Sunday, 19 March 2017

March 2017 - Hearts of Iron 4 - Kaiserreich mod

I am waiting for Stellaris 1.5
I just plowed through 40 episodes of Stellaris 1.4

The current games are as always Factorio and Rimworld.

Let's talk about Hearts of Iron 4 though. I am playing the Kaiserreich mod (thanks again Loresworn Order for showing it off)

Syndicalist France is living in fear of another war with the vastly superior German Empire. It's leading force of the Third International, a socialist black of two countries. So in 1936 everything in France shifts gears as the great leader Commandelicious takes command of the great nation of France. The ties to the British Union, another socialist country, are being hardened, the production of factories becomes paramount.
With the new found unity of the Commune the french try to expand their influence over the globe. A bloody second american civil war erupts, a few month later a spanish civil war.
Volunteers are being sent to help the syndicalists in the territory formaly known as United States of America.
The Union of Britain has dreams as well and declare war on the unified Ireland.

So, what is going to happen next? Will the great armies of France and Germany clash again? Will the second revolution erupt in Russia?

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Next games for late February

Rimworld Tribes Reloaded - Wanderlust

I will go and wander around in Rimworld, that might very well be a really short playthrough :D

On my list are as well:
Europa Universalis 4 no idea with what country though
Here is the Police

and further down the list
Hearts of Iron 4
Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe
Civ 6
Star Ruler 2

and when it comes: Stellaris 1.5

Please leave suggestions in the comment section, I really need some advice what to play next :D

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Banana Pi M3 - Day 2

Ok, I fiddled with openVPN which is a pest and with citadel which doesn't work at all and after that I nearly got softether to work. I will get to that in a few days maybe.

Anyway, I have irssi working, got psybnc to work and fiddled with the bashrc a bit and made my abti user able to do the sudo dance.

The IRC stuff isn't that interessting but I will go over that as well in my video.
Well, and I set the timezone. I made my bash show me the time and it was really off.

adduser USERNAME sudo
nano /etc/sudoers

(and put the user in there)

sudo cp /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/London /etc/localtime

well, for me it was
sudo cp /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Berlin /etc/localtime

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Banana Pi M3 - Day 1

Ok, I was waiting for my Banana Pi to arrive, at 15:30 my mom calls, the packege from 'a packet service I now really dislike' had put the package in the car port. Great.
I arrive at 16:00 at my parents place and start unpacking. I need to get the stuff going there. At least that's what I am thinking at the time.
The raspberian I got with the Pi boots without problems. The ubuntu I wanted on the machine takes however to download.
So I start configuring the Rasperian and it goes quite well. At 21:00 I go home. I didn't achieve much but continue at my place.

What works:
- My keyboard layout (don't laugh, actually important and not that easy to manage with the wrong one)
- I changed the IP, very important to actually have it in the network obviously.
- Then I got the ssh daemon running to connect from my laptop and desktop computers on the little thing
- Well, and I installed irssi 8)

- And teamspeak is a work in progress

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Delicious Pi - Raspberry pi and things

Well then,

I decided to get two banana pi. One for my dad and one for me.
Here is the plan: I am going to set a VPN up between us and use the banana pi as a NAS device and some other stuff that came to my mind.
My dad has a two terrabyte Datengrab (data grave, best german word ever) on his Fritz Box, the problem is, that thing only supports USB 2.
Besides that I want to run a VPN I want:
- a Teamspeakserver
- a free exchange variant for my dad
- Some kind of weather app so he stops pestering me about his weather station on the garage roof …
(Well, I just found out that there is a USB-DVBT stick that can get the data from a station (if said station sends data over sweet radio waves)

Second step is to get one or two raspberry pi and get them with some wiring to work as a building automation bus system thing.
Yes, that will take time and hopefully I can end this by end of 2017. I am at the moment looking into different solutions. One is the KNX protocoll which I never used and don't understand what so ever. The KNX hardware you can buy is very expensive so I had to build the bus on my own and code the stuff on my own which brings me to:
Motorola Märklin/ DCC (Digital Command Control) protocoll. I know how this works, kind of. The problem here is that I won't actually use the 18 V it provides. I only need the signal. Besides that, this bus can't report back so I would need another line to report the status of a light or the temperature or whatever.

