LATEST ENTRIES

Click the post title for a direct link

[#133] [Thu, 13 Jan 2022 21:06:13 CST][news]
// RSS RE-RE-REACTIVATION & DEVLOG CLEANUP

RSS
The RSS feed has been reactivated (again) after much neglect. This time for good (srsly). Previously, the rss file was one of many that had to be manually edited each time there was an update to report, each with their own minor niches that had to be accounted for. Updating any of the projects in the freeware section, for example, meant editing the website's HTML file, the project's included README.md, the RSS feed, and any potential news entry.

Since I was already in the process of updating the site's backend, I took the time to streamline the entire feed deployment pipeline into a single script, and cleaned up about two years worth of deprecated, irrelevant news from the log.
[#132] [Mon, 10 Jan 2022 14:33:48 CST][news]
// CYRPTOGRAPHY KEY UPDATE & PROJECT F.A.Q.

We've updated our official cryptographic public key to correctly reflect our new contact info. As always, we strongly suggest you encrypt messages of sensitive nature!

PGP KEY [public encryption key]

Fingerprint: 5CD6 489B 7DD7 0F48 398F F0C1 AF88 A0A0 89BD 9B72


In other news, we're very happy to announce that XENOBYTE.XYZ saw a 300% increase in (human) traffic in the past year, totaling at ~40,000 unique visitors. This with no shilling or even social media presence of any kind.

~40K visitors! we should start a cult or something


Our email inbox naturally received a lot more action. Be it project requests, greetings from fellow cybernauts or questions regarding our freeware, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, some messages were very kind and insightful! I also took the advice to publish a F.A.Q. blog post to clear up some of the more popoular misconceptions about the site's technical details and overal purpose. I couldn't squeeze everyhting into a single blog post, the rest will follow in the future.
[#130] [Sat, 01 Jan 2022 06:13:28 CST][news]
// NEW YEAR 2022

Another twelve-month trip around the Sun. One not as dynamically chaotic as the first year of the pandemic, but thoroughly crippled by the ongoing damage. Many plans were shattered just to compensate for the extra effort required to survive, forcing some serious reconsideration as to what is truly worth pursuing and what can be set aside to make way for realistic goals, an admittedly painful process when our carefully crafted, utopic vision of the future begins to crack.
Alas, despite the most unusual hardships of the new world we find ourselves in, we also remain at the verge of maximizing the human potential. And though the challenges to come will no doubt be just as merciless as the ones already conquered, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to face and grow from the adversity.

Happy New Year

[#128] [Thu, 11 Nov 2021 11:52:43 CST][news]
// DOMAIN NAME RENOVATION & THE FUTURE

As long time visitors know, every year the site's domain name is intentionally changed during the last days of its registration period to refresh the site's brand and to encourage the constant redesign of the platform's front-end. However, in lieu of still undergoing global chaos and the sacrifices required to compensate, the current domain names of XENOBYTE.XYZ and its git.xenobyte.xyz subdomain will remain the official links in hopes of instead reaching this year's work metrics. Even if we keep receiving the occasional email meant for some other site with a similar domain.

With that out of the way, the last days of the year should see the release of at least two (free!) projects that have been slowly (but steadily) nearing completion. One of them is a C++20 network debugging tool to help develop performance-critical internet applications such as online game servers and scalping bots called Netbugger. This software, originally a client commission, was meant to be released after the game server it was being used to develop was ready, only to get indefinitely delayed along the rest of the backlog. Shortly before the client request was successfully completed, a blog post was published detailing the software architecture with at least two more posts covering the development process planned for the public release, including an update revision of the (now outdated) first entry.

The second project, also a client commission, is a Pocket_PHP-backed website that will no doubt be the framework's most ambitious showcase yet, not to mention its second, publicly available service.

Soon™.
[#126] [Sun, 03 Oct 2021 09:42:17 CST][news]
// CONTACT CHANGES & POCKET_PHP v2.2

Staying true to the current Pocket_PHP update streak, v2.2 has been released. The included templating engine was reworked to better fit non website related projects like REST APIs without compromising performance. Basic directory management functionality was added as well. Check this devlog post for a full overview of this small yet important update.

XENOBYTE.XYZ and all client services running Pocket_PHP have been accordingly updated. The notification email recipients may have noticed that it was sent from our new email address;



Henceforth, this will be our only official email.

