Musings

No answers, only opinions

One of the greatest things about rust is that it is self-hosted.

There's a lot of debate about whether people want “self-hosted” or not and let me tell you— they do.

As one example, the fact any Silicon Valley investors needs to know the names, let alone versions of front end javascript frameworks in use by their portfolio is a critical failure of the collective engineering leaders of FAANG.

Actually strike that— critical success, because that portfolio is actually great at self-hosting or at least knowing when to buy someone else's self-hosting.

For the rest of the valley though the pathway through jQuery, jQuery UI, Handlebars, Backbone, Backbone with Marionette, Angular, Angular 2, React with Classes, Functional React, React with Hooks, Vue, Vue 3, Svelte, SvelteKit and this is before exploding the burrito with a package manager like npm, yarn, pnpm, and a runtime like node, bun deno, and a version of TypeScript or not has been a rough ride.

The point is about stability and velocity.

The main benefit of self-hosting is never running into a breaking API change— ever.

Rust is self-hosted in that anything that can happen on your device does. The main value Rust provides is a smooth paved path to drive on top of for hardware. Bluetooth, wifi, gamepads— all streamlined.

While rust solves the hardware, or backend, problems incurred by self-hosting and owning computers, there is not a clear winner for what self-hosting the services that draw pixels to our screens via software, or frontend should be shaped like.

There's a reason larger teams decided to incur the complexity costs of offloading their frontend development infrastructure to the cloud: it was hard to organize the web.

Conway's law took place and now support is fractured across GitHub issues, Discord Channels for external communication, Slack Channels for internal communication, loose customer service emails, phone calls from our boss, and a website that'll be totally updated when they hire the right junior front ender.

In short, the easiest way to do something is to mimic the way that people that make money by doing something.

To be fair, React as a thought leader from Facebook did more to progress the science and the art of front end programming to date and brought salaries up along with it.

That said, early 20's hackers that move fast and break things that are funded by essentially infinite amount of money with little to no oversight or overhead for shipping might not realize exactly when they struck gold— which was right in between Functional React and React with Hooks.

As a result, everyone that wasn't self-hosting and choosing to maintain their own secure fork of Functional React now has a codebase littered with hooks that require manual dependency tracking and will bump the complexity of code from “some text files” to “needs an IDE”.

The website is now on pause as the budget now calls for a senior front ender.

Things do not have to be this way. I'm on it.

The history of personal computers is quantum-entangled with the history of business computers. Systems built to power productivity also fuel creativity, placing computer creators dependent on computer producers. In turn, vocabulary has been invented to describe the artificial contructs to shape and maintain a business on networks of computers, that are not critical to core computer functionality.

All things considered equal, I do not have time to write a lecture or a research paper on how people live and die by their credibility and recognition. All computer systems and the way we think and reason about them philosophically had a justification in their time and space. That time is not now; I'm declaring bankruptcy.

Not real bankruptcy. Bankruptcy on the technical debt of technical writing.

I'm positing, it is more complex to discuss computers in the abstract than it is to expose them in their entirety on consumer grade hardware.

That said, we will be learning how the words learn, draw, style, when, teach, and state have special meaning to create personal object-oriented model-view immediate-mode entity-component operating-system computers in any language, but I believe the six short words will be more memorable in your native tongue with your own native code.

Founding Sillyz.Computer was Easy for A Couple Reasons

I think crediting computers should be more like crediting movies and I think crediting movies should be more like crediting computers.

What do I mean?

For a movie, above the line talent shows in the intro, below the line talent— after the above the line talent happens again at the end during the credits.

The cool thing about the movie doing this— everyone is seen. In software, there's above the line talent and below the line talent as well.

For computers, above the line talent appears in news headlines, has stage time, performs the art of the company. The below the line talent does the work, but there's not really credit in software, not publicly anyway. There are full audit trails of who changes what, where, when, and why, but that's proprietary computer vendor knowledge.

Fundamentally, computers aren't viewed like movies and movies aren't viewed like software.

Sillyz.Computer thinks they can be.

At the end of the day, computers make movies and movies make computers. Think about the iconic 1984 Apple ad— a short film that sold a brilliant number of computers.

Performance art.

