s Had a great evening

Found at: dusted.dk:70/pages/phlog/2017-02-19.txt

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                       |_|    ...2017-02-19 |___/ 
It's 06:20
Had a great evening in the good company of an old friend, as always, we geeked
out, listened to music, watched interesting stuff online, talked about politics,
computers, philosophy, metaphysics, religion and the sad state of the world.
Previously, I messed around with Chaoscope, hopeing to generate some nice stock
material for remixing into my usual psychedelic creations, but nothing really
came to me, I guess I was not in the mood for mixing colors, so a low-effort 
wallpaper and a single stock image was uploaded to deviantart. Well, I guess it
is better than nothing.
What is computing
One of the things we talked about is how computing and Internet culture changed.
It used to be that each computer user was his own sovereign state, an island in
an ocean, communication through smoke signals and bottle-post. Everyone intimate
with his machine and its software. Each deeply a part of the network.
I hope we can return to this state of affairs. We have TCP, and it is good and
stable, and sending bytes reliably over it is feasible for even very modest
hardware. If we can, for a moment, stop regarding the PC as a TV with a mouse,
and consider its uses in computation, data processing and communication, the
perspective shifts dramatically. A fun example of this is the last PowerPC OSX
machine, it was an absolute beast when it came out, but considered largely 
useless for everyday computing. Why? While everything is orders of magnitudes
more powerful than the machines that landed man on the moon, those G5 machines
were used for professional video and graphics editing, they were easily capable
of advanced realtime graphics required for games. So what makes them obsolete?
The only real, true, argument, accepted by me, would be power efficiency, they
kill the environment. But let us imagine that we fix the power issue, so that
using them as room heaters would be acceptable, then why are they obsolete?
Because Internet ? Yes, but, the details that kill these beasts are "web apps"
and video streaming. Things that are only  related to computing in the vaguest
sense. Take youtube, it turns your computer into an inefficient TV. It relies on
very efficient video compression codecs, that is why the G5 dies. Our PCs and
smartphones would struggle as well, were they left to decode those codecs in
pure software. They have dedicated decoding capabilities for this task. Next up
are "web apps", that is, applications that run in a web-browser. They differ
from websites in that they are primarily executed and rendered on the client,
using very inefficient means, they rely on the browser as a platform instead of
the underlying operating system, adding an order of magnitude of computational
overhead. If we were to port a webapp to a native platform, any PC with a NIC 
could lift the task, and most could do it better than the web-app. I would argue
that a quite adequate social-network experience could be delivered by a native
application running on my old Pentium 133 mhz with 64 MiB of memory and a screen
resolution of 1600x1200 (which is more than some modern PCs are running today).
I think it's time we start using browsers to display HTML and operating systems
to run applications again. A browser should never be "outdated" because HTML can
already mark up text, insert hyperlinks and even embed pictures into a page.
It's indeed 06:42, you have the answer, I'm going to bed.
                                                       in glorious plain text...
It's 14:27
I've been up a few hours, Steam had a sale, and I got Tombraider for Linux, yay!
I also got Hitman. I should play those now.. Since I bought them, so instead I
went on trying to get Exhumed (aka Powerslave) to run properly in DosBox. That
game apparently uses a weird version of the Build engine, maybe  one a bit older
than that used by Duke Nukem 3D..  Definitely has some rough edges.. While I did
not manage to get it running as well as Blood, RNR or Duke3D, I've got it to
run at an acceptable enough framerate, at least a stable one.. Doing this I also
managed to find a patch for the game that inverts the run state, so that you're
always running unless you press shift (capslock works not). I'm easy to distract
today, so I saw in my wine folder, that I have CrazyGravity, maybe I should sit
down and actually play that.. It's been a while since my interest in that game
was sparked, around 1996! So now would indeed be the perfect time.. What a mess.
Completed this today on my twitch stream, it's surprisingly good! Recommended!
Here's the codes I remembered to write down:
Level 02: HYACINTH
Level 03: MERIDIAN
Level 04: KICKBACK
Level 05: INTERVAL
Level 06: YEARLING
Level 07: AMBROSIA
Level 08: POSITRON
Level 09: CLAVICLE
Level 10: DAFFODIL
Level 11: DICTATOR 
Level 12: BLACKOUT
Level 13: LABURNUM
Level 14: ZUCCHINI
Level 15: EYEGLASS
Level 16: FRIPPERY
Level 17: GUARDIAN
Level 18: NUISANCE
Level 19: ORNAMENT
Level 20: MISHMASH
Don't use them though! Complete it yourself, it's worth it!
Tombraider (2013) / Hitman (2016)
I hate it when they reboot a franchise and give the new game or movie the exact
title of the original one.. That said, I got those two games, because they were
on sale and they run on Linux. I just checked out that my computer can run them,
Tombraider runs really well, and looks pretty good. I played for 49 minutes, and
I still don't know if I like the game, because it seems to be cutscene upon cut-
scene.. Interrupted by weird "press this button repeatedly" situations.. Silly.
It's not adding anything to a game having to press the "E" key at a fast rate.
Well, hopefully at some point it will stop doing that, and stop trying to scare
me, because it's tame and not working, give me real, actual situations that
require skill and I'll be scared. Hitman on the other hand, looks pretty good as
well, more or less like Tombraider, but runs a bit worse, I had to turn the 
resolution down to 1920x1080 to run it well. The tutorial mission seem well made
and I actually find it pretty difficult, but I'm not sure if that's just because
of how the game controls, which is.. Not impressive, especially for a game where
quick and precise actions can be the difference between success and failure.