Robert's Blog

Tireless Work During This Crisis

This quarantine has been hard on all of us, but let us not forget the dedicated work that still continues for our nation's homeopaths. They're out there in the middle of the fray insuring that the correct dosages in parts per million are being applied to their tinctures. All this despite the disruptions in the world-wide rhinoceros horn supply chain.

Hug a Homeopath

 

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Tue, 03/17/2020 - 16:40 in

Haunted House: Remastered

Haunted House: Remastered

Followers of this site (ed. yeah like that's a thing) will remember a few years ago I created a in-browser playable version of the Applesoft BASIC game Haunted House for this site. Over the past month or so I got it in my head to push my skills as a programmer and make a much more fully realized version of the game. Today I am releasing my new version of the game, Haunted House: Remastered! It's a vast improvement on the original in almost every way possible. In other words, it's actually fun to play.

While it's nowhere near the level of sophistication of an Infocom game, I think it does some pretty impressive stuff (for my skill level as a programmer). It's still a two word parser, but the vocabulary is increased. There are full-page help screens, triggered story events, a retro…

Legendary Junk of China

Tonight I just started to watch The Legendary Weapons of China again by mistake. This is why I keep blogging these movies. I will eventually forget I've seen them before. In any event, I forgot how awesome the first ten minutes of this film is (the rest is not that great). Leave it to the Shaw Brothers to create movies that are written for eight year-olds but filled with all sorts of graphic violence. The best moment is when a fighter is commanded to rip his crotch out. At first he has a very dainty technique:

Crotch grab at the ready!

But it ends with a quick grab and, a backwards flop, and then a fistful of gore flying through the air:

Fosberg flop

Here it is in case you missed it:

Ewww!

The Witcher TV Series

Just finished watching The Witcher on Netflix. I'm probably biased from playing the games, but I thought it was quite good. The lead's voice takes some time to get used to. Seems like he is just doing an impression of the game's growly voice actor (complete with the hmms and nose breathing). The series takes about four episodes to start clicking. It's then that you realize that the story is not being told in chronological order and you start to see how the characters relate. My main quibble is that it jumps into the magic stuff a bit too quickly before laying out ground rules. Going full "epic" so fast is overwhelming. It's when the show focuses on its characters that it becomes fun. Like an old episode of Hercules or Xena. That is all.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 01/08/2020 - 22:25 in

Drupal 8 Migration

I have resisted migrating this site to Drupal 8 for years. Every time I looked into it there was some killer feature that D8 couldn't do. The times I attempted testing out the process it was always a complete disaster. Well, time is running out on Drupal 7. The old system is slated for end-of-life in 2020 and it's now or never for the "upgrade."

In this post I am going to recap my experience in migrating a fairly simple Drupal 7 site to Drupal 8. Hopefully, someone facing the same issues as me will come across this post and will find something helpful.

Long story short, the migration process sucks bad. If you don't have a little experience with directly manipulating a database or troubleshooting software in general, don't even attempt it.

I am not a command-line guy. This was…

Pages of Fun: Now with Drupal 8

Well, I have finally made the jump to the newest version of Drupal. We are now running Drupal 8 and, man, was it a pain in the butt to migrate the old site. I will forever recommend Wordpress over Drupal to anyone who doesn't want to pull their hair out every time a new patch is released.

Still, there is a lot to like about the new system. I will soon post the gory details of my migration experience, but, in the meantime, let's hope this works and that I am not swamped with comment spam.

Transferring Patches to a Yamaha DX100 with Sysex and a PC

Yamaha DX100 Cassette Connector CableOn this site, I had previously posted a set of 24 Yamaha DX100 synth patches for download. The DX is a notoriously difficult synthesizer to program. That difficulty extends to its load/save workflow as well. Originally, the DX100 came with a special cord with a MIDI-style plug on one end and three headphone-sized jacks on the other. This is meant to be plugged into a data cassette recorder. The red cable is audio out, the white is audio in, and the black (I assume) controls the tape player. You hit a button combo on the DX100 and then a screeching modem sound is output to the tape. Modern users can record this sound on a computer as a .WAV file and it will work the same as and old-school tape deck. This works okay, but there is a better way to archive and reload sounds.

Meet Sysex

Sy…

Revisiting Old Music: Mission Accomplished

Wall of CDs!

Well, it only took me twelve years. I have finally finished my quest to re-listen to my entire CD collection. This really didn't need to take more than decade, but in the middle of the process I decided to start reviewing each CD individually. After a while the thought of having to type a new review if I listened to a disc would discourage me from continuing. I finally gave up somewhere in compilations. The world doesn't need to know that each of the eight or so Back from the Grave compilations sounds pretty much like all the other ones. On top of that, there was an excursion into my vinyl collection in which I ripped all my 45s and then started in on my LPs too. Who knew listening to music was such hard work.

My final thoughts are that I like most of the music that I have…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 08/22/2019 - 14:36 in