Saturday, December 30, 2017

Abolish Red Tape and Disenfranchisement

For some time, I've been greatly worried about the unemployed homeless.  It seems that they have the least ability to participate in society.  Sure, for those down on their luck, there are government programs (e.g. welfare) and offers by private companies (e.g. "your job is your credit"), but for some people, the extent of many current government and private offers just isn't enough.  There are still some people who can't benefit from such offers.

Such offers are aimed those in the middle and lower classes - who are merely down on their luck - but aren't completely helpless.  Unfortunately, in society, there isn't often enough help for those who have absolutely nothing, and that needs to change.

Over the last few months in particular, I've grown concerned over the seemingly increasing level of identity and financial verification.  Credit scores and checks have seemingly become more pervasive, and even for getting an e-mail address from Yahoo! - or signing up for a VK account, one needs a phone number.  On top of that, there's the possibility that even prepaid phones could start requiring personal information.  It's a potential catch-22 that hurts the poor and those that have nothing.

Also, I've been shocked to learn that many banks require credit checks even for opening mere savings accounts, which I think is ridiculous.  If it were for actual loans, then yeah, I wouldn't be opposed to credit checks, but savings accounts are much lower risk, so there is no reason why banks should require credit checks for savings accounts.  All that does is disenfranchise those who need help.

Conservatives and Republicans will often complain about those gosh darn "government regulations."  But what they don't say is that they have no problem with "private regulations" - and that government regulations often times stop those "private regulations," which would have denied help for the poor.

Take Obamacare for example.  Before Obamacare, health insurance companies could deny coverage for people due to preexisting conditions, but thanks to Obamacare, that is (hopefully) no longer the case.  Denial for a preexisting condition could be considered a privately-imposed "regulation," which is just as bad and harmful to the poor as some (I emphasize the word "some") government regulations.

To me, it doesn't matter whether the regulation is from the government or a private entity - anything that disenfranchises the poor and underprivileged is bad and should be done away with - or allow the use of waivers for some circumstances.

Also, in addition to being indifferent to private regulations, conservatives and Republicans do still love some types of government regulations.  Despite their professed love for "small government," they have had no problems implementing things like the REAL ID Act - and have favored restricting LGBT and abortion rights - and have favored requiring ID at polling stations.  It sounds like Republicans aren't all that against government regulations after all.  Completely the opposite - Republicans love regulations - just not on the big businesses who actually can afford to deal with them.  And they also have no problem with privately-imposed regulations on access to health insurance, e-mail addresses, and bank accounts.

The problem with society nowadays is that there is a poor mixture of government and private policies.  My preferred system is a proper blend of government and private entities, but the system that we have in the United States - and unfortunately in many other industrialized countries - doesn't properly help those in the most need.  For instance, a government could require that someone seeking government assistance had to get a job.  However, that system could potentially be detrimental since one might not be able to find a job since private companies have the discretion not to hire people.  Some ways to fix this sort of situation (which is unfortunately very common in many countries nowadays) would be to either waive the employment requirement - or to provide an employment guarantee - an employer of last resort.  If one couldn't find employment in the private sector, then one could be assigned a job in a government or private entity.

To be fair, although I have been critical of private entities, they have occasionally done some good things to prevent disenfranchisement.  For instance, for the unbanked, there are prepaid debit cards that don't require credit checks.  Also, one can get website domains, e-mail addresses, online accounts, and Wi-Fi for free - although as I said earlier, for such services, there seems to be a growing amount of red tape, which needs to be abolished since all it does is disenfranchise the helpless.  The helpless can't improve their lives if stuck in a catch-22.  Some things should be able to be provided with no strings attached.

In the case of requiring phone numbers for e-mail addresses, having stricter photo ID requirements, and required registration for cell phones, some will say that these security measures are done in the name of fighting terrorism.  But short of stripping everyone's civil liberties, terrorism could still happen.  Increasing verification requirements wouldn't stop anything.  A perfectly law-abiding citizen could suddenly decide to become a terrorist.  Verification doesn't need to be increased - but the actual causes of terrorism need to be prevented.

