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Topics - Spectere

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1
Computing / Your Lair
« on: June 30, 2020, 09:29:17 AM »
Post pictures of your computing/gaming space here!

After using a recliner/TV setup for a while I decided to switch back to a desk, partially because I was getting sick at tired of my TVs not playing well with my PCs and mostly because I wanted an adjustable desk. So…I ended up with this (click for full size):



The desk is a VertDesk v3 with all sorts of fun little addons (programmable switch, monitor arm, cable management box and drag chain) and the anti-fatigue mat is an Imprint Commercial Couture Strata. I also ordered a pair of Acer Predator XB271HU monitors. I had the sound system for a while, but if you're curious it's a Sony STR-DH740 receiver, a pair of Infinity Primus P163 speakers, and (out of frame) an Infinity PS312 subwoofer.

I also have a CalDigit USB-C laptop dock (not pictured) that I use for both my personal and work laptops, as well as a switchable USB hub that I can use to easily shove my keyboard and mouse from my tower to the laptop dock.

All in all, it's been working quite well. Aside from the added general comfort of this setup, 144hz gaming has been downright incredible so far. I was pleasantly surprised that Doom 2016 was able to run at a locked 144hz on 1440p Ultra on my system, so naturally I'm kind of curious to see how Doom Eternal is going to fare (it was able to run at 4K60, maxed out, so I'm hoping for a consistent ~90-100fps at 1440p).

Edit: Tried it out tonight and it's more like 120-140fps on average, on Ultra Nightmare settings. I'll take it!

2
Random Chat / Why FedEx is the Worst Delivery Service
« on: June 19, 2020, 09:49:54 AM »
I have a package that's arriving to me via FedEx, and it's already turning into a frustrating experience, so I figured I'd vent a bit about why I feel that FedEx is the absolute worst delivery service that I've ever had the displeasure of using.

So, in this particular incident, I have a package coming to me from northern Wisconsin, roughly 10 hours away. Six parts, with an estimated delivery date of Saturday, June 20 for four parts and Sunday, June 21 for two. Kind of weird, but considering the total weight is 200 lbs (90 kg) I can understand. The package in question is a desk, so I explicitly set aside time this weekend to assemble it. Perfect, I'll be able to have it together in time to start work on Monday.

I wake up to an update this morning. The packages are now in Illinois, but the estimated delivery date for two of the parts due on Saturday have been pushed back to Monday, a day where my schedule is jam packed. All of the other parts remain unchanged, so it's only those two parts that got delayed. Okay, maybe it's a non-critical part and I can still assemble most of the desk. Let's just check the tracking information and check the weight of those two parts.

Oh, it's the two heaviest parts. In other words, the base and top. Fuck.

Edit: Just got an update. Now everything is supposed to get here on Monday. Here's an idea, FedEx: stop fucking lying to make yourselves look better and start giving proper estimates.

"Oh, but COVID-19! Oh, unexpected circumstances! Oh, but blah blah blah." No, fuck that. FedEx has a very long history of doing this kind of shit. I've gotten many, many packages delivered to me over the years (via USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and Amazon), and it seems like every time I get something via FedEx they end up surprising me with just how awful they are. Let's get into a few examples.

First of all, they never estimate high and exceed expectations. They will "estimate" delivery dates that are beyond their abilities and then repeatedly push them back to keep them "accurate." There was one time that I ordered a package shipped via 2 day shipping and the delivery date was pushed back 5 times. The only time UPS has ever been late for a delivery was due to a goddamn winter storm.

Don't expect them to deliver early in the rare event that they do overestimate, though. It's really rare that they will. I ordered a package from an adjacent state (I think Indiana) that for some reason had an estimated 5 day delivery window. The package made it to Ohio within a day, and proceeded to sit in a warehouse, 45 minutes from my house, right up until the "estimated" delivery time. To add insult to injury, the package tracking said something like "package not due" as the current status.

At one point, they pulled the stereotypical cable guy ploy. When I ordered my Dell in 2016, somehow, despite three people being home at the time, we found that no delivery attempt was made. We checked our security camera and found that the delivery person simply walked up to the front door with a "while you were out" note, put it on the door, then left. Nice.

I've had a couple instances where two boxes that left from the same facility at the same time ended up two wildly different. The most notable one involved a package from Virginia, where one of them went straight from point A to point B while the other one ended up in Chicago (what?!) and ended up having an additional two days tacked onto its transit time.

My dad ordered something from California once via FedEx. A couple of days later, I ordered something from Pragua, Czechia via DHL. The international  package arrived in three days, including time spent in customs. The package from FedEx took eight business days. It's worth noting that USPS can get packages from California to Ohio in 3-4 days via ground, tops. I've had packages from Taiwan and China (which do tend to get held up in customs) arrive faster than that.

