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MAX 300

MAX 300 was the first1 level 10 song I cleared at the arcade. I learned to play DDR with my older brother; I distinctly recall the sensation of finally being better than him at a game—whether it was Descent, StarCraft, anything, he always had such a lead.

I started DDR a bit later than him and had some catching up to do, but eventually crossed the level 9 mark before he did. It turned out rhythm games would be a good place for me to excel.

He lives overseas now, and at some point got an L-TEK DDR pad. I was a bit envious, but felt the shipping expense—far worse to Australia than the US—was too hard to justify. Pandemic closing the gym made it muuuuuch more palatable, and plus it’d mean I’d get to play DDR with my brother again in a way.

It’s been a very good way to get fit again, and hitting old milestones again is a lot of fun. I’ve done some other harder ones already, but today was the day for clearing MAX 300 again. My scores are much better than my 13-year-old self’s, even though my endurance isn’t.

MAX 300 score (87.23%)

  1. Not counting 桜 or bag here. 

As best we can tell, the pub is shut

I was alerted by a commenter that it’s been more than a year, now, since this video dropped:

COVID measures had already begun to be implemented; national borders shut, most schools already closed. Watching this press conference, a scene from The Simpsons played in my mind. I’d been getting a little comfy with a video editing program to record IIDX plays, so I gave it a crack.

I don’t really have networks to tap, but Niki liked it so much she diligently dropped it into comments on Facebook and Twitter replies wherever it seemed appropriate. Before I knew it, I had a moderately popular YouTube video. It entered the popular discourse when it was further remixed, but if you ask me, the Trump oversamples are just kinda gross.

One thing that’s been interesting to see has been how the popularity of the video corresponded with (literally) viral events:

A graph showing the views for the video

The three major events were:

  • Late March, video released, Dan Andrews said “get on the beers”.
  • Mid-May, first lockdown restrictions eased.
  • October 26, Victoria recorded zero new cases/deaths for the first time since June. Dan reported that he “might go a little higher up the shelf” than beers.
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Crosspost

My other half — not my partner, but the other half that makes “Asherah” up — writes a very different kind of blog. We don’t tend to cross the streams here too much, but seeing as we’re not on any social media, this might be a time to introduce one to the other.

Content note: trigger warnings etc. are rarely used. Read at your own risk. Content is highly personal and often covers developmental and sexual issues.

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Knowing when to look past your code

There’s a weird tension in programming — on the one hand, as you learn the ropes, you (hopefully) learn very quickly that the problem is almost always in your code, and not, say, the compiler, stdlib, kernel, etc. This is usually very correct; the people who’ve worked on those things have many times the experience you did when you decided that there must be a bug in printf or something.

You’ll later realise you tried to print something through a pointer to a stack-allocated variable that’s long since gone. These accusations tend to wane as you gain familiarity with your subject matter, and wax as you step out into lands populated with ever more footguns, exposing more of the architecture than you ever suspected was there. (See also: the emails from me to the libev mailing list in 2011.)

At some point, though, your journies will take you to places where things aren’t so clear cut, and you’ll start to gain a sixth sense; a kind of visceral experience that things are not as they have been promised to be.

A few weeks ago, that sixth sense whispered in my ear: “what if, instead of your cruddy bootloader written in a pre-1.0 systems language for a platform you don’t fully understand, it’s the 20 year-old project with 80,000 commits that’s wrong?” And it was right.

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