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08 Oct 2019


Podcasts Worth Considering

Here are my recommendations for listening


I dabble in podcasting.

The two projects I have been involved with are Laserbeards https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/, and Clod of War https://anchor.fm/clod-of-war.

laserbeards-logo.jpg clod-of-war-logo.jpg


LB was a proof of concept, an amateur endeavour to informally chat with a gaming friend of mine, for nearly 2 hours per episode.

  1. [LB-EP1] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-1/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep1/laserbeards-ep1-2016-05-11-x.mp3
  2. [LB-EP2] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2016/05/28/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-2/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep2/lb-ep2-2016-05-27-final.mp3
  3. [LB-EP3] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-3/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep3/lb-ep3-final.mp3
  4. [LB-EP4] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-4/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep4/lb-ep4-final.mp3
  5. [LB-EP5] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-5/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep5/lb-ep5-final.mp3
  6. [LB-EP6] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2016/08/05/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-6/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep6/lb-ep6-final.mp3
  7. [LB-EP7] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2016/08/17/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-7/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep7/lb-ep7-final.mp3
  8. [LB-EP8] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-8/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep8/lb-ep8-final.mp3
  9. [LB-EP9] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2016/10/07/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-9/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep9/lb-ep9-final.mp3
  10. [LB-Ep10] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-10/ [mp3] https://archive.org/compress/laserbeards-ep10/formats=VBR%20MP3&file=/laserbeards-ep10.zip
  11. [LB-EP11] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-11/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep11/lb-ep11-final.mp3
  12. [LB-EP12] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-12/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep12/lb-ep12-final.mp3
  13. [LB-EP13] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-13/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep13/lb-episode13-finalX.mp3
  14. [LB-EP14] https://laserbeards.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/laserbeards-gaming-podcast-episode-14/ [mp3] https://archive.org/download/laserbeards-ep14/lb-episode14-final.mp3
Tags: Podcast
08 Oct 2019

Trill Biography

Name      : Trill
Race      : Teir'Dal
Age       : 35 (ie. quite young)
Profession: Battle Vocalist (Dirge)

Q. What was your character’s upbringing like? Did circumstance surround them from his birth, or was their life up until their adventuring career relatively bland? What landmark occurrences made them who they are today?

A. Trill’s upbringing was harsher than most, when she was young, her father was killed by Orcs, and even though the Orcs paid bitterly with their lives and the lives of their young, it was no comfort financially nor status wise amongst the Teir’Dal in Freeport. Her mother raised her as best she could, distilling the hatred and concentrating it in the voice of Trill. She was a remarkable vocalist, and rather than curl the tongue around pitiful chants of love or wants, Trill’s mother poured the loathing of her race and her personal loneliness into Trills choral training. Songs that were twisted yet mesmerising now flowed from Trill like they were the echoes from her dear Mothers blackened heart. And Trill whorshipped her Mother like Innoruk himself.

Q. What are your character’s goals and motivations? What do they strive for, toil for? Power? Wealth? Remembrance? Adventuring? What does your character ultimately wish to achieve?

A. Trill’s motivation comes from the basic premise that control, deathly control, can forge a new life for herself and her Mother. She wants to charm those in battle and slay them to reap what she can from their bodies. If enough wealth can be obtained through her young adventuring career then perhaps she can buy back some of the respect lost amongst the Teir’Dal when her Father was killed. Ultimately her adventuring career has proved troublesome and she is drawn apart like meat from the bone, her doctrine of hate and loathing is being tempered by weariness in travel and loneliness - without her Mother mentoring her constantly - she finds the road a parched dusty one, and her senses are becoming dulled to the presence of the lower races. I think her focus, her purpose is becoming unclear the more she is away from her Mother and her Teir’Dal kin.

Q. Why did your character choose their profession? What event moved them toward their path?

A. The profession of Dirge more or less chose Trill (aided heavily by her mother’s encouragement), as soon as she could speak, the tonal accompaniment of her voice to her Mothers musical attempts, shone bright like a beacon of talent, her Mother could not resist the opportunity to have a Battle Vocalist as a daughter to put paid the shame of her Husbands death.

Q. What are your character’s relatives like? Are they alive, dead, adventurers, merchants, blacksmiths? What were your living arrangements and surroundings growing up? Do you have any siblings, childhood rivals, etc?

A. Trill was an only child, mainly because her Father was killed so early on in the marriage, there was no others. Her Mother performed “tunes” as a musician to pay for Trill’s upbringing and coaching. She is still alive, residing in Freeport, living off what Trill can get to her, or the odd appearance when she can.

Q. What does your character do when not ‘Active’ in the game? (IE any time you are logged out of Everquest)

A. Trill usually rests. As much as she can. The burden of adventuring is hard on the young elven girl, her voice sometimes seems broken, due to wind, rain and dust, softening her vocal chords, malforming them into breathless lullaby organs, than sharp anthemic caterwauling tools of pain. So she hides out in any Inn that will have her. She sips whatever oily exudate she can to line her throat for the next adventure that will be on her at first light. Often she will curl up somewhere and hide in the shadows until her lungs have rested. She will not make a spectacle of herself amongst such lowlife.

