Windows is Weird and Jank

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

I often get confused responses from tech nerds when I say I’d rather use macOS than Windows despite being primarily a Linux user and enthusiast. The common complains being that Macs are more expensive than PCs, and that macOS is so locked down. Neither of those things are true but that’s a topic for a different day. Anyways, it’s a relatively complicated conversation to have with someone who themselves are more or less happy Windows users because there is no sort answer and I don’t want to waste my time and theirs explaining every minute detail to them for them to understand. Especially since there’s generally workarounds for getting most things done with Windows even if it isn’t an elegant solution. So rather than all that, let me just tell you a short story about something that happened to me earlier today.

I’ve been working on a project recently and I finally finished it and went about putting together the release versions for the GitHub page. The Linux version was pretty straightforward to get working. I developed it on Linux after all. I already had it working so I simply packaged the whole thing up in a .tar.gz as is typical and uploaded it to the releases editor page. No problem. Task done. Then I went to create the Mac version. Third party Mac software is usually distributed in a .dmg fine for the macOS file system but I couldn’t find a quick way to package it up into one on Linux so I pulled out my old MacBook and booted it up. It was slow with how old it was but it was still fully functional. I packed the files for the Mac build I wanted to be created as a dmg into an iso and transferred it over to the MacBook via network. I then used macOS to extract the iso and then create the dmg. No real problems. Task done. Then came time for Windows to have its turn up to bat and hoo boy that was a nightmare and as of this writing it’s still not done. In fact, I had to leave it behind to go to an appointment and haven’t been back home to my laptop. Yet, even getting it to this point was already an ordeal. I figured I might as well type out the whole of it here while it’s fresh so next time someone asks me about it I can point them here to read this instead of trying to explain.

First off, I don’t own a Windows computer. I own an old MacBook and my current laptop from System76. The MacBook runs macOS as you’d expect and the System76 runs on their Pop!_OS Linux distribution. I have no use or desire for a Windows computer so I simply don’t own one.

Recently I’ve had this ongoing project I’ve been working on using primarily Python. It’s a fork of another project but the details aren’t important right now, just that I’m done with the project itself and I’m ready to put out the full release binaries.

Now, I’ve tried compiling Windows code via wine but it’s always breaks so I didn’t waste my time this time trying that. Instead, I put Windows 10 in a VM to compile the Python code and in short it was a nightmare. One error message after the other. I installed Python via the Windows store. You’d think it would be easy but no. Now I’m out of time to mess with it because of a prior obligation and it’s still not done. Despite having to leave, I have the time to write this during the break between activities, but I don’t have access to my computer here to work on it further.

So with my options so limited, I decided the best solution was to throw Windows into a VM and use that to compile the code. You’d think that was the easy route but it you couldn’t be more wrong.

So upon creating the VM and loading up the Windows 10 iso my problems started immediately. Microsoft disabled the option to make a local only account, at least on this version of the iso. It forces you to use a live ID so that was annoying because I use a password manager and had to type that mess in manually to log in. Then when it did, it named my account after my old email address I don’t even use anymore instead of my current or my Outlook one so that’s gross. Then when I finally got to the desktop I had to install the VirtualBox guest additions. That part is normal for a VirtualBox VM like this, even including with Linux, but it was still a step I needed to take, so I figured I’d mention it. Then finally I could use it so I went about installing git…only git isn’t anywhere in the Windows store that I could find so I had to fetch the installer from the website which had all these weird options when you install it that I had to navigate. Instead of just integrating with the existing command prompt or PowerShell, it installed a version of bash on my desktop to use to run git. Easy enough at that point but it’s weird it had to install its own terminal. Apparently neither command prompt nor PowerShell are good enough. Not clear on why exactly but at least bash is something I’m used to using so no issues there for me at least.

Next, I went about cloning the repository but found out Windows home folders are semi-hidden and the link on the taskbar just takes you to a folder called “My Documents” where it expects you to put everything in, not just document files. I don’t know why it isn’t a typical home folder like on other OSs. I remember that from the old versions I used to use years and years ago but I figured they’d have fixed that by now, especially since there actually is a home folder now. Yet oddly you have to get to it by browsing the hard drive. But then you quickly find out that the drive isn’t mounted normally, it’s in “My Computer” which is what Windows has instead of the root directory. Then the drive is only labeled by a capital letter which again I do remember from using Windows years before in my youth but it’s still weird to me that it’s like that. (Plus the drive letters start at C. A & B are reserved as floppy drives as if we still use those these days. Why they haven’t changed this is a mystery to me.) So I had to sort the home folder mess out and create a manual Projects directory in the semi-hidden home directory. (I say semi-hidden because it’s in “C:/Users” rather than just “/home”.) I was able to change the icon though so that was nice at least. I picked one from the list that fit well enough. So then in the fake bash I navigated to newly created Projects directory and used git to clone the repository…except I couldn’t. It wasn’t taking the address despite using copy/paste and it looked correct. It kept saying the https protocol wasn’t supported which makes no sense at all since that’s the normal way git runs. I tried the SSH option from gut hub as well to no avail. Googled why and found it was because Windows copy+paste adds an extra hidden two characters at the front so after you paste it, you have to set the cursor just before the h and backspace twice to delete the hidden characters. Then it finally worked.

