and if we’re talking DIY I may as well post this

The Raptor has this huge cargo area in two-seater mode, larger than that of all but the largest SUVs. It’s also got a three-seat mode, which might actually be useful, as well as four and five (if one person is small) modes. Three-seat mode will be particularly useful for Leannan Sidhe gigs, since that’s usually a three-person band, and we’ll still have quite decent room for cargo in that configuration.

The vehicle comes with a cargo-area tray for all-seats configuration (again, in theory five, really four adults), but you can’t even buy something specifically made for two-seat mode. Even most universal cargo-area liners simply aren’t big enough, which is hilarious – all these SUV toys being too small for my Honda Fit Raptor, lol – but I found a one that was, and stared modifying it.

Pictures below the break…

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another tiny mobile change

I’ve set up a redirect so that mobile users going to the front page from outside the site will, by default, go to the mobile version. But unlike with the blog (where I can’t do this because reasons), you can actually and properly exit to the desktop view – there’s a link at the bottom of the mobile page to do it.

It’s the same mobile version as the one you’d get by default if you went to the blog on mobile, so there’s not really much new. But I didn’t want to have to add a “go to mobile” link on the front page or anything, so this seemed like an adequate solution for now.

Anyway, if you’re curious:

Browser-dependent: http://crimeandtheforcesofevil.com

Forced desktop: http://crimeandtheforcesofevil.com/index

Mobile front page: http://crimeandtheforcesofevil.com/blog/mobile-home

That’s not perfect because the mobile front page will be shown as a desktop blog page but with mobile content if you go there from desktop, because again reasons.

Next version won’t do that sort of foolishness, but that can wait a couple of years – I hope!

it’s been a while for flower pictures

It’s been a while since I posted a flower picture, so here y’go. This was taken on a hillside above the Oregon coast.

“just to impress a boy”

I’ve been reading a lot of Shit People Say to Women Directors, a tumblr blog on the deep and endemic sexism in the US film and television industry. It consists of things said to women trying to work in the industry, as is implied by the label on the tin, and it’s pretty often pretty brutal.

And we all know how bad the sexism is in gaming, and more specifically, the computer gaming industry, which makes me think there ought to be another blog called Shit People Say To Women In Gaming. This anonymous post at The Trenches could be the first entry.

In mid-2011 I applied for a localization testing position in Birmingham, UK. I have 2 years of translation experience and plenty of good references, so I knew my chances were good (I want to be part of the industry and I don’t care which end I get in). I sent in my CV and received an email back on the same day with a date and time for a phone interview. I was through the roof, you have no idea how long I had been trying to get into the industry. …

Interviewer: Look, madam, I will be frank with you, I don’t actually believe you want this job.
Me: (very stunned) No?
Interviewer: No, I don’t believe your interest in the gaming industry is genuine as a woman.

Go read the whole thing, it actually manages to get worse. And keep in mind: this is a testing position, one of the relative refuges for women in software, in recent years. Imagine the odds of getting a callback for a woman in dev.

eta: And this can be the second post.

mobile view goes over well

It’s still early days, but doing all that mobile view work (and turning it back on once it was usable) seems to have had a pretty decent impact. Here are some stats from Google Analytics:


Before


After

The bit in red is mobile; above that is desktop; below that is tablet. The tablet audience is surprisingly small; it’s swamped by both desktop and phone. The “bounce” rate is the percentage of people who hit the site and only look at one page. The pages per visit is a mean, and includes the bouncers. The time-on-site thing I consider kind of unreliable, to be honest. (It’s regularly internally contradictory within a single day, is why.)

Anyway, as you can see, phone users used to bounce off the site at a dramatically higher rate than other kinds of users; now they’ve moved into line with everyone else. Pages per visit on phone is up, time on site (unreliable tho’ it may be) is also meaningfully up. Mobile users had been dragging the whole site average down; now it’s back in line with other formats.

So I guess that mobile view is kind of important! In retrospect I guess that seems kind of obvious, but I tend to hate them personally, so I guess that kind of affected my impression of their value. I wish I’d done the work earlier, now. Ah, well, live and learn.

working on applications

Working on venue applications; got invited to a couple, actually, and those are highest priority. Wow, I’m bad at this part. I need some better promotional photos, too. Like, any.

So have some photos from the trip down to the shows in Oregon last week! I took 101 the whole way, and it took much longer than Mapquest, Google Maps, or I expected, so I didn’t get as much hiking in as I wanted. But I did stop for a little.

The bridge over the Columbia was under a fair bit of renovation on the Oregon side, but the waits were not very long. If they’d been longer I might’ve got out and taken more photos. But it wasn’t, so I did not.


Abrupt Elevation


Girders!

I’m not the only one who thinks this looks like a Viper launch from pilot viewpoint, right? Doing a Viper-tube launch from a Raptor was pretty weird.


Green Squadron Leader, Launch

HI COWS!


COWS

I remember when we had air. It’s nice there’s a museum to it.


Well, That’s What It Says

This was the only time I got out and actually hiked a little. (A very little. Like, a mile. But it was steep.) I’m very disappointed because I took another panorama of the ocean that I know I took, and… it’s not in my camera. I don’t know where it went. Still, have these.

