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Month: September 2019

Removing the 60fps limit in Dead by Daylight

Removing the 60fps limit in Dead by Daylight

It seems that as games target more platforms on release, they are increasingly dumbing down the controls and limiting features to the lowest common denominator platform. For PC’s, this means suffering with frame rates that are often capped at 60fps. Dead by Daylight doesn’t even allowing you to change the FPS limit in the PC game. Those that have tried increasing the limit have run into various animation/physics bugs – indicating that this limit is due to lack of validation, poor programming, and game engine issues.

How-to:

To change the VSync or FPS limit, exit Dead by Daylight then edit the GameUserSettings.ini file located in your user directory:

C:\Users\'yourUsername'\AppData\Local\DeadByDaylight\Saved\Config\WindowsNoEditor\GameUserSettings.ini 

In the GameUserSettings.ini file, change the following line to whatever you want your max frame rate to be. I have a 144hz display, so I set mine to this:

FrameRateLimit=144

This next step is not required if you just want to set the FPS limit, but you can also to turn vsync on/off by changing this line to true/false respectively:

bUseVsync=False

Save file. Play game.

Source: https://steamcommunity.com/app/381210/discussions/0/1741106440032943073/

Dandy, the inspiration for Gauntlet

Dandy, the inspiration for Gauntlet

I’ve met Ed Logg before, the programmer/creator behind the arcade classics Gauntlet and Gauntlet II and attended his GDC talk in 2012. (I was the one that asked him the question about those that could play forever at 42:53)

Logg was inspired by this Atari 8-bit game called Dandy, developed by John Howard Palevich as his undergrad thesis project at MIT. Some have suggested the ‘inspired by’ was a lot closer to ‘directly copied’, but it was resolved without lawsuit – Palevich got a free Gauntlet arcade system and is now listed with ‘special thanks’ in the credits.

Check out some of the gameplay from Dandy (below) and see how many similarities you see (4 play co-op, monster movement, etc)

For a little extra fun, check out Ed Logg’s first, unreleased, Atari game – called ‘Maze Runners’ and to see how he developed

How easy is it to film anywhere with any background?

How easy is it to film anywhere with any background?

I love visiting the real-life places where my favorite films were shot. But very soon, that will be a thing of the past.

There probably isn’t a tv show on at the moment that doesn’t use at least a half-dozen of these tricks today. Check out how easy it is to create any scene with cheap, off the shelf computers and cameras

Noobie guide to 5.56 AR rifle ammunition.

Noobie guide to 5.56 AR rifle ammunition.

When I was first learning about AR 5.56 chambered rifles, there was a lot of confusion about what ammo to buy. This is the guide I wish I had.

First off, if you are training or bought a rifle – GO READ THE MANUAL FOR THE RIFLE. Hopefully you did research on what you were buying before you went to the store. Now you need to go read the manual for your rifle. You have just been handed or just bought a tool that is more lethal than an automobile – and therefore deserves at least the same amount of training, education, and practice as driving does. Take that to heart. A weapon is a very powerful tool – a tool that is only as good as the person wielding it.

After you have this tool and read the manual – it is now time for practice and training. Just like a car, you should find a certified instructor and a safe place to practice. Finally, you need to buy the fuel for your car: the ammunition. Many training programs ask you to provide your own ammunition even if they are providing the rifle. So imagine my surprise when I found LOTS of confusion about what to buy for 5.56 chambered AR rifles. Lets go through them one at a time.

Topic 1: 5.56 vs Remington .223:

In purchasing ammunition, you’ll soon see people selling .223 ammunition for your 5.56 weapon. You’ll see forums where people will tell you one works in the other, others say you cannot. Adding to the problem is that Remington .223 (also called 223 Rem or just 223) and 5.56 rounds will usually fit in either rifle. Some people will swear by and even fire 5.56 rounds in a weapon chambered for .223 Rem and vice versa. So what’s the difference?

To be clear: 5.56 ammunition and rifle chambers are not the same as Remington .223 ammunition and rifle chambers, but there are combinations in which where one kind of ammunition can be safely used in the other rifle.

