balooga's recent activity

  1. Comment on Why I don’t use a static site generator in ~comp

    balooga
    Link
    Why not both? A couple years ago when I was faced with this decision, I installed WordPress locally (fully offline) with this plugin which publishes the whole site to S3 as static files. Seems...

    Why not both? A couple years ago when I was faced with this decision, I installed WordPress locally (fully offline) with this plugin which publishes the whole site to S3 as static files.

    Seems like the perfect solution to me. You get a robust, easy to use CMS on the backend, and a fast, secure site on the frontend.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on Trump order encourages US to mine the moon in ~enviro

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Right there with you, and though I'm not typically one to defend Trump I do think in the interest of truth we should be straightforward: He (obviously) doesn't think the moon is "a part of Mars."...

    It is unclear whether the president actually thinks the moon is a part of Mars but the two are in fact quite far apart – the moon, which orbits Earth, is around 238,000 miles away from our planet while Mars, which is itself a planet, is an average of 140m miles away from Earth.

    I hate everything about this.

    Right there with you, and though I'm not typically one to defend Trump I do think in the interest of truth we should be straightforward: He (obviously) doesn't think the moon is "a part of Mars." The Trump tweet that led to this statement:

    For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon - We did that 50 years ago. They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!

    Trump writes at approximately a 4th grade level. His capitalization and punctuation are all over the place. I don't think I've seen a single tweet of his that didn't read like the the raving screed of a lunatic. His communication is so stream-of-consciousness, he frequently jumps through three or four ideas mid-sentence, completely abandoning whatever point he was originally trying to make along the way. But let's be charitable in our interpretation: Clearly he's saying that the moon is "a part" of "the much bigger things we are doing," not of "Mars." Terrible composition... but it was unprofessional for the Guardian to write a whole article around a bad-faith interpretation of it.

    8 votes
  3. Comment on The 9/11 era is over in ~misc

    balooga
    Link Parent
    In addition to what others have said here, a point of clarification: It wan't two planes, it was four. Two for the WTC, one for the Pentagon, and one crashed in Pennsylvania before it could arrive...

    How could 2 hacked planes scar a nation for a decade and a half?

    In addition to what others have said here, a point of clarification: It wan't two planes, it was four. Two for the WTC, one for the Pentagon, and one crashed in Pennsylvania before it could arrive at whatever its intended destination was. Also these planes weren't hacked, they were forcibly hijacked by armed terrorists and an awful lot of innocent lives were needlessly ended that day.

    A lot of 9/11's power came from its symbolism. It represented a threat to a prosperous and peaceful way of life that a lot of Americans enjoyed. It's hard to forget the terror of uncertainty we felt as planes were being crashed by suicidal extremists, in a coordinated blow to multiple parts of the country at once. Were there more than four? We didn't know at the time. In all the hysteria there were rumors of planes coming down in every major city. We watched live as one happened, then another, then another... we didn't know when it would stop. We didn't know what the other targets would be, or why any of this was happening. The suddenness of it all on a random Tuesday morning, the audacious barbarism of it, snapped a lot of people out of their complacency. The World Trade Center was a symbol of American might, and then suddenly it was gone.

    11 votes
  4. Comment on What are your favorite CLI tools/applications? in ~comp

    balooga
    Link
    bat is a nice replacement for cat and less that adds syntax highlighting for recognized file formats. I have a couple aliases that let me neatly replace both of those commands with it: alias...

    bat is a nice replacement for cat and less that adds syntax highlighting for recognized file formats. I have a couple aliases that let me neatly replace both of those commands with it:

    alias cat="bat -pp"
    alias less="bat -p"
    