Then I installed Python from the Windows store. No problems with that step…until later.

I also installed Visual Studio Code while I was at it. Then I found that for some reason it had added files to the home directory labeled with a dot prefix like hidden files on a Unix system but they weren’t actually marked as hidden in the Windows file system. Mind you, this is Visual Studio Code, the official Microsoft coding IDE, not some ported over thing or something from a third party. It’s like Microsoft forgot what platform they were developing on. It’s a Windows application from the Windows developer on a Windows system. Why in the world are there files named to be hidden on a Unix system but not actually hidden on the Windows filesystem? It makes no sense. I went ahead and hid them in the Windows filesystem as well. No idea what they were thinking with that.

After that, I went to compile the code. I went back to command prompt to do that, except it turns out Windows can’t just build Python from the command line into a Windows binary so I had to install this program using Python’s built-in pip utility to do that for me called pyinstall. (Which is a confusing name since it compiles binaries rather than packages them into installers.)

So I pointed that tool at the .py code file to compile…except command prompt said it didn’t know what pyinstall was. So then after a bit of research I found out I had to manually create a PATH entry for it in the advanced settings. So, following a guide, I opened the applications drawer on the bottom panel and typed in control panel. It came up but I couldn’t even find the option the guide described. After some confused hunting I realized it told me to type in system so I did and a different option came up called system but with the description saying it was the control panel. It said control panel but it wasn’t the same control panel I found before. So apparently Windows has two different control panels with different options on each and no obvious way to tell them apart in the launcher except the one only pops up if you search “system”. So anyways the second one was the one in the instructions and followed them to get to the tool to edit environment variables and added it’s full path which was long and convinced making use of the hidden AppData directory which I had to navigate. (Essentially the same as the .config folder in Linux I guess.)

Finally after all that, I went to compile the code using that python tool so I typed it into command prompt, pointed it at the .py file, and hit enter…and it still didn’t work. It threw an error. That’s when I ran out of time and had to leave. I’ll have to figure it out from there when I get home.

This little ordeal is a prime example of why I don’t like Windows. This is the kind of experience I’ve had every time I’ve tried to use Windows to do things that are normal everyday tasks on a Unix system like Linux or macOS. I don’t understand the structure. It follows nonsense logic without any underlying philosophy. It’s a total mess of patchwork binaries and SysWOW compatibility layers that makes no sense at all why it’s like that or any convenient way to learn it beyond trial and error, googling issues, and memorizing it. I don’t like using it. I hate having to compile it. Everyone who comes to my house with a Windows computer who tries to use the network services I have setup on my home server like printing things out has a hell of a time getting them to work and ultimately a lot of the time I don’t even know how to help them because nothing is there where you’d expect it to be and all the settings are a confusing mess and you can’t even go the route of directly editing the config files because for the most part there aren’t any. It’s all in this horrifying directory tree separate from the filesystem of keys and settings called a “system registry”. It’s like I’m using a computer built by a madman. In short, it’s janky, it sucks, and I hate having to use it.

Update: after coming home and messing with it for awhile I finally got it to compile and finished the project but I had to delete the Python from the Windows store and install a newer version directly from the Python website before it worked. I also learned you don’t have to use git in that bash emulator. You can use it in the regular command line.

Love is the law, love under will.

Fuck Microsoft,
Vanessa

A Love Unbound

Do what thou whit shall be the whole of the law.

