Old Computer Challenge 3!

Year 3, lets go! This year is basically a rehash of the first one with a bit more accessibility in that it tells you how to fake the old system on new ones. (I think?) Like last year we'll be starting on July 10th.

So because I'm a masochist, how are we spicing this one up?

Aside from this the usual caveats apply. Anime night will be a thing, work computers exist, if I need to transfer some money or do banking, the standard "Don't get fired, dumped, or harmed" stuff. Aside from that, see y'all on the 10th!

Day One

First full day of the challenge! At least mostly. My girlfriend had a bunny at the emergency vet last night, so I stayed on telegram a while until I passed out last night; PDT meant that by the time they got home I think it was 4 or 5 am Eastern time?

Not least because of that incident we decided to postpone anime night until later on this week. Work was on the boring side but busy, which kept me occupied. Aside from that I watched a little bit of an obscure 90's anime OVA, checked in on my private forum, and listened to The Quantum Wormhole's internet radio station. After work I went on a short hike (pics to come maybe? I need to find the cable for my camera,) and a drive on the way back only to find that while I was gone the mail had come and my box of Star Craft: Brood War had come in. I'm sure y'all can guess what I'm doing the rest of the night ;D

While there were a couple of technological challenges it wasn't as bad as others experienced. Between my testing and the actual launch of the occ SDF went and upgraded its ssh under me, meaning that the version of ssh in the last Cygwin to support Windows 2000 no longer worked. Luckily I was able to download the latest release of Dropbear and fiddle with that until it compiled, giving me a functioning ssh client. For future reference and in case anyone needs it: Dropbear will configure fine in Cygwin, but once it does you need to edit the produced Makefile to remove the stack protector compiler flags. They'll make the linking step fail.

Aside from SDF, for some reason the bbs at erb.pw isn't working for me either. Meatlotion's site says the bbs is up, but I can't get a connection from MS Telnet, Syncterm, or the web bbs client on his site (which I'm shocked to learn works in K-Meleon.) Before I was able to get a connection but it was acting all wonky. The service status page also says MRC is down, so I guess I'll just try all those tomorrow.

For now though, I've got a campaign to run through. I'll see y'all tomorrow!

Addendum: I forgot to throw this in yesterday, but more free KaiOS hate: if you've read my flip phone page you'd know that I have 2 flip phones: one running KaiOS and one running Android locked down to nothing. Yesterday I learned that KaiOS doesn't support MMS group chats, which was really annoying. It also still hasn't gotten any updates while the other phone has. Just an extra little note.

I also took a few pictures on my hike yesterday. You can browse the full sizes in this directory

Day Two

I think this is what the kids call a chill day. I made a couple addenda to the day one post which I forgot, did work. It was anime night so some time was spent there. I also made a spacehey today, not sure if it'll get much use. Come to think of it, it was pretty productive overall. Those things, bought a VCR+DVD Player from the thrift store, revived my gopher hole (with a new feature!)

Something to look forward to for the site is that I began a play through of the Turbografx 16 classic Neutopia, inspired by this lets play of Zelda 1. Unfortunately my capture card doesn't work on w2k so I had to resort to capturing "screenshots" with a digital camera. It was so much work that future installments will probably be AARs in text only or I'll take pictures of cleared rooms to show the layout without enemies. I had a good time, though! By the way, the site with that playthrough made it onto the directory.

I think that's about it for today, might watch a DVD I bought at the thrift store and fall asleep. Catch y'all tomorrow!

Day Three

It felt like this one just kinda came and went. I've pretty well settled into the routine. Hang on IRC. Check my forum. Read some e-mails. Look at SpaceHey. I finished Volume 1 of Otherside Picnic today too.

I'm not sure I'd recommend the kernel extender for OCC in general. While my system's been stable so far it seems to have increased overall ram usage, not ideal when the margins are already thin.

Mostly work kept me busy. After that I went grocery shopping and worked on doing the impossible, since I was already familiar with what I could do. I went and installed BlackWingCat's Extender and tried to push what I could run. I got MyPal working as well as a version of Seamonkey all the way up to 2017. Unfortunately this was in the middle of Mozilla's Memory Leak Era, so even with Noscript and uBlock my ram usage quickly spiraled into 100% swap territory and the whole system ground to a halt. I'm gonna keep MyPal around just in case I need a browser with a bit more brawn, but I don't forsee much use from Seamonkey.

