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Messages - Spectere

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1
Random Chat / Re: Why FedEx is the Worst Delivery Service
« on: October 19, 2020, 02:22:53 PM »
I've had trouble with FedEx both here and when I was living in Maryland. I had the same issues on the east coast as well: great experiences with other delivery services, subpar experiences with FedEx. The anecdote I posted in the OP about the server hard drive is proof that even a business that gives bucketloads of money to FedEx isn't immune to that sort of treatment.

Then there's that tech gore picture I posted above. VR is still very much a niche thing, and the Index is even more so, yet there's plenty of posts on r/ValveIndex complaining about package damage and general mishandling. It's not poor packaging, either, as the Index is actually packaged quite well, with plenty of padding and space inside of the inner box. On the thread that I linked, FedEx actually tried to cover up the damage by repackaging the product, just to get it out of their hands and say that the delivery was successful.

Trust me, if it were just a damaged desktop I wouldn't have made this rant thread. Shit happens, and no carrier is immune from it. It just seems like no matter where I am, what I order, and when it is, there's a far higher than average likelihood that FedEx is going to get something wrong. The only other service that I can even remember having issues with was USPS, but the delivery person was sacked after getting numerous complaints about the way he was handling packages. Smooth sailing after that.

To be clear, aside from the laptop incident, I don't blame the drivers (hell, the guy who delivered the Index seemed like a fine gent, and I'm certainly not the type to mow down the messenger). I think that they're being asked to do too much in too short of a time, and possibly dealing with improperly sorted packages. USPS has the same issues with punctuality in my area until they started bringing their delivery staff back up to sensible levels. In cases like the damaged desk, and the crushed Index, it's poor warehouse supervision and package handlers that just don't give a shit. It doesn't even necessarily have to be a package handler from my area that's destroying items for it to affect the received package.

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Random Chat / Re: The Thread of Extreme Happiness
« on: October 17, 2020, 12:05:35 PM »
So I have an Index now. First impressions (when compared to my past Oculus headsets):

Display totally blows the Rift CV1 and Rift S out of the water, in terms of color representation, resolution, and refresh rate. Tracking, as expected, is superb.

The nose piece lets in more room light than the S, but less than the CV1. I might try to find an aftermarket solution to this.

The facial interface is way more comfortable than both the CV1 and S. Feels like it's a light fabric on top of soft silicone rather than harsh foam.

It has hardware IPD like the CV1 (and unlike the S) so there's much less chromatic aberration. Between this and the number of adjustments, it's easier to find the sweet spot and get a clearer picture.

Still working on calibrating the controllers, so the verdict is out on finger tracking. The normal bits are at least as good as both Rifts (the capacitive face buttons and trigger feel more refined, like the CV1, rather than the twitchy implementation the S uses), but I like how they made it harder to press the system buttons. One of my biggest combo killers in Beat Saber was accidentally pressing the Oculus button. :|

While I can't do a side-by-side comparison, the speakers are very similar in quality and volume to the CV1, rather than the tinny, hollow garbage you get from the S. It's at least as good as the CV1.

So far so good!

Edit: Finger tracking works well (for me, anyway) as long as the straps are in the right spot. I was having some pretty major detection issues until I fixed that. Now I can flip people off very consistently.

The grips do kinda fuck with me, though. On Oculus controllers, the grip buttons are located under your middle fingers, so if you want to toss and object you move your hand while releasing your middle finger, gripping the controller with your ring finger and pinky. With the Index controller you have to ignore every instinct telling you that you're about to drop your controller and open up your hand.

It's all muscle memory, though. The straps hold the controller in place surprisingly well without being uncomfortable, so you can do throwing motions without the controllers really moving, even with your hand outstretched. After about an hour and a half of BONEWORKS I had largely gotten used to that.

Another nice thing is that the controllers have fairly minimal bulk, so small arms handling felt a bit more intuitive. I fiddled around with BONEWORKS on the Rift S, and doing dry reloads took a bit of practice due to the tracking rings colliding unless I moved my hands in a particular way. The tracking strips on the Index controllers tend to stay out of the way for actions like that.

It would be nice if BONEWORKS let you operate the mag/slide releases on pistols (since both of the pistols they model%u2014a Glock 22 and a 1911 variant%u2014have thumb controls for both actions), but oh well. At least the game allows you to practice proper trigger discipline.

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Random Chat / Re: Why FedEx is the Worst Delivery Service
« on: October 16, 2020, 04:44:03 PM »
Hey hey, here we go again!

