Welcome to Egee's Blog & Personal Home Page™


Where's Egee Been?

Hey you guys - It’s been a little while. My last post was about the Steam Machine project but that got shelved because my laptop died. As luck would have it, I’ve been using that Steam Machine as my main PC!

Egee Channel hits 22,500!

22,500 subscribers

The Egee channel finally reached 22,500 subscribers last week!

To be honest, I don’t pay that much attention to the number of channel subscribers. This one is a milestone because the channel waffled between 22,300 and 22,400 all of last year. It’s pretty cool to finally see it broach that big 22,500 number!

I’ve already mentioned it, but I’m considering Open Egee to be my “main” channel that I invest my creative energy in. It’s been difficult to figure out exactly what the OG Egee audience wants to watch so lately I’ve been winging it and apparently people like it.

Finding a niche with Open Egee

I started the Open Egee channel with the idea that I would tell stories and just talk in general. It took me no time to realize that I don’t particularly like that format so I started experimenting until I found something that just felt right.

Egee pawbs and sleeves

I got a new pair of paws and these ones are really incredible. They look great and I finally have sleeves so I can do more as Egee in videos!

I was hoping to have an Egee partial by now but I finally heard back from the maker I commissioned almost two years ago and I’m officially back to square-one. So no Egee partial any time soon. 😢

Using just paws and arms has kind of become a thing (even if I’m not doing furry asmr) and I’m honestly pretty happy with this arrangement.

Back to Streaming on Twitch!

I’ve been live streaming on Twitch every Friday at about 7pm PST and I’ve been trying to focus on a single game for a month that way I’m invested in beating it and hopefully it’s more fun for folks to watch.

Last Friday I wrapped up my Rainbow Six Vegas 2 playthrough. I didn’t quite beat the campaign but I’m happy with this stopping point. And If I don’t distro hop before next year, maybe I can pick up where I left off for once!

I’ve been uploading the VODs to the super secret Egee’s Archive channel but I’m probably going to start posting them to the regular Egee channel pretty soon because why the heck not?

What about YouTube streaming?

I don’t typically live stream on YouTube; the audience and engagement is completely different, and Twitch is just better suited for gaming. I occasionally stream Distro Delves but I haven’t been feeling it lately.

I took a break for most of March but I did do a live Distro Delve a few weeks ago. We listened to some good music and fought with KaOS and it constantly had network troubles!

Egee OC Updates

Since an Egee partial isn’t happening this year, I think I’m going to go the VR route. A lot of my friends are active in VR and it would be fun to incorporate it in live streams. I just gotta figure out where to get started!

Egee also got a redesign last month. It’s not a huge change but more of a refinement of the character and background so I can do more with him in games and stories.

This website is going to be revamped in the next month or two to be a bit more like a portfolio so that I can better display my characters, games, and other stuff I work on. I talk about Egee a lot (obviously) but he’s far from the only character I have. 😈

Egee in a faux dating sim by @ConfusedEwe

Thanks

Thanks everyone for all your support! If you would like to support me, I have a Ko-fi for donations or YouTube superchat if you prefer!


Return of The Steam Machine: A Saga

A few years back, I was crazy about Steam Machines and the idea of a native GNU/Linux game console. My interest in Linux gaming has waxed and waned over the years, but now feels like a great time to get back into it with the Steam Deck taking off!

Where’d the old Steam Machine go?

The original Steam Machine was built out of an Antec ISK 110 case and ran an AMD A-series APU using integrated graphics. It wasn’t a powerhouse by any means, but it was more capable than you would expect.

I’ve always thought integrated GPUs are underrated, so a big part of my Steam Machine project is squeezing the most out of the integrated graphics chipset!

Unfortunately, this Steam Machine is long gone. I think that the hardware has aged out, though, so it’s not a huge loss anyway.

What’s in the new Steam Machine?

I’m repurposing the old Distro Delves rig - the Asus PB50 will now become the new Steam Machine.

It’s basically a modern pre-built version of what I was trying to build out of that old Antec ISK 110 case. The form factor is similar, and the system is built around the CPU and iGPU.

The new Steam Machine is composed of the following core components:

It may not sound like much on paper, but I’m confident I can get above expected performance from this machine. 😉

What about SteamOS?

There are a handful of gaming-focused Linux distros out there but seemingly all of them are alpha or beta quality. SteamOS itself is all but discontinued, and if I’m going to install someone else’s Linux distro on a dedicated HTPC build like a Steam Machine, I need it to be stable and be something I am familiar with.

Arch, Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu are candidates, but the actual distro is possibly less important than the desktop it will run on.

The PC will boot straight into Steam Big Picture mode, but I want to run Kodi and other non-Steam applications. A regular desktop environment and session is required, but which one?

What’s Next?

I’ve already set up the PB50 as an HTPC build and it works well, but the desktop integration is messy. I’m also having trouble getting my TV to behave with the display settings; the picture seems zoomed in and the edges of the screen are cut off.

Once I get that figured out, I will run a bunch of benchmarks to find which distro/desktop combination provides the best performance and functionality.

This is a new Egee project, and I hope to make lots of videos on the benchmarking and tuning process!


Back to Debian Testing from Fedora 35

Last Sunday, I decided to give Fedora 35 a whirl on my laptop. It worked perfectly in a live session; even my laptop display brightness worked! Everyone has been talking about how great Fedora is lately. What could go wrong?

This morning, I wake up to everybody’s favorite thing: Data Corruption!

Why Fedora?

Since August, I have been running Debian Testing. But Debian was starting to show signs of wear (mostly from the stupid things I was doing to it), and I was beginning to get that distro-hopping itch.

Fedora has been really popular lately and it seems like everyone has been talking about it. So, I decided to give it a whirl it in a VM and again in a live session.

Everything seemed flawless, so I created a backup image of my Debian install and installed Fedora on my laptop.

Why, Fedora!?

I use a different NVME drive for all my stateful data, so switching from Debian to Fedora was just a matter of reinstalling my apps/libs and replacing my dotfiles. Not a trivial effort but not complex, either.

The only issue I had initially was X server would lock up briefly when I launched a game (such as Overwatch, No Man’s Sky, GTA Online, etc.) and if a 2nd monitor connected which was something I felt I could look at later.

That is until the whole desktop abruptly locked up and corrupted the entire root drive beyond repair.

Btrfs!

Where Debian (and most other Linux distros) still use the venerable Ext4 file system by default, Fedora uses a file system called Btrfs.

Ext4 is pretty fault-tolerant, and if things go wrong, you can quickly recover it from a recovery shell. Apparently, the same can’t be said about btrfs, which apparently corrupted the entire drive when Fedora locked up.

I browsed around for hours, but none of the answers I found worked. The example commands “worked”, but they did not fix the problem; the file system was dead.

Back to Debian

Wrapping this story up, I gave up trying to recover Fedora and restored the image of Debian I made before switching over. Unfortunately, I lost UEFI boot support, but I could get back in using regular bios + grub.

I’m incredibly disappointed that in 2022, some Linux systems still have to worry about data corruption if their system locks up and has to force a shut down. I’ve used Btrfs on openSUSE and have never had this issue so I am unsure if this is a Fedora-specific issue.

I also want to point out that many people run Fedora daily and never have issues like this. Perhaps I’m just really unlucky, but the fact is I’ve never had this issue happen to me on Debian, so that’s where I’ll be staying for now!