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Entries from December 2016
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A little spot of bloggy (31 Dec 2016 at 21:01)
Hey team! Another quiet month. The only interesting thing that happened to me is that as the temperature reached 9°F two weeks ago, I woke up to find that my house's boiler had failed. I have hot water heat, so this meant that my house was completely without heat or showers. While allegedly a superior method of heating the house, hot water radiators have a serious design issue now extra familiar to me, which is that if they fail, then the natural next step is for the cold water radiator pipes running through your floorboards to become ice radiator pipes, and when the hot water is reinstated at the emergency price of $10,400, the pipes are invigorated with the pressure of hot water and slipping ice plugs, and explode, creating copious ceiling waters. (This is despite me taking precautionary system-draining steps as the house's temperature dropped—there are just some pipes that are nearly external due to poor insulation.) So if you have a house that was built less than 100 years ago or have forced air or some other heat, please take this moment to ha-ha me. Oh and then ha-ha again that due to what was apparently a configuration error, the new boiler entered a lockout mode while I was on vacation in Connecticut, so I helplessly watched the temperature fall on my Nest app all of Christmas Eve day, imagining that all the while new ceiling floods were filling the house with liquid water. Ugh! Big ups to Reed, who thankfully was still in town, and drove over to turn the thing off and verify the floor water level at 0.

I did get to make a project out of it, since I'm going to try to insulate one of the especially prone pipes (as I can see that this is not the first burst!) using some overly complicated or labor-intensive approach, i.e., Tom style.

Oh I also made a 3D printed present for my nephew, trying to take literally his Christmas request, but now it's too late for me to upload that thing cuz I gotta to go this NYE party.

The hacking project I mentioned in last month's resignation is turning out to be harder than I thought, but in a good way. I think it's interesting enough to become a video, so stay tuned. Happy 2017!
  [ comment ]
Entries from November 2016
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What is the title field for anyway? (30 Nov 2016 at 23:44)
Oops, I almost played Battlefield 1 into the night and failed to post before the month ended. Nothing momentous to report. This month is always busy at work, so not much other than that occurred. I mean other than the world burning down around us. I do have a new secret project, well underway, that's involved some old-school hacking. I'm enjoying it and it shouldn't be too much more work. I also ran across the width of the country of Bermuda, but that was just 2 miles, so not very impressive, and I have already run across an entire country before.
(4 comments — almost 4 weeks ago)   [ comment ]
Entries from October 2016
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Unlikely Bikes: The Unibicle (30 Oct 2016 at 22:15)
This month's project is a new movie for my Engineering Comedy channel on YouTube. It's not about video games, and I'm not even sure I can say what it is, except to say that I sure spent a long time filming and editing it:

Press to watch bike movie
Press to watch bike movie


I got a new camera, the 5D Mark IV, which I'm excited shoots 4k and 1080p 60fps, the latter which I'm using here. I thought it'd be fun to make one of these engineering type videos like I frequently watch on YouTube (like there are hundreds of videos of guys carefully making clocks, measuring the flatness of steel bars, and so on), and I had this mechanical project in mind, so I shot hours upon hours of the various steps of putting it together. Almost all of that was even more boring than it sounds and ended up deleted, but I think the final video is entertaining, if strange.

Video editing is a real slog, and I had like six exciting ideas for different projects while finishing up. Time to get started!
(3 comments — almost 3 months ago)   [ comment ]
Entries from September 2016
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#boring old man (30 Sep 2016 at 22:58)
Well, again, the end of the month and nothing to share. I spent a bunch of time on a race costume for the Greeat Race, but I had to abort at the last minute. I succeeded in attaching the thing to my foot, but I underestimated how little of the battle that is—it hurt so much to just stand in it that it gave me a bruise. So I just ran the race like a real person and hopefully will revisit this costume for a race soon. V2-style. I've also got a new video in progress for a weird project, about half-made, but I haven't been able to do any welding this week because it's been raining. Might finish that this weekend, but 30 days has September!
(1 comment — almost 4 months ago)   [ comment ]
Entries from August 2016
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Happy 20th birthday Escape!! (31 Aug 2016 at 23:39)
Wow, it's really been 20 years since I first uploaded my puzzle game Escape to AOL in August 1996. I was only 16 then! The original was written in QuickBASIC and assembly for DOS.

Being old is not that impressive; it happens by itself. When we celebrated its 10th birthday in post #874, I was actively working on the modern version of the game, which eventually got to a pretty good state. I didn't touch it much over the last ~7 years (full time job, adulting, etc.), but there is still a pretty good community of puzzlers putting together some brilliant stuff. Despite my attempts to make it timeless, the app recently stopped working on new versions of OS X, and the code was getting a bit intractable. But I found some time this month to get it back into shape, and uploaded new versions for 64-bit macOS and Windows to the escape home page. I can now compile it with all free tools, so it's easier for me to develop, and I've been doing some painful but basically relaxing modernization of the source code too. Anyone who has poked at it will be happy to know the famously atrocious move.h is now gone. I've got some more cleanup to do and then some bugs to fix, but after that I can make some more substantive user-facing features. I don't plan to change the core game really at all, but I at least want to make it easier to navigate the thousands of levels for both new players and experts alike. Suggestions are welcome!

As I was thinking of making an image to celebrate, I found myself trying to draw a cake in the Escape level editor, and it coming out so badly, and then vaguely remembering that I tried and failed at the exact same gag 10 years ago! Instead this mechanically reproduced meta-hugbot:

Hugbot just wants to love you into the lasers
Hugbot just wants to love you into the lasers


Since the previous feedback thread is rather bursting at the seams, it's also time to designate this as the new feedback thread.
Categories:  video games  escape (16 comments — almost 2 months ago)   [ comment ]
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