And This Is Why I Won’t Be Opening SkyrimLauncher Between Now And The Rest Of Existence

So, yes, I will admit this post is going to be a bit ranty.

Bethesda, at E3 in 2017, announced a thing called “Creation Club”, which any Skyrim PC player, including me, will immediately recognize as paid DLC.

Yes, that’s right, Bethesda thins they can pull the wool over our eyes AGAIN. There’s a slight problem, though. Apparently, according to people on YouTube, paid mods breaks people’s load orders by alphabetizing mods like the launcher (whose executable is SkyrimLauncher.exe) did back at launch.

However, since I clearly have NO paid mods and never will (see: Skyrim Nexus), I cannot test this (and won’t as I already have a zany mod load with multiple merged mod sets to begin with).

All I know is that if you’re modding Skyrim on PC, I’m going to now advise you to either use ModOrganizer or Nexus Mod Manager to completely and entirely manage Skyrim modding outside of Skyrim’s out-of-the-box launcher. ModOrganizer even has it’s own Skyrim.ioni and SkyrimPrefs.ini, so you can just manually go in and tweak setting there (like, for example, if you’re playing on a monitor with a weird aspect ratio).

Either way, I find it highly ironic that Bethesda’s second attempt to force paid mods down our throats is breaking things for those using free mods. ‘Cause the only thing that’s gonna cause is more ammo for us to throw back at them when we tell them, yet again, “We. Don’t. Want. Paid. Mods. Ever.”

So, rant over. TL;DR: Don’t use Skyrim’s default launcher anymore if you’re modding things on PC, as it’ll make a mess of everything.

People Need To Stop Using All Caps In Email Subject Lines

Okay, this is more of a rant than anything else. Recently, I have received more than one email to my personal email account where the entirety of the email’s subject line was in all caps.

This is annoying. And needs to stop. NOW.

Why? Well, it is simply much easier for the human eye to read text when it is properly capitalized (either in Title Case or Sentence Case) then when it is printed in all capital letters. And while, yes, I will write programming code in all caps, program source code is a completely different animal (and normally the audience of that source code is a very specific audience).

So, if you don’t want me to almost immediately ignore your email, please, write the subject in either Title or Sentence Case, and NOT in all caps.

Why Would Deprecating A Convenient, Efficient Method Be A Good Idea?

So, I was writing a Java class earlier today that reads in stored compressed log data for a program I’m working on, and apparently, in Java 8u112, is deprecated.

Why, Oracle, why would you deprecate the method that automatically reads in an entire line of a stream? Thanks to this method *existing* , I was able to easily slurp in lines of my zipped log file (after uncompressing them using and then use the logfile’s contents as program data like I wanted to.

Without the readLine() method, I would have had to McGuyver one together myself, which would have been both memory inefficent and also very hacky and I’d not be surprised if there was an edge case or two missed by whatever I ended up implementing.

I understand deprecation, and why it is a good thing inside the Java API as we move forward with new development. However, there are always going to be good business cases for reading in lines of data which is separated by the platform’s newline character from a file, whether it is represented by literal character data or object data.

Heck, if Oracle wants to move “utility” methods like this out of the core I/O classes in, that’s fine with me, but in that case, move them to a new home inside of a class in the java.util package and update the javadoc  to point to it, and also update the Java bytecode compiler (javac) to tell the user this information when they compile with -Xlint:deprecation (which is waht is already suggested to the developer when the compiler detects the use of a deprecated method inside of the code being compiled).

So, the questions are: why are we deprecating convenient methods that are obviously going to be more efficent than anything developers could build by themselves and why isn’t the compiler smart enough to point the developers to these convenience methods if they get ‘deprecated’ in their original classes but moved to other package classes inside the Java API as provided by Oracle?

Split Text Into Fixed-Width Lines With Perl

I’ve written a Perl script which will split text into fixed-width strings of text. If there are any issues with this script, please let me know.

The documentation for the script is as follows:

DESCRIPTION - Simple Perl script to take incoming arbitrary text
  and  output it in fixed-width lines, each at a user-specified length.

