reese's recent activity

  1. Comment on I have used Android my entire life. Then I acquired 4 Apple devices in a week in ~tech

    reese
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    I experimented in college—with Apple. An Apple-worshiping coworker gave an old Mac mini to me in an attempt to get me hooked; I was impressed with the usability and utility of the device. A short...

    I experimented in college—with Apple.

    An Apple-worshiping coworker gave an old Mac mini to me in an attempt to get me hooked; I was impressed with the usability and utility of the device. A short while later I found a new, 13" MacBook Air at a significant discount with components that wouldn't need replacing for a long time. And arguably, machined aluminum with rounded corners is important when you're lugging it around school and frequently traveling. The durability and mobility of the Air I had was superb, and I feature that the current model is more of the same. That laptop lasted YEARS—my wife used it to finish her BSc after I used it to finish mine. While I did have to replace the battery at one point, I have no idea how long the laptop would have lasted because, erm, my wife left it in a rental car—in downtown San Francisco—where it was stolen.

    Anyway... anyone who knows me also knows that I'm highly critical of Apple. At the same time, I'm also cognizant of what they did for UX as a whole (I did an internship in UX one time, and I've taken a human-computer interaction class for my MSc). There's a reason why pretty much all successful personal computing technologies are imitations of Apple's innovative designs. I know that.

    But with my heavy background in IT and programming, knowing my way around the shell, I can't justify the cost of maximizing convenience. I don't need much convenience. I get why many devs prefer having a Mac on a corporate job, and it's because they want to spend their time working, not troubleshooting random shit that one inevitably experiences with Windows and especially Linux. I'm not going to pretend that, even with Apple's recent drop in software quality control, that Linux is somehow comparable in terms of usability. It's closer each day, but we're not there yet. Not sure that we ever will be.

    Right now I have a Linux desktop, Linux (System76) laptop, and a Pixel 3a. They work great... for me personally! I know what my needs are, and if they ever change I'll reevaluate. I'm not for or against anything on an ideological basis, I prefer to have evidence-based reasons for my choices. For example, I would shy away from an iPhone unless it was really inexpensive, because the majority of them I see have broken screens. And every time I see someone drop one: broken screen. Just like I won't pretend that Linux is usable for the general population, I also won't pretend that Apple isn't fucking people on screen repairs. Other than that, the phones seem really nice and usually secure. Ultimately when we choose our tools, it can come down to what we're personally willing to deal with. You can spend more money to offload most of the work on the tool itself, or you can spend more time to make up for where it lacks.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on What's a good way to learn how to maintain my own computer hardware? in ~comp

    reese
    (edited )
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    Assembly and disassembly is the best way to learn, but there are some specific things I've learned to check over the years. I repaired desktops and laptops professionally from 18 to 21, but I've...

    Assembly and disassembly is the best way to learn, but there are some specific things I've learned to check over the years. I repaired desktops and laptops professionally from 18 to 21, but I've built PCs since I was 13, and have always been tech support for friends and family. Here are some common hardware issues I've observed:

    • Frequent crashes, especially if they correlate to increased memory usage? Run a memory test, or even swap out the RAM. If there are two sticks, you can literally swap them. One of them might be going bad, but probably not both.
    • Beeping noises? Maybe flashing lights? Those are error codes that should be documented in the motherboard's guide (FYI, most the instructions you need on assembly and disassembly should be in said guide), but most of the time it's a dying battery (looks like this) that needs replacing—if you can't order one, you might be able to steal a compatible one out of another device you don't use.
    • Fan(s) may have stopped working, leading to overheating where the computer turns on, but automatically shuts itself off shortly afterward to avoid melting the processor.
    • You'll observe the same symptom as above when the thermal compound between the processor and heatsink needs reapplication. Seems like every few years I look into it, there's new and improved types of compound, and the ways to apply them can differ slightly. There are plenty of videos on this. When I reapply thermal paste, I clean the processor off by way of rubbing alcohol (>90%) doused on a coffee filter.
    • Maybe a component isn't seated properly—reseat all of them with care.
    • A short circuit in a video card or another component can make it seem like the motherboard is dead, when in reality the problem may be isolated to one component. Try running the machine with the least components possible, adding them back one by one to troubleshoot which is being wonky. Remember that fan(s) can also go bad on video cards.

