So looking back now over the past year, I have been using VR for awhile now and I have to say I have enjoyed every moment of it, starting with the humble HTC Vive and its wand’s which wasn’t a bad experience, but after getting a newer headset the Vive Pro eye I could see the improvements in the technology, facial tracking and eye tracking are just amazing!


Starting in NeosVR was a great place to start, as I said in my previous post last year, it still has that SL/Gmod charm to it and reminds of these even today, learning my way around the platform even more and making new friends has been a great way to take my mind off the current ongoing lockdown’s and restrictions.


I have enjoyed every little project I have worked on in Neos, the heartrate meter has been a huge one for me and probably also my first major opensource project I have given to a community it fills me with a lot of pride when I see someone using one on their name tag tho without someone like Ryuvi this wouldn’t of been possible, Thank you for the idea and original code <3, Biometrics are really cool and some of the stuff I have seen people use this system for have been just crazy, one user had linked all the emissive maps on their avatar to actually pulse with heartbeat which was really cool. [GitHub]


I never really expected much to come from being on Neos in regards to actually helping the project officially, but I was invited in to join the Mentor program which made me a recognised helper of NeosVR, if people saw me in world with this badge they knew they could ask me for help with setting up avatar’s or guidance around the platform, this didn’t last too long as I was moved up to a higher position within NeosVR on the 31st January 2021.


After this I joined the moderation team of Neos, taking a major role creating the moderation tickets system, which was quite the task to setup, along with Discord bots more information on this can be found here – Steam Link – Look for the section How our moderation ticket system works


My last screenshot with me in the Blue, From the 3K followers stream

So about 5 month’s down the line June 15th 2021, I was invited to join the Neos team itself as an official team member, I will be honest here I had a very hard job holding back the tears, I was overjoyed I am still at a loss for words even to this day, its so great to be part of this amazing team of talented individuals, I just really want to thank the NeosVR Community for being the best community I have experienced since Forsaken Gaming was disbanded, don’t get me wrong CytraX is still a great community but its not as large as Forsaken Gaming was.


~Raith (@RaithSphere) / Twitter
NeosVR Programmer* & Moderator
* = No I don’t program Neos itself but external system’s like the tickets

Links : Neos MetaverseNeos WikiNeosVR DiscordCytraX

Getting started

So I recently took the dive into VR, a friend of mine had recently upgraded to a Valve Index headset and his HTC Vive was sitting around collecting dust, the main problem was that he had taken the base stations to use with his Index so I had to purchase new ones at £100-£150 per unit this wasn’t cheep, when you consider you can get a full Vive kit from CEX for £350 as of writing this, but I would rather have something I know the history of.

This is my own personal experience of VR and several applications I have used along my way, this post will be expanded on as I reflect more on this.


OVR Toolkit (£ 9.29 / $ 11.99 / € 9.99)
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1068820/OVR_Toolkit/

OVR Toolkit has been a very handy little tool for me being able to check messages from discord, read twitch when I am hanging out with a streamer or just knowing my power levels of my controllers just from looking at my hand.


NeosVR (Free)
https://store.steampowered.com/app/740250/Neos_VR/

Nexulan | Community Manager

Where do I start with NeosVR, NeosVR reminds me alot of secondlife in the regard to how you build in there, you can build with primitives like in secondlife or you can make models in Blender, 3DSMax, Maya, Fusion or any other software that would allow you to export a file as DAE, FBX and all that good stuff.

Frooxius | CTO & Veer | Head of Moderation

It wasn’t too long being in NeosVR that I decided to join their patreon now I am not usually that quick to pateron to anything but NeosVR really made me want to do this, the Development team over at Solirax are really nice, I have hung out with several of the staff members possibly all of them at this point, I am yet to really have a unpleasurable experience in NeosVR

The community has been one of the best I have experienced in a long time, and that’s been extremely refreshing, I have made several decent friends in my time on Neos already, I have really only touched the surface of Neos, its something you would need to really experience yourself, the community are very good for helping out new members too!

I would advice checking it out https://neos.com/ and if you join maybe support their Patreon https://www.patreon.com/neosvr


So my old computer finally gave up after the CPU bracket broke and decided to send the cooler on a kamikaze down my case, so I figured I think it’s time to get something new.

I opted to keep myself on the side of AMD as usual, and picked up a Ryzen 5 3600 which is a pretty nice little processor for its value, pair that up Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4 3200 MHz and a ASUS TUF B450-PLUS GAMING (Socket AM4) DDR4 ATX Motherboard and i got a rather nice combination here.


I am sticking with my ASUS GTX1060 3GB card for now as a GPU upgrade isn’t too urgent as I am able to get the gaming performance I wanted already. This all came over on the 12th May and was built into my existing case, much to my disdain the Antec 900 is an ancient piece of crap, but I do have a case picked out which will be the Lan Cool II from Lian-Li.


