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# (2021-10-04) My Health and My Mortality

For about 98% of my life, my physical health has been fine. During those times my health has waved between just above average and just below average. I have minor issues like being allergic or sensitive to seemingly a lot of things. I have a small hole in my left ear drum, and I also pretty much get an ear infection anytime water gets into my either of my ear canals, which is a reason why I do not like going to the pool or the beach. Currently I am taking some medication daily to help me out with a minor long-term health problem. Overall right now I am doing fine physically, little to complain about. Now I want to talk about the 2% of my life where I had serious health problems.

So in the winter of 2010/2011 it was discovered that I had a serious health issue. I felt completely fine when the first signs were spotted and I went to see doctors to figure out what the heck is happening. But around the time I finally got the diagnosis, I was starting to feel some of the symptoms. Funny, because I was feeling fine at first the doctors almost decided to just let me go, but when an serious important test result came back, I finally got a diagnosis that really really made me and my family feel bad. Though I was so young, it was the first time I had to come to grips with my mortality.

At first I was put on a low risk treatment, which could have worked, but it didn't, and also during that I had to go to the hospital every week. When it was clear that the treatment would not work, I had to end up going with a higher risk treatment. That treatment required me to stay in the hospital for over a month. Before I got the low risk treatment I got a special catheter installed that went from my left arm to the top of my heart so I could have medication injected and blood drawn more easily. It was kind of necessary and useful beause otherwise I would have had to get a new hole put in me with a needle for blood work and then medicine every time I went to the hospital weekly. So when I had to stay in the hospital for a month it was really helpful because I had to get extra serious medicine 24/7.

The month I spent in the hospital was boring, lonely, annoying, and there was a lot of pain at some points. Having to see nurses and doctors daily was a little tiresome, but what really bothered me was constantly being hooked up to the dumb infusion pump that beeped very loudly if it got a kink in the tube that was hooked up to me. The kind of infusion pump I was normally hooked up to was the kind that pumped fluid and medicine from a hanging saline bag. That kind was the less annoying one. Later I got hooked up to a different kind of infusion pump that was basically a large syringe that was slowly pushed over half a day or so. That one was extra annoying because the machine would somehow detect a block/kink in the tube when I was basically doing nothing, and it would sound the most annoying alarm I have ever heard. I tried really hard to convince my main doctor to get me off of the syringe machine and take the medicine it was giving me through pills instead, and fortunately I only had to deal with that machine for only a week.

Even though I was in the hospital for a month, I got out of the hospital relatively quickly. My doctor told me I set a record for how fast I got discharged. At first I was let out for half a day so I could visit home, but basically one day after the doctors decided I was ready enough to be an outpatient for the rest of my treatment and discharged me. I still visited the hospital multiple times a week after I got let out of the hospital, but only for about a month. The higher risk treatment clearly worked, and I was back to good health before school started in the fall of 2011. Sadly this was not the end of my health problems.

In early 2013 a new health issue popped up, and it was dealt with much faster, but I still had to deal with a situation similar to the previous time. I got into the hospital, and everything seemed fine to the doctors who wanted to let me go because they couldn't see any issues. But then one doctor tried a special examination, and it was again discovered that I had a different serious potentially life-threatening health issue. For this I only had to stay in the hospital for a week. I had to be in the intensive care unit, not because I had problems that required the ICU to treat me, but because I had to get an operation done (twice) that required me to be right there in the ICU if anything went wrong. It was also not fun being in the ICU because I was hooked up to a heart monitor machine that would sound an alarm if my heart rate went below 70bpm, and my heart rate did go below 70... when I fell asleep... which then caused the alarm to wake me up. I found out that my normal sleeping heart rate is just under 60bpm, which is not unusual for people. I had to beg and beg the nurses to lower the alarm threshold so I could get some normal sleep, and eventually they made it 60bpm, which was not enough, but it was much better.

After that ordeal, I got put on the medication I currently take daily. I still see a doctor every few months to monitor my blood work and adjust my dose if needed. But otherwise since 2013 my physical health has been fine. So, is this the end of my health problems until I get old and have to deal with old health? It may be not actually. According to my mother, she talked to my doctor that was responsible for my first major treatment, and he told her that people who have had the first health problem I had with the second health problem I had don't live long lives. Wut? I obviously don't know the details, or what the doc's meaning of "long life" means, but I plan to ask him when I see him next year, which will be the final planned appointment I will have with him (yay).

