3d12's recent activity

  1. Comment on How do you feel board games have changed in the last twenty-five years? in ~games.tabletop

    3d12
    Link
    This is a great question. For my money, I think the "legacy" game thing is a bit of a fad. I really enjoyed my first legacy experience (Risk Legacy) but after Seafall and Pandemic Legacy, I...

    This is a great question. For my money, I think the "legacy" game thing is a bit of a fad. I really enjoyed my first legacy experience (Risk Legacy) but after Seafall and Pandemic Legacy, I personally started to tire of the "get the same group of people together to play the same roles they're locked into" mechanic, especially with games that provide little to no comeback mechanic, putting you into a losing position for potentially 30 hours of gameplay (looking at you, Seafall...).

    I've noticed that a really common trend is using decks of cards to simulate random encounters, in the way a DM/GM would in a pen-and-paper game. Dead of Winter does this fairly well in my opinion, and the Fallout board game has nearly perfected it. Especially since in the latter, you add new cards to the decks based on other encounters, which creates a branching storyline that embeds itself into the random encounter tables. I'm personally undecided on this mechanic though; while it's a decent substitute for a DM/GM for 1-2 times through such a game, after the encounters start to repeat the tendency to meta-game becomes overbearing. Your table may differ, especially if you enjoy playing the same things on repeat. Just my two cents.

    One other trend I've noticed is the absolutely insane number of tokens and cards in board games these days. I suppose this dates back to Arkham Horror being one of the first I recall with 10+ baggies we used to separate tokens, but more recently with Firefly and its expansions, the amount of post-game "separate everything back into piles" has become ludicrous. Really not a fan of this one, and I'm kind of surprised that "digital board games" haven't become more of a thing for the adventure game format. Anyone else remember those old board games that came with a VHS of horribly-acted scenes for your random encounters? I guess those were always niche, but I expected those to become more popular for that reason.

    Of course, if you're a fan of "playing the same game over and over" there's always Catan. Vanilla Catan with no expansions is either the perfect ideal of a board game, or a complete waste of time, depending on who you ask. I find it depends highly on the people you play with.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on What are some songs that use repeating lyrics as the central motif? in ~music

    3d12
    Link
    Infected Mushroom - Drop Out

    Infected Mushroom - Drop Out

    (Sampled)
    But we all do sort of the same thing
    And that is rearrange what you thought was real
    And hmm, they remind you of the beauty of very simple things
    You forget, because you're so busy going from A to Z
    That there's hmm, twenty four letters in between

    (Repeat Begins)
    You turn to tune in and you drop out

    1 vote
  3. Comment on Bajoran culture is my feminist and queer inspiration in ~tv

    3d12
    Link
    Interesting read. I'll admit I skimmed after she started talking more about DS9 in particular, as I just started watching TNG for the first time in March and haven't gotten to DS9 yet so I didn't...

    Interesting read. I'll admit I skimmed after she started talking more about DS9 in particular, as I just started watching TNG for the first time in March and haven't gotten to DS9 yet so I didn't want spoilers. But I agree with her points about Ensign Ro. She doesn't feel like a "catty female character who's just catty to be catty," she's written like a more well-rounded person. My wife in particular has enjoyed the episodes where she plays a central part (The Next Phase was one we watched earlier this month we both quite enjoyed) and has already remarked about wanting to see more about Bajorans, so DS9 is already next in the list for us.

    4 votes
  4. Comment on Daily thread for news/updates/discussion of George Floyd protests - June 3 in ~news

    3d12
    Link Parent
    I like how this is written. If you don't already blog, you should. Not that it means much, but I'm proud of your mother too.

    I like how this is written. If you don't already blog, you should. Not that it means much, but I'm proud of your mother too.

    10 votes
  5. Comment on To make an atom-sized machine, you need a quantum mechanic in ~science

    3d12
    Link
    Not to take anything away from the article, which is really cool in itself, but I love the wordplay of "Quantum Mechanic" as a job title. If you've never heard of Psyche Origami, they did a whole...

