My experiences of game streaming

I recently bought myself a new laptop so me and my partner can still do computer stuff when we are in the living room and I’m away from my desktop. As I didn’t want and couldn’t afford a gaming laptop I planed to use game streaming from my desktop so I could play games with decent quality.

Below is my experiences of each option that I tried.

Steam offers has two methods for game streaming from one local machine to another. The first of these is the steamlink app/application that can run on Windows, Linux (both PC & Raspberry Pi) and Android. I’ve found this to work really well although I did have some issues with the wifi on my PC so using a wired ethernet adapter can work a bit better. Quality can be pretty much identical to running it on a local PC (apart from my laptop not getting so hot).

The steam application can also use do streaming internally. The only problem I found with this was that you need to be logged in on the host machine or you just get a blank screen. This can be solved by either using a VNC client or using the steam link application.

Moonlight and Sunshine (if you have a AMD gfx card)

Moonlight emulates the nvidia game streaming as used on the nvidia shield. This offers very good quality and you can also pair it with the sunshine streaming server if you don’t have an Nvidia graphics card. The main issue I have with it though is that it doesn’t work well with my WiFi. I suspect this is due to having spikes of requiring a lot of bandwith that our WiFi can’t handle. Over a wired ethernet connection however it works very well.

Xbox cloud gaming

This differs from the above options in that games are streamed from a server in a data centre rather than you own hardware. In order to use it your require a XBox game pass ultimate subscription and you can only play the XBox version of the games available for cloud gaming. Quality is limited by only support 720p resolution and I saw some graphics glitching. I did find it useful for trying new games without downloading them to either of my PCs and it might be a good option for playing away from home.

Transport Fever 2 – German valley main line

Introduction

I’ve recently been doing another play through of Transport Fever 2. This time I wanted to create a map with a lot of scope for fast express services so I created a long thin map where a single main line could connect most of the cities together.

I’ve currently paused things at about 1987 and am moving over to use more modded vehicles so things look much better.

Theme

The current map theme is a fictional river valley area in Germany near the French border. German ICE trains are currently not ready so high speed services are currently being provided by orange first generation TGV sets. There is also a fast intercity service provided along part of the route using rhine gold couches hauled by DB Class 103 locomotives. Various other locomotives haul services off of the main line and it’s various branch lines.

Route map

Route map of all lines in my map

Making TeleText/RustText pages

This is probably a bit premuture as I haven’t implemented HTTP yet in RustTex but I thought I’d do a short post on making pages for RustTex (you can also use the same pages with a teletext emulator).

I use a program called wxTED to create pages for RustTex. This is primarily designed for TeleText so the RustText file handler has to do a few things to make sure they display properly on a BBC micro/BeebEm.

wxTed presents a GUI which allows you to enter text. You can do line drawing by using ctrl-F? (F1-F9 for the colour). In graphics mode you can use q,a,z,w,s,x to change one of 6 blocks inside the character location. It also lets you set the background colour and do lots of other stuff. Check out it’s help pages Help->Special keys and have a play.

A short introduction to UK legal gender for non-UK folks

Since this came up in regards to emigrating outside the UK and gender recognition I thought I’d write a small post about how gender works in the UK and is recorded. As the UK isn’t quite as organised as countries such as Germany it is possible and common for gender to be different depending on circumstances. This is probably best seperated into 2 sections. As always this is just a basic summary and it’s probably best to consult a lawyer.

Birth Certificate

Under UK law Legal Gender is defined as what’s on your Birth certificate. However for most practical purposes this is not actually legally significant as documentation such as driving licences and passports can be changed based on self ID.

The most important area where legal gender is important is getting married in the UK (as marriage vows in England/Wales may have to be recited in regards to legal gender), pension before the pension age was adjusted and if a person ended up in prison.

Eqality act and sex discrimination

Under the equality act it is illegal to descriminate due to trans status (perception or intent to transition) or sex. This would probably have the effect of covering a trans person in a sex discrimination case the same as a CIS person and there is also no need to disclose trans status in most cases (pretty much only for background checks when working with vulnerable people or working in a rape crisis centre). This is one area I’m not particuly well read up on so probably best to talk to a lawyer or trans organisation.