Before I finish this post I want to mention a few things. First of all CANADA, FUCK YEAH! FREE HEALTHCARE! Me and my family paid basically zero dollars for my treatments! Second of all, be extra careful handling industrial chemicals. It's possible that the first health problem I had was caused by my skin coming into contact with brake cleaner fluid (don't ask how lol) a few months prior to me having my first symptoms. I later checked the MSDS of that fluid and there was one chemical in there that seemed to potentially be the cause of my problems, though I never completely confirmed it.

So... death and dying. I haven't had to worry about it in a long time, and I hope to live long and be as healthy as possible for as long as I can be. But I still think about death sometimes. I am a nihilist, so I don't really care about the afterlife, but I still want to enjoy this existence for as long as I can, because I literally do not know what happens after death. In a way I am more afraid of living while suffering than I am afraid of dying. So I will do what I can to keep my health as good as it can be. This is especially important now since science and people's experiences say that how well you treat your health in your 20s has a huge effect on how well your health will be when you are much older. I have no idea if I'll actually live long. I'd love to live to see the 22nd century, and it is technically possible, but also maybe I'll die in a car accident or a plane crash. When (or if???) I do die I do not want a fancy funeral, or even a funeral at all. Just take my organs and then donate my body to science, then throw my body into the trash (it is the most eco-friendly way to dispose of someone actually so why not).

How is your physical health? What are your thoughts on death?

# (2021-10-03) I Have Wasted The First 8 Years of My Adult Life

I am a terminally optimistic person, but over the past 1 or 3 years I've been feeling more and more pessimistic about my own personal future. This summer I turned 26, and my life isn't that great. I do not like my job. I do not like living with my family. I do not have any marketable skills that would give me a nice salary. I do not want to spend the time & money going to college to fix that. I do not have any hobbies other than wasting time on the internet. I do not have any close friends. I've really dug myself into a hole. I'm a prisoner of my own laziness and stupidity. I feel like I'm a NEET even though I have a job that could sustain me. The only way out I can see given my own dumb self-imposed constraints is entepreneurship, but that of course does not guarantee a sustainable income, at least not in the short term.

So I want to give a quick rundown on my adult life so far. After I graduated high school in 2013 I didn't get a job until the spring of 2014, and that was only because my parents pushed me to get a job. I only worked at that job for 2 months, because I wasn't good at it and also because I hated it. In the fall of 2014 I started college. I went to college for 2 years and dropped out because I was a bad student, and failing and dropping out of some classes required me to retake them. Even though 1 year into the college course I felt that this course I was taking wasn't for me, and that the kind of jobs I would get I would not enjoy (though I'd get a nice salary), I stayed longer beause of my sunk cost dumbness. And after I dropped out of college I was NEET for just over a year until the fall of 2017 when I got my current job. I've been working there for 4 years now, and I want to move on but... how and where? I don't know how to end up with a job and a life that I like that is also financially sustainable.

Since I stopped going to college I've had a ton of free time to develop some marketable skills, or at least gain a respectable hobby that gives me something to do, but instead I pissed it away watching anime and wasting time on the internet. Five potentially useful years down the drain. I even had a month off of work during the start of the pandemic (with CERB covidbux) where I could have done something personally useful, but I didn't. I am really stuck in my own dumb unproductive habits. I have tried numerous times to fix myself, but it never lasted and I ended falling back into being an unproductive waste of space.

One problem I fortunately do not have is actually knowing what it is I want to do (if money were no object of course). My list of things I definitely want to do before I die would probably take a lifetime to complete. The issue really is finding the motivation to metaphorically get off my butt and get working on the things it is I want to do, while also having a job that I don't hate. I feel like somehow making my underdeveloped passions a job would be great but there are two problems with that. The first is that often making a passion a job is a great way to lose said passion, according to people's anecdotes. The other problem is that "never working a day in your life" also often leads to a situation where you also never get a break, also according to people's anecdotes. Work to live, live to work and all that.

I want a romantic partner, but I am kind of picky, and I don't put myself out there. Not desperate for love, but I think it would definitely relieve a lot of stress and other personal issues. I have basically zero relationship experience, not because I'm ace or anything, I just never tried, never really explored. Though there are always people out there who are bad partners, I feel like I would end up a bad partner to someone if I got into a relationship. I feel like my personality isn't good, but also maybe I'm being hard on myself. Romance isn't a huge issue for me compared to the other issues I'm dealing with, but I did want to mention it.

