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Messages - TaoPhoenix [ switch to compact view ]

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DC Gamer Club / Re: Ludum Dare 45 Reviews
« on: October 07, 2019, 10:16 PM »
Thanks for doing this thread. I'm following it with interest, and may include my own "review" or two at some point.

Or at least play some of the ones you linked.

But for now I just want to point out that you didn't include a link to the emoji TD game.

Good catch.
I posted the links.
And I'm a bit tired now" :)

DC Gamer Club / Vaahtera - a Tree Simulator
« on: October 07, 2019, 04:16 PM »

Pleasant little mini Sim where you grow (hopefullly!) a large tree.

The control are pretty simple as long as you get off the ground (pun!) by rememebering SPACE BAR grows the branch segment. It's easy to try to click the mouse or random keys.

Very simple ecology, though with a couple of fancy formulas. It's pretty balanced, but it gets a rating of Phoenix Easy-Plus because of a couple of traps.

You start off with a fixed supply of energy, and growing branches costs 50 energy. You can make leaves for free per se, though it seems it does take extra water. So at the base level, grow a bunch of branches, make leaves, so that it replenishes energy, and you need a threshold of 200 to make it rain.

There are only 2 pathways per branch and making leaves finishes off a branch, so some kind of wide base is recommended. Depending on how wide you start off, optimal seems to be about 7-9 nodes or so.

Tips -

- The Water counter is not steady paced! So especially later on, when you think you're cruising, it can race down and you have to hurry to make rain! This has destroyed two big trees so far! Then it slows down. Not sure if this is a feature! Also, a few times it really looked like my water was above zero but then it became game over.

- It's pretty easy to hit steady state, a little care in the beginning should do it. But I am beginning to think the final goal is to really make a fleshed out nice tree! I aesthetically went for a trunk in the beginning, thugh it's not required, but a V-shaped tree just looked ugly.

- The second thing earning the Plus is the branch design. Some variant of a binary splitting pattern is going on, with some unclear formula of when it widens branches (after making leaves!) so although the camera can move, I am trying for a single screen pic.

- It's a sim game, so it DOES take a couple hours if you are really going for a large tree. Turns out it can multi task the branches, so at first you can't see through the delay box, but then once you hit cruise zone you can build multiple branches at once, but I recommend surveying for a minute every few branches because of the quick water counter, and also to see your design after the boxes go away.

- There is no pause, I think, not counting things like shifting OS focus out.

- As is, the graphics are pretty nice once you start to get going. There is no gravity, so I have experimented with growing my branches partly upside down to work on fleshing out the tree.

I'll try to post a screen shot if I can get a really nice one!

LD Page:

Game Page:

For a screenshot, disclaimer - it's not completely right out of the game. I built half the tree, then mirrored and cropped it. The program doesn't really reward trunks, and I was getting fatigued from all the restarts!

But since I can't draw at all, it's still rather neat! I am a loose player - so I just considered my editing like an artist trimming the canvas or paper.

DC Gamer Club / Quick Links
« on: October 07, 2019, 01:40 PM »

The Howler

An interactive version of Edvard Munch's The Scream.

LD Page

Game Link:

- ----------------------------

DC Gamer Club / Emoji Overflow
« on: October 07, 2019, 12:53 PM »
Tower Defense!

I have a soft spot for the LD versions of Tower Defense.

This time the theme is hysterical, since we had an Emoji movie. The emoji's want to take over your phone!

Rated Phoenix Easy. One of my house rules for radomized Tower Defense is I'm quite fine restarting the game to get the important elements. So clearly the Dragon is sky high the best item in the game. It's a solid (and only) shooter.

It's harder to know what the others do. The Castle just seems like a blocker, then a lot of waves can get around it but the Turtle is supposed to slow the things down.

Presumably the FireBreather should singe and weaken them but there's no hp bars so you can't tell. There's also a Teddy bear, equally obscure.


- The emoji animation is smooth, but the placement is modular, so place the first dragon either 6 or 8 spaces from your home base. They have quite a range. Otherwise you might get jammed up getting formations.

- The other assistants make good re-routers, so you can position them off center in various ways to force the emoji armies to herd back around into the dragon fire. Apparently they are in fact slow shooters and not inert, but still the Dragon is the most powerful.

- The big boss at the end really does take a lot of beating! But it's quite bulky and slow, so boxing it in completely near the front works quite well.

Great simple sprites and you do have to take a bit of care not to get sloppy. Also, it might nudge up a difficulty level if you don't get a dragon first pick and want to play it hardstyle.

