Twitter Info Threads
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I like to ramble about things on twitter. Sometimes these are interesting long threads, so I'm going to try to collect them here.
Aliexpress/ebay/amazon is full of Weird Junk
- Censored Hello Kitty, creepy masks, giant vegetable pillows,
- There are no vape phones, but you can punch beekeepers, sadden your beard, and wear haunted masks
- Tiny phones!
- Weird connectors, like connecting to PCI over DVI
- Strange SD cards and Mini-PCIe cards
- Power USB devices with 9V batteries, or spin your BBQ rotisserie spit from USB
- Save me USB adapters! And the secret behind USB yfrjgbntkm
- Industrial connectors: Because sometimes you want to screw in your USB-C connector
- USB cables come in the same types as romance novels
- Sex toys, to ensure porper pressure on your tender skin
- Strange novelty phones
- Who needs a 9-key keyboard?
- Industrial keyboards on ebay
- Custom/industrial keyboards on ebay
- The government deals site has paintings, police soda machines, and driving simulators
- I was bored at a Guitar Center and took a bunch of pictures of musical stuff
- Does ebay have SATAN? on VHS? Oh yes
- What about Jesus? On VHS? Yes as well.
- Point of Sale keyboards
- Waterproof Connectors
- Old IBM computer controllers, with a tangent into how Williams Tubes Memory worked
- Eyes are weird and use timetravel to hide your temporary blindness
- How long could you run a human on a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator?
- Scanning your body using antimatter, the same kind that's in bananas
- Don't eat the rich, it isn't healthy. Compost the rich instead.
- Joking about the 7th sense, and how many senses do we have anyway? And how that relates to ADHD.
- Why you can see moving dots when you look at a blue sky
- Winking vs. Blinking, Smiling, Latin Trumpets, and Babylon 5?
- Kodak's Nuclear Reactor and the International Fixed Calendar
- The US Presidential Date System, invented in the 4th Year of Trump
- Windows 95 doesn't know about George W. Bush and his ideas about Daylight Saving Time
The Cold War & Radiation
- Why not put a nuclear reactor in a plane?
- How do you take pictures on a spy satellite in the age of film?
- Can you run a plane on AA batteries? (no) and why the USSR accidentally irradiated Canada.
- Why are Bikinis named after an island that the US nuked?
- Duck and Cover isn't silly propaganda, it's good advice
- Electron Beam Irradiators, Radiation Doesn't ZigZag, Pigs With Nukes, and Keep Your Head Out Of Particle Accelerators
- How CRTs work and the amazing image of a round nude tube
- How does your computer figure out what monitor you plugged in?
- Planar graphics and why they were used
Computer Keyboards & Mice & Joysticks
- The looming security implications of mechanical keyboards
- How Keyboards Work
- How can my mouse have 8 buttons if Windows only lets you have 5 buttons?
- The PC Joystick interface is slightly bananas: It's two timers
- How do those serial-to-ps/2 adapters for mice work?
- How Mice Work
- How keyboards communicate keypresses to Windows, and why you can't easily get a keyboard with an Emoji Button
- Why 2038 is The End Of Time
- The connection between Naked Lunch and PNG files
- Punch Cards and the history of IBM
- How did you program in 1962?
- How you can use your CD-ROM driver to stop MS-DOS from booting
- How does your computer know which hard drive is which?
- EZ-Drive/Data Lifeguard/On Track Disk Manager, and how they let you have a hard drive bigger than 500mb
- Why Windows 95 had a "It's now safe to turn off your computer" screen and how the boot-screen was animated without being animated
- Why you can't have a file named "aux.h" on Windows
- Bubble Memory: The Next Big Thing that Never Was
- Web scraping and the many sins of Tumblr
- The endless failures of the Panera Bread & McDonalds websites
- The horrors of hacking and my dad's deathtrap van
- Hafnium and the possibility of a nuclear hand-grenade
- Rhodium doesn't cause cancer, it can prevent it! and how that's connected to Bunsen burners
- Dysprosium is why you shouldn't eat a Prius
Flea Market (Electronics/De Anza)
- March 2017
- May 2017
- June 2017 and Follow-up with stuff I Got
- July 2017 and Follow-up with stuff I Got
- August 2017 and Follow-up with stuff I Got
- September 2017 and Follow-up with stuff I Got
- April 2018
- May 2018
- August 2018
- April 2019
- May 2019
- June 2019
- September 2019
- How superfloppy drives were able to fit more data on the same size disks as standard floppies
- What does formatting a disk mean, and how it's completely different from hard drives or SSDs
- How USB Floppy Drives use a protocol from Shugart embedded in another protocol from Shugart embedded in another protocol from Shugart and who is this Shugart Guy anyway?