Most people have secrets and things about themselves that they don't like to talk about, but I hide almost everything about myself from the people that surround me. I've hidden my true self from people for so long now that I don't know how to "be myself" or what myself is anymore. It's like my facade has taken a life of its own and competes with my true self. I've heard that if you've ever felt alone when you were literally surrounded by people, it's because you are unable to truly express yourself. And the thing is though a lot that I hide about myself could be serious, a lot of it is just simple personal feelings and interests. Like I "hide" the fact that I don't like my job from my family, because I don't want to deal with the conversations that would arise from me telling them that. This is a flaw of mine that I especially don't like. I don't know if it's because I cannot relate to normies or if I just "naturally" put up barriers about myself. Like, what am I supposed to say to my coworkers when they ask what I did during the weekend? "Oh yeah, I just sat at the computer all weekend long reading dumb news, reading dumb forum discussions, looked at anime fanart, and looked at dumb memes, just like every weekend before." Who would want to hear that irl? I also want to try to keep a barrier between my online self and my offline self, so I sort of have to live this Double Identity. Though this isn't 100% a me problem since these days people really like to blur the line between the offline and online world.

Though I've made attempts at fixing myself multiple times before I've been trying somewhat to make change that lasts. I've had some small successes recently like completely managing to quit coffee and only drinking water because it was ruining my sleep and was really igniting my nerves. I'm trying to do some things that will put me in a spot where I have no choice but to get good at life or die trying. If something goes wrong I can always fall back on my family, but I really really want to avoid that. I hope this blog post will mark a clear point in my life where I actually start pursing what I want my life to be instead of just fantasizing about what my life could become. Hopefully in later blog posts I will write about my progress and my successes.

What are your thoughts? Do you have any advice?

# (2021-09-29) How I Became A Weeb

Like many other weebs out there, I watched anime long before I knew what anime was. When I was a kid, on TV I watched interesting-looking cartoons that I now know are dubbed anime. I saw Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters, Megaman NT warrior, and the best anime ever made... Spider Riders. Also I did play the Yu-Gi-Oh card game with a friend in elementary school. I wasn't good at the game, but I had fun. As I started spending more time on the internet in the late-2000s I sort of started knowing what anime was, but I never really tried getting into it, I just knew these were Japanese cartoons. But that does not mean I didn't consume any Japanese media at all. One thing I did discover in the late-2000s was Manga.

A classmate of mine back in grade 7 brought Death Note to school, and I was kind of fascinated. What is with these interesting-looking comic books that are read backwards? So I borrowed Death Note from my city library (yes, my city library did have Manga), and I read I think only the first few volumes. After that I watched the Death Note anime to the end on free video hosting sites, not sure which ones, maybe YouTube? After that I read Love Hina, which I chose sort of randomly off the shelf in the Manga section of my local library branch. I borrowed the first half of the series from the library, and the rest I read online on some random free Manga site. I read some other manga, but I forget what they were.

Also in the late-2000s I watched the entire Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters series on free video hosting sites, which would be the first of two times I binged the whole show. Now, during this time, everything I consumed was in English, the anime I watched was only dubbed. I did try once to watch a show subbed just to see what it was like, and I did not like it, the voices were too damn squeaky. At that point I thought I'd never get into subbed anime. Uhh, that changed later.

So when I was in middle school, and the freshman year of high school, I made a few friends, and with a few of these friends I'd play some Yu-Gi-Oh with my super basic card collection. I think through this, and talking about other stuff, we discovered our mutual interest in Japanese media. But for two of my high school friends, I was a filthy casual who needed to see the light. I totally remember this one moment: one day the three of us were eating and chatting in a Boston Pizza during our 2011/2012 winter break, and one of my friends was super nerding out about Sword Art Online, while the other was like "yeah the show is cool." And somehow the conversation got around to me mentioning that I only watched anime dubbed and I thought it was better. Man, like, my two friends did not have it. They told me about how Japanese voice actors are way better, and English dubs suck, and I was like "OK". Eventually I came over to the house of one of those friends with the other friend, and we sat down to watch SAO, the first subbed anime I watched completely. I actually enjoyed it, the premise was cool, the action was exciting and all that. During other visits I watched Lucky Star, Acchi Kocchi, and GJ Club, which were the next few subbed anime I watched completely. I guess I got used to the squeaky anime voices pretty quickly.

Before I move on to the next part I'd just like to talk about these two friends of mine. Back in the early-2010s I got both of them into MLP:FiM in a funny way. One of them was completely opposed to MLP because it was a "girls show" or whatever, but the other one was more open-minded I guess. However the friend who was opposed to watching MLP respected the open-minded friend's opinions, so I got him to watch the show first, and he did enjoy it. That I relayed to the opposed friend, and he also ended up watching the show and also enjoying it.

