Planet Xdroop

August 25, 2016

Blather Blog

Orange Track Rider

Hot Wheels Car Culture Euro Style Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the orange track. Cars with Real Rider tires generally don't go well on the orange track, but the extra attention paid to making these cars makes them look oh so good.

by David Mackintosh ( at August 25, 2016 11:21 AM

August 24, 2016

Blather Blog

True Believers And Continuous Wheel Re-Invention

So I was reading this fictionalized discussion between a web developer and a True Believer. And I think I figured something out. Part of the reason why these True Believers are usually young is because they want to be a part of something. And if you get into something that's old -- say, eighteen or twenty-four months -- then that something has a community around it that is already organized in its hierarchy, has some real world experience, and probably has some problems identified with it. Whereas if you get in on the ground floor, there are no rules. Instead of being lectured to about "the correct way to do something", these True Believers can do the lecturing. Thus all the discussion about how "microservices are the shit" and "you have to use Docker" and all that bull. And because enthusiasm is infectious, impressionable young developers who frankly don't know any better get involved and end up re-inventing a whole whack of wheels that have been invented before, this time only slightly different and only directly addressing the weaknesses of the immediately-previous generation.

Containerization is a response to the issue that configuration management is hard. So instead of having to worry about being able to reproduce a particular environment, containers let you scoop the whole thing up and distribute it willy-nilly. It is an avoidance strategy, one that has all kinds of drawbacks of its own -- how many people have containers that still contain a broken version of glibc? -- but everyone sticks their heads in the sand because we've fixed this problem, dammit.

Orchestration solutions are better, in that you have a recipie for building the environment and that can be run again and again and again, and then modified to run in a different way. But it is slower, sure. For me, the trade-off is a no-brainer. It does push your problem down a bit, in that now you have to make sure you have local copies of anything that's going to get installed so that you can install that version again in the future. But like I said off the top -- err, off the middle -- configuration management is hard.

So, in conclusion: get off of my lawn.

by David Mackintosh ( at August 24, 2016 06:00 PM

Kubo And The Two Strings

I think the animation would work better on the small screen than it does on the large screen; the movement, especially in the fine facial details, could look very juddery. Overall the look is gorgeous and well carried out. Nice sweep to the story, even if the ending is a bit weak; however I don't think the kids will mind very much. Well worth the time. Possibly mislabelled because the magic guitar always had three strings; the reference to two strings may be metaphorical, but is beyond me.

by David Mackintosh ( at August 24, 2016 12:36 PM

August 23, 2016

Blather Blog

Ghostbusters, Star Trek, and John Wick 2.

What are three movies I don't need to see?

Star Trek I've already discussed elsewhere, although the argument applies equally well to Ghostbusters: I have my memories of Star Trek and the Enterprise, I don't need a "re-imagining". I don't need to re-visit someone else's slightly different take on the same ideas. Same with Ghostbusters. My lack of interest has nothing to do with the fact that the movie has four female leads. Although one wonders why such a strong, female-led movie had to be made on the bones of another franchise. If you can tell a good story, tell a good story. You don't need to hide it in another franchise.

And that brings us to John Wick 2, rumours of which I have found on the internet. John Wick was, in many ways, a work of art. It was a rare movie that understood exactly what it was, and aspired to be nothing more than that. There were sequences that were pure art. Trying to launch a franchise off of that seems to cheapen the entire experience.

(The argument about "re-imagining" very nearly applies to Star Wars as well, except that the new Star Wars intends to extend their universe, not "re-imagine" it. That and the fact that it was done so well that it was practically an homage to the entire Star Wars canon that had gone before.)

by David Mackintosh ( at August 23, 2016 07:00 PM

August 22, 2016

Blather Blog

DareDevil Season 2

Hmmm... since it is a NetFlix series, should it be called "series 2" instead of "season 2"? We're not going to get the third season until 2018. But I guess the US sensibilities apply, so "season 2" it is.

Anyways. This season started a bit unevenly, there was a bunch of "what the hell is really going on here" with things, and when things got amped up you realized that they already were amped up -- that transition, as well as the part-A to part-B transition, was more than a bit rough. The end was a bit weird too -- "We live to serve you, Black Sky!" "Well, I fight against you!" "Well we fight you then!" -- and I'm like, what? That was a very confusing five minutes. Then the pseudo-happy-season-endings with a hint of a cliffhanger tacked on the end of that.

The whole dragging-Murdock-through-the-dark was simultaneously too much and not enough, if you know what I mean. And I didn't really think Frank Castle's journey was worth the trip, in the end.

Overall, season one benefited from nobody really knowing what Daredevil was all about. Origin stories are useful for a reason, that being that the arc of discovery provides a real framework for the A-story. Absent that, you have to have a good A-story to carry the series, and I think that this season tried to have two of those and it didn't really work.

by David Mackintosh ( at August 22, 2016 07:00 PM

Sunday Highlight

Nana lives in an apartment now, which means she has access to an elevator. Guess who is always super keen to go visit now.

by David Mackintosh ( at August 22, 2016 02:23 PM

DLM Saturday

Those with a sensitive disposition may wish to look away. DLM stands for Diecast Liberation Movement, as in, open the cars from their packaging. So I opened probably $150 to $200 (eBay's) worth of Hot Wheels. I've been kidding myself that I was going to open them and create content for the other place, but since that's stopped being fun -- one can only shout so long into the void -- I decided I was tired of looking at them all in blister packs and I opened them. Along with the pile of mainlines, there is a Cool Classics Series 3 CRX, most of the 2015 Porsche series, most of this year's BMW series, and a couple of the Heritage cars. Plus a couple of Matchbox cars, but they don't count. They are all carefully put away in the storage containers, and my desk is now much cleaner.

For some of them there is a bit of stress, in that I wonder if I am destroying something of significant value. For the most part there isn't, there are literally millions of most of these cars and opening one more won't do anything either way. But special cars like the Cool Classics cars?

Right now there are very few cars I won't open. Probably the Entertainment Series, a couple of error cards, and the Speed Machine 599XX cars which are occasionally valued at ridiculous levels. Just about everything else? DLM.

by David Mackintosh ( at August 22, 2016 02:23 PM


Conducting more elevator operations at the Bayshore OCTranspo station.

by David Mackintosh ( at August 22, 2016 02:23 PM