bilbodwyer's recent activity

  1. Comment on What's a piece of media (show/movie/game/album/book/comic/etc.) that you passionately like, but never see anyone else mention? in ~talk

    bilbodwyer
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    The Demon Cycle books series. This is one of my favourite book series ever, and short of the person I used to know who introduced the series to me, I've never seen or known anyone that's read...

    The Demon Cycle books series. This is one of my favourite book series ever, and short of the person I used to know who introduced the series to me, I've never seen or known anyone that's read them.
    It's a really fun fantasy series that sometimes reads a bit like a D&D campaign (some of the characters are obvious D&D classes), but the world-building is excellent, and the premise of various elemental demons rising up from the ground at night to prey on humans is among the more original fantasy ideas I've come across. Only 5 books, and each are well worth your time :D

  2. Comment on Disney Plus is now online in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands in ~movies

    bilbodwyer
    Link Parent
    Maybe once the season is over? The ~tv threads for individual shows don't seem too active really.

    Maybe once the season is over? The ~tv threads for individual shows don't seem too active really.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Timasomo Post #2: Reflection for Week One of Four in ~creative

    bilbodwyer
    Link
    My website is coming along nicely, I've hit the minimum viable product stage and it's now live on the internet! https://sircurse.com I'm keen to keep the site as lean and lightweight as I can, so...

    My website is coming along nicely, I've hit the minimum viable product stage and it's now live on the internet!
    https://sircurse.com

    I'm keen to keep the site as lean and lightweight as I can, so I'm using Skeleton CSS to benefit from the grid system and to make it look decent on mobile. It's pretty bare bones, just pure CSS and not much ready-styled stuff. I've used Bootstrap before, so there's been a small learning curve involved, and I've had to manually style certain aspects that Bootstrap handles for you. On the whole, it's been quite easy to use though, and I feel pretty confident in using it now.

    On the subject of keeping it lightweight, a big win for me earlier this evening was converting the album artwork from a png to a jpg, which has trimmed the filesize down dramatically (~4MB to ~700KB!), and increased the page's load time quite a bit (especially on my phone's spotty LTE connection).
    The next thing to do is to try to find a way to get the icons to load more quickly - font awesome is terribly slow. I'm using 6 icons, and (I assume) it's pulling in the entire stack on page load. I've done a bit of research already, and it looks like I'd need to save a font file locally instead of pulling it over the Internet... This looks more complicated, but I'm up for the challenge. It might be simpler than I think, but when I was looking this evening I was quite tired from work and the gym, so I wasn't taking much in in terms of documentation. Any advice here would be greatly appreciated!

    I also got a mailing list set up for the band, which is something that all the marketing people tell us is a great thing to do (I've yet to be convinced). Hopefully we get some good results from that, but it was a good exercise in learning how to make forms work. Admittedly I copied and butchered the code offered up by Mailchimp, but I get how it all works (I think!).

    As I started writing this post, I thought that my next steps would be to change up the styling somewhat, to better reflect the band's image (in a word, exciting!). But I rather think that if I get stuck on styling, I'll be there forever trying to get it exactly perfect. I may still tweak the front page a little bit, I like the idea of putting some kind of banner image behind the quotes to break the page up a little, but my brief experiments with that so far haven't looked very good.
    In any event, the next steps are going to be to get gallery, bio, and upcoming shows pages up and running. I'm not certain how I want them to work just yet, I quite like the single-page setup I have now, as it's very (maybe too) simple. I don't know how navigation between pages will work without overhauling the design a little, but that's all part of the fun I suppose.

    The bio and to a certain extent the gallery pages will both be easy to do and can remain static - I don't anticipate much trouble there (except maybe getting the copy together for the bio). However, the upcoming shows page is something that will be more challenging.
    I want to be able to keep it updated with minimal work from me. There are tools out there that plug into Google Calendar and display events in a nice list, but that would involve setting up a separate calendar from ours, as we plan practice and block off availability on it, and I don't think it's the most elegant solution (not to mention how little I'd learn from just using a drop-in tool). More research to be done on this I think. My current half-baked and sleep-deprived plan is to use JS or PHP to read a simple text file and create a table from there. I'm not sure on the finer details of this though. I assume it can be done, but I've not started to really think about how it'll work yet. Again, any suggestions here would be most welcome!

    All in all, I'm really enjoying the process so far. It's been a few days in the making to get to this stage, and I've not made as much time as perhaps I should have. But my evenings are opening up for the next few weeks, and I have a couple of 3-day weekends coming up too. Should be lots of opportunity to work on it :)

    3 votes
  4. Comment on What have you been listening to this week? in ~music

    bilbodwyer
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    My dad, brother and I spent last weekend playing music together. We're all folk musicians of one sort or another, but they introduced me to a few Bluegrass tunes that's set me down a very...

    My dad, brother and I spent last weekend playing music together. We're all folk musicians of one sort or another, but they introduced me to a few Bluegrass tunes that's set me down a very enjoyable path of shuffling a genre on Spotify and just seeing where it takes me. No particular artists or songs stand out, I've just been soaking in a style for a little while. Most enjoyable :)

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Watch enthusiasts in ~hobbies

    bilbodwyer
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    I've been wearing the same watch for nearly 8 years: the Fossil M3201. I love being able to see the workings, the design is striking, and the self-winding nature is just excellent (I still marvel...