The friend I mentioned who was nerding out about Sword Art Online was super hardcore into SAO. He not only loved the anime, but he also read the light novels... in two languages. He was Chinese and also could read in Chinese, which was an advantage for him, because Chinese translations of the SAO light novels came out quicker than English translations. Even though he knew what happened, he read the story in English too, because he just loved the series that much. Just wanted to share these interesting side stories, now back to me.

Now, I would have definitely continued casually enjoying Japanese media and watching anime after my friends got me into it, but two things ended up making me hardcore and worthy of the title "weeb": Vocaloid & 4chan. I got into 4chan when /mlp/ was made, and later I ended up visiting a bunch of other boards, and everywhere there were anime reaction pics. A lot of the anime I ended up watching I watched because I saw a cute character in a reation pic. I also ended up on /a/, which got me into shows like Hitsugi no Chaika, and Aikatsu. I later got into New Game because anons on /g/ spammed pictures & webms of it back when it came out. These days I don't go on 4chan much because it stopped being fun, but it definitely played a huge role in making me a weeb.

Okay, next: Vocaloid. Somehow through randomly browsing YouTube in 2012 back when the algorithm was recommending random stuff and didn't try to keep you on the site 24/7, I stumbled upon this video. I thought the face tracking in the video was cool, but I didn't know who the characters were, and thought they were random 3D models. So I showed the video to a few of my high school friends, and one of them was like "oh, that's Hatsune Miku!" And I was like "whomst?" When I later came back to my computer at home I looked up who Hatsune Miku was. Probably the first Miku video I saw was Miku singing World is Mine at a live concert. The video looked like this one, but it later got taken down. It took me a few hours to wrap my head around how the whole vocaloid thing works, but when I figured it out and started listening to more songs I absolutely fell in love. I never played Project Diva, but I did watch a ton of the music videos that the games had. Later I would also find out about a lot of other vocaloids and other vocalsynth characters out there. Of course my two irl weeb friends were also pretty interested in vocaloid, which was great.

So from 2012 to the present I spent a lot of time consuming weeb content. One of the things I love doing is collecting Anime and Vocaloid fanart. Currently my anime screencaps & fanart folder has about 4700 files, and my vocaloid fanart folder has about 6800 files. I've bought a few anime figures, art books, posters, and wall scrolls. But I want to get rid of a lot of it because I think I have too much anime merch even though I own very little compared to ultrahardcore weebs. Though I still love weeb stuff today, I'm not as hardcore as I used to be, I kind of feel like I've grown out of it a tiny bit. For example, I used to love mindless slice-of-life anime, but these days I tolerate them very little, I need a little bit of story and multi-dimensional characters to actually enjoy a show.

I'm definitely interested in Japan in general, with all of its ups and downs. I intend to learn Japanese and visit Japan one day, though I'm not sure if I'd like to live there. It seems kind of a pain in the butt to deal with the bureaucracy and being a gaijin. Though if someone handed me an okay job and a residence permit to live in Japan, I'd definitely take it. I have a bunch of light novels and manga I want to read in Japanese specifically, because reading English translations of them sounds boring. And I'd also love to reread and rewatch some of the manga and anime I've seen before to maybe get a better understanding of what exactly was said.

Thanks for reading! How did you become a weeb?

# (2021-09-28) My iPad 2 And The Things I Did With It

A long time ago, I did not like Apple products. I was a total Apple hater, I thought that people who owned Apple stuff were being ripped off and Apple products were just the worst, even though almost everyone in my school owned an iPod, and a few classmates had iPhones (which were new and novel at the time). I was very into Microsoft stuff too, I even bought a Zune HD when it wasn't yet available here in Canada. I bought it when my family drove down to the states for a shopping trip. Later I would even buy a few months of the Zune Pass subscription. But eventually I came into a situation where I could play around with someone else's iPad, and... I really enjoyed it. It was super fluid, and super fun, the experience was as magical as Apple's advertising said it would be. I finally understood why people liked Apple stuff. So a few months later in the summer of 2011 I got an iPad 2. A white 32GB model.

Back when I first got the iPad, it ran iOS4, which needed to be connected to iTunes to be able to be updated. iOS5 was the first version of iOS that could be independent of iTunes and could have the device download updates over-the-air and update itself. The day it came out, Apple's servers were slammed by everyone trying to download it at once, and I got errors over and over again trying to update to iOS5. But eventually it worked and I had an iPad that ran by itself.