    With custom-built PCs, I've noticed one thing that just can't ever be helped: people skimp out on power supplies and motherboards far too often so they can afford higher-end video cards. Shitty PSUs, in particular, create the absolute worst and weirdest cascading failures I've ever seen. They can cause permanent damage to other equipment. Never, ever buy a cheap PSU from some no-name outlet, and make sure there is enough power to support all of the other components, including a water cooling system, for instance. Relatedly, always plug your electronics into surge protectors, and furthermore make sure your home's grounding isn't fucked up if you live in a really old house (>30 years). When I was a teenager, I lived in a house where the conductive rod was so corroded it had to be replaced.

    There are worse things, too. A friend of a friend knew a guy whose desktop computer became a Floridian cockroach breeding resort, since, you know, it was a consistent heat source. He never cleaned the dust out of the computer (which @Grzmot explained why that is bad), nor did he clean his house. Gross. Anyway, one lucky cockroach learned what it's like to be an electrical conductor, and the motherboard became toast.

    Safety tip: Don't electrocute yourself. Turn the computer off, unplug it, and stay grounded when you work on it.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on Gwar - Carry On Wayward Son in ~music

    reese
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    When Oderus said he "was convinced they'd written it," I almost lost my shit. Gwar paid tribute to Brockie (who performed as Oderus), Cory Smoot, and others in an A.V. Club video where they played...

    Oderus Urungus: Can we get on with this SHIT?

    A.V. Club: So the question is just, uh, what was your relationship with this Kansas song?

    Oderus Urungus: Uhhh, none whatsoever, I hadn't even heard it until they played it for me the other day. I was convinced that they'd written it. Uhm, and I was like God what are you guys doing writing that derivative crappy 70s CRAP—crap—crap rock. What are you doing? We're not playing that song ever again!

    When Oderus said he "was convinced they'd written it," I almost lost my shit.

    Gwar paid tribute to Brockie (who performed as Oderus), Cory Smoot, and others in an A.V. Club video where they played West End Girls and People Who Died.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on Florida governor issues coronavirus stay-at-home order after heavy criticism in ~health.coronavirus

    reese
    Link Parent
    Ron DeSantis is despicable, but Andrew Gillum has not handled his gubernatorial loss well. I don't think it's accurate to suggest that DeSantis is incompetent. Him and his predecessor, Senator...

    Ron DeSantis is despicable, but Andrew Gillum has not handled his gubernatorial loss well.

    I don't think it's accurate to suggest that DeSantis is incompetent. Him and his predecessor, Senator Rick Scott, have been elected to office for their specialized competency at hurting people, especially certain people. They are devoid of compassion, and what remains is overt greed and thinly veiled ill will. They are the political manifestation of misdirected anger, so when they make a pandemic worse, they're really just doing their supporters' bidding. It's selfishness, not incompetence, that explains why DeSantis was one of the last hold-outs on a statewide order. He walked back the scientifically unfounded and ideological delusion of COVID-19's presumed insignificance as slowly as possible—until Trump provided cover as mentioned by @envy.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on More details emerge on Mario Switch remasters – Sunshine, Galaxy and more to be re-released as special anniversary collection in ~games

  6. Comment on Would you look down on a normal citizen wearing an N95 mask? in ~talk

    reese
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    I went out in public for the first time since March 13th to grab some things. I saw a few people who had what appeared to be N95 masks on, and, uh, I didn't look down on them. I don't know them....

    I went out in public for the first time since March 13th to grab some things. I saw a few people who had what appeared to be N95 masks on, and, uh, I didn't look down on them. I don't know them. They could have donated shitloads of N95 masks to a local hospital, and kept some around. Maybe they're immunocompromised, or they live with somebody who is. Maybe they bought their N95 masks a decade ago, being respectably prepared for catastrophic events unlike the rest of us, and therefore it cannot be argued that they contributed to the current shortage.

