ThreeMachines's recent activity

  1. Comment on Overwatch - Introducing the Role Queue system in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    I can see you’re still pretty salty about it, but I really don’t agree with your assertion that tanks and healers were unfun. (I mostly played tanks for the several years that I played, and had...

    I can see you’re still pretty salty about it, but I really don’t agree with your assertion that tanks and healers were unfun. (I mostly played tanks for the several years that I played, and had fun throughout.)

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Overwatch - Introducing the Role Queue system in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    Heroes Of The Storm had such a role queue, briefly, before they killed HGC and started winding down development. For a hot minute, Quick Match had stronger rules about forcing real team comps; it...

    Heroes Of The Storm had such a role queue, briefly, before they killed HGC and started winding down development. For a hot minute, Quick Match had stronger rules about forcing real team comps; it dramatically increased queue times for DPS players (because nobody soloqueues as support), and Blizzard rolled it back amid the hue and cry from assassin-only players.

    (I stopped playing when they rolled it back.)

    3 votes
  3. Comment on Deploying containerized Docker instances in production? in ~comp

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    Reasonable questions! I was pretty loose on some details, partly for lack of clarity on what you already knew, partly for plain laziness. Pretty much; I was imagining the --publish flag to docker...

    Reasonable questions! I was pretty loose on some details, partly for lack of clarity on what you already knew, partly for plain laziness.

    Except with this systemd solution, you're not using docker-compose right? Management is at the container level with the docker CLI? So effectively you'd be mapping say 80 inside your container to 8080 on the VPS?

    Pretty much; I was imagining the --publish flag to docker run and assuming you'd only run single containers in production. I usually see docker-compose files used to orchestrate environments (your backing Postgres and backing Elasticsearch and etc) for local development, and then all the equivalent production services are managed with something else, because they're not running in Docker outside of development. (docker-compose can be used in production environments – I've seen it done – but I don't know if it's actually a good idea.)

    Say that webserver is nginx, is that reverse proxy also in a container, or is it deployed directly to the host?

    Eh. I would (and do) deploy it directly to the host, but I'm an ops guy and I have tooling for managing an nginx install. It might be fine to run nginx in a container, although I don't suggest baking your SSL certs into an image, and that means you have to do local disk mounts and at that point I don't know how much complexity Docker is saving you.

    docker pull, to my knowledge, only updates the image associated with the container, right? It doesn't update your application inside the container, so I'd still need a step to git pull the repository into the container?

    This question confuses me and makes me think we might have different ideas of what a Docker build workflow looks like. Yes, pull updates the image associated with the container (and you'd still need to docker restart the container to get the container to use the newer image), but the updated image should have your updated application; that's the reason there's an update.

    I guess I'm assuming that you're building images for your application (probably by using a Dockerfile that defines an upstream base image for whatever language your application needs, mounts your local git repo with the release version, and builds it, and then you'd push that image to a private registry). But maybe that's not what you're doing, in which case... what are you doing? What image would you pull to production, if not the image of your app?

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Nintendo Switch Lite Announced - $199 on September 20th in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    What else would they have called it? The “Nintendo GameBoy Neo, Compatible With The Nintendo Switch Game Library”?

    What else would they have called it? The “Nintendo GameBoy Neo, Compatible With The Nintendo Switch Game Library”?

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Nintendo Switch Lite Announced - $199 on September 20th in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    How does Nintendo Online save syncing work? Is it automagical whenever you’re connected to the internet, or do you have to manually push and pull saves?

    How does Nintendo Online save syncing work? Is it automagical whenever you’re connected to the internet, or do you have to manually push and pull saves?

  6. Comment on Deploying containerized Docker instances in production? in ~comp

    ThreeMachines Link
    It sounds like this is a one-person show, you've only got one or maybe two apps, and those apps have pretty static deployments? If I'm off the mark on any of those, my advice may be poor. First...

    It sounds like this is a one-person show, you've only got one or maybe two apps, and those apps have pretty static deployments? If I'm off the mark on any of those, my advice may be poor.

    First and foremost: you don't need a container orchestration solution (Kubernetes, Openshift, Nomad, ECS, etc) at that scale. Container orchestration solutions come with learning curves, operation and maintenance overhead, and/or lock-in problems, and they solve issues you really don't have yet. You may not need an orchestration platform until you can also hire somebody else to manage it.

