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    I’ve done quite a bit of game development during the late 80s, early 90s, and dipped my toes thoroughly in the demoscene waters, but without looking at a disassembly this truly strikes me as black magic. I couldn’t conceive of so many effects in such a tight limit.

    I was watching the stream and after this demo posted, my expression mirrored that of Sir Garbagetruck’s. Pure incredulity. Elevated was probably the last demo that blew me away from a purely technical perspective.

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      Well, there’s no shame in that. I remember printing the source of Puls by Řrřola (http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=53816) and looking at it for a few days without figuring out too much. (Not saying it’s impossible though, it was just harder than I thought and moved on to other things).

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      Thank you for bringing this up. I support this suggestion, and would like to see it permanently excised.

      I’m going to make a feeble attempt at wording this carefully, as I don’t inherently believe all “culture” related subjects should be banished from the site, but I also feel that anything worthy of presentation here can also fall under the umbrella of other established tags.

      The culture tag was a catch-all for stories that otherwise don’t categorically fit here. Unfortunately, they eventually trended toward emotionally-charged stories such as human interest, or outrage pieces. Ultimately I feel like the material presented, and the discussions therein were generally low quality, and best left for other places on the net.

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        Until this was posted, I hadn’t realized how much I miss the satisfying “chunk!” of inserting 3.5" disks.

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          I miss debugging programs by ear. I used to be able to recognize a bug had occurred when the sounds of accessing a floppy drive or hard drive were not what I expected. Between quieter components and multitasking that’s no longer the case.

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            Heh. I’ve mostly replaced this with visual cues. I have a “system monitor” that is always visible on one of my monitors. Gives my CPU breakdown, memory usage and graphs for disk and network access. Very useful for staying “in tune” with the machine in front of you. I can tell a lot by just a quick glance when running a program:

            1. How many cores it’s using.
            2. Whether it’s getting bogged down in syscalls.
            3. Network usage.
            4. Whether it’s reading from disk.
            5. Is memory spiking?

            After a quick glance, I end up with a rough ballpark of where to go to debug further problems.

            (Some of my co-workers think I’m nuts for preferring to work locally instead of remotely, but there’s something to be said about actually using the hardware that’s sitting next to you!)

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          A long time ago I recorded keypresses from my beloved Model M and submitted them for a web-based Model M simulator over at Geekhack/Deskthority. Since then those sound effects have gotten around quite a bit :)

          It’s cool to see them pop up in various projects over the years.

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            So this thing is just playing back recorded sounds?

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              Correct.

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                Not quite simulated then.

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              Thanks for the fantastic sounds, Sirocco. Let me know how I can better give you credit for them.

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                Thank you, but that’s not really necessary. Or perhaps I could just use this post to say I consider them public domain?

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              It’s not the noise we’re interested in, it’s the tactile feed-back. The noise is just a cool novelty at first, and something that you no longer pay attention to, after a while.

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                I want to agree with you on this – mostly. The long-throw keys and tactile feedback are what I crave out of a keyboard, but the noise from the springs buckling is also incredibly pleasant, even if my brain tends to shuffle it to the background after a while. The sound is part of the whole experience.

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                Why is this here? Was there something specific that Lobsters folk should be paying attention to?

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                  Could you elaborate? Are you objecting, or just curious?

                  1. 3

                    I’m just wondering why Wikipedia links are being posted to Lobsters? Yes, there’s a whole lot of interesting stuff on Wikipedia, but what’s the point of linking to (arbitrary) entries? What value does this bring to the Lobster community?

                    So I’m objecting because I don’t see the point, but I also admit to have possibly missed the point, hence my query.

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                      I don’t think Nagle’s Algorithm is terribly arbitrary. It’s a networking algorithm, it’s pretty interesting, and wikipedia has a good explanation of it. If someone had a blog post which had all of the same explanation of Nagle’s Algorithm, it probably wouldn’t be questioned. I think wikipedia shouldn’t be treated as special because it’s wikipedia–if the information is useful, or interesting, and tech-related, I think lobsters is a good place for it.

                      Wikipedia is not terribly timely, but I don’t think it’s important to only link to things which are timely. Lots of interesting information is still interesting a year later.

                      There is also a long history of posting wikipedia articles on lobsters, and they are often well received.

                      https://lobste.rs/s/igivzn/garden_path_sentence
                      https://lobste.rs/s/zcedw1/sexy_prime_-_wikipedia
                      https://lobste.rs/s/6cdghq/pgp_word_list

                      1. 1

                        I like that this was posted. There are still a lot of algos that haven’t crossed my path. In general, I’d rather see a page with a “for dummies” explanation of the algo, as Wikipedia entries tend to be rather dry and clinical. Then I can decide if I want to go all-in, if that makes any sense.

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                  Reminds me of when I had to build a mock 4-floor elevator in school, using old printer parts and a PLC, programmed using Ladder. Python would have been so much nicer…

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                    I hate programming in ladder, but it does make online debugging a breeze.

