Saturday, June 27, 2020

Probably the most cooking effort I’ve put in since the stew-periment.

Seasoned and baked some broccoli and carrots, while I then chopped and sautéed onion and pepper. Mix in some leftover chicken, rice, and more seasoning. Finished with mixing in the baked yummies and finished.

Fried rice is a great use of fresh, and leftover foods. Because the results are delicious and basically defined by what’s available, lol.

Post dinner beard inspection is also mandatory according to Willow.
Pretty much as soon I start cooking, Corky hides behind the toilet and Misty often aims for her perch:

There’s really not a good reason for this, especially with how lax my cooking has been and how rarely I fry foods.
How the doggos spent the afternoon:

Friday, June 26, 2020

Welcome to Applebee’s! Can I Get You Started With Some Disinfectant? Chain restaurants are rethinking food for diners who fear the virus — and one another.

While some of this is a bit much, I’m glad that people are at least taking this seriously. Dining environments are often filled under the concept of “Generally considered safe” than “Swimming in disinfectants”.

I’d like to think if you can pass the inspections from the board of public health, you’re going to generate safe food. Relative to your staff’s health. But common areas like tables, chairs, booths, and other customer touch heavy areas can’t be held to same standards as your kitchen service; least not in practical terms. But a little bit of calculated effort can go a long way to avoid and limit stupid.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

This Was Apple's Most Significant WWDC Announcement. Why It's Bad News for Google and Facebook Developers will have to disclose exactly what information their apps collect about users. 

An interesting idea but I doubt much will truly change.

In my Android → iPad conversion I came to the conclusion that Android made it easier for me to know what data I am sharing with applications; iOS makes it more clear that I am sharing data. But in practice people aren’t going to stop using their services just because of data collection. At best, we can hope users read the privacy policies, and that the platform gods police bad actors on their store fronts.

Monday, June 22, 2020

The Next Phase: Apple Lays Out Plans To Transition Macs from x86 to Apple SoCs

Kind of happy to see this. While I don’t envision Apple ever releasing a Mac that both appeals to me, and falls within my price range, I do very much want to see more “Conventional” computers with ARM processors.

Based on my iPad Pro, and nearly a decade of working Android tablets to death, I think the crossover point works. High end ARM SoCs are up to snuff for missions like the MacBook Air and iMac. For the general computing tasks the problem is more that ARM based PCs aren’t really a thing you can go out and buy. Not so much a lack of horse power. The processors kickass at this point.

Rather the main use case I see for x86 in Apple’s world: is for devices like the Mac Pro. Where uncompromising horse power should be what comes along with that absurd price tag. For regular people, we just want our computers to do our job promptly.

And I’m pretty sure that even the basic iPad far out sells the Mac Pro, lol. For better or worse the demand for Uber powerful computers often go hand in hand with the software packages for highly specific and very resource intensive business tasks. Not Joe Blow checking his email or doing office files.
What would make you buy a new Amazon Kindle?

This is something I put a bit of thought into with my recent decision to get a modern Kindle. Chiefly it was driven by two facts about my old HDX7: it’s so old, I can’t remember what year the lock screen adds last refreshed never mind how many years “Yeah, that’s not supported anymore. Please use a browser instead.” has been the answer to various functions.

Secondly of course is the fact that my HDX was mostly used for reading, not for apps. Getting an e-Ink model was a natural choice versus another Fire series. For the most part, I think there’s only two things I could see that would make me upgrade before my Kindle is likewise old as heck.

1/ USB-C because the only other devices I typically charge that still use USB Micro-B are things like headphones and speakers. Devices that aren’t likely to retire until they break, no longer hold a suitable charge, or become a source of pain over the aging Bluetooth standards. So things that will probably die by the time USB connectors other than Type-C have gone the way of the floppy diskette.

2/ Tremendous boost in US performance. Because tasks like looking up words or shifting through annotations ain’t very fast on the Kindle 10 by any means. But when you consider that it’s hard to make the device any cheaper, and the SoC has enough oomph not to worry about ebooks exceeding its capabilities: it’s hard to complain about showing some patience for infrequently used interfaces to finally open.

Let’s say I’m not expecting to buy a new Kindle in a very long time unless I run out of Micro USB charging cables, lol

Friday, June 19, 2020

Covid Will Have Larger Impact on Commercial Than Residential Real Estate, Says New York Architect

I’m kind of interested to see what new buildings will look like in a few decades, both given the pandemic and the rise of technology.

Can’t say I expect people’s homes to change too wildly. Apartment corridors, stairwells, and elevators might change a bit, but I expect most people will carry on and slowly adapt fancy technology as prices drop.

Public and professional spaces on the other hand are a bit different. Your home is mostly your own and people who frequently have half the neighborhood for guests aren’t the norm; for better or worse. But where you work, travel, and conduct necessary business and the trappings are able to change.

For some reason I find myself remembering the tag office where I used to live. We’d all be packed in line like sardines unless you hit just the right off peak. At that time renewing online, or going to a self service kiosk wasn’t a thing. Hell, their computers looked kike leftover 486 machines in the era of Pentiums.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

This is the first time I’ve made a meatloaf in years.

