18 June 2024
[tech] How to Copy a File From a 30-year-old Laptop … A technology archaeology story. ‘While the laptop has no networking software, it does have fax software. We confirmed the modem could dial, so this might just be crazy enough to work. The first question was how to turn the audio file into something faxable. The laptop contains a collection of games. Alongside them is a resource editor, called ResEdit, which had previously been used to inspect and modify the aforementioned games. Let’s see what it can do…’
17 June 2024
[q&a] Jon Ronson: ‘It’s getting harder to be optimistic’… A “This Much I Know” Q&A with Jon Ronson. ‘I’m scared of not being able to work. That’s why I wrote You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, because being publicly shamed and prevented from working is the biggest horror I could think of – not so much the shaming part but the being prevented from working part.’
11 June 2024
[comics] Why is the Sonic comic so controversial? … A really fascinating look at the personalities, controversies and lawsuits around Archie’s long-running Sonic The Hedgehog comic.

10 June 2024
[polictics] What Have Fourteen Years of Conservative Rule Done to Britain?… A powerful look at what years of Tory leadership have done to Britain. ‘In the accident theory of Brexit, leaving the E.U. has turned out to be a puncture rather than a catastrophe: a falloff in trade; a return of forgotten bureaucracy with our near neighbors; an exodus of financial jobs from London; a misalignment in the world. “There is a sort of problem for the British state, including Labour as well as all these Tory governments since 2016, which is that they are having to live a lie,” as Osborne, who voted Remain, said. “It’s a bit like tractor-production figures in the Soviet Union. You have to sort of pretend that this thing is working, and everyone in the system knows it isn’t.” The other view sees Brexit as an unfinished revolution…’
5 June 2024
[comics] Greatest Comics Of All Time as Chosen by 45 Writers and Artists… Al Ewing on Dan Clowes Ice Haven: ‘It’s really hard to pick a favorite from Dan Clowes’s work, and I actually like The Death Ray more, but in many ways this is the perfect starting point for a modern Clowes enthusiast-a small town mystery presented as a collection of one-page comic strips. It’s filtered through the various personalities who live there, each with their own voice, which Clowes communicates through shifts in his own style, showing off his absolute mastery of the medium and the comics form. He’s arguably the greatest cartoonist living today, and you owe it to yourself to read his work.’
4 June 2024
[music] Hear the Song Written on a Sinner’s Buttock in Hieronymus Bosch’s Painting The Garden of Earthly Delights‘Several years ago, the Internet became excited when an enterprising blogger named Amelia transcribed, recorded, and uploaded a musical score straight out of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, painted between 1490 and 1510. The kicker? Amelia found the score written on a suffering sinner’s butt. The poor, musically-branded soul can be seen in the bottom left-hand corner of the painting’s third and final panel, wherein Bosch depicts the various torture methods of hell.’
3 June 2024
[space] A Few Notes on the Culture, by Iain M Banks … The Culture explained. ‘The galaxy (our galaxy) in the Culture stories is a place long lived-in, and scattered with a variety of life-forms. In its vast and complicated history it has seen waves of empires, federations, colonisations, die-backs, wars, species-specific dark ages, renaissances, periods of mega-structure building and destruction, and whole ages of benign indifference and malign neglect. At the time of the Culture stories, there are perhaps a few dozen major space-faring civilisations, hundreds of minor ones, tens of thousands of species who might develop space-travel, and an uncountable number who have been there, done that, and have either gone into locatable but insular retreats to contemplate who-knows-what, or disappeared from the normal universe altogether to cultivate lives even less comprehensible.’
29 May 2024
[politics] Tory Policy Generator … Generate a Tory Policy for Election 2024. ‘Hard Working Common Sense Fox Hunts’
28 May 2024
[watchmen] On the Cutting Edge of Innovation: This guy Just Found a New Way to Misinterpret ‘Watchmen’‘Roche sat down in a recent interview to explain his journey of bastardizing Moore’s iconic series. “I started off like everyone else,” Roche explained. “I was like, oh, Rorschach freaking rules. He’s just Batman if he was a normal guy. Like, he’s just rational and everything he does makes perfect sense. Why would you cripple a criminal when you can kill his dogs, chop off his arm and burn his house down?” Roche’s shelf is littered with comic books and a weird shrine to Steve Ditko–which he kept trying to avert our gaze from by aggressively coughing.’
27 May 2024
[life] A Billionaire Can Never Be Held Accountable… [via]

16 May 2024
[emoji] Emoji history: the missing years … A deep dive into the early history of emojis. ‘I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing because I was under the impression that the first emoji were created by an anonymous designer at SoftBank in 1997, and the most famous emoji were created by Shigetaka Kurita at NTT DoCoMo in 1999. But the Sharp PI-4000 in my hands was released in 1994, and it was chock full of recognisable emoji. Then down the rabbit hole I fell…’
14 May 2024
[pins] Most Common PIN Codes … A heatmap of the most common 4 digit pin codes.
10 May 2024
[life] 101 Additional Advices … More Advice From Kevin Kelly. ‘When you are stuck or overwhelmed, focus on the smallest possible thing that moves your project forward.’
8 May 2024
[comics] Every Issue of Alan Moore’s “Swamp Thing” Ranked by How Likely They’ll Get a Conservative Book Ban‘Swamp Thing #42 (November 1985): “Strange Fruit” – Swamp Thing burns down a plantation haunted by racist ghosts. – They hate this one. They fucking HATE this one.’
6 May 2024
[comics] Escape Magazine … Escape Magazine, a British comics anthology magazine from the 1980s has been fully scanned and is online at the Internet Archive.

