VRDCEX – VR Datacenter Game

VRDCEX – VR Datacenter Game

So early this week as I made aware of a new addition to VRDCEX and its a gameification update, and Oh boy is it fun! I took some time to get something up as well my first attempt nearly involved in a light fixture being removed! I think this is mainly down to the way the depth perception happens with the Mixed reality headsets

So just as a major tip for anyone with an Oculus there is a tiny ‘hack’ that allows for better 3D awareness. Put one sensor directly in front of you and one behind. Restart the calibration in the Oculus setup and it will say they should be at 45 degree angles but just hit proceed. When you have to align the PC just do this to the front sensor. Ideally you should have a 3rd sensor but I have found this seems to work OK for this and a few other games. I found that before I did this, during the gameplay the headset would spin rapidly. This obviously make its harder and I ended up dropping VMs or throwing them in the wrong place.

So you can this game version from here https://github.com/vmware/vr-dc-ex/releases/tag/Game

So my highest score so far is 298 and a shame as I dropped one of the last few VMs and would have broke the 300 mark. I tried again a few times even with the setup above and I just couldnt do it! I must have peaked on my 3rd attempt but did average around the 260 mark.

You can see my high score here!

 

 

Podcasting with WordPress

Podcasting with WordPress

So I have been working on parts of this post for a while but I though I should really break this what was a massive post into some smaller chunks and relevant areas as a few people have asked me about this but in this post I am going to cover how to post your Podcast with WordPress but have this on the Apple Podcast channel. I will cover off recording & editing, video types and also submitting to other stores in other posts.

Also skip to the end for once if you are integrating with a current blog as this can ensure media is not picked up by accident.

Before you start go sign up here as sometime Apple require the address to be approved with of course a subsequent approval after. https://podcastsconnect.apple.com/

Firstly head over to your WordPress admin page and select add new plugin

From the plugin screen search for BluBrry and install and active the plugin

Hit the setting button to be taken to the main screen for the plugin. Fill in your Podcast name, the subtitle and any other required fields. I also suggest doing the image at this point but it must be 3000×3000 or you will get an error later

On your WordPress menu select PowerPress and then Audio Player, Select the player that best suits your style

Perform the same for Video by selecting the PowerPress Menu and then Video Player

We now need to collect a few details from the advanced tab so that we can submit this to Apple for approval

Within here select iTunes and scroll down to find your feed info and make a note of this for later

Head back to and select the + icon at the top

Enter the feed address you noted previously

Press validate and then assuming there are no errors below press submit. The most common is the artwork is the wrong size or format

You will now get the below screen and you have to wait for the approval email from Apple, at this point if you have one recorded lets get your first podcast there ready for go live

First add a new post just like usual

The above text is embed in the Podcast description and title but scroll down and you will see this windows for the podcast episode, I host mine on my server but this can be a content server or AWS or Azure just as long as its served by HTTP/HTTPS. If this is a video Podcast I usually upload a low-res (sub 480p) version here and then upload a high res version to YouTube as you don’t want to send over 1GB file to the users phone or device.

Finally submit and publish the post

Now hopefully if you have been approved in the time you have been getting all this ready go back to https://podcastsconnect.apple.com/ and click on your podcast picture

On this screen select refresh feed to pull through any new episodes, it does do this every 24 hours if you are happy to wait.

Now sit back and wait for it to appear in the Apple Podcast app, if all has worked you should see the below

Integrating with a current blog

If you already have a blog and wish to integrate this I suggest turning on category podcasting and when you select the category follow the steps as if you were creating a main podcast just don’t set this at the top level or it may miss interpret media from your normal post, just remember to tag them when you publish. This can be enabled in the advanced menu at the bottom of the main screen by selecting category podcasting and pressing save

This then enabled the menu on the left so select this

Finally select your category such as podcast and then add podcast settings to category feed, you will see I had already added one and this is where you get your feed URL from. Some people also find its best to tick the Podcast only feeds to keep things even more clear.