The types of assistance available now do generally help (at least to some extent) those in the middle and lower classes, but they are not enough to help those that have absolutely nothing.  The poor mixture of government and private policies keeps the helpless trapped, and both government and private policies must be properly coordinated to ensure that even those with absolutely nothing can participate in society and rebuild their lives.

I Have Trichotemnomania

I have trichotemnomania - not to be confused with the more commonly-known trichotillomania.  Trichotemnomania is distinguished from trichotillomania in that those with trichotemnomania are obsessed with cutting or shaving off hair - rather than pulling it out as those with trichotillomania are.

I felt the need to make this post since trichotemnomania seems much less known as trichotillomania, and I wanted it to be more well known.  An example of a character in popular culture with trichotemnomania is Fred from Courage the Cowardly Dog.

Trichotemnomania isn't a major part of my life, but I am still moderately obsessed with shaving hair.  I should note that I've liked mowing lawns, which could be a symptom of my trichotemnomania - even though mowing lawns deals with long grass instead of hair.

Also, lately, I've been somewhat obsessed with The Simpsons, and have wanted to shave the hair off three characters in particular: Homer Simpson, Marge Simpson, and Ned Flanders.

First, Homer barely has any hair - aside from his wispy combover and hair above his ears.  Since he barely has any hair, that wispy amount that he has left looks bad.  He would look so much better if he shaved his whole head.  In fact, his head was completely shaved when he was the prison snitch in the episode "The Seven-Beer Snitch," and indeed, he looked so much more well-manicured.  If only he always kept his head shaved - and if only he also shaved off his five o'clock shadow, too.

Secondly, Marge also is a very obvious target.  Her hair looks so tall, thick, and hot - and disproportionate to her head.  If I could enter the Simpsons' world, I would take some hedge clippers and chop off the bulk of Marge's hair - and then neaten her hair up.  That way, she would still have hair - but it wouldn't be so disproportionately thick and tall.

Finally, Ned has rather thick hair and a rather thick moustache, too - both of which I would be ever-so eager to shave off.  I've tried to figure out why exactly I've felt that Ned's hair didn't look right to me, and I've lately figured that it's just too thick, rectangular, and straight.  It just looks too shaggy and somewhat aesthetically unpleasing - compared to Reverend Lovejoy's hair, who still has a nice, full head of hair - but without looking so hot and shaggy.

For some time, I've felt that my hair is too long if it sticks through my fingers.  Anything shorter than that is fine.  I like hair, but shaving it is fun, too.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Shannon Mall ASCII Logo

After waking up today, I realized that we had gotten snow, which was nice since my area hadn't had snow in probably almost four years.

Anyway, after spending some time in the snow (I wrote "트럼프" and "ПЛОХОЙ ТРАМП" and made some snowballs), I decided on the spur of the moment to remake an ASCII image of the Shannon Mall logo.

I made an ASCII image of the Shannon Mall logo on December 24, 2014, but a few months later, it was lost - along with other data that I hadn't backed up - when my original eMachines hard drive broke - after I banged on it in rage.  Since then, I never got around to remaking the ASCII image - until today.

I basically repeated the same steps that I did to make the image that I did back in 2014 (thankfully, after my hard drive broke, I still had my list of documents, which had some notes on how I made the image).  Like in 2014, I used Paint.NET and an ASCII art plugin - and loaded the same, 176x67 logo.  I inverted the colors - and reduced the size.  Unfortunately, in my list of documents, I didn't specify the size to which I shrank the logo, but since I've wanted ASCII art to be visible on a traditional 80x25 screen, I shrank the width to 76 pixels, and the height automatically adjusted (I've used numbers slightly below 80x25 to ensure that everything fits within the 80x25 resolution).  I then converted the image to an ASCII text file, and voilà, I again had an ASCII image of the Shannon Mall logo!

The above image is the Shannon Mall logo - after typing "TYPE SHANMALL.TXT" in DOSBox.  Thankfully, despite shrinking the image, it still resembles the original logo.  For anyone interested, here is the Shannon Mall ASCII text file.

I'm happy with how this turned out.  It's really cool to think that one can make images out of text characters - and that if Shannon Mall had a website in the '80s, it could have had an ASCII logo like this.  Also, I'm very happy that I have a Paint.NET plugin that allows ASCII art to be made automatically.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Fixing Lost ID Catch-22s Is So Easy

For some time - particularly the last two years - I've been aware of the catch-22 that can occur if people lose important documents like their photo IDs, Social Security cards, and birth certificates.  To get an ID, a birth certificate is needed - but to get a birth certificate, an ID is needed.