    I also wrote a couple functions to use it to mimic head and tail:

    function head() {
        if [[ ! -p /dev/stdin ]]
        then
            file="${@: -1}"
            length=$(($#-1))
            args=${@:1:$length}
            if test -f "$file"
            then
                filename=$(basename -- "$file")
                extension="${filename##*.}"
                /usr/bin/head $args $file | bat -pp -l $extension
            else
                echo "File does not exist." >&2
            fi
        else
            /usr/bin/head $@
        fi
    }
    function tail() {
        if [[ ! -p /dev/stdin ]]
        then
            file="${@: -1}"
            length=$(($#-1))
            args=${@:1:$length}
            if test -f "$file"
            then
                filename=$(basename -- "$file")
                extension="${filename##*.}"
                bat_paging_arg=""
                tail_force_follow_arg=""
                while getopts ':fF' flag; do
                    case "${flag}" in
                        f|F)
                            bat_paging_arg='--paging=never'
                            tail_force_follow_arg='-F'
                            ;;
                    esac
                done
                /usr/bin/tail $args $tail_force_follow_arg $file | bat -pp $bat_paging_arg -l $extension
            else
                echo "File does not exist." >&2
            fi
        else
            /usr/bin/tail $@
        fi
    }
    

    I haven't done robust testing on those but for my limited uses of head and tail they work. It's nice to have pretty colors in these old-school CLI utils.

    Note: I hard-coded the paths to actual head and tail binaries on my system, which may be different on your machine.

    8 votes
  5. Comment on What are some games in which movement itself is a joy? in ~games

    balooga
    (edited )
    Link
    The Dishonored games have a really satisfying sense of movement. Similar to Mirror's Edge in that you're locked into a 1st person perspective and your hands interact with surfaces in the game...

    The Dishonored games have a really satisfying sense of movement. Similar to Mirror's Edge in that you're locked into a 1st person perspective and your hands interact with surfaces in the game world. Dishonored doesn't feature any elaborate parkour but there's plenty of running, jumping, sliding, swimming, sneaking, and peeking around corners. The real fun starts when you unlock supernatural abilities that let you warp around and pull items/enemies toward yourself. Clever use of the abilities can take you down surprising paths through the environment, traversing under, over, or around the map through places that appeared unreachable. The combat is also pretty visceral and satisfying.

    There's some love in here for good handling in driving games, and I want to throw Crazy Taxi into the list. It's not a realistic sim game but it feels great when you've mastered your car and know the map and where all the routes are. A skilled player can extend the 50 seconds of allotted time into an hour or more. Crazy Taxi 2 is a great sequel as well, the addition of a "jump" mechanic adds a new verticality to the game. You can leap over entire buildings and discover tons of shortcuts.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on What browser do you use? How have you customized it? in ~tech

    balooga
    Link Parent
    This is the first I've heard of Tildes ReExtended. I have Tildes Extended. How are they different?

    This is the first I've heard of Tildes ReExtended. I have Tildes Extended. How are they different?

    1 vote
  7. Comment on Recommend classic games you feel everyone should play at least once in ~games

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Shenmue was staggering in its time. It probably was the most immersive, realistic virtual world ever made when it came out. The number of voiced NPCs, each with their own homes and jobs and...

    Shenmue was staggering in its time. It probably was the most immersive, realistic virtual world ever made when it came out. The number of voiced NPCs, each with their own homes and jobs and schedules; the day/night cycle and weather generated from actual historical data; the ability to go nearly anywhere, open any cupboard, talk to anyone; the uniquely nostalgic setting and storyline; the feeling of progression as a martial artist... so many things made it unlike any video game that came before it. The graphics were great leaps ahead of other games of the era. It took three whole discs just to fit all the content on it.

    Shenmue II upped the ante. The locations were bigger and more exotic, the plot kicked into overdrive. I'll never forget the feeling of exploring Kowloon for the first time. It was a better game than the first, and that's saying something. At the same time, other games were beginning to catch up to Shenmue's ambition. The first Xbox was released and the whole of Shenmue II fit on a single DVD. It didn't get a very wide audience and many people passed it by entirely.

    Shenmue III is out now, and frankly it's almost unplayable. I've spent hours running back and forth around Guilin and I'm mostly uninterested in anything that's happening. The game is clunky and terribly paced. I had hoped to be tearing apart a criminal syndicate from the inside, and instead I'm chopping wood and practicing my horse stance. And (spoilers) I know it doesn't even attempt to resolve the story, so I just feel unmotivated to play. As a huge fan of the original two, I was really let down by the latest installment.

