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Irregular Journal Entries

Journal, dated "April Summer 2019" with a page from March stapled to the inside cover

05/12

Got a spare moment to write a journal entry that isn't about the website. It's hard to find the time between work and no-selling trespassing ghost hunters.

Something's wrong with gnome-keyring, and Synaptic and other graphical applications have no admin access through Xfce. Basically, I need to either recompile Xfce or learn to use the terminal, which I should be doing anyway. The hesitation comes partly from destroying my first build of Ubuntu by misunderstanding how "mv" works and moving the entire /usr directory to /home. Folding one brain lobe into another would make me kernel panic, too.

I have yet to really test this graphics card and its power under Linux. Stellaris runs real smooth on High graphics where it would slow down a bit on Medium in the later game, but it's a game with relatively little to render as opposed to, say, Planet Coaster, the final frontier (hah) of GNU/Linux gaming performance: a modern, non-native game with lots of textures, player-built content, and physics calculations, all pushed through unverified Proton setups like milkshakes through crazy straws. Also, I may have to restart my Stellaris save depending on whether I remembered to back it up. The Kaanites will live on in my heart either way. Or I'll just remake them.

Speaking of games, I picked up Hypnospace Outlaw. What actually sold it for me was hearing the first thirty seconds of the soundtrack and reading that it would eventually be able to support custom webpages so I can spiritually spend yet more time on Neocities. Part of me wishes I had the Internet as a youngling - apparently my parents had it but my computer was never connected for both safety concerns and because wireless connections weren't practical yet. Imagine if I got to experience the tail end of the Geocities era and swap only the awesomest GIFs of dragons and fire while chatting on AIM and/or IRC about Descent (not Quake and Doom, too violent for the little ones I guess), then plastering my webspace with all the latest so my pals and my webring can stay updated.

The Internet helped break me out of a shell I'd had until maybe college. For all the vague speculation about how I would be different, I can at least guess I'd have more confidence in approaching social situations, both online and in meatspace. Everything else is just that: speculation. I shouldn't get hung up on it. These kinds of personal pages are fascinating regardless of whether I have special attachment to the aesthetic. It matters more that it's genuine.

05/09

I never realized getting a new graphics card for my gaming PC would be so much trouble. Short version: Apt would rather gut Xubuntu than install AMD drivers in it, so now I guess I'm running vanilla Ubuntu 18.04 with Xfce as the DE. And yes, they're the proprietary drivers. My desktop has become my mission-critical machine ever since my main laptop started having issues with the router, and I'm too stubborn to return it just because the penguin won't play ball with Mesa. Stallman would be disappointed in me - well, more so.

The Computing page got a subpage and I'm trying to decide how to handle navigation. The sidebar makes the site mobile- and text-browser-unfriendly, and every additional item increases the minimum resolution required to navigate the entire site. Also trying to avoid overly fancy formatting so the site is maximally compatible with most browsers.

This update took forever partly because of the graphics card debacle and partly because apparently I can't just do a content update, oh no, I have to improve the site as well. I hope to just do some writing next time - Media looks real neglected right now anyway.

04/15

Recently worked on one of my netbooks at my local library and reconnected with an old friend from high school. Not a bad two weeks.

Originally I was planning on moving next month, but I can see I'm not prepared financially for that - have to pay off some witnesses debt first. This means I'll probably start work on restoring the old parts in my closet soon, starting with taking inventory and cleaning all the crap off the chips. I'm really afraid they've been sitting too long like that and got corroded or something, hopefully this turns out not to be the case. In any event, I hope to revive at least one salvaged PC this spring/summer.

03/31

Got trapped in a mystical PDA by some guy in a ridiculous outfit who thought he could use my "power" to conquer the world. Took the hero a couple months to rescue me. I think I'm supposed to help him save the world or something, but all I can do is fix computers and forget to update webspaces.

I feel bad for being away for so long, and I can't say I've been busy every single day. The busiest I've been was completely ditching Windows for Linux (Xubuntu on the desktop, Linux Mint still on the laptop) and seeing how many of my Steam games work with Proton. This might actually be a good subject for a longer essay or a recurring page: my experiences with moving completely to Linux. I'll give it some thought.

Journal, dated "January 2019"

01/15

Computing is live! Exciting, but I need sleep. Ghosts get tired, too.

01/06

While thinking about what I want to do with the site, I remembered that I could dump all of my computer-tinkering progress here as well as a nice, loud endorsement of free software. To that end, I have started work on a Computing page which will feature:

But why, other than making website content? I realize I spend a lot of time being lazy and playing video games - and that's not bad in itself, but it's grown excessive lately. I want to commit to learning new things and improving my skills. Hardly a SMART goal, but there you go.

The page should have some decent content on it well before month-end. I expect to publish it in the next update.

01/03

The holidays are over and done with, I got some new games, and I'll have more time to update the site between gaming sessions. It's also only one more year until 2020, my go-to year for drafts of near-future stories, yet there won't be radical hoverboards (not the two-wheeled kind) or any big, sprawling virtual worlds to be explored in VR - and I mean truly explored, as in finding things even the administrators/developers never knew existed. Second Life is the closest we have right now, I think. Not that it really surprises me, since the idea of a virtual world as a place to be doesn't mesh with how we normally use software to accomplish tasks: Discord allows us to communicate and video games provide entertainment, as opposed to a single program we use to be, but as a virtual self. It has some interesting merits and applications, though, and I think that will be more apparent in the future.

For now, all is not lost - we do still have time to see if Shadowrun becomes a reality.

Journal, dated "December 2018"

12/09

Really just reiterating the update news here, but I went with a totally different design. Maybe I just like this better because I made nav buttons for it instead of the bare text links I had before. It's at least more fulfilling this way.

I made a button for The Window's homepage, if you check the Links section. The window graphic lends itself pretty well to the design, in my opinion.

12/08

I had a sudden impulse to go back to Neocities and reboot the website I abandoned so long ago, though all I had in the way of a new design was one I'd been tinkering with in the meantime, and I don't know if I'll stick with it now.

The idea was to make it resemble a Windows 9X setup screen - not the gradient background, the other one. I think this is about what it looked like. Either way, I wanted dark, cool colors to be the mainstay in the palette, and it had to be something simple anyone could load. The design I had in my drafts folder will do for now.