- The cool trick used in double-sided drives
- Why is it Optical Discs, but Floppy Disks? (And how IDE works)
- The spiral-disks of the Famicom Disk System
- River-crossing puzzles
- Amulets & Armor: Is it Doom? And if not, why would anyone think it was?
- How I used a moustache to prevent cheating when playing videogames back in the early 2000s
- Conquests of the Longbow: The Legend of Robin Hood is neat and should get a remake
- How game controls have shifted over time
- How DOOM encrypted its cheat codes, and how long did it take someone to figure them out anyway
- Playing through the KFC Visual Novel
- Why PC games don't have ROMs, what a ROM is, and why your Nintendo Switch games are DOOMED
- ExciteBike for the Famicom and how it stored tracks, and what that has to do with batteries and floppy disks
- Pilotwings for the SNES can work differently, even on an identical ROM and the follow-up when the game was released on the Switch
- Companion chips used to enhance SNES games
- Building a generator for Silent Hill 2 is so hard that I get mad and livetweet building a Rambo (NES) generator
- The SNES was designed with NES backwards compatibility in mind, even if it never had it
- How the 10NES chip kept you from playing games if the connector was dirty
- Gaming in the transhumanist future
- SimCity 2000, SimCopter, The Yes Men, and the Bhopal Disaster
- Playing Super Mario Bros on a printer, and why Super Mario Bros 2 is Like That
- Doctor James Barry was an awesome trans man you should have learned about in history class
- The woman who took a picture of a black hole, the harassment, and my awesome grandma
My Government Job
- I made a progress bar that was 100% lies
- The Air Force loves World of Warcraft
- Everything is fractal disasters and why there are no New Projects, ever
- The horrors of CSV and how to loophole a government contract to intentionally lose 10 years of data
- Why a free program cost too much for the US government to afford, and why you should never scan anything with Windows 98
- Why we charged you for public domain information that was free
- Why I don't think the US military is fully off floppy disks, why they used them in the first place, and why there's so much weather data from Alaska
- Why I had to virus scan my own files or lose a couple million dollars
US History & Politics
- Florence Nightgale's contribution to statistics, a scam in Ohio, and how to fight a war with counterfeiting
- The Black Hawk War that Sufjan Stevens sung about
- Jury Nullification and how it has been used
- The Goodyear Blimp is none of those three things
The James Webb Ground Device
- It has a twitter account. That makes me angry
- All the other space projects that have launched in the meantime, and why that makes me angry
- Maybe Elon Musk could launch the JWST for free? He didn't, and that makes me angry.
- Can we launch (no pun intended) a kickstarter for NASA to launch the JWST? Because the funding problems make me angry
- How do sci-fi universal translators know when to stop?
- Jabberwocky, the word ye, and why we have two words for cow and two words for feces
- How rebracketing changed English words
- The history of the snowclone "X is hard, let's go shopping"
- Electronic adverts in 1980s Playboys
- Video Games & hardware from PC Review, May 1992
- Hardware from PC Magazine, January 1995
- Input devices and software from Byte, March 1992
- Learning about things you already knew: How written numbers work, how grammatical cases work, and the difference between centralized communist economies and capitalist ones
- Why is there coal? Because trees won the evolutionary arms race.
- The US has had some weird currency and why our current bills are illegal and have to be redesigned, and how Lin-Manuel Miranda messed that up
- How rich is Jeff Bezos? He's a dragon.