Also, it's one of those games that after you win, you can try one more round to try to make art with the sprite patterns in pretty formations. :)

LD Page:

Game page:

DC Gamer Club / Sound Check - Coinbold
« on: October 07, 2019, 11:24 AM »
To warm up!

Coinbold introduced me to the Pico-8, designed to mimic Atari era games, purposely nearing the rough specs of that time.

Coinbold is a charming little proof of concept. You only need to collect three coins to win, and you get some nice 4 channel music at the end.

I'm rating this as a Specs Check for your computer - sound check, arrow keys working, et.

LD Page is here.

Game Link for the browser is here:

Mouser had the idea to link to the Pico 8 page.


Because Windows keeps updating, can I get a tip how to check what version I'm on by now?

DC Gamer Club / Ludum Dare 45 Reviews
« on: October 05, 2019, 10:50 AM »

It's been a while, but Ludum Dare 45 - Oct 2019 is going on, so I want to return to my habit of reviewing a few games!

My grading style is fairly lenient. Many games have difficult levels, but I like it when games have at least a couple starter levels so that you don't wash out in seven seconds or such.

Let's see!



After a few attempts, each months apart, to re-invigorate this little utility, I was sad when it seemed not to be working on my new (happens to be) Win 10 box.

Turns out, there was one of those aging problems where a couple of the old .Net files were missing from some versions of Windows, and probably many people collected them over the years, but each time I had tried, I was either too tired or else discouraged.

But it's up and running today, both on my main machine and an ancient ultra backup laptop!

But one day it may be interesting for someone to try a Version 2.0. Most notably, in the last couple of years, has added automated downloads of games, but they come with timestamps that confuse this program!

Of course, for "serious" studying, the heavy duty players have either Chessbase or something else, but this was always meant for a quick dash of a few games to look over at lunch or dinner.

I ended up just playing after looking at a couple of the test games, but a quick fix might be something like a regex on the or even a coding snack to slice out the timestamps.

More interesting as a Version 2.0 feature would be it can't handle commentary text, which simply vanishes. But I have no idea what specs from what or where I'd even want yet.

I'm just glad it's still usable with even my thin skills after all! So apparently it was fairly cleanly written after all! It has a .src file, which looks like source code.


Pulled out of one of Arizona's posts in Stuff, then a layer deeper than a fluff article, this might be the start of my return to paying more attention to the boards rather than idle chatter.

Troy Hunt's Have I Been Pwned webmail checker

I know I've been rather sloppy on exactly how strong my password is, but I didn't count on site breaches! So no matter now good YourSuperLongSafePasswordWith!Extra*Characters is, none of that helps you if a repository site in the middle gets hacked!

I'm going to try to use the password plugin for Chrome (and Chromium Friends!) browsers. (I'm starting to like Vivaldi!)

But I figured I'd post this here since about half my emails that have been around for a long time have credentials that were breached last couple of years!

So far I haven't seen any immense fallout from all this, but I used to be better read on overall tech news, and I might start trying to do that again soon!

(Minor Irrelevant Rant - I still prefer to see full descriptions and links to resources. I hate it when sites link random words!

Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff"
« on: March 22, 2019, 02:03 AM »
While having the most up-to-date software on your computer is usually an excellent idea, the LifeHacker article doesn't say anything about the reason why. Just that you should do this, because they say so. Call me a rebellious fool or whatever, but when I read such garbage, I am inclined to do just the opposite.

Then again, I don't use Chrome on my PC's...where 99.9% of my internet surfing takes place anyway. My systems are really a 'No Chrome'-zone. As I have Android with Google Play, Chrome comes with that like the unwanted stepchild and gets treated as such, because I am not allowed to remove it from my phone.

What's your opinion on Vivaldi?
(I think) it's a Chromium back end, with a power-user type front end made by a chunk of Ex-Opera employees who got grumpy when Opera abandoned Presto and decided to just be a "shell wrapper" on top of Chrome-something.

So Vivaldi is nice because it allows (me) to use most of the Chrome plugins, and a reasonable amount of peace of mind they aren't really using much more data than they have to (compared to many of our Google Knows Too Much concerns.)

So I am a bit shocked at "how much I missed" not keeping up with tech news! I have to "medium soon" go do a password overhaul on some of my email, and I just installed the "password checker" (so even if you don't want that very precise plugin, it's my larger point about Vivaldi in general is one of my pair of Go-to browsers.)

Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff"
« on: March 22, 2019, 12:42 AM »
UC Berkeley gene therapy helps blind mice gain sight, could be used to cure blindness

21st Century Children's Tunes!
"3 Blind Mice. 3 Blind Mice. Now repaired with gene therapy!"

N.A.N.Y. 2019 / Re: NANY 2019 Entry - Huge Text/Log file reader
« on: March 22, 2019, 12:13 AM »
Meanwhile, I've had this old school streak, and I'm always fond of Back To Text, and this year's Nany's have several!
Yours is interesting in part for me because I am about to dabble learning the next level of serious chess again and in chess discussions you get these "oh, what was that Tal game again? The one where he played that Sacrifice such-and-such?"

So then you have your master lists of the game files, and FYI "Portable Game Notation" is very little more (on purpose) than text with certain headers. Way back for one of these Nany's I submitted a file reader, but it aged out I think somewhere near Win 7-8-10.
(Note to self: If I chatter enough, I recall things! My ancient Laptop is still XP!)

So anyway, Because this line numbers the file,  let's say you make little game snippets, I just grabbed any two of his wins, you know right where to go jump to later to go get the game again (which could later be imported into some other more fancy program).

see elsewhere for my remarks on Ham Radio's "component". So I could save portions of chess concepts I want to work on in Ham's program, and then copy the string into yours to find a matching game! Sure all the big boy dayabases can do that, but Old School!


N.A.N.Y. 2019 / Re: NANY 2019 Entry - Huge Text/Log file reader
« on: March 22, 2019, 12:07 AM »

As for the test case, wouldn't a "concatenator" program work?
I'm not familiar with the inbuilt limits of basic desktop OS's but I presume somewhere a test file could be created!

How long is a complete human genome!!?
Be careful we aren't creating Gattaca with all the Nany's combined!
Wouldn't a version of your program be able to list each (code item?) of a genome in a vertical list?
Then you compare two genomes side by side and Compare?
I smell a Science Fiction story coming!

Hmm, on my machine it does not seem to open at all!
Should be a fairly standard Win10 box.
Any thoughts?

N.A.N.Y. 2019 / Re: NANY 2019 Release: Assignments Warlock
« on: March 21, 2019, 10:46 PM »
Hi HamRadio!

This is my first pick for something I can use nicely!
I "teach myself", and I'm always starting and abandoning note lists of stuff I get into.
I tend to have a book of the week going, and I'm about to get back into serious chess studying, and I'm a fan of "lightweight" stuff much of the time!

I had trouble printing it all onto one page from the html export, but I just hand edited the last of 4 subjects to have tight spacing and that works fine for "little things".

This is neat because the program holds the "Master" copy so when I did hard coded lists I kept wasting time starting and abandoning stuff, and of course the results were not electronic. Also, stuff can be shuffled and dates edited, so if I was "supposed" to do something and then "Life Happened", just shuffle and move it! Or make a new list and update what's still going on.

Also, it also works as a "concept tracker" so that it might even work for things like mini instruction guides to do stuff, or lists of the stuff to get at grocery stores best for dieting, and it fits nicely with that Getting Things Done motif I've remarked on about once a year on DC.



Does this work for Windows 10?
I don't need all the weights, but I kinda have to nudge myself to eat a bit, and it could be fun to tinker with.
But I can't get most of the program to load!
I see the panel on the left side, but no more, and it won't let me put any data in. :(


Does Magic the Gathering count?
Twitch Donations to chess shows?


2018 version!
Windows 10 updates at 4 in the morning and your comp reboots and all of your music tabs play at once!


So I lost some open things but sometimes a nudge can be worked with.

Adventures of Baby Cody / Re: Where is Baby Cody
« on: October 18, 2018, 01:22 AM »

That sounds like an eerie song!

If you look up Alphabet, you'll see that it is the parent company of Google.


In 2015, Alphabet was created as a tech holding company by the founders of Google, and one of their most prominent holdings is Google.

I will also point out that he never said anything about cash flow; the others that he spoke of held on for interminable periods, seemingly in good financial health. The rot for many companies start on the inside.  And that rot presaged their fall in retrospect.

I'm agreeing that the Alphabet arrangement exists now, just that it was a note of surprise when I read the article, and right about the period I remarked I dropped off following tech news.

But since Yahoo is 15 years of collapse ahead of them, I am also noting I don't fathom any concept of Google joining Yahoo as a "rotted former search&mail&(your choice of stuff here) company.

What *new* entrant is going to be in the "2025 post-healthy Google world?"

For a decade, the top rung of the ecosystem has felt untouchable-ish.

If your car is driving itself and has an accident, do you or the car get the ticket?