Behind the scenes, Apple employees are shrouded in mystery to guard against corporate espionage and sabotage.

Sillyz.Computer doesn't think they have to be.

At the end of the day, computers and movies are built on social graphs shaped by the passings of papers, which inevitably outgrows the paper and needs a thumb drive.

When this happens, who owned what paper gets confused and there's not a proper way to attribute contributions across device and context boundaries.

At least, there wasn't until Sillyz.Computer.

And if the bottleneck of my career was not performing art, then I shall perform art.

I have now created three organizations.

sillonious- glue code to create a web bridge between hardware and software.

plan98- a collection of web components that may do anything from simple encrypted notes to game engines that connect to off the shelf consumer electronics, such as Nintendo Switch JoyCons and PlayStation DualShocks.

saga-genesis- a stack of html that provides an ide, debugger, sdk, and simulator for upgrading plain text to virtual productions and other narrative driven immersive experiences.


Sillonious

@sillonious/backpack – dotfiles and APE web client @sillonious/map – network configuration, microservices, and routing @sillonious/compass – device unification for physical and digital actuation

Plan98

@plan98/computer – configuration for starting the modular user interface @plan98/module – utility for creating user interface modules

Saga Genesis

@saga-genesis/engine – maps current space/time locations to saga roms @saga-genesis/party – couch co-op overlay and room codes @saga-genesis/sillonious – single player tutorial


All of this is MIT. All of this is one codebase. Soon.

How will you make money?

Private Membership. For $5 per month, you will get cloud saves. I will answer popular questions with short video tutorials, and based on feedback I will grow the internal product in the direction desired by my players.

editor's note: A pitch. A portfolio. A product.


Honestly? I'm struggling to articulate every possible avenue of my vision.

My sister was here over the holiday and she was writing an informative speech on the PlayStation and how it came about and what it became.

Humble beginnings.

The intrapraneur at Sony had first modded the original Nintendo Entertainment System to have better sound because a game his daughter was playing produced sounds that irritated his engineer trained ear. This mod became critical to the success of why one should upgrade from the NES to the Super NES.

I was an intrapreneur at Netflix that wanted to break into gaming.

Mission: Failed. Game Over.

But the main reason why I worked in Los Gatos was to gain nine lives.

Netflix.Com was just one. Sillyz.Computer is just one. Sony.Com could be one— I see their offices on my walk every day.

Since breaking into entertainment, I've primarily been operating as a producer and capturing content.

My favorite album was recorded on a Sony Walkman MiniDisc Player.

MiniDisc was a storage format, like vinyl records, floppy disks, dvds, sd cards. However, this was a special hybrid digital physical format for a digital phyiscal device. It could sync music downloaded from the internet or from line-level microphones.

A cassette player style recording studio in your pocket that could remix and remaster with anyone anywhere.

You could sell your cassettes to other people with players, but the physical format of compact discs won the battle of the era for their ability to stack, sleeve, and spool more effectively.

The lesson is— physical storage of digital information is critical to the ability for it to be properly disseminated and archived. In short, the MiniDisc Walkman failed to gain market traction. That said, the MiniDisc was still a success in the evolutionary chain of computing.

I recorded an album in 2023 using it. I made a music video for it. Listen to the warmth in sound. That's a single SM-58— studio grade microphone— wired directly into a Sony WalkMan MiniDisc Player.

The video itself was recorded on Sony hardware, the ZV-1 point and shoot video cameras. I used three. That's what I record live standup comedy on, but that's better wired into Black Magic ISO Pro to download live edited footage to an iPad as Da Vinci Resolve files that can sync with cloud collaborators anywhere.

The Black Magic and the iPad are the only two non-sony devices I use in my interactive production studio.

For recording ambient spaces, I have six UX570— pocket field recorders. For playtesting my virtual environments, I have two PlayStation 4 controllers I connect to the iPad, and my web client. If I need to test backwards compatibility of my Object-Oriented Model-View Entity Component System— OOMVECS— I dial up the legacy web browser on my limited edition bronze-plated PlayStation 4 that reads 35040/50000.

My hardware might be unique to me, but I assure you the polyfill I use to make sure that the PlayStation 4 is a fully capable client of my live service gaming network is the same polyfill that makes sure my KaiOS flip phones are fully capable clients.

