Wanted: Audio interface recommendations

So, my trusty Presonus Firestudio Project is starting to give up the ghost, and it looks like the new macOS Mojave won’t support it anyway. And it’s my last bit of Firewire hardware so I’d might as well come limping along into the USB era, right?

UPDATE: It looks like I still have some time with this 10-year-old interface. Phew.

Oh my gosh!

Hey guess what!

I added a new feature to Publ! It lets you wrap text closely around images that are floated, via a CSS attribute which is pretty widely-supported but kind of annoying to deal with. Which is to say that Publ itself isn’t really doing all that much work here but it was easy to add some plumbing into it to make the browser able to do all the work for you. (So far the only entries on my site using this function are this one and the GRS article which I updated to use it a little bit.)

It’s kind of neat, so please check it out.

Well that’s one way to do a load test

So, today my ActivityPub rant made the front page of Hacker News. I’m happy to say that as far as I can tell, Publ didn’t fall over at all, not even during the initial surge of activity (or at least, Apache never recorded any gateway failures or the like).

I mean, it isn’t too surprising, considering that pretty much any “hot” page or asset is going to live in an in-process cache and require basically no processing at all, but it’s still cool to see.

Linus, empathy, and growth

So, for those who haven’t seen the news, Linus Torvalds has apologized for his community behavior and is taking steps to be more professional and empathic.

I am very glad to see this change from him, and I really hope that he’s able to take this opportunity to grow and set a new example to the F/OSS community, making it a more welcoming, friendly place.

Prime Wardrobe: what the heck is the point?

So, I’ve been trying to find some nice dress shoes. I have pretty big feet for someone of my height and gender, so local shoe stores never actually have anything in my size in a style that I like. So, for this I still use Amazon, since I still have Prime for the next month or so anyway. (I do not plan on renewing after this year.)

One thing that Amazon keeps on pushing is Prime Wardrobe, where they heavily advertise that with a Prime membership you can now try-before-you-buy and have 7 days to decide which things to keep. Which is already a bit silly because with normal Prime you already have something like 30 days to return a thing you don’t want.

The Legend of Korok: Breath of the Orcastraw

Of all the streamers I follow on Twitch, my favorite by far is Orcastraw (Kaitlyn). She maintains an amazing community of chill, accepting people, and has the most positive (and well-moderated) Twitch chat I’ve ever seen. She first came to my attention when she was the first to run Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at Games Done Quick, and she had the BotW Any% world record for around a month shortly after that (and even a year later her record-setting run is still 6th place overall). Her attitude is what even got me interested in watching Twitch regularly, running my own occasional stream, and even becoming more confident in my own gender presentation. Basically, she’s pretty neat and is worth watching if you’re into this sort of thing.