    I've been wearing the same watch for nearly 8 years: the Fossil M3201. I love being able to see the workings, the design is striking, and the self-winding nature is just excellent (I still marvel at it all these years later!). I don't foresee myself swapping it out any time soon. I come close every now and again, but honestly it's been so good to me that I don't really feel the need. Tempting though the features of some smartwatches are, I don't think they'll ever look as good on the wrist (or be as convenient to "wind") as the Fossil.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on Ip Man 4 Trailer in ~movies

    bilbodwyer
    Link Parent
    I've only seen the first one, but I enjoyed it a whole lot. As someone who's lived in Japan and studied Sino-Japanese relations, I found it really interesting to watch a film set during the 2nd...

    I've only seen the first one, but I enjoyed it a whole lot. As someone who's lived in Japan and studied Sino-Japanese relations, I found it really interesting to watch a film set during the 2nd world war from the Chinese perspective. The Japanese are pretty thoroughly demonised in it, and some characters are outright caricatures. The one general who is the epitome of Asian stereotypes -- buck-toothed, ugly, glasses-wearing, and sinister -- stands out in particular.
    Given that the Japanese are the enemy in the film, it's understandable. But whereas in the West we seem to have largely moved on from painting the Germans as inhuman and evil to a man, the Chinese are still displaying quite a strong anti-Japanese sentiment. It's an interesting contrast between our two cultures.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Remember, remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot... in ~talk

    bilbodwyer
    Link
    I've been out to one of the council run bonfires for the past few years on bonfire night itself, and it's always... Meh. They have a local radio station turn up and do raffles and play music and...

    I've been out to one of the council run bonfires for the past few years on bonfire night itself, and it's always... Meh. They have a local radio station turn up and do raffles and play music and whatnot, get everyone to countdown to the fireworks and stuff. It's cheesy as hell, but kind of fun. The fireworks display always feels a little lacklustre though. They used to have a great sound system in and they'd play film scores along to the display (as well as the obvious 1812 overture finale), but they switched it up for pop music in recent years which I don't really enjoy as much.
    Much more enjoyable (as you say) are my family's gatherings around bonfire night - we'll rock up to either my parents' house, or one of my siblings', and let off a few fireworks, make a little fire in the garden, and drink hot chocolates.

    I've not done anything Bonfire Night related this year though - I've not really been in the mood, and didn't fancy standing out in the cold and the rain at a crowded fire. Been wrapped up at home all evening, just relaxing and watching all the fireworks from my window. There's loads being set off around and about (some rather closer for comfort), so I've got a good view!

    5 votes
  8. Comment on His Dark Materials s01e01 - "Lyra's Jordan" in ~tv

    bilbodwyer
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    Overall I'm really, really happy with how this turned out. I have a lot of love for the books, and had high hopes for the TV show. I think it's been really well done. The Daemons look great most...

    Overall I'm really, really happy with how this turned out. I have a lot of love for the books, and had high hopes for the TV show. I think it's been really well done. The Daemons look great most of the time (although they're a little uncanny valley when they talk), and I was dead impressed with the acting throughout. I'm completely sold on Lyra's life at Jordan and her friendship with Roger.

    They've definitely changed up some characters, Asriel is not the same as he is in the books. I don't mind that though, they're clearly making changes to broaden the appeal to a wider market. It was just noticeable from the very first moment that the book and show incarnations have differing personalities. Show-Asriel is much warmer than book-Asriel. I noticed it right from the off, there is no way that book Asriel would hold a baby (any baby) that closely and that tenderly. Again, I don't mind, just an interesting change that they've made.

    I loved all the extra scenes that aren't in the books, particularly Lyra's tricking of the librarian - that got a huge laugh from me and my friends. The Gyptian coming of age ceremony was really cool, that fleshed out the world for me a bunch, and it felt right. In this world there would be all sorts of cultural stuff that happens around your Daemon settling.

    10/10, very excited for the rest of the series. Amazed at how much they showed in the "coming up in HDM" trailer at the end. I thought it gave a lot away, but I think that's just because I've read the books.

    Bonus: That title sequence though! I am completely in love with it.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Google to acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion in ~tech

    bilbodwyer
    Link
    Disappointing, because this probably means the end of another form of wearable that doesn't require daily charging.

    Disappointing, because this probably means the end of another form of wearable that doesn't require daily charging.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Timasomo Post #1: It Begins! in ~creative

    bilbodwyer
    Link Parent
    Awesome, thanks! Definitely keen to go in by hand and do it all myself, much more scope to learn this way!

    Awesome, thanks! Definitely keen to go in by hand and do it all myself, much more scope to learn this way!

    3 votes
  11. Comment on Timasomo Post #1: It Begins! in ~creative

    bilbodwyer
    Link Parent
    I would recommend doing it by hand! Obviously there's a convenience to using a screen to keep a journal (syncing, write from anywhere, etc) but I think it's so much easier to turn it into a habit...

