Activism Projects Technology

What I’ve been up to.


So, things are a little different now.

What I’m saying is there have been some changes.

What with the state of everything and danger around every corner, I’m here to answer the question that has been on everyone’s mind:

What have I been up to?

Well, let me tell you. Quite a lot.

It turns out my specific skill-set is in high demand at the moment. With everyone now living in the computer as I have *bane voice. born into it. blah blah.* people are now wanting to do a whole lot more, and I’m endeavoring to make that work.

I know I’ve said this to many, but I’m busier now than I was before the Covid-19 non-sense. Part of it is people want/need me to do stuff, part of it is because I want to help people in the ways that I can in this socially isolating time.

Enough with the preamble, the U.S. constitution (got ’em)! What have you been doing?

Thing the first:

Because being physically in a place is hard, and people have questions myself representing Indivisible, and the others from the Working Hoosiers Vote Coalition worked to put on an online workshop. It is now online, and I think it worked well. How to organize people, answer questions, and generally keep people invested and informed. This is a model I’ll be using for other events I am helping to shape and plan. I also played around with how to use a real green screen, background replacement, and different audio feeds to pipe into Zoom.This was a huge effort by those involved and I want to thank everyone who contributed to making this happen.

Thing the second:

Tim and Matt play is often a testing ground for me, as it’s fairly low-stakes if things go awry. This particular set up I’m pretty proud of though. When Tim and I stream we usually are in the same place (my house) so making this work would be a change. In this particular game, it is not made to be played online, meaning to play two player you are usually required to play on the same device, with two controllers. I found out Steam has this really neat feature called Steam Remote Play Together, and basically it takes the host computer (mine) and streams the video to another person as a video feed, then takes their controller inputs and pipes them to my computer. The game thinks there is just another person physically there, and not across town. In addition to doing that, I was chatting with Tim over Discord, and routing the audio specifically to get all the levels correct using a third party program. This on top of streaming at 1080p60 at the highest available bit-rate to Twitch. In a totally cool, and nonchalant way, THIS IS REALLY NEAT. I hope to expand some of this to even more cool things, like net playing old games via emulator over the internet. Sega tapes, online, when they were never meant to be. FUTURE.

Thing the third:

I’ve meant to do this for a while, but I finally started doing some solo-streaming. I love Tim and Matt play, but I also want to play some games outside there, and streaming is a good way to connect to people. It’s more social and interactive than people (who don’t watch streams) think in my opinion. This is me trying my hand at it, and if you look, I’m changing my setup from stream to stream. I think I will continue to play with it as I go. I like having a camera there, too, which won’t ever happen in Tim and Matt Play, so that’s a new touch. Come hang out live sometime. My twitch username is goo3r, like everything else.

Thing the fourth:

In addition, I’ve been trying to bring friends together. We’ve done a couple virtual game nights, and I’ve hosted some virtual cocktail hours for Indivisible. It’s just nice to talk to talk to people sometime, commiserate, and let off some steam. Since I’m figuring out ways to pipe games through webcam settings and stuff, we’ve tried Jackbox, and we’ve done some online board games with some success. Still working out the kinks, but I think it’s been fun and good, and I’m always thinking of fun ways to combine all this tech.

I am getting more ridiculous with my stream setups, and I see no way this is going to slow down, so I am excited for what kind of crazy nonsense I come up with next on a budget of effectively zero.

I hope everyone is staying safe and staying home if they are able. I hope this helps everyone realize how vital all those “low-skill” workers are to our everyday existence and starts to treat them with the respect they all deserve. Sincerely, thanks to everyone out there helping out. Find a mutual aid network, call a friend, tip a food service worker or bartender’s Venmo even if they can’t give you your normal white claw or cold brew.


Fixing Update

WHAT A MESS, but IT’S FIXED. I can say, that I came out of this triumphant, but let me tell you had to employ most if not all of my skills, plenty of which are preoccupied paying the bills. I will do a follow-up, hyper detailed post about how I did went about fixing this with my unique set of configurations. I didn’t find any guides or help on the internet that strung this all together, so I guess I’m making one. Stay tuned for that page-turner. I’m just pleased as punch my main computer is back in action.


Frustration and Progress

This is going to be a short one. I want to treat this website better because it’s something I own and control, BECAUSE IT IS MY NAME! BECAUSE I CANNOT HAVE ANOTHER IN MY LIFE! *cough* Sorry, that line pops into my head from time to time.

Anyway, I’ve been trying desperately to close out some projects. The one I’ve been putting off, and for good reason, is updating the storage in my computer. I run my longterm storage in a hardware RAID 1 configuration. You don’t have to worry too much what that means, but it’s to provide data redundancy. I use my motherboard onboard RAID controller to manage it, which is probably a little too trusting on my part. I originally had 2 4TB drives, but ran out of space. I don’t really like to delete things. I had to upgrade.

Storage is cheap, and getting cheaper, but I still am not made of money, so I bought two 10TB external usb drives on sale. You can remove the internal drives from these enclosures in what commonly referred to as “shucking.” Why buy external drives if you are just going to destroy the enclosure? For some reason the drive manufactures will often make those cheaper than buying the bare drives. Well, I did that, and it turned out to not be that bad.

The hard part came when I tried to install them and they wouldn’t power up. Turn out there is a 3.3V pin on the power connector, and if that has a voltage on that pin, it disables the drive. The workaround is either tape off that pin or use a Molex to SATA adapter because those don’t carry 3.3V. That seemed better so I did that.

Then my RAID controller was acting up so I had to backup my stuff to an external drive before proceeding for extra precaution. I use a utility called rsync, it works really well, but it’s a Linux utility. The new Linux subsystem on Windows works great with it, albeit a little convoluted.

Finally, it all worked! I had my new 10TB drives with all my stuff back. It took like 5 days, but I got it.

That was until this morning. I was updating stuff, and one of my motherboard utilities was updating a chipset driver and it blue screened my system and now won’t boot. One step forward, two steps back. This is why I cautiously backup though. Nothing can be easy, can it?