niceoblog

inane ramblings

niceopod ☕️ 1 day ago
@bignastytruck agreed

2022-11-26

I finally got my ADHD meds! They seem to be working, too. Since I started taking them a couple days ago, I've noticed a pronounced drop in my general compulsion to do bad unproductive things like scroll social media for multiple hours. I spent all day today setting up a companion website for my Minecraft server, but not in a forgot-to-eat-lunch kind of way, which is doubly impressive because one of the side effects of this stuff is a reduced appetite.

This past week in class has been really easy - the provided study plan provisioned a whole week for an assignment that consisted of installing a C++ compiler and debugging a simple program, and I got that done in a couple of hours, even including the snag I hit where they expected me to use Windows because of course they fucking did. I spent the rest of the week doing nothing because that's what was on the schedule. I could have worked ahead, but fuck that.

The headphones that I got literally the day I posted the last entry have proven to be very nice. Not only are they built like a tank, but I've learned it's possible to replace just about every part of them. I might actually manage to keep these until the drivers fail! How cool would that be?

I need to get some more exercise. Can one of you remind me to go on a walk or something tomorrow?

2022-11-17

My new headphones are finally here! Thus far, they certainly seem to live up to the hype. I hear a lot of people in the audiophile space talking about "soundstage", and while this certainly doesn't have Dolby Atmos™ levels of it, I kind of see what they mean now. It's like the sounds are coming from outside of my ears! Naturally, the quality of those sounds is fantastic as well. Plus, they're really comfortable, built well, and the custom braided cable that the modding company provided is superb. Okay, enough gushing. Maybe I'll write a review of these once I've gotten some more use out of them.

I've created a service on here! It's a little utility that takes an RSS feed and filters it based on the contents of the entries. I created it because there are a couple Tumblr blogs I subscribe to the RSS feeds for and I wanted to filter them to have just the posts with images. You can feel free to use it if you want, but I encourage you to download the source code and self-host it as well!

The computer science class I'm taking has been going well. So far it's mostly been the basics - going over ideas like loops and binary numbers and shit. The chapter of the textbook I read today explained AND gates to me. My years of being a Redstone Knower in Minecraft have been building up to this! Not to imply I think this is dumb or pointless or anything - this is clearly building up to some much more involved shit and I'm waiting with bated breath for the other shoe to drop difficulty-wise, but I'm taking it as a good sign that this has been so easy thus far.

Now for some major tonal whiplash: I'm now fairly confident that I'm some degree of nonbinary. You may have guessed this if you've been poking around my website of late, or just reading this journal, but I was reluctant to say so explicitly in case I ended up changing my mind. I don't want to get into the details, because I don't really know them either, but I'm pretty sure at this point that "man" doesn't nearly cover it. As for pronouns, anything works! Fuck around! This is all uncharted territory for me, so if some gendered term or other makes me uncomfortable (or doesn't), I'd like to find out now lest I come out to my family and then have to amend that shit later.

I think that about covers it for now. I'm gonna go listen to some more of my favorite music with these shiny new headphones, or maybe just go the hell to bed already.

2022-11-06

I've started the first of my classes! So far it's been mostly reading the textbook and making tedious discussion posts about it in the class forum. I understand on some level why they make us do it, but that doesn't make it not annoying.

All this stuff going on hasn't left me with a ton of time or energy to update my website. One course isn't exactly a full load, but between doing the course work, procrastinating on the course work, working on this music video, procrastinating on that, and my utterly wrecked sleep schedule, there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day.

Speaking of the music video, here's some more renders of it I've made if you're interested:

Renders Looks so much better in Cycles, doesn't it? I lament the destructive effects of Youtube compression, however. This second one was rendered in a secret third thing, Workbench, a barebones rendering engine with basically no graphical features at all that I used here just to see how some timings would look in the final product.

I've also finally made some progress towards getting some kind of ADHD medication, so hopefully that will help somewhat.

2022-10-28

My headphones broke a couple days ago. The flimsy swivel joint on one of the ear cups snapped. Lest you suffer the same fate, this was the Audio-Technica ATH-M40x. The joints on the M50x look much more robust, but I've elected not to chance it. I've chosen as their replacement a pair of headphones that reportedly have better sound and vastly superior build quality, the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro. I wasn't thrilled about the lack of a removable cable, though, so I elected to get mine through an English modding company that I've heard good things about. I'll post an update when they get here.