I fully understand the need for preventing identity theft and terrorism, but at the same time, honest people finding themselves in this catch-22 should be able to get their necessary documents and get their lives back in order.

The crazy thing is that fixing this catch-22 is so unbelievably simple and easy that it's amazing that it hasn't been put into widespread practice.  It's all about fingerprints.

If people find themselves losing all important documents, then all they should have to do is show their fingerprints.  At least where I live, fingerprints are taken when people get their driver's licenses, so their fingerprints should be on record.  It shouldn't even matter whether IDs are expired.  Fingerprints are unique, so they can almost certainly verify the identities of people with expired or missing documents.

This would make restoring missing documents so much easier - but still just as secure as requiring valid documents is now - and without catch-22s.

Granted, I realize that even this isn't completely infallible - in that a few select people might have sanded-off fingerprints - or some other problem that would distort them or make them useless.  However, first, verifying with fingerprints would significantly reduce the amount of people caught in catch-22s, and secondly, fingerprinting is merely a low-tech option.  With today's sophisticated technology, if people got desperate enough, their DNA could be tested to verify their identities.

I think that presenting valid documents can still be the primary, preferable way to verify identity since verification through fingerprints and DNA would be more time-consuming and possibly costly.  However, verifying through fingerprints or DNA should definitely be an acceptable and more widespread way to verify identity in the absence of valid documents.

Fingerprints, at least where I live, are taken when getting driver's licenses, so it only makes sense to be able to verify identity through fingerprints.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Process Lasso Is Almost Completely Ineffective

I don't want to keep talking about Process Lasso all the time, but I've just felt the need to go against the grain - and share my honest experience that Process Lasso hasn't been particularly useful - and to give an update on my experiences.

Since last posting about it, I finally learned why Process Lasso did absolutely nothing to stop processes like instup.exe and svchost.exe from using high amounts of CPU.  By default, under "Options > ProBalance settings ...[,]" the option "Do not act on system services" is checkmarked.

Well, no wonder Process Lasso didn't do crap.  I guess it'll work now, right?  Wrong.  It still hasn't been helpful.  In some ways, it's actually made my system worse.

Now, Process Lasso did actually start trying to restrain processes like instup.exe and svchost.exe when they used high amounts of CPU.  Hey, at least it was now trying - unlike before when it didn't do anything.  But the thing is - it doesn't even matter.  It still doesn't help.  My audio still stutters, and the processes still use high amounts of CPU - regardless of the lower priority to which they've been set.

On top of that, I've noticed another really weird thing that Process Lasso has done - in a way actually making my system worse.  On at least three different occasions (November 7th, November 15th, and today), I've noticed that whenever I do uncheck "Do not act on system services[,]" for some weird reason, Google Chrome starts using more CPU - and my audio stutters whenever I actively use Chrome.  I must stress that this is not a computer hardware problem because I never had this problem happen before unchecking "Do not act on system services[.]"  I've tried closing and reloading Chrome, but that does no good.  The only thing that works is re-checkmarking "Do not act on system services" - and then restarting Windows.  I've done that at least three times, and it has consistently fixed any audio stuttering that I experienced when actively using Chrome after unchecking "Do not act on system services[.]"  There shouldn't be any reason why my computer should be acting this way, but it has.

Process Lasso doesn't work by default by controlling the processes that need to be controlled, and even when I do adjust the settings so that it can control the right processes, it doesn't work.  Not only that, but it actually creates more audio stuttering and high CPU usage that didn't previously exist.  So the only thing that I can do - short of getting a real CPU tamer (if one exists) is to keep checkmarked "Do not act on system services" - and grin and bear the occasional CPU usage surges of instup.exe and svchost.exe.  At least the CPU usage surges and audio stuttering caused by those processes were occasional - but the ones caused by Chrome after unchecking "Do not act on system services" are much more annoying.

If Process Lasso doesn't work by default, and if changing settings creates more problems, then what's even the point of Process Lasso?

