Saturday, May 14, 2022

For a while now, I've resisted Disney+. Often, just barely. I kind of recognized immediately when it launched: if my mother had been alive there would have been no choice in the matter from the beginning. With Star Wars and Marvel joining the house of mouse, that beelines it straight into my interests. I already grew up in front of Disney's content library being the son of Disney fanatic. Throwing in the franchises that most interest me: that just makes a dangerous recipe for a streaming service, lol.

The way I've largely resisted is the notion that I have enough of my budget devoted to such subscriptions, and don't need another. Less about the cost, more about the principal.

And then I notice how cheaply this can expand my existing Hulu package....and darn it.

For bonus points, not only does this allow me to catch up on recent SW/MCU series, it has quite the back catalog. Including filling in the gaps in my Blu-ray collection. Seeing the back catalog has the old ewoks movies and Spiderman and His Amazing Friends series from the '80s listed, somehow just makes me feel old more than tempted. But I'm pretty sure we've long since passed the point of "Pass the popcorn". Sigh.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

 Famous last words? "Damn it, Amazon. Don't show me coffee makers!"

Friday, May 6, 2022

Reflections upon my career

For the most part, I've never been a big believer in bucket lists. At least not the kind you wait until you're dying to start checking off. In thinking recently, I've come to realize that the work I've done over the years probably checks those kinds of boxes on my career in software engineering.

Over the past 16½ years of programming: I've ...

Followed as part of a larger group where the big picture issues were someone else's problem, been the mythical programmer doing it all, led small groups where the big picture is my domain, and been the contact point for small groups.

Learned that I like design and architecture. Both creating them anew and studying existing projects.

Somehow ended up the guy everyone asks when they don't know the answers.

Gotten to enjoy coffee machines that may have had more moving parts than my car.

Worked on traditional application and system level software, but also many other pieces that were off the beaten path. Kernel level drivers that needed porting, microcontrollers that drive hardware interfaces, developed libraries, tools, and frameworks.

Discovered those are all less magical than you think when you're a young padawan. It's less that it's drastically different from normal software development and more that it's important that you not screw up, explode, or paint yourself into a corner.

At times been both the smarted and the stupidest person in the room.

Made features people loved that were based off my ideas. Especially the curious ones when I wanted to know how something worked, and then found an imaginative use case for what was learned.

Made features people loved that we based off other people's ideas. Especially the ones that made the product better for the customer.

Been one of the engineers that gets called when a customer goes down on a Sunday.

Been deemed the expert on some problem domain. Actually, I don't want to know how many times that's happened.

Seen code that I worked on make the magic happen and seen the results on a scope, even though I'll never be able to spell oscilloscope from memory!

Been grateful for hardware engineers and technicians and their skill sets. As well as gladly working alongside them.

Had my hands in more than pieces of internal infrastructure than I can count. As a coworker recently pointed out, while "IT guy" has never been my job title at any of the places that I've worked, he noted that I could probably run an IT dept it I had to. The part of that bugs me, is he was serious, and others agreed.

Been a webmaster, not that I miss that job.

Gotten to work with equipment that I always thought was so expensive that I would never be allowed to touch it.

Seen more than one 8-inch floppy diskette.

Oh wow, satellites!

Been one of the guys who knows too much about what needs doing after the power comes back on.

Both saved the day like Mr. Scott and reminded people that I am not in fact Scotty.

Quoted Jurassic Park more times than I ever thought possible.

Had to wear both my red shirt and my brown pants.

Kept working on a problem everyone else gave up on, and actually found a solution.

Written code to handle parsing existing formats and data streams, including at least one parser of MPEG2 Transport Streams and various propriety things.

Written code, specifications, and documentation for formats and data streams I've created. Sadly, more often for propriety things.

Debugged more than a few weird problems.

Been the guy that gets to solve a problem because the team that should fix it in their project decided it's too much work to do the right thing.

