Category: Random

Lots of Video News!

I’ve been incredibly happy with the very early success and interest with the videos produced the past couple weeks… Both of them. While I think the attention received may have been oddly disproportionate to the quality of the content, I feel I can do far better and will be stepping up my video game!

First, I’m going to be breaking up my current YouTube account into 3 distinct channels outside of my personal videos; “Kver Create!”, “Kver Play!” and “Kver Workshop!”. I’m furiously trying to get everything ready, but here’s what everyone can expect:

Kver Create!

Will focus on work, and will be mostly livestreams. This is where I’ll be doing things like wallpapers, icons, other art, development, and even personal projects. It’s also where I’ll publish excerpts of the previously recorded livestreams when there’s interesting segments. In the future it might be neat to feature other artists and developers as well. Expect regular KDE content here.

Kver Play!

May or may not have a future, but if my first livestreams taught me anything it’s that I’m not yet comfortable with the mic, so what’s a better teacher than a more casual and fun environment while I rehabilitate my voicebox? This will probably have the most livestreams out-of-gate, but I imagine it will slow down in favour of other channels as time goes on.

Kver Workshop!

This is by far the channel I’m most excited for. It’s also going to be the last to see published videos, as I want to put the most branding, thought, and production effort into it before content start rolling out. Workshop! will cover a variety of topics, such as digital art, development, and even just using the various desktops in Linux.

For every topic there will be two types of videos: The first is short sweet to-the-point tutorials showing you how to use a tool or accomplish a goal in a program. That might include showing you the snapping tools in Inkscape, the animation docker in Krita, or the web inspector in your browser. The second type of videos will be “Advanced Workshops”, and I’m giddy over what I have planned! When a workshop is scheduled a series of tutorials will be produced in advance, the workshop will list those videos in the lead-up, then the workshop itself will put that knowledge into practice. Workshops will always be livestreamed so participants can ask questions, interact, and learn how to push their software to the limits. Once the format is fully ironed out I really want to bring in other experts, but that’s down the road.

An example of what sort of thing you might expect to learn in a workshop is how to draw semi-realistic hardware such as the laptop featured on the homepage – with leading tutorials covering things like the perspective tool and keeping vector art web-friendly. Another example of a workshop might be how to make KDE Plasma icons to standard, and down the road I’m even thinking of getting in touch with Gnome/Elementary/etc folks to see if they want workshops run to make assets in their standards.

What’s coming up?

I’m still working on making everything reasonably presentable, so the first videos will be rolling out a bit later towards the end of this upcoming week, but once it’s all up-and-running I’ll aim for an initial schedule of 4 livestreams/week, and once the Workshop! fiddlybits are sorted out we’ll trade in a livestream or two for more tutorial content. Here’s the schedule for next week:

  • Thursday January 20th at 12:00PM EST on the Create! channel: a two-to-four-hour livestream where I work on various icons in Inkscape and Python. I’ll be starting with application icons, and follow the chat if they want me to work on mimetypes and the Iconoclast pipeline. The main stream will be two hours, and I’ll do another two in an “aftershow” after a short break.
  • Thursday January 20th at 5:00PM EST on the Play! channel: is going to be a fun livestream where I game on Linux! While for me the goal is to be less awkward and more open on mic, I’m sure everybody tuning in will enjoy the fact that I – a total wuss – will be playing a scary game. I do not do well with scary games. Fine with movies. Very poorly with games. The name of the game is Outlast. I hear it is a pleasant walk in the asylum park.
  • Friday January 21st at 12:00PM EST on the Create! channel: will be livestreaming work on an in-development game built using Godot and entirely FLOSS applications. The livestream itself will be mostly work in Krita. This is very much a personal passion project, and for those interested I’ll be talking about the lore of the game and the overall intended design.
  • Friday January 21st at 5:00PM EST on the Play! channel: another scary game livestream. Probably a continuation of Outlast assuming it’s appropriately torturous fun, but I’ll take requests if people want me to mix it up.

I’m going to be re-evaluating the streams on a week-by-week basis. Mostly right now I’m just trying to get used to the mic while I work on overlays and such. There’s nothing slated for Workshop! yet, again, because I want everyone who wants to learn and participate to get a truly gold-standard experience. The kind of thing that you might pay a premium for – but for free. Part of this is planning and building out interactive overlays that will be specific to that channel, I want the interactive component to be nothing like anything else available today.

Once I finish up the basics for the channels, I’ll post the links in an update. Expect them in a few days!

I converted the opening of Wikipedias’ “Hard Disk Drives” article into Thing-Explainer logic

Thing-Explainer is a book being written by XKCD’s Randall Munroe which tries to explain complex concepts and objects – using only the 1000 most common words in English.

He released is writing tool “Simple Writer” today which makes sure he doesn’t use an “uncommon” word, and I *had* to try it. After being disappointed by “Little Red Riding Hood” using common language, I decided to turn up the heat a bit and re-write the Wikipedia entry on Hard Disk Drives

It’s actually really, really hard in spots.

A spinning drive, “hard drive”, hard plate drives or fixed plate is a information keeping thing used for storing and getting computer information using one or more hard fast spinning plates coated with special stuff that keeps information. The plates are paired with special heads put on a moving arm which goes up and down, which read and write information to the plate surfaces. Information is read in a from anywhere it finds it, meaning that single blocks of information can be stored or read in any order rather than one-by-one. Spinning Plates keep stored information even when powered off.

Made by World Business Machines  in 1956, Hard Plates became the most used runner-up information keeping thing for not-different computers by early 1960. Made better over time, Hard Plates have stuck with this position into todays big computers and personal computers. More than 200 companies have made Hard Plate things, though most of them are made by other companies. World wide spinning plate money gatherings were US $32000000000 in 2013, down 3% from 2012.

The main points of interest of plate drives are how much they can hold, and how fast it can read and write. How much it can keep is written in number-letters telling us how many 1000’s it can hold. In most cases, most of what it can hold is not for people because it is used by the map of things in the system and the thing that makes the computer do stuff, and sometimes built in mirrors of the stuff in case things go wrong and it has to be fixed. How fast they can go is kept by the time needed to move the heads reading stuff to a track or plate (usual look time) and the time it takes for the wanted part to move under the head (usual time until it gets where you want it, which is held back by how quick it can spin around each minute), and finally how quickly the stuff is pulled (read time).

The two most usual forms for todays spinning plates are 3.5 fingers wide for tall personal computers, and 2.5 fingers for small flat computers. Hard plates are joined to systems by information sharing lines such with different ways of sharing the information.

As of 2015, the main other way of keeping information is flash memory in the form of drives that do not spin, which are quicker at sharing information, less chance of breaking, and takes less time to find information, but spinning drives remain the main way for keeping stuff because it is less money to keep things on the drives. However, drives that do not spin are taking over spinning drives where being quick, eating power, and less problems are more important.