Process Lasso should make a user's experience smoother - and stop important, foreground programs from locking up, lagging, stuttering, and so on.  It does none of that.  It's almost completely ineffective.  Yeah, it'll nominally lower the priorities of some processes, but that doesn't matter.  They'll still use high CPU and cause my audio to stutter - and will cause programs to use more CPU when they didn't do so before.

I don't want to insult or criticize the designer(s) of Process Lasso, but it has just simply been a big disappointment.  Aside from helping somewhat with disk usage on my HP laptops, it has been largely ineffective.  Process Lasso should be designed so that it maintains dedicated resources for active, foreground programs.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Quake III Southlake and Shannon Mall Maps

This morning, I started working on Quake III maps for three places: 1) the High-Tech Voyager - a fictional spaceship from my story series "The Voyagers," 2) Southlake Mall, and 3) Shannon Mall.  All three are maps that I've really wanted to make, but I've dreaded doing so - especially the malls - due to their sizes and architectural complexity.  However, being a retailgeek and/or mallgeek, I really love malls, so making maps for them is practically a must.  I have a Quake III map of a mall called PadCenter, but I still want to make maps of malls that are bigger - and more importantly, have sentimental value for me.  Hopefully, I'll eventually finish all my Quake III maps.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Process Lasso Doesn't Work

In both of the past two days, I've had a more concrete example showing that Process Lasso isn't very useful.  I've had instup.exe suddenly start - causing my audio to stutter.  Since changing "Priority class" has generally not been much help, I've tried to change the I/O priority of instup.exe from "Normal" to "Very low[.]"  However, instead, I got a stupid error message that said, "You either do not have sufficient rights, or the OS does not support the specified I/O priority."

That defeats the whole point of Process Lasso!  If you can't change the priority to lower its resource usage, then what good is it!?  Seriously!  Process Lasso doesn't automatically reduce resource usage, and it won't allow manual resource reduction, either.  It serves no purpose and doesn't do what it has been advertised to do.  If it doesn't allow users to forcibly restrain resources, then it is not any different than other task managers like Process Explorer, which also give similar error messages when trying to end processes or do similar things.

If a program is using abnormally high resources, and if Process Lasso doesn't automatically restrain it, I want to manually restrain it.  I don't care about "having sufficient rights" or if "the OS does not support the specified I/O priority."  No.  I already played those games with Task Manager and Process Explorer.  Process Lasso is supposed to be different.  It's supposed to give users ACTUAL control.  If Process Lasso doesn't automatically restrain a program's resource usage, then I WILL.  I got Process Lasso for a reason - not to be given the same crap as other task managers.  I don't care if I have to use brute force to restrain a program's resource usage.  I...want...the stop - by any means necessary.  Do not give me any bullcrap error messages.

Anyway, my rant's over.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Process Lasso Seems Useless for Me

Disclaimer: I am not a seasoned user of Process Lasso, and I do not have the full version.  This post reflects the perceptions of the free version of Process Lasso by a novice user with certain expectations of the software.


I've known about Process Lasso for probably around ten years at least, but since it wasn't freeware, I didn't download it until August of this year.  For years, I was interested in Process Lasso due to the fact that it was advertised as running independently of the CPU (I may be wrong, but that's how I remembered it).  Honestly, I was a bit skeptical of that since I didn't know how a program could truly be independent of the CPU if it ran on the same hardware that the CPU controlled.  Nonetheless, I had been interested in giving it a try sometime, and this year, I finally had a stronger need to try it - due to the fact that my HP 15-AY039WM laptop has tended to have 100% disk usage for long periods of time.

Process Lasso did help a little with controlling disk usage on my HP 15-AY039WM.  However, for other purposes that were more pressing on my eMachines EL1360G-UW11P - like stopping high CPU usage of background processes, lagging, and sound stuttering upon high CPU usage, it really hasn't been very effective.

Controlling Disk Usage

In regards to controlling the disk usage of my HP laptop, Process Lasso actually has helped somewhat - at least some of the time.  I can't say that has been always the case since I still have problems with disk usage.  However, I attribute that at least partly due to the fact that, when my HP laptop has high disk usage, there's not any one program that causes it, and in the times where only one program has high disk usage, the problematic program is often different.  It's just the weird nature of my setup on the HP laptop.  I suspect that the high disk usage by multiple programs might be the result of HP's proprietary software since I have Windows 10 on my Acer AXC-704G-UW61 and have rarely had disk usage problems with it.

