alifeee's weeknotes


Weeknotes 52

My Tamagotchi grew legs!

On Friday I found a Tamagotchi in the wild that had been left there for a couple of years (as well as a deep network of dark sub-urban tunnels that I didn't manage to find the end of - but we'll focus on the Tamagotchi).

I've never owned a Tamagotchi before, nor seen anyone else's! This week I get to live a true technological childhood. I'm not sure when they originally came out, but this is a "gen 2".

I took it home and turned it on and set the time. This was the first mistake. If you get one, dear reader, set the time well according to your sleep schedule. My little guy goes to bed many hours before I do, and yesterday it woke me up in the morning... it is strange to have a piece of tech with a "mind of its own". The only way I could get it to not wake me up is to... turn it off 💀 or put it really far away. For now I'll be happy to have a little child for the poor result of an accidental alarm clock.

I made a little necklace for it and now he can come where I go.

Everyone's first response when I talk about it is "how long until it dies". That's sad. I wouldn't let my little guy die. Maybe.

Festive greetings cards

Last week I made my own digital greetings card. I encoded the message using javascript's btoa command, and then put that in the query string, so I could have the message sent with the link.

That means the link looks like this:

The name is encoded in the "n=..." and the message in "m=...". This encoding is "base 64 encoding" (I think). It's not compression. The encoding I'm pretty sure ends up longer than the message. I guess I could've compressed it but I didn't.

However, I did make a generator so I could make these cards easily:

I like encoding things in URLs, as then there is no state management, and you can send someone a link with all the information. It reminds me of a paste website I found recently which I've been using because it works on a similar idea:

So, "alifeee's Weeknotes week 52" becomes:

I don't know how that site encodes things.

Lots of electronics at BHF

I already skipped ahead to this bit, but I've been volunteering in BHF this week, doing electrical testing. This mainly means turning on TVs and microwaves to see if they work. Sometimes, I get interesting electrical items like pianos, massage chairs, or scalextric (a particular standout).

This week I was doing a lot of organising, as the electrical testing area was super full of stuff.

I tested a TV which had a "air remote" (so it worked like a Wii, pointing at the screen. That was pretty neat. At some point I accidentally opened the web browser, so naturally I got distracted opening people's websites so see if they worked on that fresh hell of a user agent. The TV didn't have JavaScript or up to date CSS, so you really had to put the static in "static site" to work on there. My blog didn't work because it has a lot of JS. This site worked though. The CSS looked funky. I think the TV couldn't do CSS flex.

I reset the TV before giving it my seal of approval. To do this I clicked reset and a keypad came up asking for a PIN. I put in 0000 and it worked. Neat :)

I moved a lot of lamps. People love donating lamps. Apparently, people don't like buying lamps.

It's Nerts or Nothin'

I played a lot of "Nerts! Online" with my friends this week. It's a good game. It's competitive solitaire and it's very good.

It's made by Zachtronics, who are already one of my favourite game developers. Some say the games they make are just work. That's fair.


I've been bad at watering my plants this month. It's broadly ok because it's winter.

I'm going to go and do that now.


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