Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.
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Dated 10 November 2020: Beware the man with one gun (this is actually about mechanical keyboards and, arguably, Sword Art Online)

WASD and Ducky TKL keyboards
The Asuna and Alice Synthesis Thirty color schemes are purely coincidental.

The implication behind the saying "beware the man with one gun" is that such a person is more likely to have a higher degree of expertise with it thanks to narrowly focused specialization. In contrast, someone who pursues variety also ends up diluting proficiency. I was reminded of this maxim by this recent sequence of posts on the Twitter wherein a relatively prolific blogger peers into the world of mechanical keyboard acquisition, with mixed results. I mention this because it often seems the acquisition of mechanical keyboards mostly leads to further acquisitions for acquisition's sake.

Asuna and Alice
I said it's a coincidence.

I do encourage the use of mechanical keyboards and believe they improve typing performance, but I concede the marginal benefits drop off quickly if one starts chasing perfection. Nevertheless, I'll admit I have "more than one gun," despite using an IBM Model M (specifically, a Part Number 1391401 built in 1991) as my primary keyboard for literally decades now. I also started exploring mechanical keyboard variations knowing I'll never find a keyboard I like nearly as much as a Model M, let alone one that provides any actual typing advantage, but somehow I've still acquired a probably unnecessary number of them. At least the switches and features in this collection are all different, so the pursuit is not entirely aesthetic. That's the next level which I can at least claim to have avoided.

Dated 2 April 2019: Is this Saekano picture obscene? The answer may surprise you

Vaio SX14
Yeah, it's pretty red.

Before I get into it, I need to provide a bit of background. The lock screens of all my computers and mobile devices are pictures of whatever they happened to be named. For example, the lock screen of my old Android phone that I designated MIYU had a picture of its namesake from My-HiME. The laptop named Kaede has a picture of the corresponding Cinderella Girl on its lock screen. So, anyway, I recently bought a red Vaio laptop (probably because of Evangelion, to be honest). Vaio, if you haven't heard, isn't a Sony property anymore, although their computers are still made in Japan. And I can certainly see the lineage connecting this Vaio SX14 to the Sony Vaio Z2 (VPCZ2390X Model PCG-41313L) which I got in 2012.

Utaha
Doesn't even bother using a mouse.

Anyway, you're probably here because of the post's clickbait title and wondering where the fuck the obscenity is. Well, I'm getting to that. If you've watched Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata, you may recall that Kasumigaoka Utaha bangs out her work on a red laptop (which survives quite a bit of abuse that no Vaio I've ever owned could possibly withstand, incidentally). Naturally, I've named my new red laptop Utaha. However, it's got a 4K display, and the lack of sufficiently satisfactory Utaha pictures at that resolution has led me to use a picture of her rival, Eriri, on its lock screen instead for the time being. I can understand if you're feeling sort of judgmental about this, but at least I'm willing to cop to it, okay.

Dated 27 August 2018: This Hand Maid May blog entry is not about May or maids

May and Kazuya
At least the apartment she's cleaning is also small.

I think it's been more than 10 years since I last re-watched Hand Maid May. I probably have a disproportionately positive perspective on what is ultimately a 20th century fan-service-laden harem comedy. I can't guarantee I would still hold it in high regard if I were to watch it for the first time now, but I do still remember it fondly. (The impetus for bringing Hand Maid May up again comes from the latest episode of Hataraku Saibou.)

Kazuya and Kasumi
That ladder bridge looks less and less safe as the years go by.

If anything, re-watching Hand Maid May now might help me clarify one aspect that I've always been sort of uncertain about. Namely, how old is Kasumi? Her current English Wikipedia entry describes her as an 18-year-old college student (with no citation), and the current Japanese Wikipedia entry claims she is a student at Kazuya's university (also with no citation). I don't remember this ever being established within the anime itself.

Kasumi and Kazuya
Further proof that Kasumi is right-handed..

It is pretty likely that she is at least out of high school, because there is a flashback in episode eight to Kasumi's graduation, and we never see her in a school uniform outside of those flashbacks. But since (as I understand it), compulsory education in Japan ends with middle school (after completing 9th grade, by U.S. reckoning), it's not impossible (albeit unlikely) that she dropped out to run the apartment complex, coach baseball, and flirt with Kazuya full-time.