Q. Name the people most trusted as allies, in your character’s opinion?

A. Trill trusts no-one except her Mother. However, as she is worn away like dust from a rock, her judgement fades a little and she has been known to follow others, even tolerate the likes of humans for a short period, until she can function properly again. Sometimes her distrust of everyone can be forgetful when the lands beat down upon you night and day

Q. Does your character have any special quirks? A twitchy eye, a lisp, an obsession with playing cards?

A. She enjoys the taste of snake meat. Cooked. She also hates having her hair exposed to the sunlight, it goes brittle and snaps and her braiding gets dirty - she absolutely hates that! An armoured helmet is essential for Trill.

Please write a brief character history here. It does not have to be elaborate, just a general idea of your character’s experiences and a feel for why they are the way they are.

Trill’s sheltered upbringing in and around Freeport, was mainly intensive tutelage, she sang morning noon and night, and as such had little time for social contact nor education. Voicing pain and torment was her life throughout her formative years.

As she embarked upon her adventurous career, at the behest of her Mother (who thought Trill wasn’t ready), she set out into the wilds eager to test out her perilous talents on the roaving bandits, orcs and undead known to plague those lands. Unfortunately, it was true, she was not ready for the danger and peril she found. And in no time at all, Trill found herself being ‘protected’ by a lesser race, an ogre no less. Still Trill glossed over the smell and the indignity of it all, and he became (in her eyes) a servant to her, she would claim to have some mesmeric power over him.

Trill was tortured regularly whilst traversing the Nektulos Forest an area she couldn’t quite get the acoustics right, because of the trees and running water. Luckily her torment ended as she stumbled upon a passageway out into the lands known as the Thundering Steppes. Here she heard of untold riches buried underground, guarded by strong viscious gnolls. Despite the danger, the reward of plunder was too tempting to Trill, and she currently seeks like minded Teir’Dal to take down into the earth and slay these doglike spawn to reap the rewards.

Tags: Writing
02 Oct 2019

Steam Desktop Shortcut in Linux

Here is a quick and dirty manual way to create Steam shortcuts on the desktop in Linux.

Create a blank Launcher

  1. Right click the desktop and Create Launcher
  2. Enter the game name as the Shortcut Title.
  3. Temporarily enter “Steam” for the Command.
  4. Click “Create”.

Gather Steam Information

  1. In Steam, go to the Game in your Library
  2. Select Store Page Link
  3. In the Location/URL in Steam, there’ll be a link “https://store.steampowered.com/app/268870/” with a numeric Game ID at the end (“268870”)

Customise the Launcher

  1. Right click the Launcher shortcut icon
  2. Select “Properties”
  3. Under Permissions Tab check “Allow this file to run as a program”
  4. Under Launcher Tab enter the command “steam steam://rungameid/NNNNNN” where the NNNNNN is replaced with the numeric Game ID.
  5. Under General there should be an generic icon, click it to change.
  6. Select your Steam Library location, usually “/Steam/steamapps/common/GAMENAME/GAMENAMEData/Resources” where GAMENAME is the name of the game.
  7. There should be an image icon file in there you can select for the shortcut.

You should now be able to double-click the shortcut and Steam will load the game.

Tags: Linux
02 Oct 2019

Statically Organised

Creating content in a new way

I want to go direct to pure content, nurturing readability & portability.

But also, I want to make it easier for me to pen & publish things to encourage me to do so. I often have things to say, but by the time my methodologies are all in place to do so, the muse has left me. Which adds a barrier of organising and time allocation to recreate the moment of inspiration in the first place.

So I’m trying out org-static-blog 1 the easiest method I can find to get org files 2 out to blog files with the minimum of layered fuss and dependant infrastructure & architecture.


Tags: Muse
03 May 2019

Surveillance Capitalism with Aral

One of my favourite “Cyborg” activists is Aral Balkan. He is a motivated clear speaker on the current and future problems we face under a global regime of oppressive surveillance capitalism via technology.

Explore his work 1

Rather than try to summarise all the issues myself, in a rather clumsy way, I would urge you to watch his recent lecture entitled “Small Technology - A vision for Europe?” over at the Bucerius Lab.

Bucerius Lab Lecture w/ Aral Balkan: Small Technology - A vision for Europe? (Bootleg recording) 2

Unfortunately the audio isn’t very good because the lecture was recorded as a bootleg, the organisers of the event had one or two choice lectures recorded professionally and sadly Aral’s wasn’t one of them. Still worth a view.

Aral delivers a very powerful overview of the situation not only historically but also contextually going forward. I would argue that this privacy issue is at the very core of everything holding our societies and democracies back today. We need a fundamental change in the way we operate as technologically expanding civilisation, in terms of how we treat people and how we reconfigure our politics and economics to address the existential threats our species face on this fragile planet.

The problems are clearly identified, explained and steps towards finding acceptable solutions are discussed. Aral himself works under the indie intiative (with Laura Kalbag) 3, supporting ethical design, individual control over their own data and accessibility for everyone.

Indie has now broadened its goals and has become the Small Technology Foundation 4

It is clear we need to take back control of our own data. The money engines built around us and the emergent algorithmic technologies are never going to have our best interests at heart, nor the planets.

It really is time to take notice of this issue, and Aral is one of the tech savvy people who can shine a clear light on it for everyone.


Tags: Muse
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