Life in a Gun Shell is a weekly comic written by Andrew Mussey involving the trials and tribulations of living in an 8-bit world. A new strip is run every Friday.

December 20, 2009 at 12:34 AM EST (GMT -5)
There wasn't any truly simple program that allowed the Rock Band Stage Kit to be used stand-alone or to be hooked up to a computer. So, I wrote one.

I started playing around with this API and wrote a quick program to do just that. This is the first thing I've ever coded in C#, so please report any bugs you run in to. It's fairly basic (and ugly... I'll change it away from the standard VS style later on), but it will easily let you control the strobe and fog box. It also has really basic circular patterns coded in for the LEDs. I plan on adding more functionality as I have time.

As of right now, there is only control over a Stage Kit set as player 1. I've only been able to test it on my desktop, running a Core 2 Quad and Windows 7 Enterprise.

Download Links:

Download SK_Lightworks 1.0

I haven't tested it outside of Windows 7 which already had these installed, but if you need them:

Download .Net 3.5 Redist

Download XNA 3.0 Redist

Known problems:
- The LEDs won't stop instantly when you hit any of the kill buttons. They wait until the end of the cycle.
- The program randomly takes up large amounts of the CPU. I'm pretty sure I fixed this, so let me know if it occurs.

Future plans:
- Add support for more than one Stage Kit.
- Add additional light patterns.

I plan on releasing the source later on once I can clean it up. Enjoy! :)

December 9, 2009 at 8:37 AM EST (GMT -5)
I didn't write this. I don't support it. Posted for your enjoyment.

November 9, 2009 at 9:57 AM EST (GMT -5)
Removing the Suggestions box

  1. Download the Greasemonkey plugin for Firefox (

  2. Reboot Firefox

  3. Navigate to

  4. Hit the giant "install" button, and you?re ready to go!

To disable it, while on the front page of Facebook page, click on the monkey icon in the lower right hand corner. Click on the "Remove Suggestions" option to uncheck it. Refresh the page, and you?re set!

Dislike button

Groups for this have been popping up EVERYWHERE. There?s a Firefox plugin that will allow it:
Simply click the "Let me install this experimental add-on" checkbox, click install, and reboot Firefox.

I still think there needs to be a script to let me double-like statuses... but, anyway, until I can figure out how to pull a 1984 and double plus like your triple plus good status, have a good week!

November 4, 2009 at 9:43 AM EST (GMT -5)
Download Guide:

It seems like very few students actually know about this, so I figured I should put some sort of guide together.

First, navigate here:

Punch in the required info. The new password you create must be at least 7 characters long and contain 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, and 1 special character/number. Sometimes you?ll have to fill this out two or three times, as it fails to send for no explainable reason.

Once completed, navigate to:

Click on ?Click to agree and login?, using your new password.

Once inside, you?ll see a long list of software. Click on Windows 7. The file you want to download is en_windows_7_professional_x86_dvd_x15-65804.iso (the second one). You can also click here to start the download. We?ll go and get your serial number while this downloads.

Now, navigate to here:

Click on the second link (?Windows 7 Professional (x86) - DVD (English)?). Click on the ?Add to cart? button. Since the site doesn?t initially recognize you as being logged in, you?ll need to return to the above link and repeat these steps.

Click on the ?Check Out? button when you are viewing your shopping cart. Don?t worry, you won?t be asked for any payment information. Once you?ve completed checkout, you?ll be sent to a download page. You don?t need to download the file a second time, but your serial number is located on this page.

When your *.ISO file has finished downloading, you?ll need to burn it to a disk. Nearly every computer is equipped with a DVD burner these days, but you?ll need software to burn the file. I recommend ImgBurn (

If you have any other questions regarding this process, I?d be happy to help.

Windows 7 Impression and ?Should I upgrade??:

If you?ve purchased a computer in the last couple years, chances are you?re running Vista. If so, absolutely upgrade.

If you?re running Windows XP, and have a stable system, then it may be more advantageous to stick with what you?ve got. Unless there are particular features you?re looking for, chances are the process of backing up your data and upgrading are going to be too much of a hassle. Furthermore, if you have been tracking it long enough to know of something in it you want, you?ve already upgraded.

For Tablet PC users (most of Tech students), 7 brings huge advantages to touch technology and handwriting recognition. I?ve been running it on my Toshiba M700, on which I used to hate the touch feature, and now it?s something I can?t go without.

If you plan on upgrading, but have doubts about compatibility (mainly people making the XP to 7 jump), download a copy of Microsoft?s Upgrade Advisor from here.

Again, feel free to contact me with any questions.

October 13, 2009 at 2:51 AM EST (GMT -5)
Really, it seems to be a pretty standard color: []
You'll see it's use in this weeks comic.

Also, I'll probably release some web exclusive content either today or tomorrow between interviews for IBM. Keep checking the uncensored section!

October 8, 2009 at 12:58 AM EST (GMT -5)
I've set up a new system to easily post on both Life In A Gun Shell and AJAMA at the same time. Hopefully this means I can post more. For starters, here's a demo that Picasa's face recognition still picks up some pretty random things:

July 28, 2009 at 11:39 AM EST (GMT -5)
Check out today's Gizmodo article and see the award winning cable closet (#10).

I had originally planned on announcing a new podcast today, but sadly, all of the pieces didn't come together. We may make an attempt at another one, but I can't say anything about it right now.

July 15, 2009 at 3:37 PM EST (GMT -5)
Thanks to Google's API, comments have been enabled for every section of comics on the site! I'll also be posting a couple new comics tonight, especially in the Uncensored section.

Also, be ready for a big announcement later this week!


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