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Messages - Spectere

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Gaming / Re: wut specturr'z playing
« on: May 11, 2021, 12:34:08 AM »
Just beat Moonblood, and had a generally good time with it!

I'm not going to do a level-by-level breakdown here, since I've been working on this over the course of several weeks, but there's definitely some ups and downs. The first half dishes out resources at a fairly slow and steady rate. You don't even get a backpack until MAP16 (or the secret levels, if you do those) and it waits to give you the BFG until MAP17.

Most of my complaints stem from the final third of the game, where some of the traps basically require you to have knowledge of the map in order to survive. It had a tendency to throw arch-viles at the player at close range. They have a powerful, delayed range attack, the ability to resurrect enemies, a fast running speed, and an extremely low pain chance. The game would occasionally throw a couple of them in front of you in a relatively open area, so if you didn't already have the BFG out you were guaranteed to take a hit or two, and that's usually enough to kill the player unless they have blue armor (which is fairly rare in this megawad).

They also had a tendency of putting in a ton of spongy enemies into a tight arena. The Doom engine doesn't really handle tight spaces left, with issues like elastic collisions rearing their ugly heads at inconvenient times, so those tended to be rather unpleasant. I'd say the later levels were at their best when they threw a bunch of opposition at the player in an arena-style setting, with plenty of bits of cover and room to move around and dodge. MAP26 (The Coliseum) started off hard and fast like this, and wound up being one of my favorite maps in the set.

It's definitely a step above TNT in terms of difficulty (at least on UV) and doesn't have any of its awful lows. I highly recommend this.

Next megawad on my list: Memento Mori.

Random Chat / Re: The Thread of Excessive Rage
« on: May 09, 2021, 03:15:46 PM »
Yay, bureaucracy. :/

Best of luck getting that sorted out. :(

Random Chat / Re: The Thread of Extreme Happiness
« on: May 06, 2021, 10:37:28 AM »
Yeah, generally you only get a synchronous connection with stuff like fiber. ADSL and cable are typically heavily weighted toward download speeds. Honestly, that's perfectly fine. The two do need to scale with each other (every time you download a packet on an error-checking protocol, your system has to acknowledge to the server that it received the packet) but even with that in mind they still leave you enough bandwidth to host a 4K60 stream if you wanted to.

I was initially a little surprised that my existing modem was able to support the higher speeds without an issue, but that was mostly me forgetting how high the speed cap on DOCSIS 3.0 is (specifically: 1000/200). Speaking of which, protip: always buy your own cable modem. The ones you purchase are almost always better than the ones the cable companies lease you, and they usually pay for themselves very quickly (with a $10/mo rental fee, my modem paid for itself in 13 months). DOCSIS is a standard dictating how all modems bridge the cable connection with Ethernet, and since the cable provider pushes out a configuration file to the modem upon registration they're all basically plug-and-play.

As far as residential speeds go, yeah. I like. I wouldn't say I was quite as cynical as you, likely because I kept my ear to the ground regarding disruptive third-party fiber providers (I'd say we have them to thank more than anyone else for the uptick in speeds), but I definitely wasn't expecting 400Mbps+ this soon in my area. I was expecting 200Mbps service to be added, but instead they made 200Mbps the minimum speed that they provide nationwide, while offering the next highest tier (which was bumped from 300->400Mbps) as a premium option.

It is fun to consider that the maximum connection speed in my area less than 20 years ago was 56kbps, however. I don't miss those days at all. That being said, things still aren't as fast as they could be, given the rather cavalier attitude that a lot of web designers have toward download sizes (Google's front page, despite its visual simplicity, is up to a whopping 1.5MB worth of various assets, or ~800KB compressed) and the fact that modern web browsers are basically operating systems. We've gone from waiting for our connections to waiting for an increasingly complex scripting engine to churn through ECMAScript while an equally complex renderer arranges the document in a particular way, using a complex set of rules.

Okay, fine, I guess I'm a little cynical. I'm just cynical about a different aspect of the technology stack. :P

I can confirm that multi-question polls definitely aren't a thing in SMF, and I'm almost positive that phpBB lacks built-in support for them as well.

And, yeah, I don't know why they'd want to rush the conversion. Converting a long-running forum with a ton of history is super stressful since there's no way to visually inspect everything before shoving it all out the door. The nigh-inevitable breakage of intra-forum links is bad enough, let alone the fact that trying to fix conversion issues after the new site goes live can lead to some pretty significant headaches.

Random Chat / Re: The Thread of Extreme Happiness
« on: April 28, 2021, 09:54:01 AM »
Gotta say, as far as cable Internet providers go, I don't mind Spectrum. Just upgraded to their 400/20 plan and they're giving me around 465/24 (confirmed through both as well as measured upload/download speed to standard web sites.