Solved problems at both ends so a system is tolerant if only upgraded one end.

Will probably forget more about the X Windows system as I get older than younger folk will ever learn.

Will never forget there was a character encoding named EBCDIC because test equipment was so much older than I was, defaulting to EBCDIC rather than ASCII made sense when it was manufactured.

Worked on existing and developed new products that actually get used and deployed.

Never got to go to tradeshows and conferences related to my fields but was the chief code monkey on a product that got an award at one.

There will probably be at least letter from a customer in my keepsake box.

Ahh. I've got to admit, it hasn't been a dull career to date.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

It’s been an unusually full weekend. A couple friends were in Atlanta making for a nice chance to hang out. As someone that already passes for a potato during my time off, this was probably the most time out I’ve spent since the pre-COVID age. Between work and medicine schedules it’s been difficult to get very far on the weekends, even after being vaccinated.

I’m also reminded that driving in Atlanta isn’t quite as bad as I remember, thanks to it being the weekend. But I’m still going with the accurate statement that Atlanta is a gravity well where cars go and pedestrians can walk faster 😅. Driving on the interstate doesn’t bother me, it’s just a case in methodical driving and trying to avoid the psychopaths. It’s more specifically the metropolitan gravity well that sucks.

Oddly the thing I’m most looking forward to about the coming week is coffee. I’m able to be a fully functional human being without caffeine, and did so the first twenty or so years of my life. Yet, I’m still in favor of an IV drip of espresso given how little coffee I’ve had this weekend.

As a side note, a entry in embarrassing life moments: wondering why the parking machine refuses to acknowledge my credit card exists, and then noting the machine is too old for chip cards which meant my mag strip was therefore on the wrong side. Or as my brain’s internal monologue phrased it, “Damn, I shouldn’t have skipped coffee”. Yes, never skip coffee. Something, something. Mm, coffee.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Thus far, getting the 2300c up and running has proven to be a bit of a longer running side project than expected.

Part of the juggle:

  1. Most of my software base targets M68K and system 7: about the time PowerPC support began.
  2. Most of my media for installing MacOS 9 either can't boot on older than a G3 or is media that can neither be booted nor readily connected to the older hardware.
  3. Which parts will end up in which machine.
Now that I have a second IDE to SD adapter, I can fit the 2300c with its own internal drive. I'm thinking the larger RAM card from my 230c will get swapped with the 8 MB RAM card from the 2300c. At least if I can get the machine running MacOS 9 or 8.x where memory use will probably be higher. I can't say that I care as much about the modem card given the process to swap that and my lack of a local test loop.

I'm thinking that the 2300c will get nicknamed "Maxwell", after Gundam Wing's Duo Maxwell.

Looking like the next steps will be creating an image for the SD card via emulator or trying to arrange booting my G3 machine and seeing if it can run an install to the 2300c using Target Disk mode and a SCSI connection. In the meantime, I might just see if the 230's system 7 install will boot on the 2300c. If so, a whole lotta Zip disk swapping and multiple partitions might be an effective solution.

While the 2300c has proven to be in much better shape than I expected, the fancier color screen looks like it would benefit from recapping far more than the 230's B&W. Figuring out replacement capacitors though, may be a project for another year. When it comes to the trouble of dismantling that section of PowerBook, it would probably make a good opportunity to do the same to the motherboard. Especially if the PowerPC model also has most of the caps in the same zone near the DC input.

Actually, come to think of it, I believe the baseline floppy setup system 7 that I used for the 230c should be viable if I make a PPC disk utilities floppy to bootstrap from. Decades after the fact, I'm not entirely sure I want to know how well an upgrade process from System 7.x to MacOS 9 would work.

Random thought

I think I can now say it is universally known that I love coffee.

