Weekly Wrap Up (11.19.2023 to 11.25.2023)

Oh look, I fell into the “Trap of Not”. I am pretty sure I mentioned it before. It’s just a little phrase I think about sometimes when I want to do something but I just, do not. Specifically, in this case, writing and blogging. Like these little Saturday write-ups, I wanted to at least keep up with them, but I ended up, well, not. I also feel stupid jealous of people who blog and write regularly right now.

Look at Cynni’s Blog here, she writes daily. Long detailed posts, daily, with her dog and her little neat cartoon images spiced in. I’m jealous of that. My excuse is often that I don’t have the time, but the reality is, I kind of DO have the time. I just keep falling into Not. Another one that I’d love to be more like with Lameazoid is The Figure in Question. Not so much daily reviews, just more a long daily catalog of “here is this figure and this is why I like it.”

A while back I picked up this massive ball of blogs from a Hacker News posts. I’m still, still going through them, months later. There are so many that seem to have died for one reason or another. I mean, writing regularly, or even semi-regularly I suppose, is not for everyone. The process of going through them is slow, but there has been a fun accidental mechanism in my RSS reader that has helped. Basically, the feeds never update all at once. I get maybe 10-15 new ones showing up daily, but I think it’s timing out otherwise. So I skim through the ones that do show up and see if any of them are interesting, if not, I dump them. If they are interesting I throw them in a new category to better look at later, or if they have an obvious theme, I categorize them accordingly, since it’s Hacker News, it’s MOSTLY “Personal Blogs – Tech Enthusiasts”.

It’s also weird how some of these people organize their blog titles. Some people give useful information, and some just have these weird one-word titles that feel completely meaningless. Some of these blogs seemed completely themed around some extremely obscure tech topic (I usually drop these). You can tell when someone started a blog because they picked up some goofy random new coding language. Most of these I find, are also dead blogs. I guess they got tired of the topic or didn’t find an audience or something.

I always tell myself I don’t care about having an audience, and I keep plugging away at it anyway. For decades now. It’s a little crazy maybe. And I just write whatever comes to mind. I’ve been sitting here for an hour or two, having eaten my breakfast, done some daily quests in Sky, and browsed my RSS reader. Everyone else in the house is still asleep except the cats, so it’s nice and quiet. Anyway, I tell myself I don’t care about an audience, but also I don’t understand why everything seems to go nowhere.

Which brings up some of my activities this week. Working a bit to better understand the whole Search Engine Search Console thing. I set up a plug-in to give both blogs a mobile theme because I know Google complains about that. It’s boring and ugly, it gets the job done, I guess. I also have no idea why some of the issues listed are simply, “Page discovered but not indexed”. Like, ok, that’s on you, why are you not indexing them? No other explanations were given. I’ve also found it wants to index pages for individual images and such.

Which is another thing I should do. I need to flip through the gallery adding alt text to images. For accessibility. I am all for accessibility, but honestly, most of the images, don’t super matter or are meaningless if you can’t see them. Sorry people with bad or no sight, it sucks I am sure, but me describing a random concert photo, is not going to help you get the feeling of the photo. Most other images amount to something basic, “Python Logo”, “XXXXX Album cover.” You are not missing anything not seeing it. I think there is actually a way to get screen readers to ignore those images. A picture is worth a thousand words, and those thousand words already exist in the Blog Post the picture is in. There is one blog I read in my RSS reader with a dude who is absolutely obsessed with alt text. Like, it’s literally probably something he should see a shrink or something over because when I write obsessed, I mean OBSESSED. If I were a person who needed alt texts, I would be upset with how wordy and insanely long this dude makes his alt texts.

Other fun this week, it is, of course, Thanksgiving. We went to my parent’s house and had a very basic turkey, potatoes, corn, and green beans, style Thanksgiving dinner. My brother and his family were busy. It was enjoyable.

Side note, I typo-ed the word green. Are you OK there Spell Check? The obvious word is not there at all.

I’ve decided to dump the whole “What I Got” part of these. I might do the toys and games stuff on Lameazoid if I ever started regularly posting there again, but I did want to throw in that I bought some more memory for my gaming PC. It came with 16GB, which is decent, but I’ve been doing some AI stuff and I may move my Video Editing to that PC from my old PC, so I added another 32GB of RAM. Total of 48 now, which is probably a bit excessive. Nothing fancy, I was looking at fancy but realized that it wouldn’t do any good because it’s just going to clock down to match the speeds of the current 16GB, which was plenty fast enough already.

Back in my Day…

I’ve been using computers and technology for a long time.  The vast majority of my life in fact.  I have early memories of playing games on our Commodore 64, back when I was like 4 or 5 years old.  Eventually we had a DOS based system, though it didn’t have a hard drive in it.  In fact it needed a floppy disk to even boot up.

I came across some of my old disk boxes while visiting my parent’s house not too long ago.  I have no idea if these disks are even any good anymore, I may have a 5.25 disk drive floating around somewhere but I’m not sure it’s even compatible with any modern computer, at least not without some sort of cable conversion system.  Not to mention most of this stuff can be found on abandon ware websites online, that gray area of legality for software that’s no longer particularly useful or in demand.  Each of these disks contains around 500kb of data.  Half of a megabyte.  This image of these floppy disks, likely couldn’t fit on one of these floppy disks.

There’s a lot of fun classics in here.  I always really loved the games where you could create your own content.  Earl Weaver baseball, let you make your own teams, I made many based on other video games, though the Mega Man Team with it’s perfect stats (because robots) always ended up winning.  Ancient Art of War was an early RTS sort of game where you could create custom campaigns.  The old Gold Box Dragon Lance games were classic RPG titles where you would make custom parties and characters.  My friends and I figured out a bug where you could duplicate characters and weapons so we would create unstoppable characters all equipped with the best gear.

Another favorite was NewsMaster.  A simple program designed for making newsletters and fliers.  I found some old files from Newsmaster on my portable drive recently.  Here’s a fun chain, my 500GB portable drive is full of files I’ve been sorting out over time, many of these files came from old archive DVDs, which in turn are a collection of old archival CD-rs.  one of these CDs had a collection of files pulled from sole 3.5 diskettes, one of which was an archive of files originally on these 5.25 disks.

And now, bring it around, I found an abandon ware copy of Newsmaster to open the files with.

These files are an eclectic collection of fake news papers, random graphics, journal entries (which were no longer than Tweets) and very short stories from my childhood.  I’m sure that writing a paragraph back then felt like a monumental achievement, these days I feel like most blog posts contain more typed words than the entirety of my first ten years of life.

One particularly fun set of files was the NEWS News/Times.  This was a video game news letter written by myself and my best friend at the time.  Each “issue” had top ten lists and codes and brief notes on some game we’d been playing.  The reality is it was probably a crib notes version of the most recent Nintendo Power.  It’s only really notable because I often consider it the precursor to my modern blogging.  The above issue was created in 1991.  roughly seven years later, I’d create The Chaos Xone on Geocities, which would evolve into Lameazoid.com.  It’s kind of funny how my interests really have not changed a whole ton in the past 30 years.