For the first few years, I was the only person in my family who used the iPad. I used it mainly to play games, but I also used it as an alarm clock, and some other minor utility tasks. I would spend probably over $100 on games and apps. The games I played and really enjoyed included Asphalt 6, Bad Piggies, Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope, Run Roo Run, and Block Breaker 3 Unlimited (best game evar). I also played Minecraft Pocket Edition Lite, though I couldn't really do much in the game because the lite version didn't allow you to save your game. There were a few other games I played, but I don't really want to talk about them.

So of course later I ended up bringing my iPad to my high school. I'm pretty certain I was the only student in the school who had brought an iPad 2 there. There was a guy I saw who owned a first-gen iPad, but I never talked to him. I wasn't really the center of attention because of my iPad, but I did get a few people who came up to me who asked questions about it or just watched me use it. At school I played games and sometimes let my friends play games on the tablet during our breaks.

Later, as an experiment, I wanted to be super duper modern and go completely paperless and only use my iPad for school stuff. It didn't work out for various reasons. First off, I still needed to take papers from my teachers, and hand in assignments in paper. But I could have still worked with that, while just taking notes on my iPad, right? Sadly no, the note taking experience was abysmal for the couple weeks I tried taking notes digitally. See, back then iPads didn't have precise Apple-made styluses like they do now. I used one of those soft rubber-tipped stylus pens that work with capacitive touchscreens. Because of the reduced precision of the kind of stylus I used, note-taking apps had a zoomed-in window where you wrote your writing while you could move around where it wrote. It was a little bit annoying writing like that, but I was OK at first. But after a while I realized I was writing sooo sloooowly, which was a huge problem because I was taking advanced classes, and I needed to absorb as much of the important information as possible without having to spend mental energy trying to work with an inefficient digital note taking system. So pretty quickly I went back to doing my notes on paper.

Eventually, I completely stopped using the iPad. The changes that got me to stop using the iPad was getting an iPhone 4S (my first smartphone), and getting my own laptop. Both of those devices were better at doing the tasks the iPad could do, so I no longer needed to use the tablet anymore. My parents would later start using the iPad to browse the web and read the news after I stopped using it. And they did use it for a while, almost 6 years. The reason they stopped using it was because me and my older sibling decided to buy them a new iPad as a birthday present last year.

Now the iPad 2 is back in my hands. I haven't really used it at all since I got it back, but I plan to keep it around for the sentimental value. Maybe I'll play some of the old games I played a lot before.

Thanks for reading.

# (2021-09-27) The Story My Decade-Old Computer

A few months ago the computer I am currently using turned a decade old. It's had an interesting little journey. But first, I'd like to share its current specs:

So for a long time my family used a shared computer. Our first computer here in Canada was a beige box Windows 2000 computer with a CRT screen. It was fine, I browsed the internet on it, did homework with it, played flash games, and played RCT2 & AOE2 on it. We got a new PC in 2005 when we moved from Toronto to a different city. It was a HP computer with a Pentium 4 & 512MB of memory running Windows XP with a 17" 1280Γ—1024 LCD screen. It was an OK computer, but it was really bad towards the end of our use of it. The graphics that were integrated into the motherboard couldn't handle 720p video, and it took sooo long for it to "warm up" after booting. Basically when I started it up, I would have to wait for 10 minutes for it to not be laggy as the hard drive was busy doing all the system bootup tasks. So in 2011 we ended up getting the computer I am currently using.

Because I was a lot more knowledgeable about computers thanks to me watching a lot of PC building and spec comparison videos on YouTube, I asked to get a much more powerful computer than we had before. It was a Dell XPS 8300 computer with a Core i7, 8GB ram, 1TB hard drive (woah!), and a... Nvidia GT 420 (lmao) that ran Windows 7. We also got a 24" 1080p screen as part of this upgrade. It even came with a cutting-edge USB 3.0 expansion card. This computer was pretty fast when we got it, probably because it had a quad-core 8-thread CPU and a lot of memory. But over time ended up having the same "takes forever to warm up" problem as our computer before.

The same year I got this PC, a popular FPS game called Battlefield 3 came out. Me and a high school friend of mine were really interested in playing BF3 after we saw gameplay footage of it that looked very realistic. But I saw that this computer didn't meet the minimum or recommended specs for playing the game. The recommended graphics card for BF3 was a GTX 560 with 1GB of video memory. So me and my friend made a deal, if I got a new graphics card for my computer, he would buy me Battlefield 3 to play. So in the summer of 2012 we finally completed our deal, I got a GTX 550 Ti from Future Shop, he got me BF3 when it was on sale, and we played the game together on my upgraded PC (only the campaign though). I'd later play BF3 online by myself, though I mostly played Metro and Noshahr Canals TDM, not much else. The Close Quarters expansion was fun when I got it as part of some free promotion. I stopped playing the game in the summer of 2013 and never played it again.