                    1. 2

                      Yeah, that’s true, being able to just see what’s going on in all parts of the program at all times was rather useful.

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                    I think we have a lot of tags that are clearly relevant to lobsters when they are tech focused (like culture, person, potentially government) but don’t make sense as standalone tags. For example, under “person” we could have an obituary for David Bowie, but it would probably be off-topic for lobsters.

                    Maybe a good compromise would be to make these tags like the video / pdf tags, where they don’t stand by themselves, but instead qualify for lobsters because of the other tags? That way, if someone wanted to post something under the “person” tag, they would have to make sure they could add another, more lobsters-y tag, like “unix”.

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                      I’d really like to see an “announcement” or “news” tag, so I can just filter that shit straight off.

                      The posting of news articles and current events is one of the early signs of cancer in these sorts of communities.

                      EDIT: The reason being, the article’s importance is predicated on its newness, not any particular value in the information itself. Such articles asymptotically crowd out genuinely useful information, because people tend to then think that novelty is more important than informativeness–and especially with current trends in ad-driven news, this in turn leads to above-tolerable amounts of what amounts to product placement. Eeeeych.

                      1. 2

                        I’d really like to see an “announcement” or “news” tag, so I can just filter that shit straight off.

                        announce is for site announcements and is restricted to moderators. news existed since the beginning but was disabled for reasons similar to what you stated.

                      2. 2

                        I found it reassuring that I didn’t see a Bowie story here yesterday. There’s so much cross-posted chaff on the net it kinda drives me nuts from time to time. I must say I do like your suggestion.

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                          I like that, so it’s more of a source or an aspect of the article than a tag

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                          They’ve acclimatized people to the idea/technology, and now they’re closing the door on the long tail of refusers. As a person who flies several times/year and has never been through a scanner, I have only once stood in line with a fellow opt-outer, and not recently. Widespread opposition to scanning has just not materialized, so it’s going to become a part of the routine.

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                            Yeah, it’s as you say. That has always been the clear intent with these “security” measures - get people used to them gradually.

                            This particular step wouldn’t be news really, but … as a trans person, this one is particularly distressing. Figuring out why is left as an exercise to the reader.

                            1. 2

                              Actually I’m quite confused why this is trouble for trans. When you opt out, they have to pick a man or woman to do the patdown. When you go through the scanner, they don’t ask about gender. The scanner in my experience is much closer to anonymous and impersonal.

                              1. 1

                                Excuse me, but what is a trans person?

                                1. 3
                                  1. 1

                                    Someone who identifies as belonging to a gender different from their biological sex or just has a plainly ambiguous biological sex (this is actually far more common than people realise) and had to pick one of the two options.

                                2. 1

                                  I joined the TSA-Pre program and have no issues whatsoever. Sure I have to pay an extra fee every year, but it beats going through the lines and being thoroughly inspected for no reason.

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                                    I have TSA-Pre as well (via Global Entry), but I’ll be damned if “having more disposable income” resolves to “having more civil liberties.”

                                    1. 7

                                      I find the existence of TSA Pre terrible, in the same way as these body scanner changes: it slowly becomes normal for society to give up more information and money to the government to achieve a short term goal of “shorter lines”.

                                      I’ll happily wait in longer line.

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                                        But that’s basically what it is, right? It’s a real shame that it’s come to this. My older folks tell me of the days when you could walk into the airport without having a single person check your luggage. Times sure have changed.

                                        1. 2

                                          Growing up, and even while I was in college, one could enter an airport and go anywhere they wanted (more or less). The worst you would be subjected to was a brief pass through a metal detector.

                                          I love flying, but absolutely loathe airports now.

                                        2. 1

                                          It appears that the fee is only 85 USD, which is good for 5 years, e.g., comes to about 1.42 USD per month, which seems like rather small change, even if all your air travel is free otherwise. They even accept anything from credit cards to money orders.

                                          However, what doesn’t make that much sense is that basically almost everyone’s eligible! The list of Interim Disqualifying Criminal Offences is quite amusing, to say the least. It sounds like they might as well do “random” security checks on the spot to start with, instead of making everyone go through the lines in the first place, and accomplish just about the same (or even a better one!) level of security.

                                    1. 4

                                      Ars Technica seems solid, among the mainstream news sites.

                                      1. 2

                                        They used to be one of the best, before being acquired by Conde Nast.

                                        Sadly, they wallow in a lot of clickbait these days.

                                      1. 5

                                        In recent years I’ve become a big fan of the various “[x] in one file” projects, especially for C. I think SQLite was the first time I had come across something like that, and it really made things dirt-simple.

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                                          I use Git, but fully admit I probably have no clue how to actually use Git.

                                          Funny, that.

                                          1. 2

                                            Git-it Guide was probably the best plain, clear English tutorial I used to learn git, as well as some aspects of GitHub.

                                            1. 2

                                              But it’s not inside out or bottom up, the only approved ways of learning git.