Other documentation

Apart from birth certificates all other documentation does not show legal gender but instead shows either the gender person identifies as or whatever they like (in the case of Ms/Mr/Mx as these have no legal standing).

In the case of ID documents such as passports/driving licences all that is required to change gender is a letter from a doctor or psychiatrist. It is also possibly to change your gender under the NHS using this method.

In the UK anyone can change name using either a deed poll (signed by witness’) or statutary declaration (signed by solicitor/judge). Both of these documents can be created using templates which are available free online.

Due to the equlity act and other provisions it is also easy to change documents such as exam certificates which are not normally changable by CIS people. For example changing your degree certificate is as simple as sending a certified copy of your statuatary declaration or deed poll and stating that you have undergone gender transition.

Toilets etc.

Access to single sex areas such as toilets is currently not controlled by law and is via convention. This means that you can use the one that match’s your gender identity. This is also backed up by case law around the Eqaulity act.

And update and maybe some hope for the UK

So it’s been awhile since we made the decision to move countries (Well technically since December). Things have been progressing slowly while we wait for the pandemic to subside and things to open up again.

While plans have been progressing it’s been a difficult month here in the UK and anxiety for not just me but most of the trans community has been through the roof. Earlier in the month we heard leaks from the government that the proposed reforms for our gender recognition laws were going to be shelved and our rights were going to be rolled back. This was rumoured to involve our access to ‘single-sex spaces’ being denied which would meen we potentially could even loose the right to use the toilet without harrasment (or arrest).

There has been a big push back from the community though and demonstrations have happened nationally. The push-back which has hopefully made the government realise that we are the small easily kicked minority that they hoped we would be. Surveys have also shown that there isn’t widespread support for rolling back our rights.

All of this has mean’t that the goverment has now announced that reform will be delayed again (first to this week and now to September). It means that we won’t get the prize of having self-ID for changing our birth-certificates but it also means that things atm won’t get worse either.

For now this feels like small victory. For me personally it gives me time so we can get ready to move. We still don’t trust that things won’t get worse over time and we still need to move somewhere where we can get away from the harm inflicted on us by the media and government. It also means that our friends and others that we care about also have a chance to be safe even though they don’t have the ability to move.

Lou’s future adventures beyond the UK

It’s been too long since I’ve blogged so due to some scary and exciting future life changes I’ve decided that it’s best to get writing again.

It’s been a difficult few years in the UK and things have been slowing getting worse here. The main stream media has become more hostile to trans people and we have a TERF for an equalities minister. The community is fighting back though and hopefully things will get better eventually. So hopefully one day the UK might be a better place for trans people.

We have decided though that this is not a country we wish to live in anymore when we could be happier elsewhere. I suspect one of the things that has really changed is me and my awareness of how England feels rotten to the core and although the younger generations here give me hope it’s not somewhere I feel comfortable anymore.

On a lighter note we are currently exploring a couple of options with help from the people over at https://twitter.com/TransEmigrate, Ireland and Germany.

Germany

Germany was our original plan before the coronavirus hit the world. We had been trying to rush preperations so we could leave before we would need to get visa’s to move there (1st January 2021).

We know a little more about Germany as I’ve been posted there for work and we have been on holiday in the Berlin and Cologne area. There are lots that sound good about Germany and a few things that are a little scary for our situation and we need to research to see what the situation is especially when it comes to things like gender recognition as we have both changed our names and gender on our passports but not birth certificates.

Ireland

Ireland is something we hadn’t thought about till recently. They have self-ID so that is a massive plus for us as we could both change our legal gender easily. This is a massive plus for me as changing birth certificates is costly and bauracratic here. In the UK it may also not be possible for me to change without starting the process again (probably privately) as I believe the people who signed off my transition are no longer practicing. The only downside with Ireland will be living in a smaller country and we already find it difficult to live in rural Cambridgeshire.

Further information

I’m creating a page which will be updated as I discover more here

Flying the Grob 103a

On Sunday my usual glider the ASK21 wasn’t available so I flew the clubs Grob for the first time.  This was interesting as the Grob is a lot less forgiving of uncoordinated (flying without using the rudder correctly) flight then the ASK-21.  It really highlighted that I’ve started to develop a habit where the first thing I drop in high concentration situations is my rudder control.

