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Personal profile for pleasereadthemanual

Registered: 18 November 2021 at 8:25 pm UTC
Last Login: 15 April 2024 at 11:54 am UTC
Article Comments: 400
Forum Posts: 45
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A little about me
I most enjoy playing visual novels in Japanese. It's a fun way to learn the language, and the medium offers very unique stories. うみねこのなく頃に is a story that would have been difficult to tell in any other way. My favorite aspect of visual novels is their length; I get to spend dozens of hours with a story and characters I grow to love...or despise. I'm also fond of indie games.

What's Preventing Me From Running Linux Full-Time?

I use Linux, macOS, and Windows. Not everything is possible on every operating system, though Windows certainly comes the closest.

I like Linux the most, but some things aren't possible here yet. Those are:

  • Running Adobe software. Namely, After Effects. but also inDesign and Photoshop in descending order of importance.

  • Playing Rainbow Six: Siege online. Ubisoft needs to enable Proton support in BattlEye, and this is unlikely to happen any time soon.

Right now, I run Adobe programs on macOS and play Siege on Windows. I'd love to do both on Linux.

Buying Visual Novels For Linux

My advice for buying visual novels can be found in great detail here.

Here's the short version:

  • VNs with DRM usually don't work on Linux. Don't buy games encumbered with DRM. VNDB has a helpful tagging system for identifying the DRM status of a VN.

  • Buy from GOG! They only sell DRM-free games. They have a tiny selection of VNs with the original Japanese script.

  • Most English localization companies (JAST, for example) sell their games DRM-free. I buy from their stores instead of Steam as it is usually significantly cheaper, none of the content needs to be patched back in, and I don't need to contend with the Steam client to play my games. Steam clearly doesn't want VNs on their platform anyway, so why bother when Steam will always offer you a second-class experience?

    The vast majority of VNs on Steam have been completely stripped of adult content, but some publishers offer the content in a patch on their website. In some cases, the Steam release is completely butchered. Only 5% of Subahibi (Wonderful Everyday) is available on Steam, but Frontwing offers the other 95% of the game in the form of an adult content patch on JAST's website. Just buy the game from JAST...

  • Physical editions of visual novels have a good chance of being DRM-free, but some are encumbered by DRM. The most common type of DRM is Alpha-ROM. You can input the code that came with the disk on the SETTEC site for a profile file to bypass the Alpha-ROM check, and it will work in Wine. Most other DRM schemes don't work in Wine. Because publishers rarely tell you if the physical edition is encumbered by DRM, check VNDB or Seiya-Saiga for user reports on DRM status.

  • Some games on DLsite are sold without DRM, and you will know this if there is no warning about DRM on the store page. Some games are sold with PlayDRM, which works fine in Wine for now. Games sold with Soft-Denchi or anything else don't work.

  • Don't buy digital games from DMM, Johren, Gyutto, Digiket, or Getchu. Games sold from those stores are all encumbered with some form of DRM that doesn't work in Wine.

  • Most Steam VNs will work in Proton, but some may not be hookable with Textractor.

  • Many localized VNs do not include the original Japanese text. Be sure to check for this on the store page if this is important to you.

  • Use The Unarchiver for decompressing archives that use Japanese characters. Most other decompression tools will garble the characters and make it impossible for you to launch the game.

Learning Japanese

If you're interested in Japanese stories, you should learn Japanese! You'll get to experience a lot of media that will never be translated into English—particularly visual novels. Even with stories that do get picked up by a localizer, plenty of it gets lost in localization because of how different English and Japanese are. Let's not even talk about bad translations.

I helped write a guide for reading visual novels in Japanese, which provides some advice for beginners.

Here are some tools I use for learning Japanese:

  • mpv - the only media player worth using

  • Anki - the only flashcard program worth using. It decides when to present cards to you depending on your answers

  • Yomitan - browser add-on that allows installation of J-J and J-E dictionaries to lookup Japanese words/phrases/kanji. Successor to Yomichan, and uses MV3

  • AnkiConnect - programmatically create and update Anki Cards from Yomitan lookups

  • mpvacious - automatically copy subtitles to clipboard (with clipboard monitoring turned on in yomitan) to lookup words in background, then create high-quality flashcards in Anki by inserting a screenshot/audio snippet from the show

  • easycrop - mpv plugin that allows non-destructively cropping part of the video (useful for cropping out hardsubs)

  • ames - quickly capture audio and images from other native material like VNs. It automatically updates the last flashcard edited using AnkiConnect with the audio/image captured by ames

  • Aegisub - retime subtitles

  • Wine - compatibility layer for Windows programs. What most of my visual novels run on

  • Lutris - a game/Wine manager for Linux

  • Textractor - automatically hook (most) VN text (only works through WINE)

  • Transformers OCR - for unhookable text

  • unarchiver - decompression program for archives encoded with Japanese text

My Stance on Free Software

I'm an advocate for free software, but don't believe all software needs to be freely licensed. Likewise, I don't view free software as ethical just for being free software. The license is important, but the code is far more important than the license.

The purpose of a free license is not to declare software ethical; it is to give users power over the software to ensure it can be ethical. With any other license, the software is in control, and the only ones who can control the software are the developers. Therefore, the developers are in control, not you. With free software, there are no uncertainties, compromises, or broken promises. There's just you and the code.

For it to be called a personal computer, it must be yours.
PC info
  • Distribution: Arch Arch
  • Desktop Environment: KDE Plasma
  • Do you dual-boot with a different operating system? Yes Mac
  • RAM: 32GB
  • CPU Vendor: AMD
  • GPU Vendor: Nvidia
  • GPU Driver: Proprietary
  • Monitors: 1
  • Resolution: 3840x2160
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • VRR (Variable refresh rate): No
  • Main gaming machine: Desktop
  • Gamepad: Xbox One
  • PC VR headset: Not planning to get one
  • Session Type: Wayland
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