Saturday, November 30, 2019

In spending the past week abusing myself with CMake, I think two things are fundamentally true and unlikely to ever change:

  1. CMake 3.16 beats the crap(!) out of 2.x.
  2. I will never, ever love CMake. Period.
On the positive side, in the years since it last pissed me off, they've added support for generating the build for Ninja—a tool which I do love very much. So at least, I get to solve my problem, and I don't have to deal with MSBuild, NMake Makefiles, or Unix Makefiles. Although, I might have gained a few new grey hairs along the way. I very much would prefer the generated build did more actions in ninja than in cmake, for a multitude of reasons.

My hate for CMake 2.x mostly stems from its tendency to complicate my cross platform efforts rather than aid them. Quotes I've made over the years about autotools, often stem from dealing with either CMake or SCons.

My hate for CMake 3.x mostly stems from the nature of what it is: configure, generate, build shit; and consistency issues that follow that. Actually, it makes me remember the compile versus runtime stuff in Perl 5, and recall the times I've muttered: "Yeah, please just don't !@#$ with that, pal."

The difference there, is perl and I are old friends. CMake and I are old enemies. That, and I suppose these days the number of people that like the former outweigh the latter.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Musing from an E6430S

The things I'd actually change about my Latitude:

  1. Not weigh 3~4 lbs.
  2. Have more than 16GB of RAM.
  3. Have USB-C where the USB2 + ESATA is.
  4. Swap the rear USB3 and side VGA cables.
  5. Have internal Bluetooth instead of dongle in my rear USB3 port.

Notice, these are pretty much in the order of impossible, lol.

Newer machines offer faster processors and better capabilities for USB-C than Stark does, but not by much. I think the hardest to solve is the weight problem. The closest thing to a lightweight laptop in Stark's formfactor is the X1 Carbon, and I say that's lightweight relative to its peers rather than my tastes.

And there in lays why when I reach for my laptop at home, it usually has more to do with an x-terminal than a keyboard. Because my tablet's weight is < 0.5 kg and my laptop's weight is < 4 kg.

On the flipside, one of these days I should probably dig up one of the old E-series docks and see how well that works with Linux. I seem to recall the D-series docks worked pretty good with FreeBSD if you followed polite undocking procedures, and I don't think Linux gives as many farts about the hotplugging.
Sometimes it’s hard to decide whether the room I’m in is defined by what I’m trying to do, or by the comfort of dogs.

Willow’s well versed in finding the most comfortable spot she can, and in where the food eating happens.  Mostly she chooses her spot based around where I’ve chosen mine: but she doesn’t hesitate to influence this ad the requirements for comfort and such change.

The amount of times I end up changing between living room and bedroom to suit Willow’s preference, is probably balanced by how often my drifting around doing stuff causes her to follow me around and wonder if I’ve lost my mind or started sleep walking.
Have I ever mentioned that Willow is a lot smarter than I am?

And far more comfortable, lol.
How Much of a Genius-Level Move Was Using Binary Space Partitioning in Doom?

I still remember the first time that I played Wolfenstein 3D. It was on a contemporary hardware, as a minigame in a far more recent Wolfenstein game. My first thought was how rudimentary simple it was; my second was "Holy crap, you could do this on a 286?".

By modern definitions, I don't think anyone would be thrilled by the limitations Id's early engines had for map geometry. But I think for their times, it was a small price to pay given the hardware. And to be fair, as a kid, when I first played DooM '93 on a Sega 32X^, I certainly didn't notice. Years later when I would play it on a PC, I didn't care—because it was still fun. All these years later, I still find DooM '93 to be a lot of fun. That's the real success of a video game, I'd say :P.

For the time, even the console ports were pretty impressive games. I mean, most of the games we had looked like this:

Meanwhile if you popped in DooM, this was what you got:

That just didn't happen, lol.

Many times that I've read about porting PC games to the Super Nintendo, and other consoles, they've usually been stories that I would describe as "Lossy" or "Brutal" depending on the complexity gap. Such as when an arcade machine was far more powerful than a console, or a PC simply had more oompth than a console.

Id's games were kind of revolutionary: both in their visual technology, and in their portability. Wolf 3D, DooM, and Quake were pretty widely ported during their era of commercial viability. Post open sourcing of their code, they have come to run on virtually everything, and anything. As technology has advanced, we've probably reached the point where it is no longer a surprise if your wrist watch is more powerful than many of the things DooM '93 was ported to in the '90s.

Today, I think that DooM's use of BSP is somewhat novel. You should think of that today, or your hardware is probably so powerful compared to your goal: that you just don't care. Given a decent computer science education, the concept isn't the leap into rocket science. Today though, I imagine most people aren't tasked with solving such a problem, because they live in the world John Carmack helped create: one where we have this thing called a Game Engine.

When Carmack programmed these games, I don't think it was so obvious a technique. People were still struggling to make PCs do this kind of thing at all. Resources for learning these things have also changed a lot over time. Many of us have the advantage of knowledge built on the minds of geniuses, if we have any education at all—and the code.

Two of my favourite engines to read: are modern source ports of the Quake III: Arena and DooM engines. By releasing the code into the wild, I think it helped all of us learn better how to solve these problems. Both the things you can go off and learn, and the code you can get ahold of have evolved since these games were written. But thanks to games like DooM: it's easier for us to do that today. Because technology is built upon what came before, by extending the ideas of others in new directions and taking advantage of improved hardware.

Genius isn't in using a rock to smash something, it is in realizing you can smash things with a rock far better than your thick head.