Performance wise i have no major complaints here with most games, I only really play Path of Exile and Rocket League anyway’s recently, but still nice to have that CPU power for if I decide to play something new.


The only other parts I now needed to replace was the PSU and the SSD, well I didn’t need to upgrade my SSD as I was already using a 1tb SSD but felt that given I had the slot for an M.2 I would pick up an NVME which was the Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0, now there is one issue but that is more a future thing, my board only runs the PCI-E at Generation 3 not Gen 4.0 which would give be the full speed of the Rocket, but that’s not too much of an issue right now.


So overall I am rather pleased with this new build, once I upgrade my case and my PSU I should get some pictures of the finished build.

So recently i’ve been playing around with unRAID and it’s VM management, which is using the QEMU system with a OVMF which I custom compiled for myself replacing the logo’s, still not quite happy with how that looks yet tho.

The main issues I have ran into regarding this, was setting up the PCI Stub’s and various other IMMOU issues with are mostly related to an issue with the HP server I am using, most of this was rectified by using a patch https://github.com/AnnabellaRenee87/Unraid-HP-Proliant-Edition which fixes the main issues with the Proliant not allowing IMMOU groups to be passed thru to VM’s

The Elephant in the room?

Enter NVIDIA… well this was actually ALOT simpler than I expected, I’ve read enough online about issues with using GeForce cards on VM’s as a pass-thru that I was expecting issue’s… I was rather surprised actually, no hitches there what so ever, so lets move onto other things, USB… this wasn’t fun at all, I had so many issues passing thru my VIA Technologies VL805 USB 3.0 Host Controller that I ended up having to run several things off the on-board USB ports and use no pass-thru, the main issue I had experienced here was actually that when audio was playing on my USB mixer I would actually lock up the USB stack or something as my mouse and keyboard wouldn’t accept any input’s while the audio was playing… check unRAID forum’s people are talking about Message Signaled Interrupts (MSI), no this wasn’t the issue in my case as it was already enabled, it got to the point where I just couldn’t be bothered with this one anymore so I moved on.

So I’ve reached a point where I was happy enough to start playing around properly with this… now this is where things started getting interesting… I up-to this point was having 0 issues with the thing as a whole, I was pulling decent FPS in games like Rocket League, Minion Masters and even Elite Dangerous was running with acceptable frame rates, but all of a sudden for no reason at all everything starts to stutter, what have I done, nothing, I’ve not changed anything with the VM at all, throw a few more CPU cores at it maybe that will help… Nope didn’t do much at all to help me, So as of writing this I am back to full bare metal for now, I’ve learn’t quite a bit doing this to be honest with you, its been a fun experience and something I would honestly love to delve into again, the idea of running my home system off a VM on my server is still alluring from a logistics point of view, the server run’s 24/7 its not that much extra power/overhead to run the VM.

In Summary

While VM’s are looking good for running basic workstations and I have seen projects like LTT’s 7 Gamers, 1 CPU, which really do show off the power of this whole thing, my own hardware, mostly my server CPU and probably actually my server in general isn’t up-to this task, would I do it this experiment again.. Of course I would, its worth looking at and playing around.

unRAID has been a good choice for me in the whole playing around with VM’s and general server stuff, its easy to work with and setup and is only getting better!

The only downside is this is paid software but its highly worth it


As a free alternative to unRAID you could also look at Proxmox which I have heard good things about

So, recently I have been toying around more and more with Smart Home stuff mostly lights, plug sockets and Google Homes


Image result for Home assistant Logo

HassIO/Home Assistant

Home Assistant has been one thing I have looked at, overall i have not been too bothered about keeping it around, its been overall a decent experience but I found it was a little too overkill for the amount of devices I actually own.


Image result for Google Home Logo

Google Home

Google Home has been something that has been something that has been a major part of the whole smart home setup for me for awhile now since I got one free from Spotify, and overall with this system i have found it to be very handy in my day to day usage, being the owner of a Pixel device and moving over to a Pixel 2 I could say the Google ecosystem is a major part of my day, then factor in a Chromecast and a couple of AndroidTV boxes and its pretty much a no brainer to why I am using this one.


Image result for Smart Life Icon

Tuya Smart Life

So I have a couple of Teckin smart plugs around the house which are pretty cool, being able to monitor the power usage of anything that is connected to the plug socket is rather cool, I had the Teckin smart bulbs which was their version 1 which was rather lacking in the white department, it was only able to produce a cool white which was a huge downer for in the living room so i had looked at other ones using the Smart Life system which was by Avatar, these ones for the price are really good your looking at about £19.53 as of writing this (Amazon.co.uk) – I would probably look at Phillips Hue in time, just the entry point to this system is way more expensive then I would like to spend


Links to products on Amazon

Teckin Smart Plugs – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07QN5XY89/

Avatar Bulbs – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07PKMC87F/