the most old star trek thing i’ve ever built

I built a Windows 98 machine out of our old nameserver, door; it was a P166 from 1996 and NO YES REALLY IT WAS STILL ON THE NET UNTIL TWO WEEKS AGO because we were just seeing how long it would hold on.

Anyway, it abruptly retired itself from service, and I had a new machine already built because I also had plans to restructure the network here at the Lair and it required new hardware, but that left me with a reasonably functional P166, and I like the ability to read archaic media and it had a drive controller that could talk to 5.25″ floppies. So.

(It’ll also run DOS games. But I digress, as I do.)

The power supply is a weird short-lived format between AT and ATX called ATB, and these are thin on the ground, so as I was swapping out fans because these old machines sounded like goddamn jet engines how did anyone put up with this ever oh right because we didn’t know any better, I noticed a couple of caps on the power supply had failed, and that I could improve the whole venting situation with a much more open power supply case. So I made one, out of bronze fabric and aluminium, and it is, as the title says, the single most original Star Trek thing I have ever built. To wit:


canna take much more of thi SHUT UP SCOTTY AND MAKE THE ENGINES GO

And now I’m leaving for Montréal and Festival Mémoire et Racines, and if I see you there – yay!

a classic TARDIS interior for you

Paul has a Vive VR rig and he’s starting to make environments for it! He posted a really good classic Doctor Who TARDIS room environment this weekend. It’s Version 1 and the controls are all static, but despite that it’s lots of fun because it’s a full environment otherwise and the display panels work and there’s even a sonic screwdriver, and a Dalek, and some other things.


I, of course, filled it with beach balls because that’s the kind of thing I do.

Also the Dalek needed a Gene wig and a monocle because it is CLEARLY a Special Monocle Dalek.

Anyway, it’s good, and you can subscribe to it and he’ll post updates. He’s working on a more kinetic version now where you can do things like operate console controls and have them do things. That’s apparently a lot more work, But he made a lot of progress yesterday on getting levers to move and such, so I expect he’ll have a version two out in a few weeks.

Me, I mostly found out that something which shouldn’t affect network behaviour at all affected it a lot and now I’ve broken through the 1800 level in Overwatch competitive, with 2000 finally in distant sight.

(I don’t know if I posted about that here, but when I went through rank evaluations, people on my team dropped halfway through in four out of five games, which meant I started in the depths of bronze, and while that’s kind of terrible, it also means I get to be THE WOLF IN THE FOLD and rain death from above. Raining death from above is always fun, but then the network started acting up on me so I had to fix that, then door – network infrastructure here in the Lair – exploded and I had to fix that, and and and and and. Then every so often everything is fixed and I climb 100 levels in a day. Which is what I just did again.)

But, yeah. Working my way up the ranks via the slow road. But I’ll show them. I’ll show them all.

So what’d you do this weekend?

hey linux networking peeps

I’m finally getting back to working on a new gateway/router server and I’m basically setting up this old-school sort of DMZ, with the rest of our servers hanging off one card, and our internal LAN/DHCP/NAT side hanging off the other. (Using ISC, which Debian seems to like.) And all of that seems to be right from the new server’s perspective, which is yay!

Except there’s no packet forwarding from the DHCP side even though it’s enabled and I’m sure I enabled it and yes the kernel thinks its enabled but it isn’t happening.

Any ideas where to start?

remember that novella I’ve been working on?

Remember that novella I’ve been writing, On Overcoming the Fear of Spiders? It’s finished. 32 chapters, a bit under 35,000 words (there is a canon digression linked at the appropriate time, but not contained within the primary volume, that boosts the word count), and I’m rather pleased to hear from a couple of readers who do not know anything about the Overwatch world that it makes sense even to them. They know there are emotional beats they’re missing, but it still works as a story.

I wasn’t specifically trying to do that, but I’m really quite pleased that it happened.

If you don’t know the lore at all, but are interested, here’s the original animated short introducing the world of the game, and here is the animated short “Alive” that featured Widowmaker. You’ll see the latter story in short form in Chapter 10, but in the cinematic, the chemistry between Amélie and Lena is absolutely smokin’, which spawned a lot of ships.

(If you really find yourself getting into the lore, here’s the official site, including the comic that confirmed Tracer – the literal face of the game, she’s on the cover of the box – is a lesbian.)

Also, you should know that in canon, in-universe, we ‘know’ that Amélie Lacroix was kidnapped by Talon and recovered apparently well but in actuality neurally reconditioned to assassinate her husband, the head of anti-Talon operations at Overwatch. After that, she went on to become a supposedly-emotionless assassin who feels only satisfaction at the success of her kills.

We are also given a lot of clues in both lore and game that this is at least in some parts a pile of lies, and that we are supposed to figure that out.

Anyway, this has been an experience like few others for me – it is literally more fiction than I’ve written, combined, before, in my life, and I actually tried writing fiction for real in college. I even got published once, in a little Ontario small-press magazine for a token $20 payment. But it was always like pulling teeth, whereas this was more like just trying to stay afloat on top of the tsunami as it carried me forward. I’ve had that feeling for individual songs before, but never for fiction.

I really liked it. I hope it happens again.

Friday gig cancelled

The Gas Works Park show tomorrow is cancelled – turns out the organiser didn’t realise that even ‘private’ parties require permits for entertainment, and once made aware of that, discovered… well… yeah.