The idea that you have to pick just one lover is absurd to me. How could I ever be expected to choose? My heart never can be contained to just one person like that. It loves so many and to force it to detach from all but once seems cruel and unjustified. That’s like a mother being asked to choose among her kids. I’m so much happier with myself, my life, my love, and my future when poly compared to when I tried to limit myself based on societal expectations. I can just love freely and openly and it’s ok. For me that’s just so much better. Why should I have to leave one behind to chase another? What good could that possibly serve? This level of happiness, contentment, and excitement simply cannot be achieved when I’m trying to be monogamous. It’s not even just a sex thing I’m describing, it’s just love. Cuddly love. Tender love. Sharing and caring love. The kind of love that can give a kiss on the check and a kiss on the head then turn around and be as lusty as ever and it be ok. There’s a calm in that. There’s a comfort in that seldom felt elsewhere and it’s wonderful. Why would any god, much less a loving god, deny thee for this?

Love is the law, love under will.

Consumed by love,
Vanessa

The GOP is full of denial

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the law.

There are a lot of GOP pundits and Christian pastors who are secretly LGPTQ . I was actually proposed sex by one. Republican getting paid an absurd amount of money by day but liked to hook up with trans women at night. I declined his offer and I told him off for not living authentically. This is far from an isolated phenomena. There’s countless examples where they got caught. So if you see a right wing nut job hating on LGPTQIA people, it’s extremely likely that it’s a case of Jungean shadow projection. To say nothing of all of the prominent GOP figures found to be child predators that have been caught over the years. If the GOP wants to find its groomers, they need to stop looking at LGPTQIA people and look in the mirror.

Love is the law, love under will.

Matter-of-factually,
Vanessa

Related: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JW73Y17S8ZU

The Episodes of Doom 2 Frustrate Me to No End

Do what thou whit shall be the whole of the law.

The various official additional episodes for Doom 2 frustrate me so much. They can’t seem to get it right or respect the proper order and value of each. I don’t understand this nor why they can’t seem to get it right. It should be relatively easy to establish. Either take the BFG path, take the chronological complete path, or make them all free add-ons but for goodness sakes don’t be so arbitrary.

In the original retail version there was only one episode and it didn’t even prompt you to pick it. It was called Hell On Earth. Pretty straightforward. They replaced the episode structure with a single path version breaking them up into sections by text screens used to break up the monotony and give the player an idea of what’s supposed to be happening in the plot of the game. There’s an argument to be made that these mark the end of chapters or episodes of their own but just aren’t presented that way. After all, that one huge episode spans longer than any found in Doom 1. In any case the order, story, and gameplay was straightforward and easy to understand.

Then Id hand-picked popular community levels to include in The Master Levels which was an add-on with a menu interface that lets you select which one to play and it will configure and launch the various levels in Doom 2 to be played. It was a bit of fun but I believe it was not intended to be canon and each level reset the game so there was no level progression from one to the next like in other games.

Later console ports modified this behavior to effectively create an order to them and make them more like their own episode but they released two different versions of the level order between the console ports.

Next, Id pulled a couple massive community projects by the same developers intended to each be a standalone new episode for Doom 2 and published them together as an official release called Final Doom. They were standalone, meaning they would run without needing to own Doom 2. They could be argued to be two new independent games but they were built on the Doom 2 engine utilizing Doom 2 assets so they’re effectively an expansion pack for Doom 2 but sold as a standalone release of two independent episodes. Why they didn’t combine the two to be listed as episodes I’m not sure but it is what it is. It could be considered its own release not being canon episodes or not. It’s kinda the player’s job to decide.

Then they released Doom 3 and on some of the console ports included the original Doom and Doom 2 as additional bonuses. They did not ship Final Doom however. Then when Doom 3’s expansion pack was released, they included Final Doom as a bonus on that. I’m unsure if The Master Levels were included at all.

Well then years passed and eventually they re-released an updated and remastered Doom 3 called the BFG edition fixing various things and including various quality of life things. It also included new re-releases of Doom 1 & Doom 2 with some relatively minor changes plus an official brand new canon episode for Doom 2 as a bonus. It was called No Rest For The Living and actually lived on the episode selection screen of Doom 2 missing from the original release. It did not include Final Doom at all nor The Master Levels on that episode list. To me, that inclusion and omission makes it clear that No Rest For The Living was always intended to be the first cannon expansion to Doom 2 with Final Doom being considered its own standalone release, just one that used a lot of Doom 2’s assets.

At this point the arrangement was relatively simple, No Rest For The Living was the official canon additional episode for Doom 2, the master levels were not canon, and the other releases in Final Doom were to be considered standalone games in their own right.

More recently, creator John Romeo created Sigil, a semi-official add-on for the original Doom that’s supposed to come after the bonus episode of The Ultimate Doom. Even more recently, the was another in the form of a sequel titled Sigil 2. These two wads have proven to be really popular in the Doom community and are largely treated as official and canon since they were released by one of the original developers, albeit not one working for Id anymore.