Bigger versions on my Flickr account, like usual.

Anyway, not so many photos as other times. I’d like to do 101 again, even if it is kind of freaky to go through So Many Tourist Towns in Oregon. It’s kind of like getting a tour of all the different models of Potemkin villages, and then every so often you hit a town which is Not For Tourists and Out Here For Another Reason Goddammit and you can really tell the difference.

I just wish I’d had more time to stop and hike more. Ah well, hopefully next time.

And back

I’m back! First long-range test-flight of the Raptor went well. As did the shows, I got invited a few more places, so did we-as-Leannan-Sidhe – thanks again Newport, Toledo, Glastonbury!

Not so many pictures this time. I’ll post a couple later. But I did make friends with a moth.


Hello I Am Moth I Like Your Shoelaces Did You Steal Them From The President?

It was very one-sided. Mostly on Moth’s side, to be honest.

And off!

And we’re off – six shows in Oregon with Leannan Sidhe. See you when I see you – hopefully in Toledo or Newport or somewhere on the coast!

digital tabs and sheet music: an arbitrage opportunity

A while ago, I saw Tony Fabris of Vixy & Tony using a ridiculously large Windows tablet to display his lyrics and sheet music. He’d also whipped together some software to organise it and such. It was awesome.

The trick was he’d got the tablet relatively cheap, because it was huge, but also the first release of Windows 8 on tablet, and there was something weird about it I think? I forget. It already didn’t exist anymore, but he had one.

Anyway, I’ve been watching for a similar opportunity ever since, because I kind of realised there was an arbitrage opportunity floating around right about… well, let’s go to the napkin:

See, past a point, as tablets get larger, they become less useful as tablets. Above 11″ or so, they rapidly become both unacceptably awkward and heavy, particularly at widescreen ratios. Oh, sure, you can get a keyboard, use it as a really awkward laptop, and a lot of companies are making laptop “convertibles” now as people try to figure out that format. But even done well, that’s basically a laptop that can make do as a shitty tablet, all at laptop prices.

Now, on the other hand, if you want something to sit in front of you on a music rack and display your chords or whatever, you want that extra, impractical-for-carrying-around size. And you don’t mind a little more weight, because it’s a lot lighter than a bunch of three-ring binders.

And LCD screens in those sizes and ratios are everywhere now from OEMs, because laptops. So everybody keeps trying to make tablets at those larger sizes because IT CAN’T MISS AM I RIGHT? Except every time it’s the same plan, it’s the same plan, and everybody ends up on fire and dumping these things.

So the trick is to find something in that little red bar, at the end of the too-heavy, too-big-for-normal-people 13-14″ downslope-of-heaviness while still in the awesome-for-sheetmusic range of musician happiness, all at the right oh-shit-this-was-a-bad-idea-get-rid-of-these-things price range.

There’ve been a few qualifying tablets floating around pretty much constantly since I saw Tony’s, all from one or another GeneroMaker, but they’ve all been too junky for one reason or another. Bad screens, bad battery life, double-digit DOA rates, whatever.

Until possibly now. Meet The Latest Iteration Of This Mistake, at $150 on Amazon right now.


3rd Generation iPod for scale because I left my sonic upstairs

The photo here isn’t great, but I don’t want to move the tablet because it’s doing the first-time charge. But trust me: it’s huge. It’s slightly over three times the size of Anna’s Kindle. It’s got a good screen, it’s heavier than some laptops but it’s thin, it’s got 5-7 (claimed) hours of battery life, decent viewing angles, and it’s running Jelly Bean so can talk to the usual app stores. It’s got USB and expansion and all that. The onboard sound is terrible and it’s not super fast, but that’s not what I need it for.

And almost all the positive reviews are from musicians using it for exactly this.

There will probably be more of these, but this is the first one I’ve seen since that old Windows tablet of Tony’s that meets all the requirements for such appropriately little dough. I’ve had it for all of a few hours, so this isn’t a review, but it is your notice: the arbitrage opportunity you may have been waiting for is now here.

the right people will get it

I kind of want to get a custom-made license plate frame. I’ve never bothered with anything like this before, but then again, I’ve never named a car before either. I’m kind of thinking of something like this:


RAPTOR 312 LIGHT

“CF BSG75″ is Colonial Fleet Battlestar Group 75, which is, of course, Galactica. (I’m not sure yet of how to do the spacing, either. CFBSG 75? CF BSG 75? If you have an opinion I’d like it.)

I generally don’t like my fandom references to be super-obvious. I like them to be the sorts of things that are in-universe and to be things that people who don’t care won’t notice. Like, I always wanted to build an Angelic Layer control helmet, and just carry it around at cons, like every AL player does at events in-universe. Nobody would get it, but it would be awesome.

This isn’t that good, but it fits the aesthetic.

(I’m also thinking of getting this, trimming off the COLONIAL and FLEET words, and putting it inside the driver’s side front side miniport window. This trimming should work as long as I’m careful, particularly since it’s a vinyl transfer sticker.)

eta: also, see my comment below. That kind of doing it wrong just … nnngngnggghgh. Really visceral NO reaction. I don’t even know why.

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