Also, in regards to controlling disk usage on my HP, Process Lasso did that only after I had to manually lower the I/O priority for whatever program was problematic at the time.  Still, in controlling disk usage, Process Lasso has helped at least somewhat - but not as much as I would have liked.

Controlling CPU Usage and Preventing Crashes

Process Lasso has been much more disappointing in what interested me in the program years ago in the first place - reining in CPU usage of background processes and preventing system lockups.

Once, on August 22nd on my eMachines, I double-clicked a song on iTunes, but it didn't play.  I had this happen before occasionally, but I now had Process Lasso installed, and it didn't do anything.  You could say that you can't blame Process Lasso for iTunes's lack of response, and maybe so, but afterwards, I clicked on the Process Lasso icon in the system tray, but it didn't do anything at first.  However, when the window finally did appear, it was blank, and the title bar said, "Process Lasso (Not Responding)," and it took a long time before all programs - including Process Lasso - finally worked.

Call me crazy, but isn't that what Process Lasso is supposed to prevent?  Isn't it ironic that Process Lasso itself crashed?  Even if all other programs on the computer were non-responsive, you would think that Process Lasso itself would at least have allocated resources to keep it responsive 100% of the time.  But no.  It's just like any other program.  It's vulnerable to freezing, too, and it doesn't even do anything to stop or prevent it from happening in the first place.  This proved right my skepticism from years back.

Anyway, later that same day, I was watching a video in VLC when instup.exe started (it often causes high CPU usage) - and caused the video and sound to lag and stutter - as had been the case before I installed Process Lasso.  Process Lasso had proven to be a disappointment since it didn't automatically see that instup.exe was causing high CPU usage - and didn't restrain it so as not to disrupt the video.

The next afternoon, Process Lasso again proved to be a disappointment.  After opening some web pages, the eMachines froze briefly twice.  Upon looking at Process Lasso, its graph showed two major dips in responsiveness.  Later, after opening another web page, the computer briefly froze yet again.  Process Lasso was no help.

A few weeks later, on September 14th, I set the priority level for TrustedInstaller.exe (another problematic process) to "Below normal[,]" and while I succeeded in changing the priority level, the CPU usage didn't change.

Finally, more recently, on October 11th, I changed the CPU affinity for a process in Process Lasso by deselecting one of the cores.  However, the process still caused high CPU usage - but just caused one of the processor cores to run full blast - rather than more evenly distributing the load to both cores.  It seemed to do nothing to actually reduce the usage - but just reallocated it.


Basically, Process Lasso hasn't lived up to my expectations.  I still have problems with the sound stuttering when processes like instup.exe, svchost.exe, and TrustedInstaller.exe start, and Process Lasso seems to do nothing - either automatically or manually - to lower - not reallocate - CPU usage.  Programs and web pages still lag and freeze occasionally - particularly when the background processes start, which Process Lasso amazingly does nothing to stop or control.  All it seems to do most of the time is lower the priority for Google Chrome.  But Google Chrome isn't the problem.  It's not what causes the computer to lag or freeze.  It's the stupid background processes using 40-50% or more of the CPU!

Maybe I'm being a bit unfairly critical, but I think that Process Lasso is a bit overrated.  It seems to be just another task manager because I haven't even been able to change the priorities of some processes, which has been the case in other task managers - like Process Explorer.  It doesn't really do anything.  But again, maybe I'm being unfairly critical since I am not an experienced user, and I also have only the free version.  After all, it HAS helped control the disk usage of my HP laptop somewhat, but its effect on maintaining responsiveness and preventing lockups has been nil.

My view is that background processes should use limited resources.  No one process like instup.exe should use 50% of the CPU and cause programs to stutter or freeze.  A computer should always be responsive.  The user interface should have a dedicated amount of resources to ensure constant responsiveness.  Similarly, background processes should have a maximum level of resource usage.  If one program uses abnormally high resources, how can you stop it from choking up the system if you can't even move the mouse or use the keyboard - or access a task manager - or anything like that?  There needs to be a minimum amount of resources that has to be allocated to the user interface so that users can respond to problems.  Otherwise, without those guaranteed, allocated resources, programs like Process Lasso just won't work reliably.