Sorry folks. Just found out myself.

oh hey, another seattle gig

With Leannan Sidhe again. It’s this Friday at Gasworks Park, and to be honest I’m not sure how public an event it is? But it’s at Gasworks Park, so how private can it be? It’s not like they’re reserving the whole park, and there will be amps, you’ll be able to hear it from outside.

We’re on either at 6pm or 7pm, they’re still finalising the order because it’s kind of a big graduation party. And to be honest I don’t know whether I’m even supposed to post about it to other people but, well, I have now, so there. XD

See you Friday, or not!

show this thursday!

I’m playing with Leannan Sidhe and we’re doing some of my material this Thursday at Shoreline Community College. We’re the 1pm band at SunFest 2017, at the Rock River outdoor theatre, on campus, near Building 1600.

While this is largely a campus event, there is bus service (331 from North King County, the 5 from the south, also… something like the 342 from Northgate?), and also visitor parking on the south side of campus, which it’s not expensive, and some street parking, which is free if you can get it.

Hope to see some of you there!

something small becomes less so

This Sunday I’m going in to Someone Else’s Studio for what is really technically an academic exercise; the lead singer/songwriter of Leannan Sidhe and her group need someone to record for… it’s not a graduation exercise? But she’s very close to graduation and it’s a big project.

So I showed up yesterday and met with her and her two co-engineers, and poked around at songs to do, and we pretty quickly settled on “Supervillain For I Love You,” which I’ve just recently revised (and I think improved, which is pretty typical for my work as I perform it) and we start talking microphones.

And turns out they’re really into this song, apparently, because suddenly they were all talking about who else they can bring in and how big a band we can assemble, and now we’re in the large studio and besides me and my zouk and the chorus there’s a bassist and a pianist and a guitarist and possibly a horn section and they were working out a drumkit part I think that’s all but I’m not entirely sure.

Now as this is happening I realise, I’ve seen this before, on video, where, you know, Real Musicians Are In The Real Studio, because let’s face it, as happy as I am with the little one I built, it’s still a tiny studio and I can only play so many instruments, and only one at a time. I’m usually working alone.

So this Sunday may in fact be – outside voiceover and radio work, of course – the most “pro”-like recording experience I’ve ever had. Eep?

another side project

It might be silly, but for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been doing something I have almost never done before, and never this much: I’ve been writing fiction, and lots of it. Overwatch fanfic, to be specific.

Over the winter holidays, Overwatch held a couple of events, and released a comic, called Reflections. It’ the one where we find out completely and totally unambiguously that Tracer, the literal face of the game, the character on the box, is queer. We meet her girlfriend, they smooch, it is inarguable text.

It was like a second Korrasami just fell out of the air and landed on us, and it was wonderful.

But we also see a single panel of Widowmaker, from the back, standing, looking to me despondent, at Gérard’s grave. (For those who don’t know: he was her husband, and her first official target as an assassin.) It’s one of what I consider to be several hints dropped that her official backstory is a lie. And there have been a bunch of people – since the beginning – shipping Tracer and Widowmaker, which to me is nonsensical in canon, because Lena would never forgive Amélie for killing Mondatta in the cinematic video “Alive.”

Lost yet? Sorry, there’s no way out but through. Anyway, one of these shippers did a marvellous and touching comic set a few minutes after that single frame of Widowmaker, with her and Venom – the version of Tracer who is with Talon, not Overwatch. And I liked it so much, I started thinking, “How would we actually get here? What would it take?”

Now, I’ve never really been a fiction writer, but I can make take characters’ lives and seriously fuck them up, but good. And, unlike certain writers (cough cough m*ff*t cough) I care about trying to make it work in character. And the analytical engine in the back of my brain started churning.

Then a couple of weeks ago, it just started falling out. I feel almost less like “writer” here than “transcriber.” It’s still short – a novelette – but Chapter 12 went up today. There have kind of been 13, but one is out of continuity and not listed with the main work, because it’s kind of an AU-to-my-own-AU aside.

Fortunately, it’s not all I can think about, but holy crow is it dominating my brainspace. I have new relationship energy with writing? Apparently? Or something? I don’t even know. (Seriously, it feels like NRE. It’s goofy.)

And since I’ve checked with actual writers and am told this is a thing that happens, I’m willing to admit to this story about my story.

I was in spawn point one on offence in Gibraltar, as Tracer (of course), and looking out the upper-floor window to see how the defence was setting up. Surprisingly few people do this, given how useful it is.

And Widowmaker came up beside me, to do the same thing, in full Talon-wear, and we said hello, like you do, and she looked through her scope to get a better view, and suddenly I saw her through Venom’s eyes.

Now, I have issues with Widowmaker’s character design, and a lot of them are probably pretty obvious, but leave those aside for the moment. Seeing her as Venom – as my Talon Tracer – sees her… even for for just that moment, she literally took my breath away.

If that’s what the tracermaker shippers have been seeing this whole time… hoo boy. Now, I really get it.

a side project I’ve been working on

My “Make Dreamwidth mobile friendly” project is now in Beta 1. If you’re using any previous version, please upgrade now! And report bugs.

If you’re not using it, but are on Dreamwidth and would like the site to behave decently on your phone, please became a beta tester. Instructions at the link:

Coexistence Alpha: A Responsive Mobile-Friendly Overlay for Dreamwidth

Thanks!

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The Music

THE NEW SINGLE