That, or the only way to make it better known would be having coffee paraphernalia tattooed on my face..... lol

For the most part, lately I tend to find myself in an often-tired state. Part of this, I reckon is simply how life is right now. Between work and home, I'm usually kept busy at both ends. I'm used to it being a busy season by now. Another part, I think is that spring just doesn't tend to be a great time of year for me in practice. Most years, actually I've been kind of glad this time of year leans towards busy much stronger than idle.

Recently, I marked 6 years since ma passed away. Events like that seem to make up the lion share of events on my calendar for the early parts of the year, that don't involve meetings and appointments. It kind of bugs me that that trend has only grown since I was a kid. In many cases, it's the death of someone I care about or the birthday of someone I care about whose no longer alive. That sums up the key highlights of my personal calendar for early months of the year. But I also guess that comes with getting older.

My grandfather used to say, "Adapt!" My mother was fond of pointing out that most of the things her dad said were utter non-sense, but she also had a talent for re-iterating the ones that were wise. For me, adaption has usually equated to get things done whatever needs doing.

In the course of my life, I've learned that I probably adapt a bit quicker than most folks I know. For things that I can file under doing, that's kind of easier. It's a more mechanical type of processing that leaves you something to focus on, whether or not it pisses you off in the process. It's the things that aren't as focused that I find harder.

For life in general, well, I'm pretty sure if I pointed out the times that my family had to adapt growing up, my momma would have both slapped me in the head for implying that she hated change that strongly and have listened to my two cents that she did well at making the most of it. That's just how life is. You adapt or you stagnate.

Over the past few years, I've felt that my life has been headed towards a different chapter.

Oddly, this reminds me I've got about 30 more years until my age hits the next power of two.... 🤣

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Passing thought: if personal cybernetics or portable nuclear power cells are ever a thing, I so need an integrated espresso machine.

For some reason this makes me remember Killing Floor's Fleshpound. A type of zombie that effectively turns into a meat grinding berserker when the squad's gunfire causes its chemical injectors to respond to its rage.

You know, having an espresso machine built into you would probably be a case of be careful what you wish for.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Great plan: saving leftover chili, macraroni, that could be smothered in cheese and tossed in the oven.

Bad plan: eating the entire pan for chilimac. Then polishing off a bunch of cheesecake.

Or was that a perfect plan....

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Windows: oh, so poorly defined

Wondering what the heck Rimuru is so lethargic at I/O, to the point that programs take minutes to launch from the start menu and Explorer instances minutes to refresh.

Task Manager reports that my NVMe drive is at locked on 100% but only registers tens of MB/s in I/O. That's kind of silly in more ways than one.

Running perfmon /res from PowerShell, imagine my greater surprise when the Resource Monitor paints the finger at PID 4, SYSTEM and shows executable files from the new XBox advanced management feature.

Now here's the real kicker! Of the top three entries two are for a file that no longer exists on disk because I uninstalled the game a few weeks ago. Both marked at roughly 10~11 MB/s reads if you translate the B/s into reality. The third is installed but is registering ~4.5 MB/s reads for a file that is 600 something KB in size.

But I suspect that this non-sense is also a red herring, as system performance has leveled off despite the silly entries in the monitor. Whatever really sledgehammered the drive at startup is likely long since gone by the time I could get the monitors up and running.

That said, I kind of have to wonder what kind of I/O pattern could possibly register tens of megabytes of reads on a file that does not exist for thirty plus minutes and going, and if it did exist, would probably fit on a floppy diskette with plenty of room to spare.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Sometimes random things make you frown.

  1. Paper weight falls off the tea bag.
  2. String falls in the cup.
  3. Can’t reach the teabag or the string.
  4. Flip over cup and it still won’t come out.
  5. Tie the string to the handle and it flies off when adding water.

When they all in a neat streak of events: I call this an incremental frown.

On the upside sitting down with a spot of tea and not going ass over tea kettle in the process 😅

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Done it again

So, it seems like I've done a naughty thing: I bought another vintage PowerBook. This time it's a Duo 2300c.