Now here’s where things get complicated. Bethesda somewhat recently released an array of updated and improved brand new versions of Doom and Doom 2 (plus the first official PC version of Doom 64). However, Doom 2 is a hot mess. The Master Levels serves as its second episode while No Rest For The Living and Final Doom are both added on the add-ons section of the game implying they’re not canon. This makes no sense. No Rest For The Living was supposed to be the canon second episode but they effectively cast it aside for the one Doom 2 expansion that was the least canon of all of them. Why!? This makes no sense! Why is No Rest For The Living relegated to add-on content in favor of a retail compilation of random user levels? Sigil and Sigil 2 are there as add-ons too but at least that makes sense given the circumstances of their creation, but No Rest For The Living was clearly intended to be official and canon. All release of Doom 2 after that should have included it as the second episode, not The Master Levels. It troubles me on a deep level. I can understand doing that with Final Doom since they were standalone games in their own right but why do it this way? It makes no sense!

If it were up to me, I’d list them like this:

  • Hell On Earth
  • No Rest for the Living
  • TNT: Evilution
  • The Pluetonia Experiment
  • The Master Levels

So in conclusion, Bethesda’s updated Unity-based version of Doom are a welcome change with some great quality of life features and the like, but they must’ve been high as fuck or something when they made that choice for now to handle Doom 2’s episode progression because it makes no sense.

Love is the law, love under will.

Frustrated,
Vanessa

P.S. Doom 64 should have also seen a PC release and be called Doom 3, and then the Doom 3 we did get should have been called something like Doom: Origins since it’s effectively a reboot. Doom 2016 should have been called Doom 4. Naming it just Doom causes confusion and it’s not even a reboot.

A Little More on DeWine’s Nightmare Executive Order

Do what thou whilt shall be the whole of the Law.

I wrote a massive blog post about it when it first happened and it’s still pinned to the top of the feed on the homepage at the time of this writing and will remain until the danger has passed or there’s new information on the subject to update about. It pretty much covers everything there is to know about it but I felt like it was worth reiterating and expanding on various aspects a little further.

Firstly, it’s not too late to fight back and prevent it from going into effect. Right now it has not gone into effect yet and is open for comments. There’s another post with the relevant information on the situation and how to voice your opposition to it. I was given it from TransOhio when I reached out to them about it. I highly encourage you to voice your opposition to it ASAP. If enough people write in maybe they’ll reverse it or something. We can only hope.

Please send my main topical blog post to everyone you know to get the word out.

I think a lot of people are not doing anything who might otherwise be because because the GOP-slime managed to slip it through under everyone’s noses. They had sent up that transphobic bill taking away youth trans care that DeWine veto’d, then right after that he made this executive order that’s way worse than the bill even was, and it effects adults too, not just youth. I’m pretty sure he did that on purpose as a red hearing, to distract from the executive order. Worse, it seems to have worked, unfortunately. I could only find one news agency that was even talking about it when it happened and it was a small new outlet. None of the big dogs ever published anything on it that I’m aware of. A lot of what little else there was, was just dismissing it as having been vetoed, but that was the bill, not the executive order. Additionally they kept calling it an “administrative rule” rather than “executive order” which I imagine was to further obfuscate it from the masses and keep it from coming to people’s attention.

The vote in the recent election on reproductive rights and weed legalization has proved the state is more blue than it might outwardly appear, but the GOP controlled government isn’t playing fair. They don’t care about being an actual representation of their constituents. They just want to push their regressive agenda through no matter what anyone thinks of it and without regard to the harm it will do. They work to actively keep the people from actually being truly represented. They’ve gerrymandered the hell out of the state to the point that it’s extremely difficult to outright impossible for a Democrat to get elected in so many of the districts. It’s not unlike the Republican infestation situation Texas is famous for. Republicans know they can’t get elected on equal footing because nobody actually believes them anymore but those completely off their rocker. So instead of just having a fair and free election and letting the people decide, they’d rather hold power however they can without regard to anyone. Not only is gerrymandering a huge issue (and one both parties exploit to some degree) but also we see voter suppression in the GOP almost constantly. Pushing for unconstitutional things like voter ID checks and other measures to keep as many people from voting as they can. They know they’re actually the minority and that the majority of their supporters are on the older side. They have nothing better to do on election day and can afford pushing through standing in line in the middle of the day to vote, but not everyone can. A lot of people are stuck at work, busy caring for their kids, or any number of other things of the like. They can’t always afford to go spend an hour in a line just to tick a box. It’s frustrating this still hasn’t been addressed. What we need is to make election day a federal holiday and one with requirements for employers who insist on keeping people on even when it is a holiday to let employees go vote. They deserve to have their voices heard and their votes cast as much as anyone. It’s only fair to give them this. Granted there’s always early voting methods but they don’t exactly make it easy to navigate.