^ Being around 25 years later, my brain cells are foggy. But DooM was one of my brother's games, so the first thing we had that played that would probably have been the Sega Genesis, which AFAIK means 32X release. We also had the PlayStation versions of DooM, Final DooM, and Quake II but those were later in our childhood.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Damn it, fruit co!

Reasons to look forward to a knew iPadOS version: if I connect my keyboard or my mouse individually, they work excellently. If I have both connected: the keyboard lags at a rate of 5+ seconds per character with frequent drops and repretitions.

So basically, Apple seems to have broken the ability to use a keyboard and a mouse at the same time in 13.2.3. Nevermind that that mouse support and productivity are cornerstone goals for iPad OS 13 \o/.

On the positive side, disconnecting the mouse fixes the keyboard distruption about as instant as the connection terminates. And restores it as fast as the mouse reconnects.  So unlike most issues I’ve experienced with iOS 13 bugs, reboots aren’t required.

I find this less amusing when you take both the fact that I am more inclined to use my tablets with mouse/monitor/keyboard than most people, and that the touchscreen keyboard vs the physical keyboard is a delta of about 40~50 words per minute in my typing speed. And Apple’s floatly keyboard with the pen input is one of the buggist mother fuckers ever shipped.

Random LOL

In porting an old multi-headed hydra, I found myself cackling.

Somewhere down in the beast's HAL, is an utility function that returns the device name. This is what I found:

if (access("normal device", F_OK) == 0) {
    strcpy(devName, "normal device");
} else if (access("device not used in many years", F_OK) == 0) {
    strcpy("devName", "device not used in many years");

And in realizing why the stack trace was in such a simple function, I bust a gut when I noticed the quotes in the lower string copy. Ahh, the joys we inherit ^_^.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Watching the episode 4 - 6 arc of Love and Peace / Hard Puncher / Lost July, may have permanently endeared Vash the Stampede to me. Because if the humorous antics and ease going nature didn’t, that sure did.

The arc begins with Vash eating at a diner before a bunch of gunmen rush in wanting to lay claim to the $$60 billion bounty on his head, runs past The Nebraska Family, and into a revenge plot over the first city to experience his typhoon problem.

It’s a damned great story. Actually, that makes me wonder if there are Blu-rays available and decently priced.
Pour one out for the Steam Controller, now on closeout sale for just $5 plus shipping

I’ll admit that my thoughts for another controller run towards an XBox controller new enough to support Bluetooth, but for $5 I don’t think I can resist this.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Yep, it’s official. Trigun is freaking awesome and if I was smart: I’d have started watching this twenty years ago.

That’s the conclusion I’ve reached be episode 4: love & peace.
Firing up Trigun on Hulu, I think I’m going to like this show, as well as put a ding in my bucket list.

It’s idiots to the left; idiots to the right; and bullets everywhere. I suspect Vash will snipe my funny bone in a similar vector to Deadpool.
Signs that you're a tablet whore:

  1. When you get to work and realize your tablet is still sitting on your desk.
  2. You wonder if forgetting your laptop would bother you less than forgetting your tablet.
  3. You're pretty sure forgetting your tablet is worse.
  4. When you get home, you snuggle your tablet after hugging the dogs.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Ninja Nonsense - s01e01 - Ninja Trainee Shinobu

Not what I was searching for on Crunchyroll, but this is some kind of cracked crock full of nonsensical laughs for sure. Like a kunoichi assigned a panty theft mission meets a kick in the balls.

I’m not sure what perverted comedic drugs the author and animated was, but as a comedy it kind of works.
An expensive but delicious smorgasbord.

Probably a 1/3 can of garbanzo beans (69¢), a bag of frozen peppers/onions ($1~$1.29) that had a seasoned date with a skillet, rice with furikake and soy sauce, and a baked yellowfin tuna fillet (usually $6.99 for 3 frozen fillets). I think the fish was on “Please, someone just buy it” or near BOGO level sale pricing last time I bought fish.

Willow was somewhat less thrilled when permission to taste the tuna fillet was denied, but got her own meat and veggie gravy yummy dog food after dinner. Followed by a regular dog treat, lol. Ditto for Misty and Corky, accept they didn’t try and put their snoot on my foot.

There’s two things that Willow has a high likelihood of attempting theft: fish and chicken. Other than that, she tends to be pretty good about not trying to steal off my plate.
Supplemental to my post about HDMI extension and switching time: how the !@#$ didn't I think of this years ago?

Seriously it makes changing the HDMI cable on my monitor so much easier!
Marvel just told us how it decided which heroes to kill in 'Avengers: Endgame'

Nobody becomes a superhero because they’re really well adjusted; they do it because they’re screwed up on some level. [By the end of Endgame] everybody is kind of fixed, or dead.

And that pretty much sums it up. Also, I think the Thor in the normal-person suit worked really well, IMHO.
One thing that I actually do like about using an iPad with a mouse is the spell check.

PC’s typically follow the model of right click → menu → suggestions or right click → suggestions on top of the context menu. Where the particulars of everything are application specific and very non portable, usually.

My iPad? Click the word → just give the suggestions and make you click again for the menu. Subsequent clicks toggle between spell check suggestions and the menu. Android usually just opens a context menu when you click the word, and keeps text selection different from spell checking. +/- some OEMs like to disable that by default (and Samsung used to remove the feature, way back when), iOS and Android mostly make it the OS’s job for text input things.

HDMI extension and switching time

Well, it’s taken about six years, but I think I’ve finally found something the first generation Chromecast is good at, aside from demonstrating the meaning of choking hazard. They came with these little extension cables, so that you could put a bit of distance between your display’s HDMI port and the device itself versus shoving the Chromecast G1 into your TV.