A downside of 30-year-old Mac is the trackball is sometimes finicky and has proven resilient to my efforts. I've actually thought about acquiring a Wombat ADB-USB bridge so that I can use a modern mouse^ with my Duo 230. Later models tended to retain some serious hardware compatibility and reuse but eventually replaced the trackball with a standard trackpad. 

I've thought about acquiring a junked late model Duo for parts or trying to find piece meal parts of the old upgrade kits to refit my Duo 230 with a trackpad. Given the age of parts, probably better off with the Wombat approach. Encountering a 2300c in good shape that doesn't cost more than a decent modern laptop of course was too tempting a target.

In my tastes for PowerBooks, things tend to lean more in the direction of subnotebook and ultra-portables. Even today, the Duo series greatly reflects my tastes in computing. 20-year-old-Mac's PowerPC processor has been kind of nifty since it can emulate Motorola 68k and run native PPC code. But the 'Street series is too damned hefty for my tastes even if its G3 blazes compared to an old '30.

Interchangeability of parts between the Duo 200 series seems to be pretty high, but I'm not sure how true that is with the 2300c for internals. But unlike other PowerPC models I'd care for, because it's the last Duo: it's compatible with my peripherals. By contrast, other options lead in the direction of proprietary model-specific gear. The 2300c has the same dock port as the earlier Duo 200 series.

Depending on what shape its internals are in, I might end up with two functioning machines or kit bashing them together. I've been more interested in the 68k / system 7 era, but I can't say that I really mind prospects of a 603e at nearly triple the clockrate of my 68030.

^ While I'm sure Apple must have made a decent ADB mouse at some point, I can't say that I enjoy the rolling ball mice of old as much as I do an actual track ball or an optical based mouse.

Feels So Good: AM Gold

This morning's playlist: Feels So Good: AM Gold

While I guess I've always had a soft spot for cheesy songs, I'm totally blaming Guardians of the Galaxy that I found myself singing along to this one while waiting on a cup of coffee.

Ooga-chaka ooga-ooga

Ooga-chaka ooga-ooga

Ooga-chaka ooga-ooga

Ooga-chaka ooga-ooga

I can't stop this feeling

Deep inside of me

Girl, you just don't realize

What you do to me

When you hold me

In your arms so tight

You let me know

Everything's all right

I'm hooked on a feeling

I'm high on believing

That you're in love with me

Lips as sweet as candy

Its taste is on my mind

Girl, you got me thirsty

For another cup of wine

Got a bug from you, girl

But I don't need no cure

I just stay a victim

If I can for sure

All the good love when we're all alone

Keep it up girl

Yeah, you turn me on

I'm hooked on a feeling

I'm high on believing

That you're in love with me

All the good love

When we're all alone

Keep it up girl

Yeah, you turn me on

I'm hooked on a feeling

I'm high on believing

That you're in love with me

I'm hooked on a feeling

And I'm high on believing

That you're in love with me

I said I'm hooked on a feeling

And I'm high on believing

That you're in love with me

Hooked on a feeling

-- Hooked on a Feeling 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Think I understand how the Tin Man felt about needing that oil can. I managed to sleep sounder and stiller than many a log and passed out snoring quite early. By the time I started to work up there was the distinct feeling of having not moved in many hours.

Willow of course is the smart one. Every morning I get up at a certain time because Misty has her medicines on a schedule. Willow debated getting up and decided if her pillow was moving, she was still going back to sleep, lol.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Things I should never forget: that Windows and USB always makes Linux and USB look like heaven.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

A big bet to kill the password for good

Rather interesting, but I think the real question is when will existing systems catch up.

For the most part the only real problem I’ve experienced with 2-factor authentication is exactly the one that they outlined. In fact, it was a key reason why I stopped using Google’s authenticator in favor of physical keys around Lollipop.