So I ordered a Valve Index a while back to get way the fuck away from Facebook and it finally shipped the other day. Naturally, it shipped via FedEx, due to arrive today.

They delayed the shipment while it was still on the truck. What? I could understand a late shipment due to inclement weather or holidays, but it's mid-October in bloody Ohio. Maybe if this weren't a constant issue with those jokers I wouldn't be so annoyed, but out of the relatively few packages I've had delivered through FedEx this year, they've screwed up around half of them. Meanwhile, I haven't had a single issue with USPS, UPS, Amazon, or DHL despite using them far more.

It's supposed to arrive tomorrow, so hopefully their fuck up is only going to delay my weekend plans slightly. If it arrives in this sort of condition, expect a far more inflammatory post.

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Random Chat / Re: The Thread of Excessive Rage
« on: October 13, 2020, 12:42:04 PM »
I love how no matter how many times I tell certain people "CIGAR SMOKE REALLY FUCKS ME UP" they insist on smoking them around me. I don't know what it is. I don't have any issues with cigarette smoke, but the second I smell cigar smoke I get a really bad reaction.

It's also kind of telling that my mom, who is a lifelong cigarette smoker, can't stand cigars.

I'm more than a little annoyed that instead of being able to work from my office, using my nice keyboard and monitors, I'm stuck with a near-boiling hot laptop on my lap (the CPU has been running at nearly 100°C for the past two hours, so the case is incredibly hot), in a room with the windows shut, typing on a mushy keyboard and using a single above-average quality 1080p screen. Fucking brilliant.

5
Random Chat / Re: The Thread of Excessive Rage
« on: October 09, 2020, 01:32:44 PM »
I love when people try to make masks a political issue. At the start of the pandemic our state's governor was very quick to mandate business closures, encourage social distancing and work from home (where possible), and things of the like. He also criticized Trump for not wearing masks, long before he was infected. It would have been interesting if he and that specimen you had to deal with ran into each other on the street since Gov. DeWine is a Republican and all.

It's funny how some people are so stupid that they have to be reminded that viruses don't give a shit about who they vote for.

As far as masks are concerned, considering that people working the front lines in essential businesses have to wear them for their entire shift, I'm pretty sure I can handle wearing mine for a half hour while I shop or pick up food.

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Random Chat / Re: The Thread of Excessive Rage
« on: October 08, 2020, 04:30:56 PM »
If one more customer gives me shit about our store's mandatory mask policy, I swear to god I'm going to disappear from this board for another four years.

I would rant about how stupid and wrong covidiots are, but I don't want to run my server out of disk space.

Sorry you have to deal with dumbasses like that. :/

7
Computing / Re: The Keeb Thread
« on: October 08, 2020, 01:05:14 PM »
So I ended up heading to the office today to work with someone directly on a project (basically doing a lot of last minute tweaks%u2026way easier to just go in rather than coordinate everything over Teams), which gave me the opportunity to use my trusty Logitech G710+ again.

Kinda feels weird to use MX Browns again after using other switches for so long. I'm not used to switches that have this much pre-actuation travel, that's for sure. These switches have at least 1mm of travel before the top of the tactile bump.

This keyboard uses a plastic plate and o-rings, so it's pretty damn quiet. Way quieter than my GMMK (aluminum plate, I believe) and custom board (carbon fiber). In terms of switch feel, the MX Brown is serviceable. Definitely far from my favorite at this point in time.

The thing that feels really odd is using a full-sized keyboard again. Like, this thing actually feels unreasonably large. I'm so used to using a center-aligned keyboard that I had to shift my desk around so that the alphanumeric keys are somewhat centered. Fortunately, I'm using a trackball, so I was able to just shove that over to the side without an issue. Good stuff.

But yeah, not too bad. I'll still take my weird lab experiments over it, but it's serviceable.

Edit: Back home now and yeah, night and day difference. Gaming mechs are definitely better than rubber domes (unless they're equipped with Romer-G's), but it's incredible how much of a difference using a non-Cherry switch with a solid plate makes. Honestly, I think I like the feeling of my Apple Magic Keyboard 2 more than the G710+, to be perfectly honest. It uses some very crisp scissor switches with a solid aluminum body, so it feels sturdier and has a nice, snappy response.

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Computing / Re: The Keeb Thread
« on: October 05, 2020, 01:30:25 AM »
Look into keyboards that support the QMK firmware, such as the ones that Drop sells (pretty sure there are some less expensive Chinese designs available on Amazon as well that would fit the bill). Those allow you to remap keys at the firmware level and utilize up to 16 layers.