The summary is this: 5.56 rounds generate much higher chamber pressures than Rem .223 rounds. 5.56 weapons have very slight differences in the chamber dimensions and are designed to withstand the higher pressures of 5.56 rounds. .223 Rem weapons have chambers that are NOT designed for the higher 5.56 pressures and have slightly different dimensions that match .223 rounds. The difficulty is that the differences are small enough that either round will fit, and usually fire, in either weapon.
Because 5.56 chambers can withstand higher pressures, it is safe to fire .223 Rem cartridges in any gun chambered for 5.56. But, it is not recommended and it is not safe to fire 5.56 cartridges in a firearm chambered for .223 Rem. Sure – it might work hundreds of times or even for years, but eventually, the extra pressure stress of 5.56 rounds in a .223 Rem chambered rifle may cause feed issues all the way to catastrophic failures (chambers that explode when you fire them).

Sorting .223 vs 5.56 - Calguns.net
Check your head stamps – Remington 223 on the left, and 5.56 NATO on the right. Do NOT put 5.56 NATO into a gun chambered for 223 Rem – but the reverse can be done.

The actual technical differences between the rounds is quite fascinating if you’re interested. It is especially important if you’re interest in reloading your own rounds. Go read tons of more technical details here or see this video here.

Always check the stamps on the end of the round and make sure you’re putting the right ammo in the right weapon.

Topic 2: 5.56 vs 5.56x45mm vs 5.56 NATO

Now for some terminology confusion. Is 5.56 the same as 5.56x45mm, 5.56 NATO, or 5.56x45mm NATO? Ugh – it was so confusing. Many times it just seemed sloppiness in the description, but other times there are real differences.

Summary: 5.56, 5.56x45mm, 5.56 NATO, and 5.56x45mm NATO are not always the same round – though for practical purposes they are and will fire in a weapon designated as 5.56. 5.56 is usually just a shortcut for 5.56x45mm. There are no 5.56 rounds that are other than x45mm that I have run across. So, 5.56, 5.56×45, and 5.56x45mm are the same designation.

Having a NATO stamp and not having one does indicate a real difference. The NATO stamp is an indication that the NATO spec has been followed when making the round. An official 5.56 NATO round will have a little cross in a circle stamped on it:

223 REMINGTON AND THE 5.56X45mm MILITARY/NATO CARTRIDGE AND CHAMBERS «  Western Powders
Note the + in circle headstamp to ensure it is a 5.56 NATO round.

However, you might run into rounds without the NATO stamp but say 5.56 such as these rounds from Prvi Partizan:

223 REMINGTON AND THE 5.56X45mm MILITARY/NATO CARTRIDGE AND CHAMBERS «  Western Powders

Having a NATO stamp or not often has to do with how primers are seated and other technical facts about how the round is made – but they should work in your 5.56x45mm chambered rifle. Personally, I only stick with the 5.56x45mm NATO rounds. For me, consistency of quality in the round is more important than saving a few dollars on a box. Rounds without the NATO stamp might indicate lower quality standards and have lower tolerances – so use your discretion.

The takeaway is that 5.56, 5.56×45, and with/without the NATO designation are designed to work in your 5.56 chambered rifle. Again, you should not put 5.56 rounds in a .223 Rem chambered weapon.

Topic 3: Grains: 40, 55, 62, 77, and 80 Grain Rounds

The story doesn’t end there. There is also the weight and composition of the round. Lets start with grain. What’s the difference between 5.56x45mm 55 grain, 40 grain, 77 grain, and other grain amounts?

First, an anatomy and terminology lesson. The term ’round’ or ‘cartridge’ refers to the entire package: its casing, powder/propellant, rim, primer, and bullet. Ammunition is the plural of round/cartridge. A bullet only refers to the solid projectile (tip) propelled from the end of the cartridge when the gun is fired:

Ballistics

The bullet part is measured in a unit of mass called grains (abbreviated “gr.”). One pound is equal to 7000 grains, and there are 437.5 grains in an ounce. This is the metal projectile part of the bullet that leaves the barrel while the casing pops out and onto the ground.

5.56 rounds usually are in the 40-80 grain range. 9mm handgun rounds are in the 115-140 grain range. A 50mm BMG round is a monstrous 750 grains. The most common 5.56x45mm round is 55gr. A 40gr bullet weighs less, a 70 gr bullet weighs more. So why are there heavier or lighter ones – and should I pick one?

