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Messages - Spectere

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Random Chat / Re: The Thread of Extreme Happiness
« on: July 26, 2020, 11:58:26 PM »
A couple of my friends got married on Saturday. \o/

Random Chat / Re: The Thread of Excessive Rage
« on: July 22, 2020, 01:11:41 PM »
Facebook decided to throw their weight around and require a Facebook account to use social features with the Oculus Rift. I had a feeling it would happen, but I figured there'd be some warning about it. They just sort of did it and hoped that everyone would fall in line.

Suffice it to say, I'm now on the waiting list for an Index.

Computing / Re: The Keeb Thread
« on: July 22, 2020, 01:09:18 PM »
Eh, it's been close enough to a week. :)

So I'd have to say that the Pandas are probably all-rounders than the Zealios. The Zealios are amazing for typing, but the bump is less than ideal for gaming, while the Pandas still have a heavy feel but are a lot smoother in practice. They're interesting and unique, that much is for certain.

I did run into a couple of QC issues with the batch that I received. No chatter or anything like that, but the case seemed to be deformed enough on two of the switches that I simply couldn't mount them no matter how hard I tried. That's two switches out of 110 (I put in the order for this before I switched to TKL) so it wasn't a complete dealbreaker, and it further underlines why you should always order extras.

One reason I'm probably going to relegate the Pandas to home use is because they are definitely louder switches than the Zealios. They aren't clicky like a fresh set of MX Blues, but they make a pretty generous clack even when you bottom out fairly lightly. Kinda guessing it has a to do with the materials that the stems and switch bodies are made from, especially since I'm using the same board and caps. I will say that the sound is very satisfying without being obnoxious. When I used a keyboard with MX Blues as a daily driver, the high-pitched click would sometimes get on my nerves, but this setup produces a nice, well-rounded clack. Very lovely.

In other news, the rest of the parts for my custom keeb arrived yesterday, so I plan to start that build Soon™.

Gaming / Re: wut specturr'z playing
« on: July 21, 2020, 06:10:13 PM »
Gotta give a quick shout out to Mindustry.

It's a game that's sort of a weird hybrid between a tower defense title and Factorio (yes, you read that correctly). One of my friends and I played it a bunch at the beginning of the year and recently revisited it, and both of us had forgotten how much fun it was. Its "overwhelmingly positive" rating on Steam is well-deserved.

I've since learned that in addition to having a low price tag ($6 on Steam) it's open source (under GPLv3) and also has iOS and Android ports available for $1 each. Kinda looks like it might even be just straight up free as well, but the person who makes this definitely deserves the money.

Definitely check it out! I highly recommend it.

Random Chat / Re: The Thread of Extreme Happiness
« on: July 21, 2020, 06:01:04 PM »
Man, having a laptop dock is ridiculously convenient. I'm kind of at the point now where I'm strongly considering nuking the Gentoo install on my desktop computer and just using my MacBook as a "serious business" environment instead, since that would give me an extra 1TB for games. It's not like I can't run a Linux VM on my MBP if need to.

macOS deserves praise for how well it handles multimonitor setups as well. In both Windows 10 and KDE Plasma, unplugging monitors and plugging them back in leads to the window manager freaking out and just scattering things everywhere. macOS tries to put windows back where they were before. So, like, the Firefox window I'm using to type normally lives on my right monitor, and is vertically maximized. When I unplugged my laptop it ended up getting dumped onto my main desktop, as expected, in a size that suits that display's resolution. When I plugged it back into the dock, macOS put that Firefox window on the right monitor in the same size and position that it was in before I undocked the system. The same is true with every other window on my system, even hidden ones. I wish more desktop environments handled displays that well.

My work laptop also supports USB-C/Thunderbolt docks, so I can use it for that as well, with the usual asterisks and footnotes that go along with many Dell products, like having to plug one of my monitors directly into the laptop, because hey, why not? I guess that's what $4000 buys you in PC land (thankfully it wasn't $4k of my money…).

Random Chat / The Thread of Excessive Rage
« on: July 18, 2020, 01:06:12 AM »
So I realize that I made somewhat of a tactical blunder when I locked the existing happy/anger threads. I figured that it would encourage more long-form discussion through the creation of new threads, but by in large all it's done is remove a means of minor celebration or venting. While there are some things that have worldwide relevance (hello there, COVID-19) and are more than deserving of their own thread, things like my FedEx escapades really don't need more than a couple of posts to get the point across.