    Here's a pretty simple, sustainable, vendor-agnostic way to run containers on a production server. Write a system service (systemd or whatever you have) that runs an arbitrary container; you can find some examples of this sort of thing easily and modify to purpose. Map whatever port your container uses to some high port on localhost. Then run a webserver with a reverse proxy to terminate TLS and forward to that container's port. If you put a docker pull in the start behavior of the service (like with a ExecStartPre for systemd), you can "deploy" your app by just restarting the service!

    It's inevitable that your production and staging environments will be different from each other; you minimize the differences you can, and then just try to be aware of the rest. Docker is especially good at running dependency services for local development, so it's pretty normal to use a Docker-hosted Postgres for local development, and then a managed high-performance Postgres in production. Again, it's about minimizing differences – if you use MySQL locally but Postgres in production you will be sad, and you can even pin your development Postgres version to whatever you have in production, but you're not going to get a production performance profile unless you're duplicating your production environment.

    I don't know that much about CI, but I would advise against Jenkins; although it's very easy to get set up, my experience is that it's a real time bomb (unless you really know how to manage it, which mostly comes from having previously shot yourself in the foot repeatedly). I believe there are several Docker-optimized CI systems out there, but I can't personally vouch for any of them.

    11 votes
  7. Comment on Elvis Costello created a mammoth list of the 500 most essential albums in music history in ~music

    ThreeMachines Link
    It feels like cheating that so many of these “albums” are best-of compilations. Might as well just call it a 400 essential artists list.

    It feels like cheating that so many of these “albums” are best-of compilations. Might as well just call it a 400 essential artists list.

    5 votes
  8. Comment on Neon Genesis Evangelion is out on Netflix. Discussion Megathread. in ~anime

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    It was “must-watch” fifteen years ago, but at this point I think it’s only essential viewing if you’re concerned about the history and development of anime as a medium and an industry. The work...

    It was “must-watch” fifteen years ago, but at this point I think it’s only essential viewing if you’re concerned about the history and development of anime as a medium and an industry. The work itself is complicated, uneven, and has some really wild transitions in tone. I’m fond of Evangelion, but it’s absolutely one of these franchises where its flaws are as beloved as its strengths by its fans.

    6 votes
  9. Comment on Neon Genesis Evangelion is out on Netflix. Discussion Megathread. in ~anime

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    I never watched Death & Rebirth back in the day, and since I was curious about the new dub cast and wanted to hear everybody, it seemed worth a try. It’s spectacularly unsuitable for anybody who...

    I never watched Death & Rebirth back in the day, and since I was curious about the new dub cast and wanted to hear everybody, it seemed worth a try.

    It’s spectacularly unsuitable for anybody who hasn’t seen Evangelion before, but it’s surprisingly functional and watchable as a refresher on the plot. I particularly appreciate the way that it rearranged some content for narrative structure reasons, instead of keeping every scene in original TV ordering; it does a lot for pacing.

    1 vote
  10. Comment on Neon Genesis Evangelion is out on Netflix. Discussion Megathread. in ~anime

  11. Comment on Neon Genesis Evangelion is out on Netflix. Discussion Megathread. in ~anime

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    My understanding is that the “straightwashing” is overblown – there was some (probably very intentional, knowing the character) ambiguity in the Japanese line, and the prior English translation...

    My understanding is that the “straightwashing” is overblown – there was some (probably very intentional, knowing the character) ambiguity in the Japanese line, and the prior English translation may have been more at fault than the new one.

    In any case, my honest advice to you: watching it on Netflix is probably fine. Evangelion is, for people who like it, a show with a lot of rewatchability, but it’s also polarizing. (Also, there’s a zillion subtly different releases to navigate.) Try it the easy way, and then if it grabs you, do the research on other versions for your inevitable rewatch.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on What are the main considerations/downsides to make before adding an index to a column in ~comp

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    Oh, interesting; I wouldn’t have thought of clustering as being part of the index, since it’s a separate statement (which is also why I was unaware of the CLUSTER command until now). Unless...

    Oh, interesting; I wouldn’t have thought of clustering as being part of the index, since it’s a separate statement (which is also why I was unaware of the CLUSTER command until now). Unless clustering works differently outside of Postgres?