People argue endlessly about this topic. Some argue heavier rounds have more ‘stopping power’ others argue about overpenetration, accuracy, distance, etc. A VERY common mistake is saying that the weight in grains has to do with the amount of powder in the round. The reality is a heavier grain round might have more powder or it might not. The most important part is to get the right one for your weapon – and the right one for your shooting goal.

You read the manual as first indicated – right? 🙂 Did it mention anything about round weight? Or perhaps you noticed a barrel twist amount? I’m going to do a mediocre job summarizing this topic – so go read more later – but this should get you going.

One of the great accuracy improvements in early firearm design was the creation of groves INSIDE the barrel where the bullet travels. As the bullet travels down the rifle, the groves start the bullet spinning – and this rotational spin creates stability in flight – which translates into accuracy at distance.

Twist rates as a ratio – smaller ratios as more rotations

There have been whole fields of study done on barrel length and twist rates along with how projectile size, shape, weight, and length affects accuracy, power transfer, and various other performance characteristics. Depending on your target distance and goals, you might choose different combinations of round and barrel. A marksman hitting targets at 800 yards has very different requirements of his rifle and bullet than a SWAT team clearing rooms in a tight building.

Most rifles have barrel lengths and twist rates that make certain rounds give the best performance. While you might hear that the bullet weight dictates the twist rate (or vice versa), this is not entirely true – but usually true enough for our purposes here. The reality is that when comparing bullets and twist rates – length of the bullet has more to do with the best twist rate than weight alone – but heavier bullets are often longer in length to achieve the extra weight – so it’s a pretty good measure in most cases. Still, this is a good reminder to be cautious and read solid research papers when reading about topics like twist rates, weights, accuracy, and other performance characteristics because many online ‘experts’ dangerously over-simplify.

At any rate, a simplified chart for 5.56 twist rates to round weight looks something like this:

Ideal Bullet Weight vs Twist, Shooters Log

So what happens if I mismatch the weight and twist rate? It won’t damage your rifle, misfire, or jam. Instead, all that happens is your accuracy usually goes down. If you fire a 62 grain round in a 1:9 twist rate barrel (as opposed to a 1:8 or 1:7 twist rate barrel), the only difference you will likely notice is that it is slightly less accurate than shooting a 55 grain round in a 1:9 twist rate rifle.

The takeaway is this: all of these rounds will work perfectly safely in any twist rate barrel. You can put any weight bullet in any twist rate barrel – but mismatching them will result in lower/more inconsistent accuracy.

Summary: For most AR platforms with standard twist rate barrels, a 55 grain bullet is what you want. Consult your manual. The best advice says to start with what is recommended for your rifle until you are proficient enough to know what you’re doing to choose otherwise.

This leads us naturally into the next topic.

Topic 4: Full metal jacket, penetrator, frangible and other rounds

Now we get into bullet composition. What is that little bit of metal that flies out of my barrel made of and why does it matter? Again, you’re going to run into MASSIVE amounts of people talking about all kinds of exotic rounds and why you should be using them. Lets stick with the basics.

Full metal jacket or Ball: Sounds scary and imposing – but it’s really the most common and standard kind of round. A full metal jacket round (FMJ) is just that – a bullet made of a soft core (often lead) encased in an outer shell (“jacket”) of harder metal. In military nomenclature, the full metal jacket round is often labeled ball ammunition. 5.56 often has a uniform lead core with a copper/copper-nickel jacket or shell. A bullet that has a jacket generally allows for higher muzzle velocities than bare lead without depositing significant amounts of metal or damaging the bores from steel or armor-piercing core materials.

Summary: the full metal jacket rounds is your bread and butter ammunition for your 5.56 rifle. They’re designed to shoot it above all other types. This is almost certainly what you should buy for the range or practice as you learn. It’s often the cheapest and easiest to buy in bulk.

Penetrator or Green Tip: You might see ‘green tip’, perpetrator, or M855 62gr 5.56x45mm rounds. What about them?

These rounds differ from the standard ball or full metal jacket rounds in that they often have a hybrid core designed to penetrate targets better. A full metal jacket core is usually uniform material inside the metal jacket. But as you can see below, penetrator rounds are often a mix of the full metal jacket core with a smaller, steel perpetrator part.