My company once relied on FedEx's same day delivery, to replace a failing server hard drive on our core file server. It took three days for the package to arrive.

The worst part is that I didn't have to rack my brain for any of this. I use FedEx as little as humanly possible yet I was able to come up with these off the top of my head. If you asked me what sort of negative experiences I had with other delivery services I'd have to actually sit down and think about it, but issues with FedEx just roll right off the tongue. Fucking terrible company, and I wish they weren't too big to fail.

3
Computing / The Keeb Thread
« on: June 14, 2020, 06:23:29 PM »
Post your keyboard here!

Here's the board I'm currently using for my main PC (click to enlarge, as always):



It's a GMMK TKL with 67g Purple Zealio V2 switches and Drop + Matt3o /dev/tty keycaps.

I love almost everything about this thing. The keycaps have a spherical cut rather than a cylindrical one, so they almost cradle your fingertips while you type. F and J use a deeper groove instead of a nub or other marker, so it's just as easy to tell if your fingers are in the home position. Beyond that, they're thick PBT caps, so the texture is going to last a long time (my vintage 1989 Model M's keycaps still have their texture!) and they're noticeably quieter than the stock Pudding caps that the GMMK comes with.

The Zealios have a nice and heavy tactile bump, somewhat like a crisper MX Clear, with the actuation point immediately after the bump. This is a pretty big improvement over the Kailh Box Browns I ordered with the keyboard, which have an actuation point that's roughly 0.5mm below the bump.

I have a bunch of Holy Pandas on order as well, so we'll see how they compare. I often see the Zealio V2 compared with those switches, so I'm eager to compare them side by side.

As for the "almost" bit, the main points of criticism that I have is that everything about the way that the GMMK's company markets everything is beyond cringe. For one, the keyboard is called the "Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard," and the company's entire image is based on Yahtzee's "PC master race" joke. Yes. There's seriously a company whose entire schtick is based on r/pcmasterrace. I hate it.

The second downside is that the software is Windows only and is kinda crap. Their macro support is as basic as it gets, with you simply being able to just redefine keys, with no option of being able to use Fn+X chords to trigger macros (uhhh, why not just use AutoHotKey at that point?). I can't imagine their compact keyboards even being usable, seeing as they don't even offer customizable layers. Naturally, their controller doesn't support QMK or other open source firmware, so you're stuck with what you get.

That said, the build quality is nice, and the Kailh hotswap sockets have proven to be very nice indeed.

4
Song of the Day / [D&B] Raizer - Explode
« on: May 27, 2020, 08:57:01 AM »
A few years ago I posted about a band that I randomly stumbled upon called Raizer. Last week I randomly checked in on their artist page on Apple Music and noticed that they'd released a bunch of singles after their debut album dropped that I hadn't listened to yet.

They're all pretty great, but this one stuck out.



Fast, aggressive, with a really awesome chorus tying everything together. This song's been on my regular rotation since I first heard it.

5
Gaming / The Outer Worlds
« on: October 28, 2019, 02:28:38 AM »
I heard a lot of people describe this as "Fallout 4 in Space," mostly because Obsidian did New Vegas, yadda yadda.

See, that's not true at all. Unlike Fallout 4, this game is actually good.

*troll face*

But yeah, I'm about five hours in right now and just got off the first planet. The game definitely does resemble titles from Bethesda's stable, but instead of being based on Bethesda's mutilated version of the Gamebryo engine it's based on Unreal Engine 4. Rock solid so far and plays well on my 1080 Ti (ultra at 4K, though I did bump the render scale down to 80% to keep the framerate locked at 60; could probably tweak it further to squeeze some more pixels out of it but I don't see the need to). I had one minor issue where the sounds would cut off prematurely and eventually stop playing altogether around the 2h30m mark, but a quick restart (and I do mean quick—this game runs really well) resolved the issue. There is some minor object pop-in, but how noticeable it ends up being seems to be pretty variable.

My gut feeling is telling me that you're not going to see same level of expansiveness that you do in Bethesda titles after seeing how the first area is handled, but I'd much rather have a handful of rich, densely packed 750m² (rough guess based on distances walked) areas than a relatively sparse 16mi² one.

But anyway, it's getting late so I'm just going to finish this off real quick. First impressions are very positive. If it turns into a complete dumpster fire another hour in I'm sure I'll bitch about it, but so far I've been having a ton of fun with it.

6
Random Chat / New car!
« on: October 21, 2019, 09:46:38 PM »
So I ended up getting my first brand spanking new, straight off the showroom, 14 miles on the clock car tonight.


2019 Honda Civic EX Sedan. Has a few features! I like it!

7
Gaming / Super Stigma Slam - 2019
« on: October 01, 2019, 09:59:22 PM »
I think I mentioned this elsewhere, but this weekend I'm going to be taking part in a gaming marathon benefiting Take This, a charity focused on educating the public about mental health issues and reducing the stigma of mental illness.

