Letters from Somnolescent

 

February 19, 2024

Join the Somnolescent IRC!

bulb

#somnolescent on Rizon in MegaIRC

Long, long ago, in a timeline that seems completely absurd now, Somnolescent was merely an IRC room on Foonetic hosting four lonely people who didn’t like each other much. That was 2014. I still have the logs. (Please don’t ask to see them.)

Over time, lurkers and friends outside the group have asked us where they can chat with us, and the choice has either been to say “sorry, we don’t have a place you can chat with us”, or to start up a Discord we’ll wind up hating and shuttering in a few months. The answer always lay in IRC, of course, given that’s where Somnol started–but it never occurred to us. Except for that time in 2020 when it occurred to us.

Now that we’ve gotten the fuzzies for it again, we’ve once again established an official IRC room (on Rizon, given that Foonetic is sadly defunct). Join #somnolescent at irc.rizon.net, 6697 for secure connections and 6667 for insecure connections (among other ports). If that’s gibberish to you, you can click this Kiwi IRC link to join the server in your browser, no setup required. Hope to see you there!

Tags: technology,

February 6, 2024

SomnolCCSO and Reviving an Old, Dead Database Lookup Protocol

mariteaux

CCSO lookup in NCSA Mosaic

On a whim about two weeks ago, I decided to finally start redoing the Somnolescent Gopher server. Gopher is such a throwback, nostalgic thing for me–it was one of the first things we got set up for Somnol right when we first got hosting all the way back in December 2018. Alas, the Gopher had not been touched since 2021, outdated and rather embarrassing for me, so I ripped it all out and got it reassembled. Still working on it, but I think it’s coming out absolutely killer. You can visit it at gopher://gopher.somnolescent.net if you have a capable client, or you can use this HTTP proxy link if you’re just looking at it in your browser.

While Gopher is highly neat, among the culty hipster retro tech geeks, it’s a known quantity. There’s new Gopher clients every year, and Gemini clients oftentimes double as Gopher clients thanks to the similarities of their protocols. Not so with the true subject of today’s post. Today’s topic has no modern server software support (before us, anyway), and accessing it is even tougher, practically requiring Windows 3.1 or a *nix box with Docker and the whole setup around that. I’ve spent the last week doing a deep, deep dive into a protocol so obscure, there’s less than ten servers for it still in existence. And we’re one of them now.

Say hello to SomnolCCSO, my friends. I’ll tell you how we made it happen and how you can try it out for yourself.


February 2, 2024

Promptly Forgotten

dotcomboom

“Hi! Welcome to this quick demonstration of My Game Builder, a new tool to allow you to build games for yourself and for your friends, online, using just a web browser. The tool is free to use, and free to share with your friends.”


December 29, 2023

Happy Five Years: Further Down the Artsy Rabbit Hole

mariteaux

Happy extra image that didn't make it into the proper post!

January 2024 marks two whole years of me taking art seriously. I read back through last year’s art retrospective, and I’m guessing it was partly that one year of progress isn’t a lot in all reality and partly that what progress I did make in 2022 was bumpy (as tends to happen when you start learning a new skill), but I was surprised at how tentative I sounded. I ended off that post with a big fat “pretty good for a first attempt ^^”, if you catch my drift:

It’s good to appreciate how far you’ve come though. In one year, from practically nothing, I’ve made some pretty damn good progress. I think by next year, I’ll have something really special.

Thankfully, if 2022 was the year of trying to draw anything at all, 2023 has been the year of learning to draw confidently. I used to get plagued by a feeling of every drawing being a fluke, that it was just because I had someone’s actual art off to the side while I drew that I made it look anything like what it was supposed to, but I don’t get that anymore. I actually really like what I draw now! It still looks amateurish in spots, but that’s starting to taper off, I think.

Not to say I don’t still have a long way to go, but for actually properly enjoying what I do and feeling confident in it, this year has been very good to me. I understand eyes and snoots now, for one thing… Let’s go back through some highlights of this year, like we did last year, and have a bit more positive to say this time around, shall we?


December 8, 2023

The mtlx Chronicle II

mariteaux

The original art from the original release of Last Summer

Back in January 2020, dcb wrote up his search for an elusive indie-electronic EP released on MP3.com: mtlx’s Last Summer. While he located a CD case for it at the library, the disc was missing–and unfortunately, the trail went cold from there.

I’m happy to bring you the entirety of Last Summer now! Yes, it’s been located, along with some words from one of its equally-elusive creators. Better yet, Somnolescent has been given the go-ahead to release a restored and expanded limited edition CD of the EP. Let me bring you up to speed. Apologies if I sound a little odd, it’s been an exciting day.

Tags: mtlx, music,

December 1, 2023

Happy Five Years: The 2024 Infrastructure Upgrade Plans

mariteaux

Normally at this time, I’d be bringing you the next installment of First Draft, but I just had no desire to work on it this past month despite having a wallop of an album to do it on–chalk that up to working 35 hours a week at retail, I suppose. Instead, given that it’s December and that means the Somnolescent retrospectives and prospectives start rolling off the line soon (five years of the group being officially reborn on the 20th!), I figured I’d ramble a bit about the group instead, and more specifically, updating things around here.

We fell off the site stuff a little over lockdowns, and when things opened back up, obviously, we were more concerned with going outside and getting on with life than updating our silly animal people pages. This has left some of them out-of-date, sometimes woefully so. I think we’re all feeling the desire for it again–dcb_v5 just launched in October, fwd_v2 has just launched–so let me tell you about my own plans to update Somnolescent’s web presence. There’s a lot.


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