  13. Comment on What are the main considerations/downsides to make before adding an index to a column in ~comp

    ThreeMachines Link
    DBA isn’t my bread-and-butter, but I don’t think there’s usually much downside to think about for indexing; if there were major tradeoffs, DBs would be a lot harder to work with. Having said that,...

    DBA isn’t my bread-and-butter, but I don’t think there’s usually much downside to think about for indexing; if there were major tradeoffs, DBs would be a lot harder to work with. Having said that, they’re not literally free.

    • There’s a nominal memory and disk cost, as you addressed. But if the resource cost for a single index was nontrivial, it’d be because the dataset was large enough that the index would be really important.
    • Indexes can be slow, as your friend said, although not “days”. If you need to query across a dataset that would take days to index, then you need, like, a columnar data warehouse, not Postgres.
    • If you’re indexing across a small enough dataset, the query planner might ignore your index. But that seems harmless; when the data grows you’ll be glad you had the index already there.
    • If rows will be frequently deleted, you might have to reindex frequently, I guess?
    • You don’t need to make an index if one already exists?

    Honestly, this seems like a weird question, and it would be a little bit of a yellow flag to me in an interview. The performance impacts of surprise table scans are so, so much worse than any of the costs of having an index that I don’t know why you’d ever want your engineers intentionally not add indexes for their queries.

    (There is the question of how you remove indexes that are no longer needed by any queries, but that feels to me like something you need to address at an organizational level as part of your software development lifecycle controls.)

    6 votes
  14. Comment on Favorite Kaiju Movies? in ~movies

    ThreeMachines Link
    “Shin Godzilla” is a great kaiju film, and well worth your time. Be aware that the American home release strips a bunch of on-screen text in a way that really spoils the intended composition of...

    “Shin Godzilla” is a great kaiju film, and well worth your time. Be aware that the American home release strips a bunch of on-screen text in a way that really spoils the intended composition of some shots. (Weirdly, the limited theatrical release from Funimation had all the big text – and it was great – so for some reason they went out of their way to remove it afterwards.)

    The idea of American kaiju films is a little bit of a sticky one, but to the extent that any movie has successfully captured the essence of the genre in a truly American way, “Skull Island” is it. (And it’s also just a fun movie.)

    If you want to go back to a more classic era, the 90s Gamera trilogy (“Guardian Of The Universe”, “Attack Of Legion”, “Revenge Of Iris”) are basically the epitome of the 80s-90s style of kaiju film. I think everyone I’ve met with an earnest love of the genre admires those movies. Availability of them is a little spotty, but you can buy them on blu-ray for like $10 each on Amazon.

    The classic Godzilla movies have a pretty wild range of quality and style, even within an era, so it’s hard to make suggestions there without knowing personally tastes. But speaking personally, I have a great affection for the 2002 “Godzilla X MechaGodzilla” and its sequel “Tokyo S.O.S”. If you prefer the campier and more ridiculous style, I think the 1991 “Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah” is as good as that gets.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on Trump’s Stonewalling Pushes House Democrats Towards Impeachment in ~news

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    I think Tom Nichols has the right of it: There has been a fundamental shift in this country’s cultural expectations about who laws really apply to, and although there’s still a possibility of...

    I think Tom Nichols has the right of it:

    At some point, not impeaching means that nothing matters in our constitutional life, and that nothing ever will matter. Impeachment, if it follows a careful rollout and debate, can negate that legacy.
    And maybe, years from now, what we need is an asterisk in the history books that says: "There was a penalty for violating the oath of office, and engaging in these high crimes. And President Trump survived due only to the corruption of a single party."

    There has been a fundamental shift in this country’s cultural expectations about who laws really apply to, and although there’s still a possibility of walking that back in coming decades, I think that possibility dwindles if we only try to apply the law when we expect it to stick.

    5 votes
  16. Comment on How do you find new books to read? in ~books

    ThreeMachines Link
    I rely heavily on recommendations from people I know, either from personal conversations or via Twitter. I've also had great success in finding authors I like by reading about authors I already...

    I rely heavily on recommendations from people I know, either from personal conversations or via Twitter. I've also had great success in finding authors I like by reading about authors I already like and seeing who they claim as influences. (This was my introduction to Borges.)

