[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Friday, 2015-07-31

Windows 10 tips

Filed under: Windows — bblackmoor @ 15:56

These are notes for my own purposes, but they might be useful to others, as well.

First, see my Windows 7 tips. All of my windows 10 systems were upgraded from Windows 7, so at this time I do not have tips for a “clean” installation.

Disable Wifi Sense

  1. Open Settings app from the taskbar or Start Menu.
  2. Click Network & Internet and click Manage Wi-Fi settings.
  3. Toggle off the boxes under “Wifi Sense”.

Enable Privacy

  1. Open Settings app from the taskbar or Start Menu.
  2. Click Privacy.
  3. Toggle off the boxes under “Privacy”.

Configure Updates

  1. Open Settings app from the taskbar or Start Menu.
  2. Click Update & Security.
  3. Click Advanced Options.
  4. Set “Choose how updates are installed” to “Notify to schedule restart”.

Modify Start Menu

  1. Open the Start Menu, right click each pane, and select “Unpin from Start”. (Optionally, keep the Weather pane, but open it up and set the correct location.)
  2. Unpin the Edge and Store icons from the taskbar.
  3. Right-click the taskbar and hide the Search and Task View icons from the taskbar.

Clean Up Programs

  1. Open the Start Menu, click Settings >> System >> Apps & Features.
  2. Sort by name.
  3. Uninstall…
    • Get Office
    • Get Skype
    • Microsoft Solitaire Collection

Install Classic Shell

Classic Shell is not preserved after a Windows 10 upgrade. Uninstall Classic Shell (if it’s installed) and re-install it.

  • Right click the Start menu icon, and select Settings.
  • Toggle Show All Settings.
  • Select the Controls tab.
    • Left Click opens: Classic Start Menu
    • Shift+Click opens: Nothing
    • Windows key opens: Windows Start Menu
    • Shift+Win opens: Nothing
    • Middle Click opens: Nothing
    • Hover opens: Nothing

Tuesday, 2015-07-28

Musings on cinematic duels in roleplaying games

Filed under: Gaming — bblackmoor @ 09:31

Ran across this (“Cinematic Lightsaber Dueling“) today, which reminded me of an ongoing game-design problem that I have never solved to my own satisfaction. In the source media from which I draw inspiration for my own games, it is often the case that a combat ends when one opponent successfully hits the other: a single hit ends the fight. This isn’t the case for every fight, even within a single genre — fistfights, in particular, tend to lend themselves more to the traditional “whittling down the hit points” game mechanic. But in duels with lethal weapons — whether using lightsabers, phasers, or rapiers — a single successful hit tends to end the combat.

The biggest problem is not in coming up with a game mechanic to replicate this. The “Extended Tasks” rules in Bulletproof Blues, for example, could easily be used to model this sort of combat. The hurdle for me is combining this type of conflict with the more traditional “whittling down the hit points” combat in the same fight. They don’t really work together.

At the moment, I am thinking that a possible solution might be to use the same “Extended Tasks” style of resolution for conflicts that seem, on the surface, to be more traditional fights, and treating the “whittling down the hitpoints” as a “special effect” rather than a fixed number representing a concrete (rather than abstract) effect.

It occurs to me that way back in the day (the early to mid 1980s), this is how some people interpreted combat in AD&D (first edition, although of course we did not call it that back then). It was not a widely held interpretation, and was observed more in theory than in practice even among its proponents.

Monday, 2015-07-20

If I am not black or gay or poor, why do I support them?

Filed under: Civil Rights,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 16:48

Someone who has stumbled across my blog as a result of my firearm-related posts or pro-Southern posts or “anti-Obama” posts might wonder… why do I also post things in support of “welfare” recipients? Why would I post, in full, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail“? Why would I combine the rebel flag (often erroneously referred to as the Confederate flag) with the rainbow flag associated with “gay pride”? I am a middle-class pasty-white Southern male — so why would I support poor people, and black people, and gay people?

(Aside from just basic human decency, that is — this explanation is intended for people whose grasp of “basic human decency” is … lacking.)

