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So it's been a little while since my last update on this project and well I should be finished by now, but life once again has managed to get in the way. Actually it was my wife's shelf of lego falling off the wall which got in the way but I digress.
So what's done and what's left to do ?
Well the enclosure is done more or less just have to add the hole of for a micro usb port
FOSBOX v2 on top of v1
The PCB should be arriving either today or tomorrow.
All the components are ready to be added to the board.
Then a bit of testing and then hopefully I will be happy that the project is done.
I'm not quite sure right now what I'll do with the v1 yet possibly repurpose it for something else, possibly a sound board ? if you have a suggestion let me know
So a little while ago I built the FOSbox - and after a couple of weeks of using it, Upgrading the software and using it some more I've come to the realisation .... it sucks.
It functions well enough but because it's based on a generic USB controller it has it's flaws. For starters, games tend to pick it up as a joypad, while there is some fancy stuff I could go and do to stop this it would take more effort that im willing to put in to it to get it working exactly the way it should. Secondly its completely reliant on my software, while this isn't the end of the world having something else on startup or having to launch another program to make use of the box is not ideal.
So now I'm at a crossroads and at this point I really don't want to over complicate things. My first idea was some sort of Raspberry Pi based device with a small touch screen divided in to 1cm x 1cm icons, but the more i thought about it the more I thought I was once again over complicating things again. Which brings me to the choices I have right now. I can either use a keyboard micro controller and design the circuitry around my needs or i could use an arduino ( or similar ) and do it in software.
Feel free to ask questions or add comments. Next update when I have made a decision
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Before getting in to this fully I'd just like to preface this with a couple of things. This will contain SPOILERS for both the book and the movie and the fact that Ready Player One is one of my favourite books. I would also like to add I understand the differences in media between a book and film and the intricacies of converting the written word to film and it can be done well. Most would agree that books like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter were masterfully adapted to the screen without many major casualties when it came to the core story. Sadly, the same cannot be said of Ready Player One.
The story in the movie has been stripped back so far it barely resembles the book, with characters mere shadows of themselves. ... I understand that film is a more limited medium when compared to a book but when you take away vital plot elements and replace with standard movie clichés it just doesn’t work anymore.
Let’s take a look at two characters that changed dramatically from the book. On one had we have I-R0k and Ogden Morrow. One is a Major Character what influences the whole story the other is rather minor. Ogden was supposed to be the hidden guiding hands with him subtly helping Wade along the way (even though Ogden not knowing the location or solutions to any of the puzzles himself) and eventually providing a safe place for Wade and the rest of the crew to mount their final attack against IOI and solve the final puzzle. I-R0k works out Wade is Parzival and sells him out to IOI.
Now on to the movie , Ogden is pushed so far in to the background its not even funny baring a few flash back scene and his avatar being used in the hall of memories place he’s barely even noticeable and barely has any impact on the plot, where as I-R0k as been pushed to the front as some kind of bad ass that works as a contractor for IOI and puts out hits on avatars.
Which brings me on to the dance scene. This was supposed to be a pivotal point in the movie which is essentially turned in to “I love you “… “sorry I don’t love you “then ends on a flat note. In the book this scene was the point where we learn just how obsessed Parzival was with Art3mis and how her rejection threw him in to a spiral of self-hate and how he goes from being a nice guy to this anger fuelled, creeper who just can’t accept that for Art3mis she can’t love someone who she doesn’t really know and who doesn’t really know her.
I could go on and on but I won’t. If you enjoy the movie then fantastic you have seen something in this movie that I can’t.
TL;DR – Visually I really can’t fault this movie, audio wise I had a few problems especially with the over use of the Back to the Future sting. Story wise, I personally hated it and the story should be the main part of a movie. And again, these are just my opinions this doesn’t make anything I say instantly right or wrong and whether you agree or disagree leave a comment below I would really like to read comments of people who have seen the movie and read the book and those who haven’t read the book.
So a little bit of a back story to this one. A long time friend of mine started streaming, I started poking round and asking questions about his setup. Turns out he had one one the most convoluted setups I had ever seen in my life. Me being me I decided to show him the error or his ways.
So I ended up setting up some title cards in OBS and then a lightening bolt hit me. I would either have to set up some hotkeys for OBS or be continually be clicking stuff with the mouse, which lets face it isn't ideal as keyboard shortcuts can be a pain in the ass to remember if your not using them constantly. Then I wondered if I could use a second controller as OBS hotkeys, a big fat no. Then I got to thinking I could write some software that mapped the buttons to keyboard. Wrote some software that did some basic mapping and it worked. Great I thought project done! Got talking to my friend again shared the software and he thought it was great ... one problem I had only set it up for single keys. Recoded the software to allow combinations and then, then I thought if I have gone this far I may as well go all the way.
Lurking in the back of one of my parts bins were 2 old USB controllers ( I think they were Logitech ) stripped them both down, carefully etched away the epoxi blob and salvaged the controller chip, looked up the data sheets and cobbled together the original version :
Long story short every eventually worked. So went and properly designed a pcb, ordered the right IC, more buttons, project box and now have a nice little obs switcher. Actually ended up making 2 one for myself one for my friend and he has never been happier. I know this project could have been done more simply, buying a crappy USB encoder from china but where's the fun in that ?
I really wanted to in the ESRB in-game purchases thread but then there would be a massive ramble possibly going off on a tangent and nobody likes a rambly tangent in the middle of a thread. I will try and keep everything ontrack ...
So the ESRB are slapping on a sticker to say a game has in game purchases. This changes nothing and is purely a political move to make it look like they are doing something. Tarring DLC ( as scummy as some DLC is ) with the same brush as Loot Boxes and Microtransactions is just ludacris and does nothing to address the underlying problem of scummy developers and publishers.