    Not to take anything away from the article, which is really cool in itself, but I love the wordplay of "Quantum Mechanic" as a job title. If you've never heard of Psyche Origami, they did a whole theme on this on their album The Standard, which is about a metaphysical gas station & convenience store. Here's a lyric as an example from the song Self-Serv-Us:

    If you're not eating right, then you won't get far
    putting 35 octane gas in your car
    is a sure way for to you to have to to take a trip
    to a certified quantum mechanic,
    but no need to panic,
    we're having discounts on all parts and labor
    you better do it now, 'cause it won't wait for later,
    but if you break down, we can give you a jump
    'cause we about to gas you up with our hand on the pump
    
    6 votes
  6. Comment on Trump says the USA will label Antifa as a terror organization amid unrest in ~news

    3d12
    Link Parent
    I don't really have a better answer to give than the other commentors, but I wanted to applaud your willingness to come forward and ask. I don't post here often, but from what I've read this does...

    I don't really have a better answer to give than the other commentors, but I wanted to applaud your willingness to come forward and ask. I don't post here often, but from what I've read this does seem to be a place where people are more willing to entertain "devil's advocate" type arguments for the purpose of fleshing out a discussion.

    Sure, political discourse gets to the heart of who we are as people and it's easy to get defensive about that, but I think that here (and everywhere else, obviously, but in such a polarized political climate it can be risky sometimes, as you pointed out) is as good a place as any to start the discussion in the hope of learning.

    My two cents on the topic is I woke up today to learn I'm a terrorist. I'm not welcome in the country I was born and raised in. Because of a set of ideas I have. That thought utterly terrified me, and I've basically been non-productive all day because I can't stop trembling whenever my mind wanders to it. I don't know of "ANTIFA" [sic] as an organization, but "antifa" as an abbreviation simply means "anti-fascism," and just like any ideal, there will be extremists. I don't support any violent extremism, but the sincere thought of having to leave my homeland has entered my mind for the first time in my life, and it's not a comfortable thought.

    17 votes
  7. Comment on Brush up your COBOL: Why is a 60 year old language suddenly in demand? in ~comp

    3d12
    Link
    I might be showing my naïveté here, but I think this article ends on a rather bold assumption: COBOL is, in a lot of ways, an antiquated, bad programming language. But for its particular domain,...

    I might be showing my naïveté here, but I think this article ends on a rather bold assumption:

    COBOL is, in a lot of ways, an antiquated, bad programming language. But for its particular domain, it’s better than anything else.

    The author claims the key tenet of COBOL that lends to its dominance in the business domain (aside from that it's so embedded into it by now) is that the syntax makes it easy to convey business requirements "in English," since the COBOL syntax resembles English sentence grammar.

    I strongly wonder about this assumption... With the recent push spearheaded in part by the Python community for "cleaner, more readable code" -- why hasn't there been a major push to move mainframe code to a newer infrastructure?

    I suspect the issue has to do more with the compliance/regulatory implications of uprooting such sensitive systems than any actual technical hurdle, but the article seems to imply that the technical juice is not worth the proverbial squeeze.

    Could someone explain a little more clearly why this couldn't happen as easily as I (and probably other non-COBOL programmers) would hope?

    e: Really enjoyed the article though, super cool that he included a functional sample of COBOL code, I think that conveyed a lot to the author's point about how digestable the language is (or isn't, depending on your view)

    10 votes
  8. Comment on Fortnightly Programming Q&A Thread in ~comp

    3d12
    Link Parent
    At a guess, I would say it's probably build-essential that included the ARM compiler, since I think build-essential comes with a few extras for gcc. But you are at an advantage since you have the...

    At a guess, I would say it's probably build-essential that included the ARM compiler, since I think build-essential comes with a few extras for gcc. But you are at an advantage since you have the list of packages -- the best way to know would be to image the Pi and start again, but install one package at a time until it works.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on When I press the right trigger on my game controller, my system's audio crashes. Probably the weirdest bug I've seen yet -- anyone feel like helping? in ~tech

    3d12
    Link
    I know one "gaming-related" thing that's new (and annoying) in Windows 10 is the "Game Bar" -- that causes weird stuff to happen for me and my partner during games. Mostly visual though, never had...