M855 Cutaway, Bearingarms.com

Will these fire safely in your 5.56 and can I use them every day? Yes. However, depending on your barrel length, twist rate, and other factors – these often turn out to be not as accurate or consistent as full metal jacket rounds on many stock rifles that have 1:9 twist rate barrels. Again, a 1:9 twist rate barrel is best suited for 55gr ammo and may be slightly less accurate shooting 62gr rounds. There’s also some evidence that hybrid core rounds can never be as balanced as bullets with uniform cores – which results in less accurate flight. Here’s some further info and we’ll talk more on that in Paul Harrell’s video below.

Hollow point, Jacketed Hollow Point, and Soft Point:

Instead of more penetration, you might want LESS penetration in some cases.

FMJ Bullets - Fog Ammo
Full metal jacket rounds

Full metal jacket and penetrator rounds tend to have high accuracy and hit targets while maintaining their velocity. While this is great for range and target shooting because it offers a consistent performance when training – in real situations it often means the bullet exits the back of the target at high speed and continuing on to hit further targets.

Hollow Point Bullets - Fog Ammo
Hollow point rounds

Hollow point and soft point rounds are designed to stop inside their target. It does this by expending their energy into the target. It does this by opening up like a mushroom as soon as it hits a target. It’s much like a fist. A fist is easy to push through water, but open your hand and it gets much harder. The energy gets expended into the target instead of just traveling through it. This is a desirable trait if you are using the rounds for personal defense and hunting.

Hollow point rounds get their name from the fact they have a tip that has a hollow space. This means when the hits a target, it immediately expands like opening an umbrella the wrong way in a wind storm.

Soft Point Bullets - Fog Ammo
Soft point rounds

Soft point rounds are as they are described, the points often expose the soft lead core. The soft tip expands on hitting the target, but not as much as hollow points. These are good for large game that have tough, thicker outer hides.

Will these rounds work in your 5.56? Yes – without issue. Just pay attention to their weight in grains and recommendations. Also be ready to pay more and only buy in small quantities. These rounds become highly specialized for their purpose and often sell in small quantity boxes for home defense.

Summary: If you’re going to the range to practice, it is probably best to stick with full metal jacket since they are cheapest and don’t need the specialized features of hollow and soft points.
Read more here.

Putting it all together:

Paul Harrell has a great YouTube channel. One of the things I like about him is that he’s got an great amount of military/police training and knowledge. He also backs it up with actual, very practical, demonstrations. Here he does a comparison of a standard 5.56 NATO XM193 55gr round and a M855 62gr perpetrator round.

You should now be able to combine everything we’ve learned and understand what he’s talking about. And learn a little about how to listen critically to many online ‘experts’.

Links:

Do NOT consider these definitive or completely accurate. I used them for reference of various bits and pictures I needed.

Setting up a Raspberry Pi-hole

Setting up a Raspberry Pi-hole

Ad blockers such as uBlock Origin and Adblocker make the web usable – but are not available on every platform and not of the same quality.

Pi-hole is an Linux-based server setup that absorbs ads by filtering DNS requests. You set up the Pi-hole server on a simple Raspberry Pi, set your devices to use the pi-hole server to resolve DNS entries, and voila – any requests to ad sites are immediately and transparently absorbed.

This is far superior to ad block applications for a few reasons. First, because the websites doesn’t even know you’re using it, you will never get those annoying ‘disable adblock to continue’ messages. With a little extra work, you can make your wired/wireless router also run DNS requests through it so that all devices wifi connected phones/laptops/game systems/etc get free ad filtering.

I just set one up this weekend on a raspberry pi and it’s been interesting to play with so far. Pi-hole has been a bit too fiddly in the past, but seems to be working pretty well these days with a slick web interface and easy installation. So far, it has worked really well – but I do occasionally get a false positive and have to turn the filtering off. I’ll give it a few days and see if it grows on me.

