Geek day

Been doing silly things with computers today. I left a rubbish laptop at my mom’s before in the hopes she would use it to do her shopping and stuff, but she never used it. In fairness, it wasn’t like she knew how. Before I brought it to her, I wiped it and put a fresh install of one of the smaller, more complicated versions of Linux on it. To counteract the fact that it was melting.
I don’t mean it was just really hot. I mean it had been running hot for years already and wouldn’t stay on for more than 20 minutes at a time. Installing Linux counteracted that somewhat, since it was no longer being run ragged for no good reason by Windows vista. Still, I kept the heat monitor running the whole time I was messing with it, and even when it was connected to the internet it never ran hotter than 75 degrees, which is nearly a 20 degree improvement.
The Internet was the main problem today. After 8 years of smelting itself, something had finally gave way, and it was no longer picking up wifi signals. I burned a good half hour tapping things into the terminal, but no luck on that front. Not only that, but my mom’s only access to the Internet is through her phone. I hacked it in the end though! When I realised I could do wired tethering from my phone, I plugged it in, and eventually figured a way to get this dinosaur of a laptop to accept an Internet signal through the usb port!
As I was typing up a .txt to explain to my mom how to do it in just two terminal commands(after installing stuff via terminal to ease the way), I realised that this is exactly the sort of excitement kids must have got out of figuring this stuff out 20 years ago, before we had anything more flashy than text browsers. This is when I’m happiest messing about with a computer, getting it to do stuff it definitely wasn’t designed to do. On top of finishing building a new website today, I’m feeling a deep connection to my inner tech pioneer. I know it’s not an awful lot to be doing, but I’m figuring it out myself, and to me in that situation, I may as well be the first person ever figuring it out.
The joy of discovery is so dog. Someone buy me a raspberry pi, please.


Extending new senses through implanted magnets

While implants are definitely a bit on the extreme side, I’m very interested in how technology changes the way we experience the world. For instance, the way our sense of self expands to take in a vehicle we’re driving, or how haptic feedback in phones and game controllers increases the sense of engagement in actions taken. Here’s a bit of an interesting post from Mindhacks on the subject.

Mind Hacks

In 2006, journalist Quinn Norton had a magnet implanted in her finger so she could ‘sense’ magnetic fields.

An article on the ABC Radio National website shows how this simple concept has been taken to its next level by the body modification community to find new ways of integrating magnetic fields into our senses.

Before I was prepped to have a magnet inserted in my fingertip, I had a conversation with my piercer, Kyla Fae, about placement…

I had thought that the only possibility was the finger, but apparently there are many fleshy parts of the body that are viable placement options.

‘I haven’t performed any in genitals, but I’m well aware of people with them,’ said Ms Fae.

‘If you’ve got a magnet in your lady garden or whatever, it will vibrate away near big speakers.’..

Some enthusiasts are also starting to get magnets that act as mini speakers…

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Stranger In A Strange Band

It’s been a good week to be a musician. Since my last post I’ve written and recorded guitar for a beast of a new song. There’s some troll riffs in there that are a step above my last offering, and, according to Jake, distinctly more Super Mario-esque. But then, disaster! I was doing the nice thing of renaming all the audio to something more helpful for Jake and Jamie to use when Logic was all like ‘You know what? You’ve done enough work today.’ and promptly quit, corrupting its own file in the process. So now I’ve got to stitch all my editing back together. Wonderful. Having to start from the beginning again was a boon in disguise, though, and resulted in making some tasty changes, along with making some new acoustic fluff.

Finished Stranger In A Strange Land. It was an excellent read, tons of fun. I find there’s a lot of pleasure to be had in Sci-Fi out of being a passenger to characters who essentially have god-like powers, in worlds filled with potential. Stranger was very much like Star Trek in that a heroic lead character was merely the front for a progressive rise in the living conditions and powers of the human race, working together. Towards the end, I did feel the lead character was a bit of a Gary Stu, overcoming his difficulties with a gracious wave of a hand, but it was necessary to reach a sensible ending. The real meat of the story is in the secondary characters and their progression into being strangers in their own lands.

Not much more to say for the past three days. I cooked my first casserole, and the big 3 mangas are proceeding awesomely. Oh, and there’s new HPMOR! Can’t wait to dive into that!



Hi, I’m Cass and this is my blog. I’ll be posting rants, pictures, and junk I care about as and when I find it. I’ll also be doing a weekly round-up on Thursdays. Generally, I’ll be writing about music, manga, books, and films, but I’m just as liable to go off on a philosophical tangent, so if that’s your bag, check in weekly and feel free to say hi.


Oh Hai

This week, I’ve been wrapping up watching the American version of the hit sitcom The Office. Netflix has this habit of dropping must-watch series on me at the most inconvenient times, and I’m one of those people who have to binge on TV shows they get into. Generally, it’s been excellent. I didn’t really enjoy the British version when it came out here back in the early 2000s, but Steve Carell was absolutely excellent and is just generally funnier than Ricky Gervais. Cringe-comedy isn’t generally my bag, but Micheal Scott was just the buffoon I needed to get enjoyment out of the scenario.

I find modern American comedy hits the nail on the head much better than stuff from my neck of the woods. There’s a trend in recent British television where producers try to present an image of television that’s more ‘in touch’ with the youth of today and the common man, but this leads mainly to characters with cockney accents in humdrum backgrounds. I grew up on a council estate, I don’t need to be reminded of how soul-crushing it can be, thanks. I want ESCAPISM in my escapism. The Mighty Boosh was excellent when it came out, but that was repeated to death by pretty much everyone I know when the kooky-comedy bandwagon came to town. Much like the Monty Python films or Bill Bailey standup DVDs, once you meet a certain amount of people raving about it, it starts to become tiresome, and you struggle to keep a polite interest whilst trying to steer the conversation to more fertile ground. It’s good to see the Monty Python gang returning to work together, though; we could all do with a touch of the absurd.

I started work on a new Metal tune, which is nice. Think Oceansize meets Faraquet, as played by The Safety Fire. For more on that, keep an eye on my Soundcloud over the next week.

I’m gonna save book discusion for the next post, once I’ve finished Stranger In A Strange Land. Manga-wise, it looks like One Piece is gearing up to another Arabasta-sized arc. Everything’s kicking off. Naruto continues to be fantastic, though I must say the plot’s been a bit obvious recently. And the less said about what remains of Bleach, the better.

Kubo. Stahp.

Bleach = 50% recycled Yu Yu Hakusho, 50% recycled Bleach.

Finally got around to watching A Clockwork Orange, followed closely by Mulan, because after you watch anything by Stanley Kubrick you usually need a Disney chaser. I was impressed at how the former managed to capture the feel of walking through a UK city on a Friday night, though obviously much classier. I always love it when you find a film where everyone can be seen as the villain in some way. It wasn’t as violent as I was expecting, though; from the way everyone goes on about it, you’d think it was non-stop gang rapes and kerb-stomping. Modern films surpass it in brutality almost casually. I think the reason it sticks in everyone’s head so much more with A Clockwork Orange is that absolutely none of it is background. You’re forced to ride the tension the whole way, and when the ultra-violence kicks in to a little bit of Ludwig Van, you know the beating won’t stop until our intrepid hero has had his fill.

Mulan was, of course, fantastic.