ソーラーバードーのほん: Life in the Convergence Zone [entries|friends|calendar]


Solarbird

[ about | Solarbird's profile ]
[ my studio | supervillain central ]
[ steal this | the free music set ]
[ subsets | fascism watch writings flowers leaves photos calendar ]
[ noncompliance | this journal is operated specifically in violation of sup tos ]

introducing the new intel 64's latest accessory
[22 Mar 2019|06:18pm]

[ mood | pleased ]

Remember that iNTEL64 nonsense I came up with? The Cartridge Computing System, from an alternate-history where cartridges never stopped being a thing? And of course I built one, partly because I like physical artefacts from alternate universes, but mostly to solve an actual problem.

Anyway, the primary 'cartridge port' has been a separate external unit (because it's really just an eSATA external drive harness), and that meant a separate power switch and separate power cable and separate data cable and all that.

So I decided external cartridge ports were stupid and made an internal unit. Fits in any 5.25" drive bay. It also takes both modern (2.5" SSD) and older, larger cartridges (3.5" hard drives.) Anything SATA, really.

The hardest part was modifying the antique (and weird) Compaq case to look like it had a faceplate made for the iNTEL64 CCS standard. But once I had everything else, I just... had to. ^_^

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time to call
[22 Mar 2019|02:24pm]

[ mood | busy ]

Mueller's delivered his report to Atty. General Barr. Will we see it? WHO KNOWS?

CAP Action is demanding Mr. Barr make Mueller's full findings public, and requesting people call their senators now and demand full transparency.

Members of the House of Representatives also have to press to make sure Mueller was allowed to finish the probe on his own timeline, and... well. He was pressured on it, by the White House and the GOP, constantly. We need to know how much that affected his investigation.

(Congressional switchboard number: (202) 224-3121 - or you can look up your Senators' individual office numbers.)

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i heard the double It's High Noon and just prayed they were both nearby
[18 Mar 2019|10:28pm]

[ mood | pleased ]

I heard that doubled High Noon and just prayed they were both nearby...

...and they were. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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this absolutely needed to happen
[18 Mar 2019|08:45pm]

[ mood | excited ]


the original

I saw a guy wearing this licensed He-Man “‘SUP LADIES” tank top at the gym the other day, and laughed, but decided that She-Ra would suit that look much better and knew that I had to make it happen.


She-Ra Says Gay Rights

The art is my redraw of a canon publicity shot, so not really original to me. But this needed to happen. It just did. So I did it. Here're the same pictures, just bigger.

I've put the design up on Teespring and ordered two for myself. I think it qualifies as parody but I'm mostly hoping nobody there notices it until I get my tank tops. :D

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Widowmaker: downshift that riptire, junks
[18 Mar 2019|01:22am]

[ mood | pleased ]

This is mostly for the Junkrat ult. Stopped Reaper's die-die-die, took care of D.va, and then guessed right and hit the clutch shot on Junkrat's riptire. Feels good.

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The Arc of Conflict, Edda 14d: Whispers of an Avalanche
[17 Mar 2019|06:59pm]

[ mood | okay ]

Alliances, it has been said, are at their weakest on the brink of defeat, and on the brink of victory. After defeating the China Sea omnium, the gods of Oasis offered their help to Russia, to defeat their own Siberian threat, and Russia accepted that offer - but made additional secret plans of their own.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict
Edda 14d: Whispers of an Avalanche

solarbird and bzarcher

The last desperate efforts to preserve the peace. The rush to get the innocent out of harm’s way. The final snowflakes that land on the mountain.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict is a continuance of The Arc of Ascension, The Arc of Creation, and The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow the story as it appears, please subscribe to the series.

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baguette
[16 Mar 2019|04:04pm]

[ mood | pleased ]

I have discovered that I quite like baking baguettes. It's easy, you get to punch things, and then delicious bread comes out. I honestly don't know what else one could want.

I wonder if I would enjoy other forms of cooking more if they also involved punching ingredients until they turn into delicious food.

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Widowmaker: Let's stop the nonsense right now.
[11 Mar 2019|07:41pm]

[ mood | pleased ]

This was pretty much the only time we stopped them. I kept them stopped until they managed to kill me. After that, well, target one, and they cruised.