    I know one "gaming-related" thing that's new (and annoying) in Windows 10 is the "Game Bar" -- that causes weird stuff to happen for me and my partner during games. Mostly visual though, never had an issue with audio. But I know it's related to some kind of "streaming overlay" they built into Windows 10, so maybe it's detecting your controller and trying to prompt for that?

    Best of luck, I know some of this stuff can be very arcane to pick through. If the stack trace shows any kind of .dll files that are being called before the crash or errors about them being missing, that could be a huge hint too. (CTRL+F ".dll" ?)

    1 vote
  10. Comment on Call for volunteers: Techies against COVID-19 in ~comp

    3d12
    Link
    I've been trying to get another of my projects off the ground in the free time I've found myself with, but I think I'd be OK with spending some of it doing generally more helpful (read: less...

    I've been trying to get another of my projects off the ground in the free time I've found myself with, but I think I'd be OK with spending some of it doing generally more helpful (read: less selfish) things.

    My expertise is geared more towards linux sysadmin and scripting than full-stack anything, but I'm also an analyst professionally so I "speak SQL fluently," as it were. If you need any spreadsheets or PivotTables/Charts too, let me know.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on Dylan Tallchief - I made an entire DAW in Excel in ~music

    3d12
    Link
    Yeah someone posted this in a Slack channel at work, and I've been trying to get more people on board with the phat beats. It's too bad the machines they apportion at my work are so slow they...

    Yeah someone posted this in a Slack channel at work, and I've been trying to get more people on board with the phat beats.

    It's too bad the machines they apportion at my work are so slow they can't handle more than 3 tracks playing at once. Still, I've enjoyed messing with it. I had no idea the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth had this many pre-built sounds in it.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on Warcraft III: Reforged—the re-creation of Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne—is now available worldwide in ~games

    3d12
    Link
    I went into Reforged hoping for one thing, and only one thing: The "steal control group" hotkeys from SC2. That didn't even get implemented. To be honest, I'd probably have been happier with an...

    I went into Reforged hoping for one thing, and only one thing: The "steal control group" hotkeys from SC2.

    That didn't even get implemented. To be honest, I'd probably have been happier with an implementation of WC3 in the SC2 engine than what we got, especially since there's no roadmap in play of what we can expect, and when.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on Project-Specific Programming Suggestions for Newbie in ~comp

    3d12
    Link Parent
    Those unknown unknowns will get you every time. :) I'm glad you came and asked this question, it shows good initiative and drive in doing so. As far as Python goes, I used Zed Shaw's "learn python...

    Those unknown unknowns will get you every time. :) I'm glad you came and asked this question, it shows good initiative and drive in doing so.

    As far as Python goes, I used Zed Shaw's "learn python the hard way" which (despite the drama and extreme opinions about the author you'll find online) I thought was a good resource. It has since been monetized though, and I don't know offhand of any free python courses out there, though I'm sure they exist.

    You'll want to look into the "tkinter" module for Python, it's a package that handles GUI (the point-and-click part of the program, like creating windows, buttons, views, etc) and comes bundled with Python. There are, of course, other GUI libraries, but the ones that are bundled with the language as part of the "standard" library will usually be the best documented and supported.

    Best of luck! And keep asking questions!

    2 votes
  14. Comment on Redbox Is Selling Off its Video Game Stock At Steep Discounts (COD:MW - $29.99, Death Stranding - $24.99) in ~games

    3d12
    Link Parent
    I guess it's just tomayto, tomahto. I would consider this piracy, just in reverse to what's usually seen. In the case of Redbox piracy, the illegal (and non-functional) copy is what's returned to...