LNC Bus seems to be the best for that project because it doesn't require more kables to be put into random walls. 

Anyway, I will be putting out videos about this here: "Delicious Pi Channel"

The Banana Pi M3 has a CAN Bus chip on it. So I will use the CAN Bus system to deliver and receive data from other things. And by things I mean basically everything I want to connect to it. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

News and blogs

I admit it. I am a terribly lazy person. I usually only do something when I am interested in something or angry about something. I am very interested in just sitting and playing games right now but angry about 'news' agencies. Some of them anyway.

Let me take a step back and tell you something: I am a terribly lefty person and I actually like the two or three Muslims in my live. I also like Jews a lot being the grandson of one and all. I also like Christians because I am one. Like really, with believing in that stuff and praying occasionally.

The problem about the social media is that people don't fact check. I sometimes do. I have a rather broad understanding about how the world works, a bin naïve at times while being a bit of a cynic. But people don't fact check.

The facts. The sources are at the end of the article if you are interested in actually checking mine which I would prefer. Well, you might want to learn german first. But let's get to the point.
- There were several hundred people at a place in Dortmund, Germany New Years Eve. Like every year.
- Some of these people were asylum seekers, people with migration background, foreigners. Call them whatever you want. Some of them with german citizenship and half of them without.
- The shoot fireworks at policemen and at a church. At the policemen not that great of an idea but our churches are out of stone, it's fine.
- Aggressive people arrive via train. The youth. Aggressive. Never did that happen before. Again, half of them germans. I mean, young men in packs are aggressive and it's a party.

Ok, now the police statistics for that night:
- 180 police missions between 18:00 and 6:00 (6 pm and 6 am for the brits and americans ;) )
- 79 Sending-offs. Technical term. The police forbids you to enter an area.
- 12 people detained.
- 13 people arrested. (This is actually a big difference, not that important here though)
28 for damage of property, 41 after violence, 8 for pickpocketing (2 times 4 in the source, don't ask, technical difference)
In 12 cases more than one perpetrator
23 injured 20 of whom only slightly and five slightly injured policemen.

The city gave out a statement which called this night a normal new years eve and I agree.

And then fucking Breitbart says this: “Revealed: 1,000-Man Mob Attack Police, Set Germany’s Oldest Church Alight on New Year’s Eve”
You fucking hatemongerers.

Ruhr Nachrichten is a daily newspaper that has been published in Dortmund, Germany since 1949. The paper is published by Medienhaus Lensing in Rheinisch format.;art930,3185532

Breitbart News Network (known commonly as Breitbart News, Breitbart or is a right-wing or far-right American news, opinion and commentary website founded in 2007 by conservative commentator and entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Women in Gaming and Nerd Culture

If you are going to read this you have to consider a few things.
1. English isn't my mother tongue, I might misuse some words, I might misspell some even though I use an autocorrect function and I have never lived outside of Germany. Which leads to
2. I, of course, have cultural biases as everybody else on this planet. I am a white male in a highly populated country. I only can write about what I experienced and what I researched.
3. I am on the left side of the political spectrum with all the good and all the bad coming with that. I try to keep an open mind but then again point 2.
4. I try to use language to speak to a wide range of people, explain phrases and abbreviations to make the text easier to understand.

Growing up
To understand my situation a bit easier a few words about me. I was born in 1980, I went to school like everyone else. In the early 90s my dad got his first computer, an Atari 1040 ST half a year after the neighbours bought their comodore C64. The Atari was much more convienient had TOS instead of the command line and I got some games for it. The first english word I learnt was 'carrier' from Empire Deluxe, a strategy game.
My english really didn't came around being usefull at all until round about the mid 2000s. More about that later.

My first own computing machine, i.e. computer I got at the age of 14 in 1994. I got a NES before that. I am a PC gamer, PC user, PC person-people. I lost interest in consoves after the SNES. Here I ask you to consider my personal likes and bias not to be insulted, but consoles just aren't for me and I indeed to look down on the usual console gamer. More mockingly than insulting though. Well, bad console ports just trigger that sometimes, just don't be mad, I prefer the PC, the mouse and keyboard.