Prompted by a recent (still in development) request, POCKET_PHP has seen its internal session management upgraded. This includes more detailed request tracking, manual cleanup of death SID files, session hijacking protection and some minor API changes. This is (ironically) a bigger update than v2.0, make sure to read this devlog entry for a complete overview of v2.1. All our client's projects and XENOBYE.XYZ have been accordingly updated.

On a side note, due to technical issues (among other things) we had to migrate two servers hosting client projects to a new VPS service. The involved clients were notified about the potential downtime, though the migration went by smoothly.
We apologize for any inconvenience.
[#120] [Mon, 31 May 2021 16:47:31 CST][news]
// POCKET_PHP v2.0 & MEDIA GALLERY OPTIMIZATIONS

Pocket_php has been updated to consolidate the small, post-v1.5 updates and a significant interface change into v2.0.
This update was originally larger, including many bits of useful code that were written for unrelated web projects running on pocket_php, alas, they were scraped to keep the engine clean. Instead, we'll be aiming to release a few more project samples to use both as framework documentation and as a showcase on how to adapt pocket_php to different designs. Check this devlog entry for more info.

XENOBYTE.XYZ itself also underwent some changes, mostly aesthetic and mobile layout details, but there were performance changes as well. The media gallery was reportedly loading at a glacial pace, occasionally preventing the rest of the page from loading correctly, leaving the background image and a handful of files empty. Among the issues were the server's limited bandwidth bottle necking the video file transfer, the site's VHS scan lines CSS SFX bugging Firefox as it tried to parse the files, but namely it was the fact that the gallery had grown too large to be served directly. No doubt it will eventually need a CDN, however, for the time being all files in the media gallery are now independently loaded by clicking the thumbnails. The site's overall CSS and backend were also upgraded, moving the project to V5.0.

Finally, we've set up a new public github account. Like the previous third-party git services, it will be used exclusively as a means to reach a larger audience and to offer an alternative source code host. The original development repos and all client projects will continue to be hosted in our private gitea service.

[#117] [Sun, 17 Apr 2021 13:11:28 CST][news]
// POCKET_PHP v1.5 & PRIVATE CAPTCHAS

CAPTCHA SAMPLE


This is a locally generated and managed, 4 character long basic captcha

Our high performance backend engine, pocket_php, has been updated to v1.52. It mainly introduces an internal captcha generator to gate keep online forms without having to rely on subversive third parties. The pocket_php implementation requires only the php-gd library, readily available in all package managers that matter and easily enabled by uncommenting the extension in the php.ini file. See the updated installation guide or this devlog entry for more info.

Accordingly, our mailing list form has been further secured.
[#113] [Sun, 21 Mar 2021 11:53:44 CST][news]
// RSS REACTIVATION AND HEXMACS VER 1.7

RSS

The website's RSS feed has been reactivated after years of neglect, you can add it to your RSS reader of choice by appending this link to the URL list. From now on, (public) project updates and site changes will also be announced via RSS, eventually we will be adding a public alternative as a secondary means to reach our user base, in the meantime, we emphasize that as of March 2021, XENOBYTE HAS NO PUBLIC PRESENCE IN ANY MAINSTREAM SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM.

On a side note, our custom EMACS configuration HEXmacs was also updated by removing obsolete packages and shifting the PHP autocomplete configuration from ac-php and php-extras to lsp-mode, which has been steadily replacing most autocomplete solutions for a while now.
The rest of the configs will be updated in due time.
[#110] [Thu, 28 Jan 2021 18:26:39 CST][news]
// LOCAL PROJECT HOSTING & NEW GITEA INSTANCE

Starting today, all our projects are being locally hosted for direct download in their respective sections, their source code will also be available in our new, public gitea instance available at git.xenobyte.xyz. To keep the codebase clean, the repo trees have been reset to remove deprecated files from versions that are no longer supported, both SkeletonGL example programs were updated to V2.0 as well.


This git host migration from third-party to locally served isn't necessarily a permanent departure from the various public git service providers, rather a preventive backup to ensure our projects remain online and as a safer, private way for our clients to keep track of their request's development. As for the previous public git accounts, they will remain inactive until the local repos are ready, once that's done they'll be cloned into a public git host for distribution purposes just as before.

It's been a busy winter so far, with many unrelated setbacks and sleepless nights, fortunately the development goals that were set the past year have been successfully met, clearing the way for future endeavors that would otherwise be postponed. This will be one interesting year.
[#108] [Fri, 01 Jan 2021 16:21:03 CST][news]
// SERVER UPGRADE & SITE UPDATES

The XENOBYTE.XYZ server has been upgraded to slightly beefier hardware to accommodate for incoming changes, including the return to locally hosted copies of all our freeware source code, as well as re-enabling the TOR hidden service that has been offline for around three months now. TOR traffic is almost negligible in comparison to that of the clearnet, but the growing uncertainty around the internet's legal limits and the shameless censorship of independent websites leaves us with no choice.

