# Junk Drawer

For all those little papers scattered across your desk

# Bag of Holding (Everything)

08 Jul 2018 in Work

You never know what you might pull out…

This post contains the amalgam TIL for Thursday & Friday of last week. When I returned home Thursday from a Call of Cthulhu session, it was late and I was tired. Friday I was burnt out. Enjoy.

## Today I Learned

1. RPGs have lots of elements
2. The difference between python2 and python3, and how to make 2 look like 3
3. make syntax
4. Productivity requires feeling productive

## Elementals and RPGs

As you might have gathered from the tags and the note, I went to a Call of Cthulhu 7e session Thursday night. Before you ask, no, CoC does not have elementals (but Dungeons & Dragons does).

CoC takes its inspiration from Lovecraftian horror, an entire genre based on books by H. P. Lovecraft himself. Even the Evil Dead film references the Necronomicon, an artifact that can be encountered in the game. Typical ‘scenarios’, run by the ‘keeper’, revolve around a mismatched team of unlikely investigators who steadily uncover a horrifying and insanity-inducing truth. While runnable in any setting, the game is strongly designed for the 1920s.

The reason I’m filing this under “TIL” is that, while I’ve been itching to try CoC for some time, I’d never actually done. I recently joined the Raleigh Tabletop RPG group on Meetup to find games and people while I’m in town, and this was my first experience with them.

Fortunately, I learned that RPG elements transfer over somewhat easily. Skills like roleplaying go anywhere, while mechanics like stats and skill rolls might change or disappear. Overall, though, the experience is fairly translatable. Much like languages, learning one unlocks the potential to learn others.

In one night, I

• met a woman from Germany and a Frenchman
• collaborated to solve a murder/theft double-mystery
• went insane (but survived)
• had a lot of fun

It’s up to you to decide what happened in character and what out.

This Wednesday, I’m joining some others for a little D&D 5e: Rage of Demons action–I’ll put together a post on my new character for that soon. And Thursday will be Kobolds Ate My Babies, so look forward to some hilarity.

## Snakes, Versions, and the Future, Oh My!

I’m starting to design the implementation of that caching system from a little while ago, and it’s been one heck of a doozy for my head. One thing was for sure, though: I needed python.

Unfortunately, for our systems, that would be python 2.

So, like any good explorer, I set out to learn the differences. Being used to python 3, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but I knew it would make me cringe. Fortunately, this guide has done most of the explaining to me. It also showed me that I don’t have to give up everything. print can still be a function, with the use of the __future__ module.

By the way, that caching spec has undergone some internal changes since the first draft, so the one I linked is no longer the most current.

## Showing Off Your Recipes with make

Remember how, way back when, I got to talking about make and it’s craziness? Well, one of the things I spent cycles on last week was re-learning it. info make is a great reference, but the order they present things in leaves a lot to be desired, so there was some tedious cross checking going on.

Anyways, regarding the multi-line syntax thing, there is a directive .ONESHELL that can help avoid that. Cool beans.

## Production Junction, What’s My Function?

And here’s some more words. You guys got lucky, I was going to stop at 500, but this makes about 624.

Friday, it was difficult to feel productive because my builds were still blocked (yes, again), and I was spinning my head in circles trying to understand the code that would go into the cache that I designed. Well, ok, so that code is mostly straightforward, but I didn’t quite grasp how it fit into our current build system, which is mostly an abuse of make.

Fortunately, I now understand what I’m doing. But the road to get there taught me something: if I don’t feel like I’m actively being productive all day, I will be sorely burnt out by the end of the day. And then I’m just not productive at all.

Lesson learned.

P.S. I didn’t use any emoticons today.