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And here’s the result. Turns out it was pretty easy, except for a few LEDs that needed to be better aligned with their switch once soldered.

Now I have to figure out how to calm down the mesmerizing animated breathing lights patterns, because it defaults to some real blinding fireworks, even if it’s only white LEDs. I’d be happy with just a subtle backlight to brighten the dark winter days.

I’ll try to post a small video of the blinking stuff later.

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I wanted to get in the mood before attempting that probably excruciating Pro Micro USB repair. Then I remembered the bag of LEDs I had chosen long ago for my WhiteFox, waiting for my confidence to reach sufficient level. So I spent the evening installing them.

First, I did a bit of cleaning, then I started to work one row at a time, using tape to keep the LEDs in place, and testing each row before and after soldering.

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I feel alive when the tiny bubbling sound of solder melting in a LED socket disturbs the silence of a cold winter night.

2274.02.13 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

The Djomar United Colonies and the Prikkiki-Ti have agreed on a status quo settlement to end the war. It seems that Djomar did well without us. They've managed to reconquer a couple of their reptile-occupied systems. Djomar also founded a federation called the Grand Alliance, which the Prime Animus and Yssravannar have joined.

Power is shifting. We'd better get an invite soon.

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As promised, I uploaded the first version of Chronicle, my timeline visualization tool.

Live version:


2269.07.07 - Zot Cluster, Eye of Bal

Gleem Staneef, our lead engineering scientist, has died in odd circumstances at only 146 year old. The investigation isn’t complete, but some evidence hints at Eruxo Enterprises. This direct threat didn’t stop our attack on the hyperlanes they’re monopolizing: we’re reached our objectives.

In dire need of a quick replacement, we turned to the Curators from the Eye of Bal blackhole, and hired a brilliant Molluscoid scholar simply known as The Mentat.

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2268.01.27 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

Our eminent socio-engineer Jhagg Dock-Naest, who contributed to countless societal improvements since the beginning of Space Age, has died suddenly of a strontium stroke, at the age of 141.

It is a time of mourning, but also of celebration: Igvi-Azut, a promising young technologist from the Xana forge world, will replace them. He is a former Xanyr slave, and will be the first non-Lithoid citizen to join the Zotialith scientific committee.

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Hey, theres a new draft of the Adventurer available right now with new art and a better layout. Also has an oracl and aura in the back to help you kickstart your game. Go check it out! #rpg #ttrpg

Broken Micro USB port update.

- Since I don't have epoxy resin to reinforce the port (assuming I manage to fix it) nor the tiny wires I need to make the repair, it would be more expensive to fix it than to buy a new microcontroller.

- Capitalism is such a fucked up system I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

- I'll try to fix the port anyway because I might use what I'll order for future repairs, and also because it feels like a political stance at this point, not matter how absurd.

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2266.03.30 - Zot Cluster, Strategic Command

Djomar United Colonies have declared war on the Prikkiki-Ti Purifiers without us. Our main fleet is on the way to claim the hyperlanes blocked by Eruxo, but even if we manage to quickly secure these systems, we will need years to reach Prikkiki-Ti territory. We can still help Djomar economically, but they must fight the crazed lizards alone.

Meanwhile, Yssravannar and Hydari are sending us gifts. It seems our friendship has become quite valuable...

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Ever heard of the curse of the ? It's real.

1. Look for a broken microcontroller USB-C replacement.
2. Find a shop on the same continent you're living in.
3. Notice the shop also sells a jaw-dropping low-profile 40% split keyboard kit with rotary encoders and OLED displays.
4. End up with a cart totalizing ten times the value of the microcontroller.
5. Realize you now need three microcontrollers: one for the repair, and two for the kit.
6. Despair, close tab.
7. Go to step 1.

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OMFG the main micro USB port of my Levinson just literally fell off! I simply moved the keyboard a bit further to the left on my desk.

I'm discovering that Pro Micro controllers are famous for their shit port. You'd expect something you've built yourself to break, sure... but not the parts you've never tampered with. I'm really pissed off, I love this keyboard and I use it every day...

Fixing the port seems doable but hard, I'm not sure what to do.

2264.01.10 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

Our scientists hesitate between two research domains. While not mutually exclusive, they might change our whole society.

Gene tailoring would allow us to make our own bodies more adaptive and efficient, and able to grow and learn as fast as carbon-based life forms.

Robotic engineering would let us build synthetic citizens to perfectly suit our needs, but with potentiality even more ethical and societal issues to deal with.

What should we focus on?

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2263.02.05 - Zot Cluster, Strategic Command

Our allies from Djomar want our help for a pincer attack on the Prikkiki-Ti. These xenocidal reptiles are a major threat to the galaxy and must be dealt with quickly. But we have a logistical problem.

We can’t access Prikkiki-Ti territory. The ruthless Eruxo megacorp controls the former Prime Animus hyperlanes that would lead us there. Worse: if the Animus gets involved, we won’t be able to defend their systems without attacking Eruxo first.

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2262.05.24 - 2259.11.28 - Zot Cluster, Inegore

Admiral Nock-Sheen has jokingly confirmed that the Ghost Flotilla is now made of actual ghosts. To prevent future piracy threats, we've started to build defense platforms in all high-risk systems.

Meanwhile, we've been contacted by the Hydari Confederation, a theocratic republic. Surprisingly, while spiritual, they're not fanatic, and even value equality. We could get along... Too bad they're located on the other side of the galaxy.

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Discovery of the day: I've managed to hack some kind of very basic way of sorting my microblog posts depending on the day of the week, and surprisingly I'm more productive on Wednesday. My next goal is to discover why.

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Just finished reading Don’t sleep, there are snakes by Daniel L. Everett, thanks to @neauoire. It’s a thought-provoking book about the Pirahã Indians of Brazil, which offers a unique view on what it means to be "civilized".

Survival, linguistics, culture, perception, faith, modernity, globalization... It deals with many interesting topics, and in the end, it manages to make you feel more alien than the so-called primitive people it describes. Highly recommended.

2261.01.13 - Zot Cluster, Mazov Central

We've sent massive amounts of organic food to the Xanyr Planetary Administration and signed a non-aggression pact with them. Being lenient to slavers isn't our style, but we've decided to try a peaceful solution to end to their reign.

Their territory has shrunk dramatically and they're on the verge of collapse. If we could gain the trust of their more open-minded citizens, annexing and absorbing them could be done without bloodshed.

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Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.