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Wed Apr 1 2020

Last updated on April 1, 2020

There will not be a post today. Thanks have a good day.

April Fools!

I’m so witty. The oldest April Fools joke is the one which takes the least effort– announce that all services are CANCELLED!

So I received an E-mail today. A gentleman who had read my article how to install vocaloid hatsune miku v4x send me an e-mail asking for details.

I haven’t responded yet, because I’m not even sure how to answer the question. I think I might go through the installation one more time and try to figure out where he got stuck. I haven’t gone through my instructions from the perspective of a reader trying to install Miku, so I’m not even sure if my instructions make any sense at all!

That’s one thing I haven’t done since I reinstalled my OS earlier this month. I haven’t restored the virtual machine (VM) which I was using for VOCALOID production. Before I reinstalled my OS, I exported the VM as an appliance which I thought would be a painless way to getting the VM up and running again. I was totally wrong, because the first time I tried to start up that virtual appliance, I got some error message. Virtualbox isn’t so great at this sort of thing!

Someday, I’d like to buy a copy of VMWare workstation. I think doing so would ease a lot of the troubles I’ve had with Virtualbox in the last many years.

The troubles I have with Virtualbox all seem to be related to save files. I eventually seem to get corrupted snapshots on every machine I create. If I am error free for awhile, I just haven’t waited long enough. I think part of this might be my fault. I might inadvertently delete important files related to snapshots when trying to control the size of my ~/Virtual Machines directory.

I’ve learned to not touch that folder directly, even if the huge file sizes are nagging at me. The best thing to do is do everything through the GUI. Even then I seem to run into problems on occasion. This latest issue with virtual appliance importing is troubling. I hope I can figure it out and recover the VM. I reinstalled linux in a hurry last time, and I didn’t even take the time to disassociate the VOCALOID license with the VM. Hopefully this doesn’t bite me in the ass!

I’m hoping that if my license ends up being bound to an inaccessible VM, that I can contact Crypton Future Media and get my license unbound from that machine. That process might make a good blog post… hmm. Anyway, if they won’t or can’t do that, I’m not going to buy another copy. That’s ridiculous, bad DRM and I will fight it! I’ll figure out a way to get up and running again, even if it means I end up pirating V4X. I can’t support the kind of DRM that is designed to lock me out of software that I honestly purchased!

I’m remaining hopeful in this situation, though. I have faith that I can get the VM up and running again.

I couldn’t sleep last night because I was excited about receiving $600 a week from the economic stimulus package. I started going over in my head what I would do with the money. My initial thoughts are that I would make some store acquisitions, and pay for a VPS which will act as my store website. All big eBay sellers have their own website! Then I could cycle all my non-selling items to my store, and not have to pay the insertion fee just to have them appear on eBay every month.

Additionally, I could direct buyers to my webstore via a promotional card added to every package. I could put a coupon on the promo card, and entice buyers to shop there instead of my eBay store.

I was thinking that I could use one of my domains which doesn’t have a job right now. Either xtoast.com or flyingdeer.org. LOL, I’d have to rebrand again, so that would be a downside. The upside is that I wouldn’t have to buy another domain. I dunno, might not be the best idea to rebrand right now. I think it would confuse people if the eBay store doesn’t match the webstore.

I’ll have to do a cost analysis, and figure out which makes more sense. The next eBay seller level is like $300 a month. I’ll be paying nearly that much with the amount of extra listing insertions that I would have to pay if I don’t prune the number of items I have listed.

The webstore isn’t going to be free. It’s going to be a minimum $10 a month just to keep the VPS running, and an additional $50 a month for the woocommerce ebay plugin that I was looking at the other day. I think that $60 a month might be a hard sell, given my sales volume.

The alternative to the web store is to simply prune my active listings down to a number which fits under my insertion-fee-free number that my tier of eBay store allows.

It’s really a hard choice right now. I’ve been putting in a lot of effort to list as much as possible, but this insertion-fee-free time is going to come to an end and I’ll likely have to undo a lot of my efforts. The choice to transfer listings to a webstore or upgrade my eBay store tier are such hard choices because I don’t make enough money every month to justify either.

Whatever I choose, I want to make sure and make it a worthwile investment. I need to take the $600 a week that I’ll apparently be receiving, and multiply that money using methods that have limited risk.

More inventory has a limited risk because I’m going to end up with product that I can sell at any time. I like that idea, because even if I can’t sell the card singles, I can always group the non-selling singles together in an attractive bulk lot. As long as I don’t give up, I can make my money back, and make a profit.

Whatever I choose, I want to maximize the time I have to work on growing my business. This $600 a week is a godsend right now. Here I was nervous that I’d have to find a part time job, one that would be unfulfilling and reduce the chance that I achieve my dreams.

Now, I have this lifeline. I’m grateful for it and I’m going to make something good come from it.

Ok so the other things I was thinking of putting the money towards was making some credit card payments, paying the remaining money on my cancelled auto insurance account, and paying April rent.

I wonder how long the checks are going to show up? I’m not going to waste any time, and I’m definitely not going to buy anything for myself. I don’t need anything. I have everything I need. The main thing that this money is going towards is expanding my ability to earn money.

I was considering some other things that I might be able to purchase in this time of economic instability. I was thinking of buying Weiss Schwarz collections, but so far I haven’t had much luck with reselling those.