My mother used to make meatloaf fairly often, but left to my own devices I haven’t made one in so long that I can’t remember what year it was, lol. Growing up in a household devoid of brown gravy, she never missed an opportunity for food that could be smothered in it; not that pasta sauce and meatloaf isn’t delicious, it very much is, lol. I don’t really do brown gravy, but opted to buy a few packets planning ahead for tonight’s meatloaf.

The pair of potatoes that didn’t make it into this weekend’s vegetable soup got baked, mashed, and turned into pure deliciousness. I forgot how much work it is to mash potatoes, and just how incredibly worth the effort it is! That I’ve switched from cooking with milk to using half & half hasn’t hurt any. Licking the potato masher was enough to prove my efforts were successful 😁.

Because I’m weird: the side is roasted brussle sprouts. My mother would usually make green beans out of a can, or in later years some mixture of green, white, and red vegetables cooked until soft, mushy, and seasoned Italian style. The latter was always far better than the former, and probably played a large part in why veggies are a focus of many meals around here. You can bet my habits of roasting sprouts and carrots share seasoning characteristics with my mother’s cooking, lol.

Also I think it’s time for Willow’s nails to have a trim.

To compensate for the time spent in the kitchen, I gave the hungry minions a regular treat before I started cooking. Then some of their meat and gravy goodies after dinner; usually they have to wait until after dinner for their weekday treats.
TIL: xfce4-terminal has a drop-down mode.

And it's actually pretty nice and simple compared to some I've seen over the years.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Chromebooks desperately need more than 4GB of RAM in 2020.

A subject that I find interesting: because the “Fattening of the modern web” was what principally drove me to requiring more system memory. I found that one of my machines would constantly thrash shortly after a web browser entered the picture; didn’t matter if it was Firefox, Chrome, or Opera (which was truly different back then).  I think that machine has 5 GB installed because the 3 GB I had enough parts to reach just couldn’t cut it, so I had to buy a 2 GB stick for the fourth slot. Once I got past the third gigabyte the thrashing went away, and performance remained stable while having a browser open.

Today my main PCs have 12 and 16 GB of memory installed l and I envision their successor as needing 16 GB base with provisions to be upgraded to at least 32 GB. Because I strongly question if anything less will last another 5-10 years.

Why have I arrived at this? Because modern computing uses lots of memory. I’ve owned computers with less memory than some web pages require in file sizes never mind the amount of memory to render them in a contemporary manor. The rise of container and virtualization technologies adds to this, not just the hailstorm of things like JavaScriot, style sheets, and images all over.

For many years now: I’ve viewed 4 GB as adequate for tasks like Chromebooks, and general productivity. But that time is coming to pass us by as software continues to gobble bytes like candy.

On my 12 GB system: often enough the memory utilization hovers too close to half for me to view 4 GB as comfortable anymore. The machine’s main purpose being Direct 3D games, I’m less concerned because while games are active they will be the main focus for resource allocation.

On my 16 GB system where buffer caching and containers typically consume any memory I’m not throwing directly at development tasks, I’ve often felt the desire for double the memory capacity. Because of how often I find myself thinking: nest not try building two of these projects at once 😅.

For the most part I think we’re headed for another leap in memory. In the sense of how we went from diddly squat to over ten megs, and how we transitioned from tend to hundreds of megs of system memory. He’ll, I remember when a shit ton of memory was still measured in kilobytes....

Saturday, June 13, 2020

While I don’t think I will ever make a truly good soup, I was glad that there was plenty of flavor. Plus pretty much everything is a cheese delivery vehicle 😉.

Willow’s perspective was more about whether or not sharing was to be involved.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Reflects on RE 1998 and 2019 map design

One of my various wonders about RE2 was just how much its maps differ from the original, a game I didn't see anywhere near as much of as the PlayStation releases of Resident Evil. Little to my surprise looks like there's a website out there with detailed maps and item info for like every RE game ever.

Including maps for the original Resident Evil 2 from 1998 and the 2019 remake. It's an interesting look back actually.

One of the things I rather like about RE2 is the map design. We're still off in crazy territory in terms of things like the statue puzzle, and any sense that the RPD was once a museum. But it's a pretty straight forward design: a balance between simplicity, and the need for content.

The 1998 design feels more like the layout for a real building. Some of the layout changes for 2019 are neat: such as joining the Records Room with a separate Supply Room that links it to both the Operations Room, and the West Central Passage leading to the Dark Room by the west stairs. It was even done in a way that offers different keys for Leon and Claire. But the 2019 building feels less natural in many places.

Combined with the "Trick" to the Operations Room I think this does works kind of well. The 1998 design basically gives you a set of winding corridors to the west stairs and the Dark Room at its base. In the 2019 design this is more literally a winding corridor that discourages you from ever lingering there. Barricades and destruction reek of the place being overrun by zombies, and we see some of that action in the RE3 remake. Because of the barricades and damage: you've got to break into the operations room, go damn it the Supply Room door is chained shut, and huff your arse through a window into the West Central Passage.

