Named pipes for debugging

UPDATE 2021/03/04: After reviewing some posts (like this one) I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a pretty dumb idea but I will keep it up because there’s no need to hide it.

During a project for school, I came across the worst problem I could ever have: not having tools to debug.

I had to write a program that would be executed by a PHP script in command line, I decided to write the program in C++.
The program was supposed to receive parameters on STDIN:

  • Money you start with;
  • Number of cycles;
  • Loop: number.

The STDOUT and STDERR was thrown into a pipe to be used by the PHP script, so I couldn’t write in the console any calculation I need to check.
The only way to get an output was to write somewhere else than on the STDOUT and STDERR.

Writing to files

I thought about writing my debugging output into a file, but then I encountered a problem: what if I get an infinite loop ?
I could kill the program.

Writing to files wasn’t really helping with real-time debugging.
And I could easily fill my hard-drive

Writing to a named pipe

Named pipes are the best for real-time debugging !
I could nearly make tea and pour it into a cup.

Since I was running Fedora 18, I could use named pipes so I decided to give it a try, I wrote a simple script:


if [ -e "./debug.pipe" ]
        rm -f "./debug.pipe"

mkfifo "./debug.pipe"
while (cat "./debug.pipe")
        cat "./debug.pipe"

I then needed to write the debugging data directly into the pipe like if I was writing a normal file.

Waking Mars

Waking Mars is an Indie game produced by Tiger Style studio and release on Windows, Linux, Mac and Android.
The game was greenlit, then put on the Steam store during December 2012.


In 2097, life is discovered on Mars. When your mission of first contact becomes trapped by a cave-in, you must master the alien ecosystem to survive. Soon you stumble upon more than anyone expected, and with time running out, you will make a decision that determines the fate of a lost planet


At first I started playing it casually, because the plot wasn’t really interesting at first. Then I started playing it more and more on my Google Nexus 4, and somehow got addicted to it.
It was a great experience and the game was getting more and more interesting.

I even played instead of sleeping and finished the game in about 5 hours, that’s about as long as Call of Duty’s campaign mode !

I honestly recommend it to anybody interesting in original Indie games.

QTE or gaming’s cancer

You all played a game with QTE or Quick Time Events, but what is it really ?
QTEs are performing an action during a game, sometimes during cut-scenes, it seems to be a good idea but sometimes they are overused.

In this post I’ll be talking about two games that use QTEs, the first example will be what harms gameplay and the second example won’t add anything to the gameplay.

Far Cry 3

Talking about QTEs without talking about about Far Cry 3 is like talking about J.K. Rowling without talking about Harry Potter.
What’s so bad about Far Cry 3’s QTEs ? Well they just stop what you were doing and prompt you to press (possibly) the same key you were going to press.

Even if I press forward I would just fall...
Even if I press forward I would just fall…

There are other moments like “Hold E to interact”. Why should I hold a key to just press a switch ?
Or be prompted to hold a key I was already pressed.

With that said, I don’t hate Far Cry. This game had the best bad guy ever, and interesting gameplay that in fact was supposed to designed as bad gameplay.

Metal Gear

Metal Gear has QTEs too ! In fact in Metal Gear Solid 3 you can even press R1 to view some cut-scenes from another angle.

Are those made out of kevlar ?
Are those made out of kevlar ?

In Metal Gear Solid 4 you can also see moments from the previous games when a character appears on screen. Some other moments will be key mashing to get Snake somewhere.
In this case the player will experience the struggle Snake is going through.

Alan Wake

Click when the arrow is on the green part to start the generator.
Click when the arrow is on the green part to start the generator.

Alan Wake is a pretty good example for the good QTE. While reloading you can speed up the process by pressing the reload key multiple times or start a generator a bit more realisticly.


I personally think that QTEs must NOT be overused. I understand the use of it if you must perform certain actions to stay alive during a cut-scene or to get an alternate ending.
If they don’t harm the game it’s good to have them, but otherwise I’d really like having a choice in the options to disable QTEs.



The RappyPerms is a simple tool used to fixe the permissions of Phantasy Star Online 2 *.exe files.
If you’re not using a Japanese operating system and if you’re playing the Japanese version of Phantasy Star Online 2 you may want a simple tool that will apply the good rights on the game.