Simply put, my old Asus monitor only has two real problems. One is the speakers are utterly and completely crap—that audio should never and under no circumstances have audio routed through them. Thankfully, Asus put a 3.5 mm port that let’s me hook up external speakers to handle the HDMI audio input. The other problem that is less easily solved: is there is only one HDMI port. It’s from an era where even a nice monitor only had one if any. Thus with my conversion to HDMI all the things around 2013~2014 thereabouts, It has been the real sticking point.

To swap cables: I’ve got to either blind man finger for the port until the HDMI goes in, or flip the monitor forward so I can get a visual on the port. Yeah, my top request for HDMI 3.0 is going to be a reversible connector like USB-C.

Today I did a bit of experiment. I connected my old HDMI switch, so I could check if my 780GTX or iPad took offense to it. At least under Linux, I’ve not been able to use Skylake or Braswell graphics with the switch, so it’s mostly been underutilized since my Xbox and Fire TV went to different displays. Much to my happiness, the GTX doesn’t care about the switch and my iPad Pro 11 -> HooToo adapter setup doesn’t seem to mind; although I didn’t test HDCP on either, I doubt that’s an issue here.

As a follow up, I decided to test if doing a hotplug from the iPad end would be smart enough to trigger the switches input auto switch behavior and it is not. Since the Chromecast G1 extension cable makes it easier to swap cables on my Asus monitor, I think what I will do is just toggle cables and spare myself wiring up yet another thing with an idiot light.

10 Anime That Turn Out To Be Nothing Like What They First Seem

I’m just going to say, most of these are worth watching and more than a few are great ^_^.
How to know it's time to take a break:

  1. You've cleared out a post apocalyptic city full of daemons.
  2. You've defeated the villain's pet three headed, fire breathing dog.
  3. You've defeated the villain's Astral ally, with some help from your own.
  4. The game crashes before the post battle auto checkpoint save.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Watching Christmas Vacation for the first time in some years, I think the real problem is less that Griswold’s luck is like a suburban dad version of Ashley Williams, and has more to do with his foolishness. But there in lays the rub.

In a way, Clark Griswold kind of represents the foolishness in us all, parodied to National Lampoon levels. He’s pretty much hopeless, and nothing he tries to do for his family goes according to plan, but they love him just the same. Somehow.

Most people can probably identify with how that works out, and be glad that most of us space out our foolishness enough not to have a reserved spot on the other side of the nut house, or encounter SWAT teams that often in our happy endings. Oddly, the characters work really well, lol.
Final signs that the tablet has won:

  1. Posting from my desk usually means my tablet is between my keyboard, and monitor, and the keyboard is paired to the monitor.
  2. If it doesn’t involve video playback, Direct3D games, or compling code, I’m probably going to use my tablet when I’m at my desk more than my desktop.
  3. The urge to hook up my HDMI switch again, so that I can share the monitor with my tablet.
Yes, I’m weird.

Breffo Spiderpodiums as an Xbox controller caddy and headphone stand

The Breffo Spiderpodium was originally made with holding an iPhone in mind, but I have to admit that it works pretty good as an Xbox controller caddy.

Two middle legs are folded to create stand, two back legs to lip over the controller, and two front legs are folded to make a sort of rest by the accessory port. So I can pretty much tilt the controller about ten degrees downward, slide it into place, and relax.

The larger model originally designed for the iPad, also works pretty neatly as a headphones holder. Hehe.

Plus whatever Breffo’s definition of British steel or whatever the interior is made out of, I’ve never actually managed to break one of these things. The most damage I’ve ever done is melting the plastic a bit by hanging one out of my car’s air vents for a lustrum or more.
Check out what I'm watching on Crunchyroll!

This episode especially made me laugh, in a pretty steady symmetrical fashion. Perhaps helps that the jokes with Sun-Chan just made me cackle louder. Their trip to the pool is just filled with reasons to laugh, while somehow maintaining the pseudo-serious tone of the series; it really worked for my funny bone.

Oresuki is probably worth watching for the twisted-characters and wise cracks about rom-coms, but this episode is just worth watching, period.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Not sure why I’m so ridiculously tired tonight.

But I’m tempted to either blame the comfy goons, or tell them to move over.

Mastery of the comfy nap award of the day, goes to Willow.
Hunger was banished by beefaroni.

Which happens to be a great recipe for food comas.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

I think I’ve finally found something my iPad truly does better than my Androids, lol.

By in large, my many years of using my Android tablets docked to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor has been a pleasant experience. Enough that the only real beefs I’ve had, have been when apps (read Google’s) break the scroll wheel support. Mostly, it just works(tm).

One sore spot however was anything that involves a pinch gesture. Like trying to zoom in and out on Google Maps, which did not always have eat double tap and slide gestures to it. Everything else worked pretty well.

Well, I think I finally smiled. Apple binds the right mouse button to penning the accessibility menu, which is an artifact I guess, of mouse support being more of an accessibility minded thing then a general feature like Android’s support. But when you open this menu and goto Custom it offers the ability to trigger a pich. Which changes the cursor and left click behavior to let you navigate pinching in multiple axis of movement. It doesn’t suck, although naturally it might be a tad confusing.

That’s kind of cool. Good job, Apple. I know I rarely say that instead of four letter gestures, but this one made me happy.

Flash, flash, flash--storage fest

In thinking about cutting down my load, I've come up with an idea. Stark has a forward SD slot under its trackpad that usually houses a simple slug that Dell pre-installed. Swapping this with my spare MicroSD and a SD adapter is one less thing to keep track of.

