Diggin’ In The Carts

Almost exactly 1 year ago I wrote a short blog piece titled The influences of female NES/Famicom music composers.

Since I follow lots of Japanese NES/Famicom music-oriented folks on Twitter, it came as somewhat of a surprise that as of last week, Red Bull Music Academy released the start of a series called Diggin’ In The Carts, which delves into the history of Japanese video game music through interviews with classic video game historians, as well as actual composers:

Due to lack of energy in the evenings (work has been keeping me pretty busy), I haven’t had a chance to watch any of the series — until this morning. Needless to say, I have what is probably the biggest smile on my face in many years. This is something I have dreamt of since probably 10 years old.


Oracle Java 8 (JRE 8) and Windows XP 32-bit failure

So JRE 8 is out, which is probably great for everyone except those running a 32-bit desktop OS.

You see, jre-8-windows-i586.exe (the “Windows x86 Offline” version), nor jre-8-windows-i586-iftw.exe (“Windows x86 Online” version) won’t run. Windows immediately comes back with a missing symbol dialog box that reads:

The procedure entry point RegDeleteKeyExA could not be located in the dynamic link library ADVAPI32.dll.

Why is this? Because RegDeleteKeyExA isn’t available in Windows XP 32-bit, only 64-bit. This brings into question the sanity of whoever built the installer. They should have used RegDeleteKey for 32-bit OSes.

It seems Oracle has dropped Windows XP 32-bit support entirely, except that’s both true and not true (keep reading). If they want to stick to their guns on that, they should stop saying “Windows x86” and start saying “Windows Vista/7/8 x86”, in addition to actually changing the JRE so that it doesn’t use any 32-bit Win32 API calls any longer.

The amusing part is that the issue is only with the installer: JRE 8 itself works fine on XP 32-bit. Thanks, Oracle! Oh, and this isn’t the first time they’ve done this.

EDIT: Amusingly, JRE 7u55 is out, but the Certified Systems Configuration list doesn’t list Windows XP as a supported OS… yet the installer works just fine on XP. Oh Oracle… *facepalm*

Bitcoin/Dogecoin and large blk0001.dat and blkindex.dat files

I participate in Dogecoin mining, and at one point tried Bitcoin mining (in earlier days) but decided it wasn’t worth the tradeoff (electricity in Silicon Valley is expensive). Regardless of which “coin”, the overall problem I’m about to discuss is the same.

The wallet softwares (ex. dogecoin-qt.exe, bitcoin-qt.exe, etc.) download a massive number block chains. If you’re curious about the innards, see here.

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Coping with the grieving process

As mentioned previously, a very close and important friend of mine passed away a week ago. Given that my IBS decided to kick in after only 4 hours of sleep tonight, I figured I might as well write about what I’ve been through over the past week.

A friend of mine who has been helping me cope referred me to this article describing 15 things to be aware of during the grieving process. Some were common sense (or “obvious” as I might say), but others were not. I’d urge anyone who has lost someone close to them to read that article.

As for me, well, it’s been strange. I thought I’d list off what I’ve gone through and what I’m doing a week later to still cope with the loss and dramatic change.

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The passing of someone I love


Over the past year I had gotten to know a very special Canadian woman amazingly well: Samantha. She was known online by many different names; babelfish, zolimaeph, FrankenZoli, and moeriel. We were different people but shared many identical traits, all the way down to our birthdays being the same (January 24th). We talked daily — literally — and it wasn’t just casual chit-chat but lengthy (6-7 hour) in-depth conversations about each other, our lives, how we felt, what we were thinking, and many many laughs. Just spending time with her was amazing in itself, and I felt a sense of completion in many ways when we interacted. We both liked one another very much, and over the past 2-3 months we told one another that at least once a day; just a simple “I like you” and we knew what the other meant. Late last week we had even mentioned in passing that we’d had daydreams of flying out to meet the other (very difficult for me to do given my IBS).

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New blog theme — some posts broken for now

I’ve changed (well, more specifically, updated) the WordPress “theme” used on my blog. I was using the theme called Twenty Ten, now I’m using the one called Twenty Eleven.

Given their names you’d really expect them to be compatible, except they aren’t. Lots of the visual formatting bits and pieces are broken, which on a technically-savvy blog matters quite a bit.

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The influences of female NES/Famicom music composers

I was born in 1977. My first video game console was the Atari 2600, followed by the Atari 7800, then the NES/Nintendo (a.k.a. Famicom/FC (ファミリーコンピュータ)), and later the SNES/Super Nintendo (a.k.a. Super Famicom/SFC (スーパーファミコン)).

Every system for me was influential in some way, but the NES will always remain the most significant because of what age I was at the time (roughly 11). I have a staggering number of positive memories from that time period, many of which in some way or another involved the NES either directly or indirectly. In general the late 80s/early 90s was a good time to be alive when it came to anything relating to electronics, gaming, or technology. It was an inaugural time of sorts; there was so much originality and ingenuity happening on multiple levels, especially in the United States and Japan. Technology was advancing rapidly but was still “simple” enough for someone technically-inclined at age 16 or 17 to understand, all the way down to the hardware. Today that often isn’t the case.

So it should come as no surprised that NES/Famicom music was an illustrious thus significant part of my life both then and now; I still to this day hum and whistle key melodies from popular games (and I don’t just mean Super Mario Brothers). The list is almost endless.

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