Friday, September 25, 2020

While I'm not a big fan of musicals: when Netflix suggested musical remake of The Producers, I filed it as "Yeah, I oughta get around to watching that." Glad I did.

Early segments such as the beginning with Max and Leo aren't my cup of tea. The more theater oriented sequences made me wonder if there is such a thing as a Mel Brooks I wouldn't like. But by the time Will Ferrell and his favorite pigeon popped up, I was pretty sure it would be worth watching. Actually that pigeon might of been mye biggest laugh during the whole film, lol. Later on the choice of a more on stage style proves rather appropriate for many reasons.

By the time the opening night ends, and Franz shows up to shoot Max and Leo: we're firmly in ROFLMAO territory all the way to the end. Nathan Lane's performance was especially stellar throughout.

I find the whole concept terribly amusing. Two fools trying to make a play so bad that it has to flop, and boy howdy did they pick an idea for that plan. It's actually a tougher sell that anyone would invest in their cockamamie play than it is that someone would actually make a flop with the intent to cook their books. But of course despite intentionally doing everything wrong: it somehow goes horribly right, and they're all screwed, screwed, screwed. Hahah!

Plus it's kind of a sweet that they manage to make fun of the old Nazis along the way. I can easily imagine some evil bastards rolling over in their grave at what a farcesical thing they made.

Makes me remember a quote I came across some years ago: "If you stand on a soapbox and trade rhetoric with a dictator you never win...That's what they do so well: they seduce people. But if you ridicule them, bring them down with laughter, they can't win. You show how crazy they are."

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The new 2020 iPad isn’t enough for Zoom school

Pretty sure that every time I’ve seen a review of the new iPad pop up there’s been three consistent complaints from reviewers:

  1. Same old design 
  2. 32 GB storage 
  3. Single user.
Personally, I think the complaints are overrated.

On the hardware front: I’d say if it isn’t broken, why replace it? The physical design is no less awesome or crappy than it was years ago. Just now you’ve got sexier models available for twice the price tag!

On my iPad Pro there is usually thirty some gigs of storage usage. At the same time it usually recommends I let it deep six a dozen or so gigs of stuff. Considering the base iPad costs a lot less, and offers even more storage (still for less) as an option: that’s pretty swell for the cheapest iPads.

The place where I nod my head in agreement however is USB-C. I’m hoping that as SoCs trickle down the fruit company eventually goes USB-C all the way. Even if it lead to a Pencil that just replaced the charging connector: I’d call it a win.

For the most part I think iOS has deserved it’s criticism over the years. Slow, terribly slow evolutionary pace but pretty good results. I personally care much more when it comes to the tablet front since my tablet vs phone usage is something like 90% vs 10%, lol.

At this point it’s fair to call iPadOS a multitasking OS. Both in the technical sense, and the user capabilities. Just not as ironed out as what you’ve been doing on your PC since the late ‘80s, lol.

What I find intriguing is the rice of reviewers moaning about iPadOS being a single user operating system.

That iPads are expensive is a given. That outfitting an entire family with Apple products is comically expensive is only avoidable by not doing it. But we still live in a world where sharing computers isn’t as typical as it once was.

Once upon a time: computers were so crazy expensive that time sharing was a key. There were reasons you ran a bunch of terminals to tens of thousands of dollars of equipment, and PCs costing several grand were a joke.

Today your wrist watch probably has more computing power than the old time sharing systems. Yet most people tend to operate as either one PC per person or with a device in a shared location. Ya know the whole P in Personal Computer?

Multiple user accounts on tablets are kind of attractive from the idea of leaving a tablet in community areas with no specific user. But do you really want to pay that much for a dedicated coffee table or kitchen ‘puter?

Tablets like phones tend to be pretty personal, single user devices. Much like DOS PCs of old the reason to share tends to be purpose deployed rather than intent designed.

Plus if you’ve been bitching and moaning that Android tablets are shit and never get updates for so many years, you probably shouldn’t complain about how many years before the cheapest iPads and your old hand me downs are good enough for your kids 😅.