Back to the 90s: My first PC made it possible to have a LAN, a local area network. In Germany at that time we were about 20 to 25 students in each class. We had all classes with the same people and in my case one paralell class, which had the same classes but at different times, except for sports where we shared the gymnasium. I met my first best friend in the 9th class as we both were 16. We started LAN parties together, just us two.

Nerd Culture in the 90s
Yes, we had nerds, yes we had female nerds. In this paragraph I will display a lot of biased opinions and facts about the US. Like this: There are jocks in the US and the nerds and whatnot. I only know this from US television and movies, I never experienced it myself. I will not judge you for any of that stuff. It's just superficial knowledge of mine so I will tell you how it is in Germany.
We don't have a big devide through groups of people. We don't have 'the jocks' or 'the goths' or whatever. We were about 50 people in one year and about 50 in the next. We usually didn't have a lot of contact with the other years. In spent four years Realschule. I spent five, don't laugh. My best friend repeated the 9th, I the 10th.
I had female friends, not a lot, and I had male friends, not a lot either. I spent most of my time with my best friend playing games. We were the only two guys into metal-ish music. I got a long black coat, we were two of maybe three or four nerds in our year. One other was a girl I fell hard for. I can't remember why exactly but she was funny and had interesting things to say. I don't found many girls interesting in my class. None actually. I later found out they thought me and my friends were gay. And yeah, she meant that as an insult but I don't care.
Late 90s, in '98 I went on to another school form the Gymnasium. Don't laugh, it's the highest tier of education in Germany from a greek root. (The gymnasium in Ancient Greece functioned as a training facility for competitors in public games. It was also a place for socializing and engaging in intellectual pursuits. The name comes from the Ancient Greek term gymnós meaning "naked". The Brits took one meaning we the other)
The thing is, it was a male dominated school form, electronics, metallurgy and IT. We started out with two classes 22 each and only one girl. Well woman. And yeah, late 90s it was the same old same old, girls went to another school concerned with food, cosmetics, gastronomy and all that. They had two men in between their 40 students. We had to go over to them for music education. Basically just one block away.
On that school apart from my best friend I met my later new best friend who is still, after 18 years my best buddy. At this time our first real LAN happened with ten, twenty and later more than thirty people. All of them men, all the time.
Internet was widely available but no flatrates. Hard cash for your internet minutes. There were women online, few and far between but not a lot.

Women in Nerd Culture
Of course there always were women and girls in nerd culture. Nerd culture is a broad term, I mean it just meant “not drunk” bad in the day. Like there always were women in science, women reading comics, women playing games and women being awesome in politics. I will only write about nerd culture I like in this context which is basically SciFi. It's the only nerd thing I do and share with people. I have a lot of interests like physics, psychology, religion and education, but I don't talk much about it. I don't engage other people with it I just like watching documentations and reading about it.
Anyway, I met my first girlfriend in 2000 at age of 20. I never was good with people, had no interests in women really. I found most boring and I didn't drink, rarely went to parties. Just not what got me interested. That woman though came to one of our LAN parties we had at my place as my parents were gone for two week. Others have a party and wreck the place, we played games and basically had chips all over the floor. She never played a game on her PC but she got one. Was around the time when PCs really weren't that expensive any more. You pay 1200 bucks (good old Deutsche Mark-bucks, round about 800 dollars I guess) and got an ok machine. Not for impressive gaming but you could write applications, listen to MP3 and stuff like that. She wasn't a nerd but I guess she found my straight-to-the-face honesty refreshing. I am not a 'player' and never will be.
The first real goth I met was her best friend and she was a nerd and I totally fucked up. In my defence: I dumped her without ever mentioning her best friend.

The 2000s
Flatrates. Two words. Internet Flatrates. The first one we got, and I kid you not, was a porn flatrate. You paid 90 Deutsche Mark and got a month of internet. Every time you opened it up a porn site popped up. Considering I had to pay around 200 bucks to my dad the months before that was a sweet deal. I can't even find a link anymore, was before the google explosion back in the dark ages of the internet. With this my consumption of internet spiked obviously and I met the first female gamers.
Most of the time I lurked in IRC (Internet Relay Chat) though. Talked to new people, people with internet access from my town and had to start to learn english really. My english in 2000 was school english. A really, really abysmal accent, I couldn't really form a full sentence. Over the internet I fell into my first long-distance. Fell is the right word here. I met her over the internet obviously. Still, gaming was male dominated. Saying that, I know, games my friends and I played and the LANs we went to were male dominated.