People have a lot of choices of places to buy Weiss Schwarz. JKTCG for example, has lots of English Edtition singles at fair prices. TCGplayer as well. The US market is saturated with Weiss Schwarz, I have no edge in that regard. That’s why I’m liking P-Memories so much. They’re difficult to get a hold of in the US, sought after by many otaku, and I have a whole bunch of them for sale here locally! I’ve got a good niche at this point, and it’s treating me well right now.

This brings up an issue which I don’t often think about. Right now the cards are sought after. Well, less so now that COVID-19 is happening. But my point is that someday, these cards might become undesirable to my target audience. Trends could change, markets could crash, war could break out… Right now is good to me. Someday the good times will come to an end.

I don’t have the foresight to see what new trends are emerging. I don’t want to worry about this either. Right now is all that matters. Right now is all I will ever experience, and right now is the time in which I exist. <insert deep idea here> (I got nothing!)

It’s 3:34 PM. I woke up at 9 and prepared 2 packages. One of them was kind of difficult to let go. My 7 DVD complete collection of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. That was my first anime. That’s the one that got me into anime. I was a teenager and I saw Motoko’s sweet sweet booty on the cover of the DVD at Hastings. I can’t remember if I rented it or bought it outright, but I played it at that shitty hotel we stayed at while our house was being remodeled. Most of my family hated the hotel and went back home to stay in the trailer. I stayed at that Hotel with my older sister and I watched the shit out of that DVD. I was enthralled and captivated by the story, the art, the sound. What a fucking fantastic anime!

I figure I can rewatch the series any time now. I can find it at a variety of places online. I might even have a copy of the DVDs on a hard drive somewhere. Losing the DVDs itself is of no consequence; I don’t even have a DVD-ROM drive anymore! But I did feel a sort of sadness when I packaged it up.

I only got $10 out of it, too! I must have put at least $40 into it when I bought it. It’s amazing how things depreciate. DVDs especially, that’s a dying media. A lot of studios don’t even release on DVD anymore. It’s either released to BluRay, or simply made available on streaming websites.

At some point, I’d like to get a setup where I can record what is being played on my monitor. I’m thinking of a hardware solution which can accomplish a number of tasks.

Firstly, recording videos that I purchase from streaming sites. I always liked to make backups of my DVDs, and that ability shouldn’t go away just because Netflix is king. I’ve seen some setups explained online which use an undetectable HDMI multiplier box. Neflix gets streamed on some smart device, sent via HDMI, split at the multiplier box, where it gets simultaneously sent to a media capture device on a computer, and a TV. The viewer can watch whatever is being streamed, and record it at full quality at the same time.

I had an idea last night of a method to cheat in the video game Squad. Right now, the idea is greater than my capability, but the nice thing of being human is that I can always dedicate some resources to the task and figure out a way to make it happen!

So the idea is this– an AI which detects the shape of enemy players, completely undetectable by the game’s anti-cheat system because the AI interfaces the same way that a stream recorder does. The AI would simply view a stream being sent from an HDMI multiplier box, and visually detect enemy players on screen. I could figure out some way to have the AI produce an overlay on the stream. Perhaps is not the direct stream which I would be viewing through my monitor, but a post-processed one after the AI had processed the frames. Pretty cool, right?

The funny thing is, someone has probably already thought of this. Maybe, it’s possible that such a system is already in use by sneaky high-tier gamers!

Ok so that’s one nefarious idea. The other idea I came up with last night is one which is completely legitimate, and simply a system which is one step better than supplemental systems in use by many gamers today.

The idea is a mortar calculator for Squad, which uses voice prompts rather than direct input. Mortar calculators are a real thing in real life, and nobody frowns upon them when they are used in Squad. There are some great mortar calculator apps out there already. Some are web based, some are android apps. The problem I have with these is that the time it takes to input the coordinates is time which could better be spent dialing in the mortar azimuth and elevation.

My goal is to minimize the time it takes to lock onto a target with mortars to something like two seconds. I want to be sitting at my mortar canon, waiting for the call. I want my spotter to call out grid coordinates, and have my mortar calculator go to work instantly, with no input from me whatsoever.

Fire mission! Grid. Charlie eight, subkey four, subkey eight. over.

Using speech to text, I want my mortar calculator to automatically calculate azimuth and elevation from my spotter’s callout. How kickass would that be!?

As soon as I receive the call, I dial in the canon and fire within 2 seconds. Puddles would be so proud!

LOL, A handful of people in the world will get that reference.

Anyway, it’s something that I think would be incredibly useful.

I think I found a wikipedia article I need to read. Fire discipline. I’ve always wanted to know the militarily-correct verbiage to use when calling out mortar strikes! Doing so in-game would really add to the immersion!

That was in interesting read! I think I’m going to go experiment with speech to text now. Jya, mata!

27. I keep going because I believe in myself.
28. I choose to see the good in the people I interact with today.
29. I can reach out for help if I need it.

I’m grateful for my friend M. who is my best friend and he’s so enjoyable to talk with and spend time with. He is an excellent driver and he always seems to want to drive rather than taking the gun on tanks or APCs in Squad. I think he does this because he knows I love being gunner. He is so friendly and nice and caring and I try to reciprocate those feelings to him because he genuinely cares and he deserves nothing less!

I’m grateful for the video game Squad. It is the hardest game I’ve ever played, but once I got a handle on the game, it is an incredible way to spend time. It is a military shooter simulation which is realistic in many aspects, from bullet physics to the need for communication and coordination. I enjoy playing it with my friends very much!

I’m grateful for rice and beans. I’m starting to get hungry! I think I will be preparing a hearty meal in the coming hours and I’m excited for the privilege to do such a thing!

Excelsior!

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