Experimenting with this idea, I also opted to try a few drives in my standard kit.

My old 1TB Transcend drive works pretty snazzy. This is one of those old green laced grey "Milspec" framed drives connected with an old Samsung MicroB 3.0 cable.

root@stark:~# dd if=/dev/zero of=/media/terryp/Transcend/dd.img bs=1M count=10241024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 1.80687 s, 594 MB/s
root@stark:~# rm /media/terryp/Transcend/dd.img 

Generally, I use this drive for backing up my laptop since it's one of the better portable drives that I own. Give or take how old it is, lol. This drive is also formatted exFAT unlike the other drives, which are all FAT32.

Here's the 128G SanDisk Ultra flash drive I bought some years back:

root@stark:~# dd if=/dev/zero of=/media/terryp/DE47-D1C8/dd.img bs=1M count=10241024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 14.8877 s, 72.1 MB/s
root@stark:~# rm /media/terryp/DE47-D1C8/dd.img 

Which mostly serves for shuffling files around, since it's a decent capacity for a small size.

Here's a pair of USB drives from Microcenter free coupons. A slower 32G drive labelled USB 3.0 and a faster 16G drive labelled USB 3.1; the translucent cases look like the board designs are the same.

root@stark:~# dd if=/dev/zero of=/media/terryp/USB\ DISK/dd.img bs=1M count=10241024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 196.081 s, 5.5 MB/s
root@stark:~# rm /media/terryp/USB\ DISK/dd.img 

root@stark:~# dd if=/dev/zero of=/media/terryp/USB\ DISK/dd.img bs=1M count=1024
1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 32.868 s, 32.7 MB/s
root@stark:~# rm /media/terryp/USB\ DISK/dd.img 
root@stark:~# dd if=/dev/zero of=/media/terryp/DE47-D1C8/dd.img bs=1M count=1024

The 32G which is slow, serves as my offline video cache for my tablet. The 16G I just got tonight courtesy of another coupon.

And here's the 32G TF/MicroSD card that caused this line of testing, also from Microcenter.

root@stark:~# dd if=/dev/zero of=/media/terryp/32\ GB/dd.img bs=1M count=1024
1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 95.4401 s, 11.3 MB/s
root@stark:~# rm /media/terryp/32\ GB/dd.img

Hmm. I think that I will just leave the card in there. It's pretty unlikely to get knocked out, and I don't expect it would cause notable impact to the battery life. Keep the USB adapter in my usual travel gear, but keep the card in Stark.
Microsoft Surface Pro X Three Week Review: Better Than I Expected For My Productivity Use Case

While I think many people would be unhappy with Windows on ARM, I expect most people would be happier with the traditional desktop experience than the flatter model used over in Android and iOS. For those that can get away with largely first party software, you also get the perks of not having to buck the software catalog.

Now that’s damned cool!
Dropbox And Other Major Apps Need To Get On Board With Windows On Snapdragon.

The PC revolution, I think had enjoyed a pretty remarkable binary portability: one that I think today’s users just take for granted. CP/M while a bit tricky, did surprisingly well for the hardware variations. MS-DOS managed to improve the concept of copying some shit and expecting it to run on your computer. And then there was Windows, which has probably had one of the strongest ABIs for decades while Unix systems came to prefer the portability of source code over the resulting redistributibles.

Today, the concept that you can download some program and that it won’t run because your processor architecture isn’t an Intel chip made within the past ten to twenty five years, is less familiar to everyday Windows users. As opposed to folks who have managed multiple flavors of Unix system across several processor architectures.

In many ways, I think the ease of jockeying binaries around on floppy diskettes and bulletin boards is as important to our computing history as the rise of sharing the source code over the Internet. But the systemic effects kinda work the other way as well: it’s hard to maximize the value of multiple processor architectures if you’re surrounded by binaries that won’t run, and it isn’t so practical to just solve the problem with virtualization and translation.

I think it is telling that modern methods of binary software distribution tend to address the problem from the get go. Installing packages on my Debian systems are pretty much the same whether they’re x86 or ARM based, and that’s probably true of the many supported architectures. Dealing with native code on Android  has long dealt with the issue of bundling binaries for different Android ABIs as well. The path from random ass files to a structured delivery from a repository has its upsides.
To cut down on bugs, Apple is changing how it develops its software

Well, at least it sounds like Apple gives a damn.

The report also says that Apple "privately considered" iOS 13.1 to be "the actual public release" and that the company expected only die-hard fans would update to iOS 13 within the short week between its initial release and the iOS 13.1 update. This is a surprising expectation, given that the company often publicly boasts of how quickly its users adopt new software updates compared to competing platforms.

And that’s just funny when you’ve got your own cult, or several.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Signs it's time to recycle old equipment: when replacement parts cost almost as much as the machine.

Also, when you've been more inclined to use the machine for propping open a window than actually using it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

My Modern iPad Home Screen: Apps, Widgets, Files, Folders, and Shortcuts

The idea of putting apps you frequently multitask with in the dock is one that makes me think. The small number of apps in my dock reflect applications that I frequently switch to, and plenty that I split or slide are somewhere in my home screens.

Most of my use for folders has been to group related but infrequent applications together. E.g. all the banking apps I might launch a few times a month get a folder. But most document related apps get an entire page of the home screen.

Largely I find it amusing as well. The operating system and apps are more giant phone like than Android tablets, for most of the platform’s respective lives. But iPad OS 13 and other recent iOS releases for iPad, really make the user experience suck less.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Not sure if it’s better or worse, that my temptation to put batteries in this is tempered by wondering where the heck my other cartridges went.