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Pharah: i cleared the board, now get on the fucking point
[11 Mar 2019|07:38pm]

[ mood | sleepy ]

This team, I mean... this team. It was one of those who went way too far forward at every opportunity and yet wouldn't get on the point - we took it the first time because it was clear and I was the only one willing to set foot on it - and where I knew, as soon as we lost the point, we weren't taking it again. And I was wrong, but only because of this. (I also killed the fifth of six enemy team after this clip ends.)

After this, they knew who to keep down, and won easily. But at least I got POTG.

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Widowmaker: clearing the board, her way
[11 Mar 2019|07:20pm]

[ mood | pleased ]

Let's make sure we completely clear this board, shall we?

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The Arc of Conflict, Fragment e14c,1: Backups and the need for them
[10 Mar 2019|07:33pm]

[ mood | sleepy ]

Alliances, it has been said, are at their weakest on the brink of defeat, and on the brink of victory. After defeating the China Sea omnium, the gods of Oasis offered their help to Russia, to defeat their own Siberian threat, and Russia accepted that offer - but made additional secret plans of their own.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict
Fragment e14c,1: Backups and the need for them

solarbird and bzarcher

It's been years since Sombra hung out with the rest of the Los Fantasmas hacker collective. She learned so much from them, and then, abruptly, left. But why?

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict is a continuance of The Arc of Ascension, The Arc of Creation, and The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow the story as it appears, please subscribe to the series.

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth. Please comment there.

my real life encounter with the metric inch
[07 Mar 2019|01:22pm]

Hm. That’s … not a half-bad album title, is it? File that one away… (⌒▽⌒)

Anyway, as you might tell from the last post, I’ve been doing a fair bit of studio maintenance lately, getting rid of redundant/obsolete cabling, finally making second-tier stuff that wasn’t working actually work, all that. And a very small part of that work has been fixing an issue I noticed when I started using the new sound-engineer position that I made viable a few months ago.

It’s not complicated: the studio computer monitors are on a post, mounted to the edge of the desk. It’s been fine. But when the monitors are rotated to face the new engineering location, it tilts a bit, and I’ve been thinking maybe it was tilting more lately. The edge of the desk is sturdy and there’s no damage that I can tell, but there is a gap between the overhang the clamp attaches to and the side of the desk, and what’s happening is that it’s flexing, and over time, it will break.

So the obvious solution is to get some wood to fill the gap. Then the edge won’t be able to flex, and the monitor post will stay straight up.

The funny thing was when I measured the gap, it was just under an inch. That’s a very annoying number for a variety of reasons, but I was like, well, whatever, I’ll sand something down.

And I went down to the shop to find some wood and was poking around seeking something close, when I noticed some old fake-wood recycled-plastic decking samples that I’d got and not used for anything, and when I measured them, they were 25mm exactly – just under an inch.

And measuring it in metric and getting 25mm exactly is what made me realise that it was one metric inch. (TL;DR – it was an old USSR standard for converting stolen technology, particularly computer technology, to make the math easier in conversion to metric. Instead of 25.4mm/inch, it was 25.0mm/inch exactly.)

So I sanded down a bit of the faux woodgrain (not included in the 25mm measurement) and checked the desk again and the gap was, in fact, 25mm, and with a little tapping with a hammer, the fill block I cut fits perfectly.

The post no longer leans, and I now have had a real-life encounter with that historic oddity, the metric inch.

That’s a checkbox item I didn’t even know was on the list and didn’t really need to be checked, but goddamn if I haven’t checked it. Go me. I guess.

Supervillain Studios

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Widowmaker: making myself known
[06 Mar 2019|12:34am]

[ mood | pleased ]

This was rather delightful. Unfortunately, after this, I was target number one and was the recipient of multiple solo-ults, and we lost. But it was still delightful.

In a later game I was opposite a Widowmaker I'd been playing with before, and she was beautifully brutal and the rest of her team was keeping me from getting to her, until I saw she was in a position I couldn't reach from where I was, but which I could target while in mid-air, and headshot her, and we took the first point.

