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long, libraries as compared to search engines, thoughts,, 

i was thinking about how i have likes and interests that i'm not necessarily good at pursuing, and instead i just stare at whatever random stuff i have floating around

and that led to...

if i had access to a very well stocked library, i could just... browse through the shelves. it seems like things are usually grouped together by subject area, save for (in the library i knew before the Pandemic) fiction (which was sorted by the author's last name.) well, maybe "subject area and then author" but... yeah. i could look for things i didn't know existed, and i could try to reference the library's organizational schema for those vague "i want to learn/read/see [about] $SUBJECT_MATTER" moods where i don't know what to even look for. i could *stumble onto* something i'd never have found otherwise. (...if the library even had it, which is where 'well stocked' comes in.)

(i actually used to get really excited to go to the library. especially pre-us-having-internet-connectivity. i only just remembered that. it was like a portal to other worlds.)

and of course books are conducive to a maybe more healthy (or maybe not more healthy. idk) pattern of actually paying attention to and absorbing things. and unlike $internet_search_engine, there are sometimes other actual people in the library (which seems like it could be both good and bad.)

unfortunately i don't really go to the local library anymore because of the Pandemic, (...isolation, loneliness... so... tired), and most of the information/texts/videos/etcetera i interact with these days are ... on the internet.

and on the internet there are two main ways i might discover a thing: (1) i know very specifically what i'm looking for, and i search for it on an appropriate search engine, if such a search engine exists. (2) something i have open in one of the several hundred browser tabs that exist in the firefox process(es) running on my machines at any given time has a link to it.

maybe i'm wrong about this, but being presented with a search box really doesn't feel ... explorable? the way a traditional library does.

and then there's the issue that it really feels like these days, if i type a random subject area i'm interested in into $internet_search_engine, i'll mostly just get lame, insubstantial, and probably poorly written and edited articles on sites that are optimizing for "clicks" / visits / ads / getting attention / ???, rather than actual books or something similar written for the sake of discussing their subject matter.

...i feel like i was going somewhere with this and then i forgot what it was...

... changing my avatar (because I... felt like it?) and I changed my display name, because I... want it to be a little less of a connection with IRL. Considering....everything....right now. <__<

I thought of a few different options for the display name but this was the first one that felt... right.

I'm still the same person! (I think. ...what's a person, anyways?)

trans shitpost; bad; how to unnerve someone who asks for your deadname; implied metaphorical violence?; implied suicidal ideation probably 

"Oh, $deadname? Yeah, he's not here anymore. He wanted to die, you know, so I killed him and took his stuff. We're both happier that way."

computers/web UX 

I like when websites give me an option to show what I'm typing in the password field _if_ I want to do so.'s, I wouldn't do it if I was in a public place, but in private it's kinda nice for just... helping reduce the amount of frustrating typing errors when logging in somewhere.

silly project idea, drones, minecraft 

what if you could implement a user-interface to drone-flying that overlaid some kind of autopilot for a camera-equipped quadcopter (to abstract away the actual physics/controlscheme) with a UI and simulated/emulated physics built to be as close to Minecraft's elytra-flight (elytra+rockets) as possible?

you could even correlate the 'amount' of 'rockets' left with the drone's battery life

then, if someone knew how to elytra-fly in minecraft, they know how to fly a drone! QED.

...yes it's very silly and it probably wouldn't work.

also you might want to incorporate hovering somehow...

computer joke/shitpost 

*braiding & knotting together Cat5e cables* --what, this? Oh, I'm just making a net. So I can net the work, you know.

okay, question for the future when i may in fact need to do this:

let's say you need to share a largeish binary blob with a handful of people. you don't have a server you can just stick it on, and you don't really want to use cloud services provided by the person-eating corporate slime monster of the month. you have _any_ options? like, at all?

what if i made a minecraft mod that adds configurable/interconnectible CPUs into the game? 🤔


...I wonder if I can use C++ templates to parameterize a class on some pair of integer constants, and let the size of an array of literals (probably struct literals) within that class be dependent upon the integer constants

computer complaint/confuse, uxn 

for all the talk about being easy to program a new emulator for, i had a devil of a time even finding documentation on the creators' site that described what the machine actually *does* on a primitive-level -- that is, divorced from the particular "tal" syntax of assembly that's assumably what is usually used to produce ROMs for it.

for example:
- what is even inside the machine in terms of memory? (i found this once, but then lost it again in the maze of confusingly similarly named pages about uxn and tal, then found a description of it on a 3rd party site [compudanzas], thankfully)
- is it big-endian? little-endian? idk, maybe it just takes on the endianness of whatever you compiled uxn.c on? endianness is confusing, and i don't see it mentioned anywhere (maybe i didn't read deeply enough...)
- what happens when a maths operation overflows? i would presume the value just...wraps / throws out any bits it wouldn't have been able to contain, but i didn't see this mentioned anywhere, either?

maybe i'm the only one who got confused trying to figure this out from the documentation. it seems like if you're supposed to be able to reproduce it, there ought to be a document somewhere that explains how it'd work independent of the uxn.c code? maybe that hasn't happened yet or isn't a priority... i might take notes on it if i keep trying to make an emulator, idk

I remember awhile ago @thegibson --and possibly someone else-- were tossing around alternative lyrics to "Barrett's Privateers". ... I thought of some alternative alternative lyrics. Just a fragment but still.

"God damn them all, I was told
We'd surf the net for decentralized gold..."

Writing prompt: make this a complete song about the fall of cryptocurrency/being scammed by cryptocurrency... advocates? Whatever we're calling them.

long rant pondering existence+computers+games/sandboxes/worlds 

... I ... kinda think that maybe part of my desire to create computational worlds of whatever kind must have been, and still be, that the real world outside just... isn't the most friendly thing ever, and even if I have what I need now there's no guarantee it'll still be there in five years... and some of that is just the exigencies of physical existence when compared against idle daydreams (me? build a spaceship, in physical reality? not happening) but also, like. Capitalism.