Real people tend to be more pragmatic than nitpicking reviewers and tech blogs. And yes, sometimes you should consider price a driving factor.

Oh he still my beating heart....and I may be hard after watching that.

 While Little Caesar’s might not be great pizza: it’s cheap and efficient. Not to mention I question the ability to make much better for $5, lol.


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

First impressions of Scribble appears very promising. My real wonder of course is now buggy iPad or 14 is

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

 Misty: "Why is this asshole, I mean, human walking by without a food offering in hand."

Windows Me, 20 Years Later: Was It Really That Bad?

While Millennium Edition is mostly remembered as a disastrous hell pit: it did try to roll up quite a few odds and ends. That’s probably part of why it was so buggy, and XP had more time.

To be fair the Windows 9x line probably brought their operating system as far forward as it could really go without dropping the relationship to MS-DOS. A compatibility issue of decreasing importance by the time 98 SE reached customers, and more and more software came to expect a 32-bit Windows and modern memory management units.

XP is itself long post it’s throw out date: but was definitely a step in the right direction. Part of me remembers it fondly because it was the first time we really had a computing environment that could play games, and want e limited by outdated hardware. At the same time the shiny of business as usual left me ready for a unix environment long beds XP itself became outdated.

Part of me rather wonders what the modern desktop might look like if Microsoft would of had as much ownership of Xenix as they ended up with NT. At least few of us really need MS-DOS or 286 compatibility today as much as we may want Windows 98 or XP compatibility.

Probably the third dinner I’ve made out of the batch of meatloaf. Not to mention, combined with the leftover potatoes and vegetables from tonight: I just packed three lunches with the remaining meatloaf, lol.

Misty and company of course just wonder why there’s no doggy share.

It’s probably a good thing that tonight is also meaty / gravy bits for the hungry doggos.

Monday, September 14, 2020


I kind of like the contrast these two machines offer.

That the Series X targets 2160p60 is pretty straight forward. Having a matching Ultra HD Blu-Ray drive is nice value, much as my original One's Full HD Blu-ray drive or my PlayStation 2's DVD player was handy on the wallet.

So in essence if you wanna have the biggest horse power: buy the Series X. If you just wanna have fun or save money: get the Series S.

Seems the Series S basically targets Full HD televisions. Enough oompth to for a 1440p60 target should make anyone's 1080p HDTV happy whether the resources are pumped into eye candy or only milked for PC monitors in that resolution. You're not going to find tons of consumer oriented 1440p QHD television.

My main curiosity, I think will be what difference the differences in compute power bring.\

Especially as time goes on and on, and games take greater advantage of modern hardware. The focus on the hardware being more like a feature profile has been a positive for the One/One S and One X bit. I expect that it will continue with the Series S and Series X, however long the earlier consoles remain good enough for general gaming. I like the idea of "Xbox games" that scale to your console more than I like the idea of "Generations" and backwards compatibility. Even more so given the relationship to Windows.

Given the goal of being cheaper: cutting both memory and the optical drive make sense.

In all the years that I've owned an Xbox One: games on disc have been a waste. Literally, I have had more use for 3.5" floppy diskettes in the past decade than I have for the buying video games on Blu-ray disc. When I've done so: without failure it lead to downloading all the freaking stuff anyway. In effect making the disc little more than a resellable license key, but at least optical discs (probably) make better frisbees than floppies.

Rather the value I've had out of the console's optical drive has been purely video related. I have two Blu-ray drives. One in my desktop PC that I use for ripping content, and the one in my Xbox one that I'll occasionally use to check the discs. Most times I just rip and later stream to my Fire TVs via Plex.

When it comes to the whole resale and used games front, I don't think having to put a disc in the drive is worth that for me. Rather I think some system for linking license keys to an account and some kind of cross signature verification between your logged in device, and Microsoft's servers, would be a better move. I.e. chuck the disc, unlink the key from your account and trade or sell it to a friend. Screw the damned optical disc. Having to download 20 to 100 gigs of shit is inescapable at this point, so you're basically screwed if popping a Blu-ray in is the only way to get your game on.

