Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sometimes, I really have to wonder about my inability to stay up late.

On one hand it rather feels like payback for dipping both ends of the candle in napalm when I was younger. Yeah, staying up to 4~7 in the morning and being awake at 9~10 in the morning doesn’t happen anymore. At this point, I don’t even want to be that kind of exhausted.

On the other hand it’s probably due to my life being more orderly and organized at this point. When I was young, I basically had to study after everyone else was asleep, and pretty much everything was open to interruptions. Now things tend to occur around the same time frames, and interruptions are usually called e-mail or the like.

Actually, I kind of like order over chaos. And now my mind is remembering the base objective every mission in SWAT 3’s campaign: “To bring order to chaos.” On the positive side, today I actually had coffee ^_^.
A weekend in photos.

And I’m pretty sure that Misty knew I was thinking about chocolate...

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Moron; noun: when you realize that it’s too late to make coffee and a candy bar has to do.

On the flip side things got done, I just didn’t get any coffee in the process ๐Ÿ˜‚.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Here's what Bill Gates said about the internet in a Microsoft internal memo 25 years ago today: It's a 'tidal wave'

I find this timing a touch interesting myself. Until circa 1998 our family PC was an old Tandy 1000. But it was Web TV that introduced us to the World Wide Web in around 1995 or 1996. It wasn’t that long before this became known as MSN TV, after already getting strong influences from the new corporate overlords.

Actually, I find it kind of interesting that Microsoft was an ISP for a time. In the era between getting our first Pentium based machine, and eventually going to aDSL, they were actually one of the better dial up options available in our area.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Watching this week's episode of My Next Life as a Villianess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, I find myself quite amused.

While studying in the library, a few characters lead to prepare tea and sweets as Catarina and most of the cast are sucked into a book of desires. Things largely proceed like a set of clips from some meh romance novels as character's desires are played out, causing Mary to smoosh the book shut and threaten its destruction. Sophia may even have out done the princes when it comes to it...

And then we finally get to Lady Catarina's desire. She was starving when this began: so a house of candy shows up like something out of Hansel and Gretel. Followed by much eating, until it explodes, and she makes like a vacuum eating candy until finally exploding. After which the book spits everyone out. Most of the male cast eventually flees in embarrassment. Meanwhile Mary and Maria suppose that rather than her desire being met, since sweets weren't real: her desire kept growing until even the book couldn't take anymore. Then the camera cuts to her enjoying sweets in the background.

Yes, I am both strangely amused, and share Catarina's desire  ^_^

Saturday, May 23, 2020

8 Great Anime Series For People Who Don’t Like Anime

Not sure if it makes it better or worse that many of these are on my watch list...
On occasion, I read (and see) things and am amused. The graphic at the end of this nVidia post on Vulkan Memory Management is a key example.

The Good: a memory allocation for a big assed buffer with your stuff.
The bad: a memory allocation for a bunch of buffers with your stuff.
The ....: a bunch of memory allocations for a bunch of buffers with your stuff.

Yes, I am easily amused. No, I am not typing those wonky symbols.

While my day began with  Vulkan things, I came across a rather nice read on gamma:

I think this is a rather nice summary, and it won't make people's eyes gloss over a chalk board full of mathmagics, lol. The description of the three images especially make it clear.

Friday, May 22, 2020

This afternoon: the dogs were so comfortable, it almost burnt. Like over 9000.

Eventually it was family nap time.

And Willow is still a grand master of comfy.

So far my adjustment to the new Kindle has been going well. Also nice that I've been able to catch up on my reading a bit, hehe.

My biggest real concern was the refreshing, which kept me on the wall a while. E-ink screens are actually pretty fascinating technology, but not your average display. The refresh rates are high enough that hard flipping pages aren't an issue, but a whole lotta flashin' is goin' on when images are involved. Typically this is more towards the UI, browsing covers on shelves kind of things. I assume this is in the name of making book covers render without artifacts. Because the black flashes are often more a ping-ping-ping than a slam-bam, and mostly occur in UI.

Thus far it hasn't bothered me, or been anywhere near as bad as I had expected. But it should probably come with a seizure warning or something just in case.

The pint sized device is also damned convenient. It's literally small enough to stuff in the breast pocket of my t-shirt, a feat not even a Goosebumps book could achieve so well. For the most part though, I just carry it like a PADD from Star Trek.

