No, this isn't a post about how evil amazon is squeezing the lifeblood from smaller vendors. Nor is it a post about how amazon is saving smaller vendors from being crushed by much larger domestic competition. In fact, it's not about amazon at all. That was just a clickbait title.
I've been accumulating data since I was five. That’s 33 years of hoarding. Sure, I’m quite good about trimming it down and every time I do a major revision several tens of gigabytes get shaved off. But my hoard is increasing quicker than I can reduce it in each iteration. All securely and reliably backed up in redundant raids with regular bitrot checks.
Being my paranoid self I’ve been doing off-site backups for decades. At first it was tapes stored at work or my parents’ place. Then it was cds and dvds in the worst incremental system you could ever imagine. Restoring an archive that was heavily modified would require juggling dozens of discs. Eventually I moved to “cloud” backups before the word cloud had ever been uttered in conjunction with technology.
For some reason I’ve mostly avoided amazon’s infrastructure. But when I decided to leave my old provider no alternatives truly made sense. So I whipped together a system that would archive directories, gnupg encrypt them and then sync to amazon’s glacial storage. Upon doing this I realized that my digital hoard isn’t precious memories. It isn’t a treasure trove of nostalgic source code and family pictures. It’s a chain around my neck that will slowly choke me until the day that I die.
My paranoia about losing even a single photo of my father became extreme when he passed 8 years ago. I’ve got my entire archive of let’s play videos, even the raw video capture in some cases. If you can imagine it then I’ve got a copy of it. Terrabytes of data that I will never have a use for. I might like to browse through it at times but it will never benefit me in any way. Yet I know I will keep lugging it along until the day that I die, whereupon my credit card will fail and amazon will delete it. Is this just an emotional, financial and honorific tithe?
I hope amazon crashes and burns so I’ll lose all my data. So I can be free.
Finally managed to drag myself through the second LSL game. Didn't like it anymore this time around. Apparently sierra received quite a lot of complaints about the adult nature of the first game so the second installment became more about the adventure than our protagonists life goals. It didn't work.
Every single scene felt like it intentionally did everything it could to frustrate and delay you. Not uncommon for adventure games of this era (and earlier) of course since it was the main way of padding gameplay. But I distinctly remember progressing from area to area, only to constantly get stuck and be forced to replay from the start since I just didn't know what item I had missed. It was shite game mechanics then and it's shite game mechanics today.
That said it's a very impressive evolution of the series itself, both narratively and conceptually. Plus, it laid the groundwork for my favorite installment, Polyester Patti.. ahem, I mean passionate Patti.
Having had the collection on my gog account for ages I figured I'd give Leisure Suit Larry another, possibly final, playthrough. These semi-raunchy games hold a special place in my heart along with space quest. I learned english primarily using infocom, magnetic scrolls and then the graphical adventures from Sierra. The mild yet sophomoric humor reminds me so much of my father, not just because I was amazingly happy at that age but because it was his exact brand of humor.
Just finished the first installment, Land of the lounge lizards. Opted for the VGA remake this time around since I had always played the original. That was a mistake. Either due to nostalgia for the text interface or due to poor implementation I really did not get on with it. I've heard people moan about text games being so primitive, yet a graphical interface reduces the amount of player agency, it doesn't increase it. I can't attempt to rub my dong on a table, it's just not possible. With the command interpreter I could simply type "rub dong on table". Yes, it wouldn't work and would give a quirky "nope" reply but I COULD.
The graphics are undeniably improved however, and when the graphical interface really was implemented in LSL5 it worked better. At LSL6 it was arguably just as strong. Plot-wise nothing has changed of course. Our lovable Larry Laffer is desperately trying to get laid and it's up to you to help him. There's no mobs that will chase you down, that'd be STDs and bums in this one.
If you haven't played this game you owe it to yourself, it helped lay the groundwork for an era of graphical adventure games. Just, don't use the graphical interface. Cut your teeth on the text based one and you'll be more prepared for LSL2 and (my absolute favorite of the series) LSL3.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I picked up Pontypool. Stephen McHattie is one of those actors I’ve seen in tons of movies and always enjoyed his performances, yet I didn’t know his name. It might be insulting to actors but generally I define each one by a single performance, Pontypool is his.
Audio is particularly important in this movie, logical considering it takes place in a radio studio. It’s got the sort of cozy, muted ambiance you get in cramped libraries. Each word appears irrelevant, almost silly, yet they’re supremely important as it turns out.