Then I did it again, and she changed to Lúcio, and then Brigitte. I tried to say hello! But she wouldn't acknowledge me - except with her mace. (⌒▽⌒)

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The Arc of Conflict, Edda 14c: Questions of Balance
[03 Mar 2019|06:17pm]

[ mood | busy ]

Alliances, it has been said, are at their weakest on the brink of defeat, and on the brink of victory. After defeating the China Sea omnium, the gods of Oasis offered their help to Russia, to defeat their own Siberian threat, and Russia accepted that offer - but made additional secret plans of their own.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict
Edda 14c: Questions of Balance

solarbird and bzarcher

Who do you love?

Who do you protect?

Who do you believe in?

Who do you trust?

With the world on the brink, the balance begins to shift.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict is a continuance of The Arc of Ascension, The Arc of Creation, and The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow the story as it appears, please subscribe to the series.

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth. Please comment there.

shooty shooty silence
[02 Mar 2019|11:45am]

[ mood | confused ]

So I've been getting game controllers working on PC. Yes, I need to. I can't use mice. Deal with it, I have to.

And I had everything working, wired, including audio through the controller. It was brilliant! I even have a really long USB cable so I didn't mind all that much.

Then I tried going to bluetooth to verify that audio through the controller would not work. I expected it to fail (due to developer notes on the translation software I have to use to use a PS4-style controller on PC) and it did.

And then when I went back to wired, audio didn't want to work anymore. But after a lot of fucking around, I got audio working again! Yay!

...until you fire a weapon, at which point all audio cuts out. Even non-Overwatch audio. It just goes away. I admit, this is ... moderately hilarious. But it is tremendously inconvenient.

However, if I just use the PC's front panel audio - which I fixed, as per my last post - then it works fine, and I can use the controller wirelessly (via bluetooth) or wired (via USB). (Is there a performance advantage to USB vs. Bluetooth for games? I honestly don't know.)

Having to use the front panel would be moderately annoying except for the part where I have determined that the PC audio sounds better on the PC version for something having to do with how Windows is handling the USB audio interface inside the controller, and refusing to go above 32khz audio, vs. 48khz audio on the front panel.

So I think I will settle on this. My controller can be wireless, or not, and I can use front-panel audio, and it will do. I also managed to win a duel with the winning enemy Widowmaker in Petra Deathmatch FFA, controller vs. mouse, and get a highlight (tho' not POTG by any means) so while it is still very strange, I think it is... manageable.

But if anyone knows why firing a weapon in Overwatch would shut down audio to a USB audio device (without any errors, I should note, and it's system-wide, but comes back as soon as I change the volume, which, also, has not been reset to zero) please... tell me? Because honestly, that's just... mad. Also, if there is a known performance delta between Bluetooth and USB for games, let me know that as well, because I'm going to need all the help I can get!

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more adventures in computing
[01 Mar 2019|11:36am]

So, my digital audio workstation. The hub of any small/personal recording studio, the thing what lets you record and multitrack and all that.

I built this machine into an absolutely antique Compaq case, right? It was originally for an HP Compaq Presario SR1010NX, though nothing inside the case is original anymore. I used it because it was what I had and I had zero moneys when I started building this monster, and the studio as a whole. And the front panel USB ports and audio ports haven’t been working for a while.

Part of that has been the nature of the build. The front-panel audio hasn’t worked since I built it; the front-panel USB ports did work, until – for reasons I’ve discussed extensively in the past – I needed to disable the on-motherboard USB, and go with a higher-performance/different-chipset USB card.

I tried connecting one of the front USBs to an internal header on the card, got no result, ran a USB extension cable to the front, and didn’t bother digging further. Similarly, I’m not using the onboard audio for any actual work, so I’ve never bothered addressing that, either, except to run a 3.5mm microphone lead extension cable to the front, similar to the USB port.

And it stayed that way until last night, when I pulled the box out to install a long-cabled USB hub so I could have more than one front-facing port, and was reminded of exactly what a clusterfuck the cabling was back there. The rest of my studio’s cable management is quite tidy, really, but… behind the tower… wow, yeah, no. And when I pushed the machine back in place, I’d lost a monitor and my trackball to cable disconnects.

I’d also recently found a fanless Nvidia 1030 chipset card, which makes gaming on this machine… not an excellent experience, but a functional one. That means getting to more than one USB port started to matter – hence, the new USB hub.

And so, between all that, enough was enough. So I went at fixing the cable mess, got re-annoyed at all those extension cables thanks to 1) that’s just fugly and 2) that’s more cables, and decided I’d just do my damnedest to fix everything.