I've added some automated spookification to my website just in time for Halloween! I used some basic server-side scripting to add some simple themed styling to the webpages and swap out the pool of landing page captions during October. I also have a link that automatically serves an appropriate seasonal isopod image. I also set it up with a little party hat on my birthday :)

My classes start in a few days. I am filled with Dread and Worry. It'll probably be fine.

2022-10-19

It's been a minute. Whoops. I had informally planned to update this thing every week or so. I guess this time falls more on the "or so" end of the spectrum. Anyway, I've made significant progress on the music video. The section I posted a test render of a couple entries ago is finished now! I'm proud of how it turned out and I'm really excited for the next part.

I decided to render the animation in Cycles instead of Eevee because, as you might be able to tell from what I've shown, it looks pretty bad in Eevee. I'd been having some stability problems when rendering in Cycles where my system would lock up and crash at random, but I've figured out how to solve that. First, I had Cycles set to use both my dedicated GPU and my CPU's integrated graphics, which was apparently causing issues. The integrated GPU was barely contributing anyway, and turning it off solved 90% of my problems. The other 10% were solved by not doing GPU-intensive stuff like hanging out in a video call with four people during the render.

Basically my dedicated GPU has to be the only thing working on the render and the render has to be the only thing of note it's doing. This shit is why I want that second GPU as a coprocessor. At least my computer is usable on a basic level during renders now. Before the iGPU rendering was eating up all my CPU time and causing the rest of my system to grind to a halt. I'm thinking, if I go through with this second GPU business, that I'll get a cheap 3050 or 3060 once the low end 40-series cards come out. GPU prices are approaching sane again, so my main concern is whether my 650 watt power supply can handle it. It's a quality unit and most of the cards I've looked at still leave my total system power at under 600 watts, so I expect it should be fine, but that's still cutting a little closer than I'd like.

I had to add bot protection to my guestbook a couple days ago. Adding a basic test wasn't hard, but I was hoping I wouldn't have to do it. I checked my guestbook that day to find 67 new entries of obvious spam. I do think it was funny that the spam entries were full of BBCode. Not sure why they expected a majority of their targets to support that in the proprietary corporate hellscape that is the modern internet.

I tried live streaming a couple times recently. I played Noita. To quote one of the webcomics of all time, I am NOT VERY GOOD AT IT. Both streaming and Noita.

In other news, I've realized my neighborhood resembles an [FUNNY MEME] on the street map. I'm not gonna show a picture for obvious reasons, so you'll just have to take my word for it that it's very funny.

2022-10-06

Pretty cool day today. A while back I ordered an internal USB card for my computer that purports to allow remote control of the power and reset buttons, and it arrived today. I had some problems initially upon installing it where it was behaving in a weird and unpredictable way, but it turns out I had overtightened the screw on the back of the remote while installing the battery, which had caused the reset button to be held down, and loosening it fixed everything.

While looking into the new Intel GPUs that are releasing soon, I incidentally learned that my AMD GPU is actually pretty terrible for rendering in Blender relative to basically everything else. Could have done with that information several months ago. Maybe I'll look into getting a cheap Nvidia card for only rendering once the 40-series comes out and everything else (hopefully) drops in price. At least it's good for gaming.

2022-10-01

Why is it October? That's ridiculous. It's not time for October yet.

I've been working on that music video I mentioned in... uh... July. I'd be lying if I said I thought I was making good progress, but I'm certainly making progress. Here's some pictures:

Pictures
A low-poly 3D render of a robotic arm mounted on a vertical rail A low-poly 3D render of a quadcopter-style drone carrying a cube with "CRATE" crudely scrawled on the front A low-poly 3D render of a wall-mounted camera with a glowing green light below the lens And a partial test render:

I've registered for an online college computer science program. I'm planning to start with one course, then see if I want to keep going and do a 1-year diploma, then after that see if I want to keep going some more and do a whole degree. Thanking my lucky stars I already have a way to pay for it lined up. God damn is this shit expensive.

2022-09-19

Publishing a new blog post right now. It's a special celebratory post for the second anniversary of my other website. The anniversary was actually yesterday, but the forces of procrastination were simply too powerful.