Southern pride rainbow flag

It’s not complicated. It is because I believe that these things are inextricably linked. For example, the rebel flag and the rainbow flag both represent pride in who you are, even in the face of bullies who would would mock you and attempt to shame you for it. They both stand for dignity, and defiance in the face of those who would treat us as “less than”. And neither of them, in any way, stand for demeaning anyone else — the people who claim that are bigots.

Similarly, I myself am not poor — but I used to be. I was on the “free lunch program” as a child. I got paid minimum wage (or less) for years as an adult. I still know people who struggle to earn enough to feed themselves and afford a safe place to live. The fact that I support the right of peaceful, law-abiding individuals to own and carry firearms goes hand-in-hand with my desire to see people paid fair wages for their work. Everyone’s life has value. No one should have to live in fear — not fear of being assaulted, and not fear of being homeless.

What it boils down to is that while I am not gay, or black, or poor, I want to live in a world where it is safe to be me, regardless of who I am.

And, as I said, it’s just basic human decency.

Self awareness in machines

Filed under: Society,Technology — bblackmoor @ 09:01

How long do you think it will take for us to get from this

To this

Wednesday, 2015-07-15

Hustle & Flow

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 21:55

Just watched Hustle & Flow. To my surprise, I liked it a lot. Craig Brewer and John Singleton get the South. They get it.

Everybody gotta have a dream.

Hustle & Flow

Tuesday, 2015-07-14

Patrick Cleburne, Southerner

Filed under: History — bblackmoor @ 17:41
Major-general Patrick Ronayne Cleburne

In the words of Patrick Cleburne, a general in the Confederate Army and sometimes called the Stonewall of the West…

Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late. We can give but a faint idea when we say it means the loss of all we now hold most sacred–slaves and all other personal property, lands, homesteads, liberty, justice, safety, pride, manhood. It means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by all the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision.

[…]

Satisfy the negro that if he faithfully adheres to our standard during the war he shall receive his freedom and that of his race … and we change the race from a dreaded weakness to a position of strength.

Will the slaves fight? The helots of Sparta stood their masters good stead in battle. In the great sea fight of Lepanto where the Christians checked forever the spread of Mohammedanism over Europe, the galley slaves of portions of the fleet were promised freedom, and called on to fight at a critical moment of the battle. They fought well, and civilization owes much to those brave galley slaves … the experience of this war has been so far that half-trained negroes have fought as bravely as many other half-trained Yankees.

It is said that slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties.

(Patrick Cleburne’s Negro Enlistment Proposal, January 2, 1864)

Friday, 2015-07-03

Facebook… why?

Filed under: The Internet — bblackmoor @ 22:06

I spent about five minutes reading the things that show up on my Facebook news stream today. That was just about enough for me to cancel my Facebook account entirely. (No, Google+ is not better — it’s just more empty.)

I am unwilling to cancel it, because I moderate a group for the people in my neighborhood (that group is a lot of fun, and I very rarely regret reading it). But Facebook in general? If the queasiness in my stomach is any indication, I may be done with it.

Sunday, 2015-06-28

June 2015 in review

Filed under: Friends,Society — bblackmoor @ 13:12

I have not enjoyed June. There have been one or two bright spots, but for the most part I have been inundated with other people’s hatreds and prejudices. Anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-gun, anti-poor, anti-women, anti-science, anti-sex, anti-South, etc. Murders of innocent people by a psychopath, murders of unarmed people by police officers, or simply people beaten up and imprisoned for no damned reason. Just an endless stream of hatred, bigotry, and injustice.

The bulk of this has come to me through Facebook. And while I think Facebook has its benefits, to me it has become, more than anything else, a source of pain and sadness.

I am… exhausted.

So it’s time for me to take a break from “social media”. If you know how to get in touch with me, and you feel the need, feel free.

Tears In The Rain

Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate

Filed under: Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 10:34

Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate

Saturday, 2015-06-27

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny

Filed under: Philosophy,Society — bblackmoor @ 06:55

So we won’t use the rebel flag as an emblem of Southern identity anymore. Can we finally let go of grudges from generations past, of cruelties committed by and against people long since dead? Can we treat each other with respect, rather than with contempt based on what our ancestors may have done? Can we let go of our bitterness, hatred, and prejudice?

Because if we can’t do that, the problem isn’t a flag, and never was. The problem is us.

Southern pride rainbow flag

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