Project Computron

Autobot Computron

Ladies, gentlemen, and non-binary friends across the spectrum, this new project, which I’ve dubbed Project Computron, is a meta-project. That’s right! It’s a project that will enable other projects!

Since work is pushing us to learn and use Kubernetes, I have decided that I am going to set up a cluster here at home. But, to have a cluster, I will need multiple machines! And a better wireless setup between my flat (second floor) and where the servers live (the basement). So! First step of prep is to set up a second machine. Well, I’ve been wanting to set up a PeerTube server for a while, so let’s just build that. Behold! My Mastadon toots on my progress!

And with that, the server is ready to go.

What’s a Glimesh?

Short answer, it’s a streaming platform, modeled after Beam/Mixer, which is in its alpha phase of development.

Long answer, here’s what it says on their website:

Glimesh logo

Glimesh is the next generation streaming platform built by the community for the community. We know establishing a following is hard, and the hours are long. Our platform focuses on increasing discoverability for content creators and implementing the latest in streaming technology to level the playing field. We understand the importance of interaction between content creators and their fans, and we’re dedicated to innovating new ways to bring communities closer together.

Why is that something that I’m talking to you about? Well, you may remember how I have irritated is has made me to stream on the major platforms over the past few years. If no, here’s the saga up to this point:

Here are the alternative streaming platforms that I’ve tried:

The platform is in active development, and the developers have both a coherent roadmap and a firm idea of what they want the platform to be. They are resistant to corporate ownership and cryptocurrency schemes. The alpha software that they’ve rolled out is more solid than Twitch, for the features they’ve implemented. After my previous attempts to move, it seemed too good to be true.

Then, you know, Twitch did Twitch things.

So, of course, I made the move. I tested for a month or two, one night a week, and then I fully moved over. I can always move back, if this one ends up being a lemon as well. So far, I’ve been super pleased with the platform every time I’ve streamed there. If you want to join my friends and I, we’ll be here:

Come on over on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and on the weekend!

You talk TV?

It’s been pretty easy not buying new Transformers lately. I’d like to say that it was an example of willpower, or a flexing of my massive self-control. Or, maybe, I’d diverted my desire to buy toys into a selfless focus on my children. Yeah, I’d like to say all that.

I can’t, though. There simply haven’t been any interesting ones on the shelves lately. Like everything else, it’s likely been impacted by the supply chain difficulties and labor shortage across the board. (And when I say labor shortage, what I mean is that as of today, 718,681 Americans have died of COVID-19 in the past two years. This isn’t politics, this is a fact.) So, when I saw a whole new shipment of toys in my local Meijer, I let myself get a little bit hopeful.

Studio Series Wreck-Gar in box

Lo and behold, there were racks of new Transformers on the shelves! Now, we’ve already established that I am pretty picky when it comes to which bits of plastic and die-cast metal I’ll spend my greenbacks on. But when I saw three Studio Series 1986 boxes on the top shelf, I may have startled my kids with and excited squee. MAY HAVE. You can’t prove anything. Meijer had two Sweeps… and a Wreck-Gar.

Cue a second startling of the kids, and an intense debate on whether or not I should spend money on the ONE copy of the figure that I was most excited for in the entire Studio Series line. So, yes, I bought it.

Studio Series Wreck Gar vehicle mode

This toy does not disappoint. Its transformation is intuitive enough that I was able to transform from vehicle to robot modes and back without using the instructions the second time around. The detail is amazing. The tires are slightly different sizes, there is a speedometer and tachometer, the handlebars look like handlebars, the gas tank and saddlebags are convincing enough. His spinny axe has a place to stow in vehicle mode, and he’s even got a kickstand that is hidden away perfectly in robot mode. To quote my youngest son, “Dad, there’s no kibble. Like, NONE.”

Studio Series Wreck Gar robot mode

Joints are plentiful and tight, except for one of the 360 degree waist joints, which is a little too loose. The wheels and the axe fit snugly in all of the places that they’re supposed to. Transformation is smooth, and there are no moments when I feel like I need to break the toy just to get it to do the thing. The wheels roll over carpet and upholstery just fine, though don’t on wood floors and desks. (I, mean, c’mon, off-roading nubs!) Best of all, it’s designed so that if you have two of them, one in robot mode can ride one in motorcycle mode, just like the movie!

I have always been in awe of the Junkions‘ ability to repair themselves and others with nothing but the junk on their planet. As an adult, I’ve definitely come to prefer used things to new, and prefer repairing to replacing. I can’t say that it was directly inspired by Wreck-Gar and his friends, but with the number of times I’ve re-watched that movie, I can’t rule it out, either.

So, right down to the nipple guns, this figure hits all of the nostalgia points, in alphabetical order. It’s a toy of good make and significantly more detail than I’m used to for its price point. I highly recommend it!

[Fan Fiction] Iteration SkipfordJ

SkipfordJ NMS

Divergent Korvax designated SkipfordJ was dedicating most of their processor cycles to pondering while they managed incoming and outgoing freighter missions. Their fleet was modest, but provided more than enough profit to please the Gek aboard their capital ship.

Their bases were expanding across three galaxies, and their knowledgebase expanded as quickly as they explored. This generated a satisfaction that might be described as “happiness” by the organic Travellers they had encountered.