I bought ULTRAKILL a few days ago and I've been playing the absolute shit out of it. Like, probably too much. It's been eight days and I've played for almost 50 hours and P-ranked almost all of Act 1. I'm not normal about this videogame. You should play it right now.

I've been thinking about ways to make my computer's RGB lighting behave the way I want. Right now it just stays on whenever the computer has power unless I shut it off, which I've configured systemd to do for me, but I'd prefer it to behave more like an extension of my system's power LED, turning off automatically when the system is off or in sleep mode. I really hope there's some easy way to do it in software that I've missed and I don't have to figure out how to rig up my own janky solution with relays or some crap. That does sound fun though.

2022-09-13

Happy birthday to me! I turned 20 today. I had a bunch of stuff to do today for unrelated reasons. I am very tired.

2022-09-11

Another entry in the overclocking saga. I've pushed my CPU another half a GHz with no problems, but more importantly, I discovered what was actually wrong with my RAM! I thought it was just partially incompatible with my CPU, but it turns out my motherboard BIOS was almost two years out of date, and updating it fixed the problem! I've seen a 2-second improvement in my render times in the Blender BMW CPU benchmark.

2022-09-05

Overclocked my CPU today! Admittedly, I pretty much blindly followed a guide for my specific CPU on Youtube. But it seems to have worked! It didn't change my performance in Blender CPU rendering even slightly, but it runs somewhat hotter now and my performance in Minecraft has noticeably improved. I wonder if I could push it further.

2022-08-30

Absolute linear time moment right now. It's almost September, and my birthday is in September, which means I'm almost In My 20s™, and none of that is fucking with me at all.

I drove some places today. I went downtown to attend some small event, but I was the only person who showed. Then I went to the mall to eat at the New York Fries there (Their "Bacon Double Cheese Poutine" doesn't even have gravy! Outrageous! Still good tho), then I went to go buy some bus tickets. I can drive now, but sometimes other people in the house need the car.

Each stop required that I navigate a parking lot, plus an extra bonus one to turn around in because I fucked up and exited one of them at a spot where I could only turn right, but needed to go left. For those keeping score at home, that's four total parking lots in one day. I also slipped and fell in some mud in one of them. Based on today's experiences, I can only conclude that parking lots are evil. They are the worst places to navigate both on foot and in a car. The more I use this thing, the more I feel like I shouldn't have to. At least the fries were good.

Still figuring out the whole "gender" business. No major progress on that front as yet.

Been thinking about home server stuff a lot. I kind of want to try to convert my laptop into some kind of fucked up chimera of a storage server. Disable the chassis intrusion detector, mount the mainboard in a desktop/server case somehow, massively upgrade the storage, maybe try and source one of those sketchy NVMe to SATA HBAs. Obviously couldn't power the drives off the laptop though. Anyway, could be fun if I don't blow everything up in the process.

I also built a guestbook for my website the other day. I learned a lot of PHP doing that. I do want to deprecate the cbox channel now, because it sees basically no use and I'd like to cut down on JavaScript.

I think these posts might be getting a little too long.

2022-08-24

I've been having fun with various networking nonsense of late. To start, I finally got that SearXNG instance up and running. The issue originally was that I tried to run it in a Docker container, but it was listening on the HTTP ports so I couldn't run my website at the same time. Then I tried installing it normally, but something broke and it didn't want to work. I guess the installation instructions got updated recently, because I followed the guide again and it worked this time. No more search engine privacy drama for me!

After that I decided I wanted to start self-hosting a Minecraft server I run, at the time hosted on a Shockbyte server I was renting. I had an old gaming laptop laying around collecting dust that was more than up to the task, the only problem was my home network. See, I live with my parents, and naturally they're in charge of the home network setup. I'm not convinced they'd be willing to let me mess around willy-nilly with the router settings. And even if I could, it's behind some weird mesh WiFi network with its OWN management interface I don't know the login to.

Luckily, there was a way I could circumvent all this mess entirely: WireGuard. If I could connect, say, an external VPS to my laptop with a VPN, I could forward Minecraft traffic to it without having to care in the slightest about my home network! So naturally I didn't hesitate to install WireGuard and look up a guide on how to configure it. It was easier than I expected, funny enough. The main problem I ran into was that WireGuard is configured (sanely) by default to close the connection if the client doesn't send any packets for a bit, so I had to dig around in the config files to fix that if I wanted it accessible from the internet.