    I would recommend doing it by hand! Obviously there's a convenience to using a screen to keep a journal (syncing, write from anywhere, etc) but I think it's so much easier to turn it into a habit if you use pen and paper: it's a novel experience, and you're not distracted by all the other stuff on your phone/tablet/computer.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on Timasomo Post #1: It Begins! in ~creative

    bilbodwyer
    (edited )
    Link
    I've tried NaNo in the past, and between bands, gigs, social life, work, and gym, I usually end up losing steam because I'm trying to juggle too many balls. That said, I like this idea, and so my...

    I've tried NaNo in the past, and between bands, gigs, social life, work, and gym, I usually end up losing steam because I'm trying to juggle too many balls. That said, I like this idea, and so my tentative goal is to get a website up and running for my band.

    My plan I already have a very basic, single-page website written and ready to go, just need to find some relatively cheap hosting to get it out there. Things I would like to add are:
    • upcoming shows
    • band bio (including short bios for each member of the band)
    • a photo gallery

    Nice to have, but probably more work that it's worth:

    • a merch store (we don't have much)
    Forecast As I said, I've got a pretty basic page together already, so it's a case of extending that into a multi-page website. I think that's reasonably doable in the time allowed, but making it look modern and work on mobile devices is going to be the sticking point I think. Above all, I want to try to keep the website quick and responsive, avoiding the bloat of too much JS and too many assets.
    By next Friday I hope to have the website actually online and available to visit, with the beginnings of the additional sections mentioned above.
    6 votes
  13. Comment on EU passes “Right to repair” Law to make large appliances easier to repair starting from 2021 in ~news

    bilbodwyer
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    This is great news, but I think it's only half the battle. There needs to be a huge shift in the consumer attitude away from "thing broken, get a new one" towards "make do and mend".

    This is great news, but I think it's only half the battle. There needs to be a huge shift in the consumer attitude away from "thing broken, get a new one" towards "make do and mend".

    4 votes
  14. Comment on EA Access and EA Games on Steam in ~games

    bilbodwyer
    Link
    Please work with Proton, please work with Proton, please work with Proton...

    Please work with Proton, please work with Proton, please work with Proton...

    2 votes
  15. Comment on Announcements from Google's 2019 "Made by Google" event in ~tech

    bilbodwyer
    Link Parent
    I think I've punished my OG pixel far more than you then. If I saw 7% in the middle of a foreign town with no idea how to get back to my hostel, I'd be desperately on the hunt for somewhere to get...

    Three years in, and my Pixel isn't draining my battery when it sits idly on the table. Previous phones would experience battery drain when doing nothing—not with my Pixel. Three years later and when it says 7% battery left, I know I can reliably lock it and then not worry about it dying in the next five to ten minutes. In fact, when I was lost in Amsterdam, I knew that was enough battery to look up directions back to my room, and then check in every so often on the half-hour walk home without worrying about it dying on me.

    I think I've punished my OG pixel far more than you then. If I saw 7% in the middle of a foreign town with no idea how to get back to my hostel, I'd be desperately on the hunt for somewhere to get charged

  16. Comment on Announcements from Google's 2019 "Made by Google" event in ~tech

    bilbodwyer
    Link Parent
    Google's hardware events have become less and less about the hardware and more about message since the first Pixel announcement. Some cool stuff here, but it's (I suppose obviously to the...

    Google's hardware events have become less and less about the hardware and more about message since the first Pixel announcement. Some cool stuff here, but it's (I suppose obviously to the marketing-savvy) all about a feeling, not the hardware itself.
    That said, the voice recorder is a legit awesome bit of a software that I'll definitely be giving a go. And the presentation about the camera tech itself was just really interesting, the guy they had doing the talk was very engaging, and made what has previously (for me) been quite a dry subject matter really fascinating.

    Glad I didn't spend any time outside of work watching this though; mostly style, little substance.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on An overview and ranking of the 17 available Ticket to Ride maps in ~games.tabletop

    bilbodwyer
    Link
    I've only played Europe and New York - but I love both. My 8 year old has a fondness for both, but I think New York being a shorter game holds her attention a bit better (and she loves to add up...

    I've only played Europe and New York - but I love both. My 8 year old has a fondness for both, but I think New York being a shorter game holds her attention a bit better (and she loves to add up the scores on the sheet at the end!).
    Have been curious to check out other maps, and may yet still, but this ranking leaves me inclined to look at other games instead for the time being :D

    2 votes
  18. Comment on What Games Are Like For Someone Who Doesn't Play Games in ~games.game_design

    bilbodwyer
    Link
    Really enjoyed watching this video. My daughter has been expressing more of an interest in video games as she gets older, and it's made me think quite carefully about the games that I show her...

    Really enjoyed watching this video. My daughter has been expressing more of an interest in video games as she gets older, and it's made me think quite carefully about the games that I show her first to try to teach her how they work. I was leaning towards something like the Pokemon games (she's already a fan of the franchise) but I'm now considering stuff like Mario and whatnot.

    5 votes