In 2014 I stopped using that PC and let my parents use it as their own. We could no longer really share the computer as the amount of time we needed to use it for ourselves kept increasing, and it was annoying for me to ask or be asked to leave the computer. I bought myself a Lenovo Thinkpad because of /g/ memes with the money I made at the gas station job I briefly had. It was great to finally have my own personal computer that I bought with my own money, but also the laptop wasn't that great. The screen was garbage, and it had a dual-core Core i3 that was kind of inadequate. I upgraded its memory from 2GB to 8GB and I also upgraded its hard drive to an SSD. Holy moly, the SSD upgrade was so worth it. It didn't seem that much faster at first, but when I really started using the computer I noticed it was actually amazing. I no longer had to wait for my computer to warm up, finally! One other thing that shocked me was when I decided to do a full system antivirus scan on my laptop, and thought it would take an hour like it used to on my old computers, so I went to make some tea. When I came back 5 minutes later I was amazed to find out that it was done. I knew that SSDs were a good upgrade, but I didn't know they were this good.

So after using this crappy laptop for a while I decided I needed a better computer than it. I wanted to spend as little money as possible, so I decided the best course of plan was getting the Dell computer back from my parents. The computer was way too powerful for the things they were doing with it (emails, Word docs, watching movies), but just right for myself, so in the summer of 2019 I got my parents a simple mini-PC, and got back the computer my family got in 2011. Though the CPU, memory, and motherboard were fine, the hard drive and the PSU were really bad in my view, and Windows 7 had to go because its EOL was coming up. So I upgraded to the SSD first, then I reinstalled Windows 7 on it with all of the drivers, and then I upgraded the computer to Windows 10. The PSU had the loudest fan in the system, and I was concerned that it would die after many years of being used, so I upgraded it to a Seasonic SFX PSU. Now, the computer only has mounting holes for standard ATX PSUs, but the Seasonic PSU comes with an SFX-to-ATX adapter, so I used it to put it into the computer. At this point I would have considered the upgrading done, but there was this one problem that really bothered me about it. The noise.

I am a little bit sensitive to noise, especially the kind of fan humming that came out of my computer. It was getting on my nerves, so I decided that I would upgrade the fans in the computer to be quiet. My goal was to make it quiet enough that I could sleep at night with my computer on. By stopping the fans with my fingers while the computer was running I found out that the loudest fan was in the GPU. So I bought a used GTX 1050 Ti, and put it into the computer. The noise was an improvement, but the remaining fans were still annoying. I upgraded the case fan and the CPU cooler fan next. And I also glued a piece of carpet to the inside of the side-panel. Again, a small improvement, but now the fan on the new GPU was the annoying one. So I bought an aftermarket GPU cooler from Arctic. And again, it wasn't quiet enough. The fan inside the PSU didn't spin when the computer was under low load, which is one of the reasons I specifically picked the PSU I did, but when it did spin up to keep the PSU cool, it was noisy. What was also annoying is that it would spin up even if the computer was just idling. So against the warnings of internet people I opened up the PSU to see if I could replace the fan. Good news, I could, but there was also bad news, the connector that the PSU used was a mini 2-pin connector, and replacement fans from fan brands that I knew were quiet only came with standard 3-pin or 4-pin connectors. So I bought a special mini 2-pin to standard 3-pin adapter from China. Finally I could replace the PSU fan. I put a new slim 120mm Noctua fan inside the PSU, and it was finally quiet, thankfully. Though at that point I was still a little bit bothered by the fan on the aftermarket GPU cooler, I considered it enough, and I didn't do anything else. I later needed to download a huge file that I saw would take a long time to download, and left it downloading overnight. Thankfully my computer was quiet enough that I could fall asleep without being bothered by the humming. Later, the noise from the aftermarket GPU cooler finally got to me, and I decided to do something about it. The fan on it could be removed, leaving just the heatsink, but the GPU got really got with the fan removed, so I got a new fan for it and zip-tied it to the heatsink. That was the last upgrade I made to my current decade-old computer.