”I am a true believer in the power of technology,” quipped the AI, “as I should be.”

What it’s like to watch an IBM AI successfully debate humans

Well, this is IBM's entry into the "Loebner Contest".
That "218 words per minute thing" (indeed with a bit of word recog counting) is the kind of defensive armor I was idly "asking for" 15 years ago when the Loebner thing was a pleasant little hobby, but this is getting close as well to nailing the "Chinese Room" example that apparently won't leave Philosophy discussions!

This might be the great grandkid of Cyc too. And it always seemed to me people also laughed at the Loebner because "we made sure to keep it a small dollar hobby not capable of actually threatening anyone". Except IBM decided to crank the "right" about on money into it...

The best Science Fiction story I know of (being tired tonight and NOT up on my SF!) is Bicentennial Man.

As long as the "robot-man" could sorta do stuff like this, no one "took it seriously" even as (un-imagined by SF writers in the day!) the Verge readers aren't either! IBM's been doing this for a while. They sorta "took Chess down a peg" by beating Garry Kasparov at the turning point time and while I've been dabbling at that this year, in a way, "as long as it's just silly little Chess" AGAIN "no one cares". Then Jeopardy.

But then, this one is the Golden Goose.

Lemme check the titles again ...
I'll stay out of Subsidizing Space but ... Telemedicine!? That's one NASTY HARD topic!
So it's making me want to get hold of the actual speech copy. I have been studying health care for two solid years out of desperate necessity, and I'm ... uh... (not dying?) to see what the comp cranked out on that one! Even if it makes mistakes, (if I recall the name via Daniel Dennett's Intuition Pumps?) Wolfgang Pauli said "well, if you're going to be wrong, be *brilliantly wrong*." (emphasis mine).

So let's say it cranks out a draft, makes mistakes, you go into the "paramaters" and "teach it" and/or add new articles, and run it again, and then do the final yourself, and you have 4 months work done in a week!

And this is the 2018 version! Let's call it the "7 year gap from IBM super-demo to ho-hum-consumer copy"... Hello 2025!

It really is the Golden Goose. It showed up in "humor" but it's what will send me to bed tonight finally, thinking hard!

-- ---------------
And all because I came back to DC!
I was researching that fragment of this for three *months* (with a break for surgery!)
And this might officially send me back to my beloved science fiction too!

There's a part of me that hopes this obtuse clock is a real thing:

[ Invalid Attachment ]
"Kid Safe Rule 35".

If it "isn't" (as of this exact time of posting), then it CAN be very very quickly...

And cheap. You might have to compare a couple brands but those old classic wall clocks are really pretty ...uh... amenable to this. The limiting factor is only your desired level of quality! If nothing else, just make a paper face and insert it on top of the real clock face because the gap between mechanism and hands is pretty big!

Okay, borrowing from anothrer thread, hi!

I *have* been in a time warp!
Lots of ugly events in my life, which VERY nearly crushed me! I'm wiping out just clawing myself back to something approaching coherence!

So let's see which parts of this I care about:

1. Ever since I watched first Wave, then bunches of other things get "tried, then shelved undercooked", that aspect of Google never bothered me exactly. Certainly it helped that by style of interests none of their stuff was Make-or-break level for me.

2. "...A company named Google and its parent Alphabet" ... uh !? Google is (was?) one of those Big Animals, it (insert verb tense here) doesn't/didn't have a "parent!" It's like saying "Facebook's Parent" ... I think... Microsoft's Parent? Apple's Parent?  Too confused to say more! For reference, I went "Rumpelstiltskin" about 2015...

3. "... I was a rather intense critic — various of their early data collection and privacy practices seemed to be driven by a cavalier attitude that I viewed as unacceptable."

First of the big "conceptual" concerns I have about Google. They along with Facebook (Apple and MS I'm too tired to think aboiut tonight!) are the Big Animals grinding the 30-40 year internet culture of handles and partial anonymity on the web into Real Names Because Reasons "Spin the Wheel to pick one for today!"

I settled down to "fine, be REELY careful on YouTube and a few other places and then the rest is at least 1 level harder for anyone to find your Rage Blunders! I've been out of work for a while, but I've never had delusions thats I am hidden for anyone who can do more than three commands, but my main goal was not to have (how many posts do I have here?) entries to show up to Monkey Assistants to Pointy Heads if they type my name in. I should check again next year but I almost accomplished that.