I do wish they were a bit less asynchronous (I would rather have 300/50 instead of 400/20) but given the state of US broadband, beggars can't be choosers, and it could be a hell of a lot worse. Never thought I'd see nearly half-gigabit download speeds in my area, though. Yikes.

Random Chat / Re: The Lamest Topic Ever Conceived
« on: April 26, 2021, 09:15:27 AM »
TBH, that's something I didn't even think to check for, since I'm kinda used to everything having a GPU at this point. I guess that's the beauty of witnessing the birth of an architecture!

When you manage to get your hands on a suitable system, I'd love to know your thoughts on it.

Random Chat / Re: The Lamest Topic Ever Conceived
« on: April 25, 2021, 02:36:05 AM »
I unfortunately have no experience with those, but kinda wish that style of computer didn't just die. Those old machines seemed like fantastic gateways into programming, a lot simpler than me trying to learn on windows now.

I would say that the Pi400 is a better gateway, honestly. While the early 8-bit micros offered easy access to BASIC, trying to actually unlock the power of them was anything but simple. The options you had were either a fairly limited BASIC implementation or going right into assembly. With a Pi, you at least have a lot of steps between the two. The addition of GPIO ports allow you to interface with other hardware as well, which is a pretty nice bonus.

Since I have no experience with those machines, I have almost purchased a ZX spectrum...multiple times...I've been tempted. But the pi400 as an emulation box would be fun, and I got no idea how retropie works, but if I could also have access to using it for basic programming education purposes that would be fantastic.

I haven't played around with it myself, but RetroPie is basically a preconfigured Raspbian install that offers a nice menu around a variety of emulators and simulators (stuff like Doom, ScummVM, etc). I believe they take efforts to ensure that stuff that won't emulate well on a Pi (like the Switch) won't appear as part of the standard distribution and also attempt to streamline the addition of additional data and ROMs. It'd say the best way to describe it would be as a games-focused XBMC (a free media center suite), if you've ever messed with that.

Cute little machine. Crazy how much you can get from a tiny package now a days. Might make for a fun future project to get my feet wet with linux, I assume they're pretty cheap to build?

I picked my kit up from B&H for around $719, which I thought was pretty decent given the build quality and processor. I had the RAM and SSD lying around (snagged them from my old laptop), so that ended up being the total cost.

There are models that are smaller and have lower-end CPUs (like i3s and i5s) and lack PCI-e slots that are closer to the $400, like this little $430 i5 (not including RAM and a drive). At work we ended up getting a few Celeron ones to power information displays and such, and I believe those came in at around $250, fully equipped. There's a pretty decent variety of them for a variety of use cases.


Okay, that looks awesome. I need to pick that up, too. :o

Random Chat / Re: The Lamest Topic Ever Conceived
« on: April 24, 2021, 07:15:42 PM »
Wow, uh...

Honestly, if that HiFive Unleashed at least performs well, I'd consider using something like that as a daily driver. Distro support would be limited, I'm sure (I'm fairly sure I'd have to switch away from Arch, at least), but if it can stack up to a decent mobile i7 it'll be at least as good as what I'm using now.

And yep, the BeagleV is the one that I was eyeing up. I've spotted a few around the $70-80 range, but they were from no-name companies and nobody seemed to know anything about them, so... (shrug)

Ah. As if those spambot services do much good anyway, especially when they're made for commercial forum software that experienced its peak popularity in the mid-00s (and when they're, y'know, no longer in service). I had one enabled on here for a while (can't remember which one) and it was decent enough...when it worked. Problem is that it would go down seemingly at random and cause the whole site to just return HTTP 500s until it came back up. :/

And hey yeah, sounds like the IP Board converter has the same issues that the SMF->phpBB one does as well. Kinda sounds like the SMF converter might be a little more complete, though, since I think it covers all of SMF's core features (at least the ones that this forum uses). Honestly still not sure if it's worth going through the trouble. I guess it depends on SMF's security at this point. They're still patching it, albeit slowly, and supposedly SMF 2.1 is still under development. At least it's not bound to PHP 5.x anymore. *shrug*

10 seconds per account? What the fuck.

The numbers are kind of variable here (seems like it's been down lately?) but I'm going to guess that SMF's registration process is easier to spoof for whatever reason. At least mass-flagging accounts is fast and simple, though. Pretty much just tick a bunch of boxes, tell it what you want to do to the account, and it flies through it. And hey, maybe when SMF 2.1 comes out in ~2063 it'll have better spam mitigation so that won't have to happen as much.

Re: integration issues. This is why I thank my lucky stars that all of my experiments with various portals and other forms of integration way back when didn't really go anywhere. DMZX is a bit of a special case in that it needs that integration, but in my case it would have only complicated my life with pretty much no gain whatsoever, lol.

