2015-06-27

History Overload

History Overload

I thought this tool wouldn't get much traffic. Mojang's restrictions seemed reasonable - 600 requests per 10 minutes? That's a request every second; no way I'll reach that load. Except I am reaching that load. All the time. Apparently if you Google search "Minecraft Name History" this is one of the first few results. That's what I get for spreading the word, I guess.

Caching isn't a trivial problem - there are all sorts of nuances with Mojang changing offensive names before the 30 day period, etc, and I don't even have anywhere to cache information to. I hacked the script together in an hour in really horribly written PHP code that should never be in any production environment. It's not worth the effort to me when other tools exist and work better.

I don't want people finding a broken dysfunctional service at the top of their Google search results - it's an inconvenience to everyone. So I've decided: I'm shutting down this service. It was great while it worked, but other services exist that have solved the caching problem in their own ways. Just use Google to find them - they're right under my result (for now - hopefully my result fades away).

The source code will always be available on GitHub.

2015-06-04

I'm mostly vicarious

I enjoy experiencing many things through others - that is, I enjoy living life vicariously. (Not everything, of course. Just a lot of things compared to other people.) I don't feel happy doing things myself - instead I get more enjoyment out of seeing other people do things.

Most of the games I own I have not played fully, simply because it is more enjoyable to watch Let's Plays instead. (Plus you can watch LPs at 2x speed.) I generally buy games when I want to reward the developers for their hard work, not when I actually want to play the game myself.

Life is too short and there are too many things to do. I find it easier to watch what other people do and skip the boring parts. I generally watch YouTube videos at 2x speed, and I'm usually doing something else at the same time (writing code, writing blog posts, recording for my channel, reading other people's code, reading other people's blog posts, etc). For a long time I had AdBlock enabled on YouTube to save time, but I decided that I want to support the people I watch more than I want to save time, so I disabled it. (Fun fact: until the fixed it, you could watch a YouTube video at 2x speed and the mid-roll and post-roll ads would also play at 2x speed - then if you navigated to another video it also plays at 2x speed meaning the pre-roll ad plays at 2x speed as well. (But then in the middle of my Watch Later playlist it got fixed right before my eyes.))

To those of you who are not vicarious and who actually do things and make videos of yourself doing said things: thank you for your good showmanship, I appreciate it. It's the people like you that will move society forward. I'll just quietly follow along, contributing to society whenever I have sudden strokes of passion. (90% of all my hobbyist code has been the result of sudden passion or inspiration.)

Sure, I'm a coward, but that's exactly what ninjas are not, and I'm totally not a ninja.

2015-06-03

"Garbage Collection is Wrong" Explained

My other website, LB-Stuff.com, has been the primary target for my sudden urges to write articles on various things. People keep calling them blog posts (they're not), so I finally decided to make an actual blog (you ninjas are reading it right now). I figured "Eh, I like writing, and it's more comfortable than verbal communication like in my Minecraft LP videos", so why not?

The first article I wrote on my site was titled "Garbage Collection is Wrong". Dear god, what was 17-year-old me thinking? It was unintentional flamebait that ended with me having to put in a banner explaining that I didn't really know what I was talking about because I was just a teenager. Well, now I'm 20 and I still regret writing that article. I don't dare erase it, however. Sure, I often edit my forum posts dozens of times after submitting them and occasionally delete them mere seconds afterward (I am pretty impulsive sometimes and quickly regret the things I say), but I'm afraid that deleting the page would generate the wrong response. (Specifically, not a 404 or 410.)

I often write in moments of passion, but I've learned over the years that I have a lot of cognitive dissonance. There's a lot of good ideas floating around in my head, and a lot of bad ones too. I don't spend too much time thinking about them, so when I finally bring them together in a moment of passion to try and form an argument, the result is... a mess. My first mess was the garbage collection article.

My stance now is that GC is often used in scenarios where it is not beneficial - there are good use cases for GC, but there are more incorrect uses. But like anything related to computers, people will find a way to make it work better, and GC is decently fast nowadays. I still don't like it, but at least I've learned not to talk about things I am not very knowledgeable about. Internet people are ferocious, feral beasts that tear you to shreds at the first sign of an opinion.

Let this be a warning: I have very unique opinions. Do ninjas have unique opinions? I totally wouldn't know.