Escape Magazine 05 Cover

2 May 2024
[pdf] iLovePDF … Great collection of userful PDF tools.
29 April 2024
[web] The creepy sound of online trackers … A powerful demonstration of how much we are tracked on the internet – listen in to online trackers sending information home. ‘Even though I personally am acutely aware that this tracking is happening on most sites we visit today, the video and its noise still make me shiver. In case you are hard of hearing, the noise in the second video is almost constant, ongoing even as Bert is just scrolling.’
26 April 2024
[life] My Comments Are in the Google Doc Linked in the Dropbox I Sent in the Slack‘The document won’t open? I’m not sure how I could make this any easier. Okay, I reset the document permissions, but you’ll need to sign into the email via the password I texted you via iMessage. Once you sign into the email, it’ll ask you to create a Microsoft Teams account. You’ll find the link to the document in the Teams channel called “NO DOCUMENTS LINKS!!!” From there, you’ll find a link to a couple of WeTransfers of the current .docs. Every WeTransfer link is expired. To find the non-expired link, you’ll have to look through the email thread I forwarded you saying, “FYI.” It should be 110-120 emails deep in the thread.’
22 April 2024
[comics] UKCAC Programmes [Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3] … A nostalgic look back at programmes from UK Comic Art Conventions in the 1980s and 1990s.

19 April 2024
[mac] Fixing Macs Door to Door … Confessions of an AppleCare Contractor in the 2000s, navigating around Chicago to repair Macs at customers’ homes. ‘Often I’d show up only to tell them their hard drive was dead and everything was gone. This was just how things worked before iCloud Photos, nobody kept backups and everything was constantly lost forever. Here they would often threaten or plead with me, sometimes insinuating they “knew people” at Apple or could get me fired. Jokes on you people, I don’t even know people at Apple was often what ran through my head. Threats quickly lost their power when you realized nobody at any point had asked your name or any information about yourself. It’s hard to threaten an anonymous person.’
16 April 2024
[comics] Go look at Tom the Dancing Bug’s Trump Illustrated Bible … ‘Jubilate as he preaches to the prostitutes!’
12 April 2024
[comics] Aard Labour: Conclusion | Epilogue … Tom Ewing’s reread and analysis of Cerebus concludes.

One thing that does happen when your comic is full of dissemblers and layers of meaning and contradictory versions of reality, and when you go on for 300 issues, is that you’ll have produced a text with enormous discursive potential. Whether that discussion is worthwhile is another matter. I had no idea, starting this project, that it would end up at 60,000 words long. I still feel like there’s more to say, but also that there’s no real way of reaching a conclusion about this extraordinary, accursed, vivid folly of a comic.

I’ve loved writing about it, I’ve often loved reading it, but I feel shocked that I did write to this extent. I think I like the work more than I did going in, but the artist even less. At one point I planned in this final post to try and work out who the best comparison to Dave Sim might be – Ditko? Morrissey? Lovecraft? Rowling? Kanye? In the end it doesn’t matter: what he shares with them all is that initial fascination and horror turns to exhaustion in the end.

10 April 2024
[time] 15 Methods to Master Your Time … Great infographic on various time management methods like Pomodoro and Eating the Frog.
8 April 2024
[comics] This is Fine

2 April 2024
[comics] Aard Labour 0: There Are Three Aardvarks … Tom Ewing is working on a spot-on analysis of all the books of Cerebus … ‘Melmoth is the moment where Sim sets out to demonstrate – to his own liking, if not the market’s – that “a 300 issue comic about a talking aardvark” really can include absolutely anything he wants it to. He proved the point: Melmoth is one of the high watermarks of Cerebus. Even if nobody in 1992 understood what “Cerebus can include anything Dave Sim wants” might really entail.’
1 April 2024
[bookos] … Books summarized into five bullet points. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: ‘The narrative follows a father-son motorcycle trip across the United States, interwoven with philosophical discussions that explore the concept of “Quality” as the foundation of reality. The book delves into the protagonist’s past and his philosophical ideas, which challenge the dichotomy between the romantic and classical understanding of the world.’
28 March 2024
[cookies] There is no EU cookie banner law‘I’ve had multiple discussions online with Americans feeling angry that EU forced them to click through a wall every time they go to a new website. To avoid redundancy, I’ll just write once about it here, even it’s not usually the topic of this Python-oriented blog. American companies don’t have to comply with EU law. Even if they were such a thing as a cookie banner law, and there is none, companies in the USA would not have to comply in their country. It would be only for Europe.’
27 March 2024
[hardware] Tiny Undervalued Hardware Companions … Great list of hardware gizmos you never realised you needed. ‘After playing/working with computers for more then 25 years I started to appreciate small but handy valuable stuff – like adapters or handlers or … yeah – all kind of stuff. With many of them I did not even knew they existed until I find out about them – mostly accidentally or after long searching for some problem solution…’
26 March 2024
[tube] TfL’s AI Tube Station experiment is amazing and slightly terrifying … A good look at TFL’s recent use of AI with CCTV at Willesden Green tube station. ‘In total, the system could apparently identify up to 77 different ‘use cases’ – though only eleven were used during trial. This ranges from significant incidents, like fare evasion, crime and anti-social behaviour, all the way down to more trivial matters, like spilled drinks or even discarded newspapers.’
25 March 2024
[lists] Things that don’t work … An interesting list of things that never ever work. ‘Arguing with people — Say Alice strongly believes X. You give devastating evidence that X is in false. How often will Alice turn around and say, “You’re right, I’m wrong, X is wrong.”? Words do not exist that will make people do that. (Aside from a few weirdos who’ve intentionally cultivated the habit.) But if you make a good case and leave her some room for retreat, you may find that Alice’s position is a bit softer the next time X comes up in conversation.’