_     _             
                        _ __ | |__ | | ___   __ _ 
                       | '_ \| '_ \| |/ _ \ / _` |
                       | |_) | | | | | (_) | (_| |
                       | .__/|_| |_|_|\___/ \__, |
                       |_|    ...2017-02-19 |___/ 

It's 06:20

Had a great evening in the good company of an old friend, as always, we geeked out, listened to music, watched interesting stuff online, talked about politics, computers, philosophy, metaphysics, religion and the sad state of the world. Previously, I messed around with Chaoscope, hopeing to generate some nice stock material for remixing into my usual psychedelic creations, but nothing really came to me, I guess I was not in the mood for mixing colors, so a low-effort wallpaper and a single stock image was uploaded to deviantart. Well, I guess it is better than nothing.

What is computing

One of the things we talked about is how computing and Internet culture changed. It used to be that each computer user was his own sovereign state, an island in an ocean, communication through smoke signals and bottle-post. Everyone intimate with his machine and its software. Each deeply a part of the network. I hope we can return to this state of affairs. We have TCP, and it is good and stable, and sending bytes reliably over it is feasible for even very modest hardware. If we can, for a moment, stop regarding the PC as a TV with a mouse, and consider its uses in computation, data processing and communication, the perspective shifts dramatically. A fun example of this is the last PowerPC OSX machine, it was an absolute beast when it came out, but considered largely useless for everyday computing. Why? While everything is orders of magnitudes more powerful than the machines that landed man on the moon, those G5 machines were used for professional video and graphics editing, they were easily capable of advanced realtime graphics required for games. So what makes them obsolete? The only real, true, argument, accepted by me, would be power efficiency, they kill the environment. But let us imagine that we fix the power issue, so that using them as room heaters would be acceptable, then why are they obsolete? Because Internet ? Yes, but, the details that kill these beasts are "web apps" and video streaming. Things that are only related to computing in the vaguest sense. Take youtube, it turns your computer into an inefficient TV. It relies on very efficient video compression codecs, that is why the G5 dies. Our PCs and smartphones would struggle as well, were they left to decode those codecs in pure software. They have dedicated decoding capabilities for this task. Next up are "web apps", that is, applications that run in a web-browser. They differ from websites in that they are primarily executed and rendered on the client, using very inefficient means, they rely on the browser as a platform instead of the underlying operating system, adding an order of magnitude of computational overhead. If we were to port a webapp to a native platform, any PC with a NIC could lift the task, and most could do it better than the web-app. I would argue that a quite adequate social-network experience could be delivered by a native application running on my old Pentium 133 mhz with 64 MiB of memory and a screen resolution of 1600x1200 (which is more than some modern PCs are running today). I think it's time we start using browsers to display HTML and operating systems to run applications again. A browser should never be "outdated" because HTML can already mark up text, insert hyperlinks and even embed pictures into a page. It's indeed 06:42, you have the answer, I'm going to bed. ...out in glorious plain text...

It's 14:27

I've been up a few hours, Steam had a sale, and I got Tombraider for Linux, yay! I also got Hitman. I should play those now.. Since I bought them, so instead I went on trying to get Exhumed (aka Powerslave) to run properly in DosBox. That game apparently uses a weird version of the Build engine, maybe one a bit older than that used by Duke Nukem 3D.. Definitely has some rough edges.. While I did not manage to get it running as well as Blood, RNR or Duke3D, I've got it to run at an acceptable enough framerate, at least a stable one.. Doing this I also managed to find a patch for the game that inverts the run state, so that you're always running unless you press shift (capslock works not). I'm easy to distract today, so I saw in my wine folder, that I have CrazyGravity, maybe I should sit down and actually play that.. It's been a while since my interest in that game was sparked, around 1996! So now would indeed be the perfect time.. What a mess.


Completed this today on my twitch stream, it's surprisingly good! Recommended! Here's the codes I remembered to write down: Level 02: HYACINTH Level 03: MERIDIAN Level 04: KICKBACK Level 05: INTERVAL Level 06: YEARLING Level 07: AMBROSIA Level 08: POSITRON Level 09: CLAVICLE Level 10: DAFFODIL Level 11: DICTATOR Level 12: BLACKOUT Level 13: LABURNUM Level 14: ZUCCHINI Level 15: EYEGLASS Level 16: FRIPPERY Level 17: GUARDIAN Level 18: NUISANCE Level 19: ORNAMENT Level 20: MISHMASH Don't use them though! Complete it yourself, it's worth it!

Tombraider (2013) / Hitman (2016)

I hate it when they reboot a franchise and give the new game or movie the exact title of the original one.. That said, I got those two games, because they were on sale and they run on Linux. I just checked out that my computer can run them, Tombraider runs really well, and looks pretty good. I played for 49 minutes, and I still don't know if I like the game, because it seems to be cutscene upon cut- scene.. Interrupted by weird "press this button repeatedly" situations.. Silly. It's not adding anything to a game having to press the "E" key at a fast rate. Well, hopefully at some point it will stop doing that, and stop trying to scare me, because it's tame and not working, give me real, actual situations that require skill and I'll be scared. Hitman on the other hand, looks pretty good as well, more or less like Tombraider, but runs a bit worse, I had to turn the resolution down to 1920x1080 to run it well. The tutorial mission seem well made and I actually find it pretty difficult, but I'm not sure if that's just because of how the game controls, which is.. Not impressive, especially for a game where quick and precise actions can be the difference between success and failure. out