    6 votes
  8. Comment on Recommend classic games you feel everyone should play at least once in ~games

    balooga
    Link
    Everybody should probably play the first Super Mario Bros. game because everything that came after is built on it. It's a good game, but later titles surpassed it. Skip Super Mario Bros. 2...

    Everybody should probably play the first Super Mario Bros. game because everything that came after is built on it. It's a good game, but later titles surpassed it. Skip Super Mario Bros. 2 (there's an interesting story about why it is the way it is, worth the read), but don't miss the third game. That one is legendary and fantastic. If you have the means, play the SNES "remasters" of these in the Mario All-Stars collection, they're the same games but feature some higher fidelity graphics and music.

    The first Sonic the Hedgehog game is very good. Sonic 2 is even better. The two games that came after, (Sonic 3, and Sonic & Knuckles) are where things get really interesting: They're separate games in their own right, but S&K was released in a special cartridge with a slot on top that other Megadrive/Genesis games could be plugged into. If you connect Sonic 2 to it you can play an expanded, reimagined version of that game. But the real tour de force is to plug in Sonic 3, which unlocks a unified version of both games combined. In my opinion this connected form is the intended way to experience both of them. You'll play through a deluxe version of Sonic 3 and then continue straight into S&K seamlessly. Regardless of how you approach them, all four of these first Sonic games are absolute must-plays. They are fast and frenetic, with great level design, boss battles, and legendary music. Whatever your thoughts about the current state of Sonic games (they generally suck) disregard them and play the originals. Then, and only after you finish those, try Sonic Mania. It's the only worthy modern successor.

    I also highly recommend all the Donkey Kong Country games for SNES. Great platformers with a wonderful esthetic and sense of humor. The mine cart levels are particularly great, in my opinion.

    If you're looking for PC game recommendations, dive into some classic LucasArts adventure games. I suggest you give The Secret of Monkey Island a try. It's got a particular breed of obtusely tricky puzzles that may put you off at first. Online walkthroughs (which didn't exist yet when the game released) can help a lot, but don't turn to them unless you've really attempted to do it yourself first, and are truly stuck. Monkey Island is great for its anachronistic pirate comedy and outlandishness. If you manage to make it through the whole game, check out the sequel, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge. It's actually a bigger and better game than the first. Both are available in "HD" remasters with great fully-voiced dialogue. The third game, The Curse of Monkey Island, was made by a different team and they took it in a very different direction. It was still good, just different. I wouldn't recommend any of the sequels that came after it though.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Bill Gates does an AMA on Reddit about coronavirus in ~health.coronavirus

    balooga
    Link Parent
    And it's not even a perfect loop!!

    And it's not even a perfect loop!!

    2 votes
  10. Comment on Video game retail chain GameStop classifies itself as "essential retail" to justify its stores staying open despite lockdowns in ~health.coronavirus

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Maybe they should offer delivery, as many other affected businesses have done.

    Maybe they should offer delivery, as many other affected businesses have done.

    11 votes
  11. Comment on Introducing a simpler, more organized Slack in ~tech

  12. Comment on Introducing a simpler, more organized Slack in ~tech

    balooga
    Link
    None of the features described in the post are working for me. I've checked for updates (I have the latest version) and did a hard refresh inside the app... no change. Are they doing a slow...

    None of the features described in the post are working for me. I've checked for updates (I have the latest version) and did a hard refresh inside the app... no change. Are they doing a slow rollout or do I have to enable a setting somewhere to see it?

  13. Comment on Inside PlayStation 5: the specs and the tech that deliver Sony's next-gen vision in ~games

    balooga
    Link
    I'm optimistic about this. For the most part the specs aren't as good as the Xbox Series X but as a current PS4 owner I'm excited to replace my old console and bring my whole game library with it....

    I'm optimistic about this. For the most part the specs aren't as good as the Xbox Series X but as a current PS4 owner I'm excited to replace my old console and bring my whole game library with it. I'm still carting around a Dreamcast, Wii, and PS3 because I'm not ready to part with old games, but I don't have cabinet space to keep growing my hardware collection. PS5 should solve that problem nicely, even if no good titles ever get released on it. (But you know there will be, Sony has great exclusives). I just picked up my first 4K TV and I'm eager to play something at full resolution on it.