The original xenobyte.xyz server with a whopping 480MB of RAM
The upgraded server sporting 25G of storage and an entire GB of RAM
In the meantime, we've made some minor changes to the site's frontend, sorted the media gallery, and added new content to the scripts section. Version 4.3 will hopefully be ready before February.
[#104] [Tue, 01 Dec 2020 04:21:39 CST][news]
// SKELETONGL VERSION 2.0 RELEASED

After months of short yet consistent bursts of effort, the Skeleton Graphics Library version 2.0 is finally here!
SKELETONGL V2.0


This marks a very important milestone for the library as it is now in its first stable release with all it's promised features plus some more:

SkeletonGL VER 2.0 features
  • ■ Updated to compile with C++20
  • ■ Full .INI configuration file parser
  • ■ Runs on both legacy and modern hardware
  • ■ Fully compatible with legacy systems like WindowsXP
  • ■ Integrated logging, and hardware profiling tools
  • ■ Specialized shader and OpenGL debugging
  • ■ Can be compiled for virtually any modern operating system
  • ■ Compatible with all modern (version 3.3+) OpenGL versions
  • ■ Simple yet fully featured 2D rendering
  • ■ GPU accelerated primitive geometry rendering (including circles!)
  • ■ Sprite and primitive batching
  • ■ Full access to both custom and default shaders
  • ■ Automated asset loading and management
  • ■ Support for TTF and Bitmap font rendering
  • ■ Texture atlas capabilities
  • ■ Deterministic (FPS limited) and uncapped rendering
  • ■ Included post-processor with custom shader support
  • ■ Lag free input system for mice, keyboards, gamepads and joysticks
  • ■ VSYNC options, window management and multi-monitor support
  • ■ Project template and makefiles included
  • ■ OpenGL blending modes for all renderers
  • ■ Tiny codebase, has five dependencies (all free)
  • ■ Doxygen commented, includes example programs
  • ■ Fully exposed OpenGL rendering pipeline for customized builds

There were also many changes to the engine codebase to comply with better practices as well as to allow for almost total customization of the rendering pipeline. It was also stripped of all vestigial, legacy code that served as testing grounds for what today are features. See the CHANGELOG for a thorough list of the updates and this devlog entry for more information on the ver 2.0 release.

For the time being the project will be prioritizing stability, bug fixing, updating the available example programs and finishing its third official game, Risk Vector.
[#102] [Wed, 04 Nov 2020 01:34:09 CST][news]
// PROJECT REBRAND: NEOHEX.XYZ -> XENOBYTE.XYZ

It has been quite an interesting project so far, soon approaching it's first anniversary as NEOHEX.XYZ though it has been online under different names since around early 2018. Originally, the site was created to publish my projects and experiments away from the scrutiny (and staleness) of the mainstream alternatives, an independent digital sandbox from which to further my ideas. Not that it has deviated from its purpose, but around late 2018 I began taking on project requests from a handful of online contacts and eventually the public at large, promoting the then humble personal hub into the half-assed crypto-business it is today. Mindlessly jumping through different domain names as they expire is thus coming to a close to help solidify the brand.

2018 - 2019: XENSPACE.NET

2019 - 2020: NEOHEX.XYZ

2020 - ????: XENOBYTE.XYZ <--- YOU ARE HERE



The change usually happens when the domain name is close to expiry to make the most out of the original investment as well as to refresh the project's aesthetic by giving it a cool new domain every year. NEOHEX.XYZ (the third domain so far) still has around hundred days left in the registry and, it has already seen the highest amount of traffic of all the different names previously used with around 3K unique visitors every month with no marketing effort whatsoever.

Local traffic analysis (with around 20 days of missing data)
Interestingly enough, this past year has seen an increase in third-party usage of the same brand name, some of these companies / individuals even provide (comically) similar services, unnecessarily obfuscating the project from its respective result pool, and a very small one at that.