SYNOPSIS [-f|--file <File to Read Input From>]
                [-l|-s|--length|--size <Size for Each String>]
                [<Size for Each String>]

  -f, --file <File to Read Input From>
    Specifies the file to read input text from. The file at the 
    specified  path must be readable by the current user running this 
    script in order  for this script to be able to parse its input into 
    separate fixed-width  lines.

  -l, --length, -s, --size <Size for Each String>
    Specifies the number of characters that should be in each outputted

  This script supports the use of the following environment variables:

  Specifies the number of characters that should be in each outputted
  line, similar to -l or -s (or their long forms).

  If the size for each string is not explicitly specified by a
   command-line option or command-line argument, the script will prompt 
  the  user to input it during the operation of splitting the arbitrary 

  Jeffrey Meyer <>, 2016-2017

splitlines.tgz (1.1KB)

Enable Two-Factor Authentication On Skype

Okay, this post is going to be a quick one, biut since I somehow continue to get spam posts on Skype where the entirety of the post is simply a link to a random website (and sometimes it’s pretty obvious someone’s account’s gotten hacked because the actual URL link isn’t the text it says it’s going to go to….), I figured it’s time to post this little tip.

Skype accounts can have 2-Factor Authentication (“2FA”) enabled on them, but it is not in the Skype Settings at all. To add 2-Factor Authentication to a Skype account, you have to do it through Microsoft’s main account management site at (and that URL is not a link in this post unless your browser is automatically doing that – for maximum security, go type it in your browser’s address bar yourself!).

Also, as an added bonus, while you’re in your account settings, you can change your sign-in preferences so that you can only login to Skype using an email address, further increasing security.

And, yes, I know this exact information is probably elsewhere on the Internet, but since I’m still getting spam posts from contacts, I felt it needed to be said yet again.

Roll Back To The Classic Google+ UI

As those who use Google+ at all may have recently seen, Google recently updated Google+’s user interface (UI) to a design that complies with their Material Design guidelines.

Unfortunately, that meant some features didn’t stay inside of Google+. Recently, I myself have found it very difficult, if not impossible, to create a post that is only visible to a particular person on Google+.

While this method won’t permanently rollback Google+ to the classic interface (as navigating back to Google+ in any other browser window or tab will bring up the new Material Design UI), it will rollback that particular Google+ session to the classic interface.

To do this:

  1. On the menu on the left-hand side, click Settings.
  2. In the General section, you will see an entry for seetings that you cannot find, with a link to view the classic Google+ interface.
  3. Click the link to go to the classic interface. It will then reload the Settings window, but in the classic interface.
  4. At this point, to go back to your Google+ feed but to maintain the interface, do NOT click the Google+ logo in the top left corner! That will go back to the Material Design UI! To get back to your feed and maintain the classic interface, click “Home” in the left-hand menu.
  5. And voila! Google+, in the classic interface! For now, at least.

Google+ Settings

Figure 1: The Google+ Settings page

As with all Google products and services, there is no way to predict how long this workaround will exist for. But for now, this is at least one way to get back to all the functionality that you need in Google+.

More PC Games Need Controller Support

I enjoy playing video games. However, I don’t own any modern consoles — the most modern console I own is a GameCube, which was released way back in 2001. That just leaves PC gaming. And sometimes, I enjoy just using a game controller and not having to worry about the user interface and a keyboard and mouse.

The problem is, for some weird reason, not a lot of PC games natively support game controllers. For reference, I have a total of 1,434 games in my Steam library accumulated over the years, and according to Steam, only 289 of them are recognized as having controller support. That’s a lackluster 20.15%, and this is simply the games that Steam reports as having controller support.

And to top it off, there are some games that have a console variant, which means the publisher, at one time, developed all the code and did all the testing to add controller support, but didn’t incliude it in the PC release. What gives? PCs use the same APIs that some consoles (XBOX in particular) use, known as XInput, so why do publishers develop the support for consoles, and then strip it out for PC? It just boggles my mind. And for those of you thinking that maybe the controller support didn’t exist, Microsoft released an adapter for Xbox 360 controllers for PCs several years ago. And a good example of a game where the publisher had controller support on consoles (and specifically, Xbox 360) and still doesn’t on PC even with the inclusion of many patches and downloadable content, look no further than Dragon Age: Origins, published by Electronic Arts in 2009.

