Gaming System Upgrades

Technology
Sep 13, 2021
SFF Time P-ATX V2 case with an i7-9700KF and a 3080-Ti
SFF Time P-ATX V2 case with an i7-9700KF and a 3080-Ti

For the past few years, my gaming rig has been an MSI Trident-X, a prebuilt PC that uses standard ITX components. It replaced my previous gaming laptop, which I also upgraded a few years ago. The Trident-X case does fit a standard PCI-E video card, so I thought it would a good future-proof system. I’ve upgraded the storage of this unit, although not without issues. Back when the current generation of nVidia and AMD graphics cards were announced, I noticed most of them were over 2.5 to 3 slots wide, and likely wouldn’t fit in the current Trident-X enclosure. I watch way too many tech reviews, and found myself pre-ordering an SFF Time P-ATX V2 case. I had the intentions of moving the guts of my gaming PC into an enclosure that could support newer video cards, sometime in the distant future. I placed a pre-order in February, and the case shipped fairly quickly in March. However, it was held up in shipping due to the pandemic, and didn’t arrive until recently. The far future turned into this summer. I moved my gaming PC components into this very nice small form factor case, while adding a few upgrades.

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Docker with IPv6 and Network Isolation

Technology
Aug 29, 2021
Photo of network switch in a data center rack cabinet

Fancy Docker orchestration systems, like Kubernetes or DC/OS, have networking layers that can be setup for complicated ingress and load balancer configurations. But what if you just have a single Docker daemon and multiple IPs assigned to a single server? How do you bind individual containers to specific public IP addresses? It’s fairly straight forward to bind a service running in a container to a specific IP listening address, but getting outgoing traffic to egress via a specific IP address takes additional work. If you’re attempting to use Docker with IPv6, you’re in for a world of very counterintuitive configuration. In this post, I’m going to take you through setting up Docker to work with IPv4 and IPv6, using isolated networks, so all incoming and outgoing traffic are restricted to specific IP addresses.

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Vaccines and the 737-MAX 8

Politics
Aug 24, 2021
In flight 737-MAX 8 with a red FDA Approved stamp over it

In 2019, every 737-MAX 8 in production was grounded, barred from commercial flights by countries around the world, after two crashes that resulted in the deaths of all passengers and crew on the airliners. The recalled fleet of planes overflowed into the parking lots of Boeing maintenance facilities, and Boeing was fined over $2.5 billion over charges of fraud and conspiracy. A weakened regulatory process had shifted more of the responsibility of safety from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to Boeing itself, leading to the horrific oversight of the design flaw in the 737-MAX 8’s MCAS software. On Monday, in America, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

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The Stillness of the Wind

Gaming
Aug 19, 2021
The Stillness of the Wind
The Stillness of the Wind

Enter a landscape with a solitary farm, run by a lone woman, connected to civilization by a sunken array of dilapidated telephone poles and a lone merchant who delivers mail. The Stillness of the Wind is an independent game that takes place in a world that feels simultaneously rich and empty. More than a simple story telling simulator, there are tasks to do and a farm to build up. It’s like Stardew Valley, with a slower pace, and shorter days. It leaves the player with a deep connection to the stories of another world, with a past wrapped inside of it.

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The End of Medical Privacy

Politics
Aug 13, 2021
Sign with the words: Please Wait Here. You're Next. Respect Patient Privacy

Before you’re allowed to enter a bar, the doorman asks you if you’re on antidepressants. After all, there is an increased risk of committing mass shootings for people who are on SSRIs. Would this be acceptable? Of course not. In many countries, a person’s medical history, including whatever medications he or she might be prescribed, is considered private health information. In the United States, health privacy is one of the many things covered under legislation know as HIPPA. However, all the rules seem to have changed in the reaction to COVID-19. Now, people are not only proclaiming their medical information to everyone, but venues and employers are requiring disclosures of experimental medication in order to enter their premises. Whether you believe this is a justified request or not is irrelevant. It’s the end of medical privacy as we know it, and opens up an entirely new class of discrimination based on an individual’s choice to take a medication.

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Lithium City

Gaming
Aug 4, 2021
Lithium City
Lithium City

Lithium City takes place in an amazing isometric world, filled with low polygon count enemies, lightning fast game mechanics, a heart thumping soundtrack, and relentless challenging stage after stage of cyberpunk fighting. The color scheme is hypnotizing and fits perfectly with the music. Although the focus of the gameplay is on fighting, there is a considerable variety of levels that include sword fighting, dodging helicopter mounted cannons and a fun shufflepuck court. There is no dialogue. The story is complete, while also leaving itself open to a wide amount of interpretation. It’s a fun game that’s about the right length for an independent tile. However, parts of it can be quite grueling and difficult, making it inaccessible to those who don’t have the dexterity for fast paced, unforgiving, fighting games.

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Far Cry 4

Gaming
Jul 19, 2021
Far Cry 4 Splash Screen

Deep in the heart of a mythical nation known as Kyrat, you play Ajay Ghale; a man returning home to spread his mother’s ashes. But things are rarely so simple. Far Cry 4 places you in the midst of a civil war which leads through a tangled family past. Thrown in are CIA operatives, criminal regimes, drug induced passages to magical worlds, wing suits, gliders, the unsafest aircraft ever and an insane amount of weapons. It’s a decently sized, open world first person shooter that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The story is fun and hilarious, the game play mechanics varied and the game moves at a decent pace without ever grinding.

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Untested

Politics
Jul 17, 2021
White pills on blue background

Bret Weinstein is an evolutionary biologist and podcast who recently interviewed Robert Malone and Steve Krisch about the current COVID vaccines. Dr. Malone, the researcher who invented mRNA technology, expressed concerns about continuing to push these new vaccines, when it was clear that the medication Ivermectin could be used effectively as a prophylaxis and treatment for COVID-19. Dr. Malone pushing for the use of Ivermectin, and challenging the safety and efficacy of the current vaccines being promoted by Pfizer and Moderna, lead to the podcast with Weinstein being removed from YouTube.

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SuperHot

Gaming
Jun 28, 2021
SuperHot
SuperHot

I remember hearing about SuperHot at a party; a first person shooter where time only advances when you move. I played a three level demo while the game was still in the early stages of development. Conceptually, the game is unique and creative. Although the setting and low polygon graphics may seem basic, the mechanics are creative, challenging and addictive. The story is fairly simplistic, but it does play a little into a meta-narrative on gaming. Overall this is a fun independent title that merges puzzles and first person shooters in a unique design.

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A Year without a Mask

Politics
Jun 24, 2021
Discarded Mask on the Ground of a Park
Discarded Mask on the Ground of a Park

The mask mandates for Chicago began on May 1st, 2020. The exact order only mandated masks in stores that were not large enough for social distancing. However, in practice, every store was refusing to let people in without a face covering. I already had concerns over the reaction to the pandemic, and I decided to draw my line in the sand very early. For the next few weeks, I drove to Indiana in order to shop for groceries to avoid the mandate. Usage grew even past the state line, and one store stopped allowing entry to those who were unmasked. Eventually I settled into a routine of purchasing groceries and supplies on-line for drive-up/pick-up. Eventually I left Chicago for an undisclosed location on the east coast, in the deep south, far away from cities and the growing hysteria. Even in the middle of nowhere, major chain still have signs requiring masks. There are some people who wear them, but the rules are never enforced. Although seeing people with masks in stores does disturb me, I’m glad I now live in a place where I have the option to not participate in a mandate defined by pseudoscience. It’s not “Just a mask.” The consequences of shame around a new article of clothing are not minor, and I think we will see the effects for decades to come.

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