Gravis, Part-Time 8-Bit Toaster Profile picture
queer | leftist | capitalism is a prison | hardware archaeologist | software anthropologist | he/him | =I HAVE A YOUTUBE CHANNEL=
Kat Bond Profile picture Jeremy Semeiks Profile picture 4 added to My Authors
25 Nov 20
here's an opinion i've had about retrocomputing / nerd culture for a long long time
the overwhelming majority of "cool" computers that everyone "wishes they had" were created to perform dreadfully boring tasks, by people who wished they were anywhere else, in the service of people who did a ton of coke and left our economy a smoking husk that can't support life
you do not want a cray-1. all they are is calc.exe but very fast and you can't even touch the buttons, you have to write a program that touches them. the purpose of a 'supercomputer' is to sit humming for 24 days and then produce a single integer, or 25 million integers
Read 23 tweets
24 Nov 20
unboxing a protogen. lifting them out of the styrofoam blocks. peeling the plastic film off their faceplate
throwing away the 6" USB cord that came in the box and digging a nice 10' anker with a velcro strap out of a drawer, plugging it into their ear. CHARGE COMPLETE IN: 116 HOURS. you dejectedly sit on the edge of the bed and look at your phone
series of snapchat screenshots
"unboxing my protogen"
"man they used those packing peanuts ugh haha"
"nice long cord"
"here's his d*ck"
Read 4 tweets
20 Oct 20
imagine if microsoft offered professional services to anyone who could pay. i would pay $300, one time, to have someone at MS who actually knows something log into my PC and figure out why explorer can't render thumbnails
no sfc /scannow bullshit, i mean they raymond chen that shit, they get in and coredump explorer and go "okay you have a png library that installed, that's the problem"
honestly, i'd pay any company for that if they were trustworthy, but "repair windows pc" is basically a stopword. there are hundreds of millions of people who think they have complicated and interesting problems, but don't, and millions of amoral vultures preying on them
Read 21 tweets
18 Oct 20
i'm watching the first episode of house m.d. out of curiosity but almost the entire episode is in monochrome other than flesh tones and i swear to god the house m.d. i watched on hulu in 2007 didn't look like this. i love the revisionist history of rereleases
this is absolutely not how it looked when i watched it 15 years ago. what the fuck is this war crime color grading it looks like i died in a 1950s hospital and my ghost still haunts that place @Emoji_Nakamoto ImageImageImageImage
the last movies i watched were 300 and sin city and they had more life and saturation in them than this. this is *not* what i watched in 2008.
Read 18 tweets
27 Sep 20
occasionally i try to play a diablolike - i apparently bought grim dawn ages ago? i have no memory of this. but like. do you like this game? i have a question: when you look at this, do you... see something? not just a blur?
i don't understand how a human brain can contain this many numbers simultaneously unless you're a math savant. this is what every single diablo game (including current-patch diablo ii) looks like now and I just don't get it.
i don't understand what's fun about having 9 things side by side that have literally 20+ attributes i need to compare, all of which differ by a percent or two, and no shorthand whatsoever for deciding which i should use
Read 22 tweets
26 Sep 20
power outage selfie
all cats are always halloween
Read 4 tweets
26 Sep 20
we're in such a weird place as far as PC "retrogaming" goes. anything made before 1998 or so can be pretty easily played, occasionally straight up but usually with a variety of emulation options, but from like 99 to 2007? a tremendous number of games just won't run right
unlike the older games, which won't run at all on modern windows, the middle-era games often run but have weird problems
the most irritating ones for me are scaling and display modes. neverwinter nights 2 will run on windows 10 just fine (the gog edition anyway) but it's so hard to play it the way I play modern games.
Read 26 tweets
24 Sep 20
In re my tweets a while back about the X-Wing series: not only were all star wars flight combat sims made by one company in the space of a few years, space combat sims in general were never a popular game genre at all, even beyond Star Wars
i think about this sort of thing a lot. there's genres like the first person shooter or 2d platformer where if I asked you to start listing games, even as a fairly casual player you'd probably keep going until I asked you to stop - you'd even have to summarize franchises
But then there's a couple where you'd *think* there were a lot of entries (or, at least, a lot in a particular period) but if you try to name them you come up with four or five, tops, and research doesn't really expose much more.
Read 19 tweets
24 Sep 20
psygnosis combat air patrol has some of the weirdest goddamn visuals. first and foremost the 3d projection is calculated wrong in a way no other flight sim I've ever seen has done.
the attempt at the illusion of looking around the cockpit utterly fails due to the bizarre decision to freeze one of the bitmap elements in place
i've seen maybe one other flight sim that attempted to use 2d elements to simulate fluidly looking around a cockpit and it did much better than this
Read 4 tweets
20 Sep 20
watching ER season 10 (2004) and this is a patient with HIV in one of the episodes. idk if he's written as gay, but it suddenly hit me that *every single gay character* on this show or any other that i've seen looks exactly the same and they never look like this. Image
i haven't watched any TV after 2004 and i barely watched any before that but there were plenty of gay bit parts on 90s and 2000s TV and, even though this show treated gay characters well, i realized they still stereotype them - as strong, attractive, jock types
black, white, hispanic - they're all Traditionally Attractive, and none of them look like me or anyone i'm attracted to or identify with. anyone else on this show is allowed to be fat, scarred, uninteresting, but every gay character has to look like a twink
Read 21 tweets
19 Sep 20
I've been trying to buy a PS/2 Model 25 on ebay for years because they're among the precious few all-in-one PCs ever made, plus they're first-party IBM *and* they're tiny. they rarely show up however and when they do they're usually trashed. Image
Two showed up on ebay a few days ago and I had to scramble to figure out what their specs were. In the process I found out that most model 25s are even worse than i thought
I hadn't been quite sure what specs they ever had, but I wasn't too concerned, it's a novelty more than anything. Still, once I got into it I discovered that they made three models - 8086s, 286s and 386s, all of which look exactly identical
Read 9 tweets
19 Sep 20
i don't know if it's unique to this game or if it's an artifact of the ludicrous bureaucracy of microsoft's horrible, failed, forced-meme new-world APIs (e.g. uwp, windows store) but i am *reeling* at how obnoxious the config file structure for FS2020 is
Flight Simulator 2020 dropped a huge patch that improved performance tremendously... and literally removed the sensitivity adjustment panel completely, it's just blank now. The release of this game was turbo rushed, with a bunch of broken major features, But Anyway.