    People assume the worst of me and my intentions all the time, so I know how it feels, which is why I don't do the same to others without reasonable cause. I mind my own business. I try to leave people alone and respect their space, because I want the same equitable treatment.

    9 votes
  7. Comment on Are you having any (professional) "I told you so" moments? in ~tech

    reese
    Link Parent
    I did it for two years, full-time, and smelled godawful BO every day of the week. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'm not Vulcan, but if you are, we could mind meld and I'd be happy to share the smells I have smelled...

    I did it for two years, full-time, and smelled godawful BO every day of the week.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I'm not Vulcan, but if you are, we could mind meld and I'd be happy to share the smells I have smelled with you.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Does Linux need antivirus? in ~tech

    reese
    Link Parent
    Omfg, at a past employer I won't name, we had Red Hat VMs that InfoSec insisted required McAfee. Devs like me were of course blamed because our services running on said VMs were erratic. Well, we...

    Omfg, at a past employer I won't name, we had Red Hat VMs that InfoSec insisted required McAfee. Devs like me were of course blamed because our services running on said VMs were erratic. Well, we looked into it, and guess what the problem was?

    McAfee.

    Adding insult to injury, McAfee was only compatible with older versions of Red Hat, stymieing our productivity by wholesale eliminating tools we could have otherwise used with newer versions.

    Not trying to be an asshole, but after enduring so much inane bullshit with the numerous InfoSec organizations I dealt with, I've come to believe that this is their informal motto:

    If you're doing your job, then we're not doing ours.

    7 votes
  9. Comment on What happens when the maintainer of a JavaScript library downloaded 26 million times a week goes to prison in ~comp

    reese
    Link Parent
    Eventually technical standards would wholly replace docs like that once sensible, popular patterns emerged. The docs would just push the issue and drive the conversation you're wanting. One...

    Eventually technical standards would wholly replace docs like that once sensible, popular patterns emerged. The docs would just push the issue and drive the conversation you're wanting. One immediate observation is that the likes of GitHub and GitLab should probably start requiring backup maintainers for sufficiently popular projects that lack them (they can flag projects lacking backups, warning users). How do you measure popularity? Stars, downloads, clones, clicks, etc. Depending on the detected language, they could potentially try querying popular artifact repository public APIs as well for additional stats to make some kind of determination (that's easier for GitHub since they've spun up their own artifact solutions). That's on them more, not the maintainers.

  10. Comment on Are you having any (professional) "I told you so" moments? in ~tech

    reese
    Link Parent
    I was constantly sick when I was working at random pairing stations everyday. I'm all for pair- and mob-programming for training people, but this can be done with tools like Live Share and, less...

    I was constantly sick when I was working at random pairing stations everyday. I'm all for pair- and mob-programming for training people, but this can be done with tools like Live Share and, less conveniently, latency-laden screen sharing. What's even better about that is everybody can have their own comfortable environment and keep their preferred keybindings. And who wants to smell programmers all day? No thanks.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on What happens when the maintainer of a JavaScript library downloaded 26 million times a week goes to prison in ~comp

    reese
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    It won't suddenly disappear like left-pad did, because NPM tightened the restrictions around unpublishing packages. There are options. There's already another contributor with write access to...

    It won't suddenly disappear like left-pad did, because NPM tightened the restrictions around unpublishing packages.

    There are options.

    There's already another contributor with write access to core-js, this user is merging pull requests at least. In the long-term, you're right, "special circumstances" is the way to go. GitHub recommends moving popular projects into organizations with multiple trusted contributors, as noted in the article, but they may have to do that themselves in this case. They already follow hand-off procedures when people die. As long as the existing MIT license is preserved in a core-js move, I don't see a problem. If/when the original creator's out of prison, he can work with GitHub or the replacement maintainer(s) to get permissions back, PoLP.

