Noirly

I take a deep breath and walk into the kitchen.

Mom and Dad are seated at the far end of the dinner table.

One of the few useful things to come out of my sessions with Dr. Freud (erstwhile known as Dr. Chandelier) is fake-facing—avoiding eye contact in stressful social interactions by staring at a point slightly between, above, or below a person’s eyes during conversation. Over time, my brain has gradually upgraded the technique, which is why everything now switches to black and white. Suddenly I’m Tommy Carlton doing that film noir flick he never did. In this case, I’m a kid version of Dick Powell’s character from Johnny O’Clock. Because Johnny was always cool, calm, and collected, right down to his fedora and bow-tie, and if there’s anything I need to be right now, it’s cool, calm, and collected.

SuperMegaNet, ep. 109, “Noirly”

Four Characters in Search of an Exit

“She’s a jockette. If anything, that makes her more qualified to download into strange darknesses and unknown insinuations—”

I don’t have time for this. “I’ll pay you fifty bucks if you come with me.”

Ernie puts on a proud air. “Your money doesn’t affect me, rich white boy.”

“I’ll pay you in honey buns, then.”

“Fuck you! Are you being serious or just making fun of my fatness?”

“Both.”

SuperMegaNet, ep. 108, “Four Characters in Search of an Exit”

Inadvertent Underwear

“Send a guy in, and he’s up to no good, he’s a thief, he doesn’t belong. But send a girl, and it’s all, ‘Oh, you poor little thing! Are you lost? Let’s help you find your parents.’ Fucking double standard!” Ernie clears his throat. “Meanwhile, we use the distraction to do a little in-person hacking.” He grabs the phone back, addresses Eva: “You there, angel food cake?”

Thrill-Kill’s window is still a gaping black hole, but we can hear Eva shuffling around—and she sounds none too pleased. “Ernie! I’m going to break your face!”

“That’s nice. Is anyone home?”

“How should I know? I can’t see anything! It’s pitch black in here, and it smells like—oh, my God, what was that?”

SuperMegaNet, ep. 107, “Inadvertent Underwear”

Oh.

Ernie blinks at me. “Then…didn’t you violate your laptop by forcing Ubuntu onto it?”

“I installed Ubuntu, if that’s what you mean.”

“And it was consensual? Your laptop accepted it willingly?”

“Well, I had to turn off Secure Boot in the BIOS, and I recompiled the kernel to get basic sound support, but—”

“Rape,” Ernie interrupts, shaking his head.

“I didn’t rape my laptop!” (I can’t believe I just said that out loud.)

“You vicious monster.”

“Go home, Ernie.”

SuperMegaNet, ep. 106, “Oh.”

Inspiron 7559 4K Display Lag

Any Dell Inspiron 7559 4k laptop users experiencing Windows 10 desktop animation / video playback lag should make some noise here:

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3519/t/20008070

I picked up one of these laptops a few weeks ago, and the Nvidia GTX 960M GPU performs like a champ when it comes to 1080p gaming and video editing. However, the Intel HD 530 side, which handles Windows 10’s desktop animations, chokes on very basic tasks like window animations and video playback (both standard and high-definition). There’s word on the Interwebs that this is either an issue with Intel’s HD 530 graphics driver optimizations, or else is related to the way Windows 10 handles graphics acceleration for legacy desktop apps vs. Modern / Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps. Or maybe none of the above.

The bottom line: if you’ve got a 7559 4k and are experiencing a similar issue, post at the aforementioned link. Hopefully with enough awareness raised, Dell and / or Intel will be able to get rid of the lag once and for all.

Update (4.30.2017): Reading over the Dell support thread mentioned above, it looks like Dell has released an updated video driver for the Intel HD 530 that somewhat mitigates the laggy desktop issue. There are also instructions on how to install video drivers direct from Intel, should you want to go that route.

The NES Classic Conspiracy

“Think about it, jungle boy,” Ernie continues. “Have you or anyone you know ever seen an NES Classic in real life? On a store shelf? In someone’s living room?”

“Well, no—”

“Exactly! No one seems to have one, yet all these alleged gamer types are on social media posting pics of the NES Classics they supposedly managed to buy just before they sold out. They manage to hold onto their NES Classic just long enough to take a pic and post it on Twitter. Then they sell their Classic on eBay, immediately erasing all purchasing history and conveniently losing any and all receipts that might prove they’d actually bought a Classic in the first place.” Ernie pretends to wipe his butt with his finger, holds the finger up for me to sniff. “Does it smell like shit to you yet?”

SuperMegaNet, ep. 105, “The NES Classic Conspiracy”