Actually the size and design of the 10th generation Kindle very much fits my mental image of the 24'th century PADD.

This is especially true with the extra bezel towards the bottom. And that the damned thing weighs so little: you could mistake it for a sheet of paper, or a weight reduced plastic Frisbee.

Thus far I've found the e-ink rather lovely. It's suitably sharp that I find it easy to read. Brightness controls range from that's really friggin' dim to a fairly bright white. After a few days, I backed off from a few notches over half to a few notches below; the brightness scale is 24 notches.

At really low brightness: for a moment I was reminded of the original GameBoy; which really is an unfair comparison because it's a much better screen than those ever were. Cranked up the front light makes it feel more like a tablet set to white on black. Dimmed to the middle is like a crossing point between notably white, and something closer to a page in a book.

If you have 20/20 and drop your phone on your face a lot, I could see why higher resolution would be an interest. For me it's kind of like the 720p vs 1080p debate in phone screens. Yeah, better resolution would be nice, but I'm not inclined to cram the screen close enough to my eyeball for it to be a big return on investment. So I've no worries there. Mostly, it's like paper. Which isn't all resoluted equal itself, but just fine in the magority.

It's been a pleasure to read on for conventional text. Most of the content I've loaded takes the form of novels. For that kind of text it's brillant. Haven't tried fancier technical books but expect anything not too PDF centric rather than reflowable would be fine. For manga it's a no go, but just like on a phone: this is more a matter of size than quality. The Kindle can render the content well enough but no one really wants to shrink a comic book page down that tiny, and I don't really like the panel-by-panel thing.

Personally, I think the browser experience sucks like a twenty year old phone, combined with a broken thumb stick. Let's just say for reading Wikipedia: reaching for my iPad is a better plan.

Battery life is fair. The past week has seen the battery drop from 100% to 68% since Monday, and I've probably been reading a mixture of 20~30 minute to 2~3 hour sittings. Unlike my old HDX: the battery is not 7 years old! And much like my various tablets, I don't need a booklamp.

Actually that's one of the things I've come to like about e-books in general. As a teenager: I spent a lot of time with a book canted towards TV light, reading in the dark. As an adult: my love and respect for a good booklight is such that mine is kept safely on my bookshelf, batteries removed. I can't say that I really miss needing a booklight, and I reckon the amount of reading I do at night is probably a larger percentage than when I was a kid.

Damned adulting, and all that more wearing pants and reading less :-o.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Me: Working on the computer.
Willow: Whining for a treat.
Me: "If you're gonna bug me then I'm gonna bug you!"
Me: *Picks up dog, gives hug, sits down, and pets dog*
Willow: *wags tail, enjoys minute of attention, jumps off*
Me: *Walks over to the dog treats*

Yeah, you can figure out the rest.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Pretty sure that I'm the wrong species or something. They're so comfortable!

I'm not going to photograph the death glares I got for sneezing a few minutes after this picture was taken. For fear there will be a trial, lol

I finally bought a Kindle

After much trepidation, I've finally gone and done it. The 10th generation Kindle makes both the first e-ink device I've ever owned, and the first Kindle I've actually bought.

A good number of years ago I ended up "Winning" an HDX 7 from a developer raffle that a certain audio company was doing at the time. But I've never had one of their dedicated e-readers, and the only Amazonion devices I've bought over the years have been their Fire TV boxes, a product I've come to enjoy.

For me the HDX7 was both surprising and novel. On one hand, it was pretty much free; on the other it was pretty cool. The device's battery life and performance was spectacular for its day. Comparable hardware for the day would have been a Nexus 4, if you traded all the Googly services for battery life that was more like a week of mixed us / when the heck did I even plug this thing in, kind of idle time.

Back then my content was more mixed. Amazon Kindle, Google Play, and various odds and ends made up my repository of books. I have gigs of files on my private server from back when I was a heavy use of Calibre. I've made pretty good use of the lit' HDX for reading over the years.

Amazon would go on to become the dominate source of e-books over the decade. But still I never bought one of their readers. In fact, I posted nearly a decade ago about how unlikely me and an e-reader were. That was before tablets came to dominate my computing life. So even after the Tabletination I never really saw the point in a purpose built e-reader versus a standard tablet.