    Now we just need to survive this coronapocalypse so it can actually be released.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    balooga
    Link
    Just picked up Shadow of the Colossus Remastered yesterday, it's free on PS+ this month. I haven't played since PS2. The remaster looks fantastic, I'm frankly stunned at all the visual...

    Just picked up Shadow of the Colossus Remastered yesterday, it's free on PS+ this month. I haven't played since PS2. The remaster looks fantastic, I'm frankly stunned at all the visual improvements. Of course the game is still a masterpiece. The controls feel a little clunky after I've gotten used to so many newer titles that feature climbing/parkour in more streamlined ways.

    So far I've only taken down the first colossus but I'm excited to play through the whole game again after all these years. I highly recommend it for anybody who has never played it before, and you can't beat the price.

    6 votes
  15. Comment on Why medieval cats look like… that in ~arts

    balooga
    Link
    It's an interesting topic with some good example pics for reference. I'm not really convinced by its explanation though. I doubt there was any kind of consensus in the "art world" of the time that...

    It's an interesting topic with some good example pics for reference. I'm not really convinced by its explanation though. I doubt there was any kind of consensus in the "art world" of the time that cats should be drawn in a weird way because reasons.

    Medieval depictions of all living things tend to be pretty terrible. It's not just cats. Seems more likely to me that this is just the result of a combination of factors:

    • No photos or decent existing artwork to use for reference
    • Cats are notoriously resistant to sitting still for a portrait
    • Pre-renaissance art techniques were nascent and underdeveloped in general
    • The materials used were cruder that what became available later, which probably didn't help
    • I'm a dog person so pretty ignorant about the history of cats, but I assume their breeding has followed a similar trajectory: today we have many beautiful breeds that have been cultivated by enthusiasts for generations, but hundreds of years ago they were much less differentiated and mongrely, and probably did in fact look weird compared to what we're familiar with

    Also, were cats as common to find among human living spaces back then as they are now, or were they more typically feral? Often medieval art struggled to depict the exotic or unfamiliar, like lions or hippopotami. Old illustrated bestiaries are good for a laugh, in the age of the ubiquitous 4K video documentary. If cats were more frequently encountered wild than domestic, they would've suffered in the same way.

    3 votes
  16. Comment on Premature session cookie expiration? in ~tildes

    balooga
    Link
    What browser are you using, on what platform?

    What browser are you using, on what platform?

    2 votes
  17. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    balooga
    Link
    Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 - Yuri's Revenge is one of my favorite games of all time. I still fire it up every now and then and I'm in another stint now. I love the gorgeous hand-drawn art and...

    Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 - Yuri's Revenge is one of my favorite games of all time. I still fire it up every now and then and I'm in another stint now. I love the gorgeous hand-drawn art and the voice/sound design, the factions and the outlandish weapons. Seriously, what other game lets you deploy nukes, weather control, mind control, robot spiders, trained dolphins, jetpack soldiers, mini-nukes on trucks, electro-shock troops, enormous cannons, tanks disguised as trees, and giant squids? The variety and the B-movie cheese that delivers it just make me giggle.

    I play with the CnCNet client but just single-player skirmishes. I love the game but I'm not great at it. I typically set up a 1v1 game against a medium or hard AI. I'd like to play against someone of my skill level but I think most of the people online are pretty heavily competitive.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on Let's write some Tom Swifties! in ~creative

    balooga
    Link Parent
    The situation Tom is describing could be an imp-lick-ation. Maybe a stretch, haha.

    The situation Tom is describing could be an imp-lick-ation. Maybe a stretch, haha.

    1 vote
  19. Comment on What are some bugs/glitches/exploits that have actually made games better? in ~games

    balooga
    Link Parent
    That's ridiculous— but, I'd never seen gameplay footage of Obduction before and (if played properly) it looks like it could actually be pretty sweet. I might need to pick this one up.

    That's ridiculous— but, I'd never seen gameplay footage of Obduction before and (if played properly) it looks like it could actually be pretty sweet. I might need to pick this one up.

    1 vote