relatable as to not lose the reader in details

Books that I'm Undecided On

The Kingfountain Series Book by Jeff Wheeler

I didn't really give this a fair chance but the plot and beginning just didn't grip me and came across as stereotypical. I might give this another try since I didn't make it more than an hour or so into the book.

The Hundreth Queen Series by Emily R. King

Similar to the Kingsfountain book I had trouble getting interesting in the plot and it seemed a bit stereotypical. I don't think I gave the book a fair chance before getting bored and moving on.

Atopia Series by Matthew Mather

I really wanted to like this and made it more than halfway through the first book but between jumping around the different and seemingly disparate characters I got lost and confused. This is hard science fiction that explores some interesting ideas about the future and was very interesting but I just couldn't get into it.

Books I Didn't Like

The Evermen Saga by James Maxwell - 4 Book Series

After about 2 hours of listening, I decided to move on. The book was well written but slow moving with too much detail to take in. There are some interesting points that I liked but in the end, it didn't hold my interest to finish.

The Endarian Prophecy by Richard Phillips

The book started out interesting and kept my attention for about 4 hours but seemed to get bogged down in pointless details that didn't keep the plot moving forward so I gave up and moved along.

The Fracture Worlds Book by Adam Burch

I wanted to like this book but it was hard science fiction and while the environments tried to be unique and the characters interesting I found everything somehow ordinary and didn't get hooked on the plot line. I only listened to 5 hours of the first book before giving up.

Last Updates 2018-07-29
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