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Index: 2019 2018


October 10, 2019

I've been taking a break from blogging for a bit to focus on other projects. Which is disingenuous, because the projects are all things that I can do while continuing to also write in a blog, and I'm actually doing less now than I have while actively blogging in the past, but shrug we live in disingenuous times. I've been streaming on a semi-regular basis over at the ol' video dump, including a full play of Phantasy Star IV which, at just over 24 hours, sets the all-time slowrun world record. Nobody is on record as having finished the game more slowly than I did. I enjoyed it, and now that the weather's getting cooler, I'll hopefully be streaming on an even more semi-regular basis in the near future. I'm chasing down a really annoying bug in Mr. Teal, but version 2.0 should finally be ready by the new year. 2.0 in 2-0-2-0. I've been trying to read a lot more, which isn't a project, but it makes my brain feel better than most other stuff I've been doing. I'm very grateful to the Library Genesis project for their valuable work in curating a digital library, since it's harder for me to find time to get to the physical library recently, and lighting conditions in my office aren't optimal for comfortable reading, so an e-ink reader with a frontlight has been a great investment. I've been struggling with a job that occupies 48 hours of my week and leaves me too emotionally and mentally drained to do much else, and leaves my life too logistically complicated to do much else too. At the same time, it's the only job I've ever had where I don't dread and resent going in to work every day, because I feel like I'm doing something that actually helps people, so I can't picture myself going back to another bullshit job with normal hours, but because I'm not up when the sun is up, I'm not welcome in society. I don't know what the solution is. Find fulfillment outside of society somehow, I guess. I haven't been playing many games other than what I've been streaming. I got a roguelike itch and have been poking around at nethack again, which was a mistake. Game blows. I briefly got re-addicted to a crappy free MMO I played for a couple months a couple years ago, but I wasn't actually addicted to or invested in the game itself in any way, it was just something to fill time and watch numbers go up while I listened to podcasts and streams. There aren't any games I'm super excited about coming out. I'm most excited about continuing to stream Kingsway, a game from 2 years ago that I've finished pretty thoroughly. I plan to go back through all the endings on-stream, this time rolling random starting characters and items to make it more challenging. It's not the most thrilling game in the world, but it's one that I like, and I like sharing it with people. It happens sometimes, I go through phases where I'm more or less interested in things. Lately it's been less. I've been really tired. But the ebb will flow again, or something.

Hoofin' It version 2 released

September 17, 2019

Version 2 of my Doom mechanical mod "Hoofin' It" is now available on its project page. See the changelog at the bottom of the page for details.

New tool: DolltrackerWB

September 15, 2019

DolltrackerWB is a small Windows utility for tracking the number of dolls you've collected in Wonder Boy for the Sega Master System. See the download on the project page.

Two new padpyght skins

August 25, 2019

I've added two new skins for padpyght, the input visualization program: 1bitsaturn and 1bitmodern. The former is meant to visualize the Sega Saturn controller (or the Megadrive controller with additional shoulder buttons; the controller that inspired this is the 8bitdo M30, which I recommend.) The latter is for more modern controllers, such as the X-box and Play Station, and includes support for two analog joysticks. You can find more information on the projects page. I also removed some unnecessary files that were in the 1bitsfc folder and made the button mapping process feel a little more natural, instead of having to map buttons in a totally haphazard order.

Q&A: Web dev pointers?

August 14, 2019

Anonymous asks:

Have you thought about making a brief guide for building the ideal site, or at least refer to existing guides for such? I realize one can just google up them HTML pages, but considering how you discuss the topic quite a bit I feel such a post would be useful for us youngsters. Hope I'm not being too burdensome with this suggestion. Cheers.

I'm flattered that you'd think of me for this! I'm by no means an expert in web design, or any kind of design, and my idea of the ideal website is pretty idiosyncratic (as you can tell by the website you're looking at) and I think personal websites should be unique, an expression of the builder's personality. So I don't think I'm qualified to write a direct tutorial or anything. However, I can talk about how I learned, and hopefully that can help inspire you to learn. First off, the web is open-source by its very nature. Find a page someone built by hand, (you can usually tell which ones are handmade by disabling javascript in your browser - it should look mostly the same afterwards. You can see a few modern examples by visiting the low-tech webring.) Right-click anywhere on the page that isn't a link or a picture and choose "view source". This will show you all of the HTML that went into building the site you're looking at. Hopefully, this should mostly be the text on the page with all kids of weird words in <angle brackets> sprinkled in here and there. If you see something that looks like ancient Egyptian calculus with nary an English sentence to be seen, you're waist-deep in javascript land, run before it's too late. You can compare the source to the page to see how everything fits together, how paragraphs and sections are designed, how people make links, and the basic structural elements of a website. Most of the actual design work, the colors and fonts and columns and whatnot, is made in what's called "cascading style sheets", or CSS. Sometimes the CSS will be built into the page, in which case you want to look at everything between the <style> tags. (my own site is one example of this.) If it's a separate file, you want to look for a line near the top that says something like <link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css">. Click on that, and it'll open the CSS file in another window. Download a local copy of the HTML file to your computer (and the CSS file, if there is one) and mess around with them. You can use notepad or whatever text editor is on your computer, or download one that's good for HTML. If you're on Windows, Notepad++ is a popular free choice. It'll highlight different parts of the code in different colors. Open the HTML in your text editor and have the site open locally in a browser. Change things, refresh the site in your browser, and see how your changes affect what the site looks like. If you don't like it, ctrl-Z and try something else. You can't break anything or do anything wrong, just experiment. Once you make enough changes that it looks different enough from the original to satisfy you, congratulations! You now have your own unique website. If you want more information about a specific HTML or CSS tag, is my bible. I always have it open whenever I'm making any design changes to a site, especially when I'm working with CSS, because it can be pretty dang unintuitive and that site has good written explanations AND a tool that allows you to see how the code works and make changes right in your browser - click the "try it" button on any element and it'll open a little live code window that you can tinker with. (addendum: you will occasionally see sites that don't use CSS at all. They add colors and font styles with tags like <body bgcolor="gray">. This is the HTML 4 way of doing it, and even though tutorial sites will tell you it's deprecated or outdated, it still totally works, and will even work better on older browsers than CSS. Some people swear off CSS completely, which I can totally understand, it can be pretty intimidating for a beginner. I like it, once you start to understand how it works, I find it's a lot easier to make big style changes to a lot of pages at once.) This is how I learned, but it's not the only right way to do it. I'm definitely the kind of person who learns best by doing. If you learn best by reading, ask someone who would know about good books on the subject. If you learn best by watching, find some good video tutorials. There's plenty of good resources out there. Just don't listen to anyone who says your site has to have bootstrap and dynamic menus and 800 fonts and be a self-contained javascript app. The important things about a website are the words and pictures on it. Once you've messed around and you have a site you like, sign up for a free account at neocities and share it with people. It'll be a perfect cozy little home for all your pictures and words. Finally, if you try to learn about this stuff and you're bored to tears by it, don't worry about it. Web design definitely isn't for everyone, and there are lots of ways to make a website without having to think about it. Blogger still has some HTML-only templates that are totally fine, and some of my favorite sites are people writing with just the basic default template. If all you wanna do is write, black text on white background with blue links is easy to do and totally valid. But if you do want a bunch of clashing colors and weird gifs and randomly scattered text, that's ok too. Do what works for you. Make the thing you want to make. I hope this is helpful, and if you have any specific questions about how to do something, my inbox is always open.

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