Monthly Archives: March, 2016

Another Twitter Update…

I am ambivalent to Twitter these days. The SJW morons outnumber the sane, and in spite of my best efforts, the little twerps infest my TL. Mostly I just don’t get to communicate much anymore. I should return to IRC (I’ve not been on freenode.net since 2000.) I just don’t feel comfortable anymore tweeting nonsense. the Signal-to-Noise ratio is ALL out of whack.

Bah. I hate SJW’s and Progressives. Rather, I hate what they stand for. They might be nice people otherwise. Just dumb, misguided people.

My Game

The python game I’ve been thinking about has been put on hold while I master Qt, so it’ll stay in its “planning” stage for a little longer. The same goes true for my spaceship combat game with a deck of playing cards. I know one exists on the Internet (that’s where I got the idea), but for the life of me, I can’t find it. I am still looking though, and in the meantime I’m going to see if I can do it myself. 🙂

I have other projects I’m working on that are merely napkin scribblings. I guess I need to push those a little farther before setting them aside, or I’ll never remember what they were.

 

 

and I hate Spring allergies.

Rambling on…

I tend to do this for no other reason than to jot down notes about what I’m thinking about. Like for instance, I’m trying to get the object hierarchy of Qt (PyQt in particular) to change the mask of a field in a table view (turning integer epoch time to a HH:MM:SS) and it’s not going as well as I hoped. I’m stymied as to where the pieces connect. I have a partial picture (I have no problem handling table-wide methods, but when I get down to the field, it starts to deflate.) I’m not worried, though. I’ll eventually figure it out.  It is frustrating however.

Which leads me to my next point (quite a segue!) I am not as good as I used to be at context-switching. It’s as if my brakes on my brain are wearing out. It’s taking longer to stop and start than it used to. Maybe brakes isn’t a good analogy, more like gear-shifting. It takes me longer to get to 4th or 5th gear than it used to (being deep in thought about a particular problem), and it’s mostly due to age and I would guess a little stress now and again. I’ve much less stress than I used to (most of it was self-induced anyway, so once I figured that out, it started to click elsewhere.) Heck, learning that got me off my high blood pressure medicine. I don’t take things too seriously, and when I do, it’s not panicky. 🙂

I need to have a more metered approach to learning something. I am going to fiddle with PyQt (and Qt in general, using C++) at home more often. I think I can master it in a few weeks’ time. I have a couple of good books on PyQt (well one good one and one “mini” book). All I need to do is get back into the swing of C++ (it’s been a while) and I can get my Qt stuff working in C++ so I can understand the python bindings. (Or at least realize what calls what so I can drill down to the part of the widget or class I need. heheheh.)

I need to start focusing anyway. I’ve had my Raspberry Pi set up to be a file server for a while now and haven’t gotten around to putting my rsync into the system to make sure my backups are more regular. I need another 1TB laptop USB drive, I think. 🙂

 

Music and the Internet Age

I was thinking the other day about the old days of searching for metal music. In the 80’s, it was not hard to get to the metal section of a record store, because the popular charting music was “metal” like. (Hair bands, etc.)  The only problem with that is the mis-categorization of Bon Jovi as “metal.”  They’re not even hard rock. But I digress. Music was only available via mailorder (some of which would be considered dodgy even today) and what the local shop could buy for you and import. I didn’t have enough money to do that when I was younger, so I was relegated to used vinyl and the occasional import (from Japan, which cost an arm and a leg.)  But the key was, most metal information was only available from a pen pal or a magazine (and not all of the magazines would put information about new Helloween or Gamma Ray). I figured most European metal was going to be stuck in Europe unless I scored a shedload of money or a trip there. Back when the dollar was strong, I could’ve cleaned up (even with shipping), had I enough dollars to cover the albums. But it was a rewarding experience getting a used record of an EP from Helloween (like Dr. Stein) from Germany. Otherwise it was domestic metal. And if you only cursorily loved Hair Metal (Twisted Sister, Dokken, and Quiet Riot were my limits), you usually went home with no new records/cassettes.

But then something wonderful happened. The Internet was born. And long before the web, the exchange of information and mix tapes between continents were so much easier to coordinate (though the old back-page ad days were still good for obscure metal that might or might not break in the future.) This was before MP3’s and the sharing of actual music was still done in the analog world (with digital expediency.) I enjoyed finding new music from Finland or Norway, solely contingent upon the other folks knowing English (or enough English to get name/address/cost). After the Internet, there was a WHOLE world of 2nd-tier Power Metal and albums that were long since out of print here in the States. I found Helloween’s first EP and the European version of Walls of Jericho thanks to the Internet.

The one thing the Internet has done is show me that there are a LOT of bands out there, and far more than I’ve ever dreamed there would be. It has also made it possible to hear if the music is good before buying. (Something I like quite a bit.)  There is lots of chaff in the tubes… but finding the good stuff is fairly easy if you know what to look for. The only thing I miss from the old days that the Internet has killed off are used CD shops.  They had some gems in there (I got the original mix of “The Wall” on CD at a used shop, and well, now I know why the vinyl was better until they re-mixed it.) Keep your ears peeled, folks. The Internet is chock full of music. (And it’s not RIAA approved. So it doesn’t suck.)

River Monsters Unhooked

I like “River Monsters: Unhooked”. I am looking forward to the new series where he is doing oceanic monster searches. I think it starts on April 8th. Jeremy Wade is a cool dude. But one thing’s for sure, this show has made me realize I should just avoid water entirely. (Except for drinking.)