This is where you people rant about your fleeting moments of rage. It's sort of like the old thread, except…FUCK, there's nothing different at all about it, is there? Dammit!

Random Chat / The Thread of Extreme Happiness
« on: July 18, 2020, 01:04:24 AM »
So I realize that I made somewhat of a tactical blunder when I locked the existing happy/anger threads. I figured that it would encourage more long-form discussion through the creation of new threads, but by in large all it's done is remove a means of minor celebration or venting. While there are some things that have worldwide relevance (hello there, COVID-19) and are more than deserving of their own thread, things like my FedEx escapades really don't need more than a couple of posts to get the point across.

Here, I wish to present you lovely folks with a thread to post your happy thoughts, just like what we had before except…okay, there's nothing different about this one whatsoever. Enjoy!

Computing / Re: The Keeb Thread
« on: July 17, 2020, 02:45:42 PM »
My Invyr Holy Pandas arrived today and I just got them installed in my GMMK TKL. I'm not going to attempt to give my first impressions just yet, seeing as I've only been using these for about 20-30 minutes, so instead I'll try to detail how they're different than my Zealios.

The Pandas have a smooth tactile bump, compared to the crisp, harder bump that the Zealios have. It's kind of tough for me to pinpoint exactly how they feel, but I'd say it's somewhere between MX Browns and MX Clears, leaning towards the latter. Zealios loosened up immediately after the bump, with the post-bump travel being initially light and gradually increasing. The Pandas are similar, though they feel firmer immediately after the bump.

One thing that's interesting about these switches is that if you push down on them slowly, the smooth bump almost makes them feel like a linear switch, while the crisp bump on the Zealios give you no illusions of what they are. When you're actually typing, however, the bump is noticeable but not overwhelming.

I'll give these things about a week before I attempt to offer my final opinions on them. That should give me enough time to try them out for the three most important things in life: typing, coding, and gaming.

Random Chat / Re: Weight Loss
« on: July 16, 2020, 03:22:35 PM »
Nice! As far as the price goes, there are some cases where quality costs money. I think it's safe to say that bikes are one of those cases, given my experience with both cheap and mid-range cycles.

And yeah, if I wanted to transport a bike inside of a vehicle I wouldn't pick anything smaller than an SUV, haha. I ended up stuffing a bike into the back of my old Saturn SW2 and it barely fit. Roof rack, trailer hitch mount, or bust if you have a station wagon or hatchback, that's for certain.

News / "Contact Information" Thread Removed
« on: July 15, 2020, 06:01:35 PM »
I ended up getting an information deletion request for the Contact Information thread today and ended up removing the whole thing outright. Much of the information in that thread was from inactive members, and much of it was private enough that I wasn't comfortable hosting it (like phone numbers, not to mention deadnames). I sent requests to have the information purged from Google and Bing's cache as well.

I highly recommend using the forum profile fields instead. I've added fields for Nintendo Switch friend codes and Discord IDs, so that should basically bring us up to 2020. :) Let me know if there's anything we're missing and I'll add the appropriate fields.

Edit: I have just confirmed that Google and Bing have removed the cached pages.

Random Chat / Re: Weight Loss
« on: July 15, 2020, 05:50:40 PM »
I'm pretty sure I was 19 when we met my senior year or right after graduation. I repeated a grade and have a November bday so I was already older than most of the class before I got held back graduated 2005 at 19. Yeah that was pretty crazy you and Jared were almost like DDR celebrities to me lol I aspired to be that skillful. I had to bar rape everything. Every time I'd go to Southern Park Mall or Camelot I'd hope to run into one of you guys.

Yeah, I also have a November birthday (the 15th) so I know the feeling. I was older than most of my class and friends.

That was a really weird time for me too honestly, though I'm sure we would have had some good times. I at least still had a decent D&D group at that time. However I was also just starting to get into partying having sex experimenting with drugs etc around 19-20. Having lost all that weight and feeling confident in myself about it I was actually really getting serious with girls for the first time in my life. Had a 5 years spree of really dumb decisions and finding out who I was as a person. Had some bad friends that were terrible influences I used to hold in high regard just by being a bit naive. I probably wouldn't have been the greatest friend anyway.

It's hard to say, and for what it's worth you were fun to be around. I remember your excitement for Oblivion's launch being nothing short of infectious. :) I also seem to remember driving through New Springfield with you on the way to the BVM and having a cop illegally pass us (after tailgating us for a bit) in that stupid 25mph speed trap. Not sure why that moment in particular is sticking with me, lol.