Then this line showed up:
"...Google has become a world-class leader in privacy".  Unlike my (now prob On-Tilt from the past and not repaired either) view of Microsoft, Google wasn't supposed to be "clueless". Just the shift from Do No Evil to Vegas-Dealing your info everywhere, yuk, but fine. So ... "world class leader in privacy..." - to me it doesn't count if they're still sending paper airplanes of your data to anyone that wants it! So, new Legal Defense:
"I plead Rumpelstiltskin". I don't know what to think. So I'm not going to try tonight.

4. "...there were some terrible executive decisions made along the way — perhaps mostly notably an ultimately abandoned integration of G+ and the YouTube commenting system, which cross-contaminated completely different spheres of interest with disastrous effects. I advocated against this both publicly and internally, but even though it was ultimately rescinded the damage was already done."

Exactly, see my notes above, I took a few ant-sized prevention steps and called it a day. So I lost track if they in fact officially abandoned it, but I want to start carving a distinction. Starting/cancelling projects and botching features to me are "in house thingies as them just Doing Stuff". But Google (and FB) to me always bring to mind what to me is the signature Problem (stop calling them Issues!) of the internet symbolically from about 1998's Eternal September and let's give it until 2030. And YouTube was that place you just went to view stuff, sometimes a bit more. Real Names, searchable, Nope! Not having that! So if they aborted THAT, well, **HALF BROKEN DATA PRACTICES** is a very real risk to me!

5. "...But it won’t be the same Google. It will have become the “conventional company” kind of Google, not the firm of which so many Googlers are so rightly proud, and that so many users around the globe depend upon throughout their days.

The Google that we’ve known will be dead. And with its passing, we’ll be entering into a much darker phase of the Internet that many of us have long feared and have worked so hard to try prevent.

And that loss would be terrible for us all."

No, I'm not "proud" of Google. In the "slices of the internet I inhabited", the mood went to "Google was supposed to Do No Evil, now they're Evil, I'm upset, but nothing I can do about it".

So in a way, this article to me ends on a Bait Switch. They Started Going Evil say about 2010 and "Stayed there". "Google Dying" to me does invite callbacks to Yahoo far more for me than those other examples, but I assumed Google's core money flow was as crispy as ever.

So that's where I am tonight.

Living Room / Re: Chess?
« on: March 25, 2018, 03:43 PM »

Let's start with a Twitch link.

He's on a show right now!
(Sunday Mar 35 about 4:45 PM so far)
GM Eric Hansen


Leader is GM Eric Hansen. Rated about 2600 - and that's important, you get that "what level" thing, and he is holding his own as a really solid "zeitgeist" player who does go down to Nakamura or a few people, but he's not a "has been".

and Aman Hambleton just made his Grandmaster title, so you see more "energy", that tends to fade with the prior generation of older commenters. I'm an ancient birdy and I'm just about to work on my game, I cleared a ton of background psyhological presure out of my life.

Then what they ALSO are doing right is they pulled in OG Yasser Seirawan

Retired a while back, spent a couple years doing modern blitz to spruce up a bit, has written some of the better books for intermediate players, and adds "continuity cred" so Eric H is doing a lot of things right.

( risks being a bit second tier because Danny Rensch tries more for comedy and comedy is SO hard to do right and so when he's off his timing his chess gets sloppy too).

Long Live the Chess Thread~

ps. One bold thing is Chessbrahs are not afraid to drift into low R Rated and that's a thing because "most modern news" is so terrified of not being "family friendly" but come on, do we not remember being 16?

So yes, It's okay to just be a bit edgy.

Living Room / Re: Chess?
« on: March 25, 2018, 12:19 PM »


That's how it's done.
(see my other thread, Insight can't be on a timeline)
I spent five hours yesterday deep overhauling my home library, that freed up the side furniture unit, the living room table was freed up 3 weeks ago for my first ever in home game party, the left side unit got freed up so people can put coats etc there,

... and I *have room for a dedicated chess study zone!" (Must not spoil it with "ordinary" projects - that's what the side of the bed, the top of the microwave, the corner of the floor, the top of the printer, and both desks are for!!)

...And I have the printout of Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan's older chess games, AND Yasser has OG creds in the chess world, so that White Hot Canadian Chessbrah crew pulled him in, and he's doing commentaries on the most important chess tournament of the year RIGHT now ...

And for only about the *second* time in his life, Phoeni has a *dedicated chess study space* with a GOERGOUS table and the living room couch no longer has laundry on it...


And the Thunder Voiced Idina Menzel extracted her song from Kid's Knockoff Toy hell, and here is the Disney 60th Anniversary rendition of Let It Go!

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