LaunchBox Version 1.1 Released

Logo LaunchBox Version 1.1 ReleasedVersion 1.1 is out! The most notable new features include pretty new graphics for the games to make them look more like game boxes, new notes and status fields, easy editing of the default DOSBox configuration, quick access to the game folders, and just an overall smoother experience. LaunchBox now also comes with game demos for the original Need for Speed, Descent, WarCraft, and The Secret of Monkey Island!

LaunchBox LaunchBox Version 1.1 Released

Download LaunchBox 2.6 here. Again, the app does not require installation; simply extract the zip file to a location of your choosing, run LaunchBox.exe, and start playing! The latest version of LaunchBox uses a WinRAR-built setup, but you can choose to extract the files from the EXE manually with WinRAR, if you’d rather. Be sure to check the changelog under the Help menu in the app for the full list of changes.

LaunchBox: New DOSBox Frontend and Game Launcher

Logo LaunchBox: New DOSBox Frontend and Game LauncherLaunchBox is a new Windows frontend for DOSBox, but it’s a whole lot more than that. Originally, I went looking online for a portable DOSBox games launcher for Windows that displayed the games using the game box art, much like Boxer for Mac. I was disappointed that I couldn’t find one, so I decided to put in the time and build one. Development went extremely well, and all-in-all I’ve put a lot more time into the project than I originally envisioned. Thus, I’m left with what I consider to be an excellent application for managing and playing portable (and not portable) Windows and DOSBox games:

LaunchBox1 LaunchBox: New DOSBox Frontend and Game Launcher

LaunchBox2 LaunchBox: New DOSBox Frontend and Game Launcher

Here are some of LaunchBox’s best features:

  • Uses relative paths wherever possible in order to ensure that the app behaves properly in a portable environment (such as on a USB stick or in your Dropbox, the app will work on every computer you have synced).
  • Supports both DOSBox and regular Windows games, so you can organize your entire gaming library, not just your DOSBox games.
  • Sort, arrange, and filter your games by title, release date, genre, platform, rating, developer, and publisher.
  • Easily configure your games to launch in DOSBox just by choosing the game’s EXE.
  • Supports mounting additional drives in DOSBox with an easy-to-use interface.
  • Maintains separate DOSBox configurations for each game, allowing you to fully configure the DOSBox settings individually for each game.

I believe the app to be very stable at this stage, and ready to use to manage a serious game collection. That said, development will not stop here on the project, and I have some very cool features planned for the near future.

Download LaunchBox 2.6 here. The app does not require installation; simply extract the zip file to a location of your choosing and run LaunchBox.exe. The latest version of LaunchBox uses a WinRAR-built setup, but you can choose to extract the files from the EXE manually with WinRAR, if you’d rather.

I am very interested in your feedback! If you run into any issues or suggestions, please do let me know in the comments below.

New Minecraft/Bukkit Server: HeteroCraft

minecraft logo 5 150x150 New Minecraft/Bukkit Server: HeteroCraftWelcome to HeteroCraft! HeteroCraft is a new Minecraft/Bukkit server with support for locked chests, protected regions, an economy, automatic texture packs, and more.

The name HeteroCraft comes from the fact that the domain was available (ha) and the Hetero prefix’s definition of “different” or “other”. You can access the server by direct connecting to heterocraft.com in Minecraft, using the latest version of the standard Minecraft client.

I have big plans for this server; I’m hoping to add many additional features and grow quite the extensive community. The server is already up and running and accepting users, but as of yet, permissions are very limited, as we’re still setting a few things up. We plan to open the server up for all of the features sometime tomorrow. :)

Raspberry Pi XBMC Media Center – A Complete Solution

RaspberryPi Raspberry Pi XBMC Media Center   A Complete SolutionI have to admit it’s taken a good amount of research and experimentation, but I finally have an XBMC media center solution on the Raspberry Pi that rivals what I used to have on my old power-sucking full-size PC.

I’m writing this guide to help others get up and running with a stable solution as quickly as possible. I’ll be covering everything from the hardware pieces to the software and configuration. I’m also hoping this guide will be accessible to those who aren’t overly tech-inclined, and I’ll provide some support in the comments.

Continue on after the break for the complete guide.
Continue reading

Blessed.

You know what’s amazing? How blessed me and my family are. You know why? Because of mercy. How? Death. Who? The Lord…of all of creation. The Lord of all creation blesses me daily. Despite my ignorance and disobedience. Daily. Blessed. By the creator of the universe. Yeah.

Youth Lessons

The Lord placed it on my heart recently to start sharing some of the youth lessons I’ve been writing for youth group. It should hopefully encourage me to more consistently write solid lessons, and hopefully will come in helpful for other youth leaders (as so many other bloggers’ lessons have proven useful for me).

The lessons are available here. Leave a comment if you use them. :)

TrueCrypt Automation using Shell Scripts on Mac OS X

TrueCrypt TrueCrypt Automation using Shell Scripts on Mac OS XThis is probably a fairly unique situation, but I thought I’d post it here just to see how many people might have the same need. I use TrueCrypt almost exclusively as my encryption solution due to the fact that it’s both cross platform and open source, and because it’s highly secure and “just works”. Really, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t use it; it really is the ideal encryption solution.

That said, I often find myself having to create new volumes, and I find that process to be relatively cumbersome. I prefer to have many smaller volumes than one or two large volumes, primarily because they sync up via Dropbox (actually just recently I switched to Google Drive), and online sync services do much better with smaller files than, say, a 50GB file.

The non-automated way to create and mount a volume seems to take ages; you run through the wizard, wait for the volume to be created, go hunt for the file, mount it, and then you’re finally good to go. It requires entering your password not once but three times, and just gets irritating after having to do it even once a day. To solve this, I looked into TrueCrypt’s command line options, and created a couple of shell scripts to make things much easier. Read on after the break to dive into the scripts.
Continue reading

AudioLog HD v1.9 Released

AudioLogHD AudioLog HD v1.9 ReleasedIt’s been a while since I’ve posted about an update, so we’ll backtrack a little here to get up to speed. Since the last post about version 1.4, I’ve added full support for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablets and phones, made the app entirely accessible for blind and visually impaired users, and fully tested (and fixed the rough edges) on a shiny new Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

I had the pleasure of working with J.J. Meddaugh of AndroidAccess.net to identify which parts of the app would need modified to make it fully accessible to blind users, and I’m happy to say that we were successful in making the app completely accessible for use with a screen reader. J.J. was kind enough to post an accessibility review that documents everything here:

http://androidaccess.net/details.php?id=1631

I’m also excited to say that Android Tapp has also reviewed the app! Toni McQuilken reviewed the app as a “no frills” app that “works perfectly.” You can read the review here:

http://www.androidtapp.com/audiolog-hd-sound-recorder/

Finally, I’ve trimmed all rough edges for the app’s experience on the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus (running Android 4.0). The majority of things worked as expected due to my testing on the Android emulator, but there were a few surprise bugs that needed squashed. Regardless, the experience is better than ever on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Thanks everyone! Enjoy the app and let me know if you have any suggestions. :)

AudioLog HD v1.3 Released

AudioLogHD AudioLog HD v1.3 ReleasedThe big new feature in version 1.3 is the ability to record in the background, both while other apps are open and while the screen is locked. Several other important bugfixes are also included, as documented in the Changelog in the app and in the “What’s New” section in the Android Market:

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.jasoncarr.audiolog

Once again, thanks everyone for your support. Please let me know if you run into any issues. This latest round of changes was a beast but I plan on putting out a new release with many more features very soon. :)