I can’t imagine anyone actually follows my ramblings, but if you do, thanks for sticking around to see what I’m up to.
If you want to get into contact with me, my details are on the about page, if you’d like to discuss anything on this blog though, please feel free to join the blog-discuss mailing list. Come yell at me when I get something wrong!
Now that I’ve taken care of that, though silly it may be, there’s actually been quite a bit going on. The Kararou Computer Research Lab is indefinitely down due to circumstances outside of my control, which is really quite unfortunate. So if I’ve not been doing anything with that, you might wonder what I’ve been spending my time on. Fair question, since I assume you’re reading this because you want to know.
Well, let’s break it up into a few different things, which I will put proper headings and such on: Reading, Gaming, and Projects. So lets get to it.
Oh wow so I’ve discovered a lot of stuff recently that I’m just absolutely enamoured with. From queer cosmic horror to pokemon fanfics to light novels to absolute mammoths. I’ll highlight some of my favourites for now, but I intend to put out full book reviews at some point in the future, so stay tuned for that.
I mostly use Calibre to handle all my ebooks, since it syncs up with my Kindle really well. I’ve used a tool to download a lot of stuff directly to epub format from ScribbleHub, too, so lets take a minute to talk about some of the good titles over there.
For starters, I’ve been making my way through Katalepsis, a queer cosmic horror serial on ScribbleHub and a few other places, and I really enjoy it. It hits all the various needs a gender-trashed hacker like myself has, and it is a master class in excellent writing.
Another fun one I’ve been reading with my family is I Will Touch the Skies, a pokemon fanfiction taking place in a vaguely Diamond/Pearl-esque Sinnoh, incorporating darker themes of trauma (and overcoming trauma), while also demonstrating the absolute scale of a pokemon region. The writing isn’t top notch, but if you can overlook small mistakes here and there, this is definitely an amazing read, and it updates very quickly, the author releasing a new chapter almost daily.
I’ve also been reading several light novel series, such as Log Horizon by Mamare Touno and Spice and Wolf by Isuna Hasekura. Both of which do a really good job of making the reader feel pretty smart and each demonstrating a mastery of story crafting that’s pretty amazing. Though, because both of these are light novel series that were translated from their original language into English, I’m left wondering how much of the original text is left properly intact as I go through each of these. As an aside, the anime adaptation of Log Horizon is an almost purely faithful recreation of the text as written, only having a very few small changes to fix some pacing issues in the original material.
Now, those are just some of the highlights of what I’ve been reading lately, and I do intend to do more traditional reviews of what I’ve been reading at some point soon, so lets move on to some other things I’ve been doing.
Well, it may come as no surprise that a nerd like me enjoys games. I’ve been getting a lot of design inspiration from the Shin Megami Tensei series of games lately, while also rehashing a lot of old games I’ve enjoyed in the past.
I’m playing through an English-patched version of the original SMT for the Super Famicom and its been interesting. Its certainly a hard game, to some degree, but wow the encounter rate is so high the game itself becomes tedious just moving from place to place. In the same series, I’ve been playing the 3DS version of Soul Hackers, along with several Persona games (namely P3P for PSP, P4G for PC, and P5R for Switch), and overall I’d recommend this series highly.
There’s also the Phantasy Star classic series that I’ve been digging back into, which is really interesting to me. The original for the Sega Master System is definitely a blast, as the typical JRPG formula hadn’t been cemented yet, so its overworld exploration looks a lot like that we’ve come to know and love with a top-down approach, but entering a dungeon turns the game into a first person dungeon crawler, and it’s quite a lot of fun. Other entires in the series are all top-down explorers, which is a bit sad, but the gameplay continues to be a core JRPG loop.
Other games I’ve been playing more seriously are the Pokemon games. I’ve actually been playing everything from Generation 4 all the way to the Generation 4 remakes with the exceptions of Gen 5 (I just don’t have copies of it). So far, my favourites have to be either Legends Arceus or the Generation 3 remakes for the 3DS.
I’ve actually been working on a few different classes of projects entirely. I’ve recently gotten into book binding, and I’m attempting to perfect a process for perfect-binding of A6-sized books, which is actually incredibly difficult, and out of my three attempted binds, only one has been successful. I’m also working on three different software projects, two different hardware projects (my desk is a mess!), and several smaller projects as well, so lets dive in.
For software projects, I’m writing system software in rust to replace the coreutils package on Linux, though that’s going incredibly slowly (as expected, there’s just a lot of tools to write). This project is nowhere near completion and is a huge endevour just in terms of its sheer scope. I may release a slimmed down version that has the true core of tools required to use a system and pair it with a few extremely useful tools already written in rust such as exa and ripgrep.
My other two bits of software are more passion projects in honesty. I’m working on a toy mail passing protocol I’m calling mailf0rm. I’ve got data structures written and I’m taking a lot of time to think about how to serialize them so that they’re very compact for transmission. I’ve got basic communication going over QUIC using quinn at the moment, but I intend to build a working minimal system before I publish it anywhere. I’m also working on a JRPG battle system, and I’ve actually got most of the battle system completed, but I still haven’t done any testing on it, so once I write some tests, and do bugfixing, I’ll publish it somewhere for anyone to use.
For hardware I’m actually trying to build only two things, but those two things aren’t actually that impressive. The first is simply a cartridge system that utilizes eMMC, so ultimately its nothing special, just a proprietary way to interface with eMMC (though, learning the eMMC specification has been interesting). The other is building a synth, because of course the music junky wants a synth. My goal is to ultimately have four hybrid digital/analog voices, the waveforms being digitally generated and the filtering being completely analog, and I can’t wait to make any headway into this project aside from looking into datasheets for various DDS ICs (I’m looking for something very specific).
Well, I’m not dead and I haven’t forgotten about this accidental blog, despite it having gone down for a hot second there. Now you know what I’ve been working on, and hopefully I wont drop any of these projects by accident. Please feel free to reach out either on the newly setup mailing list, or directly to me via email, if you use PGP, my key is also available over on the about page.
Thanks for reading!