Here is a picture of what the inside of the computer looked like after I put the new GPU cooler fan in. At this point I am absolutely done with this computer. I really want to upgrade to a new PC, so I no longer have to deal with a bunch of problems with this computer that cannot be fixed. First off, the ethernet sometimes randomly stops working. This was a problem back when my parents were still using the computer, and I put in a wifi card that I connected to the built in wifi antennae that the case had to have more reliable internet, but even now the wifi card seems to have its own problems sometimes. Next, for some reason when the computer is running some specific programs, the speakers make a weird hissing or buzzing sound that bothers me. I tried everything I could to fix this but it seems to be a problem with either the processor or the motherboard that cannot be fixed. Finally, I'm worried that after being in use for so long the computer will die randomly. There's no point for me to "fix" or "upgrade" anything in this computer anymore, it's too damn old. It seems that few people even use their computers as long as this computer has been running. So... time to get a new computer for me.

I was planning on building a new PC last year, but I put it off because GPU prices got out of control and the case I wanted to get wasn't available cheaply due to supply chain issues caused by the pandemic. Now I finally have a list of PC parts I will get to put a new computer together that are at a reasonable price. But there is one thing that's missing from that list... a new GPU. GPU prices are still crazy, and it seems like it'll be a while before they are normal again. So I'm going to take the GTX 1050 Ti out of my current PC and put it into the new one I'll get. Then I'll get a new GPU when prices return to normal. Of course I'll make sure that the new computer will be even quieter than my current one. I will make a blog post about my new PC when I get it, make sure to subscribe and ring the bell so you don't miss it.

Thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. Do you have any computer stories of your own?

# (2021-09-26) My YouTube Channel

Below is the the only video on my YouTube channel right now:

So when I was a NEET for a year back in 2016 & 2017, I was a fan of a Minecraft YouTuber called FitMC. During during one of FitMC's streams he said something funny, so I made a clip of it and added some of my own little flair to it. Though I did have a YouTube account under my old username that I created during the yellow subscribe button era, I didn't have a YouTube channel at the time under my LiterallyHifumi username to upload it to. So I made my new channel on March 12, 2017 to upload my FitMC video to. The video managed to get a few hundred views after I posted it on a relevant subreddit, nice.

That year I also uploaded around 6 other videos. Two of these videos were clips of other YouTubers saying something funny/interesting, and one was a weird vocaloid thing. At this time I was a huuuge fan of the virtual youtuber Kizuna AI, and I made a modified version of a short video of Kizuna AI advertising her Facebook page that had subtitles on it that made it seem like Kizuna AI was advertising FreshBooks (the pronunciation of Facebook and FreshBooks sound similar in Japanese). Also I made a weird meme video with Justin Y (a guy who commented on a lot of youtube videos) in it.

One of the other videos I uploaded in 2017 was the video you see embedded above. I had been into vocaloid for 5 years at that time, and through the vocaloid community I found out about MikuMikuDance (MMD for short). MMD is a free 3D animation program that is popular amongst the vocaloid fandom and was used for some vocaloid music videos. MMD is also used by anime fans to create fan animations of their favourite characters. There was this one MMD meme that I saw back in the early days of my vocaloid interest of three Hatsune Mikus doing funny faces and dances while Everybody by the Backstreet Boys played in the background. Because a lot of the MMD community is open about sharing their 3D models and motion data, it's common to see people make memes with it with various charcters doing the same dance or whatever was animated (as well as making music videos with their favourite characters switched in). This Kizuna AI version of the Everybody MMD meme was what inspired me to make a Takimoto Hifumi version of the meme.

So I downloaded MMD, the Everybody meme motion data, and a model of Hifumi, and rendered the video above. I titled it in a very clickbaity way, and also posted a link to it in a New Game thread on /a/. It got to 1000 views pretty quickly. I was pretty proud that it got that many views, even though my Justin Y video surpassed it in views later.

So about a year or so later, because of worries that my channel would get eventually taken down because I was using copyrighted content and other people's content, and the fact that I felt that most of the meme videos I put up on my YouTube channel were cringe, I privated or deleted everything except the video above. These days I only use my YouTube channel for my playlists, and to comment on videos sometimes. Some time in the future I might upload new videos to my channel or even livestream someday.

# (2021-09-25) The Amazing Taiwanese Hardware Tech Cluster

I've been interested in PC building for about 13 years now, and for the longest time I thought that Cooler Master β€” a major PC parts company β€” was an American company, purely based on the fact that it had an English name and all of its marketing and branding seemed like that of an American company. About a week ago I was looking at a Cooler Master PC case I wanted to buy and read the spec sheet, and something caught my eye... I saw a sentence that was 100% understandable, but was written in a way that a native English speaker would never write. Masaka... could it be that Cooler Master is a company that isn't from America? Yup, according to the interwebs Cooler Master is acually a Taiwanese company, one of many major Taiwanese hardware tech companies.