Even so, it kinda feels like you can easily convert to SMF, but going to anything else is a bit of a process. Like, switching over to phpBB would require me to convert to phpBB 3.0 (which needs to be done on a box running PHP 5.x :-\) and then stepping up from there. I did it once on a test VM and it wasn't pretty. One of the downsides of PHP gittin' gud, I guess.

Random Chat / Re: The Lamest Topic Ever Conceived
« on: April 24, 2021, 03:18:50 AM »
"I see that things have deteriorated in my absence..."  -You, possibly.

I really hope that RISC-V remains fairly unencumbered. It would be nice to have an ISA that isn't locked behind some sort of proprietary bullshit.

The dev boards that have been coming out look pretty promising, and apparently their performance per watt is still unmatched. Kinda debating whether or not to pick one up. I'd like to see what they can do at some point.

Random Chat / Re: When Sheeple Call Others Sheeple
« on: April 23, 2021, 10:11:04 PM »
So he sent me sixteen Steam messages while I was at work today.

I've literally never seen someone go so off the rails over a disagreement. Jesus.

Random Chat / Re: The Lamest Topic Ever Conceived
« on: April 23, 2021, 12:54:22 PM »
Yeah, he either needs to grow up or seriously consider anger management. 35 year olds really shouldn't be acting like that.

That mini-desktop is a mostly-prebuilt kit system that I'm using for all of my Linux exploits. It's an Intel NUC 9, which is a little barebones system that still hasn't quite gotten over its edgy high school phase:

Basically, just throw in a couple sticks of laptop RAM, an M.2 SSD or three (SATA and NVMe both work), and (optionally) a video card in the PCI-e slot and you've got yourself a reasonably grunty system. The main selling points of it were the form factor, low power consumption and heat (it uses a hex-core mobile Core i7 with a good cooler), and the fact that it supports Thunderbolt docks. Instead of having to dual-boot my gaming rig whenever I want to use Linux, I just plug that thing into my dock and...that's it! If I need to use macOS, I just unplug that and plug in my MacBook. When I need to work, I just unplug it and plug in my work laptop. Kinda makes for a nice modular workspace.

Raspberry Pis have gotten surprisingly capable over the years. The Pi4/400 make pretty good Retropie boxes as long as you don't try to use anything excessive like bsnes. They blow away the specs of the (S)NES and PlayStation classic boxes, and you don't have to jump through any hoops to get your own stuff loaded on them. The Pi400 actually reminds me a lot of the old 8-bit microcomputers back in the day, so it makes me feel nostalgic for my old Commodore VIC-20. :P

From what I've seen of Baba Is You, it seems like a game that I would enjoy far more on the Switch than any other platform. Puzzle games just work really well on that system (and phones, I suppose).

The "simple rules, hard puzzles" dynamic kinda reminds me of the Talos Principle. If you like puzzle games and haven't played that one yet, I highly recommend it.

Random Chat / Re: The Lamest Topic Ever Conceived
« on: April 22, 2021, 10:15:55 PM »
Just took out the trash. Haven't had to do that in, like, over a decade. IT MADE ME FEEL YOUNG AGAIN!

As far as nerdy stuff goes, I've been putting my shiny development mini-PC through its paces (prolly gonna throw together some sort of review in the Computing forum after I put some more hours into it) and decided to start hacking at Doom's source code again. I toyed around with limits removal and such a few years ago, but even while I was working on that I picked up enough C knowledge to know that I wasn't doing things in an optimal or sustainable way.

So, I rebooted the project. I don't have it on GitHub yet (just a dinky repo on my home server for now), but I ended up getting Doom to boot, albeit without sound (not that my other one had sound support...), and was able to play through the entirety of Doom 1 on it without a problem. I forgot how easy it is to get Doom running on modern PCs, and when you rip out all of the Linux-specific crap out of the released sources and replace it with SDL you don't have much further to go before it's cross-platform as well.

Fun stuff.

Random Chat / Re: When Sheeple Call Others Sheeple
« on: April 22, 2021, 10:09:45 PM »
Actually, fuck it. He doesn't really deserve that level of respect after all that considering he spewed that bile without even trying to understand where I was coming from, or even what I stand for. Kinda just goes to show that for as familiar as he tries to come across, he barely even fucking knows me (we only hung out a handful of times when he still lived up here).

Just gonna split this off from the original thread and call it day so that we can go back to posting about mundane bullshit instead of diving headfirst into political extremism.

Banned. Split. Locked. Feels like I'm on again.

(Oh yeah, protip: if you threaten to assault someone, sarcastically or otherwise, don't do it on a public forum. That makes for a pretty open-and-shut legal case if you actually do it. Idiot.)

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