Realistically though, for the price, you're better of picking up a maxed out Rasbperry Pi 5 for under $100 and you can just swap out the SD card when you want to switch from my gaming platform to a retro gaming platform that's compatible with legacy computer architectures.

The flip-side is, I can cross-compile for other computer architectures, so if you don't like the free version in the web browser on the PlayStation 4, I can sell you a full release native build.

That's the expensive part— actually integrating my business model with the business models of my competitors, which is why I need to charge full price for that. But if you subscribe for a year, I'll include a native app for their gaming computer platform, otherwise I'm claiming this is already more stable than currently released AAA-titles— with an even higher upside for long-term player value and $60 is a fair trade, if $5 per month for cloud game saves sounds like too much.

So even if you don't have PlayStation 4, I can get you discs for your PlayStation 5 or your Xbox 360. If you're done with discs, my paper gameboys are fully digital and you can scan the qr code to unlock iPhone/iPad/Mac/Android apps, Windows executables, and 6-Platform Apes. Again, that's only if you don't like the free web version.

I know you're thinking this all sounds ridiculous and over-complicated, but please hear me out.

My product is a device fits in the palm of your hand, has four buttons— an X, a Circle, a Square, and a Triangle. A hand-held computer. Inside is the life of your entire digital avatar. Books. Music. Movies. Games. Stories of all kinds. Your stories. A new kind of Sony Walkman.

Anyway, I'll read you my sister's speech now, which is about the Sony PlayStation, but I like to think of it as free child labor that provided me with not just market research of my competition, but also a roadmap for my career and creative trajectory. That day we worked from a blue bottle coffee in San Mateo— the same city that headquarters Sony, Roblox, and Sillyz.Computer.

The main thing I want you to take away is that the Sony employee that helped Nintendo with their gaming platform wasn't fired for treason. He became the pioneer father of the first Sony PlayStation, which rivaled the Nintendo and Sega line of products— putting Sonic the Hedgehog underwater, but inspired Bill Gates to believe Microsoft could launch the Xbox after poaching the developers of the Halo franchise from Apple's Macintosh line by creating a compatible physical digital agreement that jived with the studio heads at Bungie more than Steve Jobs' pitch.

I digress.

Ken Kutaragi eventually became the CEO of Sony, which still arguably has the best line of engineered entertainment products in all of not just Silicon Valley, but the world.

Now that's winning the metaverse and it all started by modding a platform that did exist and by happenchance creating one that didn't yet then.

In practice, everything gets pushed back by 30 minutes, give or take. That's why flights at SFO are always 15 minutes early or 15 minutes late.

The people that were supposed to be there are confused on how the time changed and the people visiting are mildly inconvenienced, but that's usually par for the course for a comedy show, in my most pointed experience.

I performed a set last week. I wrote my set that morning, published it on my website, and the show started at 8pm instead of 7:30.

I started the cameras early and in the background we hear Allan kick a guy out of the bar. I recorded the full show because I was collecting test data for 3 camera live comedy untethered.

The man cried blasphemy and that his cross was for Jesus Christ. He was in a red beret, the cross was iron, and he had a metal storage clipboard that just shouted papers please— but that might have just been energy of his military dress uniform from I don't know which country or which era.

I did my set that night entirely from my phone and I stuck to the bit I prepared, because if there's anything I know about time-travelers, I know I'm not alone. And if my set was important enough to boop a timeline for, I better just do it.

And the benefit of being a bard is that all the heavy lifting is done for me. I just read my lines from my phone. I didn't even need to fight the guy to win the encounter.

I needed to go to the bathroom before the show. But the hallway was crowded and I stopped short. I don't even know if this guy knows he was looking for me in particular or just “the guy in the bathroom” because that's usually how a time-hit takes place.

No names, no identities.

I'm shy and awkward, despite performing comedy and being the most outgoing introverted person. So I didn't want to bother anybody by squeezing by to make it to the bathroom.

I figured I'd wait. And that's when I first made eye contact with this guy— before I turned on the cameras. He came up the stairs and he was sweating like he was running late for a 7:30 appointment.