I think I've had the original model Xbox One since about 2015 or 214. In all of that time the options for getting games on disc or used, surely hasn't saved me the cost difference between the two new consoles. Hell, subscribing to Game Pass has probably saved me more in the long term than the used games market has saved me since 1993. Yes, I'm getting old.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

 Greedy Fool; noun.

What happens when you reach the end of Central Processing, and instead of rushing through the exit: decide to wipe the last Blinky off your tail before it can chomp your neck off.

And then you realize you just swapped Chaingun -> Rocket Launcher instead of Chaingun -> Shotgun, and blow yourself back to the starting point.

Yeah. Not quite my brightest moment ever. Well, I'm sure the look on my face maybe. On the upside the Spectre didn't survive the blast either.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

 How things work around here:

Willow: stare

Me: “You had a pretzel, and Corky’s too. I think you can let me have a cookie or two.”

Corky: “Did someone call about food?”

Me: Eats third cookie 

 Somewhere between having to blow my noise before I’m out of bed, and brushing my teeth it occurred to me that the September resurgence of Ragweed must be about now.

Sure enough it is. And I’m really glad when that shit is gone.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Normally I don’t make meatloaf. But this time I decided to solve the main logistics problem: giving myself a good head start on cooking time. Plus two pounds makes a ton of meatloaf.

For reasons unknown to me: I seem incapable of remembering to warm up the meat in advance, so that I don’t end up with a frozen slab of meat for a mixing hand. But that’s a chronic problem that remains heat after year, lol.

Willow was pretty convinced that this meal should be shared, but had to settle for her own meat and gravy bits after human’s dinner.

And she’s probably right about the sharing. I feel like I just ate enough for three or four people. Plus there’s at least four times as much meatloaf in the refrigerator, a comparable glob if potatoes and the on seasoned portion of the vegetables.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

 Last night, I was really tied. Misty was kind of looking at me with concern in her eyes as if to say, "Don't fall out of the chair human, you'll die if you hit the floor that tired."

Tonight on the other hand: she's looking as if to say: "Why you no bring me another treat."

Oh, alright lit' Mis' I'll go and get a treat, lol.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

New safety rules in C++ Core Check 

While the for loop part may be a bit spotty, in the sense you should be paying attention and know which you want when writing the statement. I have to admit I would have liked the auto thing.

I’ve mainly relied on C++14 since about 2016 for my C++ use whenever possible, and sometimes newer because of standard library. While catching up wasn’t as painful as I thought, aside from how long it’s taken for C++17 to trickle through various Linux distributions, there were a few things I found myself watching closer.

One of these was the way auto typing copes with references. I learned pretty quickly to watch my syntax  when using auto. If a real warning was available: it would have been much faster to notice the distinction. In my code, you’ll usually see auto used when the type would be redundant salt. But we usually want our sugars to not to have unintended pains, lol.

The code samples on the switch/case part also makes me remember just how verbose C’s simple switch/case statements are by today’s standards. Damn it, now my kind is flashing to

Monday, September 7, 2020

 Evidence of the intelligence and sublime comfort that comes with being a dog.

Why am I never smart enough to take a proper nap? 🤣

Saturday, September 5, 2020

 Surface Duo postures: Every bend and fold you need to know

For some years, I’ve thought it would probably be awesome sauce if you took two tablets and put them in a book like case side by side, and made some kind of software pipe between them for opening apps and sharing via intents.

Microsoft’s Surface Duo definitely represents something much more complete and natural. And sadly just as expensive, or more. But it’s an actual product you can sell your left nut or right tit for. So there is that 🤣.

I would love to see more devices like this. Both in the Duo’s size that can bridge between a phone and a tablet, and something closer to a tablet than a phone.

 “Dumb human should stop working and give me treats.”