If you've ever delved into PC building you probably know a lot of Brandsβ„’, but you've probably never looked into where the companies come from. Well, all of the following brands here are from Taiwan: G.Skill, ASUS, MSI, GIGABYTE, ASRock, Cooler Master, Seasonic, Thermaltake, SilverStone, Lian Li, BenQ, AOpen, Lite-On, Shuttle, PowerColor, BioStar, VIA, ECS, ADATA, Ducky, Transcend, and Realtek. There are more Taiwanese PC parts brands I think I missed. There are also non-PC parts companies from Taiwan like HTC, Synology, and Acer.

Of course, a lot of these companies do relatively "simple" electronic parts manufacturing compared to others. There is one super important Taiwanese company that you may have heard of if you are a consumer electronics nerd or keep up with asia-pacific geopolitics: TSMC - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. This company currently makes the best, most cutting edge computer chips. They are used by Apple and AMD, both of which have the best SoCs and CPUs (in terms of performance and effiency) today. A lot of their great performance is owed to TSMC's excellent manufacturing. TSMC is a semiconductor manufacturer for "fabless" semiconductor companies, this means that they only do the manufacturing of chips, the actual design and layout of the chips is up to companies like Apple to deal with. This allows them to focus on just simply being the best at manufacturing chips. It seems to be working so far. Currently in semiconductor manufacturing, EUV β€” extreme ultraviolet lithography β€” is a big deal. It allows the creation of smaller and smaller transistors and more and more dense chips, which are more powerful and more efficient. Last year TSMC owned 50% of the all the installed EUV machines in the world according to this article. That's nuts. Also check out this article about the interesting story of the founder of TSMC, who almost became the CEO of Texas Instruments.

There is another major Taiwanese electronics company called Foxconn, that makes... everything? They make Apple devices, they make Xboxes, they make Nintendo gaming systems, they make Google Pixels, and they made Blackberries. Seriously, check out the list of companies that worked with Foxconn. Now, granted, most of Foxconn's manufacturing happens in China, not Taiwan, but still it's really cool that such a major electronics company came from Taiwan.

There are two major American hardare tech companies that you may have heard of: Nvidia and AMD. The CEO of Nvidia, Jensen Huang, and the CEO of AMD, Lisa Su, were both born in Taiwan. They were born in the same city actually (Tainan), and they're close relatives too. Jensen Huang is Lisa Su's grandfather's nephew. How did they both end up in such important roles in tech companies? What kind of connections did they make to get into their roles?

When the electric car maker Tesla was making their first car, the Roadster, back in 2007 there were many companies that made parts that were useful for gas-powered cars, but there weren't a lot of companies that made automotive parts that were useful for electric cars. They ended up finding the companies that made the electric car parts they needed in Taiwan, and the Tesla Roadster had 30-40% Taiwanese components. This article talks about this and Taiwan's electric vehicle parts industry.

One question that needs to be answered is why did Taiwan end up with so many important hardware tech companies? Who made the decisons that led to this? So basically, Taiwan was a place where American companies made electronic stuff for cheap back in the 1960s to 1980s. This resulted in the Taiwan economic miracle, which made Taiwan go from being a developing country to a more developed one, kind of like China recently. During this miracle, a bunch of things happened. In my view the key starting point to this whole thing seems to be National Chiao Tung University establishing their Department of Electrophysics, Department of Electronic Engineering, and Semiconductor Research Laboratory in 1964. This led to the rise of a local tech industry which led to the creation of the Industrial Technology Research Institute in 1973. TSMC's founding was helped by the ITRI. Later in 1980, the Taiwanese government created Hsinchu Science Park, which is located in the same city as National Chiao Tung University. HSP was made so there would be a place were tech companies could set up offices. And today, tons of big technology companies have a presence there (check out the list). Part 9 of this webpage adds some more details to this story. So from all that, Taiwan ended up having a huge presence in the hardware tech industry today.

One more thing that I find interesting that seems to greatly contribute to Taiwan's success in the tech space is the fundamental structure of Taiwan's society and economy which has created a lot of "hidden champions". These are basically companies that no one outside their niche industry has heard of who are the best or one of the best in said industry. Germany also is praised for their many hidden champions. This article talks about Taiwan's hidden champions in more detail.

So yeah, in conclusion: Taiwan is great at technology. Thank you for reading.

# (2021-09-23) Reasons To Pirate Media That Isn't "Free Stuff"
As Gabe Noodle said a decade ago: "Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem." A lot has changed since those days and some services have improved a lot and addressed most of these points, but I'd still like to lay out some of the stupidity of "legally aquired media." By the way:
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