    3 votes
  17. Comment on Should harder games have "Easy modes"? in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    I think it's weird that you thought I was making an argument at all, much less a general case argument about long-term boss design trends.

    I think it's weird that you thought I was making an argument at all, much less a general case argument about long-term boss design trends.

  18. Comment on Should harder games have "Easy modes"? in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    I’m not making any statements about overall trends of MMO complexity; I’ve never even played another MMO. I’m saying that, personally, WOTLK Naxx was a huge letdown after having seen fights like...

    I’m not making any statements about overall trends of MMO complexity; I’ve never even played another MMO. I’m saying that, personally, WOTLK Naxx was a huge letdown after having seen fights like Lady Vashj, and it felt to me like the letdown was attributable to adding an easy mode. (It’s also possible that I’m totally wrong and those fights would have been uninteresting even if Blizzard hadn’t tried to open up raiding. Who knows?)

    It’s true that I’m considering “making the game easier by default and adding a hard mode that’s as hard as the game used to be” equivalent to “adding an easy mode”. I don’t think I see the distinction you do. It used to have one difficulty; now it has two.

    (Edit: I did really like the Thaddius fight in Naxx.)

    2 votes
  19. Comment on Should harder games have "Easy modes"? in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link Parent
    I’ve had a game ruined (for me) by making it easier. I started playing World of Warcraft late in the Burning Crusade expansion, for one reason: end-game raiding. Forty (ish) people, each with a...

    I’ve had a game ruined (for me) by making it easier.

    I started playing World of Warcraft late in the Burning Crusade expansion, for one reason: end-game raiding. Forty (ish) people, each with a part to play and a responsibility, working together in an elaborate choreography to take down an enormous and challenging foe. The progression was serious and merit-based; if you weren’t fundamentally good at the game, if you didn't know your class mechanics and your role in the fight and what was going on around you, you wouldn't last long in any decent raid guild. You couldn't get to later raids without the gear from earlier raids. You had to be top-tier to play new content. It was the absolute coolest thing and I wanted in.

    It also meant that a vanishingly small percentage of the player base ever experienced end-game raiding, because most players weren't good enough, and/or weren't sufficiently interested to spend their game time getting their character optimized for raiding.

    Starting with the next expansion (Wrath of the Lich King), Blizzard made two major changes to raiding to make it more accessible. One, they made all raids playable with 10 or 25 players, instead of 40. (Which I wasn't too torn up about; 40 people was just too many people to organize. Although I still did 25-mans, because I liked the scale.) Two, they designed and tuned the raids to be generally easier, and added optional "hard modes" for guilds who were up for the challenge.

    Unfortunately, this involved reducing the complexity of the fights. Plenty of raid wipes happened because people just didn't have strong enough gear, but beyond a certain point, wipes happened because people did the wrong thing – stood in the wrong place, chose the wrong target, got the wrong timing on a key ability, didn't watch aggro, and so on. An astonishing number of people just never figure out to not stand in the fire. The only way to accommodate those players was to make the fights less complicated (or to make the punishment for failure minor, which let you ignore the complexity, which meant it wasn't there).

    The complexity of the fights, and the necessity of mastering that complexity to progress, was what I played for. When the mechanics degenerated to "it's straightforward, but if you make it more complicated you get an achievement", I stopped caring. Sometimes I miss it, but the game I was playing doesn't really exist anymore.

    2 votes
  20. Comment on Should harder games have "Easy modes"? in ~games

    ThreeMachines Link
    Do people have a right to be able to finish the games they buy? If so, what does it mean to “finish” a game? Are we okay with achievements that are locked to super-high difficulties? What about...

    Do people have a right to be able to finish the games they buy? If so, what does it mean to “finish” a game? Are we okay with achievements that are locked to super-high difficulties? What about secret endings locked the same way? What about games where replaying on escalating difficulties is the game progression?

    Personally: I play games on easy. (Sometimes on normal if the game tells me I can change the difficulty at any time.) There are a lot of game mechanics that I don’t particularly enjoy. There are a lot of games that I don’t buy, because I know that they’re designed for me to engage with them in ways that I’ll struggle with, and I won’t enjoy that struggle. It’s fine. Not everything needs to be tailored to my needs and desires.

    4 votes