The notion of storing keys in a synced keychain also intrigues me. My password manager of choice is synchronized between devices, and I generally don’t worry about it because.
  1. Database is locally encrypted with a pass phrase. I’m not getting those back if I forget how to unlock the password manager.
  2. Local storage is typically an encrypted file system, and typically on a system where applications aren’t allowed to access each other’s files without permission.
  3. Synchronization is to remote storage that should be encrypted at rest and transferred over the wire at least as secure as HTTPS/TLS.
  4. Accessing that account requires 2-factor authentication, or an emergency code that is difficult to obtain over network.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

One of the reasons that I love choice-based adventure games is that it offers opportunities for both introspection and escape. Will you put yourself into context, or will you role-play a part? Games like Detroit: Become Human and House of Ashes offer much opportunity for both.

In my experience, choices in games tend to reflect me. Not purely the role of the character or an artificial mentality. Actually, I think it would be neat to see statistics about how players respond to such games.

Become Human is even more thoughtful than most because of the issue of Android rights and revolution. I love that the story keeps making you evaluate this. Do you thrash the square, or do you send a message of civil disobedience? Do you respond to violence and injustice with justice and violence, or do you believe an eye for an eye is how the world goes blind? When things heat up will you stick to what you believe or evaluate. Where will you draw the point of no return? I found the point following the fall of Jericho especially pointed.

Thinking about my play through, I do think that as I get older that I am becoming more of a pacifist at heart. I believe that conflict will exist as long as humanity does, but I also see there is so much protentional in our species. Hopefully, if someday our creations become alive as we are, they will learn the right things from us.

Note: Spoilers below.

An earlier version of myself would likely have opted for revolution after the fall of Jericho. On the notion of social justice, it's certainly a difficult point where you need to decide which side of the line you'll land on. Even for peaceful people, turning it into an android revolution may be a valid response to the situation. Of all the choices in the game, I found that probably the hardest to make.

Choosing to march the Androids down to the recall camps and sit, demanding freedom wasn't something that I would have imagined. Choosing to sing at the Android's last stand as execution closes in lead to a beautiful ending. I love that the game doesn't necessarily turn it into a brutal moment rather than one of hope and humanity. A path that says much about both mankind and the androids.

On the prospect that someday our machines could one day become alive rather than simply automatons, I kind of hope whatever our creations learn from mankind: it'll be a lesson of hope. That, and for us humans to be wise enough not to repeat our own mistakes instead of rise above them.

Detroit: Become Human

Detroit: Become Human is one of the more emotional games that I've ever played. As a story-based adventure game, it's superb.

Connor the Deviant Runner, Kara the mother, Markus the revolutionary. Each character's story twists and turns and entwines until by the end they veer off again but continue to be influenced by the choices that lead them, your choices.

I found the story very emotion provoking. Kara's story especially resonated, and I think perhaps she is the most human. Connor's story splits down the middle. Whether you choose to role play or be yourself eventually his paths will make you decide who he really is. Faced with Android slavery, Markus can follow a path that would make MLK proud or paint the streets in blood, or somewhere in between. It's left up to you and many a quick time event.

As a human, I find the games choices remarkable. Kara may represent the best in us in a grey, grey world. The crisis of conscious an identity Connor experiences aren't that far off from what most people will eventually face. Markus's story stabs us right in the belief, perhaps even more so if you're familiar with America's history. It's even neat how the main menu Android fits into the picture, and Kamski's test is an awesome test of humanity.

I'd give it 5/5 except for technical issues. To play via Steam Link: you need to set the game to regular Windowed mode, not Fullscreen or Boardless Window. Probably related to the company's fondess of rolling their own tech rather than using a common game engine. Periodically the screen will go black except for overlay based UI (like interaction prompts) or go to a fuzzy outline, as if certain shaders crashed and broke the rendering until quitting to desktop and restarting the game. That may be because I have an old GTX 780, or because I don't have the kind of AMD GPU you'd find in a PlayStation 4. But those issues were relatively minor, and most often occurring right after a check point save or major scene change.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Given how consistently my knee has been getting stiff and achey, part of me wonders it I'm getting like my mother was with the rainy weathers or if I'm just starting to get old and fat.

