Blog Archives

Under The Hood – New Steam Machine Buyers Guide

There will be an ongoing Steam machine buyers guide located under the resources section of the top menu navigation of the site.  I will also place a small link in the featured workarounds article.  Over time I hope to keep this moving as hardware develops and changes.  The formatting is a bit rought right now, but I will tidy it up over time.

The Linux Cauldron Steam machine Buyer’s Guide


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


Steam Arcade – “Dust: An Elysian Tail”

A shoddy review of “Dust: An Elysian Tale” 🙂


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.
Read the rest of this entry

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

Hacking SteamOS for Fun and Profit – Steam Gift Cards and FREE Stickers up for Grabs!

” Gabe Newell didn’t intend for your $1,500 Steam Machine to sit in an LED-lit display cabinet in your basement for the rest of its life, shrouded by lesser consoles of times long since past. He envisaged a beacon of hope, a catalyst for openness, innovation and creativity.

It is time to rise! Grab your keyboards, your Dremels, your determination; whatever your weapon, no man shall be turned away. Mod, hack and code your way to victory as we make these machines do the unthinkable, the impossible.”


Video Reel – The LC SteamBox

A video I shot this morning detailing my horribly put together, but functioning, SteamOS box.  Some of the troubleshooting I did with this machine will show up in the “SteamOS Workarounds” featured article at the top of the site (if not search for SteamOS at the top of the page).  I really apologize for the shakiness this time around.

Comments or corrections can be left below or on Youtube. I had to use a digital camera, rather than my phone, since the lay Cyanogen Mod update lef the video function unusable for the moment. Youtube is currently processing a software fix on the shakiness. Apologies.


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)


A Post Because I Can – SteamOS Sucess!

Just an update, I successfully installed SteamOS under the following test rig:

  • Dell Optiplex GX745
  • Non-UEFI generic Intel motherboard
  • Velociraptor Hard Drive
  • AMD HD 5450 Low Profile Graphics Card
  • HDMI/DVI Out
  • 4 GB DDR2 PC26400
Miss me!?!? The Steam EULA agreement is hidden for many when starting SteamOS for the first time after the script is run.

Miss me!?!? The Steam EULA agreement is hidden for many when starting SteamOS for the first time after the script is run.

It was a bit tricky, as after I installed the AMD beta drivers over top of the existing fglrx proprietary drivers, I still had a black screen.  The trick was to hit <TAB> + <SPACE> + <ENTER> to accept the hidden SteamOS EULA on the screen.  For some reason it was not rendering through default output.  After this the SteamOS update kicked off, installed, and I was away!