The Games I Play
I play strategy games mostly. Europa Universalis 4 was a long time favourite of mine or Civilization. At the LAN parties we played shooters and again, don't laugh, but I am too old now for playing fast paced shooters. If you aren't over 30 yet you get the idea later. I found them stressful anyway. Slow paced, turn based or pausable games are for me. Time to think, to plan and to plot. That doesn't make other games bad or mine any better, just different tastes, right?

I have an observation about music as well. It applies only to the 2000s really. The earlier the more true it is. Metal music was dominated by men; Goth music by women. These two cultures overlapped basically for one reason only: The metalheads took goth girlfriends and the goth women took metalhead boyfriends. This of course is an oversimplification. I like music from both of these groups and not all metal music or all goth music. Both scenes were kind of big for a city of the size of the one I live in. A lot of students came every year to visit the university here in Oldenburg.
And yes, we wore cuts.

The Women I Met
This is I guess the most personal and subjective paragraph of them all. I met a lot of men I became friends with. Only one of my ex-girlfriends were gamers sadly. They usually wanted to watch TV which I kind of find boring. As it usually (but not rightfully goes) most of my exes were younger than I. More about age later.

Women I Met Gaming
There is only one, really. The only game I play online against humans is Mechwarrior Online. It's about big robots shooting lasers and guns and such. The Battletech franchise started in 1984. There are a lot of spin-offs, games, at least one series and books. I played the tabletop in the 90s. Had nearly all of the PC games and it is still male dominated. I tell you that for several reasons.
1. Yes sure, women are into SciFi as well, but more men then women are.
2. Yes sure, women are into shooters as well, but more men then women are.
3. Many of the guys playing that online game now started playing Battletech games long before the Internet some, like me, even before using computers. It's its own nerdy little thing really.
It's none of my business why men or women play any game, I just assume they like it. The problem lies in another area. I give you an example: The community is quite grown up. Most aren't teens, a lot over 30 some over 40. It's not Call of Duty, it's an old people shooter. Slow paced tactical combat. As people grow older they get more relaxed, the dick jokes become few and far between and it's generally more civil but even in this game we heard guys hitting on a female player just because she told us over in game communication that she spotted an enemy in one of the grids.
What I am trying to say is: You have to be a whole lot tougher as a woman to play that game (with coms) than doing that as a guy.
The worst is that it brings me into a defensive position as soon as I act up and tells the guys to play the game and stop making the women uncomfortable. The term 'white knight' is aimed at my head a second after I open my fast, stupid but sharp german mouth. It's not that I don't trust the women to defend themselves, these guys are just annoying -me-. I want to play that game with others and have fun, not caring about their gender, skin colour, ancestry line or religion.

So I met this woman from Austria in Mechwarrior Online after another dude of their unit brought me in. It was a hot ride, I brought my best friend as well. The unit was mainly US americans, about a fifth central europeans. That woman is one of the best drop leader I ever met. A bright mind with a sharp tongue and they didn't take any shit from the guys telling her to 'stop playing and sitting on my lap'. Are you kidding me?

I don't like the term 'gamer girls'. These are mostly grown up women, treat them as such.

Consider your age when you talk with people about all of this. As I said, I was born in 1980. The 90s were dark ages. Even the 2000s were not really that bright. The internet now connects us all and that is great. Peer pressure is still a real thing and I got some statistics for you people out there:
In germany 49 out of 100 gamers are women in the US it's 41. We talk a lot about gender equality and political correctness and pay and a lot more but not everything is suddenly all right.
“The average number of years gamers have been playing video games: 13”
For me it has been 26. Trust me, the princess is in another castle.

Final Words
So dear men, stop harrassing the women please. They are there to play the game like you.
My dear ladies: If someone like me speaks up for you in a game or about games it's not because we don't think you can handle it but because we think you have every right to be there and play that game or talk about it.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is the U.S. association exclusively dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of companies that publish computer and video games for video game consoles, hand-held devices, personal computers, and the Internet.

The Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) was established in 1998 to represent the interests of the sector towards the EU and international institutions.