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Number 42 (30 Sep at 22:41)
Couple things this month:

It was my birthday and I became 42 years old! I would have appreciated being this number of years a lot more when I was 17 (but that's literally impossible), though it still has some minor specialness. When I started this blog I was still hanging out in an IRC channel I started called #42 (e.g. see the 20 year-old but surprisingly tasteful-looking #42 posse page, and don't snooze on those MIDIs!) which was basically just a magnet for random Douglas Adams fans or people who perused the list of channels alphabetically and got bored pretty quickly. But, at this point I've had so many birthdays that it hardly matters.

Sort of for my birthday I finally caved and bought a new fancy graphics card, which I have been trying to do without buying from scalpers for over a year, but that just wasn't working. I got the NVidia RTX 3080 Ti Founders Edition, which is definitely overkill, but I appreciate the industrial design (especially that it is NOT brimming with "gamer" bling) and the fact that it specifically tries to thwart cryptocurrency mining, which is part of the reason these cards are so hard to get, among the many problems with cryptocurrency. It is a very fast card. It runs my custom ML stuff several times faster out of the box (but I still need to do a lot of performance tuning here), it can drive my new monitor at 120hz (which is pretty compelling, I must say, and displaystream compression is completely fine even for these sensitive eyes) including playing some new games at 4k at 60+ fps. So that's great. I did play a lot of video games: I finished Filament; this was good and I do recommend it, although the end was pretty weak after the various mystery build-up, and I did not end up going after all the puzzles. I played through Tetris Effect which is "Tetris but Winamp." I had some fun with the multiplayer (especially the co-op "boss fight" stuff) but the matchmaking is ridiculously bad (90% of games don't even start) so I just got tired of it. For games that actually put the graphics card to the test, I started Psychonauts 2 which is great, and Deathloop which also is pretty intriguing but I haven't gotten far enough to render a real opinion yet. All of a sudden there are so many games I want to play; there's Outer Wilds DLC and Deltarune 2 magically appearing, a new Metroid game soon, Axiom Verge 2, and so on. I'm very impressed that people were able to finish these projects during pandemic (whether working small/solo or on a large team). I haven't been good about it, for sure.

I did finish a few things. As mentioned in the previous post I've upped my classic font game, first starting with this slightly improved version of FixedSys, which I have been using at 2x size on the 4k monitor, which is beautifully chunky:

FixederSys 1x

... but it is a little bit silly to use "pixels" that are 2x2 screen pixels, and it the idea that I could perhaps improve stuff like diagonal lines without sacrificing the computery crispness kept haunting me. So a few weeks ago I cleaned up the 2x bitmap by hand, and I'm pretty happy with it so far:

FixederSys 2x

(These will probably miss the point if you are not using a 1:1 display.)

A bigger project was finally shipping the updates to the Destroy FX plugins with 64-bit support, new GUIs, and other improvements! I think I pretty much posted all the graphical changes throughout the last year here, but I invite you to download them for real now. We got a kick out of seeing the reaction from people (presumably 42 year-olds) who missed these babies from the 90s and 2000s and were surprised to see updates... Some of them had been keeping the plugins alive on a dusty Windows XP machine or inside some janky "laser suspension womb"-style emulation harness, and others had figured they'd just never override their buffers again. I particularly enjoyed this article and some of the excitement on Twitter and forums like this one. I am still hacking on a new experimental effect, but it's so hard to know if it'll be interesting at all until it's much further along!

This weekend we are going to do a trail run in the woods, but I can recap that when I get back. Stay safe.
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Roland M (24.16.210.82) – 10.01.21 22:30:57
Looking at those images of FixedSys, I'm realizing that in my mind FixedSys has always just been "The Tom7 font" :P
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Anonymous (68.148.21.33) – 10.02.21 14:52:14
Happy Birthday!
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Reziac (97.121.215.193) – 10.05.21 19:24:06
This is so very weird. I first saw your fonts... 25? years ago, but just last month tripped over this blog. Sometimes the world is very small. Happy birthday!
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Tom 7 (74.98.220.200) – 10.31.21 23:36:20
Thanks folks! Happy birthday to you too!
I certainly didn't invent FixedSys but it's true that I use some form of it in an awful lot of my projects, partly because I used a modified bitmap version of it in Escape, and I end up cloning "font.png" into most of my SDL projects. (Oddly I am able to resist the urge to make a new font at the moments where I think: "I need to render some text!")
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