Captain Kerbal

It’s time for another photo dump!

This is what I’ve been up to since I last posted:


Yet another tourism/crew training flight…

Although I don't think I could de-orbit his vessel...

I recovered a stuck scientist from orbit!

More plane experiments!

More plane experiments!

A semi-successful munar landing...

A semi-successful munar landing…

More plane flights with my new and improved plane...

More plane flights with my new and improved plane…

Some more rovering ensued as well!

Some more rovering ensued as well!

He survived...

I found a slide!

I found that I could go rather high with the new engines :D

I found that I could go rather high with the new engines 😀

I now have one extremely overpowered plane!

I now have one extremely overpowered plane!

Hopeful 1, and more…

This is pretty much a photo dump from my latest KSP efforts.

I started off doing some more rovering.

It seems to be all over the map...

Tundra? I can almost see the KSC from here!

It appears that there’s Tundra near the shore occasionally!

I also flew some more flights:

In this case, from the jettisoned boosters

Explosions are good 😀

Or an astronaut-in-training

Enough room for two tourists

(Don't roll!)

Although there are a few risks…

Sometimes it goes a bit more smoothly

Sometimes it goes a bit more smoothly

And designed and built a 3t payload orbiter, the Hopeful 1.

3t payload orbiter...

Introducing the Hopeful 1

In this case, a *rather* large engine

Some strange payloads…

Proof of orbit

Proof of orbit

I sent a couple of probes off into the unknown… they might yet be destined for greater things (fingers crossed) like Duna visits, depending on how well I fly them, although one will probably be landed on the Mun. The first didn’t have any science equipment, though, so it’s a bit of an experiment.

A munar flyby!

A munar flyby!

I learnt how to do intercepts, and recovered Oblas Kerman from a low Kerbin orbit:

He's in the *other* command pod...

Oblas is almost recovered

It's been a long, long time...

Oblas on his way back to Kerbin

And did some more tourists flights in my bulk kerbal carrier, although I’m also using it for crew training:

Hitchhikers *not* allowed!

Hopeful 1b, kerbal carrier

In space

In space

There's room for more...


To break things up a bit, I did some more flights in my trusty basic ‘plane…

Jeb is happy to be alive again... that was *not* an easy landing

Jeb is happy to be alive… that was *not* an easy landing!

… and some more in my not-so-trusty Lifter 1.

This plane is a bit unstable...

Heading to the north pole!

It looks cold out there...

It looks cold out there…

Taking some surface samples at the north pole

Taking some surface samples at the north pole

It has an unfortunate tendency to get stuck in a flat spin, especially at high altitudes and high airspeeds. Which means I have to abort and use the parachutes (they are there for a reason!). Least it doesn’t fall apart, though, like some earlier attempts…

A very plane update…

Although it looks strangely familiar :)

It’s been a while since I’ve seen this…

I’m back to playing KSP! 😀

It’s been a while, but since I set up my machine specifically for KSP, it seemed a waste not to use it. Although it’s still very much in need of some love, aka some proper controls

I’ve mostly been doing fairly standard tasks – flying tourists, testing parts, and taking temperature measurements in my plane. Highlights include doing an orbit mission which ended at the south pole, and having a bit of fun with a rover…

I like the new flame effects :D

Look out below!

screenshot17 screenshot29

This wasn't the easiest bit of flying I've done so far...

Landing at the south pole!

Although only on Kerbin?

I can place flags now!

That's a *big* crater...

Heading out on another flight.

Which I later crashed...

My rover!

My rover (mostly) survived...

Note to self: don’t try jumping off the end of the ramp…

That made a mess...


Note the additional parachute being tested!

Another tourist flight…

Luckily they are well away from the rocket!

This is the ejected boosters colliding.

Note that there's room for a tourist as well!

My new, extra fragile crew carrier

Backups for KSP in Debian

As part of the Acer Project, I’ve added a simple backup scheme based on rsnapshot and an external 1GB HDD. It pretty much involved uncommenting some lines in a cron job, and adjusting some lines in rsnapshot’s config…

As part of this, I discovered that one of my SD cards – an older 512MB card – is borked. As in, mkfs.ext4 doesn’t work because it encounters “short writes” and other such errors. I’ve no idea what that actually means, apart from the fact that a patch of the SD card is shot, but it probably needs to be thrown out…

I’ve also synced up my KSP project, so I’ll now be able to play KSP! What I’m not quite sure about is how I’ll get the screenshots off the Acer, since it’s “air walled” from the network, due to it no longer having a network card…

KSP in kiosk mode

I’ve set up KSP in “kiosk mode” on the Acer, as part of the Acer Project.

I created a custom .xinitrc file for KSP, which starts openbox (otherwise KSP doesn’t seem to get input?) and then starts KSP.

openbox &

Once KSP is shutdown (or crashes…), the computer goes back to a login screen.

Next step: Set up some kind of backup for my saved games!

A KSP update!

It seems a long time since I last wrote about KSP on this blog…

Yesterday, I took some time to install KSP on the Acer, which is now dual-booting Debian 8.1. It’s using the proprietary nVidia drivers – so there was a small performance boost, although it currently ‘only’ has 2GB RAM, which nullified any real performance gains. I’m thinking of perhaps getting some second hand 4GB sticks to put in the Dell, so that the two 2GB sticks in the Dell can be put into the Acer. I’m just unsure as to what I’d do with the two 1GB sticks left over 😦

I hope to be able to spend some more time on the Acer tonight, although I’m quite busy at the moment. I’ve still got to move my existing KSP game across, for starters…

Remaining software tasks:

  • Setting up a backup script of some sort. Done!
  • Making KSP start full-screen on start up. Done!
  • Adding a second monitor. It didn’t work very well, so I’ve abandoned that idea.
  • Moving my KSP game across. Done!

Remaining hardware tasks:

  • Stripping the machine, removing any needless parts, and encasing it in a new case.
  • Soldering the power supply connector in.
  • Adding a second monitor… Maybe, or maybe not. See above…
  • Creating some custom controllers.
  • Making it look cool 😀

It lives!

Dell sent me a new (albeit 6-cell, rather than 9) battery to try. It worked!

So the “Dell issue” has been resolved happily 🙂

Next up for the Dell Vostro 1510 is an installation of Arch. I’m not sure whether to dual boot Windows, dual boot Arch, do a fresh install, or just use the HDD from Steve. At this stage, I’m leaning towards using the HDD from Steve – I don’t expect SSS mk.2 to be finished for quite a while

This does mean that I can consider Steve’s eventual fate. I’m leaning towards making it into a dedicated, air gapped gaming machine, where the “air gap” is achieved via the lack of a wifi or wired connection to the rest of the world. It’ll probably run Debian Jessie with KSP and possibly a few other games – I have considered dual booting Windows Vista – and I hope to create some micro controller based physical controllers, buttons and dials and whatnot.

Regardless, I now have even more projects!