Tuesday, February 28, 2023

New website, same address

 Migration from blogger is nearly complete. I think the only real content to be migrated are my static pages, and that should be wrapped up later this week. Theme related details are provisional and may be monkeyed at my leisure.

A key new awesomeness comes with this migration: HTTPS all the things! Well, at least that are hosted here!

I've set my feed burner's original feed to the new source. I apologize if the migration interferes with anyones newsreader, and recommend that you migrate accordingly.

  • Old RSS: https://feeds.feedburner.com/spidey01
  • New RSS: https://blog.spidey01.com/feed
The old feed should continue to function fore the foreseeable future, in as much as Feed Burner does. Any bookmarks to the raw spidey01.blogspot.com address should be updated to blog.spidey01.com or spidey01.com, feel free to go HTTPS if ya do because I am.

The canonical address has been blog.spidey01.com for quite a few years, after all.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Future Plans: Moving My Blog

Something that I've had in mind for a while since the end of Google Photos being such a nice free storage system, and again since there was no luck with HTTPS: migrating away from Blogger, again.

Details are still being planned, but I expect this to occur sometime in the near future. Accessing things by blog.spidey01.com or even spidey01.com, should continue to work (and gain HTTPS). Anyone using the raw blogspot address will probably not see a lot more posts once the transition point.

FeedBurner will probably get pointed at whatever the new feed source ends up, but left as is beyond that. But no idea how that will deal with the wider migration, and FeedBurner isn't exactly known for a lack of bugs these days.

Why am I planning on migrating platforms? Well, it's a fairly simple set of reasons:

  1. Lack of support.
    1. While Blogger was once one of the top blogging platforms, at this point I imagine that it only continues to exist because it would cause more trouble for Google's own blogs to migrate somewhere else than maintaining the system.
    2. Google's never been very forth coming with details here :P.
  2. Tablet experience
    1. I prefer share -> post to share -> copy -> switch apps -> goto web page -> create new post -> paste.
    2. Google has done such a fine job of maintaining their own app that it no longer exists.
    3. Likewise, APIs and things for third party clients are increasingly pissed on from what I can observe.
  3. HTTPS
    1. haven't had any luck combining my custom domain with my taste in TLS, and I'm basically done dealing with what passes for Blogger's documentation and UI :P.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

SIGNALIS - Survival Horror Done Awesomely

It's relatively rare that a contemporary game invokes so much feeling of games like Resident Evil or Dino Crisis, yet don't become overly difficult or annoying. Much less, one that tends to have a more entailing story than DooM or Zombie Master.

SIGNALIS on the other hand....wow. Not really into the pixel art inspired style, but I love the choice of a quasi top down twin stick approach (and tank controls for you gluttons out there). It even tickles my inner wonders for how much our future has in common with Blade Runner.

By and large though, I think SIGNALIS is the closest I've experienced to the original Resident Evil since the original Resident Evil and its Director's Cut on the original PlayStation. One thing I also love, is that it draws a similar balance: there is plenty of opportunity to prefer running past and dodging the monsters out to eat^H^H^H slice your face off, and a fair enough supply of ammunition to shoot your way out of hostile situations. But both talents are advised given the ratio of enemies and ammunition. You can run past or blast most enemies, but certainly not all the enemies.

While the door animations thing in RE was somewhere between dull after its zillionth door more than suspenseful, the occasional first personification of puzzles and certain environments are neat. Somehow it manages to invoke both that classic survival horror genre "What the fuck am I supposed to do with this?" along with keeping it simple enough that the back tracking is not extreme, and like good ol' RE, often if you explore everywhere it's likely that some clue or solution will eventually present itself.

Being a fan of Metal Gear Solid, I also rather loved the radio frequencies bit :).

Since the games use of German exceeds my limited ability at reading it, and I'm unable to read the occasional Chinese characters that pop up; I'm also quite happy that the game manages to be quite friendly to those of us who can't read All The Things (tm) in the art language and need translation; or at least, with some effort there is usually enough English available that it isn't a problem. More often you'll be asking yourself what can you do in a puzzle than needing to worry about translation.

Also, did I mention it was great fun? Well, at least if you enjoyed some of the survival horror games around the turn of the millennium.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Even with the M2 Pro, Mac gaming is as bad as it’s ever been - MacWorld

An interesting subject, and one that I find amusing in some ways.

You see, there is exactly one reason I maintain a Windows machine at home. DirectX based video games that are only released for Windows. Otherwise, I would have switched to BSD and Linux based machines eons ago. By now, I'd also have dropped the desktop form factor if it wasn't for the ten pounds of GTX problem.

With Rimuru's recent motherboard replacement, I was left without my gaming desktop. Fortunately the games I was most playing at the time (Subnautica: Below Zero and Subnautica) have 64-bit Intel versions that my Air can play under Rosetta 2. In Below Zero's case, it's even a really good experience.

But there's a reason why I consider the Macintosh a joke of a gaming platform, and this article nailed the crux of it: there's just a few games! This problem until recent years, was also shared by GNU/Linux and even that is still an on going concern IMHO.

The comparison between a beefy Mac mini and a comparably priced gaming PC, is about what you would expect. Dollar to the pound, as nice as Apple Silicon is, it can't out perform a dedicated Windows gaming machine -- which will have both the games, and be at the forefront of developer's optimization and quality assurance (lol) processes. I think it's kind of awesome how capable Apple's GPUs are, and let's be fair, if you really do prefer a Mac, the price difference may be worth it to you versus a PC. Good financial sense, not likely, but to each their own tastes in technology.

What really doesn't have a solution is the games. Using my own Steam library as an example, about 1/5th support macOS -- and most are simply not possible to run because they require support for 32-bit Intel apps. Ones I've tried on my M2 MacBook Air, have left me impressed with the performance of Rosetta 2 for running 64-bit Intel apps. 

This is about the same amount of my Steam library that is Verified compatible with Valve's Steam Deck. If we expand the criteria to "Verified and Playable", Steam Deck is compatible with half my library. Include those that are simply untested, and the search selector suggests that 80% of my collection can at least "Attempt" being run on a Steam Deck. Those numbers are likely skewed a bit thanks to Renpy and various indy things that are more inclined to offer Linux binaries for 64-bit Intel.

That doesn't even consider that Steam's own app has superb quality on Windows, is meant to be the focal point of SteamDeck's UI, and that on macOS it really has an "Valve also ran" grade of hit and miss quality issues. You won't love Steam on macOS unless Valve makes it a significantly higher priority, and there is little reason they should when it's most useful on Mac for streaming games from a PC!

MacWorld on the other hand makes an interesting case for investment. Apple has a lot of money at present; for years, they've fit the demographic I dub "More money than GOD". I'm not sure if Apple simply bribing publishers and developers to support macOS is legally wise, but boy, that would be an interesting idea.

Sadly, I don't think Macintosh has offered a lot for games since floppy diskette was the prime distribution media. And even then, I would probably have been inclined to explore CP/M and MS-DOS coprocessor options if such things weren't comically out of our price range back then. Actually, I still have no idea how my mother afforded a Tandy 1000 series PC in the first place :^o.