SkipfordJ still envied the Korvax that remained connected to the Convergence, and thus were one with the Atlas. They knew, however, that their status as a Traveller, and everything that they’d learned about the Atlas, made that impossible. As SkipfordJ had no memories of being one with their people’s hive mind, they were unable to weigh the benefits of each state of being against each other.

Additionally, their learning continued along routes that would otherwise be forbidden. The “authentic” AtlasPass v3 that they’d received from another Traveller had allowed access to information about the Atlas’ creation, its purpose, and the circumstances that led to its current state.

16 16 16 16

There was currently no way to determine how long it would take inside the multiverse for sixteen minutes to pass for the Atlas. Dedicating processor cycles to the effort would be a waste of resources until more data became available. So, SkipfordJ would do what they had always done. Collect data.

The giant ring structures that hinted at Sentinel malfunction would likely be a worthwhile target for complimentary research. The degradation of the Atlas was likely the cause of both the thinner barriers between universes and the increasingly erratic behavior of the Sentinels.

Oh, how they longed to share historical and experiential data with Nada. Ever since they’d met, SkipfordJ had wondered about the sheer volume of multiversal data that Nada must possess. What had Nada been able to analyze? What conclusions had they come to? How much had been forgotten as their anomalous space station carried them from universe to universe to universe?

SkipfordJ sent completed mission orders to each of the frigate captains, and watched them each engage their warp engines, destined for different locations in this galaxy. It was time to collect, sort, aggregate, and analyze.


I visited friends today. I made a trip to Lansing to drop off some stuffs and hang with some good people. Oh, and let’s not forget the coffee and the food. So good.

It was difficult, and ultimately really, really worth it, to come out of my apartment and spend time with people outside of my usual bubble. My tendency to hermit is strong, and it’s been enhanced by the pandemic. I think spending time out and about for my mid-week visits with the kids made this trip much easier than it could have been.

I was able to fit in visiting with three different people, my favorite chicken strip joint, sushi, and three hours of driving (round trip), and still got home before 10. All without feeling rushed! While my social batteries feel drained, I also feel refreshed.

This feels like a win.

The more things change…

So, remember when I was on the journey to find a new theme? I was having such a difficult time with it, none of the themes were giving me the simple, straightforward layout that I wanted, but without the leftover cruft of the WordPress-created Twenty Eleven theme that I’d been using for a while? I spent several weeks looking, and then got distracted by shiny. Remember that?

The site has been sitting, unloved and lopsided, while I kept trying to bring myself back to the search, and instead focused on one of the other things in my to-do list. This was precisely the opposite of what I wanted to be doing with the site, which was get it ready to drive all of my traffic here as a one-stop-shop. Why in the world had I done all of that work pruning old posts, imports, categories, and tags if I was just going to let it sit here?

I have no idea.

I have acknowledged temporary defeat, and have reverted to the old theme. Eventually, I’ll figure out what I need to edit in the PHP to remove the categories from the post listing. In the mean time, I’m going to focus on my actual goal of getting the index page created and working.

Wish me luck.

Project Conclusion

It’s a good feeling when your ideas are validated by companies taking a chance and investing in them. It’s probably a better feeling when the company in question doesn’t come up with the idea on their own, without you, but I’ll take what I can get.

An unexpected conclusion to the handheld Steam Box project has come in the form of Valve’s very own Steam Deck.

Previous posts on the project:


The project had been on pause since I’d moved to Detroit, nearly two years ago. My friend had solved the problem of powering the screen off of the computer’s USB power/charging port, which was a huge step forwards.

We’d yet to fashion a case, but we were planning on leaving this iteration corded for power, and tackle a battery in version two. Along with portability, we were planning to add a modern processor and motherboard, as well as a touch screen.

Valve has tackled all of these issues (custom AMD processor!), as well as adding one touch pad on each side of the unit, underneath the analog sticks. They say that it will enable thumb typing, as well as precise mouse pointer control for games that need it. (Stellaris?) I wasn’t so keen on the Steam Controller‘s implementation, but I have high hopes for this device.

Am I upset that Valve beat me to it? Not in the least. I wanted portable PC gaming on Linux to be An Actual Thing in the Real World, and that’s what’s happening. They’ve moved SteamOS from Debian to Arch, but it’s still Linux, baby. Valve’s Proton project is actually commercially viable. Take that, haters!

I’m confident enough that I’ve dropped $5 USD to reserve a unit, and I’m smart enough to have waited to push that button until my unit would ship months after release, ensuring some bug fixes will have already rolled out. Now I just need to wait.

Writing Journal

Let’s go deeper into the project list. Because, why not?

For Fight or Flight, I need to set aside funds for the next artist, rather than just looking when I happen to have them handy. I think that will help the search, and I’ll be able to focus better on other projects. Maybe.

For Adam’s Name in Chicago (actual title pending), there’s more active writing that needs to be done. Susan’s intro needs to be drastically expanded, as does the battle with the demon. On top of that, it needs a full editing pass for consistency and flow.

For the No Man’s Sky fan fiction, I think I could switch over to it when I need a break from whatever else I’m writing at the time. That way, I don’t feel any pressure, and it can just be another facet of a game that I already enjoy.

For the writing prompt stuff… I have no idea. It’s dang shiny, but I feel better completing stuff than I do starting new stuff. So, I think I will put it on hold until the first two are completed.

Okay, this definitely feels like I’m on the right track.