At best: my freebie HDX has always been an auxiliary device. A device that I would mostly use for reading books, many of them converted via Calibre, or passing an insomniac night. Typically I've stuck to my regular tablets, since last year: an iPad, and much the earlier decade Android tablets from Samsung and Asus. Even for reading, I've usually used a regular tablet about 80% of the time; maybe more.

Lately, I've been using the HDX more as a book reader because of its small size. Something that is pretty damned perfect for reading. The folks that designed that generation put much TLC into its build, IMHO.

My iPad is rather large and I've always valued the little Kindle Fire's superb build for reading. Thus not a big surprise when the device still works (hehe). Yes, I preferred paperbacks over hardcovers to the face back when I still had shelf space. After seven years though: the battery life under load isn't as Hercules strength as it once was, and honestly there are more than a few "Yeaaah pal, your software is so frakkin' old this ain't supported no more". Considering the age, I of course have no right to complain. Especially when it's a really nice device that I didn't pay a dime for, lol.

In fact in the past couple years it has spent some time as a clock or a photoframe. Being repurposed for reading once in a while, or to curiously see if the old thing was still turning on.

I've recently given some mind to whether or not to trade it in towards some regular tablet purchase, or to buy a modern Fire just for the non-reading parts. But I've not seen too much of a point to trading it in. Unless it's a killer deal, like Samsung / Best Buy sometimes run, it's too damned old to be worth much to anyone shy of being an alarm clock that reads books. Likewise, I don't really care much about Amazon's app store, so much as it can be convenient to read Wikipedia on a 7" device.

Well, after a while of thinkin' on it: I finally caved in, and bought a Kindle. So far, I rather like it.

I remember being tempted back when the 3rd generation came out with an accessible price. Think folks call that the "Keyboard" now. It helps that for some years now: the basic Kindle has been pretty cheap. Even more so with another year older, coming up soon.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be dead a few thousand years before I catch up on my reading backlog.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

From tonight’s movie:

้ณดใ‚‹็ฅžใฎ ๅฐ‘ใ—้Ÿฟใฟใฆ
[A faint clap of thunder
Clouded skies
Perhaps rain comes
If so, will you stay here with me?]

้ณดใ‚‹็ฅžใฎ ๅฐ‘ใ—้Ÿฟใฟใฆ
[A faint clap of thunder
Even if rain comes not
I will stay here
Together with you]
That was kind of beautiful enough, that I almost wonder if there’s any collection of the poems that are in both Japanese, and a worthwhile adaption to English.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

My first experiment making sweet tea involved a bunch of old oolong tea that I had sitting on a shelf, and was deemed successful.

Repeating the experiment with some fresh tea, well, it was successful—but it was more like a great success.

Personally, I’ve never cared very much for hot tea, nor regular iced tea. So much as dealing with friends and family caused me to tolerate them. And then there’s sweet tea. Now that’s something that I’ll drink with pleasure, lol.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Pissed off: Willow's affront at my eating a cookie, and not sharing.

Happy doggy: Willow's elation at being offered an actual dog treat.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Things I will miss after the pandemic: traffic being so darned light, as most of those able to work from home, actually do.

Thing’s I won’t miss: finding a dozen mega rolls on the store shelves, and being thrilled!

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Upside of email notifications: knowing you’ve got email.

Downside of email notifications; “Huh, why the @#$& am I awake now?”

Which makes me remember this morning, that I had a dream about people being disappointed by my unwillingness to work twenty days straight without sleep. That was an interesting
Microsoft Just Showed An Uncomfortable Truth About The Xbox Series X And PS5

Not a commentary I ever really expected to see published, given the norm is closer to frothy mouthed eye candy and marketing spiel. But surprisingly well noted.

Something I would also add to this is the implications for developers has evolved as well. For a damned affordable price, the Xbox One delivered some impressive gaming hardware that would be difficult to match for the price; those of us who build gaming desktops, or buy laptops for the purpose, know how painfully expensive they are. Meanwhile for the price of a laptop that doesn’t suck, you can get a game console that can pump out stellar graphics.

I feel that with the evolution of hardware, we have reached a point where decent graphics is now more in the hands of the art and engines under the hood. Not the hardware. That is to say, the modern console has the resources that you don’t need to worry—the same way as melting laptops that shouldn’t even be running your game to begin with, lol.