It applies for any user on the computer the reading, writing, and executing permissions on the following files:

  • pso2.exe
  • pso2download.exe
  • pso2launcher.exe
  • pso2predownload.exe
  • pso2update.exe

This app runs on Windows Vista, Windows Seven and Windows 8.
Windows XP is not and will not be supported, please upgrade.

You can download it here: RappyPerms 2.1.

How to disable µTorrent’s ads

Capture d’écran (20)

UPDATE: Please do not use µTorrent anymore. They include too much bloatware. Instead use Deluge.

What’s worse than a toolbar installed because you clicked next, next, next, and didn’t have the chance to cancel ?
Well probably nothing, except when the software you install comes with some advertising that you didn’t really want.

It’s been a while that µTorrent started using advertising in it’s Windows app, I know people need money to live, but I really hate having ads I don’t want.

To disable that ungly yellow bar:

  • Click Option then go into “Preferences”;
  • Then go to the “Advanced” menu;
  • Fill the filter text box with: sponsored_torrent_offer_enabled;
  • Set it to false;
  • Fill the filter text box with: left_rail_offer_enabled;
  • Set it to false;
  • Restart µTorrent.

Can’t upload music to Google Play Music ?


Today I looked at my music on my Google Nexus 4, but I decided to clean a bit that list since I’m not listening to all the 300 songs I had, I then decided to wipe my Google Music after backing it up.

The problem I encountered was that I couldn’t reupload some MP3s.

The solution

I downloaded and installed foobar2000, an advance freeware audio player (for Windows).

  • Once foobar2000 is installed;
  • Import the music you want to fix by dragging the files into the software then select all the files;
  • Right click and select Utilities, then Fix VBR MP3 header.

You can now upload your MP3 to Google Play Music.

Games For Windows Live on Windows 8


A few days ago I obtained Batman: Arkham City on Steam and I forgot to check if it was a Games For Windows Live game.
By the way I’m running Windows 8 Pro (64bit), and Games For Windows Live doesn’t run when I start the game, after closing the game and eating I decided to play some more (it’s a good game).

I lost my progression, I didn’t play much but I lost my progression. That was enough for me to drop this game because I went trough a lot while I was trying to play the game in English since I prefer playing the games in their original language.
Then I found a solution on the Steam Game Hub.

Solved the problem! I had to do these steps:

  • – Open “Programs and Features”
  • – Uninstall all entries starting with “Microsoft Games For Windows…”
  • – Then ONLY reinstall latest version of “Games for Windows Software Setup” aka gfwlivesetup.exe, there is NO NEED to reinstall the Assistant!

I also know what the root cause of the problem was: When you install Batman Arkham City it installs an OLD version of the GFWL client not working with Windows 8. So you have to uninstall the old crap and then install the new version!

Works like a charm now with Batman Arkham City on Windows 8!

All credit goes to Acryl.
By the way I personnally think that Games For Windows Live is cancer.

Hands on Google Nexus 4


I used to have a Samsung Galaxy Ace (S5830) that was great for an entry level smartphone, but lacked memory (only 189MB) and whenever I was under 20MB left on the phone, I could not receive any SMS/MMS. I even had to uninstall apps that were installed on the 2GB micro SD card !

I’ve acquired the 16GB version of the Google Nexus 4, it’s currently running Android 4.2.2.

What seduced me ?

What seduced me over a Samsung Galaxy S3 or an iPhone was first of all the price, since I couldn’t put the price of an iPhone in a phone and because I hate Apple.
But what about the Galaxy S3 ? It’s not Apple and not that expensive right ?
Yes but no. Samsung uses a custom firmware with their software. I don’t want some Samsung branded software to be honest, it takes useless space and I can’t uninstall it without rooting my device.

What seduced me too was that it’s branded as a Google Phone, that means that we will have support for the future updates, and they will come out much more faster than Samsung’s updates. The Google Nexus has also very interesting features like the NFC support (with Android Beam), the Google Now app that is supposed to give information about everything and enything, and all the new features of Android 4.2 !

What I like in it

What I like is very simple: nearly everything !

It has a 4.7″ screen with a resolution of 1280 by 768 (320PPI) wich is perfect for watching 720p videos, even on Youtube. The phone is really responsive and the apps a really nicely integrated (Twitter, Facebook).

If I had to complain about it, I’d say that it’s a shame to not have an “Enter Key” when writing a SMS with the stock keyboard (AZERTY since I live in France).