On a side note, I had wondered for some time how one would make a system that would set a blanket, maximum CPU level for certain programs and processes.  How would the system know what processes to limit?  Making a list of processes would be impractical since there are so many, and there could also be new ones not on the list - and processes causing high resource usage could vary from one day to the next.  That's how I came to think that the user interface should have a minimum, dedicated level of resources to ensure responsiveness.  I also thought that a maximum level could be set for programs that started after a certain point.

Around a week ago, I learned that there is actually a distinction between foreground processes and background processes, so that would also make setting maximum resource usage levels easier.  I like that the Wikipedia article "Background process" says, "On Android, CPU use for background processes is bounded at 5 - 10%."  That's how it should be in Windows.  Foreground programs should have fewer restrictions, while the background processes should have more of them.

Anyway, I realize that there might be some features in Process Lasso that I haven't tried, but my point is that, from the perspective of a novice user of Process Lasso with certain expectations - namely that it would control unruly processes and prevent lockups at a basic level, it really hasn't been effective.  Basically, my point is, to any novice users hoping that Process Lasso will stop most lags and lockups, don't get your hopes up.  Even a freeware version should have adequate functionality for novice users, but Process Lasso hasn't even achieved that.  It has helped with disk usage, but for reducing high CPU usage and preventing lockups, it hasn't worked.  Still, maybe I've been unfairly critical, but nonetheless, I think that maintaining constant responsiveness is important, and I think that Process Lasso could do better to ensure a minimum level of resources for the user interface - and to ensure a maximum level of usage levels for background processes or other unruly programs.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Joe's Blogspot Renamed to Jemascola's Blogspot

A minute ago, I renamed this blog from "Joe's Blogspot" to "Jemascola's Blogspot."  I just felt that Joe's Blogspot was too generic of a name, so using a more unique name would make it easier to find - and also more interesting.

Friday, September 29, 2017

My Newfound Interest in the Iran-Iraq War

Wow, it has been a very long time since I've posted here.  I'm not sure why exactly that is, but back when I last posted, I might have wanted to post more things relating to my dad's old car phone - or maybe just other technology things in general.  Around that time, I also started developing my Web 1.0-style website: Jemascolia.  I've liked being able to code HTML websites by hand since I could control more aspects of the site's design.  Also, I've felt that simple, HTML-only sites load faster without being bogged down with flash, scripts, etc., and also, archiving them offline is much, much easier than trying to archive, say, a Facebook post.  Anyway, whatever the reason for my absence, I've decided to post here more often again.

Since I last posted here, I've developed a fascination with history - particularly political and military history.  The direct impetus for this was in the midst of the 2013 government shutdown, but the roots for my interest go back earlier.  Anyway, since late 2013, I've been fascinated with political and military history.  My favorite era has been the Cold War-era.  I started learning more details about the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the invasion of Grenada, and the Gulf War.  However, over the last year or so, I've been particularly fascinated by the Iran-Iraq War - a major war that oddly seems largely overlooked in history.

It is odd that the Iran-Iraq War was such a major war - involving hundreds of thousands of troops - and many casualties, but yet, nobody seems to talk about it - paying more attention to the Soviet-Afghan War, which is oddly enough less interesting to me because, from what I know, there were lower Soviet troop levels and lower casualties.

Keep in mind, I'm not at all saying that high casualties and massive wars are good - it's just that, to me, conventional wars with vast numbers of troops and tanks - occupying vast geographical areas - are much more exciting and interesting than low-intensity, guerrilla conflicts.  I like the Powell Doctrine because of its emphasis on massive, overwhelming force - only to be used as a last resort.

One of the reasons why I've become interested in the Iran-Iraq War is, for one, simply because not many others seem interested in it.  As far as I know, there are only two English documentaries that I know of that focus specifically on the Iran-Iraq War: ITN's 2003 Iran/Iraq documentary (part of its Modern Warfare series) and Story of a War by Simitar Entertainment.  Sadly, I haven't found any comprehensive, voluminous English documentaries of the war - like the series Vietnam: The Ten Thousand Day War for the Vietnam War.  So just the lack of media attention on such a major conventional war (especially one similar in some ways to the Gulf War, which did have major media attention) made it interesting to me.

It also took place in the same area as the Gulf War did - another war in which I've been interested.  Indeed, one of the reasons why I took increased interest in the Iran-Iraq War was because it seemed so similar to the Gulf War - in terms of how the uniforms and equipment looked, the desert setting, and so on.  Although I don't actually remember it, I was alive during the Gulf War - but not during the Iran-Iraq War, so it's kind of interesting to see footage of events before my birth - and how they took place only a few short years before the Gulf War, with which I am familiar.  It's like déjà vu: the Gulf War already happened, so why is it happening again - or I guess more accurately, why did it happen before?

Indeed, pictures like the one above remind me of the Gulf War.  Despite my interest in the Iran-Iraq War, I'm not an expert on it by any means.  For some time, I've wondered about the setting of the above picture - and have wondered if maybe it featured Qassem Soleimani and the 41st Tharallah Division.

Anyway, the Iran-Iraq War has interested me because it was like the Gulf War in some ways.  However, in a way, it was more interesting than the Gulf War simply because it was more of a "real" war.  Combat between the American-led coalition and Iraq lasted only a month or two, the liberation of Kuwait was completed in only four days, and the vast, featureless deserts of Iraq and Kuwait were less interesting than the mountainous regions of Iran.  The Iran-Iraq War took place over eight long years, so there was potential for many more battles.

Granted, I can see why the Iran-Iraq War tends to be overlooked in history - despite being such a major war.  It was, for the most part, a stalemate.  Neither Iraq nor Iran took any huge chunks of territory from each other, and aside from leading to the Gulf War, it didn't have any major repercussions in history.  Stalemated wars probably do tend to be overlooked - simply due to the lack of major changes.  In the Korean War for example, it seems that most sources of media focus on the period from 1950 through 1951 - even though plenty of fighting did take place from 1951 through 1953.  I guess a lot of people figure that the Iran-Iraq War wasn't really worth much attention, and I understand that.

I agree that the Iran-Iraq War would have been a lot more interesting if the two countries had captured more territory - like if Iraq had gone deep into Iran - maybe as far as, say, Kerman or Tabas.  There'd be battles in different geographical areas and different situations - rather than basically the same battles being fought over and over again as was the case in real life in the Iran-Iraq War.  It would also be interesting if Iran had captured much of Iraqi territory.  From what I've found, if Iran took over Baghdad or all of Iraq, a multinational force would likely come to Iraq's rescue and kick out Iran (based on the post "Baghdad falls during the Iran - Iraq War?" and the video "What if Iran Won the Iran-Iraq War? (Part 1 of 2)").  It would be like an earlier, American-led Gulf War - only rescuing a bigger country.  It's just interesting to see how history could be different in some ways - but the same in others.  It's really interesting to see what very well could have happened in history.  Alternate history has been of great interest to me - besides normal history.

But yeah, while I can understand why the Iran-Iraq War is overlooked in history, it is interesting to me.  I think that I've just been interested in conventional desert wars in the Middle East in general since I've also been interested in the Gulf War - as well as Operation Eagle Claw.  Yes, Operation Eagle Claw is even rather interesting to me.  America was conducting military operations in Middle Eastern deserts a whole decade before the Gulf War.  We've been there for a really long time - probably too long.

Anyway, it would be nice if the Iran-Iraq War hadn't been such a stalemate - or at least covered a wider geographic area.  It would be nice if more documentaries existed about the war.  In any case, I've made my own drawings and writings based on the Iran-Iraq War.  One of my drawings is "Persian Pizza," which is a fictional pizzeria that Saddam and Khomeini opened in the desert, and another is "Battle of Basra Mall," in which Saddam and Khomeini accidentally end up in a shopping mall.  I also wrote a Full House fanfic called "Danny and the Iran-Iraq Squabble."  I found that there was a reference to the Iran-Iraq War in the episode "Half a Love Story" because Danny said, "I'm off now to patch up that pesky Iran-Iraq squabble."  I decided to write a story in which he actually tried to do that.

Anyway, I guess that's enough writing for now.