Well, to be fair: I'm not getting thinner with age😅

Monday, February 21, 2022

Japanese internment camps: How a long-lost kimono unearthed a family secret 

I think that it would be rather a shame to have such a beautiful piece of your heritage locked away. But given what was done to their generation, I can’t say that I blame their grandparents for being so disinclined to talk about it.

Growing up, I was always rather glad that my mother would share what it was like in her family. Being Italian Americans, my grandparents didn’t have it quite so hard. My grandmother worked in a factory and my grandfather served in the Navy. To my understanding, he didn’t like discussing the war but I believe that had more to do with his experiences in the pacific. By their generation, English had already become the dominate language in the family, and I imagine that no one really cared that much about the Italians.

By contrast many folks of Japanese decent were not so fortunate. And to top it off, there were many nisei who still chose to fight and join the war effort despite what was being done to their families at home.

My mother’s generation was the last that truly spoke any of the Italian dialect of the old folks because that was the only way to communicate with her grandmother. The Italian influences were very much apart of her upbringing, significantly more than my brother and I. And there was never any reason for anyone to mind or fear that. I think that we were very lucky for that.

The thought of people missing out on that kind of thing, kind of bugs me. Given what Japanese Americans went through in those days, I can’t say that I am surprised. Not only is it wrong what was done to that generation, but to help break up being able to share their heritage with their children and grandchildren that is even more wrong.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022 Thin Ultrabook Announced with No Ports

Not sure if this idea is just insane, or if I’m in love.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Things that make dogs angry: the smell of chicken cooking.

Things that make dogs happy: the taste of fresh chicken.

Trick is somewhere in between, not getting Rube Goldberged off a cliff like a cartoon character while the dogs abscond with the whole supply of chicken.

Friday, January 28, 2022

"Wait, isn't that downloading too fast?"

"Alexa, what's 45 times 8"

"Well, yeah, I guess that is a lot of bits"

Let's just say I don't miss the days when downloading a game's patch could make me glad that no one called for 3 to 4 consecutive hours. Although with file sizes of modern games being measured by the Blu-ray scale, I still prefer it when the phone doesn't ring :^o.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Operation New Coat

Ordinarily, I wear the same black light all year jacket that I've worn for so many years... I was already wearing it in photos 17 years ago. After so many years, it's gotten a bit thinner and worn in places that I've worried someday it'll fall apart. But it's fit that sweet spot of a coat that is light enough to wear when it's chilly outside and warm enough that when it's insufficient: switching to thermal shirts or multiple layers is both a solution and recommended anyway, lol. Like my hat, it handles wind and rain well enough that I rarely need an umbrella. Actually, I've rarely used an umbrella or a dedicated raincoat for at least a decade now because my jacket is close enough for 70% of my rainy weather needs not just keeping warm. I love my jacket because it made a pretty effective wind breaker in its youth and remains an all year 'round coat.

When it gets really cold and windy during the winter it's layer duty. Typically, I will add a heavy-duty fleece and a scarf that I'm pretty sure is a few decades older than I am. The over the head fleece is bothersome and ineffective against water, but as a second layer over my regular jacket it works damn well until the wind warrants thermal underwear.

The other day, Amazon's prime deal of the day just happened to be Wantdo Men's Waterproof 3 in 1 Ski Jacket Warm Winter Coat Windproof Snowboarding Jackets with Detachable Puffer Coat for about 20% off its current pricing. It aligns well enough with what I've been thinking of in a new coat for several years, and priced as "Yeah, let's give it a shot" while the sale lasts.

So far, this is looking to be a success!

