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Messages - Travis

1
I still remember when email lists used to be popular, and then it transitioned to web forums. Personally, I always kind of liked discussion lists and still think they had several advantages over web forums and newer mediums, but maybe that's partly because I'm a relative oldtimer. :P
2
Yeah, I was kidding around. Admittedly, I haven't been following calc forums much either, both due to lack of activity and my having moved on to other communities/projects. In general, it seems like there's been a sort of trend away from forums and toward IRC and now Discord, as I see a fair amount of activity there in a lot of places despite relatively little forum activity.
3
Oh... I think this is finally my chance to say, "Holy necropost, Batman!"
* Travis runs

I somehow completely missed DJ's reply until now anyway, and I didn't even remember this thread until I saw the picture I posted of the ticalc.org archive interface, haha. Also, I realized I made a mistake in the screenshot and forgot to change one of the instances of "v200" to "v400". Darn. Now everyone knows the V400 reference is fake. :P
4
Yeah, the main file processing program is an ncurses terminal app and looks something like this. Then there's a completely separate web-based admin section for managing screenshots, comments, and miscellaneous things. The most amazingly exciting part of processing pending files is having to wait 15 seconds for the antivirus thing to run first—even if there are 0 files in the pending queue to actually scan. :P

On a more serious note, pending files aren't that bad because in most cases they don't take much longer to approve/reject than it takes me to take a quick look to see if they seem okay. Occasionally things get more complicated like if someone gave the file a name that already exists in the archive. The real pain is moving files. With the "fa" tool, it has to be done one at a time, and if the file has any links it can't be moved at all (unless you manually write down all the links, remove them, move the file, then recreate all the links again, one by one). I eventually got so sick of that that once I learned enough about how the DB backend and fa worked I started writing my own scripts on the server to be able to move groups of files at once, even linked ones.
5
Somehow this sort of reminds me of one time during the first week of June 2011 where one person suddenly uploaded something like 300–400 files to ticalc.org, all at once and without warning. We had to order an emergency evacuation I think it took me about a week or two to finish processing them. It turned out that over 2/3 of the files were actually duplicates, though, uploaded separately for each compatible calculator, because the uploader didn't know about requesting links. I finally emailed him and let him know about it so he wouldn't have to spend his life filling out three times more upload forms than he had to, haha. Fun times.
6
Randomness / Re: TravisE likes "quitting"
September 10, 2018, 12:55:31 AM
I don't know enough about Inception to get the joke, but yeah, looks like my default quit message happens to be "Quitting". I think when I set it I was mainly just trying to get rid of the silly advertisements that so many IRC clients like to put in the default quit message if you don't change it, but I wasn't creative enough to find anything to say in a generic quit message. I didn't realize that it would have that effect. :P
7
Another thing, too, could be that back around that time they only had enough quadratic solvers to collapse into a star, rather than a black hole, so it may have been somewhat easier for one to stand out. :P
8
I know this is an old topic, but here's an interactive page that makes it much easier to investigate hearing thresholds and such than that YT frequency sweep clip: http://www.szynalski.com/tone-generator/

You can slide the frequency around at will to look for dips/peaks in the sound. It might also be useful for getting an idea of frequency response and setting up equalization for your sound setup and such.

I notice the same apparently rather sharp peaks and dips with my (somewhat pricey) headphones, and the upper limit of my hearing still seems to be centered right around 14.5 kHz. I get a different set of peaks/dips on my dirt-cheap desktop speakers, and in fact it seems the latter actually sound more flat (though not perfectly so), at least as far as sine waves go. O.O No idea if it's my hearing or something wrong with my headphones or if maybe it's actually normal. I'm still trying to research this. One thing I'm starting to think which complicates matters is that there's a big difference between what a "perfect" frequency response measuring tool reads and what we actually hear, as I'm pretty sure the frequency response of our ears is anything but flat. Probably by design, even—for instance, in normal hearing the most sensitive hearing range is said to be at around the frequencies that are crucial in speech/communication, which probably isn't a coincidence.
9
Site Discussion & Bug Reports / Re: CodeWalrus Ads
July 16, 2017, 11:44:29 PM
Someone ought to do an ad boasting "over 100% uptime!" I'm not sure what that means exactly, but it'd be kind of funny. :P
10
Quote from: p2 on May 10, 2017, 10:41:55 PM
many sites (for exsample german news sites) split their videos in 5sec fragments and lead them all and make the player turn them into one again. so while watching u dont notice, but if u want to download it... x.x
u can easily download the movie, but it's gonna be a few hundred separate tiny files which u would have to put together using a video cut software, the amount of work is really insame! (actually did thart once, but only once!)

That would be quite possible to automate via a script and the right tools, but it's true that most people likely wouldn't bother. Just remember that it still wouldn't necessarily stop someone who really wanted to pirate it.
11
Yeah, that was pretty trivial. I just checked the page HTML source and found the MP3 link immediately. (It's violin music.)

You're trying to solve the same problem that the music industry has been trying to solve for ages via DRM (and mostly failing ;)). I think the big commercial movie and streaming sites use some sort of DRM-based encryption that requires special browser plugins and the like. I haven't researched those, so I have no idea how they work or how effective they are.