It worked great! As a bonus, my laptop is still accessible via LAN, so I can now connect to the Minecraft server directly from across my desk for ping times in the same order of magnitude as my monitors. With all this stuff running on my VPS now, I needed to upgrade from the $5 base plan. Fortunately, I now had a freshly-made-redundant Minecraft server rental I could cancel to free up the necessary funds.

Finally, I've installed Termux on my phone. I can now SSH into my computer to save Youtube videos with yt-dlp from anywhere in the house! I was worryingly enthused about that when I got it set up. I think I have problems.

2022-08-17

I've had my driver's license for a few days now. I've even driven a couple of places... independently! It's proving to be significantly less terrifying than I was expecting, they said, jinxing themself.

Yeah, about that bit at the end there. The short version is, I'm no longer certain of my gender. You'd know this already if you've been poking around my site of late; I've taken quite a while to actually properly write about it. I guess I just felt weird about making it "official" by discussing it, so to speak. Anyway, I've started using he/they as opposed to the default he/him in spaces where I feel comfortable doing so, like here. Just to try it out. Seeing how I like it. Gathering data, et cetera. We'll see how it works out. Gender is hard.

Oh, and the car's fine, by the way. We think there was a broken seal somewhere in the power steeing system. The repair was expensive.

2022-08-12

It's been an exciting 24 hours. I'm actually just about over this cold, it seems, for one. Also, I took my driver's exam today! I passed with 60 out of a possible 75 demerit points. Not phenomenal, but good enough! I am now officially a licensed driver! I smelled steering fluid during the parking section of the test though, so we took the family car I took it in to a mechanic immediately after. Fun stuff. In nicer news, we celebrated with ice cream cake afterwards!

I also set up a fediverse instance on my server today. Since quitting twitter, I've been sorely missing a place to post my banger tweets. My account is @will@social.isopod.cool if you're interested. I went with Pleroma because I'd heard Mastodon might be too heavy for my weak little VPS. I'm glad I did, because even Pleroma is seemingly the most resource-hungry thing on my server thus far. It uses almost as much RAM as everything else (read: my website and an XMPP server I don't use because I can't make file sharing work) put together.

The thing was surprisingly easy to set up. This coming from someone who unironically calls Minecraft redstone stuff "simple", but still. I followed this guide and the process was shockingly smooth and painless, relatively speaking. Not like the time I tried to run a SearX instance. That sucked.

2022-08-08

I've just about gotten over this cold. I've had nothing but a mild cough and runny nose for days now.

I took my last of several driving lessons today. I've got the exam to get my license scheduled in a few days and by the looks of it, there's a non-zero chance I'll pass! Very excited to be able to run errands for my parents.

2022-08-02

Small update to say I've tested negative for covid! What a goddamn relief. At the risk of tempting fate, I seem to be getting better, too. Had to cancel an event I was going to today because I'm sick, though.

Also, according to the weather forecast, temperatures are supposed to be, like, sane for at least the next week! Hell yeah!

2022-08-01

In an entry from 11 days ago I said I felt like it was supposed to still be June. It has since been at least a month. Somehow, it's also only been like a day since I updated this thing. Also somehow, it definitely shouldn't be August yet.

I'm diseased! Can't say whether it's the same thing everyone else had a couple entries back. Still just really hoping it isn't covid. It's been pretty mild so far, fortunately (knock on wood 🤜🪵).

I've moved my website onto a VPS I'm renting. No real problem with Neocities, I just really wanted to experiment with server-side stuff. No longer do you need to have Javascript enabled to see the silly little randomized subheader on my landing page. I intend to get a guestbook set up as well, now that I don't need to rely on a third party for it.

I've also moved domains. It's isopod.cool now! The old link still works, though. My website is linked in a few places now and I didn't want to break anything. That's another major reason I had to leave Neocities. I could point two domains to my Neocities site, but only one of them would have been able to have SSL, and that is simply not acceptable.

