Travis Briggs in tildeland

~audiodude is Travis Briggs, who has a bunch of web projects and a bunch of code projects.

He also makes music professionally as Danger Third Rail and shares demos of his songs online, all while talking in the third person.

At some point, he set out rules for this tildesite. Let's all look and see if he's following them!

That Devil, Factorio

October 3, 2019

I've got a new full time job. Except I don't get paid for it. If that sounds a little strange, you should know that the new "job" is the game Factorio (YouTube - Wikipedia - official wiki). I've played 40+ hours in the past 7 days, including two monster 10+ hour gaming sessions over last weekend. I have fallen down a Factorio black hole and can't get out of it. When I close my eyes right now I see little conveyer belts pushing items around. And I still haven't launched the damn rocket!

I did discover a project that allows you to use AWS CloudFormation to launch a Factorio headless Linux server that you and your friends can easily play on, with just one click. And the latency between us and the headless server was somehow better than when one of us was hosting on a laptop on a LAN, if you can believe it.

That project is based on the public Factorio docker images. which can also be used to easily set up a Factorio headless server in the cloud. The key to the CloudFormation version is that it uses so-caled "spot&qout; instances, which can be as cheap as $0.01 per hour. Our current bid on our Factorio server is $0.05 and that's high enough that we haven't been shut down yet. If the server does get shut down, the CloudFormation tries to get it back up as soon as possible, and your save data is saved on a separate persistent Cloud Storage volume that sticks around even when the EC2 goes down. So with autosaves every minute, you lose at most one minute of progress. Did I mention we're paying 1 cent per hour for this, so it's about $7.30 a month if we kept it on all the time. We can also manually turn it off and on when we're not using it, for even more savings.

Anyways, if anyone on tilde.club wants to play on a multiplayer server, I'd be more than happy to set up a new instance and map! I'll send out an email to the mailing list with that proposal, and link to this blog post. Feel free to email me at audiodude@tilde.club if you're interested!

New Personal Website

September 30, 2019

Over the weekend, I was cleaning up some old projects and I accidentally took down the email server that held my public email address, travis@travisbriggs.com. That email was linked to the website, travisbriggs.com, which I consider more of an entry point into my digital world than my "personal site", "personal homepage" or anything like that. Luckily the website didn't go down because it is hosted on Netlify (which is amazing BTW).

But the email server definitely went down. And my first thought was: I have to update my email on my site. But when I looked at the site, I kind of felt like it was not the best representation of myself, and that I could vastly simplify as well as update the content.

I actually clicked on Github on the list of Rails contributors to see what those folks had for their webpages. I got a bit of inspiration and started coding something new, copying the basic information hierarchy from my existing site, but expanding some sections. The result is currently hosted at: beta.travisbriggs.com

I'm going to add more content and some more interesting styling, probably at least one or two stock images or some other image for visual pop, but this is the basic idea of what I'm going for. If you have any feedback you can email me at what was my private, but is now my public, email: audiodude@gmail.com

Mobile App Development

September 26, 2019

So much for posting every day! I've saw the Google Flutter Create competition results and it definitely did its job. That is to say, it made me interested in trying to code a mobile app with Flutter.

I've never actually written a mobile app before, but I think Flutter would give me the tools to do so, which is exciting. I started writing a poker game in the web version of React, with the eventual goal of moving it to React Native, but I never really got started on the React Native part. Also I ended up using Web Sockets for the app, so I'm not even sure if that translates at all to a mobile client. Need to do the research on that one.

Let's get some images on here

September 19, 2019

Here is something I made when I was trying to learn Adobe Illustrator:

Breaking the Rules

September 18, 2019

I'm kind of thinking that the easiest, and perhaps most interesting, thing to put here would in fact be a blog of sorts. Just a list of chronological entries with musings, links, facts. That's a blog alright.

I once, in an answer to a Quora question about working at Google, said that you either get a small role on something big (like the YouTube Watch page) or a big role on something small (like some adtech no one's ever heard of). I'm starting to think that this is true for things like open source projects and perhaps even art projects outside of work. Like if I contribute to Rails core, that's a big project. A ton of people use it. But I will be one of literally thousands of contributors. Not only that, how big a change will they reasonably let me make?

Now think of something like my own Rainfall project to help people upload songs and deploy a static site that plays back those songs (https://github.com/audiodude/rainfall-frontend). I have 100% of the impact on that project, but no one has ever heard of it or cares.

The conclusion that seems obvious is that you want to pull both levers. You want to have a medium impact on a project that has a medium scope or number of users. That's the sweet spot, and something I'm still looking for.

The Rules

September 17, 2019

Today I am setting up my tilde.club page (hint: you are here). I've decided to set up some rules for myself before setting out to make whatever it is I'm going to make. They follow below.

  1. I will follow the Code of Conduct. [1]
  2. I will write all the HTML/CSS/Javascript (?) for this site by hand. [2]
  3. I will be sincere.
  4. I will not simply post blog updates, however:
  5. I will date and license all content.
  6. I will attempt to make the site appear and function reasonably well on mobile browsers.

[1]: Once there is one.

[2]: This is done as an exercise in minimalism and simplicity, as well as an homage to earlier times when websites couldn't just be create-fancy-app'd and npn install crazy-widget'd. This also means that until I set up some kind of staging area for index.html updates, I might be live-coding index.html and saving it even when there are incomplete/unclosed/unfinished and downright broken tags and sections. Note to self: get a staging area. It's as simple as index2.html and $ cp index2.html index.html

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