The site is still in the process of being rebranded but should be fully updated to ver 4.0 later this week. NEOHEX.XYZ will be redirected to XENOBYTE.XYZ for the remaining of its registry.
[#99] [Fri, 16 Oct 2020 13:50:49 CST][news]
// DEVELOPMENT TOOLS UPDATE

Both of our current development tools were updated to match the new versions of their respective base software. HEXmacs is now working on EMACS ver. 27+ which now has native JSON parsing (via libjansson) for much faster lsp-mode completion. This change alone has deprecated the alternatives, if you use the default javascript configuration included in HEXmacs (or any other lsp related packages) you should definitely upgrade. The HEXmacs installation guide has also been finished.

Our ricing files were also updated for the October release of arch (01/10/2020), all configurations are now working for the latest available version of their software. The volume bug that happened when toggling mute/unmute using AwesomeWM hotkeys and the unreliable image rendering in URXVT + ranger were also fixed.

Finally, the site saw some quality of life changes including modal media loading in the gallery, mobile rendering improvements and some contact changes. Updating to ver 3.5.
[#96] [Sun, 19 Sep 2020 09:31:24 CST][news]
// NEW SECTION: CODE SNIPPETS / SCRIPTS

The site has been updated with a section for code snippets worth preserving, either as educational tools or just out of pure interest. We'll be adding a complementary tutorials section in the future as well, there are quite a few subjects relevant to our work that could use some additional literature.

Updating to version 3.4.

Between the impending economic doom and the almost year long quarantine, it's been quite a challenge to keep up with the current development roadmap. However, thanks to our anonymous patrons, most of our free software projects are now production ready, with a few of them collectively powering almost half a dozen projects.

Some of our clients have agreed for their projects to be developed with our custom engines and frameworks, SkeletonGL is currently powering a (closed source) data visualization tool for crypto market analysis, while pocket_php is managing seven websites and two REST API servers with another one soon to launch.

A big thank you for your preference!

There's an interesting project that will be officially announced in the coming weeks, and that damn arcade game is close to being done. For the time being, SkeletonGL will be getting its last update before version 2.0 releases with its third example application, and the site has been further optimized in preparation for even bigger changes.

Expect some interesting news before November!
[#92] [Mon, 27 Jul 2020 07:55:07 CST][news]
// NEOHEX.XYZ VER 3.0 RELEASE & THE FUTURE

It's been almost five months since the re-release of NEOHEX.XYZ. In that time span the site has gone through an alpha and beta phase, has seen around 9K unique visitors (with zero marketing efforts), has successfully completed fourteen freelance projects for anonymous clients, collected 81 blog posts, hosted a Tibia TFS 7.4 and CS game servers, has been relentlessly hounded by Chinese webbots since launch and survived bouncing around local VPS services as they went bankrupt.

second half access log

A painful a birth as it may have been, the NEOHEX project has slowly but steadily been nurtured into the platform it was envisioned to be, receiving today its biggest update yet. Finally graduating from BETA to RELEASE.

NEOHEX.XYZ version 3.0
  • ■ The entire site has been redesigned
  • ■ Gorillions of grammar error finally fixed
  • ■ Every single project has been cleaned, updated and (better) documented
  • ■ Journal navigation updated
  • ■ Contact information updated
  • ■ Added more images to the gallery

Everything seems to indicate that the second half of the year is going to be just as wild if not more, such an uncertain future keeps plans halted and efforts costly, but never abandoned.
[#90] [Wed, 01 Jul 2020 04:27:05 CST][news]
// NEW SSL CERTIFICATE & HONG KONG IP RANGE BAN

NEOHEX.XYZ has been getting swarmed with port scans and failed ssh attempts from IPs in the range designated to Hong Kong. Since the site isn't relying on a middleman (like cloudfare) to mitigate most fake requests, we've resorted to range banning Hong Kong IPs for the foreseeable future. Despite this counter measure, the performance impact on the main server is still noticeable.

The site's SSL certificate was also renewed.

Last week, we received a request from an engineering student (hailing from an unspecified college) asking for help with his programming final project. It turned out to be a Conway's game of life, a very simple cellular automata simulation that can produce some truly astonishing results. Being a software engineering class there were a few, specific features the program had to honor that raised the complexity from a straightforward triviality and there was a relatively tight time constraint as well. The client opted to outsource the development to us and was happy enough with the final product to he gave us his blessings to release the source code for free, making it another SGL example. The project has been wiped clean of the client's data and added to the NEOHEX.XYZ projects page here.
[#88] [Wed, 20 May 2020 05:03:17 CST][news]
// QUARANTINE UPDATE

Business has been rough, two thirds of our local clients either had to cut all non immediately essential costs or straight up closed due to the financial stress this irresponsible quarantine has caused. Residing in a particularly dry area for R&D with a trendy preference for outsourcing was challenging enough without the current financial meltdown laying waste to what was left of our already crippled economy. On the flip side, our privacy focused, online engineering services have grown to an average of about 3 finished requests per month. That's 3 more requests than originally expected, specially when taking into account the absolute lack of promotional effort.