So why is controller support on PC important and why should more publishers add it? Well, first off, iot gives PC gamers more options in playing video games. While yes, most PC gamers will use a keyboard and mouse to play games, adding controller support allows gamers to play video games on PC in multiple different additional scenarios, including playing those games on a large screen television, where the gamerr is typically feet away from the screen, instead of the normal inches that a gamer normally sits from a computer monitor. Moving a mouse poiunter on a 50 inch screen from two to three feet away is just something most people do not want to have to do, but being able to play the hottest new games on a large high-definition screen is definitely something that pretty miuch all gamers enjoy being able to do.

So, while yes, adding controller support does require more development, coding, and testing by game developers, it allows for PC gamers to play their games in a larger variety of scenarios, and it’s these additional options. And it’s these options that excite gamers, even on PCs. So while yes, PC gaming may take a backseat to console gaming, it should still be treated as seriously by developers and given the same treatment when it comes to feature support for games.

Why You Should Be Using A Password Manager Now

So, while the title of this post may seem like click-bait, it should only take looking at one or two recent news articles to see why it’s true. It seems like every day we turn aroiund and yet another high-name tech company has been victim to a breach, some dating back years.

The most recent of these, Yahoo!, as according to Wired, literally affects half a billion accounts. And with the other breaches that have happened in the past, it’s only even more obvious that we should be using proper password practices.

The problem is that most people probably don’t. Good passwords, as you’ve probably heard in the past, should be easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. Sounds easy, right? Well, no, it isn’t, because you’re supposed to use a completely unique password for each and every account on each and every site you use. With how Internet sites are these days, that’s effectively impossible for a human being to accomplish. So, what are we to do so that we can mitigate the extent that these data breaches?

Use a password manager. Why? Well, because a password manager can securely keep all your credentials safe, while only requiring the user to remember a single password. And it allows for generation of long passwords that are unique to each site and auto-fill them so you don’t have to ever remember them.

So, you’re probably now asking yoruself what password managers are out there. While this post is not intended to be a list of what password managers are out there and which ones are the best to use, LastPass and KeePass are two password managers that I’ve personally used. Others exist, and they each have their pros and cons to consider.

For example, KeePass is completely free and open-source. This means that you’d never spend any money ever to use it, and if you’re a programmer, you can literally inspect the code it is using to make sure there’s nothing sneaky going on. However, the downside is that, at least of the last time I used it, there’s not a mobile version of it, and if yoiur password vault (the store of all your account passwords) gets damanged or lost on your local machine, you’re out of luck unless you’ve made a backup of it.

LastPass, on the other hand, while not open-source, has both desktop and mobile clients, and can be used across all modern web browsers. And the password vault is stored remotely, so you’re not dependent on your local PC backups to ensure you don’t accidentally lose it. One small downside of LastPass is, however, that while using it just on desktops or just on mobile is free, they require a $1/month subscription to be able to use it on both desktops and mobile.

So, in the growing landscape of the growing need for accounts to use services online and data breaches making the news headlines, it’s highly encourage that you follow proper password practices and have unique and strong passwords for each site. And the easiest way to do that is with a password manager.

My First Blog Post

Hello there! My name is Jeffrey, and welcome to my blog and it’s first post. It’s kind of late here, so I’ll keep this one brief.

While I’ve yet to set any official theme for topics here, I’ll likely end up rambling about my interests: tech, gaming, and anything else that’s of interest (for good or for bad reasons) at any particular time. And while this post is likely going to be on the short side, expect posts to be fairly lengthy. I say this as I’ve always had the “problem” of writing “too much”. Of course, that’s a perfect “problem” to have on hand for a blog.

Of course, since this is my first blog, I won’t be surprised if there’s a few technical bumps along the way. If there are any problems, don’t hesitate to let me know about them — I’ll fix them as soon as I can.

Thanks for reading this, and here’s to many more posts in the future!