Material wise it seems like it should handle water slightly better than my old jacket; certainly, no worse. Especially given that by wearing it since circa high school: my normal jacket isn't getting any thicker or more water resistant with age. The removable "Puffer" liner looks like on its own and zipped into the main jacket, should replace use cases where I either switch to heavy-duty fleece or wear it over my old jacket. The change from a mesh lining to warm and cozy might make it less all-year wear than my old coat, but we'll see.

Kind of happy to see that the zippers are far from the weakest point. My old jacket, shall we say fits in that gap between decent zippers either last almost forever or make you wonder about the value of replacing them. Not sure if the various draw string pieces will hold up any better than my old jacket, but I can live with that.

A sweet boon is that the cuffs are fitted with Velcro tabs that can be used to batten down the cuffs. I've been stuck for years having to make do with gloves and mittens as the only pseudo-work-around when it gets windy as **** out. That the hood zips to the back of the neck and Veclros under the collar bands is nice. Typically, I'll prefer my Boonie hat to wearing my old jacket's hood because of superior range of head movement. Except when it is brutally cold in which case I'm putting the hood up, hat on, and wrapping a scarf around the hood, lol. So mostly, it just serves as something to snag on or tell which end of the jacket is which, or an aide for the rare days when I forget my hat and it starts to rain.

Something that remains to be seen is whether or not the pockets will be kickass or useless. My old jacket's pockets are good enough for storing gloves or snot rags but aren't safe for things like my phone that don't take kindly to bouncing off concrete nor reliable for holding things that you can't have fallen out unnoticed. The zip shut pockets are both deeper than my old jackets, ideal for keeping the free hand warm while walking the dogs. Plus, the zipped breast pocket would be a good way to store my phone for such occasions because my BDU trousers aren't very convenient for that.

All in all, not the worst ~$66 bucks I've ever spent.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Rock & Roll Founders

Whole lotta' good music here, but I have to admit when you open with Bill Haley & The Comets singing (We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock Tonight: it's impossible for my mind not to flash back to Happy Days!

For better or worse growing up as a couch potato has led me to associate certain audios and visuals together. Given the next tune on the playlist is Chuck Berry poppin' Johnny B. Good, you can guess where my mind flashes to next....

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Sand in My Boots, Morgan Wallen

 She asked me where I was from

I said "Somewhere you never been to"

Little town outside of Knoxville

Hidden by some dogwood trees

She tried talkin' with my accent

We held hands and waded into

That blue water

She left her flip-flops by my Red Wings on the beach

Yeah, but now I'm dodging potholes in my sunburnt Silverado

Like a heart-broke Desperado, headed right back to my roots

Somethin' bout the way she kissed me tells me she'd love Eastern Tennessee

Yeah, but all I brought back with me was some sand in my boots

I said "Let's go shoot tequila"

So we walked back to that beach bar

She said "Don't cowboy's drink whiskey?" huh

So we drank bottom shelf

She said "Damn, that sky looks perfect"

I said, "Girl you've never seen stars like the ones back home"

And she said "Maybe I should see them for myself"

Yeah but, now I'm dodging potholes in my sunburnt Silverado

Like a heart-broke Desperado, headed right back to my roots

Somethin' bout the way she kissed me tells me she'd love Eastern Tennessee

Yeah, but all I brought back with me was some sand in my boots

I said "Meet me in the mornin'"

And she told me I was crazy

Yeah, but I still thought that maybe she'd show up

Ah, but now I'm dodging potholes in my sunburnt Silverado

Like a heart-broke Desperado, headed right back to my roots

Somethin' bout the way she kissed me tells me she'd love Eastern Tennessee

Yeah, but all I brought back with me was some sand in my boots

Yeah, but all I brought back with me was some sand in my boots

-- Sand in My Boots, Morgan Wallen

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Here are the most interesting USB-C accessories at CES 2022

Now that’s a trend I’d like to see more of: USB-C hubs that have more USB-C downstream ports than USB-A all over.