The Ohio legislature is a perfect example of how just how poor actual representation is in this state. It’s so majority Republican that they were able to force the afformentioned youth-focused anti-trans bill through into law anyway, despite the veto. It’s a bill turned law that’s seriously fucked up and going to cause a lot of otherwise preventable deaths. Gender dysphoria, when left untreated, is extremely often fatal. The only treatment that has ever worked to curtail the painful symptoms of gender dysphoria is transition and the quicker the care can start, the better. It’s absolutely essential to get on HRT and the other relevant treatments ASAP when you have it for the prevention of fatality at the hands of the severity of the symptoms. I myself, despite everything, still get passive suicidal thoughts* when my dysphoria level rises. Lately it has been centered on treatment I can’t currently have but desperately need. I am currently being denied certain treatments for largely arbitrary reasons. It’s frustrating and unpleasant to say the least. Having to jump through excessive and needless hoops to get access to long established medically necessary treatment that’s been proven effective for almost a century to resolve a medical issue is absolutely absurd, extremely harmful and downright disgusting. Can you imagine needing a “team” of medical professionals to diagnose you and give you treatment for diabetes? No. Of course not, because that would be absurd. It’s just as absurd in this situation when it comes to gender dysphoria as diabetes. Yet DeWine thinks this is a reasonable requirement to get access to appropriate medical care.

Gender dysphoria is as real and physical a sensation as pain or hunger. Despite this, people want to act like it’s just confusion on our part. Hon, I can assure you it’s not confusion. I’ve known since I was at least 6 years old, maybe earlier. We know who we are and who we’re supposed to be and that’s something only we as individuals can know for certain. It’s our true will. It’s personal; an experience completely unable to be shared. No matter how many hoops, hours of therapy, talks with a psychiatrist, etc you put in our way, we will always know who we are and will not budge on that. That is a fact that has been well established by our history and you’d know that if you ever studied it. Unless there is a direct concern for our safety, we’re forced to go into hiding, or something along those lines, we’re going to continue to seek treatment and demand the right to embody our true selves, even perhaps to the death.

We’ve been this way from birth and no matter what transphobic lies you spread or abusive and ineffective “treatments” you put us through (like so-called “conversation therapy”), it will never change that. We know it is in line with our true will on a visceral level. We know our bodies and what they’re supposed to be. Who are you to presume you could ever know us more than we know ourselves? Fool. We know our dysphoria and it’s as real and physical as anything else. Simply knowing it internally isn’t ever enough to curb the dysphoria and I can’t stress it enough that gender dysphoria needs to be treated with great expediency to prevent a fatal outcome. There’s nothing else to know or do about that. Absolutely no other treatment methods but transition have ever shown to be the least bit effective at fighting gender dysphoria than transition despite excessive and harmful trials and experiments often leading to the death of patients.

The idea that you can pray the trans away is patently absurd. That’s not how reality works. This reality being as it is, is just as true with trans people as it is with type 1 diabetes. To think otherwise is, simply put, foolish and ignorant.

These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men are fools. Liber CCXX I:11.

We are who we are and you can either accept that and be our allies fighting back against the onslaught, or you can get the hell out of the way. ‘Cause either way, we’re going to push back. With the changing of the æon we’re currently in we’ve grown and are here to stay no matter what you do, what you say, what you believe, or how you behave. We are here and there’s nothing you can do about it. We always have been despite the best efforts of our enemies to eliminate us. We will always be here like it or not. Even in ancient Sumer we were there. Even as we lived and sang our laments in the Temple of Inanna, the earliest records known to man, those written by the ones who invented writing, our lives and rights were recorded as ever.

To turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man are yours, Inana. ETCSLtranslation : t.4.07.3 120

All you’re doing if you stand in our way is delaying the inevitable, and you’ll find a lot of collateral damage and innocent blood on your hands that will never wash away. So instead of choosing violence of any form, why not choose love instead? Be better; walk with love and compassion. United as one people we are much stronger than we are divided.

There is no bond that can unite the divided but love: all else is a curse. Accurséd! Accurséd be it to the aeons! Hell. Liber CCXX I:41

Love is the law, love under will.

With righteous indignation,
Vanessa

*None with any active danger of being followed through on though. My SSRIs and existing treatments are working for that aspect at least, so no need to worry.