The best you can really do is make it so that it takes enough effort to get a raw download that most people won't go to the trouble, while realizing that if someone really wants it badly enough, they'll eventually find a way anyway. If you're serious about it, you should consider applying for registered copyright on the works so that you can legally prove copyright infringement if someone does pirate them.
12
Yeah, I think the tables thing really depends on exactly what you're trying to do (and maybe even just how you personally think about things when designing a page, sort of like how different people have different programming styles and approaches). Right now, my personal attitude about tables is that, first of all, they're fine if you're just presenting tabular text data (like how tables are traditionally used in print)—that's what they were really intended for. For layout and appearance, it's more proper to use CSS. I've found that using non-table elements works well for certain layout tasks, but for ones where I really do want table-like layout behavior, it's possible to still use divs and such but use CSS's 'display' property to make the browser display them exactly as if they were tables. This method is nice because I get all the table-like behavior and (IIRC) it has good browser support. Opinion on whether it's "proper" seems to be divided, but IMO there's nothing wrong with it because you're not literally using tables for layout in the HTML and you're still using CSS as it was intended: to dictate presentation. (And if it is somehow "bad", the W3C shouldn't have included it in the CSS standard in the first place, so there. :P)

I believe there is a "flex-box" thing that's supposed to provide some of the flexibility of the old tables, but browser support doesn't yet seem as widespread as the method I just mentioned.
13
I like it because it develops problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and because it lets me make my computer work for me by doing exactly what I want or need it to do (and not merely being limited to what some other programmer decided to make it do). It's also awesome to be able to create a program (or even a game; +1 what DJ Omnimaga said) that I wish existed but doesn't. I don't have to settle for just wishing!
14
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on April 02, 2017, 04:29:37 PMNow to be fair, I don't miss tables in the slightest. Divs are much eaiser to deal with. But I wish the div/CSS3 era came out way back then. Would have been epic.

I feel it depends on exactly what you're trying to achieve. I can't always seem to get non-table boxes to do exactly what I want when laying them out horizontally without occasionally resorting to adding CSS rules to make them display like table cells, though maybe it's just me. (For instance, trying to get them to use all horizontal space while spreading their space in particular proportions comes to mind.) But for other types of layout or organization, they work pretty well. I haven't managed to really get the hang of floats, either, let alone stop them from doing awful things like overlapping each other if there doesn't happen to be enough space (and I hate seeing this problem happen frequently on sites I visit, making everything unreadable).

What I do like about external CSS files is that they greatly simplify the HTML and come closer to the ideal of separating content and presentation (though it's not perfect, as I sometimes seem to run into limitations in CSS that end up require me to at least slightly alter the HTML anyway).

What I hate is that it can be darn confusing trying to get things to line up exactly how I want and the fact that browsers tend to vary in their interpretation and support of CSS rules (though this seems to have improved a bit over time).

I also hate how the standards developers seem to have forgotten what HTML was originally intended for: to render text on a device-independent basis, not to be an absolute pixel-perfect page-layout engine. Meaning, presentation and style elements were intended to be optional, as not all clients (or users—consider sight-impaired people using screen readers) support them. Very limited text-only devices were supposed to be able to render the text in alternate ways the best they could, and the content was intended to still be usable. Today, we have nonsense like fixed-width layouts and increasing numbers of sites designed to completely break when I enlarge the text size for accessibility reasons. The "full site" zoom (which scales the entire page instead of just the text) isn't usually adequate because so many sites apparently think it's cool to use a fixed-width layout (often making their lines of text already way too many characters long for comfortable reading, just to add insult to injury) so that it results in horizontal scrolling to read every single line, making the site go from barely legible to pretty much unusable.

The current HTML standards seem to place the full weight of making a proper device-independent and accessible site on the web developers, either making it far more work or providing features that encourage them not to bother. As a result, Web accessibility is a huge hit-or-miss mess.

Thank goodness they had the sense to make CSS so that it can be trivially overridden by the user. It's a pain, but if I have to, I at least have the option to apply my own rules in my browser to whip a messed-up site back into some kind of usable state.

I also really dislike how half the sites nowadays require JavaScript to be usable at all. Sure, interactive content legitimately requires it, but there's no excuse for sites with static content that give you nothing but a blank page if you have JavaScript off. More and more web sites are turning into "apps" (even those that really don't need to be), but, since really good programmers are fairly rare, there are huge numbers of sites that require JavaScript for things that shouldn't need it, or use it just to do really annoying things (like lightbox nags and ads, after the original pop-ups of the '90s were already considered by virtually everyone to be bad and blockers developed for damn good reasons), or do it such a horrible way that it doesn't work properly at all or requires 500 GB of RAM and several decades of CPU time to render a couple of lines of text. JS was once considered a mere supplement to HTML; it should have remained that way for the vast majority of pages. It's capable of greatly enhancing and improving the usability of web pages, but sadly I always seem to encounter far more cases of it making them as difficult to use as possible instead. On the bright side, at least it's just JS and not Flash. :P
15
I feel your pain; 86 crashes can be a pain to recover from sometimes. ;)

The worst crash I had, I had to remove all the AAA batteries and the backup battery, and I think I even put a piece of tape on the ON key to hold it down for a few hours with the batteries removed (somehow that seems to help). It should eventually reset and work again if you do that, even if it takes a while and a number of attempts.

Usually it doesn't take that long, though; often removing the AAAs and holding ON for a minute or so will be enough to drain the remaining charge and allow the processor to hard-reset when you reinstall the AAAs.

Hope that helps!
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