Recently she started making streaming her main source of income, meaning that her livelihood depends primarily on viewer donations. As part of her September donation drive, she offered an incentive: at the $250 mark she would do an all-Koroks run of BotW. Read more… Admiralo Island Witches Club demo So you might be wondering what I’ve been working on, and haven’t been following my Patreon or whatever. Well, in addition to working on my usual variety of personal projects (even slowly progressing on Lewi), I’ve also been making soundtracks for other peoples' games. One of those games is Admiralo Island Witches Club, a rather lovely visual novel in progress. The demo was just released today and while it’s just an introduction to the settings and characters, what’s there is really nice and I’m also very proud of the music I made (even though I want to change, like, everything about it). Anyway, please check it out and leave cloverfirefly some nice comments on the game page. (And check out her other games too, while you’re at it! They’re good! I especially recommend Convergence.) Federated video streaming From the recently announced changes to Twitch prime, people are, understandably, upset about Twitch changing their monetization strategy, and are, predictably, wondering about the possibility of making a federated live-streaming platform. The good news is that all of the stuff necessary to make federated live streaming happen already exist and wouldn’t be even all that hard to build. The bad news is that it’ll probably be expensive to do well. Read more… ActivityPub hot take Most use cases of ActivityPub would be better off as Atom or RSS feeds. Read more… Con report: Kobe-Kon 2018 This past weekend I participated in Kobe-Kon, also known as Kobekon, Kobe Konvention, Kobe Convention, and Kobekon Seattle. It takes place in Everett, WA. Kobe-Kon is primarily an anime convention, but the Seattle Indies got a room for indie development outreach and games demonstration, and wanting to participate I got a table to show off my games Refactor and CATcher. Fellow exhibitors were Laughing Manatee Games, djbeardo, Ashley Rivas, Masha and Dustin Soodak, cloverfirefly, kz, and the Buoyancy team. Because of the experiences I had I felt it would be helpful to other people to provide a write-up for future reference. Read more… On sharing wrist advice Hi, you may have seen some of my pained ramblings about my chronic pain and have decided to offer some advice. Maybe I was venting on social media, or perhaps I wrote something on a forum a few days/months/years ago that you want to help with. While I do appreciate the sentiment, there are a few things you should consider before messaging me with your solutions to my problems! First of all, I have been dealing with these problems since 1996. My wrist problems are old enough to drink. Statistically-speaking, I have probably been working on this since before you were programming, or using computers, or maybe even before you were born. Second, I have written extensively about wrist problems and the treatments thereof. For example, I’ve written about my ergonomic setup, my self-care regimen, and about many of the problems with trying to get help. And that’s just what’s on my new site – I had quite a bit more on my old blog before I tore it down in a fit of pique a few months ago. Perhaps you want to let me know about that Python programmer who used voice dictation, or that game programmer who used voice dictation and eye tracking, or that accessibility software that lets people type without their fingers. I am aware of them! They also aren’t solutions which help me with my problems; among what I do, writing code is actually not a very large component of it, and my approach to making things requires much more iteration and (so to speak) hands-on processes which aren’t easy to capture in voice dictation. Also, until there’s software that allows me to draw, or control a piano, guitar, or multitrack DAW software with my voice – and is also smart enough to rule out background noises and conversations with my cats – voice software at its best can only scratch the surface of the assistance I need. (Gaze tracking isn’t an answer either.) And yes, I am also aware of software that can convert humming into notation! Logic actually comes with some built in. That stuff I actually do use somewhat, but its utility is still limited and, again, only scratches the surface of what’s necessary for music production. It won’t twiddle the knobs or set up my LFOs or even do basic effect routing for me. And I still have to clean all the notes up afterward anyway. I also spend a significant amount of time helping other people with their code and performing code reviews and sharing best practices; when I am trying to help someone else who doesn’t know how to program very well, I can’t simply talk to them at a high level about how they should be doing it, since if they were on that level I probably wouldn’t be assisting them in the first place. Perhaps you just want to share your story about what worked for you/your spouse/some random person you met on the bus. I’m very glad that it worked for you/your spouse/some random person you met on the bus! But it’s probably stuff I’ve heard before or tried already. And explaining that repeatedly doesn’t exactly help with my wrists either. Also, I know this reponse may seem a bit grumpy; after all, you were only trying to help. It is difficult for me to remain civil, cheerful, and patient when I am constantly at a 7 or 8 on the Mankoski pain scale, which is when I am most likely to be venting about these problems in the first place. So, again, thank you for wanting to share your advice, but please be aware of the greater context first. Wrist wrest My current wrist care regimen, which is… well, slowly helping me to not be in quite so much pain (more slowly than I’d like): • Using Time Out with the following breaks set up (in decreasing priority order): • Get to bed: break for 4 minutes every 19 minutes, between 1 AM and 6 AM • Normal: break for 3 minutes every 20 minutes, all day long; only allow 3 1-minute postponements per day, and show the postpone count • Micro: break for 10 seconds every 4 minutes • Exercise: 5 minutes every hour, all day long; only allow 3 5-minute postponements per day, and show the postpone count. Randomly selects one of a few different wrist- and core-strength exercises for me to do. • During a normal or get to bed break, do one of the following: • Clean something • Do some dishes • Spin a powerball • Stretches • Squish some putty • Don’t worry about not getting stuff done • Type exclusively using a keyboard.io while (sometimes) wearing padded wrist braces • Every time I walk through my office door, do some chin-ups • Actually drink plenty of water and do stretches • Remember that it isn’t a race (For Windows and Linux users, the closest equivalent to Time Out is Workrave although it has plenty of problems.) Smart phones, smart watches, what’s next, a smart bed? Lately my sleep has been pretty much garbage, and I probably need a sleep study. But sleep studies are expensive and a lot of hassle to maybe find out nothing’s actually wrong, so in the meantime I got a sleep tracker kit. Read more… Dysphoria Discourse There has been yet another explosion of discourse over on Trans Twitter as a result of a couple of prominent people talking about their beliefs regarding dysphoria and what it means to be “really” trans. The term “transmed” has come about, as an attempt at a more “gentle” form of what many folks call “truscum,” namely that you must feel dysphoria to be Really Trans, and that the end goal absolutely must be a “proper” transition, which is such an incredibly reductive, prescriptive, and invalidating set of concepts that it does much more harm than good to people who are already having difficulty questioning themselves and need support and compassion to figure out where they stand and what they need. The problem with discussing dysphoria is that it’s such an ineffable, subjective concept that it’s impossible for two people to even agree on what it is – hell, it’s difficult for one person to agree on what it is – and it can also refer to so many things, many of which overshadow each other and behave in confusing ways, and thus how can any objective criterion be formed based on what essentially comes down to what someone’s feeling? Read more… On chronic pain Note: While reading this you may be tempted to give me advice on things to help with chronic pain or wrist problems. Believe me when I say I have almost certainly heard it before, and I am not interested in advice; I simply want to help spread understanding. I have, since my late teenage years, had chronic pain in both wrists, a result of heavy computer use that started when I was very young. I was fascinated by computers and absolutely determined to become an expert at everything that could be done on them; this drive led me to many spans of overworking as I tried to do everything I could in as short a time as I could. This obsessiveness combined with poor ergonomic practices led to a slow buildup of nerve adhesions and chronic tendinitis. Read more… My useless thoughts on Microsoft GitHub A lot has been written about the impending buyout of GitHub by Microsoft. As a regular user of the former and not much of a user of the latter, people would probably expect me to be against this happening, but my feelings on it are largely positive. And this comes from someone who used to refer to them as “M$!” (All I can say is I’ve grown a lot since the 90s.)

Wow, another silly meta update about this new site, go figure. I should probably come up with something more substantial to say, but this is pretty much all I have to talk about right now.

My Dreamhost exit survey

This feels like the end of an era, after I spent so long recommending them and trying to make the best of their services even over the last few years.

RIP, my Dreamhost hosting plan (June 2007—June 2011).