there is no problem for which X11 forwarding is the correct solution

these days i spend most of my time trying to trick my university into awarding me a degree by designing digital machines in hardware description languages and drawing them out in fancy CAD programs, transistor by transistor. designing CMOS circuitry is a fantastically hard problem necessitating a fantastically complex solution, and i am sick of dealing with things that are fantastically hard or complicated

let’s take a look at some ingenious, simple things


this is a tricam. it is comprised of exactly two components pictured above. it is no more complicated than it appears

i have never, nor do i ever plan on, climbing a mountain. i know nothing about mountain climbing

people who climb mountains frequently need to anchor and re-anchor themselves to the mountain so that when they fall, they stay stuck to the mountain and don’t splatter. this is problematic as they must carry numerous anchoring devices with them as they ascend which contribute to their mass. they also contribute negatively to the climber’s bank account as mechanically advanced anchoring methods such as spring loaded camming devices tend to be exceedingly expensive

the traditional (read: old) method of doing this involved pounding metal stakes into the mountain and hoping they’d hold. the people in charge of protecting the mountains often do not want weird hippies-crossed-with-X-games-athletes punching a bunch of holes in the mountains every time they want to climb the mountain, so this method has fallen out of favor

what do you do?

you use a tricam

the tricam works in two ways. let’s look at the first, boring way:


you shove this shit into a crevice in the rock. your dumb ass hangs from the rope-y part exerting a large downwards force (red arrow). the tricam, wedged in the rock, responds with an equal & opposite friction force as it cannot easily pass through the rock. yawn

the second, interesting way is ingenious:


we assume the previous setup: this shit is wedged in rock. the rope-y part attaches to the top of the cam and sits in a groove cut laterally in the cam. this allows the downward asshole force (red) to be translated into a strong torque on the came (blue). the cam “wants” to rotate per this torque, but cannot as it meets the mountain surface

what you get here is an anchor that digs into the mountain (securing you) according to how much downward force is applied. genius

this thing costs me $10 and weighs about half an ounce. compare to

moving on

it is only a very recent phenomenon, historically speaking, that european countries have ceased trying to exterminate each other (for the most part). volumes upon volumes of historical texts outline the brutal forever-war occurring just a mere century ago. what i’m about to talk about has to do with one specific incident in this anthology of bloodshed occurring in france during the middle ages

as we all know, france is full of assholes and really really good programmers. during this period there was also a population of disgusting slovenly burgundians and hideous dutch residing in some-fuckin-part-of-france that the french didn’t take kindly to. they were known as the flemish. just like any population at this time, you had a 99-to-1 mix of starving stupid peasants catering to genuinely evil aristocrats

the french jerks hated the flemish and wanted their dope cities so of course they waged a bloody, brutal war against them. on the french side, you had a relatively small number of well-trained knights on horseback clad in all sorts of fancy french fuckin armor. they were super french about it, is the best way i can put it

on the opposite side you had bumbling illiterate peasants who didn’t much care about borders and chivalry and all that crap and just wanted to protect their shit. they weren’t soldiers, were not in a military, were poor, and did not have access to any real armaments

they took to the primitive crap laying around their fields and invented the goedendag:


they owned the shit out of the french jerks with this simple spear-lookin thing. a bunch of idiot dirt farmers obliterated french knights who did nothing but train and do gay shit like read books all day

it was called the goedendag because “goedendag“ sort of meant “good day!” back then and i really cannot tell you how funny that is

just like the tricam, this shit is dead simple. you have a pokey spear part at the tip. behind that, you have a big fat flared base made out of iron or whatever they could find that was heavy. all of this sat at the head of a really thick wooden shaft

here’s what would happen: french jerk sees flemish idiot. flemish idiot brandishes what looks like a caveman speer. french jerk chuckles to himself arrogantly all french-like. french jerk charges flemish idiot

before they collide, flemish idiot genius plants back end of spear-thing into ground and aims it at the knight’s horse. the mass of the spear-thing plus its angle into the ground/towards the knight guarantees its not going anywhere. the horse slams into the pointy end of the spear-thing and gets fantastically injured. the big flared base thing prevents the horse from impaling itself further through the spear, which prevents the horse from mauling the fleming

at this point, the horse freaks the fuck out as horses tend to do. this throws the french asshole off the horse onto the ground, which is the worst place to be if you’re wearing a bunch of heavy armor. the flemish idiot proceeds to beat the knight senseless with the mass of the spear club-thing i guess, now. armor like that is really only useful against slashing and piercing, but when you start mauling someone in it you leverage the fact the armor is heavy and moves independently from the dick inside it. you break a lot of their bones real quick

this stupid spear-thing was ridiculously, ridiculously effective against the french. the french eventually won that war, but not before suffering embarrassing losses at the hands of, again, dirt farmers. this is analogous to my spindly scrawny ass taking out a team of navy seals with nothing but a football helmet, a sock full of quarters, and a doctor pepper

good things are simple things