It’s been in an old green pencil case for plenty of years, which was also home for my PlayStation and PS2 memory cards, but I only found two cartridges :/.

Mechanical and Apple pencil shown for scale. It’s about the thickness of three pencils :P.
Classic PC: Atari Portfolio.

I can't help but think: one of these would have been really damned lovely when I was a teenager, but good luck finding that at a garage sale.

The thing that scares me, is less that I would have used such a thing back then, and more that the parallel connection makes me remember some of the squirrely things I've had to do in the name of serial ports...hahaha.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Part of me is tempted to try a keyboard case like this one, and part of me thinks I have enough useless things. There's at least two variants by various mostly generic vendors, Procase just happens to be one of the cheaper offerings with USB-C charging support.

My experience with keyboards and tablets have been a touch spotty, given my taste in device size versus my requirements for a keyboard. The smallest that I find really useful for a keyboard are models like Logitech's K380, and their old K810. Which is about as full size a keyboard as you can get while ditching the keys that don't really matter, and settling for laptop style arrow keys.

Device wise, I've usually favored smaller. One of my most heavily used tablets was the Galaxy Note 8.0, but it was useless with a keyboard case. An external keyboard like the K810 works beautifully, but a 16:10 tablet just yields a useless keyboard if you make it fit a case. An 8" wide case means the keyboard will be so ridiculously cramped that you're better off using the touch screen keyboard^.

The only good thing about 10" widescreen tablets were their screen size overlapped with the smallest you could squish a laptop keyboard down and expect it to be worth typing on. The 9.7" standard tablets I've had push that down a peg, but aren't useless. Using the keyboard case that Zagg made for the Tab S2, I found it a bit too cramped to really want to use seriously, but at least it was large enough to be useful rather than counter productive.

When I look at the size difference between my K810 and my 11" iPad Pro, I contemplate where this winds up. I've usually found 12"/4:3 laptops a rather a touch cramped.

One of the differences, I think is also the OS. In Android, using Gboard I generally could write a couple dozen paragraphs on my Tab S2 and Tab S3 without caring about the touch screen; throw in glide/swype typing using an S-Pen and I was damned efficient. Rather using keyboards with Android was more important for tasks like bash and vim sessions over SSH.

On the other hand, the way iOS works for editing text using Apple's keyboard: I'm inclined to think that text editing on an iPad was more of a scream at the top of your lungs and beat people with a stick kind of necessary for iOS 12; in iOS 13, it's not as bad but due to the buggy'ass nature of Apple's on screen keyboard, I would still say use a keyboard. It's like the most important iPad accessory, where as for an Android device, I would say a real (i.e. Wacom based) stylus is the most important accessory.

So I find myself wondering if it'll actually be worth it. The lossage to keyboard space is worrisome but it's much closer to normal than other tablets I've owned, and if I had gone with the 12.9" behmeth, I wouldn't even be contemplating the question since its so huge ^_^. But in my head, I figure if all else fails, I could velcro a real keyboard to the thing, and if I really wanted to get jiggy I could put my dock and hard drive on the back in a similar fashion.

In any event: the case would be getting removed and attached fairly often. The little magnetic case I use with my Pro, mostly serves for times when I want a stand to go and when I want a little more protection at work. At home, my device pretty much runs naked unless I'm using the case for a stand at my desk, and I prefer my devices naked.

^ To be fair, I also feel the same way about sliders. My HTC Doubleshot's keyboard didn't make up for the dinky 3.7" screen, and I was better off with the Galaxy SIII's 4.8" screen in every single sense of typing shit.
Check out what I'm watching on Crunchyroll!

I’ve put off watching this series, filing it under maybe worth watching later. Well, I finally opted to try...and I’m nearly caught up with the current episode. Because it turns out to be a very amusing series 😄.

It kinda tickles multiple points for me with its antics, including and especially the funny bone.
The stages of food sharing around here:

  1. Ooo, that looks delicious! GIVE!!!
  2. Bad human won’t share :(.
  3. Turns back.
  4. Pretty, please with gravy on top, share?
  5. How dare you not share!
  6. Oh my gosh, FOOD!!!!
Ordinarily, main threats don’t really occur until after dinner time is over. Despite a snack being typical before I start cooking, a lack of sharing dinner still solicits such looks from the peanut gallery.

If you really want to disappointed them however, just point to their food bowl. It’s always kept full, but never as interesting as people foods.
Well, my back hurts and I need a fresh shower, but my closet is a box of shit lighter and now back into an organized tech state.

The dogs, Corky especially, were about half convinced that I had lost my mind.

Last time I cleaned tech, I had eliminated some of the oldest stuff. E.g. limiting myself to a single graphics card that's AGP, one SATA DVD burner, and a lone floppy drive/cable: just in case. But that did nothing for ~20 years of VGA, Ethernet, AC power, IDE, and other cables. Most of which survived.

For some of the harder to kill items like VGA and IDE, I'm keeping at least one decent pair for the odds that someday I'll actually need one, and that'll probably be in enough decades that they won't be so cheap without visiting a landfill.

Likewise it feels good to have things back to order. One drawer is everything audio, video, network, and power that isn't collected else where. Another bin collects the various USB things that aren't the above, and another for misc stuff like my spare keyboards. Boxes used to collect internal components, like old PCI-E graphics cards(, and yes, still one AGP card), my old Audigy 4, internal cables and fans and shit, etc. Some larger things like an old tape drive

It's kinda interesting how over the past thirty years, we went from having hardly anything but the Tandy 1000 set, to a closet full of computer shit. I feel bad for how unlikely some of it is—might need a VGA cable within the next twenty years, but I doubt MHL and SlimPort DP over MicroUSB-B are ever going to make the "Just in case" bin. Actually in another five to ten years, those should probably join the last composite video cables on their way
Part of my mind says, "I will not use Velcro to solve problems".

