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Odd Lots


  1. Vince says:

    Jeff, your comment on AI image generator and new short story makes me wonder if we will soon see an AI that will enhance a short story, cutting out slow sections, detecting factual contradictions, character inconsistencies, or hundred of other things it could do.

    1. Possible. Not likely. The nuances of character development will probably always be beyond a language model’s reach. It took me decades to master characterization, and I’m still looking for insights that might make my grasp of characterization better. I actually began “Volare” in 1985, and set it aside because I could not figure out how to portray the growing affection between its two main characters. It sat in a box for almost 40 years until I decided to pull it out, take a close look, and see where I could go with it. I’m sure it won’t be something I’ll ever be famous for, but I enjoyed finishing it off and bringing the first part from 1985 up to date. Like I said, I’ll have more to say about it here before or soon after I publish it on Kindle.

  2. Eric Brombaugh says:

    Interesting methane article – especially the part about how the complex interactions are not included in current climate models. I always wonder how well those models have been checked out vs historical data.

    1. Climate models are mostly a joke. Their great failing AFAIC is their inability to model the effects of clouds. Not being able to model methane interactions won’t help, but without clouds, you basically don’t have a climate model at all.

  3. TRX says:

    I tried one of the lesser Orange Pi boards late last year, to replace a failed (and unobtainium Raspberry Pi 3 that was running a Pi Hole.

    The first problem was the Orange Pi takes a weird-Harold power supply connector; I had to order one off eBay. The second was that its custom ARMbian Linux installed, but a lot of it didn’t work out of the box; lots of the desktop was nonfunctional. The third was that it’s really, really slow; slow enough that I wondered if it had locked up a few times, when it was just thinking about redrawing the screen.

    I finally got the Pi Hole installed and running, which was complicated by the fourth, and most annoying problem: the Orange Pi has one USB port, and it didn’t recognize any of the half-dozen different USB hubs I plugged in to it. So, plug in the mouse, move the cursor, unplug and mouse and plug in the keyboard, repeat until demented.

    It would be simpler to set up VNC, except I never could get VNC to work on it.

    There’s not much online support in English; their primary stuff is all in Chinese, with a couple of guys translating Chinese bits for the English side. Most of the English stuff is that and a lot of people asking questions that are seldom answered.

    Again, this was one of the low-end Orange Pis. It looks like the high end models are much better supported. But they’re a lot more expensive, too.

    I joined an ARMbian forum. It’s moderately useful; oriented to single-board computers running ARM processors. Even though the Linux kernel supports ARM, the non-kernel bits aren’t as portable.

    The T95 TV boxes are dirt cheap, a bit higher specification than a 3B+, and work just fine… other than the two I have both having weird USB problems and not recognizing hubs either. The Inovato distribution of ARMbian works flawlessly otherwise. I need to buy a T95 direct from Inovato; it’s possible the ones I picked up from Amazon have slightly different USB hardware.

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