So when I installed my new yoke (I got very lucky on ebbay and got a CH products for $89 *after* FS2020 came out, if you can believe it) I found the sensitivity was way too high, but the config panel was just empty. So I had to track down the config file and edit it.
Read 7 tweets
17 Sep 20
lidocaine is a common intravenous drug for cardiac arrhythmia and i always wonder if it lightly numbs the entire body
my experiences with Wild Ass Intravenous Drugs so far include Atropine and Iodine, both of which i sure as FUCK felt globally
atropine was the exact same sensation as if i had been running flat-out for ten solid minutes, just instantaneous "holy SHIT that's a lot of lactic acid" from head to toe. it wasn't fun! i didn't like it! they did it twice! it didn't work!
Read 5 tweets
17 Sep 20
I hesitate to ask questions like this but... why does Javascript not believe in installing libraries? All the nonsense about downloading 5 megabytes of libs on every page load - those are libs that are used across millions of websites. Why aren't they reused?
To be clear, I believe Javascript is the stupidest shit on the planet made by the most incompetent people so you shouldn't respond if you're one of them because I have nothing kind to say about your industry, but
I don't underfuckingstand why "jquery-2.0.3.min.js" isn't just stored in an SxS library repo within my browser. It makes no sense. Grab it from CDN on first use and just treat it like a system DLL.
Read 12 tweets
17 Sep 20
if you've ever come near the healthcare profession you probably have had a pulse oximeter on your finger. they're brilliant devices, incredibly simple - shines a light through your skin and measures the spectral absorption to get your blood oxygen level Image
these are absolutely universal in medicine, have been for many decades. well what's good for the goose (humans) is good for the gander (aminal) so vets must use these. animals don't have fingertips. where do they put the probe?
i'm glad you asked. they put it absolutely anywhere they can Image
Read 11 tweets
14 Sep 20
you ever see a bunch of nerds having a slapfight Image
i understand why, in some extremely antiseptic context, this might be reasonable, but come the fuck on. come on. just come on. come *on*.
the context is obviously "most commonly associated with recreational use" and i absolutely promise you cannot find a person in this entire planet who would not word-associate "heroin" with "illegal recreational drug" even if there are countries where it's a prescribed medication
Read 5 tweets
12 Sep 20
i have found the jankiest phone system ever constructed. just take this in for a minute, absorb its extremely dark energy ImageImage
had to reverse engineer this shitshow with some friends but i got it sussed out now. those aren't network cards on the right, they're T1/PRI, and the ones with huge connectors are 24-port analog phone line cards
here's the inside. bottom card is a single board Pentium 4, but it's all going into a 14+ slot *ISA* (!) backplane feeding this bank of Dialogic phone cards. Image
Read 8 tweets
10 Sep 20
it sucks that you can either buy on amazon and choose between 5000 nearly identical nameless garbage products or you can buy from somewhere else and choose between 4 of the same 5000 and absolutely nothing changes
it doesn't help anything to shop elsewhere, it just makes things worse for you. the only way to buy any consumer product is to stomp through the anodized aluminum sludge until you find the one thing that is maybe different than the rest
every single vesa monitor arm on amazon supports precisely 17.6 pounds max, which is how you know that literally none of them have been tested in any way, they're just being churned out and the listing was copy-pasted from another listing that was copy-pasted from another
Read 5 tweets
2 Sep 20
Last night I discovered the Wyse WY-700 graphics card existed by seeing it in PCem, and today a friend sends me a picture of one and says "this thing is CGA-compatible but does 1280x800" and now i'm actively shitting myself
that's the bad boy right there, it's a dual-board 8-bit ISA card which is totally fucked. I want one, but apparently they're either collectible or needed for CNC machines because they're $80-120 used. Image
So I fired it up in PCem and jesus CHRIST that's a HELL of a FONT. it doesn't look like much but this is a 1:1 image, not stretched for better web presentation Image
Read 12 tweets
1 Sep 20
A thing I've discovered while trying to figure out what yoke to buy *when* they're on the market again is that only four flight yokes have ever been manufactured
it looks to me that the only options even before FS2020 dropped were the saitek/logitech, the CH products, and something called 'honeycomb'
in turn, these appear to be:
- bad (reviews say the deadzone is atrocious and uneven)
- ancient (looks unaltered from 1994's model)
- extremely chinese-ODM (pianoblack plastic and weird, tonally inconsistent trim and lighting)
Read 6 tweets
31 Aug 20
In 1996 someone operating under the business name "Axisim" put out a PC flight simulator called "Flight Action," and it's one of the strangest pieces of DOS software I've seen.
It has strong EGA energy, something you won't be familiar with unless you were playing late 80s DOS games; very crisp 640x350 graphics, few gradients, lots of very basic system-ROM-font text, clear "programmer art" ImageImageImageImage
it also has strong "single independent programmer" energy, wherein you see techniques that would not have been used by most software studios of the time. For instance, the image behind the menu is not a bitmap, it's is a single static scene rendered with the 3d engine
Read 11 tweets