 

My first computers (In chronological order)

atari-800-xlC64c_systemAmiga500_system

I miss those days. I really do. I’m glad Linux is around so I can tinker like I did with my Amiga/C64/Ataris. 🙂 Life’s good, though. I still have my A500 (and my A500+), though I have no mouse for it. I use the 1084 monitor as a display for my Pis and CHiP boards.

 

Time to play some Ultima 3. I know how it ends, but I love exploring the dungeons. 🙂

Movies that shouldn’t be remade

I have a list of movies that shouldn’t be (or shouldn’t have been) remade. It’s not a terribly long list, and I’m not angry about most of them (irritated is the more proper term), and I want to stress that these are my opinions and not those of everyone else. If anyone thinks I’m wrong, good for you. That’s the beauty of opinions. We can have so many. (Facts, on the other hand….)

  1. Citizen Kane. Seriously, do I have to give a reason for this one?
  2. The Ten Commandments. Charlton Heston is Moses. It’s even got Vincent Price in it.
  3. Dr. Phibes (both). Vincent Price. Can’t be duplicated.
  4. Tora! Tora! Tora! (Because we saw what Michael Bay did to Pearl Harbor.)
  5. Rocky. (Because Stallone is Balboa. It’s impossible to separate the two.)
  6. Smoky and the Bandit (Burt Reynolds and Jackie Gleason. Nuff said.)
  7. Blade Runner (Best sci-fi movie ever made.)
  8. 2001 (2nd best sci-fi movie ever made.)
  9. Any Monty Python movie (that goes without saying.)
  10. The Man with No Name Trilogy (as if they could remake those masterpieces)
  11. Escape from New York (you can’t remake it. Kurt Russell rules.)
  12. Big Trouble in Little China (Kurt Russell again….)
  13. Mars Attacks (too funny to re-make.)
  14. The Wild Bunch (do you have to ask?)
  15. Cool Hand Luke (same.)

 

Now, as far as I know, no one has tried to remake that list of movies. I hope that trend continues. Now for the movies that were remade that didn’t need it.

 

  1. Total Recall (terrible remake.)
  2. Robocop (what were they thinking?)
  3. Ghostbusters (This is the MOST horrible idea ever conceived. Remaking this masterpiece?)
  4. True Grit (John Wayne was not as good as Jeff Bridges, but the little girl was better than the psycho they got for Wayne’s version. And Glen Campbell out-acted Matt Damon and he isn’t even an actor! Matt Damon sucks.)
  5. Planet of the Apes (the reboot is good, but the remake of the original with Mark Wahlberg is crap. Total crap.)
  6. Conan the Barbarian (should’ve made another slant on the character and not went with the same name to avoid comparisons to the superior Arnold version.)
  7. Anything with Ben Affleck in it. Remake or not, he’s as much of a dolt as Matt Damon. Two idiots sharing the same brain.

 

I have no delusions that these are the final items. If you don’t see it here, chances are I either forgot it or liked the remake. 🙂

Quick Twitter update

I am still done with Twitter as a medium to do anything more than saving meme jpgs, but I have found that in small doses, it’s not terrible.

I went back to an alias name, and chose an ancient Greek pirate “Spartaco.” I hope he wasn’t too evil or they’ll suspend my account. heh.  But hey, with Space Pirate theme going on, I have to pick something relevant, right? 🙂

Ambient air temperature and cheap cases

I figured out (belatedly) why things were so dodgy on my system. (Hard lockups and miscellaneous browser crashes were the norm for a bit there.) The fix was simple. Make sure it’s not too hot where my PC is. I also have removed some front fascia and the plastic side door (with the window) so it gets a bit more air. The downside to that is the machine now needs more TLC from dust (but it needed that anyway, since it is always on and not sleeping. I know most people think it’s silly not to have a sealed (with fan flow and/or liquid cooling) case. I know it’s not the best solution, but until I can figure out a way to really keep the ambient temperature steady (it’s the south side of the house, and consequently the afternoon heat on the west wall is atrociously bad.)

The upside is, the case is more open. 🙂  And the CPU/case fans do not ramp up and down constantly (probably due to strange readings inside the case.)  I just need to keep a more ample supply of compressed air and a mini vacuum cleaner so I don’t create a dust bunny the size of a T-Rex. I need this PC to last as long as my last Athlon (dual core), which was 6 years without fail (except for a replacement power supply and video card upgrade, the machine worked great.)  I never thought a Dell could be as rock-solid as my old Dell PII-400.

So now I just need to adjust some junk around so I can start my Debian 4GB Dell I got for $5. 🙂

Hard Disks/System Load

I’m having a weird problem with one of my HDD’s and crashing browsers. What I thought was a stability problem with Firefox seems to happen with all browsers (Chrome/Chromium/Opera) and it happens during heavy disk/CPU load. It’s not intermittent, either. I can safely crash Opera and Chromium at will with a huge CPU load. It could be heat related, because before I moved this PC out away from the desk, it would lock up solid. It really did it often in high-stress GUI environments like Cinnamon or Unity.  Actually, I think it’s high CPU load alone that does it. The fact that the thing I am using to generate the high CPU load is a PAR program for usenet binaries is irrelevant. It’s a weird deal that may be exacerbated by the ambient temperature. I will have to investigate further, but I think cooling is an issue. It’s not as bad as it was when it would lock up, but I suspect that if I use a high-load (encoding movies, repairing usenet binaries, etc.) I should avoid trying to tax the CPU with flash or HTML 5.

No, it’s not porn that I’m getting from usenet (though there is a lot of it.) I am getting images of trains and old warez from the Amiga/ST/C64/800xl days. They are small, but numerous and often in need of repair. If you want to see the extent of porn on Usenet, just take a gander at the message sizes for some of the porn groups. 😉 It’s petabytes of porn (spooky.)