    NPM could also just point to a fork of core-js of the same name for subsequent releases as long as it's from a trusted source.

    It's weird and unprecedented, but the silver lining is that these waters will be charted. And I get that just because some user can merge pull requests that doesn't mean they're trustworthy or competent, but, honestly, this is an open problem. You can have thousands of users and millions of downloads over years of dedicated maintenance, and despite all that there's only one other person who can be trusted enough to merge pull requests? This seems like a developer culture problem.

    Most of us enter the workforce without having contributed jack shit for open source or free software, so there's this pervasive, unaddressed entitlement that maintainers are faceless free labor, because the majority of developers don't have the perspective one gains by being on the other side of the conversation. Most developers just use other developers' code, so they demand instead of ask. And it's okay to ask if you're not comfortable with a given framework or programming language, btw, but we need to collectively require more source control-based collaboration in college and early-career so there are more prospective candidates to take the helm.

    Edit: I don't know if this is a thing, but maybe all of us maintainers should start formalizing around stale maintainer procedures or something, at the very least documentation akin to the code of conduct and license we're encouraged to include in our codebases. "If the maintainer(s) are unresponsive for x amount of time, you have the right to such and such."

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

    reese
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    Gigaton came out today, and I love it. It's the most experimental, impressive Pearl Jam album I've heard since the 90s; that was a fun decade to grow up near Seattle.

    Gigaton came out today, and I love it. It's the most experimental, impressive Pearl Jam album I've heard since the 90s; that was a fun decade to grow up near Seattle.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on What is something that you learned/were taught wrong? in ~talk

    reese
    Link Parent
    This is excellent. Thanks for sharing! I'll pick up a copy.

    This is excellent. Thanks for sharing! I'll pick up a copy.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on Feature suggestion: One-to-many user thread format in ~tildes

    reese
    Link Parent
    You're welcome. I may not need visuals—I think I understand what you're saying now. You want personal tweet-like shouts into the void that can be responded to with comments or DMs? I like that,...

    You're welcome. I may not need visuals—I think I understand what you're saying now. You want personal tweet-like shouts into the void that can be responded to with comments or DMs? I like that, actually. I find conversations on Twitter horrendously unintuitive to follow. I can't tell who's responding to whom in a given chain. What's more, everything's character-limited.

    Relatively recently there was discussion here about using Tildes for blogging started by @skybrian, where @Deimos mentioned that ~blog could be a worthy experiment. He also entertained the idea of having topics with multiple links, and perhaps series of topics. Upon further consideration, I think your feature suggestion has major overlap with that. Now, if you agree, keep in mind that the supreme leader did have this to say:

    Tildes is a "subject-centric" site. Other sites like Twitter are "user-centric". There's a spectrum between the two extremes, but it's probably hard to do both well, and it can add complexity for future updates if you always have to try to keep both styles in mind and make sure everything will work for both.

    6 votes
  15. Comment on What is something that you learned/were taught wrong? in ~talk

    reese
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    I found the calculus-based physics classes more intuitive than any math class I had ever taken. I would have been so much better off if I had taken those physics classes before cut-and-dried...

    I'm convinced that most math ought to be taught in the context of physics.

    I found the calculus-based physics classes more intuitive than any math class I had ever taken. I would have been so much better off if I had taken those physics classes before cut-and-dried calculus, but oh well. The curriculum was adamant that the physics classes depended on prerequisite math exposure, which, save basic algebra, must have been a lie because my physics professors had to re-teach the pertinent math to the 99% of students who forgot it anyway.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on 10 most(ly dead) influential programming languages in ~comp

    reese
    Link Parent
    "What is that, the balls operator?" I'm just kidding, but using the Greek alphabet for keywords didn't seem to pan out. Apparently lowercase omega represents the right argument.

    "What is that, the balls operator?" I'm just kidding, but using the Greek alphabet for keywords didn't seem to pan out. Apparently lowercase omega represents the right argument.

