06 Jul 2020 12:37 pm

As a side effect of living in small apartments for a good ch unk of my adult life, and as the technology has gotten better, I’ve begun to eschew physical media for digital versions.

This has some serious drawbacks, as people say “you don’t really own your own digital media”, but they’re mostly referring to the content provider’s ability to revoke access, a problem we can work around by applying the older methods of digital piracy to digital media you actually paid good money for.

The downside used to be the issue of storage, but with costs / GB decreasing yearly, and the relative ease of setup of FreeNAS or similar, and the increasing size and portability of removable media, the Cloud (ie, “someone else’s computer”) should only be trusted as storage for low-value or non-sensitive data.

This diatribe was brought on by having been gifted a comic on Kindle, which is neat and all, but my vast archive of comics is mostly accessed via YAC Reader on an iPad Pro. And it turns out pulling a comic off of Kindle is surprisingly annoying.

Broken down, it starts with downloading the Kindle app onto your PC (all examples henceforth are PC-specific, as Win10 is my daily driver).

Once downloaded and installed, launch the app and log into your account.

Find the comic you want to download, right-click it’s thumbnail, and select download. That will make the media available for offline use.

On your PC, navigate to your Documnents folder, and locate the subfolder “My Kindle Content”. Unhelpfully, the folders below that are named somewhat cryptically. You may want to sort by date to help you locate the media you’ve just downloaded. You’re looking for a file with the extension .azw.

Next, you’ll need to import and decrypt the file. I use Calibre with Apprentice Alf’s DeDRM plugin, and I followed a helpful (and well-written) tutorial on how to do so.

Once installed and running, you want to drag and drop that .azw file into calibre, which will then add it into its library. Calibre doesn’t have a native cbr / cbz exporter, which is no big deal, as you can choose to convert a book to .zip format, which is all a cbz file is, an archive of sequentially named images with the .cbz extension.

Select the newly-imported comic from your calibre library choose the Convert option. Once in the convert screen, on the top right side, in the dropdown next to “output format”, select Zip, and then OK at the bottom right of the screen. Calibre will then begin exporting your imported azw into a zip file with extra formatting data.

Back on the calibre library, right click on the comic you just converted and select “open containing folder”. You’ll find your newly generated .zip file there.

Open it up, and navigate to the subfolder labelled “images”. These are the individual pages of your comic. Extract this to a folder of your choice, re-archive them all a .zip file, rename the archive to suit your organizational desire and make sure to rename the extension as .cbz.

You’ve now converted your legally purchased comic into a DRM free cbz file for use in the comic reader of your choice.

28 Sep 2019 12:59 pm

In an attempt to make my World of Warcraft time semi productive, I’ve been working on fixing my UI, both functionally and aesthetically.

The UI’s have similar thematic elements; class type is indicated by the minimap decorations and the border elements;  race type shown via border infill (the ones I’ve chosen for this post are warlocks and priests, and blood elves/nightborn and forsaken). More to come.

 

04 Sep 2019 6:58 am

I was told, a while back, that if you try to put down 300 words a day, you’ll have a novel-length something by midyear. Also, your first (few) novel-length somethings will likely be utter shit, but the act will refine you. So, here’s my attempt.

Distance Fog

I’d like to say it began when the fogs rolled in and stayed in, refusing to be washed away by the miserable low bone-chilling drizzle of the Pacific Northwest Winter. But really, i think it began the day I saw a man try to jump up the side of a building.
He’d attracted my eye because he was being suspiciously cautious in avoiding attention, attempting stealth in a pantomime so loud it may have as well been a shout. He slunk around the streetcorner into a darkened alleyway with exaggerated steps.
It seemed to work for him, though. He utterly failed to attract the attention of the early evening crowd. Curious and bored, I trailed him. Ducking under the awning of a shutterred storefront, I watched him face the wall of the building opposite, plant his foot on its surface and take a hesitant upwards hop while simultaneously planting his other foot against the wall. Unsurprisingly, he slid back down until his fifth attempt, when he didn’t. Seeming to stand on an unseen ledge halfway a few feet off the ground, he repeated the movement, getting a little higher up.
It was such an improbably bizarre thing, to watch a man take short jumps up the sheer sides of a building, arresting his downwards slide by finding purchase on ledges I swear weren’t there, but were logically most likely hidden by the fog and stinging drizzle in the evening’s half light. He made it up halfway the ten story building when I lost him to the darkness beyond the streetlamps.
Squinting hard trying to see where he had gone, I pulled out my phone and took a few quick snaps of the area I’d seen him last. Maybe I could clean it out later. Mostly it was so that I could tell myself that I hadn’t been driven mad by the grey, obscuring mist that had filled my days.

11 Mar 2017 12:27 am

While I have a lot to post about, I’m going to start with the highlight of my trip, so, have an album mostly consisting of my trip to japan!

a few musings. Tokyo has some interesting architecture. It encompasses the
60’s worldview of what a futuristic city must look like, but all the futuristic greeble festooning the buildings, the antennae and satellite dishes, or the odd horizontal windmill can now mostly be found only on downmarket structure. Fancy new buildings don’t sport these growths, at least not obviously.

Things in Japan that I wish we had in Vancouver. Real konbini, with their delicious food and useful services. An extensive and reliable train system. A large enough populace to support superniche locales like Akihabara or Harajuku.