 Every now and then, I’m pretty sure that Willow’s spine must be made out of jello with how she sprawls out. Especially if she gets into a position like this and puts her legs out, lol

Misty is also pretty good at building her own blanket fort.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

My cxxversion and stdheaders

 In various bits of code: I've been using these headers to solve the "__cplusplus says yeah, but actually compiling says go to hell" problems. Because sometimes the macro tells you one thing and actually trying to preprocess and link makes naughty hand gestures on the systems I encounter.

Finally, I've gotten around to sticking these in their own repo.

Which is much nicer than going: "Which project did I last update that in?"

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Thinking over my experiment, I think I can principally call it a success. Over the past ~three weeks, I've managed to not go out of my cottin pickin' mind and want to flip my NT partition out a window. 

As someone that's principally had a FreeBSD or Debian setup on hand for the past fifteen years, I'm going to call that signs of progress on Microsoft's part. Because while there are worts here and there using a X session: traditionally they piss me off less than Windows.

Since the experiment began I've made numerous changes, but mostly small ones.

The freaky SD card freezes Explorer thing hasn't happened in ages, so I can probably thank updates for that. Likewise I find turning my keyboard off before power down seems to result in less having to repair the damned thing. Pretty stable for the most part.

IIS is definitely slow as dog poop compared to lighttpd, but given how easy it is to lock it down to a specific network, I'll forgive that.

The thing I miss the most is how copy/paste works in X. The whole thing about ^C/^V versus the mouse selection and clicking the middle mouse button is really helpful when you're copying between a terminal and a note editor. The select / right click thing with modern Windows terminal emulators and console things, not so much. But that was also something I disliked about using Android and a monitor anyway.

Since modern Linux tends to treat otherwise available memory like a ramdisk, and buffers the crap out of it for faster file I/O, I've made a small tweak to WSL2 setup:

PS > type .\.wslconfig
# default is 80%, or about 12.8 if you've got 16GB.
# Default is 25%, or about 4GB if you've got 16GB
# It's a VHDX file used as swap: not system virtual memory.

Effectively limiting WSL2 to half my system's physical memory. Otherwise I'll find myself with 300~400 MB free in task manager. Some of the projects I work on generate ~20 GB of files and general nut punches memory.

That my desktop sessions on W10 usually burn up to 3.5 ~ 6.5 GB according to Task Manager, this further increments my desire that my next machine offer at least 32 GB of RAM. Because 640 KB isn't enough for anything anymore 🤣.

As most of my interests revolve around an xterm session, WSL works pretty damned good for me. Enough so that using Xfce4 and Thunar vs NT's DWM and Explorer aren't as large an impact as the change from Davmail + Thunderbird to ActiveSync and Windows Mail.

Much to my amusement if I do the old "Send to" -> "Mail recipient" trick, I get an error message that there is no program for that. Actually, I can't remember what decade I last actually tried that. But I'm pretty sure that XP or '98 was still sexy at the time.

I've been happy to see that Windows Terminal has come along nicely. When I tried it very early on, I found it annoying because I abuse bash's classic line editing instead of using notepad like shortcuts. No frustrations or interference with a release version of Windows Terminal; in fact my only negative comment is the fancy pane split stuff isn't the same as tmux or screen, hehe.

Spending more time on Windows 10 than normal, I find myself reminded that it's been about a decade since I figured I should learn how to use PowerShell. While I mostly skipped having to care about batch files in, I have had no such luck avoiding cmd.exe in my life. And PowerShell frequently reminds me how nicer it is--if only I'd have the time to learn it as well as I do bash and general Bourne Shell voodoo.

My little experiment of using Windows 10 Pro instead of Debian Buster was meant to answer the question "Can I" use NT as my main development and work platform. The question of "Should I" however is a different one. That I haven't gone insane is a positive. That I've tried at all of course indicates that I may be a tad more insane than normal.

But hey, I spent many years using Android as a desktop replacement, so I'm obviously crazy to begin with ^_^.