- Weird Al's endless licensing issues
- The history of the Rickroll
- If Never Gonna Give You Up is the rickroll of the 80s, what are the rickrolls of other decades?
- How I ended up owing 18k$ because of a single typo
- The horror of the company that had The Repo
- The animals that tried to invade my bedroom as a teen, and the Snake in my PC
- Why the FBI mentioned my old username in a federal investigation
- Nuclear reactors before humans and WHY IS THERE A MOON?
- We learned something about meteorites by setting off a nuclear bomb, and the mystery of the nuclear explosion where there shouldn't have been one
- How we figured out if there's more than one galaxy: Cepheid Variables
- The Challenger disaster, and Normalization of Deviance
- What films did they watch on the International Space Station?
- Does the International Space Station have a "front"?
- The first picture of earth taken from a satellite, and what that has to do with the UK's nuclear missiles
- A spaceship engine that's slower than a snail, and why jet engines are CHEATING
- There are floppy disks on the International Space Station: How'd they get there?
- How can we get power out of a black hole?
Science Fiction & Anime
- Giant robots are stupid and fictional superweapons are weaker than ones we've already deployed
- When is the Golden Age of Star Trek, 1997 or 2020? And then just "boy look at all this 90s sci-fi"
- Alternate casts for Star Trek: TNG? and also, if you released Star Wars one month earlier, Obama wouldn't have been president.
- How uniforms and props from Forbidden Planet kept showing up in later films and shows
- The first episode of Star Trek and why it had to be restored from multiple sources
- Why ebay thinks I want to buy a skirt, and what that has to do with Star Trek and navels
- My idea for a Star Trek fanshow: incredulous starfleet officers reading mission logs
- The original story for Zyuranger, which Power Rangers was based on, involves DINOSAURS and SATAN and I love it
- How Contact keeps its special effects grounded to make it feel more real
- My favorite thing in Sci-Fi: Bullshit Cosmology/Ontology
- That movie where a dragon-rider fights a hydra on the moon
- How I realized a plot point from my Starmap setting was stolen from Asimov's Foundation series
- Star Trek TOS didn't have floppy disks in it. And the data tapes in Star Wars probably aren't tapes. And why the Star Trek timeline is weird
- The neat animation of Akira
- Mechanical animation of Evangelion
- Nintendo Famicom Disk System copy protection/bootlegs, sex machines, explaining PG&E fires to aliens, and alien socialists quarantining earth for the most dangerous meme of all
- Goodwill Thrifting that got my tires slashed
- Dolls wrapped in Plastic
- Thrifting with Cool Phones and Uranium Glass
- Looking for laserdiscs and finding Tijuana Christmas
- Unisex Rocking
- Laserdiscs in Santa Cruz, and Everflex Balls
- Appropriately weird stuff at the Weird Stuff Warehouse
- Giant Hard Drives at the Weird Stuff Warehouse
- IBM PC/XTs at the Weird Stuff Warehouse
- More PCs at Weird Stuff Warehouse
- Test your network with a suitcase at Weird Stuff Warehouse
- Plotters & MPreg at the Weird Stuff Warehouse
- Minidiscs & a stealthy CRT at the Weird Stuff Warehouse
- The Noise Generator at the Weird Stuff Warehouse
- Vic-20s at the Weird Stuff Warehouse
- Floppies and Tandy CoCos at the Weird Stuff Warehouse
- Half a car at the very Weird Stuff Warehouse
- Sphygmomanometers and mixer panels at Weird Stuff Warehouse
- Slockets and power adapters
- Minidisc recorders at Excess Solutions
- Prototyping boards and tube-testers at Halted
- Pinball with friends, and thrifting at Urban Ore
Video, Film, & Television
- Why it was hard to make amateur porn films in 1980 and what that has to do with proprietary Sony SSDs
- Early Instant-Replay systems were DEADLY giant hard drives
- How Slip Rings were vital to your VCR, and how helical-scan made VHS tapes small enough to be usable
- How to morph a character on screen in 1960, without cutting, but it'll only work in black & white