Dated 11 December 2017: IBM Thinkpad T42p now on its seventh life

Thinkpad 25
In unrelated news, I also bought one of these.

This actually happened in late 2015, but I never got around to updating this list until now. The CCFL died again, but at least replacing it was much easier this time around than the last time(s). This time I was able to acquire a replacement with new wires already soldered onto the bulb instead of having to get it just right (read: just a little off from just right) myself, so it was a much simpler swap. Plus, I've already torn apart and reassembled the screen so many times it's just easier to do now. So, if I've kept track correctly, this Thinkpad has gone through the following repairs:

  1. Fan died in 2006, but was replaced under warranty.
  2. CCFL broke in 2008 and I replaced it myself.
  3. New fan burned out too in 2009, and I replaced it myself.
  4. Screen went out again in 2009 because I did a lousy job replacing the CCFL in 2008.
  5. Hard drive failed in 2010, and I replaced it myself.
  6. CCFL failed again in 2015, and I replaced it myself.

So, this laptop has died six times and is now on its seventh life. That's probably going to be the last time (not counting inevitable battery failures), since I never use the computer for anything anymore. I guess there are still a few old video games I never finished, and I could theoretically fire it back up for old time's sake, but we'll see.

Dated 18 September 2016: Computers are hard

I still run into issues getting Linux to properly output 7.1 audio over HDMI sometimes. Note to self: Next time just start with pavucontrol, sheesh.

Dated 27 May 2016: Wake Me Up Asuna gets a new free outfit but no new punctuation

Asuna
Birth control glasses.

Just a few observations now that I've been using the Wake Me Up Asuna app for over a month. It really can fail for no apparent reason. It's only happened once, but that's pretty unreliable for an alarm clock. Hence the need for its prominent disclaimers and warnings, I guess. It also can go batshit crazy and drain your battery out of nowhere. That's only happened once too, and I haven't been able to reproduce the bug. The real news is—aside from the initial nag—Asuna hasn't pestered me to buy her any new clothes, and now there's even a new free outfit, shown above.

I get the feeling we're only a few years away from a wave of digital assistants, probably something like the Amazon Echo combined with a Cortana that's more like the Halo version than the Windows version. I'm hoping for a Yui voiced by a synthesized Ito Kanae—a Yui that will randomly crash the fuck out of my SMRT-HOEM with erratic bugs. The future's gonna be awesome.

Dated 22 April 2016: Wake Me Up Asuna needs better punctuation and probably more pestering about household chores

Asuna
There's no landscape mode.

Thanks to MVB's recommendation on the Twitter, I installed the Wake Me Up Asuna Android app even though it really should be called Wake Me Up, Asuna or even Wake Me Up, Asuna! There's not much to say about it. It does what its website describes, and it doesn't seem to have any weird bugs or battery-sucking behavior (at least not on any of the three devices I tested). The synthesized Haruka DeTomaso Pantera voice sounds fine, but I also didn't challenge it with a hard-to-pronounce name. There are no ads, and you can use it for free providing you don't care about English subtitles or feel like buying Asuna new clothes. Speaking of which, she will nag you within the first 24 hours to buy some different clothes, but I've gone a few days since blowing her off and she hasn't asked again yet.

Asuna
The housewife sweater is free.

"Asuna's sweet words will definitely make you feel as if she is your wife!" is a bit of a stretch. Mostly she just stands there. It's a little weird when she's pretending to sleep. Like, she'll keep standing there, swaying randomly. The lights will still be on, and every once in a while she'll crack her eyes open, I guess to see if the coast is clear. Thankfully, I don't believe the application has camera permissions, so Asuna probably won't really stare at you while you sleep. I also sort of feel Asuna is a weird choice to be the first of these daily assistant character jobbies, but I guess she needed to be a popular mainstream character with a Life Debt to Sony.

Dated 20 August 2015: Million Doll is a gripping idol civil war melodrama

Monona, Yurino, and Rina
Chaste local idols don't go around flashing naked armpits.

I ordinarily would have dropped Million Doll already, but instead I re-watched its first six episodes in preparation for the show's final stretch. This was only possible because each episode is four minutes long. Million Doll has entirely too much frightful 3D CGI for me to watch six full-length episodes, let alone re-watch that many. Even aside from the 3D CG, the show looks cheap as Hell. (Are we still allowed to claim a show looks "cheap" in a post-Shirobako world?)

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