    2 votes
  17. Comment on Feature suggestion: One-to-many user thread format in ~tildes

    reese
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    Your example of the "problem" seems a bit contrived, and I say that not to bring you down, but because we already have the solution: thematically distinct comments and topics. It's up to users to...

    People could respond to many different parts of this thread since I've written so much. However, the points are slightly related, at least in how I present them. If I were to split them up into separate posts, not only would it add to the noise, each point would lose whatever relation they had.

    Your example of the "problem" seems a bit contrived, and I say that not to bring you down, but because we already have the solution: thematically distinct comments and topics. It's up to users to exercise communication skills, organizing and presenting their thoughts in a coherent manner. I'm pretty sure the feature you're suggesting would ultimately come down to discrete identifiers with references to one another as structured data, but right now there's unstructured data potentially amenable to what you're trying to do.

    Elaborating on what I mean by that, if there's a loose relationship between two topics or comments, we can already use links. There's a guarantee that Tildes supports bidirectional relationships simply by editing and adding links to a comment at a later time, assuming a semi-related one was already submitted and they belong to separate topics. This is not a structurally-enforced deal, in terms of a database—I'm just talking about blobs that happen to have hyperlinks in them.

    You know, it's quite possible I'm misinterpreting your suggestion. What would help me and probably others understand it is a more concrete example. If you could draft up a visual prototype of what you want, in CodePen or Microsoft Paint for all I care, you may entice the skeptical among us. One thing I think anyone can appreciate is that you've offered to help implement your suggestion, which is a kindness rarely afforded in open source software. That's very considerate. I know this to be true since I thanklessly maintain shit on GitHub, but I have not contributed code to Tildes.

    Is there some limit at which particular tags become popular enough to warrant their own subtilde? Are there queries users can run to determine tag counts? These questions were prompted by the slight irritating thought of classifying mathematics under science.

    As I understand the running philosophy, I think the measure of popularity is kind of subjective. The tag just needs to be popular and regular enough before it warrants its own tilde (group) or subtilde, I guess (?). For running queries on tag counts, there's not a public API for explicitly doing things like that yet if I understand correctly, although it looks like GraphQL was decided upon as the go-forward architecture, which pleases me greatly. It'll probably have most of the queries you could possibly want, and if it doesn't just ask.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on White House, Senate agree to $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package in ~finance

    reese
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    As far as waste, fraud and abuse goes, proportionally the people in the circumstances you describe may as well not exist. The Republicans who dumped their stocks recently should draw far more...

    As far as waste, fraud and abuse goes, proportionally the people in the circumstances you describe may as well not exist. The Republicans who dumped their stocks recently should draw far more scrutiny and ire than hypothetical people trying to get an extra $600/mo for part of a year, on top of whatever measly sum the state thinks is enough to feed and shelter them. And what's even more absurd about that is, in most states, the employers are required to and have already paid into the goddamn unemployment insurance. Of those, most are required to pay nothing more than that tax. So we're talking about money that was already set aside for the purpose of helping unemployed people. It's basically their money, just with strings attached. I don't mean to linger on this, it's just that there are a lot of misconceptions about unemployment benefits, and I want anyone reading to understand why you have to actually work at some point to draw them.

    I'll clarify that I'm not saying it's mutually exclusive to prevent poor and rich people alike from abusing the system, but the priority is obvious. My opinion follows: Even the most conservative Democrats understand the priority, and it's always been the Republicans who conveniently ignore it, because, you know what, they love doing "weird things for the tax benefits," as you generally mentioned about people in your comment. When they fixate on finding new ways to prevent poor people from fighting over leftovers, they're projecting.

    7 votes
  19. Comment on Daily coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - March 25 in ~health.coronavirus

    reese
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    My stepdad, and my wife's dad, both found out that they have "essential" jobs today in Illinois, and will be reporting back to work, where they will follow a plethora of new safety rules.

    My stepdad, and my wife's dad, both found out that they have "essential" jobs today in Illinois, and will be reporting back to work, where they will follow a plethora of new safety rules.

    4 votes