    I guess it's just tomayto, tomahto. I would consider this piracy, just in reverse to what's usually seen. In the case of Redbox piracy, the illegal (and non-functional) copy is what's returned to Redbox. I would agree that it's also theft, but we can disagree on the specifics of the term piracy. It's a pretty loosely-defined term in the digital age anyway.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on Redbox Is Selling Off its Video Game Stock At Steep Discounts (COD:MW - $29.99, Death Stranding - $24.99) in ~games

    3d12
    Link
    Wanted to repost this here for two reasons: First, this works. I just went to a Redbox in my town and got Death Stranding for $25. Great option for holiday shopping if you have a gamer on your...

    Wanted to repost this here for two reasons: First, this works. I just went to a Redbox in my town and got Death Stranding for $25. Great option for holiday shopping if you have a gamer on your list who doesn't get new releases often.

    Second, because this can potentially be co-opted into discussion about the reasoning for Redbox's decision. I presume everyone is familiar with the "paper disc" method of pirating copies of a game from Redbox, so is the move to stop renting video games solely because they have been unable to thwart this method of piracy? Or do they potentially see a decline in the video game rental industry as a whole and want to exit that business as a result?

    4 votes
  16. Comment on Project-Specific Programming Suggestions for Newbie in ~comp

    3d12
    Link Parent
    It sounds like you don't have any prior programming experience. If that's the case, I apologize if any of this advice comes off as assumptive or dismissive. As far as a first project, this is a...

    It sounds like you don't have any prior programming experience. If that's the case, I apologize if any of this advice comes off as assumptive or dismissive.

    As far as a first project, this is a waaaaaaaay bigger scope than you think. Especially for a standalone application (like you said, where the software lives on the computer, not running in a browser on the cloud) you're talking about learning quite a few intricacies of OS-level interface.

    Just as a small example, let's talk about storing your clients' data. I'm not even talking about appointments, billing, previous scheduled sessions, etc -- let's just look at each client like an entry in a cell phone "contacts" list; name, address, phone, A/R account. You can't just persist all of these in memory, you need a stateful way to store them, otherwise all your data will be lost when you exit the program, and this is typically an undesirable behavior. So, where do we store this data when the program exits? Write it out to a file? Send it over the network to a cloud storage medium? How about calling up a local database and syncing to that? Note how just in one small abstraction, we're already potentially reaching into other software/technologies, and that's without getting into regulations about privacy safeguarding and encryption that will be required for storing such sensitive data.

    Of course, there are "gotchas" to each of these courses of action. This is probably what you think of when you think of "programming theory" as a concept -- knowing things like flushing caches to disk on program exit, and how to serialize/deserialize the data into efficiently-stored files or network data streams. These are the things that can be learned best by getting burned by them. And -- listen carefully, because this next bit is important -- you generally do not want to get burned by these things in production-level software.

    That said, if you are prepared to put in the legwork and learn the technology of your choice, grind out the codebase over years (yes, years) of work, and make sure your program is brutally and ruggedly tested, then you may come out with some reward for your effort. If that's the path you choose, I wish you luck and would recommend Python or Java for building such a standalone desktop app. (Python if you're a total newbie, Java if you want better compatibility for potentially monetizing your program to others when you're done)

    8 votes
  17. Comment on Are there recommended alternatives to Ebay? in ~tech

    3d12
    Link
    Surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet, to be honest: Craigslist is still around, in the US at least -- just make sure you agree to very specific terms to avoid being scammed, namely: Meet in a...

    Surprised it hasn't been mentioned yet, to be honest: Craigslist is still around, in the US at least -- just make sure you agree to very specific terms to avoid being scammed, namely:

    • Meet in a public place. Most police stations in larger cities have a designated "swap station" in their parking lot, and anyone who won't meet at one of these is probably sketchy
    • Only accept payment in cash on hand, and no bargaining at the point of sale. Anyone who tries that "oh I only brought $30 with me, can I have it for that?" with me can take a hike, and you have to be prepared to walk if they try it (if the money is that important to you, sometimes it's just about getting rid of junk)
    • Shipping is a tricky proposition with irreversible methods of payment, so general CL advice is don't ship, meet in person to exchange

    Edit to also mention: For music-related gear specifically, there's also Reverb.com and Sweetwater has an online used gear marketplace -- but those don't apply to general sales, that's still more of Craigslist territory.