After getting that set up I went ahead and watched Exorcist: The Beginning. It was fine. I mean, fine probably counts as a failure when you're a prequel to one of the best, most famous horror movies of all time, but failing to live up to that metric itself ain't bad. I liked the implication that successful exorcisms weren't the exclusive realm of Christians, even if they do get more spiritual armor, so to speak. The possessed make-up did the job. It also had a lot of hyenas: bonus points.

That pretty much covers it today, I think. Oh! Kernel Extender also let me install paint.net, which is great because mtpaint went totally bonkers with its alpha channel in ways I don't understand while I was editing a png.

Day Four

Day four everybody, give it up for day four. Four days of the OCC.

It was the least day so far. Nothing to report, really. Work kept me busy all day, culminating in a nearly 2 hour long call with our intern while we debugged some code she was working on. After that I headed over to the local game store because the RPG for Old Gods of Appalachia came out and a group got together for it. Unsurprisingly one of the store's owner has met Steve Shell, the narrator of the series. Nerddom in western NC is a small club; seems I might end up meeting him too soon enough at a con considering how the RPG just came out. While I was out it was thunderstorming and a brief power outage somehow caused my router to reset its config. There was a minuscule cheat to fix that from my desktop, but after reconfiguring the WAP I was able to get my T41 back up again.

Earlier today I cut release 1.2 of ttgs, my gopher server. You can get it here if you're into such things. It's the best gopher server I know of by my arbitrary metrics, so that has to count for something. To pre-empt questions: it seems like I didn't tag the git repo, so I don't have any earlier versions on me. I also wrote up some bonus OCC content on my gopher hole if you want to poke around.

As for the rest of the night, I have a bit of a video game itch. Maybe I'll try and beat Bonk's Adventure before bed....

I figure that's about all, I'll see y'all tomorrow.

Day Five

Boring in the OCC sense. I spent all afternoon working from my friend's game store, making a Digimon TCG deck (I should finish my page on that, expect a link here later,) with just what she had in stock after work finished. After that I got a quick dinner and then went to a drag show with a local friend until almost 2 am, hence the late post. I suspect that another part of why this year's been so easy is that I actually have local friends and things to do these days.

Broad strokes aside, before going to the game store to see people I hooked up my Raspberry Pi Zero W because I was curious about whether grumpy would Just Work on arm. It didn't.

Day Six

Yet again we are cheating in that I have non-computer things I can just do. I woke up this morning and went to a local-ish comic convention. Said hi to a couple people I knew, bought a replacement video cable for my gamecube, bought a couple of movies for the VCR I bought on....Tuesday?

After that I went back to my friend's store and playtested my deck, which didn't go great; I needed more Recovery to make it hum. While I poked through the bulk box I got frustrated with playing blind and started work on an OCC-friendly Digimoncard.io client. We'll see if that makes it off of my laptop.

Now that I'm home I'm watching some movies. Not too bad a day.

Day Seven

That was it, I suppose. I think this was the most interesting occ so far, though not for the rules. They kinda screwed over the people with low spec machines to play with, but then again we were the most experienced in dealing with the restrictions anyway c:

OCC1 was a struggle to replicate my usual workflow on an old computer, but the magic of libpurple meant it all pretty much worked. It took struggling to get there but it was all pretty much possible. It was a fun learning experience, though it didn't change my workflow too much.

2 was a little bit of a dud, I think? The limitation of internet for 1 hour a day didn't change a ton for me. Rather than watch youtube videos or listen to podcasts I just watched DVDs all day while I worked. The IRC channel was pretty well abandoned because we all picked a different hour.

3 was interesting. I overprepared this year for sure, installed tons of games I never felt the need to play, but that's a win in its own case. This was the first OCC where I went out with friends and spent a considerable time away from the computer which wasn't just reading. Browsers continued to cause annoyances, but I could just read, go on a hike, watch movies. This was a good year.

Want to see more OCC entries? Headcrash will be maintaining links to all the participants. You can also just hang out with everyone directly: here

But this page is ugly!