Monero has been added to the payment options, with more alternatives on their way. Updating to v2.8.
[#85] [Tue, 05 May 2020 10:03:53 CST][news]
// RISK VECTOR
FREEWARE GAME MADE IN SGL

I've been working on the next SkeletonGL example game to pass the quarantine, hence the constant commits to the repository and the lack of updates to the site. It will sport a much more complete and stable template that complements what SGL was originally built to do: render. Though it will be a simple arcade game running on a much more capable engine, its completion will finalize the development of SGL 2.0 which will enable further plans to blossom into projects.


The server underwent an unexpected ten minute maintenance this past Sunday, removed some clutter and changed some contact info as well. Updated NEOHEX.XYZ to v2.6.

If you're experiencing unusual lag, the issue most likely lies in your ISP acting as a bottleneck for the unprecedented amount of traffic currently flowing through.

As the ongoing quarantine confines more people that would otherwise be working to their homes, the increased demand for bandwidth has overloaded ISPs worldwide. Some have been affected harder than others, but overall, the stability of the internet has taken a noticeable hit that will most likely last for as long as the quarantine. That being said, should the speed of our client's services reach unreliability, they will be immediately tended to.
[#78] [Sun, 05 Apr 2020 02:24:24 CST][news]
// SERVER MIGRATION & DECONTAMINATION EFFORTS

The economic impact of the ongoing coronavirus chaos bankrupted the small VPS service provider that previously hosted the NEOHEX.XYZ website as well as one of our client's project. Both of which have been successfully migrated to new hardware. Needless to say, as we yet again approach the point of no return, maintaining all of our client's services online becomes an increasingly difficult challenge that we will not shy away from.

A few rendering issues on devices with unreasonably low resolution were also fixed, updating to ver 2.5.
stay safe, lads


Calls to NEOHEX.XYZ using the www. prefix of ye'olde now redirect to clean versions of the URL.
This to simplify linking to the site and to properly deprecate old standards that don't serve a purpose anymore. A few backend bugs were also squashed, and some contact data was updated.

Needless to say, due to the current coronavirus panic server uptime can't be guaranteed, should services fail beyond a day expect an email with a status update. For the time being, I have no option but to delay the planned announcements until the shit storm wanes down, if it ever does.

Have a fun apocalypse!
[#74] [Thu, 12 Mar 2020 09:26:21 CST][news]
// DOMAIN NAME CHANGED: XENSPACE.NET -> NEOHEX.XYZ

IP's and DNS entries have once again been updated. Same project, new name. NEOHEX.XYZ

Click the image for a link to the old stie background, originally made for a lainchan "glitchart" thread.
[#73] [Fri, 21 Feb 2020 11:12:42 CST][news]
// NEW PROJECT REPOS & BLOG #TAGS

The XENSPACE.NET projects have been indefinitely moved to a new git account here. The previous account will remain active until further notice, however, it won't be getting further updates.

Lastly, a few additions were made to the blog, namely the content hashtags that will allow for keyword based filtering of the now many entries. Updated to VER 2.1
[#70] [Sun, 16 Feb 2020 04:42:16 CST][news]
// INCOMING GIT CLEANSE

The XENSPACE.NET software repos will be moved to a new home in the near future. The current git trees lack standardization and most of the first commits are so old they are pointlessly complicating their respective records.
[#69] [Thu, 13 Feb 2020 12:12:42 CST][news]
// XENSPACE.NET [BETA] ANNOUNCEMENT

Though the site has been officially online since 2018 its services and content have been so far limited to a (very) select few, being held back by an early development status and its relative lack of priority as a side project. Despite the slow progress, steady additions to the XENSPACE.NET project have paved the way to its open BETA.

13/02/2020 - VER_2.0 [BETA]

■ Revamped the entire site
■ Added content tags to the journal
■ Renewed SSL certificates
■ Updated the contact info (including the PGP keys)
■ Added support for mobile home icon access
■ Enabled access for both IPv4 and IPv6
■ Removed all JS dependencies (except the navbar's uptime counter)
■ Updated the media gallery contents


Though there is still much to be done before declaring the site feature complete, the foundations for the future have been laid.