This puts a lot of pressure on you the get the frigg out of there, and combined with the Supply / Records rooms vs how the old File Storage and Evidence Rooms were laid out: give you escape vectors. Something that matters when not only are the undead out to eat your brains, but Mr.X would like to punch your lights out. For better or worse as much as this layout change improves the run for your life factor: the West Central Passage is the place you go to die. It's far more complex layout makes it easier to get turned around between the multitude of monsters out to get you by the later phases of the game. But as a consolation we get the Safety Deposit Room. A place you'll either go to escape having your eyes scratched out, or risk getting chomped just to raid for supplies. Feel free to curse the puzzle loving bastards who hid the replacement caps for the keypad, lol.

The east side is also a growth in complexity but still pretty faithful. The second floor follows this trend mainly gaining more rooms, and the third floor goes from being diddly squat to something more in line with the rest of the station. The basement may as well be starting from scratch, but areas like the cell block  and kennels are much more believable in their scope.

The Sewer system likewise feels more like a started over from scratch, and in the remake was probably the area I spent the most grokking at the map trying to navigate. Where as in the RPD, I mostly was preoccupied with where key items could be found. The lab areas seem more faithful, but are also a spot where the 2019 game becomes unnaturally simple and direct to the point.

Actually, if I was smart, I'd probably find myself a cheap copy of the original game and pop the disc into my PlayStation 2.
Bruce Campbell Reveals Evil Dead 4 Title, Evil Dead Now

“It’s okay to pass it along to another idiot to try and stop evil from destroying the world. One idiot tried ⁠— he did pretty good”

Considering the caliber of idiot Ash Williams is: I think that’s a rather fair I’m curious to see what kind of idiot ends up filling his shoes.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Resident Evil 3 is somewhat different ground for me, as far as the remakes go.

The HD/Remaster of the first game kind of retained the feel of the original, but because it was based on the GameCube version instead of the original PlayStation: it's not my childhood. Or should we say the main thing that irked me about the game was virtually all my vague-memories of where the key items are, and the various puzzles, were rendered useless. As a kid, my brother bought Resident Evil when it first came out.

Needless to say I remember when the the Dual Shock and Director's Cut editions were released as well, lol. More than a bit of my childhood went to watching my older brother play video games, and getting to try them as well.

Resident Evil 2 is a more stable territory for a remake of sorts. I watched my brother play part of the game's RPD portion, and got filled in by a friend about the rest of the story with the Birkins and such. But I never played it much myself. So I kind of approached the remake with more open eyes, and a curiosity for how it turned out. Was glad for the modernized action, but it still retaining the strong emphasis on survival/horror that Resident Evil spawned as a genre. Not to mention the obtuse puzzles and hidden items, lol.

I enjoyed the RE2 remake enough to create pretty extensive notes. Largely built from wandering around trying to remember where an item was and which you need to acquire in order to reach that key item.

So we can say that I didn't care for the first but loved the second remake. Enter Resident Evil 3!

When Resident Evil 3 came out I was already done. My brother was hyped at the demo but I didn't get involved, and he having moved out by then, I didn't watch either. Most of what I remember about the game comes from thumbing through his strategy guide like twenty years ago. Seems like the greater focus on action was retained. Having not played the original beyond the demo disc, I don't know if the "I'm too busy running from freaking zombies to be worried about puzzles" style aligns that well but it creates a very different experience from RE2 despite much the same technology and mechanics. I was really shocked when I found the use for the jewels hidden around the city was more like cash for a vending machine than a key plot device.

Must say that I loved the weird assed door comments when Carlos first sees one of the RPD special key doors. Whoever designed the Racoon City Police Department with the puzzle defense in depth would probably have gotten along with the security group at the Spencer mansion from the original game. Encountering the violating effects of the spiders at the power substation, also made me reflect upon both the super sized sewer mutants in RE2, and on how Jill's original campaign was crafted. I remember well that Chris was stronger, sturdier in a fight but Jill began with useful tools and received more help (and occasional sabotage) along the way.

I kind of wonder if some of RE3's campaign reflects upon how she was designed to be the "Easier" route in the mansion, and jack things up because only a Bad Ass Jill Valentine could survive Racoon City. And with my luck by the time I reach the hospital phase it'll either be knee deep in the dead, or designed by the bastard that did the Chess plug puzzle in RE2.

Actually reading the note about the portable generators in the city was kind of nice. Seems the electrician's guild is less full of pricks than the engineering company that did the sewers in RE2. Yes, I really hated the fuse puzzle. RE3's giant battery packs the size of a cordless phone are practical for the sewer's electronic security system. The magic fuses shaped like chess plugs however is just far too damned much work to be practical, on top of it being a bad idea for maintenance. But video game puzzles don't have to reflect real life, lol.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

There may be times when Willow is trying to psychicly tell me it is time for another walk.