Media room renovation
Having bigger fish to fry, I hadn't really touched the media room in about ten years
, aside from swapping some electronics and furniture. It seemed like a modest house project was in order when we hit reopening stage 2.5. The plan centered around repainting a darker, more cinematic color and moving the audio wiring
from being exposed to hidden behind moulding.
The first step was to replace the hdmi hole in the wall with a proper junction box and outlet. The stairway behind dictated that it couldn't be completely hidden, but nbd.
Painting was straightforward once all the wiring and baseboarding was removed. Behr Suede Gray flat.
The closet(?) under the stairs always served as a perfect place for electronics. I finally trimmed it in using (in keeping with my newfound sacred commitment) only pvc ever.
I decided to go a little creative with the shelving. Rewiring stuff back there was always a total pain, as things were sitting on makeshift shelves and had to be maneuvered to get at any wiring. And all of this was especially difficult reaching in from the room.
What I needed was a moving shelf
that would allow me to slide everything out of the way and crawl into the electronics cabinet. I thought about drawer sliders but decided a trolley track would be neater and more forgiving to install.
Of course, an overhead track meant the shelves had to float down from the trolleys
. I borrowed the simple, industrial shelving approach
I used upstairs; horizontal pieces suspended on a set of carriage bolts. This would also maximize airflow to electronics and allow versatile zip-tying options for all the wiring.
It worked great. I didn't expect the trolleys to allow swaying, but that actually works well for improving access to the shelved items. I suppose if I didn't want this I could have set up parallel tracks.
So yeah, surround wires in the crown moulding.
I went 14-gauge which was probably overkill and a pretty tight fit with just two sets.
I/Jes quickly learned that pre-nailing the moulding
made life much easier.
The corners also needed trim pieces to cover the wiring going from the audio head unit to the ceiling and down to the surround speakers.
A few minutes into a Divinity session I got flickering and frame rate problems
. Assuming this was my hodgepodge of hdmi cables (and hoping not the new outlets), I bit the bullet on hdmi 2.1 (4k at 120hz) to cover the tv-outlet-outlet-playstation/switch/etc. In the mean time I'm back to the old direct hdmi and optical audio cables.
Thanks to Jes
, I was able to sample some beers and cheese while I worked.
Unrelatedly, I build another pool hand vac
out of abs and shop vac hose attachments. The brush is actually pretty good for the purposes.
Okay, what? Elon your rockets and cars have this slick sci-fi feel but you decided the inspiration for your barge would be Waterworld? Anyway, there's the bright spot in current events. We're looking at another covid wave
coupled with worldwide protests being met by (dramatic pause) the thing they're protesting.
Good time to stay in and have more Zoom chats, hang out in the pool, and of course trade based on - well I'll let a different Jon explain it:
I'm a technical trader, don't bother me about fundamentals.
. Sometimes there is a good bit of banter that's also dripping in disgust for anything that is different.
This economy has had it all: covid, negative oil futures, aggressive Fed action, pharma pumps, and even a pissing match between financial institutions and WSB types.
[Brokerage is] waiting until the next business day to do the [money] transfer. But I wanna yolo nooooow
So the zooming continues, but the GBES put together an outing to Stone
. We got the last rezzie, though the place was practically empty (dining only). Ordering was done completely through an app/QR code. Still, everything was very pleasant, from weather to food to tiki IPA.
I haven't done a ton of coding - as you might imagine - but I did experiment with the edge masking logic
I started last month
. It would basically do this for each pixel in the image:
- Examine nearby pixels
- Compute an average
- Set the edginess to the average difference between each nearby pixel and that average (difference = dr + dg + db)
It was a simple approach that would yield a dark/bright edginess value that could be used to manipulate the original image. By using the average of an area as the value for difference judgment, it was less focused on the pixel it would ultimately manipulate
. At that point, I had no basis for comparison of what this would call an edge vs, say, Photoshop's "find edges" function.
The sky is the limit for deciding what is an edge and how edgy it is. I ended up implementing three alternate approaches:
- Replace step 2 with simply using the pixel I'm going to set. Instead of "how much variation is in this patch" it's "how much does this patch vary from this pixel". The latter would presumably be less smooth.
- Replace both uses of "average" with "median". Median filters often have a substantially different effect in graphics.
- Instead of looking for deltas in RGB, use hue and brightness. HSV (hue/color, saturation/distance from gray, value/brightness) is another way to represent pixels and this approach would say "I care about changes in color and brightness, but I'll largely ignore how intense the color is".
In addition to the top image, here are a few more applications of each technique. For some of them, I adjusted the output to fully cover the black-white range (uniformly for the dataset).
As usual, downscaled jpgs aren't the best way to view these, but you can definitely pick out differences in the edge results.
My laptop should have a breathalyzer, but for minimum caffeine
Whalers on the moon
Well actually submariners on Europa, but the post-PUBG crowd has grown a bit now that we're playing a less frustrating game that supports varying team sizes.
We finally have the sub maintenance thing pretty well covered
- also handling CattleDecapitation
's habit of injecting people with opiates while they're looking at instruments. But then Chase
takes us too deep, or Mark
runs over Shane
, or I bring a "thermal artifact" on board and it lights everything on fire.
J and me are still working through the rather large third act in Divinity. And at long last I unlocked the walking bomb summon
When we don't have enough to crew a sub, we've been expanding our Payday 2 horizons
. I even photoshopped the perfect weapon for Cattle
Choose your outdoor adventure
We hit the links for Gage
's birthday. Lomas Santa Fe Executive is a rather pleasant par 3 course. No agoraphobia yet.
The Last of Us Part II / 19 June
is sending me TLOU2 this week, pretty happy that my media room is now dark enough to properly play a zombie game.
Star Wars: Squadrons / 02 October
Well this one came out of nowhere. Apparently a Microsoft studio has been working on a Star Wars game under the code name "Maverick"
. For those of us who have spent two decades begging for an update to the X-Wing series, the project name is encouraging. Also if there's a low-gravity volleyball minigame we wouldn't complain.
Twenty years ago, X-Wing: Alliance was a fantastic adventure. Before that, XvT gave us a pvp alternative to UT and Quake. (More nostalgia)
The game was leaked a couple days ago, possibly a move to create hype for today's gameplay-free trailer release
. For me, the big question is whether it'll be more Rogue Squadron/Battelfront or X-Wing
The game is clearly team-oriented. That's great (especially if there's a co-op/solo campiagn) and suggests that it might borrow elements from FPSes and MOBAs. That said, if each squad member has a cringeworthy hero splash screen and you're flying around waiting to pop your ult
, I'm going to write some strongly-worded letters to Electronic Arts.
- It'll be first-person - hooray, not an arcade game.
- 5v5 multiplayer - good, I hope this is omitting the clear potential for at least a third faction.
- No pay-to-win model - it's EA so I'll believe it when I see it.
Horizon: Forbidden West / ???
Some time in the distant future, we'll check back up on our favorite dinosaur mech hunter
. That trailer though, sappy level 1000.