Speech is the transmission of thoughts and concepts. We change depending on what we hear. Speech evolves. We evolve. What if we’re not the ones using speech to spread our thoughts but speech is merely using us as hosts?
This is a unique flick that you really should take the time to see. It’s a zombie movie without zombies, largely at least. Distill whatever you like about zombies, add a large splash from the cerebral juice bottle and shake. Out comes Pontypool.
Let's get two things cleared up immediately; there's undeniable health benefits but also potential health hazards associated with standing for extended periods of time. Just do not listen to epidemiological studies. Ever. You’ll insane nonsense like “standing up at work doubles your risk for heart attacks” and “sitting down causes increased risk of cancer”. It truly amazes me how anyone can take “studies” like these seriously. Epidemiological studies are numerology at best, but I will go more in depth on that topic in another post.
So let’s go with actual science. You will burn slightly more calories, but nowhere near the amounts touted around the net. Blood sugar spikes will be reduced if you stand after eating.   Standing will strengthen your back, leg, core and lower back musculature which is a common problem for many whose occupation involves a lot of sitting.   It will strengthen the entire kinetic chain starting with you feet and ending with your upper back and neck. 
I noticed the benefits on my back musculature almost immediately but the real “killer feature” for me was the massively increased focus and energy levels. Instead of zoning out or feeling sleepy in the afternoon I’d be alert from start to finish.  This is a natural reaction, when you’re on your feet your body will keep your sympathetic nervous system active in case you need to hunt for food or run from danger.  If you’re sitting down it’s much more likely to activate your parasympathetic nervous system which kicks in when you’re digesting food, basically it wants you to get tired so you won’t use up as much energy. Rest and recover. 
Be warned, your feet will hurt. I went from sitting down roughly 16 hours a day to standing for 13, I don’t sit down at all since it’s just my inner weakness trying to manifest. Never let it. You can rotate between standing and sitting if you lack character, it’s better than only sitting down but watch it. If your feet, particularly your heel, starts going numb and then hurting deep inside you’re likely forming heel spurs. I stood on the floor and then an entirely too hard gym mat, ended up almost ruining my right foot. Buying a 2cm thick gel-mat and doubling it up cured the issue entirely. You do NOT need to buy those overpriced standing desk mats.
It does not matter which desk you buy. Just get one appropriate for your length. Experiment with postures, the recommended one where your monitor is on a stand raised to eye level with your arms going in a 90 degree angle did not work at all for me. I raised the desk until the top of the monitor was at eye level but without a stand, resulting in my elbows and arms resting on the desk. Very comfy. But that might not work for you. Constantly shift your weight from leg to leg so you don’t develop muscle imbalances.
(1 ball from a batch of 10)
0.8g protein, 14g fat, 0.6g carbs, 138kcal
100g coconut flakes
2–3tbsp strong, hot coffee (instant is fine)
2tbsp nutbutter (optional)
1tsp vanilla extract (liquid)
No, I didn't quit youtube in protest of anything, nor did I lose interest in it. Making video content is quite rewarding, challenging and something I took great pleasure in spending an evening doing. The problem is that I’ve got 30 years of experience in electronics, I can take shortcuts that are potentially dangerous. As arrogant as it might sound; I can do that because I don’t make mistakes that matter. Not due to some superior ability, just due to experience from decades of repetition.
My tutorial videos were designed to get people interested in electronics, simple projects that I tried to make as easy as possible so that anyone could say “hey, I can do that”. I had issues striking a proper balance, designing keyboard matrices is a touch above novice level. But doing the basic projects eventually wore my patience thin. It felt more like I was pandering to an audience instead of doing what I actually wanted to spend my evenings doing.
My final livestream featured me doing my regular brand of YOLO engineering. I showed how to make a rectifier. Wasn’t planned, I just needed to power the project. It went fine, as always, literally just a five minute thing at the start of the stream. As I was going to post the archived stream it got me thinking. It isn’t my responsibility to make sure that you don’t get hurt, that’s your responsibility. That said, I shouldn’t have included something that is potentially dangerous in a video that in every other regard wasn’t. It didn’t mesh, it was a mistake, I gave it some thought and came to the conclusion that I might as well take down my videos since I just wasn’t enjoying doing them any longer.
Does that mean I’m done with videos? No. There’s a good chance I’ll return to streaming, but I’ll make videos showing how I did something, not how you can do something. There’s a distinct difference between the two, the import of which I should have realized much sooner. Got a few projects cooking, one of them might trigger the desire to get back into it. Or it might not. Thank you to the ones who asked.