The database is set up to use Unicode (if it weren't, the label for the old Snowman board wouldn't appear). I'll bet it's an SMF limitation. Kinda seems like so few fucks are given about SMF 2.0 that they don't even bother updating the copyright date at the bottom anymore (and yes, there have been patches released after 2017).

Here's hoping SMF 2.1 comes out one of these years. I'd like to be able to get it installed before I turn 40.

(To add some context, the first public alpha of 2.1 was released in 2012, the first beta was released in 2014, and the first release candidate was released in 2019. I turn 40 in November 2024, so we'll see what happens.)

9
Computing / Re: The Keeb Thread
« on: October 03, 2020, 11:48:15 PM »
Unicomp makes a 122-key keyboard in both USB and PS/2 varieties. I imagine the quality isn't as good as those Model F clones (I've heard that Unicomp tends to hover around Model M levels of quality) but it's a lot cheaper, and you still get buckling springs: https://www.pckeyboard.com/page/product/UB40B5A

Aside from them, the only other keyboard I can think of off the top of my head that has extra keys are the full-sized Apple keyboards (scissor switch keyboards with F13-F19 and a sturdy aluminum base, but the modifier key layout isn't particularly Windows-friendly).

10
Gaming / Re: wut specturr'z playing
« on: September 29, 2020, 07:14:11 PM »
Hyrule Warriors grinding.

With Age of Calamity having been announced, I've decided to throw myself back into this. I ended up clearing the Master Quest Adventure Map with a friend, and I'm currently working on clearing the Master Quest Wind Waker map (currently 47% complete).

The Master Quest maps are so goddamn tedious (they're literally the standard and Wind Waker adventure maps with a couple modifiers added in, but there's a lot of extra unlockables inside so you kinda have to do them). I'm going to be so happy when I can put them behind me and get to the more interesting maps. I will say that the Wind Waker maps are a huge improvement over the original. There's a higher percentage of fun and more unique challenges (KO challenges, rupee challenges, etc) and there are far fewer total tiles to deal with.

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Gaming / Re: The Backlog, 2020 edition
« on: September 29, 2020, 07:10:01 PM »
Yeah, Factorio is pretty much incredible. Just wait until you get to logistics networks! *drools* Its mod support is pretty badass, too, but I'd suggest going through the tech tree normally before you dive into that too much.

If you're looking for something with a bit more verticality, Satisfactory is a pretty fun time as well.

12
Computing / Re: The Keeb Thread
« on: September 28, 2020, 02:57:11 PM »
I kinda wondered that, too, which is why I went ahead and built this. I already had keycaps and switches, so it was just a matter of getting the case, plate, and PCB, which didn't end up costing all that much, and it proved to be a pretty fun (and ultimately useful) project.

After fiddling around with it, the main advantage I can see is the fact that you don't have to move far from the home row. I'm still breaking my existing muscle memory, but using Fn+WASD as cursor keys and Fn+numbers as function keys is starting to feel fluid and far more intuitive. When you really think about it, with a sane layer setup, 60% really isn't much of a step back from TKL. Just merge the function keys and number row, then put the arrows and navigation keys in an area that makes sense to you. I mostly use macOS now, so print screen, scroll lock, and pause/break are basically useless to me (in macOS, you use Cmd+Shift+3/4 for screengrabs). As long as you don't put your Fn key in a weird spot, nothing is far from reach.

I couldn't imagine jumping into a 60% layout without a flexible firmware, though. One of the reasons I decided to go the DZ60 route instead of ordering yet another GMMK is because it truly gives me the freedom to set this thing up however I want, giving me some wiggle room in terms of button layout (most DZ60-based layouts I've seen use a full-width right shift, for example) and giving me a dizzying amount of control over the way the keyboard actually works. Like, if I wanted to set this thing up so that LShift+RSuper+U+ESC types out ö, I could do that. I don't think it's much of a stretch to consider a compact, fixed layout damn near useless when it comes to keyboards.

I'm not sure I'd want to go smaller than 60%, though if I could get my hands on a cheap 40% PCB I'd be willing to try it. It's easy enough to 3D print a case for one if I just want to derp around with it for a bit. I've also developed a growing interest in split layouts. Not sure how aggressively I'm going to pursue that one, though. I think I spent enough on keyboard stuff this year, considering I'm on my fourth keyboard (shitty Logitech G910, GMMK, GMMK TKL, custom compact), sixth set of switches (Romer-G, Kailh Box Browns, Zealios 67g, more Zealios 67g, Holy Pandas, Everglide Dark Jade), and own four full sets of keycaps. At least I was able to give my old GMMK/Zealios set to my dad, and if it wouldn't make such a mess I would loooooove to shoot the G910. Repeatedly. With .44 Magnum FMJs.