The last several decades were full of “Holy crap, how can they do that and not melt the machine?” leaps in fidelity, and performance. Even in my childhood, we had massive graphic leaps like DooM and Resident Evil. Games whose graphics today, we would hardly get impressed over without a realization of what limited  they had to run on. Pumping out awe inspiring graphics is still a lot of work, and doing it in a performant way is still challenging, but it’s still impressive what you can do with a humble Xbox or PlayStation at this point. The next generation will just bring more headroom ๐Ÿ™‚.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Willow’s log, supplemental

Human slept in late. He was tired.

We went for a morning walk, it was nice. I got to sniff many plants, and pee on a few of them.

After Misty’s walk, human disappeared to do stuff. I was told to stand guard.

Human came back. He gave us hash browns. Also treats. I love treats.

Human sat at his desk typing things. I took a nap. He was still typing when I woke up.

There was a loud ringing sound, and then human had to go do some actual paper work.

When he came back, I got another walk. It was great, but I wish that we had gotten a few more laps in.

Foolish human went back to typing. I went back to a nap, after treats were given.

Human made this thing called sweet tea. He asked my thoughts, but drank half a glass without sharing.

There was more napping and typing.

Watched human start making dinner, and cleaning the kitchen. Foolish human, you should take nap like me.

Human made much deliciousness, but did not share the food. I was sad.

Oh my gosh, treats! Honest to goodness, meaty delicious treats! GIVE ME!!!! OM NOM NOM!!!!

I am so full. I wish human would give me more treats. For some reason: he says I must eat dog food now.

Human says paw prints are hard to clean off keyboards. I do not understand this.

Wait, am I getting a treat for all this good typing?

Thursday, May 7, 2020

My 11-inch iPad Pro Experiment

Surprisingly worth reading but a bit lengthy. Also, in Flipboard I was surprised that the app supported split into so many pages, lol.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Well that's neat. Blogger's post editor is now showing a visual makeover, much like the Pages and Stats sections.

Seems like the formatting and such is all still here, but it's a refreshed design.
It's been so many weeks since I really got any rest at all, I think part of me began to forget just how amazing a restorative crash on /dev/couch could be.

It's an experience less like dozing off, and more like being a sedated sloth until the batteries recharge a smidge. Sadly, I find my batteries recharge at a minuscule rate compared to my youth, but the effect is still pleasing. Or as I like to remember eventually one must have rest, or death like effects follow.

In my case, not only was a feast-sized meal followed by much crashing on the couch, but also some good viewing. Finished watching last night's movie (The Patriot) while catching up on my reading. Then thoroughly crashed. For landing, I went with the Milim / Charybdis arc of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. TenSura is full of pleasing characters, Milim is one. I love that her personality is a very energetic and playful one, yet at > 10 x Rimuru's strength, her punch packs a wallot fitting the title Demon Lord. And there's also characters like Gobta, whose comic relief bounces between useless clown and champion hero.

I kind of like spirited characters who don't align with obvious expectations :P.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Most nights, I cook dinner at home. And then there’s times for ordering a delicious food coma.

Plus there’s enough leftover for dinner tomorrow, after filling my dinner plate.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Can you tell that I didn’t share my cookies?

Mean manipulative human:

  1. Eat my snack.
  2. Give glaring dogs some treats.
Soft, squishy kind human:

  1. Give hangry doggos treats.
  2. Eat snack, and share with doggos.
  3. Give doggo some moar treats.

Willow, Misty, and Corky dislike that I’ll usually go with that first version when all of us want a mid day snack....
Shocking things: when you see Blogger UI refreshed with a small bit of Material coat, and wonder what when was the last time someone actually pushed a change to the "Main", or heck, even the "Draft" version.

And there's now a "Back to classic Blogger" under the menu. For some reason the default view has shifted to the Stats entry, which was the last thing to get a face lift. The Posts entry now has faster card like elements instead of a dense list of text, and there's a floating + button; operations that were in the over the top Gmail-esque menu bar are either gone, or relegated to buttons over the card view.

If I didn't know better, I would think someone at Google actually cared :-o.
For the most part, the dogs are comfortable wherever they choose to roost. Somedays though, I am tempted to ask, "And what bricks have you been busy chopping?"

And sometimes we have family nap time, and I am tempted to use a dog (or two) for a pillow, lol.

They are sweet, lovable, little goonie birds with fur.