Part of me says, "Why the hell not?".

Hahahahaha (^+^).

A good Game Boy video

Retro Tech: Game Boy

This kind of makes me feel old, and tempted to root around in my closet.

A long, long time ago in a childhood increasingly far away, I remember what mobile gaming was like. More than a bit of my childhood involved being stuck in the back of a car, bored for the duration, or stuck waiting places. Needless to say it was more remember to bring your shit with you than remember your phone charger. ‘Cuz if T-800 and Cpl Hicks lost their guns, you weren’t going back, lol.

Mobile gaming when I was little was something more like Tiger’s hand held games. I’m pretty sure that Double Dragon passed more than a few hours of my early childhood. And then there was Game Boy and Game Gear. Those were cool. More often than not, mobile gaming was borrowing my grandmother’s deck of cards, which didn’t require more power than daylight.

My first “Real” video gaming system of my own, was the Super NES. Between the original NES my brother and I played, and the THHGs I was used to, I came very close to choosing the original Game Boy for my first system, but in the end the green screen balanced me in favor of a more traditional console. The Super Nintendo had plenty of pretty colours, and Super Game Boy was eventually a thing anyway.  Some time later my brother would also end up with a Sega Game Gear, but that was short lived.

Most of my time with the Game Boy turned out to be the later Color model. My mother bought me a purple Game Boy Color out of the local pawn shop around the time Pokemon Red & Blue were still young in America, and I still have that GBC in my closet. Along with my Pokemon Blue cartridge, and other games. Before the rise of the affordable smart phone, more than a bit of time spent waiting someplace, I passed either reading books or playing on my Game Boy Color.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

It’s probably sad that when such machines were less well suited for propping open a window, and more suited to getting work done, I probably would have loved such a machine. I always wondered what use that form of Windows might be, especially when I learned there was a sorta-port of vim to CE.

The reality is, while by the time I reached the stage of wanting such machines, I didn’t really like Windows. But the reality is, what I really wanted was a device that was portable and capable of doing text editing and file management. In a better way than setting an e-mail to yourself off a phone.

When I was younger, the sexist thing a phone might be able to do is send an e-mail. That was part of why I looked at the launch of the T-Mobile G1 with sad, watery eyes; because I realized the devices I wanted were coming down the pike, and at my age, I may as well have wanted a Camaro for that kind of price tag, lol.
A Visual History of the Motorola Razr

Makes me wonder what drawer or box my mother’s old Razr ended up in. Seemed like she used that thing forever, until the smartphone era finally caught up to us, or vice versa.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Over the years, I’ve screwed with a lot of build systems. Both in the course of my own projects and other people’s, and I’ve come to a conclusion over the past fourteen years.

At best: you can reimplement make poorly. At worst you can reimplment half of autotools, poorly.

That’s pretty much what I’ve seen. Thus as time has gone on, I see it very hard to do better than good old Make. Especially when the GNU version has about five hundred pages worth of voodoo to appease even the worst masterbaters, and the need for autotools is kind of waning IMHO.

Enter ninja.

What I’ve generally found with Ninja is that it’s very simple. Like C: the little bit of syntax you need to remember is a small quantity. Opening a file is probably enough to grok what’s going on if you’ve ever used an actual build system that involves editing files.

Likewise answers to questions that tend to make it easier to build a wonky, hellish, broken build monstrosity, tend to be “No, you can’t because that would make this slow”. And let’s face it, if you want much more than a relatively simple Makefile, you’re probably building a case for pain.

Based on the past year, I think ninja will be sitting next to vim and dump in my toolkit of loved and trusty computing companions.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

You know that a camera is pretty good: when you’ve got to time pressing the shutter button to a dog blinking her eyes. Because otherwise you get a superb shot of a blinking dog.

I still remember early tablets and phones, and that feeling that a rusted barn door with a cement block glued to it could swing faster than a picture could be captured by the device.

Ahh, technological progress :-).

Monday, November 11, 2019

Watching The Outer Limits - s02e9 - Trial by Fire, I find myself wondering somewhat just what kinds of civilizations we could find out there amongst the stars.

Based on our own civilizations throughout history, I rather think there's three ways that works out.

In a perfect world, we would probably have a first contact out of Star Trek. But I don't really have that high a hope for humanity, so I expect our early associations to look more like Avatar or Enemy Mine.

In a way though, I worry that a more likely scenario given how difficult truly foreign beings are, and how fucked up we are, things would turn out more like the Earth-Minbari war in B5. Which could be summarized as a hot head meets cultural differences kicks off the near extimerination of the human race. Except I don't think the Battle of the Line would turn out so fortuitous, so much as like an ID4 assault ship firing its primary weapon.
When I consider grilled cheese a comfort food, it can be hard to decide if adulting is a little bit sad or if my cheese budget is just a lot more flexible than my mother’s, lol.

Tonight, I found myself in more need of a happy meal than a desire to cook. Plus it’sa little too soon to make pasta again, thus simple plans.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

How Steve Jobs saved Apple with the online Apple Store

Not sure if memory lane makes me feel old, or just makes me remember the shopping experience from when we bought our first WebTV back in the mid nineties. I also find the old snap of Dell’s site oddly appropriate, and appealing, as someone that experienced that era of the World Wide Web.