Cleaning up the cables was – well, tedious, but it let me position a sound baffle better, and that’s always nice. No more cables popping out when I slide the machine around. Problem one sorted.

After digging up more old documentation, I was finally able to get one (1) of the front-panel in-case USB ports going, off an internal header on the card. It turned out there were four(!) ways you could get this silently wrong, and I got it wrong in one of them. Now the upper built-in front port works fine, and – even better – is a true root device.

The second front-facing USB case port, I covered in electrical tape in a way that makes it effectively invisible, which is perfect. And the aforementioned new USB hub – which I plugged into the card, in back – is also up front, and looks much better than a straggly cable connected to the front of the case with endlessly-sticky velcro.

endlessly sticky velcro is just… ugh. i hate it so much.

Then, I figured out – with yet more ancient documentation pulled from websites – what the bloody hell was happening with the front audio panel.

So get this: this Compaq case, which shipped in the late 2000s, shipped with a front-facing audio header that used the AC97 header standard. That’s a standard from 1997, a.k.a. the previous century. They did that instead of using the HD Audio spec.

My motherboard, of course, uses the HD Audio spec.

So it’s utterly unsurprising that it never worked. The two are different, even thought the internal connectors are identical!

so mad. But!

There is a hax to deal with literally this, and if you dig enough, you can find it. It’s not even complicated – it’s a single registry edit in Windows 10, basically telling it to ignore the plug detection system because AC97 didn’t have that. But first, you have to figure out what the hell is going on, and that’s not so easy, because nothing in software will tell you what’s happening.

And I set it, now the front panel just works. It’s there, it’s active, and you can use it. Or, well, I can.

Very little of this matters, like, at all, for this machine’s primary uses. I don’t use the onboard audio for anything, really – though that’s changing now that I’ve got some Windows 10-based synth emulators, but even then, the onboard sound would be only for previews, and any music made will be straight to WAV files and imported over into the Linux DAW, never touching the onboard card. Because ugh.

But it’ll sure make BASHY BASHY easier in PC Overwatch, particularly with Overwatch’s weird issues talking to my microphone. I can just plug into the front panel and bypass the problem entirely.

And I think we all know that’s what really matters. (⌒▽⌒)

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Widowmaker: You must like me!
[26 Feb 2019|01:16am]

[ mood | pleased ]

Right out the gate, I made a few impressions. IN THEIR HEADS.

(Mercy helped. ^_^ )

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Widowmaker: ...I think Doomfist got mad
[25 Feb 2019|12:14pm]

[ mood | amused ]

Several good shots in here, and a balance of that with some decent Widowmaker:76 play, and a nice 9:1 k:d ratio. But really, I think the highlight is when most of the way through the game Doomfist decides he has just had it with me. He's just done with my bullshit.

So he comes charging in, left side flank, ignoring everyone else on my team (as I'm on the far opposite side) as they're shooting at him, and is by god going to cut me down. It's hilarious.

Spoiler: he doesn't.

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The Arc of Conflict, Text e14b,1: Weekend Update for Sunday, October 1st, 2079
[24 Feb 2019|05:24pm]

[ mood | good ]

Alliances, it has been said, are at their weakest on the brink of defeat, and on the brink of victory. After defeating the China Sea omnium, the gods of Oasis offered their help to Russia, to defeat their own Siberian threat, and Russia accepted that offer - but made additional secret plans of their own.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict
Text e14b,1: Weekend Update for Sunday, October 1st, 2079

solarbird and bzarcher

Ah, Sunday afternoon. A cup of coffee, a bowl of cereal, a couple of eggs, some toast, jam, and the latest headlines.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Conflict is a continuance of The Arc of Ascension, The Arc of Creation, and The Armourer and the Living Weapon. It will be told in a series of eddas, sagas, interludes, fragments, texts, and cantos, all of which serve their individual purposes. To follow the story as it appears, please subscribe to the series.

Also posted to ソ-ラ-バ-ド-のおん; comment count unavailable comments at Dreamwidth. Please comment there.

Widowmaker: salvaging a bad day at Blizzard World
[22 Feb 2019|11:16am]

[ mood | sleepy ]

This wasn't actually a very good game for me - I quit after we finished - but this was a very good three kills, at the very end. We went on to win.

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