I gave him an nod like, “welcome to the show”, but I quickly went back to reading over my lines, even though this dude felt a little out of place. Anyway, he made moves towards the bathroom.

That's around when I started the cameras and since the show was running late anyways, I had time to use the bathrooms downstairs, so I went down the front.

I came back up from the back and the bar owner I'm friends with that's a cyber security professional was escorting the down the front stairs.

A time traveler then a nazi walk into a bar. The time traveler walks in again and the nazi is banned. Sorry for the delay, but the last 30 minutes have been a trip, welcome to the show and please give a round of applause to Allan for being a firewall.

First, we need to over clock the word computer.

Over clock? Amp it up. Turn it to eleven. Overload.

Everything is a computer. Laptops are computers. Desktops are computers. Notebooks are computers. Phones, even flips, are computers. Watches are computers. Cars are computers. Video game consoles. Video game cartridges. Lore-based computers inside the video game cartridge. People are computers. Everything is a computer, yes, even me and you.

Hi. I am Ty, a transmedia storyteller, formerly an engineer at Netflix, and now I am building and am a creating a game for boosting computer literacy and a book that explains all the mysteries.

What's a transmedia storyteller?

Stories have always grown alongside available technology at the time. Before written language, all story was spoken. With the advent of the printing press, a rush of knowledge spread from pages flying around the world faster than ever.

Classic childrens fairy tales became animated with musical scores and silver screens. Eventually, drawing boards became graphics cards and paper became Silicon Valley.

But books never went away. Paper remained, despite increasingly more advanced technology. Why?

A book can be left on a shelf for centuries, picked up and continued. The pictures are drawn in by the mind of the reader.

Aphantasia is a phenomenon that leaves the person experiencing it incapable of picturing things in their mind. Put another way, a picture is worth 1,000 words, for a person with aphantasia, they'll want to see a picture and not just read 1,000 words.

Cognitive understanding is different from perceptual understanding.

Show a person with aphantasia a picture of the 1,000 words they just read and they'll say, “Oh, I see what you mean now” from their eyes and not their mind's eye.

Snow White began as a book, became a film, then a global phenomenon and eventually even became cloned from Reality Animated into Reality Reality in the performers that bring their digital Snow White twin to life.

Transmedia storytelling is bringing characters like Snow White from your imagination to the page, the stage, and the screen— whether that screen is in a theater or on your computer— whether that computer is a laptop, desktop, notebook, phone, watch, car, or even a video game.

The key to transmedia storytelling is that the medium is the message. Blog posts will be more in depth, some might even say, “dry.” Radio ads will be 30 seconds. Billboards have a tagline or two. Watches have four buttons. Episodes will have a few characters. Films will have every character and a complete arc for each. Books will be the absolute tell all that'll make everything make sense.

The game will have your character with the tools you need to tell your transmedia story. Immersive interactive experiences— transmedia stories.

Pre-orders coming soon.

Video Game Main Quest (all platforms): $30 Video Game Strategy Guide (book+all platforms): $30

The Sega Genesis was a toy computer that plugged into the wall for power, the home television for video, and headphones for audio.

Sonic the Hedgehog is a super fast hedgehog that broke sales records and spun himself off into a franchise that outlived the computer that birthed him and his friends.

Sonic collects rings and stops Dr. Eggman from gathering all the Chaos Emeralds, for who knows what end! When Sonic has all seven chaos emeralds he becomes Super Sonic and gains invulnerability and can go even faster, but he spends the precious rings which guard him. If Sonic runs out of rings and he gets hit just once, he dies.

The Sega Genesis had no memory and couldn't save the state of any games to itself. For Sonic and Tails, this meant any time power was cut to the Genesis, they ceased to exist entirely— from a mathematical computer perspective. The code that will Genesis them again, is stored on the game cartridge itself. When power is restored Sonic and Tails are birthed anew.

This was true for both games Sonic and Sonic 2.

Sonic 2 was the introduction of Super Sonic, with the seven chaos emeralds. The first Sonic game stopped at six and they only served as a 100% completion indicator.

Sonic 3 begins with Super Sonic flying alongside Tails in the Tornado— an airplane Tails designed and engineered— to Angel Island. Shortly after landing on the beach, Knuckles knocks Sonic out of the super state and steals the seven emeralds for Dr. Eggman. But why?

