Sunday, October 04


Daily News Stuff 4 October 2020

Prince Albert In A Can Edition

Tech News

  • AMD has a Green Sardine.  (Tom's Hardware)

    This particular colourful fish looks like it's a new APU rather than another GPU.  Zen 3 launches in a few days, and the new Radeon cards later this month, so we'll have the details soon enough.

  • Please don't click on the buttons.

  • NestedText is YAML with the insanity removed.  (NestedText)

    Since that's about 98% of YAML, it makes for a fairly clean and simple spec.  It's only for config files, and everything's a string.

  • Ubuntu 20.10 beta is here.  (Phoronix)

    I've been pretty impressed with the reliability of 20.04 - I've been running it in production since June without anything weird happening.

  • PHP 8 RC1 is here too.  (Phoronix)


How the Mammoth Went Extinct Video of the Day

Killed by a shark.

I skipped over Gawr Gura's debut video and watched her live streaming a game instead.  Now I see the appeal - she's no dummy.

Disclaimer: And therefore do not send to know for whom the PHP 8 RC1 releases; for if you ask too long it might turn out o be you.

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Saturday, October 03


Daily News Stuff 3 October 2020

Guided Tour Of The Pixel Packing Plant Edition

Tech News

Dogs Playing Mario Video of the Day

Bonus Frittering Away the Long Weekend Watching Hololive Video of the Day

Coco seems to be most fluent in English of the main Hololive group, and for some reason she sounds like she's from Georgia - but only when speaking English.

I tuned into Gawr Gura for a bit but she's not nearly as entertaining.

Disclaimer: Today is truth in advertising day.

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Daily News Stuff 2 October 2020

A Wild Long Weekend Appeared

Tech News

  • Need bitmapped fonts in odd sizes, such as 10x10?  Dwarf Fortress.  (Dwarf Fortress Wiki)

    It's not clear what the licensing situation is on these, though some are based on open-source fonts or are otherwise explicitly open source.

    I could also use a 20x20 font for standard-resolution text mode, given that I am using an HP-style analogue antialiasing trick.

  • HP has a new Spectre x360 range out including that dumb configuration we saw before.  (Tom's Hardware)

    The 14 looks nice, with a Tiger Lake CPU, 13.5" 3000x2000 display, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 32GB of Optane for some reason, 

    The 13 has a 4k OLED touchscreen, and only 8GB of RAM.  Why?  Who is this for?

    Apart from some dumb configuration decisions, the systems all have the Four Essential Keys in the One True Arrangement.

  • Talking with Chris Sawyer about Transport Tycoon.  (Life and Times of Games)

    With a brief digression on the subject of the Memotech MTX 500, which could have been the inspiration for the Imagine if I hadn't already been inspired by the Fujitsu FM-7.

    The MTX 500 / 512 is a little-known but remarkably capable British home computer from the early 80s.  It came out in 1983 and though it shipped with a fairly normal 64k of RAM (and 24k of ROM) it was expandable to 768k.

  • A leaked benchmark of the Ryzen 5900X put it at 25% faster than the current 3900X unless it's all fake.  (WCCFTech)

    That's a single-threaded score and would be a combination of IPC and clock speed gains, and it's on the high end of plausibility.

    The multi-threaded score showed only a 15% gain, which is curious.  Not impossible, but curious.

Disclaimer: So are they all, all on the high end of plausibility.

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Friday, October 02


Daily News Stuff 1 October 2020

Drizztless Edition

Tech News

  • Humble's latest Bundles include a Corel Draw collection that doesn't have Corel Draw in it and a Drizzt adventures collection (R. A. Salvatore's series of D&D novels) that starts from book 7.

    This is some really low-effort stuff, HB.  Do better.

  • Microsoft's Surface Go Laptop is a reasonable 3:2 12" laptop starting at $699.  (AnandTech)

    It's not going to set the world on fire, but it does have a 4-core / 8-thread 15W Intel 10th-gen CPU, and not one but two USB ports.  Screen is 1536x1024, which rates it as not terrible, with 8GB of RAM and just 128GB of storage at that price point.  Neither of which are upgradeable; it doesn't even have a microSD slot.

    The screen is touch, and the Four Essential Keys are sort of present - they do double duty as F9-F12, but there's no room for them anywhere else so I'll give them a pass on that one.

    With a microSD slot I could see this having some slight potential.  Without, no.  Forget it.

  • Microsoft also updated the Surface Pro X.  (AnandTech)

    The new version uses Microsoft's SQ2 processor in place of the older SQ1, and costs $500 more than the original version, though the configurations may not be equivalent.  I hope there are other differences, because...

    The SQ2 is Microsoft's branding of Qualcomm's 8CX Gen 2, which as I reported earlier is exactly the same fucking chip as the 8CX Gen 1.  Exactly nowhere does Qualcomm mention this or provide any performance comparison between the two, so it takes some digging to realise that this is a purely marketing upgrade.

  • The XMG DJ 15 is an unremarkable second-tier thin-and-light 15" notebook except for twelve things.  (AnandTech)

    Those being the ports.  It has two USB 3.0 Type A and one USB 2.0, one Thunderbolt 3 with 60W fast charging (I'm not sure if the laptop can charge over that or if it's just for charging other devices), a full-size SD card slot, separate 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks, full-size HDMI and mini DisplayPort, and a wired gigabit Ethernet port (one of those neat ones that pops open when plug in the cable, then closes up again when you unplug).

    Dongles need not apply.

    Memory is two DIMM slots and storage is M.2 NVMe, so both are upgradeable.  It's the anti-MacBook.

    With a Core i7, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and a 1080p display, it's €1,337.

  • 3270font is a 3270 font.  (GitHub)

    Seems pretty complete too.  It has the usual ASCII and EBCDIC, bold, italic, bold italic, underline, overline, weird European frilly letters, single and double line box drawing, APL, Greek and Cyrillic, and...  Ogham.

    I might be able to use this.  Just add PETSCII and I'm there.  Have to see how it renders down to a 10x10 grid but I have a cheat if it doesn't look great (thanks to the HP 150).

  • Speaking of classic IBM kit.  (Reddit)

    This is an actual working system.  The system and monitor cases are 3D-printed, the screen is a 3.5" LCD, and the hardware is a Raspberry Pi 4.

  • Had to go to the shops again today, the first time in a while I've done that during daytime on a weekday.  Everything was normal, except that it's spring here now and there were still about the number of people wearing masks that you'd see during flu season.

    Darrell Lea peanut brittle chocolate seems to have disappeared, which is very annoying because it was gluten-free and even better than Cadbury Roast Almond.

    And I noticed a girl in the supermarket with Uzaki-chan grey-brown hair.  I'm assuming it was tinted because I've never seen quite that colour before.

Manga Notes

The Elf and the Hunter's Item Atelier is a delightful fluffy-wuffy story about an elf and her cough loyal human assistant cough who run a crafting service in a fantasy world that doesn't make a whole lot of sense but the art is wonderful.  Also when occasion calls for it our innocent little elf has a mouth on her that would have a Marine drill sergeant taking notes.


Disclaimer: Yes, I will read anything with the word "atelier" in the title, why do you ask?


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