And with regards to our present time? Well let’s just say, Amazon is a big thing now.
I’m pretty sure if it wasn’t for my efforts to only eat one helping for dinners, I’d be passed out on the floor, rubbing my pasta filled belly, and using leftover garlic bread as a pimple while I drool the sauce.

Needless to say, I rather like pasta.

My desktop is for games

Ways to know your desktop has one true job:

  1. 80% of your storage use is installed software.
  2. 97.2% of that is your Steam library.
  3. You wouldn't own a desktop if you didn't need the huge GTX card.
  4. You wouldn't need the huge GTX card if you didn't play PC games.
Coincidentally, WinDirStat calculates my %UserProfile% is about 5% of my storage use and a bit of 7% is my non-steam games directory. Most of my user profile's use is taken up by Android SDK files, and I don't think I've even touched that in a couple years.

So, yes. I think it's pretty safe in saying that Centauri only really has one true job.

That I also use the machine for video ripping and conversion, is secondary really. Or should we say a side effect that it's the machine I have connected to a Blu-ray drive, and conversions are done on it because the only better candidates don't run HandBrake.

Most other reasons, it just happens to be the machine in front of me at the time, and even then I'm often inclined to reach for my tablet instead.

Misty being well aware of food.

Also, me remembering that if you're going to eat chili out of a can, always grab Wolf chili when it's on sale :).

Damn, hard drives are getting cheap and huge

Passing thought: damn, hard drives are getting cheap and huge.

Judging by the prices, I kind of hope that my drives keep on lasting on, because if they do, by the time the older ones die, I'll probably be able to get one drive for the same price: that fits my entire storage needs, lol.

Currently, storage around here is fairly simple but divided.

Centauri was originally a small SSD and a 1 TB HDD. Earlier this year I replaced the first SSD I ever bought with a modern 1 TB SSD, which frigging cost less than the original 120 GB SSD. With that migration: Centauri's second drive is now mostly for things I haven't bothered to move over.

Cream has its own internal storage media, but those are solid state storage for running its OS and associated trappings. It's meat and potatoes are a pair of platter drives: a 2 TB that serves as cold storage, and a 3 TB drive that serves as media storage as well as a backup of the first. Originally cold storage was a 1 TB drive that I bought at the same time as Centuari's, but it finally went the death of too many years of power on hours; and a 2 TB was the same price by then.

I suspect at some point, Centauri's now redundant hard drive will be getting swapped with the drive hanging off my Xbox. Because that drive is both too damned small for games (~320G) and too damned slow for games (~5400 rpm laptop). With Centauri's 1 TB drive now being the oldest still in use here, giving it a job where failure is not a problem but where capacity is, seems like a good plan.

The downside is of course this means actually getting off my fat arse and doing things (>_<).

I'm pretty sure if my drives just keep on trucking a few more years, drives these sizes will be free with a box of cracker jacks. Nevermind typical drive sizes being larger than their collective whole.
Willow: wtf are you doing, human?
Me: trying to take a picture of your comfy.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Watching the 2010 version of True Grit on Hulu, I’m kind of happy it turned out as such a good film. It also reminds me that one of these days, I really should get around to reading the book.

For better or worse as the case might be, I kind of developed a soft spot for westerns along the way. Enough years were spent watching television with my mother, that there were two channels that were worth noting. TCM and Westerns. Among the side effects of that, are my taste in movies running from about the 1930s onwards to the present. Sadly though, they don’t really make a lot of westerns anymore.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Not sure what bothers me more: that I've probably owned flash media smaller than nVidia's driver updates have become, or at some point in my life, I could probably have squeezed it onto a hell-of-a-lot-of-floppies without running out.

Actually, I'm not sure I wanna know how many floppy disks I still have between home and office. That's kind of scary, given how few machines I have that even have the hardware for that.
Adobe deals with ‘painful’ early reviews of Photoshop for iPad

If I was Adobe: the thing I would fear most is the top competition on iPad OS becoming a threat on Mac over the next ten to twenty years. Much as if I were them, my biggest worry would be Adobe making rapid headway on iPadOS over the next two to five years.

Right now: Adobe is still in a fairly powerful position. Or as I like to think of it: the subscription reflects their needs of doing business, and the feelings of a clawed demon hand gripping your balls, reflects users’ dependence upon Adobe’s products. Despite much grumbling about Creative Cloud, everyone is still either looking for a non-paid option, or using Photoshop and friends in their workflows. Much as before.

But nothing ever lasts forever, and maintaining dominance isn’t always assured. Today is not tomorrow, nor is it yesterday.
Discounting the seasoning things that last next to forever between restocks, I figure this works out to about $3.50 of deliciousness.

The beef cube steaks were under $5 for a package of two, and trivially fried with a smidge of sea salt and a nice helping of black pepper. I find it rather curious how my mother usually fried these, and made brown gravy because her mother  never used it in their cooking; my relationship to black pepper is pretty much the same thing a generation forward.

Much to my surprise, I found edamame in the frozen food section, and this was about half a $1.70 bag. Steamed, tasted, and salted. If it wasn’t my first time trying it, I’d probably have mixed it into the rice. The leftover half makes me wish I bought beer.

Some leftover rice was passing time in the fridge, so a little soy sauce and beef flavored rice seasoning solves the filler. The variety bundle of furikake packets I bought basically is the gift that keeps on giving, in terms of how long the packets last. Plus rice is basically free IMHO. The 5 and 20 pound bags work out to somewhere between $1 and $1.25 a pound, even with buying a kind that I can use for onigiri.

Willow’s number one problem is having to wait until after human foods before dog treats occur. Misty just wishes all food was belong to her.