I think in a lot of ways we were all shitty to some degree throughout our late teens and most of our 20s. I'm glad you ended up leaving all of that behind you, though. I've seen what that sort of spiral can do to people and it ain't pretty.

Just know if you're ever in Atlanta you got a place to stay. My 330 trips are far and few between anymore but I definitely wanna at least hang out for a bit next time I get up there. I do remember meeting your parents they were super cool folks.

For sure! Hell, by that point I might even have my own place. Plans ended up getting pushed back a bit due to the pandemic, but I'm kinda hoping to be out of my folk's house in 2021. I could use the extra space, that's for sure.

And yeah, I would really like to start traveling more often. If I'm ever down in the dirty south I'll definitely hit you up.

Random Chat / Re: Weight Loss
« on: July 15, 2020, 10:43:59 AM »
I ended up getting a boot to the ass when I realized how quickly I was getting tired when I was putting my current desk together, on top of general lower back pain. It also helps that my mental state has improved quite a bit since the beginning of the year (things were shitty before the pandemic, then only got worse) so I've been able to mentally steer myself away from comfort food. Having some minor issues crop up due to a high sodium diet has also been a very serious reminder that I'm not as young as I used to be.

Having a fairly open, stable environment for VR should help. Before if I wanted to play Beat Saber, Pistol Whip, or anything else of that nature I'd have to rearrange my room. Now I just have to boot into Windows, shove my chair aside, strap the headset on, and go.

And yeah, definitely add me on MFP when you get that set up again!

I lost 100lbs my junior year (right about when I met you Ian. DDR played a factor in that)

I honestly didn't realize you were younger than me, haha. I was just starting college around then, and DDR took me from 250lbs to 195 just after I left high school (and I weighed in at 282 last week…ugh). That still stands as the only time someone recognized me IRL from a picture I posted on a forum, y'know. :P

I wish we would have hung out more while you were still up here. I was pretty bad at keeping in touch with people around then (that "oh, I don't want to bother them" mentality, coupled with self-esteem issues) and wish I would have been able to overcome that sooner.

Random Chat / Re: Weight Loss
« on: July 13, 2020, 04:44:23 PM »
I started a low-sodium diet the other day and already shed a bunch of water weight. I'm tracking nutrition/calories with MyFitnessPal. If anyone wants to add me, I managed to snag "spectere" for my username.

I ended up making the same mistake I always make and went a little too fast into my Beat Saber workout on Saturday evening. My right arm is fine now, but it still hurts to fully extend my left arm. Whoops.

Ive been reading those might not be worthwhile, and a waste of time. I got a normal fitting stationary bike, and that's fine more or less, feel like I actually get some decent cardio on the thing. If you want more of a kick back option I've seen recumbent bikes look to be a good option for chilling in front of a screen. I probably should have got one of those instead of what I got...but I'm having a good enough time with it 30 minutes a day (with a day or two off in the week) so far and it's been well.

I ended up doing some measurements and, yeah, even if the bike worked well and was effective I'd have an issue with legroom.

The only problem with getting a full-sized bike is that I simply don't have the space for it right now. I am planning on getting my own house within the next year, and when I do I have quite a few Plans™, but until then I'm just going to have to make do with what I have (VR + Cobalt Flux—definitely not at the same time—and the streets of Struthers).

Gaming / Re: wut specturr'z playing
« on: July 10, 2020, 12:35:49 AM »
I started playing Half-Life: Alyx tonight (err, I guess technically it would be "last night," seeing as it's after midnight and such.

I'm about 90 minutes into it right now and…goddamn. It's absolutely fantastic so far. One of my favorite moments so far has to be smacking a headcrab out of the air in mid-jump and putting about four pistol rounds into it while it's stunned. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't seem to beat headcrab zombies with a metal pipe, though. Might be a heavy-handed way of ensuring that HL:A doesn't end up becoming trivial due to "epic VR combat" (that is, waggling a melee weapon and causing it to rapidly deal damage to any target in front of you). Kind of a shame.

