Blabberbox:Random blog-like posts from pftq.Share on Twitter

Open to Interpretation

September 9th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Tired of having my words reinterpreted to mean different things. People are too busy looking for what they want to hear and not thinking about what someone else is actually trying to say.
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Typical Businessman Thinking

September 2nd, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Typical investor/businessman thinking: If I could just find a genius smart enough to make me a million dollars but too dumb to do it unless I tell him to...
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Distant Earth

August 28th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Somewhere out there right now is someone seeing light from a distant planet Earth and assuming there is no intelligent life because it is light from thousands of years ago.
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Line-In Recording Noise

August 26th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Note to future self. Source of line-in recording noise is the MIDI USB cable from the piano to computer. Do not replace the sound card, do not buy an audio device. #audio #recording
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The Sound That Isn't There

August 20th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Premise of a horror film I thought of while staying up too late. Tongue

Imagine every night you hear the loud humming of what you think are street sweepers driving by.  One night, you get tired of it and venture out into the streets to complain, except there's nothing there.  You run towards the sound, but it just keeps getting louder and louder, with nothing in sight for as far you can see.  The sound eventually starts moving away and goes quiet, like it does every night, and you go back home confused.

The next night, you run out again when you hear the sound, trying to get to the center of it before it goes away again.  This time, you keep running towards it as it tries to get away from you.  At first, you are barely able to keep up with the sound as it is moving away.  At some point, you realize the sound is suddenly getting louder and louder than it ever has before.  You get so caught up running towards the sound that you don't realize it has...[More]
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Lossless Algorithms

August 12th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Ideas | #
The following is an algorithm I invented for generating support/resist in trading with no thresholds or parameters. On each price move, the price range traveled loses a point in score. The resulting score of any price range is its support/resist strength, which declines the more it is traveled across (zero being strongest and untraveled). Visually, the price line looks like an eraser scrubbing away ranges on the chart; ranges least scrubbed thin out to support/resist lines.  The reason I call it a "lossless" algorithm is because it doesn't estimate anything or use any seeded values/thresholds.  It is analogous to lossless audio/image file formats.  There is no sampling or use of statistics.  There are no knobs to tweak and no assumptions to take.  It is a perfect 1-to-1 map of where price moves most and least freely.  It is also extremely light both in computation and space because all you're doing is a single subtraction per datapoint and...[More]
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Death is Only a Door

August 12th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Death is Only a Door (Cloud Atlas OST) by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil
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God's Image

August 5th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
So many say we're created in God's image, yet act more like the shadow that merely follows. We call Him the Creator, yet so few carry on the work of actually creating.
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Arrival of the Birds

August 3rd, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Arrival of the Birds by The Cinematic Orchestra (@TCO_Official)
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July 31st, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
One of the more interesting articles I've read in a while... didn't realize quarternions used in game development had actual significance in physics and there was a step further called octonions. As usual, learning more working on games than I ever did in school.
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Securing HTTPS SSL

July 29th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #
Below are all steps to take to make sure your site is served securely over HTTPS.  Any suggestions, feel free to let me know.

1. Preliminary:
- Install SSL certificate to your domain either through GoDaddy, AutoSSL on CPanel, or Let's Encrypt on CPanel.  Let's Encrypt is easiest to me, as it auto-renews and is free.  There isn't really a reason to pay anymore for SSL.  However, note that you can't have both AutoSSL and Let's Encrypt on at the same time (they will compete/conflict).  If you run into errors for subdomains on Let's Encrypt, try excluding the www- checkbox.  For Windows IIS, you can use CertifyTheWeb which auto-installs from Let's Encrypt.

2. Adding HSTS to servers....[More]
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Happiest Memory

July 15th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Essays | #
     The happiest memory in my life is not one I could ever share with anyone else.  Because it isn't a moment from within my real life but instead one from within a dream, a dream that occurred almost ten years ago.