 

Amazon AWS WorkSpaces Kiosk Mode

Amazon AWS WorkSpaces Kiosk Mode

So recently I have been working on a solution for creating a way for some of our users during a POC to access AWS WorkSpaces with some HP T520 thin clients of which can run Windows 10 IOT, of which is a post in itself but I know this may well be more useful to people even doing this with traditional PCs and Windows 10. I am not going to cover launching this application in start up etc or via GPO as again I may do this in the other post but I found quite quickly that I couldn’t get the client to persist in full screen. So first I headed to Google and the AWS documentation and there was nothing at the time of writing this

I found this quite shocking so the engineer in me came out and so did my managers, quite quickly we found /fullscreen didn’t work and I thought hang on they love their APIs I wonder if -fullscreen works… Guess what its does! This is a great way to force it each time even if the user switches out especially on the thin clients with the write filters. There also appears to be another large list of switches of which I don’t have them all working but it does appear SSO might be on its way and forcing/passing through user credentials could be useful in some cases. If anyone gets these working do let me know!

I have done a video of this too and hope to keep working on an exportable GPO or PowerShell cmdlet that can turn old clients into Kiosks

 

A-head in the clouds, a little RBD2 pre thoughts post

A-head in the clouds, a little RBD2 pre thoughts post

So in preparation for Ravello Bloggers Day #2 tomorrow I thought I would write up a quick blog post and its crazy to think I can do this 11,582m up in the clouds, ironically what tomorrow is all about. There is good reason why I selected the picture for my post and that is the clouds and landscape are amazing on our planet (as I glanced out the window writing this) and the same can be said out the technology too but as engineers,architects & even humans do we even stop to marvel in either of their beauties?

Before I waffle I have to thank John, Kat & Amy along with the rest of their team for letting be be a delegate and having this great opportunity! I feel rather honoured to be able to do this and to be in a room full of great minds!

We are all now so used to be connected 24/7 and able to communicate worldwide (or even in the sky) within the blink of an eye do but we ever consider how all of this is possible and even what about all the legacy systems that may well be holding up this amazing platform

I know first-hand from this week I have already experienced in my new role asking different questions than I usually would. How does this scale, can I do this as code or even infrastructure as code even down to how can I back that state up or even its residing data. Much like my last point we expect data everywhere now and we want easy access no VPNs or multiple credentials and let’s be fair AD domains are still the easiest single sign on for users but how do we extend all our traditional services to our users.

My one prime example is a file server as this seems to have come up several times, yes we could implement things like Microsoft Teams/OneDrive or Citrix ShareFile but you will still get users that will want their home folder and their drive letters no matter how hard you try to escape this for at least a few years yet. I know some of this is business process but then what about our apps some of these just aren’t going to change overnight and use storage such as S3.

I think even if I wanted to deploy this in the cloud even somewhat traditionally I would certainly have more than one cloud and then have them connected in some form. Then the question is how well are my apps going to run up there or does this cause a licensing nightmare. Again, I am still speaking with some vendors now and they still have a server client approach with HTML or web based on the way. Does that then mean I need to push my clients to the cloud or just an element and deliver this as a seamless remote application with RDS, Citrix or VMware Horizon.

I know myself along with the company want to adopt a cloud first approach but are we able to tackle all of our day to day challenges yet or do we just have to think cleverly.

I can only speak for myself, but I am truly excited to see what the team have achieved over the last year of somethings I may have missed. I know I will certainly be digging more into the lift and shift as this is a great way to cuddle our legacy apps and maybe even edge cases like SAP or JAVA apps. It would also be great to get a better understanding of how we can now back up their bare metal offerings and if any further hypervisors may be officially support. I know have seen some great VMware and Nutanix posts out there but it would be great to see what they think of this. A great DIY custom albeit not officially supported VMware cloud maybe?