Knuckles is the guardian of the Master Emerald and is the last of the Echidna, the guardian people of the Master Emerald.

As you can see, a handful of pixels of toy characters on a screen controlled by kids using a few molds of plastic and cheap circuit boards, in a game with no dialogue is able to build an immersive world— such that, restricting the lives of our characters to only existing when power is drawn to the Sega Genesis is... artificially constraining.

So Sonic 3 introduced the Master Emerald both in the lore and in the cartridge, effectively becoming an offline computer independent of any given Sega Genesis.

This metaphorical Master Emerald in Sonic 3 has the ability to save game state. Knuckles being from Angel Island has a different story and adventure from Sonic and Tails, which is continued in a fourth and final cartridge designed for the Sega Genesis, the video game and super computer Sonic and Knuckles.

What's a super computer?

Sonic and Knuckles was bottom half ordinary cartridge, top half video game console.

Plugged into a Sega Genesis as usual, this was just one more Sonic game in the franchise. However, with Sonic 3 and the Master Emerald plugged into it, a final chapter in the saga of the emeralds unfolds.

In the Hidden Palace, the sacred chamber with the Master Emerald, the seven Chaos Emeralds charge the Super Emeralds that grant Super Sonic abilities. By merging state between Sonic 3 and Sonic and Knuckles, Sonic may now complete the game as Hyper Sonic— but that's not the final ending.

Remember when Knuckles punched the Chaos Emeralds out of Super Sonic at the beginning of Sonic 3? He was tricked into doing that by Dr. Eggman. To stop him from stealing the Master Emerald for good, Knuckles needs to collect the seven chaos emeralds, use the master emerald to charge the super emeralds, collect the seven super emeralds, become hyper knuckles, defeat Sonic Robotnik powered by the stolen Master Emerald and steal the multiversal terminal Dr. Eggman used to get from earth into the computer in the first place.

Hello. I'm Tyler Childs, Sillyz.Computer entreprenuer. I'm the engineer that's been teamed up with Sonic and his pals ever since we sprung each other from the clutches of Dr. Eggman and his Sega Genesis.

In the classic film, Stand and Deliver, Edward James Olmos poses the original question, “How do I reach these kids?” Olmos portrays real-life Jaime Escalante. Jamie a teacher in East Los Angeles that helped underperforming high school students achieve high academic dreams.

Controversially, at the start of his program, he decided to teach AP Calculus to his students— going straight to a more complicated genre of math instead of building up bit by bit, like is historically done over multiple years.

His approach worked, his students passed their exams, and a movie starring Edward James Olmos was produced to commemorate Jaime Escalante's legacy.

I watched Stand and Deliver in high school. In those days, I would classify myself as undermotivated and underperforming, even though I had good grades. The movie stuck with me and as I've grown and developed my professional skills and my professional career, I began looking back and wondering. “How do I reach these kids?”

One thing that Edward's portrayal of Jamie has inspired in me is going straight for the hard thing. Calculus is not easy math, but all the other math is tucked inside of calculus.

Typically, that's why other math is learned first. When calculus comes, you can just learn calculus and not all other math at the same time. However, with time and persistence, the other math can be learned “on the job” so to speak.

Hello. My name is Tyler Childs, Sillyz.Computer entrepreneur. I'm developing the simplified future of computing, an advanced form of mathematics that bundles all the more fundamental computer math, or programming, into one QR code.

At the surface, many students may just scan the QR code and complete their tasks and assignments on any smart phone, laptop, desktop, or tablet. However, students that study my architectural subsystems will find the QR code includes the instructions for a new form of computer.

Why a new computer?

There's a trope in technology circles where software engineers that are serious enough about their math will eventually get into hardware when they discover the bottleneck to performance is physics.

What does that mean?

Think about the fastest computer in the world. That computer can do some pretty smart things. To do smart things, someone needed to load it up with a brain. Computers all do math to think, making math effictively the brain of the computer.

Which math programs the computer is taught determines how quickly the computer is able to think. How quick the computer can think determines how many things the computer can think about.

