Blog Archives

Move Over Gas Guzzlers, Give Me Steam – A SteamOS Editorial

Over the past several months, and especially the past few weeks, my experiences in Steam on Linux have grown exponentially.  To cap this off, as well as give my opinion on Pros and Cons of the current Beta experience, I decided to write an editorial about my experiences thus far.  In no way am I an authoritative voice on the subject, but an avid Linux power user, as well as an I.T. Professional in my day to day work.  I hope you find this meaningful and insightful.  Once SteamOS moves out of Beta, a follow-up editorial will likely follow. Read the rest of this entry

Video Reel – “Why XI3’s Piston Parted Ways With Valve”

An interesting perspective on what happend to the tiny Steam box that ran out of Gas


Gallery: The 13 Steam Machines and all of their glorious variety | Ars Technica

Give AMD Some Love

I recently went through several methods to try out SteamOS.  When it came to video issues, some of my test hardware still exhibited the same issues. I found either AMD or Intel was quite acceptable for a CPU but Nvidia preferred  for the graphics card. Having recently acquired a low profile ATI 6670 (who would have thought those massive cards could shrink that small!), I decided to revisit my Steam gaming options apart my my more powerful desktop.
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Linux Game Review: AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome

Yes, that is the real name of this game.  AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome, is literally one of the freshest games I have come across on Steam lately.  I was sceptical to hit the buy button, but with a current price of 4.49 USD for the Steam Holiday Sale, I couldn’t resist.  So, how did it stack up?  Read on for more

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Featured – The SteamOS Beginners Guide

Gave Half Life 2 a try this morning on SteamOS, and wanted to give a quick nod to Valve for making HL2 playable with a gamepad (even if not recently with SteamOS).  But Mr. Gabe Newell!  Make The original games support it too!  Now, you can lambaste me all you want for “you should use a mouse and keyboard,” but I am getting quite used to sitting in the living room and gaming all “lounge like.”  Anyway…enough banter, here is what to expect when browsing for and installing games on SteamOS: Read the rest of this entry

SteamOS – Turning On The FPS Counter For Metro Last Light

Here’s a quick tip for you playing Metro: Last Light under SteamOS, and you want to guage how many FPS you are getting by using these new fangled “video quality sliders.”  While I like the ease of adjusting the graphics, you won’t really get a feel for the effects under you can see the frames per second during gameplay.  Personally, even on an Nvidia GTX 560ti, I have moved the slider all the way up at times, and even with FPS as low as 17-24, have not noticed such horrible gameplay.  I think on SteamOS some of it can be subjective of course.  Anyway, if you are interested in seeing the FPS, there is a quick way to do this.  Read on for more. Read the rest of this entry

Sneak Peek- Steam Machine Beta Program Teardown From iFixit

Inside the Steam Machine (Credit:

Inside the Steam Machine (Credit:

iFixit has an awesome full teardown of the Steam Machine beta machines that were sent out to a lucky group of 300 people.  It was quite interesting to get a look inside the guts of the Steam Machine from Valve, and the mysterious new controller that has been flooding the wastegates of the Internet. 

How they managed to pack all of the estimated 1300 US Dollar components inside is beyond me.  Once you get a look at the layout inside the machine, it is quite apparent that a lot of work went into its design.  Thankfully, all the connectors are standard, including plain jane SATA data and power connectors.  Joy! 

Inside the meaty machine is a ZOTAC GeForce GTX780 3 GB GDDR5 graphics card.  That is one mother of a card, and explains a lot of the estimated cost.  On further teardown, it is shown just how carefully crafted the engineering team designed the inner compartments and cabling.  Also amazing, is just how this machine stays hydrated with such thirsty parts on a 450W power supply!

Breakdown of parts in the Steam Machine:

  • SilverStone SST-ST45SF-G 450W SFX12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply
  • 1 TB Seagate ST100LM014 laptop SSD
  • ZOTAC GeForce GTX780 3 GB GDDR5
  • Two sticks of Crucial Ballistix Sport 8 GB DDR3 (PC3 12800) RAM
  • Zalman CNPS 2X Mini-ITX CPU cooler
  • 3.2 GHz (with a Max Turbo Frequency of 3.6 GHz) Intel Core i5-4570.

Self designed Valve parts:

  • NXP LCP11U24F 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 microcontroller (Front Button and LED)
  • Case and internal cowling
  • NXP LPC11U37F microcontroller (Steam Controller)


Steam OS Bootable DVD Installer Method 1

The below method is untested, and not recommended for new users.  Credit to this method goes to Div on the Steam Community forums.  This method is UEFI only!

First you need xorriso, if you are running debian-based linux, you can simply type

apt-get install xorriso

Make sure you downloaded and unzip SteamOSInstaller (in my case I unzip it to /tmp/SteamOSInstaller)

Then run following code

xorriso -as mkisofs -r -checksum_algorithm_iso md5,sha1 -V 'Steam OS' \
-o /tmp/SteamOSInstaller.iso -J -joliet-long -cache-inodes -no-emul-boot \
-boot-load-size 4 -boot-info-table -eltorito-alt-boot --efi-boot boot/grub/efi.img \
-append_partition 2 0x01 /tmp/SteamOSInstaller/boot/grub/efi.img \
-partition_offset 16 /tmp/SteamOSInstaller

It will create an iso named SteamOSInstaller.iso under /tmp folder (You can change command accordingly so that it will write to a different folder). Then you can load it into a virtual machine, or burn it to a DVD to boot the installer.

(You need a UEFI system to boot the image)

Steam OS UEFI Workaround Method 1

Method 1: Grub and SysLinux

This method is provided  with great thanks to /u/FrostyCoolSlug of Reddit.  Please use extreme caution when trying any of these steps, and I am not responsible for any damage to an existing computer installation. Read the rest of this entry