                                              1. 1

                                                This is quite similar to how I’ve taken to teaching Git to people. Start with a very practical introduction that provides real-world justifications for each of the major features (staging, commits, remote repositories, branches, forks/clones, merging).

                                                Of course, you then follow that up with an explanation of how git works internally (what HEAD is, really, what the reflog is, and so on). Then some challenges after that, to make sure they understand things like the difference between merging and rebasing, how the Git garbage collector works, etc.

                                                1. 2

                                                  I have seen very few people who actually understand what HEAD is. Almost universally people think it means “newest” or “latest” instead of simply meaning the currently checked-out commit. You are always at HEAD, because by definition HEAD is wherever you are.

                                                  Worse, people often talk about the remote HEAD, whereas most remotes are bare repos with no HEAD at all. Example: homebrew has a --head option to pick up the latest master branch of a repo.

                                                  This confusion stems from a bad name. Git was aping CVSish langauge here, I think, but used the “head” concept to refer to something almost completely different.

                                            1. 3

                                              FWIW, I really hope we can avoid changing titles in all but THE most egregious cases. I really don’t think it’s something that should be happening very often.

                                              1. 5

                                                It appears to be a fairly rare occurrence. And usually it’s just people submitting existing page titles without taking note of the basic rules.

                                                Also, I’d like to say I love your username.

                                                1. 2

                                                  Also, I’d like to say I love your username.

                                                  Wish I could say it was original, but it’s just down to me being a huge Queensryche fan since about 1991 or so. Operation:Mindcrime blew my mind then and still does…

                                                  1. 1

                                                    We’re in the same boat. I was listening to that album last week on a whim. It still kicks so much ass.

                                                2. 4

                                                  Maybe one submission in ten or twenrty I tone down a clickbaity title, usually just by changing two or three words. So far none of these have been edited after posting. I started the practice after a number of original titles got compaints and I agreed.

                                                  1. 2

                                                    Sounds good. I’d just hope it never becomes rampant as it is on HN… and especially in regards to the way they often change a good title to a worse title due to their slavish devotion to the “use the original title” principle. Saying “don’t editorialize” sounds good on paper, but some titles need changing.

                                                    1. 1

                                                      I think the way to avoid this, and other results, is to not pick policies solely for being easy to apply, without using judgement. Right now we have good people who are interested and willing to put in some effort towards getting along. Formalizing a lesser standard than that gives people a disincentive to do more. So we won’t. :)

                                                1. 3

                                                  Do programmers really not care about time complexity anymore? Obviously there are lots of instances where it doesn’t matter, but it still seems like a useful concept to understand.

                                                  1. 5

                                                    That’s usually the point where I see the become-a-developer-in-two-weeks folks fall down. And why I worry very little about becoming unemployable. :)

                                                    1. 1

                                                      I think it depends greatly on your domain.

                                                      In process engineering, for example, we no longer have to care about it. The embedded processors we have now are so powerful they can take even the most poorly coded set of calculations and whip through them without lagging, whereas back in the 80s and 90s this was a very real concern. And the overall complexity of our applications is decreasing due to “smart” instrumentation that handles a lot of the annoying calculations for us.

                                                      I have no idea what sort of emphasis this gets in modern CS courses, as I’ve been out of college for several decades now.

                                                      As I’ve mentioned before, my last (hobby) project was on a 6502 processor, so time was not just on my mind, but to partially quote a Star Trek movie “the fire in which I burned.”

                                                    1. 7

                                                      Last Week we took a C-64 demo to Assembly and brought home 1st place in our compo.

                                                      This week we’re still suffering from jet lag, shock, and the general malaise that follows working so hard on something for so long, then finally realizing you have no idea what you’ll do next. I’m working on a write-up of the experience, and my code partner is working on some improvements to the lib we’ve written for Kickassembler to make our lives easier. And documentation, of course.

                                                      I think we’re both secretly dreaming up our next demo, but haven’t been inclined to mention it to each other yet, because goddamn we’re tired.

                                                      1. 1

                                                        Cool!

                                                      1. 3

                                                        I love this post. I started out with a CGA card and wasn’t even aware there were multiple versions. The clever usage of color to allow the user to select between RGB and composite was also a beautiful thing.

                                                        I got back from Assembly a few days ago so these subjects are all fresh in my mind. I got to see plenty of old hardware in action, and meet a great deal of friendly and enthusiastic people from around the world.

                                                        1. 2

                                                          This is the same airport where, approximately two years ago, no one could figure out how to turn any of the lights off.

                                                          Relevant link

                                                          1. 1

                                                            The main reason my friends and I picked up C was to tinker with the WWIV source code. That whole era only lasted a few years for us, but it was quite an experience.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              We just finished a C64 demo for Assembly. As in, yesterday afternoon.

                                                              1. 3

                                                                mouseover?

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  Just adding I’ve seen this on a few message boards, and I love it. The mouseover provides the first paragraph (up to [x] characters), which is usually enough to figure out if you want to venture further in.