The pick-up system is a hell of a lot of fun, and (being able to bash head-crabs out of the way aside) is probably one of the most innovative parts of HL:A. Many VR games allow you to remotely grab an item. Generally this just involves pointing to it, looking for a highlight, pressing on the grip button, and having the item magic itself over to you in a straight line. HL:A, continuing with the trend set by HL2, makes use of gravity. Alyx gets gravity gloves very early on in the experience. To use them to grab an item across a wide gap, you gesture toward the item with an open hand, and when you see the highlight you hit the grip and flick your wrist. The item then flies toward you, with its speed and angle largely dependent on how hard/fast you flick. When it comes near you, you simply catch it. It didn't take long at all for me to get used to how much force I needed to use to get an item to me. I'm sure the catch radius is probably pretty generous, but it also feels like it's easier and more intuitive to catch objects than it is in many VR titles.

I haven't done much in the way of gunplay, and I currently only have the pistol, but so far I like how it's implemented. Weapon handling is actually done fairly realistically. Ejecting an empty mag will cause you to lose the rounds in the dropped mag, and if you empty the mag and then fire the chambered bullet you'll have to rack the slide after changing mags. About the only gripe I have is with Alyx's trigger discipline. Some games (like Gun Club VR) check the capacitive trigger sensor and will show the character holding their finger outside of the trigger guard. In HL:A, Alyx's finger is always in the trigger guard. Yes, this is a petty gripe, but as an experienced shooter it does drive me a little nuts. :P This may not be an issue on the Index's finger-tracked controllers, but I dunno (I'm on a Rift S).

As with any other VR title, it's awesome seeing everything in its proper scale. It's really easy to underestimate just how big headcrabs are until you've seen one up close and personal (and thankfully not in person. Yeech) and actually fighting the jumpy little bastards is another thing entirely. I've only dealt with two so far (and about a dozen headcrab zombies) so I have a feeling things are only going to get more frantic.

Finally: visuals. HL:A is fucking gorgeous. Easily the best VR visuals I've seen to date, by a pretty healthy margin, and despite that the game runs at a consistent 80hz on my system. It's not just that Source 2 is a shiny, modern engine, but Valve really pulled out the stops when it comes to overall detail. Striders climb up buildings, smashing terracotta roof tiles and sending dust and persistent debris all over the place. The buildings look lived in, with the cities being crammed with detail and evidence of decay, with the Eastern European vibe getting ramped up dramatically with plenty of pre-war Cyrillic leaflets and other materials in plain sight. It doesn't show off a large amount of the starting city, but the parts that it does show off are rich and dense, with an incredible attention to detail.

In terms of accessibility, the game does offer a variety of movement options, and seems to do its best to cater to everyone. Multiple movement options, a way of playing the game with a single controller, options to make seated play easier, subtitles, etc. I'm personally using controller tracked free locomotion, with 30° snap turning (I'm physically okay with smooth turning, but it's almost always too damn slow in action games). The game has several comfort features baked in as well. If it requires you to drop down a ledge, the action is smooth and slow, rather than subjecting you to the full fury of gravity. It also tends to avoid nudging the player back if they start to intersect with the scenery, allowing you to look behind objects without getting nudged all over the place against your will.

Whew. In case it wasn't obvious, I can't wait to play more of this thing. Valve really knocked it out of the park, and I hope they get back to making full-scale AAA titles instead of…Artifact. :|

Computing / Re: The Keeb Thread
« on: July 07, 2020, 04:53:48 PM »
I think that does make some sort of difference. My typing technique is fairly close to "proper" (though I tend not to alternate between shift keys and space thumbs, though that doesn't slow me down thanks to my big Italian hands :P) and many of my habits seem to stem from me resting my fingers on the home row when I'm ready to type. I mean, I had a keyboard with linear switches (fairly stiff ones, too) for just under a year and even after all that time I never really got used to it.

I feel as though the "copy this text" test is about as useful as benchmarking a PC. It gives you a theoretical maximum, which can be useful in some occupations (mainly stuff like transcription). The main thing that I find flawed is the way many of those tests handle errors lead to a lot of confusing visual noise that you wouldn't get if you were to just copy a document straight from paper to Word. Some of them don't even let you use backspace to correct errors, so trying to correct your mistakes leads to even more errors and general uncertainty/anxiety/angst/tears. I haven't done a typing test in a while, but when I was in seventh grade I was top of my typing class by a wide margin (120+ wpm with 99% accuracy, since I more or less stumbled upon a semi-proper technique by accident and used computers a ton growing up). It feels like I've improved since then, but I don't really care enough about it to really find out. Like you said, I generally don't end up typing at full speed anyway unless I'm already damn sure about what I'm going to type.

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