Showing posts from 2015

Why I don't use Linux

Prepare for a rant about backward compatibility.
Despite being a programmer that primarily works in C++, I'm a Windows user. I'm not ignorant though, I know my way around Linux thanks to VMs and Travis CI. I'm not particularly happy with Windows - it's a nightmare for developing C++ - but I just can't see myself using a Linux operating system full time or even part time. Windows does one thing right that Linux does wrong: programs are self-contained.

On Windows, when you install a program, all files that are not temporary or specific to any one user go into a single folder. Don't want that software anymore? I would say just nuke the folder, but there are freaky things like the Registry, Services, Shortcuts, etc. that are really best dealt with by an Uninstaller. So Windows is not perfect. But in my opinion, Linux has it worse: when you install an application, files get distributed everywhere. There's /bin, /sbin, /usr/bin, /opt/, lib folders, etc. and it ma…

Travis Rant

I need to rant.

Travis is Continuous Integration software for GitHub - as you push code to your repository, it builds and tests it for you using a script you configure yourself. It works great...if you're using tech from half a decade ago. It's horribly outdated, and the only solution is to update its software yourself in your script.

I primarily write C++, and I pretty much always use modern C++ (C++11 and C++14). Setting up travis for my projects is an absolute nightmare, and I'm giving up. Travis is falling way behind in the world of C++ and I'm tired of fixing their machines for them.

Travis uses CMake 2.8.7 when CMake 3 has been out for ages.
Travis uses clang 3.4 when clang 3.6 has been out for ages.
Travis uses gcc 4.6.3 when gcc 5 has been out for ages.

It is completely unacceptable. The particular versions of software that Travis uses seem to have been specifically hand-picked so as to make it impossible to compile C++11 or C++14 code. One has to manually upda…

Windows 10 Upgrade Nightmare

I love Windows 7, and I was hyped for Windows 10. So naturally, I was one of the first few people to reserve the upgrade when the icon appeared in my system tray - I was actually awake at the time. Two months rolled by, and I decided to, for the first time ever, use the built-in disk cleanup tool, which claimed it could free up over 42GB. Unfortunately, my filesystem was horribly corrupted and it destroyed my system beyond repair. I had to wipe my machine and reset it to its out-of-the-box state using the built-in system restore from the boot screen. Windows 10 hadn't launched yet, so I thought all I had to do was install a couple hundred updates and reserve my upgrade again.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be more complicated than that. Somehow by uninstalling the bloatware again, I bricked Windows Update - it wouldn't even open. Time for another few hours of resetting the system. Then, I installed 200+ updates and only had a few left, but somehow the BITS, the Background Int…

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 servic…

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 tim…

"Garbage Collection is Wrong" Explained

My other website,, 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…