Saturday, October 08, 2016

[Kodi] [howto] Enable Chinese Subtitles

Enabling chinese ( or really any non-western character based) subtitles in Kodi should be simple, but requires a few steps that, when not performed perfectly, leads to a frustrating set of garbage characters.

1.) Replace Kodi's default arial.ttf ( or add ) a font that has full unicode support. Most tutorials online use DejaVuSans+DriodSansFallback.ttf. Unfortunately the post I found had a faulty link, but a bit of quick googling showed it was available here:

DejaVu Sans Font Free by DejaVu Fonts | Font Squirrel

2.) Place the .ttf file in Kodi's "Fonts" folder. Depending on your platform this can be in different places. Here are the common ones I've found:

Linux: /usr/share/kodi/media/Fonts/.
OSX: /Users//Library/Application Support/Kodi/kodi/media/Fonts

(For OSX, the Fonts folder wasn't there, so I had to create it).

3.) Choose the font in: Settings>Video>Subtitles>Font for use for Subtitles.

4.) Choose the right character set: Settings>Video>Subtitles>Character Set (for Chinese I used "Chinese Simplified (GBK)". Without this step, you will get garbage output, regardless of the font.

5.) Optional: Add the language you'd like to Download for, if you use the subtitle downloaders, which are quite helpful.

If any options don't appear, make sure you're in the "Expert" mode for the settings.


If you're seeing BOXES for the text, then your font doesn't support the right character set, change your font.

If you're seeing GARBAGE for the test, then you haven't chosen the correct character in the settings. Choose the correct one.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

[howto] [Linux] proxychains + SOCKS5 best practices

Recently was messing around with proxychains in order to allow some commands and programs that don't natively support proxies to be used more securely.

I followed this excellent tutorial:

This worked great, but it requires an SSH tunnel. This is great if you have access to a VPS. But what if you're using some kind of commercial VPN service ( such as PIA ). You need to set up proxychains to use SOCKS5. 

This isn't very difficult. You simply need to add the following line to the [ProxyList] section of your proxychains.conf file:

socks5 IP Port Username Password

I set it up for PIA, so this was my config:

 socks5 1080   username ( the one starting with x) password (yes hardcoded, but later on we have a work-around for this glaring security hole).

Unfortunately proxychains seems to not handle DNS names, so I used an IP for PIA's socks proxy ( ).

The instructions are available at:

PIA Instructions Page

nslookup yielded quite a few IPs:



You can pick any one to use. Though, I imagine they are used in round-robbin to share the load of the users. So if your proxy stops working all of a sudden, try changing to another IP.

Also the default setting:

# socks4 9050

Should be disabled, if you are using strict_chain, since it will error at not being able to contact the DNS through the (non-existant) TOR tunnel.

Test the connection:

proxychains wget

Last of all, is the security concern about having to hard-code your password in a .conf file. My workaround has been to use a local, user-only file. Instead of using the above in /etc/proxychains.conf, create the same file in:


Create the directory if its not already there. Then ensure that only your user may read the file:

chmod go-rwx ~/.proxychains/proxychains.conf

A hash or shadow file would be better, but I haven't quite figured out how to have proxychains use something like that unfortunately.

Hope this is helpful!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

initramfs + cron

If you find that your cron jobs aren't running until you first "edit" the cron job ( even though it was set in the initial initramfs). Check that you have the proper cron.update file, and that both files are owned by root. If one is owned by another user, say the user that you used to create the file, cron will read the config but not run the job. Silently.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Future Story Ideas

Incorporate Demon Hunter introduction.

Maybe play on DK vs DH. Hotplate vs Demon Hunter.

Could be a conflict with Bob? Or, have Bob welcome DH, like he did with Hotplate. Eventual romance between Hotplate and DH? Might be a bit cheesy, but kind of fits, both "forever" changed.

Think on it a bit.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

[Windows 7] Recover window from "off-screen"

Found this tip from:


  • Right-click on the window caption on the taskbar, or select it and use Alt+Space.
    • Alt-Space worked for me, but right click did not.
  • If the Restore option is available, select it to pop the window out of minimized or maximized state.
  • Choose the Move option.
  • Hit an arrow key.
  • Move the mouse.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

[ServerFarm] Todo list

Home lab todo list:

  1. Set Up home DNS server                      - Done
  2. Check if Valkyrie2. is operational        - Done, unsuccessful
  3. Re-thermal paste Pegasus
  4. Re-Thermal paste Galactica
  5. Get 1-3TB drive for Hiigara                  - Done. 1TB datastore
  6. Activate Windows on Squirrel, virtual-1, and saarkin-cho
  7. Reformat Pegasus, windows side
  8. Upgrade Mini to T7600
  9. Fix pi's Kodi subtittle handling 
    1. Done. But Chinese Characters still not working
    2. Installed OpenSubtittles using SuperRepo
    3. Done, installed Chinese fonts into Raspbian Pi sub-system
    4. Upgrade to Raspbian Jessie. 
  10. Add license to ESXi on Hiigara

Monday, November 09, 2015

[HOWTO] Install Kodi on Raspbian on a RP2

After my HTPC (valkyrie) died from a tiny fall, I've been using a Fire Stick as my Kodi player in the living room. While a nice bit of kit, its not without its disadvantages. Its most definitely a temporary solution.

I'm trying to fix Valkyrie, but that's proving annoying and time consuming. I needed a more permanent solution, in case I don't get it fixed. My first plan was to use a Mac Mini. In fact I recently bought a used Core Duo Mac Mini circa 2007. Unfortunately again, its not due to arrive for another few days, and I'm a very impatient guy.

I then remembered that the Raspberry Pi 2 makes an excellent Kodi player Better yet, its already running 24/7 monitoring my humidor, a task that doesn't even begin to task its 4 cores. So I decided to install Kodi, on Raspbian.

Why not use Openelec or some other Kodi-centric distribution? Simply because I already had the humidor setup running on raspbian and didn't feel like redoing it. 

First to get my up-to-now-headless Raspberry Pi 2 ready, I had to get its HDMI output running correctly.

  • Fix Flashing Menu Bar:

    • Add your used to the video and audio group 
    sudo usermod -aG audio myUser
    sudo usermod -aG video myUser

  • Fix Resolution on HDMI

      • Find the correct resolution:
        • tvservice -d edid 
        • edidparser edid
      • Set bootargs to boot that resolution
        • sudo emacs /boot/config
        •  hdmi_group=1
        • hdmi_mode=16
    • Install Kodi
      • Follow instructions from: