sudofox's journal

Austin Burk's journal, where I share little snippets of my writing, code, and dreams.

Michigan State University mass shooting: my experience

I found out when someone I knew pinged me in Discord, asking if I was okay.

I was confused at first about what he meant. I had planned to head out to campus that evening, but got diverted due to an issue with my Asterisk PBX. *1

My buddy linked me to an article (I've included a link to an archived version; the live URL has since been updated with updates from the next day.)

"Two dead, multiple wounded." he said.

I was shocked. I have friends at MSU, I go there often and my dad even works there. I switched to another Discord server that I was in, one for Spartans. Chat was moving a mile a minute. One of my friends lived on campus, so I texted to see if she was okay -- I didn't get a quick response, so I then called my dad to see if he was alright.

"I saw the email," he said, referring to a mass mailing sent out by MSU Public Safety. "I went home a few hours ago, so I'm alright."

In the Spartan Discord server, hundreds of people were talking, some listening to an internet feed of a police scanner; others were asking about where to go, and trying to eke out any usable information from the flying rumors and confused analyses. "Barricade your dorm room door," one person said, "then turn off the lights and keep quiet."

My friend still hadn't gotten back to me. By now, I'd found the police scanner and was mentally trying to match up what I was hearing with ideas of where she could be -- I had heard rumors of one of those killed being a girl. I sent her another message. A few minutes later, she finally got back to me. "I'm okay, I'm safe." Phew. We talked very briefly. "This is crazy," she said. "My roommate and I put a dresser in front of the door."

"Are you listening to the scanner?"

"I'm not, but it's quiet where we're at."

The evening dragged on, peppered with the occasional contact from friends who were checking on me, and some chatting with friends and family. One of the things that was unclear for most of the evening was the scope of the attack. The scanner traffic was mixed between people coordinating evacuations of students to safe locations, as well as reports of people with guns, bombs, across campus. I later figured out that what I was hearing was the emergency dispatcher sending people to check on reports that had been called in.

Around midnight, clearer details had come through. The suspect had left campus and gone closer towards the greater Lansing area, and having been confronted by police, turned his gun on himself. At some point I found out that the location of some of the shooting had been the Union building -- the same place I'd planned on going to before going home to troubleshoot my PBX.

Whoa. Lucky, maybe. Blessed, more likely.

Since then, I've been trying to cope with what happened. It's been a bit over a day now. Even though I'm not a student, MSU has been for years a place for me to walk, relax, think, and occasionally socialize. Sometimes I enjoyed taking evening walks next to the Red Cedar River, or visiting the dairy store, or just taking a seat by the river and whistling a tune. I'm not sure how I feel about any of that anymore.

I'm hoping to meet up with my friend at some point this week.

Tuesday morning, I visited the Sparty statue on campus. I left a few flowers.

I'm not really sure where to go from here.

*1:Maybe God's the one that broke my inbound Callcentric numbers. All it took was a `systemctl restart asterisk` to fix it. Nothing else seemed to be out of place, and I can't find any logs about what happened. Thanks be to God.

Another thing on the pile: Backyard Hatena podcast archive/transcriptions

I decided that I'd try to archive the Backyard Hatena podcast and get transcriptions made up for it. I've only got one transcription "done" and that was with something called Sonix, which seems capable, but also rather expensive considering that I have a budget of roughly zero at present.

Who knows, maybe I can convince them to give me a discount or something haha. I'll figure something out because I really want to know what goes on in the back catalogue of episodes/any new ones that come out.

It does have a pretty decent UI for editing and review

See these entries for other Hatena-related things that I've been working on archiving:

If anyone wants to help with fixing the transcription(s), feel free to submit a PR. I'd prefer to have the initial run done by machine for sake of consistency, and revisions done by human after that.

Introducing my Hatena Investor Relations Media Archive

I'm starting to run out of "easy" Hatena-related things to archive, so I've started digging into more things that I feel I haven't put enough focus on. While I'm struggling to understand the actual content of these meetings, I've started to archive Hatena's IR documents and media. I'm hoping to get these machine-captioned so that I can review them, as well as have the PDFs properly OCR'd so that I can translate them.

Hatena Investor Relations Media archive

Anyway, there it is -- At some point I'll try to add some automation so that I don't have to manually keep it up to date.

All the video assets are stored in Git LFS, similiar to what I do for hatena-app-archive.

I'm doing something a bit different here in that I've downloaded HTML from slide decks as well to try to preserve the historical context of presentations. (But I haven't rewritten it for offline viewing or anything).

At some point I'll do more with it, but I just wanted to make sure I had that base covered.


My motivation here that there's large parts of Hatena's business that I don't really have an adequate understanding of. I have a fairly comprehensive knowledge of some parts, but it's very lacking in other parts, especially where the documentation is in kanji-heavy Japanese in places where I can't easily use machine translation (PDFs, the Backyard Hatena podcast, etc)

Additionally, Hatena's stock (TYO: 3930) seems to have hit a record low of 1000 JPY today. I want to better understand why, and to gain that understanding, I need to vastly improve my understanding of the company's financials.

I still dream that one day I'll be able to work for Hatena, but unfortunately, that door still seems to be closed to me due to my location and my inadequate understanding of the Japanese language. (I am still practicing daily, but my motivation suffers from having no real pressing reason to do so.)

Introducing my Hatena Zendesk archive(r)

Today I made another one of my Hatena-related projects publicly accessible. Believe me, I have a lot more of these things.

Essentially, it should automatically archive articles from all of Hatena's Zendesk help centers.

It's in a mostly finished state, but I might add a few more things to it for completeness sake, like downloading of article attachments (which I was already doing separately)

I don't think it will be very useful to anyone when you can just visit the help centers yourself. I'm more interested in knowing when article content changes. Maybe it will be useful to other people who want to archive a Zendesk Help Center.

See also, an archive of Android apps created by Hatena:


Introducing my Hatena App Archive

I've been working for a few years on creating an archive of every version of every Android app Hatena has created. I am still missing some versions as I was not able to get them into my Google Play library, but it's fairly complete.

Versions  Package ID

I am missing several versions of B!KUMAガールズ but I believe I have all of the rest.

I also have several apps under the namespace; I don't really know if I should include them or remove them, but I have them anyway. I haven't been able to find out if they were made at Hatena or not.


Eventually I want to archive all versions of Hatena Firefox extensions and Chrome extensions, but I'm struggling a bit to properly organize and version them; for Firefox, there doesn't seem to be a proper namespace or app id system that I can pull from the .xpi; for Chrome, .crx seems to be a custom .zip format that takes a lot of extra work to pull an extension ID from.

Finally, I have had no luck getting copies of .ipa files for the Hatena iOS apps, e.g. LGTM, Blog, Bookmark, etc. I might be able to do so eventually, but I'm not super hopeful at present.


Hatena Blog Pro Campaign prizes

Today I received the prizes from the Hatena Blog Pro campaign:

"はてなブログProキャンペーンにご応募いただき、まことにありがとうございました。 はてなブログオリジナルのノート・ペンと共に、はてなブログProをご活用ください。 今後ともどうぞよろしくお願いいたします


It's very cool! I had to have it shipped through Tenso, but I'm glad it's finally here because I finally have some Hatena merch!

I don't usually post on my Hatena Blog these days because I run my own microblogging service for Hatena users called Sudo Haiku. It's just a bit of a hassle to post on both

What comes after Sudomemo?

Haven't touched my blog in a long while. A lot has happened. The Flipnote Archive was released and a lot of new things happened with Sudomemo. Sudo Haiku is over a year old now. I've branched out a bit and taken up new hobbies and interests.

I've been thinking about this a long time but at this point I have to wonder if Sudomemo is really what I want my "life's work" to be. I've put so much time into it but it's a constant battle to keep people engaged or interested.

I'm thinking about my faith. It's a critical part of who I am. But I struggle. There's things I've struggled with for years and I am acutely aware, in day-to-day moments of conviction, of where the words I speak or actions I take don't fall in line with the faith I profess. Indeed, the fact that I do feel those convictions is reassuring to me -- evidence that my walk in faith is still steady enough to maintain the worldview that reveals my own sin to me.

It comes down to time, really. The time I spend on archiving old content, maintaining a community, so much of it is spent that I struggle to reach enough motivation to continue on my latest idea or project, and have to rely on finding sudden bursts of motivation to work on a new thing all at once before it evaporates again. I just added a dark mode to Sudo Haiku, something I'd been wanting to do for a long time. It took an afternoon to toss it together.

I don't know how much of this stems from my own disability, but I've always (in recent memory) struggled to maintain focus on a project for long times. I get it, I've found workarounds, inventing motivations to push forward is something I have to do on the daily. Many times those motivations are to do with living up to the expectations of other people.

I wish to improve my faith, to bolster it, to take up the armor of God

when I face my daily struggles. I know that the way to do this is to dedicate time to immersing myself in God's Word, to fellowship with other people of faith, and to do all things to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:23-33), something that I remember trying to do in the early days of Sudomemo, albeit a bit clumsily. I've grown a lot since then and had opportunities for ministry -- a recent event was somebody I worked on a project with online reaching out to me to ask me about my faith, something that amazed me -- but I still feel like I'm not where I need to be.

This all takes me back to Sudomemo and basically all the rest of my projects and whatnot. I question whether the time investment is truly returning anything worthwhile in the form of my own personal growth -- or the personal growth of all the artists involved in the community.

I've been thinking about it for years, and I don't plan to do anything sudden, but in all honesty I've been branching out to other endeavors for a while now, trying to grow in my knowledge and abilities. That's all well and good, but what I truly need to grow in is my faith, and that takes an investment of time which I presently struggle to make.

If anything, I think I could do a much better job running a Flipnote site if I took more time to invest into my faith first. I am convicted of my own struggles and must steady myself as is written in Ephesians.