The Sprawl Trilogy As Seminal Cyberpunk

For many people, Netflix’s Altered Carbon was their first exposure to the cyberpunk genre, and it was good. It’s definitely the type of artistic work that you’d want to show someone as a representative example of a genre. I was quite pleased to see something so mainstream capture the essence of it so well.

What is cyberpunk? There are many great definitions, but I think the best one is the one quoted early on in the Wikipedia page that comes from the introduction of Burning Chrome, a short story anthology by the legendary William Gibson who I will proceed to fawn over later in this post. In the introduction, Bruce Sterling (another legend, who I’ve only heard of and not yet read) defined it as a combination of “low-life and high-tech”. This is probably the best that anyone has ever defined anything in this history of definitions.

Continue reading “The Sprawl Trilogy As Seminal Cyberpunk”

Attacking Giants on Purpose

I haven’t blogged in 4 months. That’s ridiculous.

Despite the usual curveballs life throws at me, this has been one of the most rewarding stretches of time in my entire life. I’ve come to a significantly deeper understanding of myself and many other things.

I also have been working on my largest project to date, and what hopefully will be my first business. It’s a food delivery service called ForkOver, specifically for Jamaica. I could tell you I’ve learnt a lot about business during the interval, and that would be true (and I haven’t even launched yet), but what has really surprised me is how much I’ve learnt about programming. Continue reading “Attacking Giants on Purpose”

The Magic of WebAssembly

“The rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain.

Every other day, some soyboy comes out to attack C and C++, as being difficult, outdated etc. etc., yet every day I seem to find another case in which knowledge of it is an asset. The latest case I have found is WebAssembly. I am SO hyped for it I can’t even begin to explain. But, if I didn’t, this would be a very short post, so I should at least try.

In 2018, browsers are amazing. They’re basically like mini operating systems at this point. In fact, they were amazing before 2018, which is why Google was willing to take the leap and create the Chromebook – basically just a laptop with a browser. I bought my mother a Lenovo one almost 2 years ago.

Of course, she hated it, but that’s besides the point. The concept worked. My mother, like most older people really only wanted to check her email, stream a few videos on Youtube/Netflix, view her bank statements etc. The problems only really arose because the organization of the filesystem was rubbish at the time, and when she needed to do word processing, she was hard up for a reliable way to save her documents. She didn’t trust Google Drive enough (and to be fair, I don’t trust it either. I firmly believe that cloud based storage for individuals at least should be only for backup, and not primary storage of sensitive data.)

I’ll admit however, that I’m just ranting at this point. WebAssembly supports OpenGL, written in C++, which means if you don’t screw the pooch, it’s very fast. Remember the old days of the internet where you had to download these Flash plugins that took forever to acquire on dial-up internet? WebGL hasn’t quite managed to kill that fully – it’s just that internet speeds have gotten faster. OpenGL/WebAssembly will hopefully be the nail in the coffin.

Imagine what that could mean for browser based gaming and diversifying the palate of filthy casuls.

Running the Original Game Boy On A Teensy Part 1

I decided last night that it was time to tackle a more complicated emulation project than the CHIP-8 and actually build the circuit for it this time. I eventually settled on emulating the original Game Boy and decided to use a Teensy 3.2 to run it.

One of the biggest things that stood out to me while doing my research was that the original Game Boy’s processor clocked at 4 MHz and sold for approximately USD $90 in 1989 (about $184 in 2018 money) while in 2018, the Teensy 3.2 clocks at 72 MHz (96 if you overclock it) and costs about USD $20. It’s not a direct dollar-for-dollar comparison because the Game Boy is a whole system while the Teensy is a microcontroller, but its still noteworthy because it brings Moore’s Law to mind. Continue reading “Running the Original Game Boy On A Teensy Part 1”

Emotional Intensity and Fixity of Purpose

Willem Dafoe is one of my favourite actors. There’s just something about him that I instinctively “get” and I can’t find the words to describe. I feel the same way about Tom Cruise, although not as strongly. Admittedly, I probably only like Tom Cruise because he comes off as very personable, and I also think he’s a really talented troll. Elon Musk also meets those criteria, but I digress.

One of my favourite movies, and the movie that caused me to start liking Dafoe is To Live and Die in LA. It’s a 1980s action movie about a pair of US Secret Service agents (played by William Petersen and John Pankow) who are trying to make a bust on a counterfeiter named Rick Masters (played by Willem Dafoe) that’s eluded them for years. Apart from the fact that the movie has a great score, the car chase scene on the freeway is widely considered to be one of the best in movie history and I totally agree. Continue reading “Emotional Intensity and Fixity of Purpose”

Concerta and the Right Side of My Brain

First of all yes, I know its been a month since I last updated. I have no excuses. Please take this finger and my apologies, oyabun.

I may have mentioned previously that I was diagnosed with ADHD sometime in the middle of last year. That was a major breakthrough in my understanding of self and why I had so many problems establishing habits. To treat it, I took Concerta for a bit, and I loved the increased mental clarity. For once, I felt as smart as people had always told me I was. My thoughts no longer raced, and I was able to complete tedious, mind-numbing tasks without my mind going for a stroll. Continue reading “Concerta and the Right Side of My Brain”

A Trip To The Hardware Store

I’m deathly scared of alternating current, I won’t even mince words.

I’ve never seen anyone come in at work with rhabdomyolysis and acute kidney injury and burns due to touching the wrong part of an Arduino. Electricians are national heroes, and I salute them and give them a wide berth. Unfortunately for me, life is about facing your fears etc. etc., so of course, my day came. Continue reading “A Trip To The Hardware Store”

Learning Lua

Today, I learnt Lua!

It wasn’t hard, Derek Banas has an excellent Youtube video which covers everything. It’s a scripting language like Python, so unsurprisingly, it reminds me of Python, without being anal about whitespace.

Now for the elephant in the room – why did I learn Lua? Was it part of my neverending quest for knowledge, or did I have less than noble intentions to satisfy my capitalist reptilian overlords?

Sit down, I’m about to tell you a story. Continue reading “Learning Lua”