[Up]Stream [Down]Stream [Just]Stream

I have a Twitch account. You all know that right?

Of course you don’t, because I never use it.

That is going to change. Mainly because I have invested far too much money in hardware that is meant for streaming, to stop just before I get to the point where I am ready to actually do it. A fair few people around me already stream regularly, and while some do it for the money (and seem to be only interested in it for the money), I want to do it because I think I would be good at it. As much as YouTube is about the personality, it is more often than not also about high quality video editing and gaming the system. Twitch appears to be less so, so long as you have a decent connection and a good PC to stream and play on.

I have gone beyond purchasing gear to just use for Voice Chat in games. I bought myself a full XLR microphone and interface set to make sure that not only would I have good quality but I would be future-proofed. I also bought the Elgato Stream Deck, on release, mainly for it’s integrations with OBS, but also because it can be used for hotkeys and shortcuts without the need to memorise key combinations and modifiers.

Continue reading

Simple Simon met a PiMan.

I’ve always been a fan of the Raspberry Pi. Ever since it came to the public marketplace in 2012, makers and tinkerers alike were crazy over it, as was I. After all, who couldn’t be at least slightly interested in the idea of a computer the size of a credit card, running Linux with standardised inputs and outputs. The mind boggled at what could be done.

I got my Pi (Model B+) in 2014, and immediately I was fooling around with it. My first goal was a webserver, before I realised how limited the Pi actually was. While those limitations have mostly been remedied by better specs, initially they were a gauge of what could be done with the machine. I tried a media center with XBMC before finally settling on using Volumio on it to turn it into a music player, affectionately called Pi-Fi on my network. I always toyed with the idea of buying the latest version and turning it into an emulation machine (RetroPie now works up to the PSx), but never really went forward with it.

But buying a Chromebook lead to another limitation that I hadn’t thought of before: Chromebooks do not print in the typical way. You can’t just hook a USB printer in and hit CTRL+P on them. They use Google Cloud Print, and while I could just set that up on my main machine, not having it on is the point of having a Chromebook in the first place.

Continue reading

VIDEO – The Lost Episodes of Half-Life 2

YouTube, somewhere along the way, has been on point with recommendations for me, at least in the realm of gaming. The site recommended the channel GVMERS, and since then I’ve been happy to see them show up on my feed. Them and Raycevick do longer form content about gaming history, and fill the gap in my viewing habits that All Your History by Machinima left behind, though without the topics being recently released or upcoming franchises.

This particular video teases Valve’s trepidation of a third game in a series, but also goes into a lot of projects that I didn’t know about in regards to their episodic system, and in hindsight is fascinating that Valve (at the time) would allow third parties a stake in their prized series.

So… I bought a Chromebook.

I’ve been wanting to get a laptop again for a while. With neighbour issues seeming to want to escalate I’ve wanted to be able to make a lot of what I do online as portable as possible. If I want to go into the bedroom and talk to people, or post on forums and such I should be able to, if only to get away from the problem temporarily. As much as I love having my Bluetooth keyboard and a tablet available, it’s not the same as having a laptop. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a laptop that has too much, but I was also painfully aware, thanks to tablets with keyboard attachments, that not spending enough and not doing enough research was going to hurt my purchasing in the long run.

I had been eyeing up a Chromebook for a while, purely because I spend almost all of the time I am not gaming, or video editing (i.e. things that I wouldn’t attempt on a laptop anyway) in Chrome in some way or another. Even when I’m in Discord it’s a version of Chrome with a few things attached. After doing research, it turned out that the cheapest Chromebook I could find was perfect for my needs; an Acer Chromebook 11 (2016).

I’ve not had a new laptop since mid-2010 when I bought from the first iterations of Dell’s Inspiron 1545, and the low-end version at that. That was six or seven years ago, and frankly I expected similar specs. I know that Linux and by extension ChromeOS would run on a lot of hardware (it was just about usable on my 2007 EeePC 901 with spinning HDD) and as such I expected the specs to be low to match. What I had missed was that with SSDs becoming cheaper to produce and more in demand thanks to the speed differences inherent in the design they remove a significant bottleneck in cheap notebooks at a decent price point. SSDs are no longer a gimmick in laptops; they are the norm.

Continue reading

Stagnate the Internet.

The “Battle for the Net” day of action was yesterday. A lot of non ISP internet-centric companies, personalities and organisations campaigned hard to get the average user to take action. Forms got filled in, members of the government were called, emailed, spoken to, all in an attempt to avoid the FCC reclassifying the Internet from the ‘utility’ descriptor, and all the associated legalities of being declared a ‘Title II common carrier’. I don’t think that this was a good thing.

I know that I’ve just alienated at least three quarters, if not all, of people that actually read this thing, and enraged a good portion of said alienated people. But what I ask is that you hear me out.

Title II is part of the Communications Act of 1934, and the relevant areas of the act state that, by default, no discrimination can be bought, sought or brought upon services provided by ISPs, when they can be distributed to all people connected to that network.

I would like to begin my explanation by simply stating this: Using an Act that was brought into law, with the same initial provisions, in 1934 is not reflective of the way that the Internet was developed, or exists today, let alone in five, ten or fifty years as part of best efforts of futureproofing. Furthermore, this Act doesn’t have ‘relevant’ or ‘applicable’ protections. They all apply. The same that apply to your phone, electricity provider, gas provider and water provider. In addition to that, your sewage provider is also protected. Also, roller coasters were, for half a decade, declared common carriers in certain states. There are countless ‘common carriers’, that do not have the nuance of the Internet, because the Act, that bears repeating, was written in 1934. The Act is outdated for the protections it is being used to offer.

Continue reading