Flying High

Flying High

Those of my friends who've hung out with me when touring aviation-related sites like the Yorktown know my taste in airplanes is odd. Sure, I love the feisty little F-16, appreciate the sleek beauty of the F-18, and the power and form of the F-15. I've even had models of most of them. Nevertheless, my favorites are quirky.Sure, the P51 Mustang is a beauty, but I'd rather rebuild my modeling collection with an ungainly Vought F4U corsair, the FW-190, or the tubby F6F Hellcat. Going into the jet age, I truly love the A-10 Thunderbolt, the Vought Crusader, and…

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i-Devices and Arkhaven Audio

i-Devices and Arkhaven Audio

For maximum compatibility, the audio files downloaded from Arkaven come as mp4 "video" files because while they are technically m4b files, many applications (like WinAmp) won't recognize them or play them well, and calling them mp4 results in a "least wrong" default that will still play the audio.In either case, since these are your files that you download - and back up if you're smart - you can't just spin up an "audible" app to download and listen to them in one easy place.The good news is that Arkhaven has an excellent guide to get you started. Nevertheless,…

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Automating Backups, Part 2

Automating Backups, Part 2

In my last post I covered how to get a proper dump of the database. I have, of course, verified the backup of the database. For ghost you can easily do so by spinning up another instance with ghost - this will require a DNS entry or update depending on if it's a replacement or a separate verification instance. Services such as Digital Ocean make it easy to spin up an instance for a couple hours and then destroy them. Update it to the same version, go through the initial setup, and stop ghost using the ghost stop command. You…

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Automating Backups - Part 1

Automating Backups - Part 1

After having some issues manually messing around with the backend of my install, I started digging into the issue of "hey, it's nice I can manually dump my entire text contents into a .json file but that can't be scheduled in the GUI or dumped via command line" - especially since there still are some gotchas like "running ghost config without any parameters creates a new config file for the particular env" lurking about. Also, the one "ghost for beginners" guide I could find on backups assumed an SQLite database, and had you stop,…

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Going Analog.

Going Analog.

OK, not quite. Nevertheless, a process I started last year is accelerating, and while "going analog" isn't accurate, it captures the feel better, and is more accurate by far than "retro" or "simplifying." It started with a watch. I know, I know, the phone has become a de facto pocket watch, and for most guys, a watch is just a fashion piece. Nevertheless, around this time last year, I realized I was still looking at my wrist for the time after more than a decade without one, and spent a few days digging through…

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"Garbage In" - or - Racist and Sexist AI

"Garbage In" - or - Racist and Sexist AI

Much to the amusment of the wrongthink part of the internet, Amazon decided that automating it's HR functions still needed a little bit of work. The team had been building computer programs since 2014 to review job applicants’ resumes with the aim of mechanizing the search for top talent, five people familiar with the effort told Reuters. Automation has been key to Amazon’s e-commerce dominance, be it inside warehouses or driving pricing decisions. The company’s experimental hiring tool used artificial intelligence to give job candidates scores ranging from one to five stars - much like shoppers rate products…

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We (Don't) Have the Technology (Anymore, but) We can Rebuild It

We (Don't) Have the Technology (Anymore, but) We can Rebuild It

There are few things that drive me more up the wall than crappy reasoning behind why the moon landings were faked. Now, I'm not part of the "it was a fake" crowd, but given the pressures we were operating udner, the conspiracy to murder Kennedy, etc., I could understand people asking questions. And one of the problems smart people have is that we can go down some very strange rabbit holes indeed when working outside of our areas of expertise - one day I may go into how long I spent digging through planets-in-collision type stuff a la…

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Catch All and Catch Up

Catch All and Catch Up

A few odds and ends that don't wuite need a full writeup but I think are worthy of attention and a couple quick notes.First of all, Castalia House takes a quick look at Dwarf Fortress. I don't have much more experience with the game than they do, but have managed to arrive at a couple unpleasant fates for our poor delvers. I'll note that there's a total newb pack for Windows and MacOS that includes a launcher, a 3D viewer (Amorak Vision), alternate tilesets for the less ascii-inclined, and "Dwarf Therapist" to help you better allocate your dwarves based…

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