2022-07-26

My parents replaced the modem in the house today. The one we had was apparently really old and grandfathered in from our previous internet plan, and it turns out it was bottlenecking the bandwith to the entire house by something like TENFOLD. We went from 30Mb down to 300. This means we've been getting 10% of our (their) money's worth on broadband for YEARS. I am both upset and excited about this development.

My parents have also convinced me to watch The Office with them. We're three episodes in and I've had enough second-hand embarrassment for a whole month.

2022-07-25

I haven't gotten sick yet, so that's good.

I've been trying to distance myself from larger social medias lately. I pretty much went cold turkey on Twitter a while back, and I've been cutting down on the time I spend on Tumblr recently as well. I may write a blog post about this soon. I also joined a small forum recently. So far it's much more pleasant than any social media I've used. On the off-chance you found my site from there, hi!

I've decided to learn Rust. It's certainly different. Still don't know how to declare a string.

2022-07-22

Today I remembered this old XFCE theming website I used to frequent (and even contribute to!) back when I was very young and running Linux on a Chromebook. I went there and it's since been brutally KILLED and replaced with a Pling site... What has this world come to... R.I.P. xfce-look.org.

Everybody in my house but me seems to be sick with... something. Here's hoping it's not another round of covid. My mom is confident that it isn't, but I'm not so sure. 3 vaccines weren't enough to stop it the first time and apparently it can seriously damage your immune system - If I get it again, it'll probably be even worse.

In other news, I got lunch from my favourite sandwich joint today. Wore a mask, of course. We should never have stopped wearing those. Anyway, the sandwich was good. I got my usual order: ham + turkey + salami with smoked cheddar cheese and mayo + mustard and cucumbers on a kaiser bun (they've been out of my preferred dutch crunch bread for like the past few months). Of everything in my city, that place will be the thing I miss the most when we move by a good long way.

2022-07-21

It feels like it shouldn't be this late in the month. Isn't it supposed to still be June?

Anyway, I'm just about done a song I've been working on! Love it when that happens. I should do that more often. I've got some fun ideas for the music video I wanna make for it, too.

2022-07-18

Making the page I mentioned in the previous entry is taking longer than anticipated. I've been really tired recently for some reason. Part of me is blaming it on the heat, but it's possible that the complete degradation of my sleep schedule of late could be playing a part. Y'know, being unemployed and all.

I had a dream last night where I got a really good deal on a used graphics card. I don't know what that says about me.

2022-07-16

I hate summer. It's too hot. It's been in the high 20's to low 30's Celsius almost every day for the past few weeks and I'm sick of it!!! I'm Canadian, I wasn't built for this!! One benefit, though, is the vastly increased volume of cool bugs.

I'm working on a page for my website about software I use. Well, really I've been scrolling Tumblr with the blank HTML document open on the other monitor. But you get the picture.

My home internet connection has been on the fritz today. I've been using my phone's mobile hotspot to connect to the internet on my computer. I chewed through something like a fifth of my monthly data cap doing that.

2022-07-15

Had a bit of a scare this morning when I went to turn on my computer and the POST kept failing at the graphics card I overpaid for in March. Fortunately I re-seated it and everything was fine. In other news, today I learned that one of Ryzen's many idiosyncracies is that it will turbo super hard under almost any load at all if it thinks it can get away with it, so my CPU temps can skyrocket like fifteen degrees from as little as saving this document in VSCode.

2022-07-14

Instead of writing a new blog post, I have added an HTML Journal to my site. This will be a place for posts that are too short to warrant a blog post, but too long to be a status. For example:

I installed some RGB strips in my computer recently! Well, one RGB strip. I bought two, but they were both a meter long and I seem to have underestimated just how long that is. When I built the computer, I figured I didn't need RGB, so I went out of my way a little to avoid it and then I realized that the glass panel on my case was tinted so I couldn't even see in. Hence the RGB strip, because I didn't want to spend money replacing perfectly good parts with ones that light up. I've got the strip crammed in a gap next to the wall of the case where it's blocked from direct view so that it just illuminates the inside and doesn't shine in my face. Here's a picture:

It's not exactly radiant compared to some other peoples' setups, but I like it. It's subtler.

Cool, right? I've retrofitted the blog post list to be compliant with HTML Journal's fresh new sister spec, HTML Blog, as well, mainly for the automatic feed generation it offers.