    9 votes
  18. Comment on Music Makers: Guitarists, Bassists and other Stringslingers in ~creative

    3d12
    Link Parent
    To echo audioj, I would also recommend the TC Ditto pedal. You can get them for about $90 new or about $60 used -- be warned, I've read some bad reviews about the Ditto X4, haven't used one...

    To echo audioj, I would also recommend the TC Ditto pedal. You can get them for about $90 new or about $60 used -- be warned, I've read some bad reviews about the Ditto X4, haven't used one myself, but it seems like the standard Ditto is the one to get. It's not super-fancy, but you can overdub as much as you want; the limitation is 5 minutes in loop length, not amount of tracks to loop.

    In my opinion, the only way to know for sure what's a good guitar and a bad guitar is to go to a guitar shop and actually demo some guitars. Then you will know what feels and sounds right to you. Depending on how friendly your local guitar shop employees are, you can potentially even ask to demo a setup close to what you have at home, if they have a similar amp and guitar combo. That way you aren't comparing e.g. single-coil to double-coil sound or a meaty 2x12 cab sound to a dinky 1x10 combo amp. Even if they can't match your setup, I bet you can still get good results by asking one of the employees plainly to show you the difference between a good guitar and a bad guitar -- most guitar nerds love to geek out on this kind of stuff, and if you look like you're eager to learn (and it's not very busy in the store) they will probably show you. :)

  19. Comment on Music Makers: Guitarists, Bassists and other Stringslingers in ~creative

    3d12
    Link Parent
    Gotcha! In that case, my G.A.S. is more focused on things I'll never be able to afford, like modular synthesizers. :D But I can definitely see where pedals become a G.A.S. rabbit hole very easily....

    Gotcha! In that case, my G.A.S. is more focused on things I'll never be able to afford, like modular synthesizers. :D But I can definitely see where pedals become a G.A.S. rabbit hole very easily. They are quite fun!

    I don't think the Fernandes has any sort of built-in sustain. Or at least, I can't tell if it does. Either way, the guy who loaned it to me said it has seen some gigging, and it was missing a 1/4" plug when I got it and the logo had been filed off the head. After I got a 1/4" plug installed, I brought it in to diagnose the crackling, and the guy pointed out that the pickups were wired "wrong" on the 5-way switch, so they don't switch the same way most strats do. And one of the pickups seems half dead. But it still works fine, as long as both tone knobs are at 0 lmao.

    Because I don't really know the differences in pedals, I'll just list the effects I have:
    Guitar -> Chorus -> Compression -> Distortion -> Boost -> Noise Gate -> Delay -> Looper -> Amp

    That way, rather than focusing so much on this brand vs that brand (since I don't really care to buy other pedals now that I'm still getting familiar with these, and most of these came as a bundle from Craigslist) I can ask opinions on what to use in which order and why.

    From my limited experimenting, it seems like compression before distortion seems to be the way to go, since otherwise the compressor just hangs onto those high harmonics forever if I turn the distortion way up. The compression/distortion/gate holy trinity seems to be working very well in creating a good crunchy sound though, and I've been really impressed at how even at low levels, having a chorus in-line before the distortion really widens the sound you get from the distortion pedal.

    Aside from that, I'm not really sure where to put the Boost pedal. It's got a 2-band EQ (LO and HI, not sure where the cuts are) and from what I've read/watched online most people use boost pedals to get "character" out of their amps. Well, I'm plugging this crapfest into a crappy $300 used PA at like 25% volume, (#apartmentlife) so not really using it for that, so I figure the next best thing is just using it as a roughly flat +4-6db boost for soloing over existing loops/backing.

    The looper I got in the CL bundle is a TC Ditto, so nothing fancy, but playing with a looper has made me realize how sloppy my timing got from not practicing with a metronome all this time. :D WAY fun though! I wish I'd started looping years ago.

    Thanks for the suggestions on the humbuckers! I figured people were listing their gear at huge markup on CL, so $70-90 sounds better to me, and I'd rather get new than used anyway.