Even though my rudder control caused me lot’s of problem I still covered quite a lot flying the Grob.  The aircraft is much less placid then the ASK21 which was really interesting when I practised stalling it.  I found it to have a much more obvious buffeting which was interesting.

A Grob 103 similar to the one we have out our club.

I also made lots of progress with taking of on the winch which was welcome as I haven’t been able to practice this for a few weeks due to the club winch being out of action.  The highlight being my first couple of launches where I correctly flew the whole of the launch on my own!

Outside of real world aviation I’ve also bought some new Saitek rudder pedal’s for my PC.  I think having pedals is even more important when you fly real aircraft as well as simulators and will hopefully get me more into the habit of using the rudder more when I fly in real life.  I’ve also been playing around with trying to stall and spin various aircraft in X-Plane and DCS.  It’s been particularly interesting with DCS’ F86 as this really shows up the affects of high G on stalling speed.   While stalling the F86 I managed to get it to stall where the wing drops and it goest into a dive.  Recovering from this was really difficult and I crashed the aircraft into the ground quite a few times.

IMG_20151026_214019

 

 

Learning to Fly


So after a work trip to a local gliding club I ended up enjoying it so much I decided to learn to fly gliders.  It’s been going really well for the last couple of months and last Sunday I did my first landing with me operating all the controls (my instructors have been using the airbrake to control the descent rate for my earlier landings).  I’ve also been experimenting with recording my flight logs so I can see where I’ve been flying and generally get a better idea of how to improve my circuits (basically the path you have to fly to perform a landing).  So after using a program called gpsvisualizer I made a track of my last flight on Sunday.

Untitled

I also took a picture of the instrument panel on one of the clubs ASK21’s that I fly:

DSC_0028_no_id

As you can see there’s a lot less instruments then you see on powered aircraft.  We also have a device call a variometer instead of a vertical speed indicator.  The variometer is designed to show if you are climbing or sinking due to atmospheric effects such as thermals.  The other instrument that is rarer is the G meter which is one with the 3 dials next to the altimeter.  This is needed as most gliders are certified for acrobatic flight and I’ve already experienced pulling about 3Gs from flying a fast turn when we had some altitude to burn off.

 

Terraria: I have a space gun and it’s mine all mine!

So I’ve finally defeated the Eye of Cthulu in Terraria and I’m now starting to be a lot stronger. I also used explosives to destroy a couple of shadow orbs and caused a meteor to crash (which I mined). So I now have a space gun and better armor. Now the next step will be trying to kill the eater of worlds.

I have a space gun!
I have a space gun!

All the demon forges!
All the demon forges!

Crossing the corruption made easy.
Crossing the corruption made easy.

Socket coding in Android

So I’ve recently been playing about with Android for ‘Not So Super Secret Startup Idea’ and needed some code to communicate data such as Phone Calls/Text messages and other things from my phone to another device using TCP/IP. This is a bit harder on Android then it is on a PC as Android is bassed on apps having something called Activities and Services.
An Activity is the part of the Application which handles user input and can be destroyed at any time by the OS. This makes it pretty much useless for running anything which will communicate with the outside world without user intervention.
The other part part of an Android app is called a service which can be used to perform tasks in the background, process events from Activities, etc.
So what I currently have is an Android app which has a Service to handle TCP/IP communications from a telnet client on a PC. The service will also send data such as GPS location, phone calls and text messages (currently work in progress) over the socket to the PC.
One problem with the default TCP/IP functions is that they block (do not return until the right amount of data is received). I choose to use threads to handle blocking I/O and post Intents (a form of IPC) to the main activity to update it’s UI.
There is however one problem with using Threads in that when the Service is stopped there is no clean way to Kill a thread. This can be gotten around by closing the socket and setting a variable inside the threads main loop to tell it that it needs to shutdown cleanly.
So here’s some quick and dirty code which output’s GPS location and the phone no. of any calls received to a socket:

GPSTest