     In that dream, I spent my childhood alongside someone who I seemingly knew all my life.  We would race neck-to-neck as we leapt from rooftop to rooftop, laughing maniacally as we tried to one-up each other, reaching higher and higher into the skies before eventually just taking flight altogether.  If it seemed we flew too high and one of us began to fall, we would catch each other and throw ourselves even higher than before, until we finally made it above the clouds.  At the end of it all, we'd sit atop the remains of an old wooden post so high up that we could watch the sun set, not against the land or water but against the sky itself, the ocean of clouds below reflecting its descent like a mirror facing up against the...[More]
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Video Game AI

July 14th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Just found out the #AI behind Black and White was in fact designed by @demishassabis, co-founder of @DeepMindAI. Too ironic given I often cite #videogames as most influential to my own ideas (incl. Tech Trader and Creating Sentient Artificial Intelligence). Was not expecting it to be so literal.
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Full VR Multiplayer Replication Complete

July 4th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Ready for rematch. Grin

A lot of people have constantly tried to convince me multiplayer alone is a hard thing to do and VR in multiplayer is even harder, but I'm not finding that the case so far.  If anything, it's a lot of time and attention to detail, but nothing really seems to come across as overwhelming or rocket science.  I certainly wouldn't hire someone just to take care of multiplayer networking now that I know what it entails.

If anything the hardest part was just finding out how to connect to another instance of the game in the first place, which was just poorly documented.

After that, it's a lot of figuring out what you need to replicate or not replicate in the course of the game using remote procedural calls.  This thread in particular was most helpful:

Beyond that, if you want to improve performance, you'll want to run code simultaneously on the user's computer at the same time it is doing a call to the server to run it.  The topic itself is called client-side prediction.  Still working out the best practices for this, but it's all fine-tuning and optimizing from here.
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Transfat Ban

June 23rd, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Transfat is supposedly banned as of 2018, yet I just saw transfat-free cookies at the store with partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients.  I guess they just banned the name.
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Multiplayer in Unreal via IP

June 23rd, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Finally got #UnrealEngine connecting over the internet for barebones multiplayer.  Documentation on just getting direct IP-to-IP connection w/o Steam, etc was surprisingly sparse.

Here's a quick step-by-step:
1. Go to Editor Settings.  Set your port to a number like 7777.

1. Package your game (here, using Windows).

2. Create a shortcut to your game.exe called Host, and modify the shortcut target to add the following after "" (rename the map + path as needed):
"/Game/FirstPersonBP/Maps/FirstPersonExampleMap?Listen" -game -log

3. Create another shortcut called Client, and add the following instead:
<hostIP>:<port> -game -log

4. The host computer would run the Host shortcut.  Everyone else runs the Client shortcut (which connects to the host's IP and port); make sure the host has the port opened up on firewall (in Windows, you'd want to add an inbound exception to the port and then only allow the IPs of the other players in scope).

There's still a lot of work after this, but at least now you are connected online.  From here, you'd look into guides on replication, etc which make sure all players are in sync and see the same things happening.  A good starting guide is here:
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Bitcoin Probability

June 22nd, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
If they're going crazy right now on how some random hashtag should be "statistically impossible," wait till two people generate the same wallet (which is not supposed to happen until the sun dies... "statistically"). #Bitcoin
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Tennis Notes

June 15th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Random Stuff | #
Personal tennis notes for myself.  I am ambidextrous and play tennis with both hands (or two rackets), so I've had to come to my own conclusions on a lot of things.  I also trained initially under a coach who basically had me hit every shot with an extreme western(?) grip for top spin, even on serves both hands (which results in inside-out slice serve, I think - not sure what it's called), so most advice I get has often not been helpful (especially things like suggesting *not* to use such an extreme grip).  My grip is actually rotated to the point it is actually a continental grip, except I hit with the outside face instead which is the complete opposite and forces you to over-rotate to meet the ball and creates the kick in top-spin.  The hand motion without a racket looks like I am hitting the ball with the back of my hand instead of the palm.  I went through some phases in my life post-college where I was repeatedly told I was holding the racket wrong...[More]
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Autumn Leaves

June 8th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Autumn Leaves by Drought on Mars (@droughtonmars)
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UnrealEngine VR Detection is Delayed

June 2nd, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Been stuck trying to figure out why #VR code in #UnrealEngine runs fine in the editor but not in a packaged build.  It turns out when packaged, the "Is Head Mounted Display Enabled?" function will not actually detect the headset until half a second or so after the game starts.  Janky way to fix this for now is to delay all VR code by a half second, but my worry is that this will vary depending on the computer we're running on.

Oh and for those who can't get even get the game to run in VR mode at all in the packaged game, you have to check "Start in VR" in the project settings.  This will still start in non-VR if no headset is connected, so it's annoying this isn't just a default option to begin with.
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