The daydream of creating a virtuality that allows and is filled with green growing things and streams and meadows and mountains and rivers and oceans is as much about everyone (including my possible future self and to a certain extent present me) who *can't* have those things, who lives in an apartment and couldn't afford capitalism's price for having even a small garden but does have some kind of screen, something that can run programs orders of magnitude too fast for a human to keep up with the details of their operation in realtime, and maybe your or I can try to make something for machines like that to run from which a semblance of those things emerges, and that seems like it must be a type of worthwhile thing I could do with software.

We can make virtual spaces for ourselves in Minecraft already, yeah. But even with Minecraft mods taken into consideration, I still feel like Noctis, the old PC/DOS game where you wander aimlessly through a field of stars in a square blue ship made of semitransparent crystal and controlled through in-world menus and command line interfaces on the walls, and land sometimes on planets, which someone made for no reason other than their own desire to do so, somehow came closer. You can't build in it directly. ... but it is a thing someone built. Disconnected from profit or goal-directed gameplay. A realized otherworld... there should be more of those... there need to be more of those...

Littler versions of me really wanted to follow the path Noctis showed, but were extremely stymied by, well, not knowing how to math for 3D graphics, for one thing, although they made a few attempts anyway. (...I still don't know 3D Math or Physics/Change-Over-Time Math, I should do something about that. One of these days...)

plants, trees 

So much green... this is right by our house. In that way, I'm lucky.

idle computer daydream (re-drafted to change visibility) 

steam deck + way to prop it up on a table/lap/something when wanted + bespoke tiny portable split chorded keyboard (perhaps an adaptation of to two-hand alternating input but still supporting one-hand-only) + usb power bank maybe + MAYBE some kind of portable external display + bespoke archlinux setup that separates the os from the data and allows movement through a tree of immutable system snapshots & either discarding alterations made to the tree after boot *or* congealing them into a new snapshot layered on top of the current one + emacs-based menu-esque control scheme for navigating and launching games/software/interactions, operable with only the controls on the steam deck itself *or* with keyboard or with keyboard+pointer


too bad the steam deck only has 16gb ram

on the other hand, that's already a mindboggling quantity of memory compared to, oh, idk, a C128

long ish, linux/jitsi/videocall rant, help wanted? :boost_ok:​ 

Linux-on-the-desktop folks: If anyone could (please?) recommend a webcam that's currently available or easily available in good quality secondhand, decent quality including audio quality, *and* is known to work *well* under the Linux kernel and the various audio/video userspace infrastructures that exist for it, that would be very helpful. Extra bonus points if it also works on one or more of the *BSDs.

further noise:
I kind of want to either put my desktop back onto Linux, or bring up a new desktop machine with Linux to do everything-but-Windows-stuff on. The problem (and reason I might resort to that) is that I do regular video calls with at least one person (my partner) and also have remote appointments the providers of which have historically used various services (MS teams, Zoom, something specifically aimed at therapists I think...) I've very consistently had an awful time trying to make any of this work under Linux, across two different computers and at least two distributions (Debian and Fedora), the only constant being the camera I have currently. Also, chromium-based browsers have consistently worked better (sigh.)

Speaking of which, if any Jitsi Meet devs are listening, could you please, please either make your shit work under Firefox, or just build a native client that bypasses web tech entirely. Please?

(For context on that last bit; the biggest, most awful problem that wasn't just the OS' sound subsystem deciding to take an abrupt unplanned vacation, was that Jitsi's video conferencing stuff really loved not showing me the other caller's video, even when there was no perceptible reason why, if not refusing to connect entirely, again for no reason I could think of. They also experienced the same issue. The only Internet thread I could find on an issue with video quality/reliability under Jitsi mentioned that it was specific to Firefox, and it does indeed feel like that lines up with my vague memory that I've had better luck with Chromium based browsers, and $other_person did not want to try using one.)


...have you ever written code that *didn't* feel like a mess?

bad, github, unnecessarily spiteful 

I guess it shows how long I haven't touched this, that they force you to make an SSH key or run their bespoke code now. (I will not run their bespoke code.)

I feel like I might just ... delete my github account when they do in fact try to force 2FA on everyone for everything (so, not just SSH keys to do Git operations) by "the end of 2023".

Is it even viable to do that if I want to leave open the possibility of getting paid to hate computers sometime in the future?

The very specific frustrated mood when you want to try to make a Minecraft mod but you're not sure if that would leave your daydream FOSS/pirate/anticapitalist-software project idea that's inspired by Minecraft vulnerable to legal action (if it ever materialized)

bad embarrassing philosophical computer thought 

It seems weird, or at least conceptually interesting to think about the idea that changing quickly enough between two states can summon up a third which is, depending on your perspective either real, illusory, or both at the same time, and then extend it with the supposition "... and interactive computers are just that, only with an unthinkably large number of possible states."

Like, from some perspective it seems like the structures one might think about software as having, such as connections between modules or a window you can drag around or a character that can move about the screen, has to be imaginary, some kind of phantom abstraction because there's no material to actually shape, just a sequence of instructions somewhere. Which even becomes meaningless, without a machine that can carry them out. But when something follows those instructions faster than human thought or vision, suddenly you have shapes that seem to exist entirely on their own terms?

Of course someone thinking and perceiving billions upon billions of times faster than than we can would probably not be "fooled." But as far as we're concerned, these things people call "applications" are real enough to have drastically impacted society, even though in some sense they don't actually exist??

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A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.