While Tech News Outlets (tm) have been groaning and moaning about the need for dongles, I’ve been more interested in when more USB-C centric hubs would get some lime light. Most that I’ve seen in recent years have been a tad pricey.

Passing thought: Bestheda’s release manager used to ship new games. Then he took an arrow to the knee. 

When I was younger, my friends loved Oblivion and in retrospect it’s one of my favorite Elder Scrolls games. But Skyrim was actually the first game in the series that I played, and by then it was long enough for it to have a decent sale price. Even though it had yet to be re-released in every edition known to mer kind.

Actually now that I think of it, between PCs and consoles: I’m not sure I want to fathom how many hours I’ve spent playing Skyrim over the years. Probably more than most ES games with Oblivion coming in as a second. Hmmm… damn it now I’m tempted to play Skyrim again.

Getting with the 21st century

Thanks to a bit of Christmas goodness and Microcenter having them 50% off, I finally got myself a NVMe style portable drive. A while ago, I had tried to find one that would have a slot for my lanyard and only could find expensive SanDisks that would meet that criterion. Thus, fire sale equal fire win.

Which gives me a superb replacement for my ruggedized USB-A hard drive. My old drive has served well, but it's a spinning platter that I bought back in 2014. Making it about 8 years old. Getting USB-C and fancy speed is just a win. Since it includes a suitable C-to-C and a C-to-A adapter even my old development beast, Stark, can utilize it. I had figured the old drive would remain for his backups but probably not.

Rimuru's 10 Gbit/s ports give me in the neighborhood of 860 MByte/s reads and writes. Rimuru and Stark's 5 Gbit/s ports basically max out around 460 MByte/s.

Sorting through my usual backpack, I've decided while I'm retiring the ruggedized hard drive from my standard work and travel kit, my null modem cable is going with. As much use as I've gotten out of a serial cable in the past decade, I've also found it somewhat sad that I still carry a null modem cable.... lol.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Why iMac G4 is still the greatest Mac ever made 20 years later

While I can’t say that I ever thought much of the iMacs until I saw the modern style flats on people’s desks, I have to admit that the G4 certainly had a unique design. The original CRT design, I think would be deserving whether you wanted to give it an award for excellence or failure in style. But the lamp style G4s, at least were unique.

But I’m pretty sure most people don’t want to experience 20 year old processors and the modern Internet :P.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Turns Out the Nintendo Game Boy Is the Worst Possible Way to Watch Movies

Real not sure if this is utterly horrifying, or tempts me to grab my Game Boy Color and a soldering iron. Maybe both?

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Scary Stores to Tell in the Dark (2019) is probably the best scary movie that I’ve seen in a while. Not quite Drag Me to Hell kind of scary but rather close.

Fairly quickly the film comes off as a period piece. The home made Halloween costumes, Night of the Living Dead at a drive through, and racial slurs that you shouldn’t hear out of a sheriff, all quickly begin to paint the scene. Thorough the film if you pay attention: you’ll notice the 1968 setting. I really liked the opening: while I grew up in the era of commercial Halloween costumes and shopping malls, my mother grew up in an era when kinds made their own costumes and went around the neighborhood. My mom and dad would have been in their early 20s at the time the film is set, making it more apparent to me. some of my mom’s stories of course had to do with her Halloween experiences as a kid.

The various stories are superb twists of horror. Often grisly, yet classic. But it’s painted over with a modern varnish. Sarah’s story is the kind that would often be skipped over or down played. Her chilling tales of terror on the other hand are ones you’d sell in the horror isle of a bookstore (remember when those were a thing?). Stella and her dad, and friends serve a stark contrast. In many ways, I’d say Stella is rather modern despite the film pelting us with ‘60s vibes.

In some ways, I have mixed feelings about the ending. I kind of agree with the way it plays out android The more positive tone. It’s not the kind of “Oh, shit!” Twist at the end that horror stories often train us to expect. Instead it’s rather hopeful and determined. Most of all it sets the stage for a sequel :).