13
Gaming / Re: DJMax Respect [PS4/PC]
« on: September 27, 2020, 11:40:49 PM »
Yeah, I kinda figured that was where you were coming from. Considering how things are nowadays I'm legit surprised that sites like the SMOnline archive and Z-i-V haven't been taken down for copyright infringement, haha. I mean, none of us really gave a shit about that sort of thing back then. I still lean towards it being generally beneficial to the artists in the same way Napster was (I wouldn't have bought a bunch of IDM albums if it hadn't been for StepMania, for example) but the labels don't see it that way. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I actually need to get back into DJMAX and build my finger stamina again. I was working on improving my score on 14*/15* 6-key MX/SC charts, as well as pushing into 8-key mode, but then I got distracted by other things.

Hell, I need to boot it up again just so I can experience some buttery smooth 144hz rhythm gaming goodness. Would you believe that IIDX only runs at 60hz? Pfft.

But yeah, if you see me playing just shoot me a Steam message!

14
Gaming / Re: DJMax Respect [PS4/PC]
« on: September 27, 2020, 12:34:10 PM »
Once again: music licensing costs money, so it's content that they can't put out for free unless they want to lose a ton of cash.

To use your example, back in the day you'd pay $50-60 for a rhythm game with a static, ~40 song playlist (if that, in many cases) and whenever they come out with another ~40 songs they'd release another full-priced title (see: FreQuency/Amplitude, Bemani CS releases, PaRappa, Guitar Hero 1/2, and the list goes on and on). I can say from personal experience that, even with the song packs, DJMAX has proven to be cheaper and far more content-rich than keeping up with the PS2 DDR releases (or, for that matter, previous DJMAX PSP releases). If they kept doing things the way they did in the old days, you'd be stuck with that same limited track list until they pressed and released a new title.

I'm not knocking them at all for the old approach, by the way. In that era that was the only thing they could do. Not only would they have to pay licensing fees and royalties, but they'd also have to pay for distribution costs. Nowadays, the software itself can be easily updated over-the-air, and having Internet-enabled devices is commonplace. Rhythm games have actually gotten cheaper in the long run as a result of largely cutting out the cost of distribution. Not only that, but you can actually download the content you're interested in (eg. I'm not a fan of Clazziquai, so I don't need to drop $15 on that DLC) so you don't end up buying the latest revision—again, at full price—and end up hating half of the soundtrack.

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Computing / Re: The Keeb Thread
« on: September 27, 2020, 03:38:57 AM »
I built something!



This goes a bit beyond socketing switches into sockets. This whole thing consists of the following parts:

  • DZ60 PCB
  • Susuwatari MT3 Keycaps (double-shot ABS)
  • Carbon fiber plate
  • Chonky aluminum case
  • Cherry-style stabilizers
  • Everglide Dark Jade key switches
The board included an ATmega32u4 (with the QMK firmware preinstalled), so I didn't have to fiddle with fitting a microcontroller in the case, and it included surface-mounted diodes, which cut the amount of stuff I had to hand-solder in half. It wasn't too difficult to put together, and it wasn't as tedious as I thought it would be. I was pleasantly surprised when I plugged it in and everything Just Worked™.

The hardest part for me now is getting used to the condensed layout. Fn+WASD are the direction keys (and I also included Fn+Q/E/R/F for PgUp/PgDn/Home/End for when I use Windows). The Shrug key is just the Fn key, so I can switch layers with either hand.

I can't overstate just how chonky the aluminum case is, either. This thing is heavy (which is a good thing, don't get me wrong).

As far as the overall feeling, I'd say the Jades feel somewhere between smoother Zealios and heavier Pandas. They have a nice, solid break like my Zealios switches, but have the smoothness of my Pandas (and hopefully their reliability isn't as bad *currently glaring at the growing pile of chattering Pandas on my desk*).

Sounds? Hm, I should probably record some sort of video, but that takes effort. I'd say it has a clackier sound than the GMMK+Zealios, but it's quieter and lower-pitched compared to the GMMK+Pandas (both using my PBT /dev/tty caps).

We'll see how the 60% layout works out in the long run, but so far so good. Being able to freely reconfigure the keyboard layout is definitely going to help, methinks.

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