There's a funny term in computer circles called “headless”, which is not equivalent to “brainless” and probably would be best described as removing the face from the computer in favor of connecting the brain directly to the nervous system and using the energy saved from not having sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and a soul, to be able to think even harder about more math.

Okay. So why a new computer?

There's a board game called “The Game of Life” and in this board game players navigate life choices, like going to college or starting a career immediately out of high school. They spin a wheel and land on tiles and experience mishaps and fortunes, marriage, home ownership, retirement and maybe a few children along the way.

There's a math puzzle by John Conway called “Conway's Game of Life” and in this game generations of cells are simulated to produce visualizations of life and death over time. Any given cell is influenced by neighboring cells. Too few cells and it will die from a lack of resources. Too many cells and it will die from overcrowding. Just the right amount and it'll survive and possibly even reproduce with a neighbor to form a new neighbor.

There's an addage by Melvin Conway called “Conway's Law”, that states that the design of any given system will reflect the commincations structures that designed them.

I posit that the insides of our computers look less like children's classrooms and more like the partnership network of Silicon Valley. I posit the test scores of the math problems these companies want your children solving for them on the computer is different than the test scores your children need to solve to design computers in the first place.

By children designing their own computers in classrooms, they will pick up more than just calculus. Along the way, they'll learn digital autonomy, gain self-directed agency, and shape the future of computing as the hyper space is still vastly unexplored.

Paul Van Doren founded Vans after working around shoes long enough to increase efficiency and reduce costs low enough to identify the vulcanized rubber machine as the critical bottleneck to founding his own shoe company.

The rest is global history and possibly on your feet right now.

Paul was born in Braintree, Massachusetts and had an entreprenurial spirit since childhood, like when he negotiated a moonshot deal on firework sparklers.

One of the critical elements of the success of Vans was the personality. Everything was custom.

Paul started selling shoes out of his trunk at track meets. He began selling shoes with colors to match school mascots. Bands. Cheerleaders. Cute and comfortable, what's not to love about classic slip-ons? Some see black and white squares. I see anything. Underneath them? Anywhere.

How was Paul able to customize feet for everybody? The entire process revolved around the rubber. Literally where the rubber meets the road is the one thing all shoes have in common.

By nailing the recipe for rubber, Paul Van Doren and his family were able to grow entirely new cultures from the ground up. One of those earliest cultures was skate.

Skateboarding didn't have the shape of footwear before Vans to carefully caress the surface of the grip tape to safely flick and land ill tricks at the park.

By fashioning the correct mold, the rubber was able to seamlessly and shamelessly meet the critical need of an emerging use case.

The nature of the Vans business model being a mom and pop family shop and the nature of rubber being liquid at human artificial temperatures and solid at human normal temperatures allowed Vans to grow around the world, fit by fit.

Hello. I am Tyler Childs, entrepreneur. I work with a form of rubber that is invisible to the naked eye at human normal temperatures. This is a rubber that runs on all computers, whether at the library, as your phone, on your wrist, or even the computer that is an at home always on refrigerator server.

When was the last time you thought about your computer?

When was the last time you wished you didn't have to think about your computer?

I'd wager that moment was the same moment.

Why?

Because you are not alone.

You are not alone.

I've been around people and computers long enough to know between every person and every computer is a problem.

At first, that problem is not the computer. The computer actually promised to solve the problem that led you to the computer in the first place.

At last, the problem is now bundled with the computer.

In the moment where you were thinking about the computer and wishing you never had to think about computers, you have your original problem and whatever incurred technical debt the computer has cast upon you— a big enough problem to break you out of the problem-solving beast-mode person you are and will continue to be once you're back in the matrix properly.

You are not alone. You are not the problem. The computer is not the problem. The rubber between you and the problem and the computer is the problem.

The rubber I work with is exactly this person-problem-computer invisble rubber. I posit the solution to the problem between people and computers is readily discoverable in the streets by reducing the problem space between people and computers to a formal implementation of so called digital rubber— glue code.

So from the ground up, I'm growing a computer company the same way Paul grew a shoe company. Meeting people where they are and figuring out the best way to fashion rubber to bring people closer together. Social and technical glue.

You have custom computer problems. I have custom computer solutions.

Let's collaborate.

Enter your email to subscribe to updates.