Here’s the instructions I used: https://blog.cryptoaustralia.org.au/instructions-for-setting-up-pi-hole/

Changing the DNS for your Win10 system while still using DHCP:
https://www.windowscentral.com/how-change-your-pcs-dns-settings-windows-10

Setting up SSH after install on your raspberry pi so you can access your pi hole via windows/putty/etc.
https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/remote-access/ssh/

Here’s the parts list from Amazon:

Raspberry Pi 3 b+ Case, iUniker Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Transparent Case with Raspberry Pi Heatsink for Raspberry Pi 3B+, 3B, 2B – Access to All Ports (Clear) $5.68
Samsung 32GB 95MB/s (U1) MicroSDHC EVO Select Memory Card with Adapter (MB-ME32GA/AM) $7.49
Element14 Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Motherboard $36.97
iTrunk Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ (B Plus) Power Supply, 5V 2.5A Extra Long 2M Micro USB Power Supply Charger Adapter for 2018 New Version Raspberry Pi $8.15
Federal Ammunition SKU identification

Federal Ammunition SKU identification

When purchasing 5.56 ammunition, it’s important to purchase the right kind. Federal Ammunition makes some very good products, but when I was first looking this up, there was a lot of confusion about the different product SKU’s. There was XM193, XM193BLK, XM193A, XM193AF, etc – even M193. Which should one get?

As it turns out, there is NO difference between any of the XM193 SKU’ed rounds. All of them are the same spec and manufactured 5.56 round. The ending designations are 100% to indicate the kind of packaging they come in. That is it.

M193 is also 5.56, but has different tolerances/specs than XM193. “M” by itself means that it must meet military specification (mil-spec) while “XM” means it does not. Mil-spec is very stringent and even a small thing out of specification can lead to tons of ammo being rejected. It is also usually illegal to purchase “M” specification (since it should be going to the military) – and reviews show XM shoots just as well in most circumstances.

So now that we know that all the different XM193 round flavors are the same round but in different boxes – what do those different ending designations mean?

SKUDescriptionAppearace
XM193XM193 5.56, 20 round brown box. 25 of these small boxes are often packed in a larger brown box to yield 500 rounds per case.
XM193F“Packaging for XM193 is now done in Anoka, so a new part number (XM193F) was needed for FET purposes. THIS IS THE SAME ammo as XM193, and XM193C.”
Example
Federal Lake City 5.56mm NATO XM193 Ammo 55 Grain FMJ BT
XM193BKXM193 5.56, Loose Bulk, 1000 rounds per case. Not as pretty as the boxed stuff as some note that rounds may get small dents during transit, but hasn’t been considered to cause actual firing problems.
Example
223 Remington (5.56x45mm) 55gr FMJ Federal American Eagle Ammo Case (1000  rds)
XM193A and XM193AFXM193 5.56 rounds packed in ten round stripper clips, 900 per case.
Example
Lake City 5.56mm Ammunition 30rd box on stripper clips
XM193CXM193 5.56 commercial package. American Eagle Tactical “Black Box,” 20 round box.
Example
Floral Dresses: American Eagle Xm193 Ammo
XM193CBPXM193 5.56, commercial package. American Eagle Tactical “Black Box”, Loose rounds in 200 round bulk (value) pack.
Example
223 Remington / 5.56 NATO-https://shopwilsoncombat.com/
XM193BLXM193 5.56 in a 100 loose packed box. ExampleFederal American Eagle 5.56 x 45mm
XM193BXXM193 5.56 in 20 rounds per box.
Example
5.56MM NATO 55 GR FMJ BT
XM193ML1
XM193 5.56 in an ammo can of 400 rounds.
Example
XM193BK420 AC1XM193 5.56 in an ammo can of 420 rounds
Example

All of these boxed rounds have the EXACT SAME kinds of rounds in them. It is purely a packaging difference. Take their word for it. Here’s a copy of their fact sheet on it:

So, next question, what do those different designations mean?

Links:

Google hand tracking now open source

Google hand tracking now open source

Google has made its hand detection and tracking tech open-source, giving developers the opportunity to poke around in the tech’s code and see what makes it tick.

“We hope that providing this hand perception functionality to the wider research and development community will result in an emergence of creative use cases, stimulating new applications and new research avenues,” reads a blog post from the team.

That post over on the Google AI Blog dives into exactly how the tech works, and devs interested in getting a closer look at it can find the project over on Google’s Github repository.