Loot Boxes are gambling let's just get that right out the way to start with it's no different than going to a pub or casino and playing a fruit machine or slot machine. The problem is as adults we can gauge the risk and reward factor, children cant, or at least not to the extent that an adult can. Even some adults struggle with this which is why we have gambling addiction, but this is compounded when you think when they aren't playing the game with the loot boxes they are probably watching some guy on Youtube or Twitch open boxes ( usually being funded by donors ) and little Timmy thinks " wow, cool. I want that stuff too " What do you think he's gonna do when he's begged his mum and dad for more pocket money to spend on loot boxes and they say no? He's gonna go in to his dad's wallet or mums purse and take their credit card not thinking of what's gonna happen when they find out. Then we get the headlines on the news " Child racks up eleventy billion paying for loot boxes " the parents demand to be repaid, blah blah we have seen it all before and the developer turns round and says " well it says right here on the box - contains in game purchases, this is your fault "
TL;DR it's all a bit arse cover for the games industry. It's not here for parents ( they couldn't care less what Timmy plays ) or to inform the player, it's to protect the greedy bastards at the top.
Do loot boxes and microtransactions belong in "triple A" games? No. Leave the microtransactions to mobile games and loot boxes as an extra reward for players to earn in game
So I'm a long time lurker here on 'temp but occasionally, just occasionally I will engage with the community with a pertinent post or two. Last night was one of these nights when I chimed in on Is it racist to say "black person"? Where I recounted a couple of experiences from my days in retail.
So I just got thinking about old times and things that happened over the course of my retail working life and thought that maybe, just maybe a couple of 'tempers would get a kick out of hearing some stories.
Time for a bit of context. I worked for Argos. For those of you not familiar with Argos they are a catalog shop, so rather than having a huge store with all the items on shelves, you just have a big book with everything in ( or as it became know - the laminated book of dreams ) at several stations around the store and find want you want right down the 7 digit code ( XXX-XXXX ) check its in stock with the stock checkers ( later they introduced a tablet at every station where you could browse and check the stock at the same time ) write down the code and had it to a cashier who would promptly tell you the item is out of stock because you didn't check the bloody right item and send you back to do it again. Assuming you did get it right you'd pay for the item, given a number and told to wait while another member of staff got your item and sent to out to the shop floor.
As simple system that works pretty well, unless it's the christmas period then it all goes to hell and it's a free for all.
Above are the slips you write down your codes on. As you can see filling one of these slips out isn't rocket science. Right at the top you have a place for reservation numbers ( we will leave these for another day ) and then the regular cat. codes. Put the number in the box, job a goodun. Nope I have seen these filled out in some funky ways, like there was some secret esoteric way to put the number in that make the item always be in stock numbers written vertically down the page, vertically up the page, diagonally round the edge, so illegible you would swear it was an alien language. I've seen these things written in crayon, eyeliner and once in what i hope wasn't blood. I mean I really can't criticize other people's handwriting, mine is like a spider that's fallen in ink then found bouncing on a trampoline in the middle of an earthquake, but sweet lord jesus people know how to take it to extremes.
So the town I worked in was a University town, so every september or there about we would get an influx of students. These would rank in the top 5 of annoying customers types. They never used the stock checkers at all so they would come up to you with hand fulls of the slips, full of items that were out of stock because everyone else in the town were after. Then you've managed to get them the 50 items they want, you put the order through, the items come down the magic lifts from Narnia annnnnnd they if we can deliver them. Back when I worked there you couldn't do deliveries direct from the store. So you ended up refunding the order, starting again for home delivery order and 99% are out of stock at the warehouse because ..... every other student in the country is trying the same thing, but then a miracle happens and everything is instock at the warehouse... then you have to explain to them that it will be dropped at the uni security because their simply isn't access for the lorries. So then in either they will leave with nothing, having just wasted a good 20 minutes of my time or wanting to take the stuff that they had sent down the first time ... which have already been returned to stock and sold to someone else and they don't really understand why. But again if by some miracle the items are still there they will turn to you and say " Can you call me a taxi?". No, i cannot call you a taxi. You have a phone in your hand right there that you have been playing flappy bird on for the last 20 minutes and i have other people to serve.
Then you have returns. When I say returns, returns are fine. Argos has a 30 money back guarantee, so as long as the item is unused, in it's original undamaged packaging we'll take it back. Unless it's excluded, which you will be informed of in the catalog and when you pay for it ( Woe betide you if you get caught not reading out one of the statements out on a mystery shop ). Exclusions are usually for good reasons like personal hygiene products, video games ( we did trade ins at one point what a effin nightmare that was ) anything with consumables. You would always get chancers. You would have people bring back hair clippers and razors covered in hair, Xboxes with the wrong serial numbers, Tv's with the wrong serial number and one of the best ones i came across a copy of call of duty ( cant remember which one ) opened and inside a dvd with a printed label and underneath the label you could just make the words "The Matrix" and now i have this guy swearing that, that's how he received it. So i check the receipt, it was bought at my store and just for my sanity I check to see if we have ever had any returns for the game that a colleague may not have check properly and we hadn't so this guy was 100% a billy bullshitter. I explain that I cannot take it back and when those words leave my mouth the 20 minutes of abuse start. How I'm gonna lose my job, how he is gonna write to head office. Blah blah blah blah. I gladly supply him with our head offices contact details and send him on his way never to be heard from again.
Sorry this has been a little more ranty than actual tales from the book of laminated dreams but if you want some actual tales then you'll have to wait till next time
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