Here's a linky to the specific marathon I'm taking part in: https://www.takethis.org/

I'm going to be doing an easy run of Quake, beating Ganon in Hyrule Warriors, and playing Doom II on UV. Here's a rundown of when I'm going to be up:

Friday, October 4, 11:00PM CDT: Quake
Saturday, October 5, 1:15PM CDT: Hyrule Warriors
Saturday, October 5, 10:15PM CDT: Doom

Here's a link to the full schedule: https://horaro.org/super-stigma-slam-2019/main (the times there should automatically adjust to match your time zone).

Please tune in if you have a chance. ;D

Edit: Should have probably added a link to the web site (which has the Twitch streamy thingie embedded). Here ya go: https://superstigmaslam.com/

8
Gaming / wut specturr'z playing
« on: January 24, 2019, 10:28:20 AM »
Kind of a personal spinoff to vlad's gaming threads.

Current 2019 goals:

1. Focus on Doom tricks. I've recently managed to pull off a series of both guided and guideless glides while playing casually (MAKE SENSE OF THAT), so I might as well keep at it and start lowering my time. I'm not aiming for WR, but some nice PBs would be pretty fantastic.

2. Hyrule Warriors grinding. I'd like to get as many characters to at least level 100 as possible. Link is already there, with his closest runners (Zelda, Skull Kid, Impa, Linkle) sitting in the mid-70s to low-80s. I'd also like to clear the first four adventure maps (the first one is already done, so that leaves the Great Sea, as well as the Master Quest versions of the classic and Great Sea maps).

3. Horizon: Zero Dawn. I bought the definitive edition cheap when I picked up my PS4 Pro but I have yet to play it. That needs to change.

4. (added 2019-02-13) Rebel Galaxy.. Had a ton of fun with this a couple years ago and just never picked it up again. Whoops.

9
News / Admin approval is now required for all account registrations
« on: January 07, 2019, 10:05:08 AM »
I honestly never thought the spam situation would get bad enough for things to come to this, but I've had it with this bullshit.

It doesn't help that SMF's development is pretty much glacial at this point, to say nothing for the plugin ecosystem, so trying to combat this by tweaking the settings or installing an addon has been pretty much futile. The methods that I used to use no longer install cleanly into 2.0.15 and I was pretty much over manually installing mods all the way back in the arch0wl.com days, so this is about the best "compromise" I could come up with.

All in all, I suspect it's going to be way easier to mass-delete inactive accounts every few days than deal with "hot fortnite xxx cock pussy creampie viagra" threads popping up daily, so that's the route I've decided to take. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

10
Song of the Day / [Prog Metal] Devin Townsend - Kingdom
« on: December 03, 2018, 12:01:20 AM »
Wait, I didn't post this yet? Let's fix that, shall we?

Here's the album version (audio only):



And here's a really entertaining live performance that he did for EMGTV (which exemplifies why I freaking love Dev):



Those freaking vocals. Holy shit.

11
Gaming / RIP TotalBiscuit
« on: May 24, 2018, 07:53:21 PM »

Best wishes to his family and friends in these difficult times.

12
News / Shiny New Discord Server!
« on: May 23, 2018, 11:07:17 PM »
It's here!

https://discord.gg/v5z7Vez

Come! Joinnnn usssssss...

13
Computing / Found pics from my 2003 PC build!
« on: April 27, 2018, 03:47:15 AM »
Found a bunch of pics from one of my old builds and it really brought me back, so I tweeted about it at length. Twit thread starts here! Click the date to see all the tweets!


INCLUDES EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS OF SPECTERE'S FIRST STEPMANIA RIG.

14
Gaming / NVIDIA Tegra X1 BootROM Exploit
« on: April 24, 2018, 08:43:57 AM »
So there's a "little" exploit in the Tegra X1 SoC that allows users to bypass its protections and load arbitrary code into its trusted zone. This is a pretty huge exploit, allowing devices with the Tegra X1 to be pwned pretty thoroughly. There's no real way to fix this, either, since the issue is in the chip's bootloader.

So, why is this in Gaming? Simple: the Switch uses the Tegra X1. If you have any interest in Switch homebrew, you're probably going to want to pick one up before NVIDIA releases updated silicon.

Now even though arbitrary code execution is unpreventable, bear in mind that Nintendo can still put measures in place to detect any shady activity and ban hacked users from their online services. If actual homebrew picks up in a big way after this I'll probably grab a second Switch for licensed gaming and use my first generation hardware strictly for homebrew.

15
News / Discord Server?
« on: April 16, 2018, 11:43:28 PM »
I've been thinking of setting one up for this little place. Obviously you could would be more than welcome to invite friends and such.

Whatcha'll think?

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