Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Author: Karel Kerezman (Page 2 of 416)

Film, Orson Welles, and Facts

Last night, out of a mix of boredom and mild curiosity, I watched They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead. It’s a weird, somewhat confusing window into a very specific portion of the life of a famous film director. And right out of the gate, a thesis statement of sorts is presented to the viewer: The title is a quote ascribed to Orson Welles… and immediately other voices claim that no, he never said that.


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Satisfactory: The Flowchart

I’ve reached endgame for my “ChooChooingScenery” game of Satisfactory, the point where I gear up to send off the final Space Elevator shipment consisting of four products: Assembly Director Systems, Magnetic Field Generators, Nuclear Pasta (which, despite its name, contains zero radioactive source material), and Thermal Propulsion Rockets.

The math is all sorted out, source materials (almost) entirely in production, and I have a vague notion that I’m going to build a gigantic factory in the “dune desert” to house this last great project. But I want to make it nice and neat for a change. I want to build a set of machines that not only fit together well but looks good doing it.

And I can’t do that if I’m not absolutely clear on the exact order of what things I need to go into which other things to make the next things.

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Satisfactory: A Tale Of Two Factories

It was the jankiest of builds, it was the jankiest of builds.

Sorry, Charles Dickens, but in this case repeating myself is the most accurate way to start.

This past Tuesday evening, the kids and I finished up the “Tier 8 Products” factory build. Which is to say, we’ve now automated the final three requirements for the final milestone unlock: Turbomotors, Fused Modular Frames, and Cooling Systems. (Electromagnetic Control Rods are built elsewhere for various reasons.) I noted in voice chat at the end of the session that our co-op build was vastly more efficient and elegant than my personal version of this same (basic) factory had turned out. Spud found this amusing, as he sees our version as being quite “full of the jank.” Which isn’t wrong, but there’s janky and there’s janky.

Please allow me to illustrate.

Yes, it “needs” supports underneath. We’ll get there some day. There’s beautification to be done all over this co-op map.
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Dear Readers

During my last eye exam, the doc advised picking up a pair of readers. As in, non-prescription eyeglasses with just a bit of magnification to help with reading stuff relatively close by. I rolled my eyes a bit, but followed his advice anyway because it made good sense. (The eyerolling was because I have a strong “you’re not the boss of me” streak, not because I disbelieved his verdict.)

In fact I bought two pair: One regular off-the-shelf pair of 1.5x cheapo readers plus a moderately pricey pair of extremely lightweight “blue-blocker” readers (same magnification), ideal for helping make sure I can get to sleep not too long after reading stuff on my tablet before bedtime.

(As an aside: The age of the monocle is long past, yet we still refer to buying reading glasses in pairs, as if we might some day decide to only buy just the one eyeglass. Huh. It’s like the idea that someone would buy just one pant.)

Over the last month or so I’ve gone from using the readers only for actual-reading (like, e-books on my tablet) and looking at stuff on my phone (because some apps use very tiny fonts, am I right?) to wearing them pretty much any time I’m reading text on any screen, including the monster 4K displays attached to my desktop PC.

Just look at what getting old entails, y’all. And now I fully understand why people buy bifocals, after donning and doffing my readers five times in the span of ten minutes this morning as I got set up for work.

(No, bifocals wouldn’t actually help me in my particular environment. But I get it now.)

Summer Doldrums

Not a lot of posting this month? Blame the weather. Summer heat means I’m not on my computer as much, nor doing as much to write about.

I have a big Satisfactory project in the works… or will, once things cool off a bit. 90F+ temperatures aren’t exactly conducive to computer-centric projects.

At any rate, I hope wherever you are, you’re staying cool (or warm, if you’re in the southern latitudes).

Migration Yet Again

It’s amusing to look back on previous server migration posts and realize how long I’ve been a Linode (now Akamai, oh boy) customer. And yet, only a couple of years after the last round of server changes I decided to do it once again.


Mainly because I wanted to get away from the Apache webserver. While it’s the workhorse driving a lot of the World Wide Web even now, it’s showing its age and, well, there’s the whole naming optics thing, isn’t there? And after seeing an online friend rave happily about this thing called OpenLiteSpeed (including how much less of a pain in the backside it is to deal with versus NGINX, the other leading option) I figured, you know what? It’s time for a change.

So change I have. This site, along with nearly all of my other web-based projects, lives on yet another new Linode/Akamai virtual server, this time without the usual Apache webserver setup. My thoughts on “OLS” itself will have to percolate a bit before I can craft them into a coherent post but in short: It’s quite slick, but its documentation has some glaring holes and it isn’t always easy to search online for fixes to weird problems. Additionally, certain WordPress plugins don’t like it very much. (Or OLS doesn’t like them. Take your pick.)

It is downright peppy, though, and a breeze to administer. Setting up the reverse proxy for my Foundry VTT rig was actually simpler than it had been under Apache… not that OLS’ documentation made that any easier to figure out, mind you.

I still have some things to move over before shutting down ‘node3’ but considering I only spun up the new host Saturday morning, to be here midday on Tuesday with nearly everything sorted and settled? I’m happy with this result, yeah.

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