But I am still forgiven for enforcing the pecking order, that their main treats come after dinner. Which tonight amounted to a helping of canned meat/gravy yumnums, and then a regularly scheduled dog treat, lol.
The way things work around here:

Misty: stares
Me: I’m going to take a shit, not get food.
Misty: You’re thinking of giving me a treat. I know it, human.
Me: Oh, fine.
[Gets a treat]

How to generate moments of confusion in the morning:

Step 1: turn off your monitor, so you hit the power button when the desktop won’t wake by mouse clicks.

Step 2: leave your keyboard switched to your iPad, so you start typing your login password into the wrong machine when prompted.

Step 3: remember how you carried out steps 1 and 2.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

3M Laptop Stand, Raise Screen Height to Reduce Neck Strain, Vertical Design Allows You to Bring Screen Closer, Compact Foot Print Saves Desk Space, Non-Skid Base Keeps Laptop Secure, Black (LX550)

This might actually be what I've been looking for.

Ordinarily, my workspace looks like this:

laptop | monitor | tablet

And frequently my mouse pad is closer to the monitor with my keyboard shifted a bit to the left. Making it easier to access my tablet and shift its and my position as I work.

But a 14" Latitude is kinda chunky and takes up a lot of bench space. Along with being too short and far away from my peepers to really use as a second monitor without crowding my Bluetooth keyboard. So, I've been thinking of late how nice it would be if I could open the system and elevate it closer to the vertical.

Such that the laptop would effectively be optimized for use as a secondary monitor rather than for using the keyboard and touchpad. Because let's face it: I've got externals for that, and prefer it that way when docked.

Otherwise, I may as well just shut the lid and slide it out of the way; for the time being it's mostly serving as a keeping-tabs workspace rather than a working monitor. E.g. I'll leave a terminal there that I'm waiting for a long program to finish running, or for a summary of incoming mail. And then do everything on my external monitor, that's better positioned; or on my tablet that's more portable.

So freaking tempted....

While I’m not particularly fond of Photoshop, and there are people who aren’t entirely happy with its first showing on iPad, but I like the concept.

For Adobe: they can either take the path of being a leader as iPadOS grows or be left behind as others grow with the platform. So it’s good sense for them to maximize what Photoshop can do on the platform. I’m also pretty sure their are crazy people at Adobe who would like a more desktop grade Photoshop on their iPad: just as some of their customers do.
Hamburger helper and dog slobber, need I say more?

Monday, November 4, 2019

How Gundam's Amuro Ray Changed What It Means to Be an Anime Hero

Amuro is a curious character as heros go, or more accurately perhaps, I've rarely considered him the hero of the story: so much as caught in it. Which in of itself could be considered a Gundam-trope by now, 40 years later.

Given a different circumstance to the war: I'd rather invision Amuro Ray in protest to military conflict at all, and that it's a kind of bloodied, twisted irony that he ended up one of the most notable heroes of the One Year War. And as such would still be active much later during the Londo Bell era.

A large part of Gundam's first set of story arcs centers around the fact that he's pretty much got a simple choice. He can pilot the Gundam into battle, or he can kiss his arse goodbye before the shooting even starts. That's the card they've been dealt. Really, he's kind of a dick during the earlier parts. But over the course of the series he evolves much better as a character.

I think the article's parting bit puts it more accurately than the tile. Less that the character changed what it means to be an anime hero, and more that he's a different type of protagonist to fill the role. 'Cuz let's face it, the Saturday morning go punch the villain slot isn't dead yet and it's been decades, lol.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

One positive side of my iOS change over has been the battery life.

The iPad Pro 11 works out to about a nightly charge after heavy use, and I can basically irk out two days at light use  or a medium plus light day worth of I keep an eye.

By contrast, every Android tablet I’ve had pretty much needs a nightly charge if it’s Google all the things.

The exception is my old Thor model Kindle Fire, which runs on a more “What week did I last change this thing?” pattern of life.
Assorted, recent dog photos and comfortiness.

Part of me thinks the genetics and upbringing assured that I’d be capable of eating like a proverbial horse. Part of me thinks of I wanna live to die an old fart, I should probably exercise more and eat less.

Willow on the other hand wishes she could swipe my tuna.
Duck you, autocorrect! Ducking, duck you, autocorrect!
In a more perfect world: there would be a personal coffee droid hovering a few meters from my head, like a mobile keurig that dispenses coffee, and shoots cookies like a pez dispenser.

Ahh, an idiot can dream.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Watching Cautious Hero: The Hero Is Overpowered but Overly Cautious on Hulu, has been full of cackles. It’s not the same kind of cackling as Konosuba, but much cackling non the less.

I’m also pretty sure that the goddess will have a stroke by the end.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Comfy is the natural state around here

The negative points are pretty much why I haven’t used paper notebooks very much since my teens. Having a pile of stuff to sort, revise, and remove the cruft from: is a problem that doesn’t scale. Or as I like to remember: after about three binders, I’m pretty much done and hate dealing with heaps of folders.

Most of the advantages I sought came from having a digital file system. Typewriters never really did it for me the way text edited and word processors do. But as a consequence of funneling everything down the word hole: you lose the freedom of the page.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about having tablets is the ability to have my tablet alongside as I work. Lean over, and swipe words into my textual notes, and then shift back to my work. Evernote also works pretty well in that it optimizes for the more word processor like nature of many of my work notes, yet makes it easy to merge disparate bits of information from external resources. Including handwriting, images, documents, scripts, etc.

Tablets open up greater ease to get off the beaten path of the word processor: while retaining the ability to keep it as simple as WordStar. Especially when you have both a stylus and a keyboard available to aide your note taking.