june 2023 life update


some good news, and some bad news that might impact the site's future

hey guys. it's been a minute but I have some updates to share & some potential things that may affect my ability to keep the site updated in the future. I started writing this in my most recent changelog entry, but realized it was a little long and would do better with its own post.

first, the good stuff: my summer research! it has been going swimmingly. after about a year of being on this project I've now finally reached the point where I'm actually training the neural network to find the lenses. so far the training has been going... not great— I am the father of many, many idiot robot children. it's a little dull sometimes and my productivity definitely has its ups and downs but overall I like what I'm doing. the paid portion of my research goes through July, so we'll be entering crunch time soon to prepare for the symposium at the end of the summer.

second, the not-so-great stuff, and the reasons I have some concerns about the site's future. lately, I've been having some weird, not-quite computer issues that have made me anxious to use my laptop. for a bit of context, I have a lot riding on my laptop being functional: my ability to work, to study, to relax, to partake in hobbies like this site. I also had an instance where my laptop broke for real in 2022, right before finals week, which was absolutely hellish to deal with. ever since then, I don't quite trust it like I used to, and any sign of a problem spikes my anxiety. because so much depends on my laptop, it just amplifies that anxiety trigger. one of my friends suggested that I try to reduce my dependence on it by finding hobbies and means of relaxation in meatspace, and much as I dislike it, I think I will try to follow that advice.

all that is to say, both because of my research and because of my computer, the site will likely see fewer updates between now and at least July. I don't like it, because I have so many ideas I want to add (cat shrine! blog posts! project updates! new about page text!) but I'm just not sure of my ability to add them. also, I am hoping & praying & crossing my fingers that this doesn't happen, but if my laptop declines further I may need to designate it as Work Only. in that case the site will likely be inactive for an extended period of time, but I will hopefully be able to post a heads-up message before that happens. I do want to stress that none of this will impact the ability to view the site— it will be online for as long as Neocities is offering hosting. there will just be less/no new content for a while.

so tl;dr: site may be infrequently updated through July, and may need to go fully inactive (with notice) sometime in the future. this does not have anything to do with the site hosting so it will still be viewable during this time.

as an aside, for those who are more computer-savvy than I and want to help diagnose what's going on:

my mysterious not-quite-issue is a weird interruption where the screen momentarily freezes/video or animated elements pause for a moment. I first noticed it in Youtube videos (where the audio would keep playing fine), but I've also noticed it on Neocities sites with an animated background. in the latter case, it's roughly periodic (about every 10 seconds or so) and coincides with a small uptick in CPU usage (from like... fractions of a percent to around 2%). I haven't tried tracking it for Youtube. restarting my computer does seem to help, and I can't remember if clearing my Firefox cache did or not. my cursory googling indicates that it could be a device driver problem, but I think it could also be a Firefox issue or a broader Windows 10 issue. my laptop isn't that old either- only 3 years old as of August, which according to my CS major friend is around when laptops are intended to wear out these days, but I'm not sure I buy that.

I am also fully open to the possibility that I'm just having computer hypochondria and that everything is actually fine. please tell me everything is actually fine T-T

anyways if you have advice, shoot me an email or a Tumblr DM, or put it on the guestbook. ways to contact me are on the homepage of the site now (opportune timing, given the possibility of extended inactivity), so you can find them there.