foone Profile picture
20 Feb, 18 tweets, 3 min read
My follower countizer is back online.
I had to take it down for a while as I'd borrowed some parts for another project and then because I attempted (and failed) to switch to a raspi zero, but it's back as-is.
and I'm gonna set up a livestream sort of thing soon.
amusingly one of the five problems I had trying to set it back up was that one of the two SSDs had failed.

Surprisingly, it wasn't the one from the 90s. The microSD card in the raspi wasn't working!
I also had an amusing problem where it wasn't working, so I was trying to diagnose the issue on the QBASIC/hardware side, and I ran my "send random numbers at it" thing to quickly update it, for easier testing
I checked all kinds of issues in qbasic, swapped through several rs232 adapters, then I figured it might be a sort of problem on the rapsi side: maybe switching the usb adapter around reset some settings?
so I was hacking on the send-random-numbers program to make sure it was sending in the correct format (baud rate 300, 8,n,1, no hardware or software flow control) when I realized that the last time I used that program I tested overflow behavior
and made it send a number 256 characters long

which of course crashes the qbasic code as it tries and fails to render a number too big to fit on screen
so I happily discovered that one of the reasons it was crashing was that I was running the "try to crash it" program
so there's like three things I may do before it hits 100k:
1. modify the font again so I have some line drawing characters and can smooth out the letters. (I'm not sure this is worth it, so I may not)
2. add a livestream cam.
this is the most likely to actually happen
and 3:
integrate a never-gonna-give-you-up video into it.
an ASCII one, obviously.
it's already set up to play the PC Speaker melody of Never Gonna Give You Up:
but combining it with visuals would be neat.
This is a fast 486 so it should easily be able to push text fast enough to do a decent ascii video, just probably not in QBasic.
So I'll probably have to do it as a C program, which QBasic will just trigger at the right time.
the one big limitation I may run into with my improvement plans is that the system only has a 1mb SSD and another 1.44mb of slow floppy disk storage.
So not only do I have to encode rickroll such that it'll fit into a 80x50 ASCII art stream, I also have to make sure it'll fit into the remaining storage
someone did give me an ASCII-art version of rickroll (which I can't use directly, because it's actually ANSI art) but it is 5mb for the whole video, even as text!
I could add a hard drive to the machine but that seems like cheating.

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More from @Foone

22 Feb
one of my favorite things about being someone who whines a lot on twitter about their computer problems and has a bad memory is that often when I hit a problem I vaguely remember hitting before, I just need to search my own tweets to figure out the solution
for example, today I was annoyed this linux machine was using a graphical console instead of raw VGA text mode.
turns out I have complained about that before and figured out a solution:
it's not fully working because grub is trying too hard to put itself into a graphical mode BUT I WILL STOP IT
Read 4 tweets
21 Feb
gotta love downloading an LONG TERM SUPPORT linux distro and it's supposed all the way up until... two months from now Image
I probably should have clarified: this is xubuntu.
They support the LTS releases for 3 years instead of 5 Image
two months until I have to switch to raw debian to get a linux distribution that is still 32bit
Read 4 tweets
21 Feb
I'm seeing a lot of companies coming out with new products intended to make life under the pandemic a little better and safer and I think it's time I get in on that business.
It's a simple device, basically a magaphone but with no microphone on the end, just a button.
that's all it does. it may seem silly and pointless but on the other hand I could have used it at least five times in the last two days
Read 5 tweets
21 Feb
Question: I'm not familiar with streaming platforms. What's a good place to stick a "boring" stream of a number on a screen counting up?
Bonus points if it's easy to stream to from a raspi.
Basically my main worry is that it'll get kicked off l places like twitch for ToS violation
Read 6 tweets
21 Feb
My second most hated part of the self checkout experience is the helpful "please take your items" reminder.
Firstly it's just silly who needs to be reminded of this? Who shops, collects a bunch of items, takes them to the self checkout, scans them, pays for them, then forgets what they are doing and fails to take their newly purchased items?
I zoned out enough to tweet about my ADHD test while I was taken it, and even I am not that distractable/forgetful
Read 31 tweets
21 Feb
LRT: Computers were invented for exactly two reasons:
1. To kill Nazis
2. To play tennis

And for most of their lifetime, we had run out of nazis
You could argue that the LRT implies it's actually three reasons, with "play Star Trek Games" being #3, but don't let's be silly.
Even Spacewar, the quintessential "first game" of space combat, predates Star Trek.
I'd argue that tennis is actually reason #3 and #2 is "be gay, do crimes"
But someone asked Turing "but Al, what are you gonna do after your 'compu-tor' device kills all the Nazis?"

Alan Turing, visibly sweating: "uhhh.... play tennis?"
Read 16 tweets

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