Letters from Somnolescent November 30, 2020

11/30 – The Bulb’s Last Stand (of 2020!)

by bulb

We’re getting real close to the end of 2020 here, lads, and suffice it to say, Somnolescent is going out with a bang. I mean, what don’t we have to show off? New sites, another story, things brewing for ages finally released, infrastructural improvements, blog posts! It’s a goddamn clearinghouse of material–that I will now recap for your pleasure.

One more Pennyverse story…

“Mmhhh, Cat…” I moaned half-awake and congested—wait, congested? I was contagious! A filthy vector for the plague I was trying to stave off! “Cat! Cat, you can’t be in here!” I yelped, digging back into the bedding in some attempt to protect her. “I-I’m sick!”

Yet, she only gave a bemused chuckle. “Seb, it’s alright,” she tried to reassure me. “I got my flu jab and everything.”

“B-but what if that’s not what I have? What if I have a novel disease they haven’t yet quantified the effects of?”

“I’ll live through the sniffles, promise.” She fidgeted with the container a little, fingers up against the notch on the lid. “Of course, if you want me to leave, I can…”

“No, no! That’s alright. Thanks for—coming to check on me. …W-what’s in the container?”

I wanted to get one last Pennyverse story done for the year now that I have some momentum behind me. Even if I didn’t get the Halloween Special proper done, I still wanted to bring you all what would’ve been the aftermath of that just because I thought it would turn out cute. And it did! It’s called “A Fuzzy, Stuffy Stupor”, and it’s about a sickly Seb and a Cat who learns just why Seb got lost outside. I hesitate to call them lovers in the traditional sense, but…they care a lot about one another.

I think with these most recent stories, I’m finally hitting on that tone for Pennyverse I’d wanted for so long, goofy and charming even when it’s weird, strange, and a little spooky. Think the lads agree too, given the reaction these have been getting. I have some serious plans for the whole writing thing for next year, but I’ll wait a bit for those.

Oh, and all stories are now available to read once more on the Somnolescent Gopher server! Delightfully nostalgic; if you’ve been with us for a while now, you remember that “Darkpenny” initially came out over on the Gopherhole. Nice to return it to where it once sat.

“Arrogant Erratum” is out!

Not to dominate this recap (but I’m going to, because I got a ton done this month), but if you were looking forward to playing my Quake levels, they’re out now! I got in my week or so of rebuilding, polishing, and bugfixing, and I’m super happy with the result. These do require a source port, but any will work. Install it as a mod, as it comes with a new start map. Feel free to watch my little rambly highlights reel of outtakes and scrapped bits for more.

Arrogant Erratum's start map

New and improved sites!

We have a new site on our network, and a few much-improved ones! Some sites that have been pretty hard up for updates since their launch have finally gotten some love, and in one case, the site actually hopped domains. Pretty busy. Let’s get to that.

We promise there’s no ghost doors

Archives, hoards, and collections have always been a bit messy around here. For one thing, there’s no consistent way to access the materials in them, and they bloat our site backups since they tend to deal in media, and thus, contain a ton of big files.

The Somnolescent Archives
I can’t promise you’ll find the flight recorder in there, but maybe there’ll be something else you like.

Enter The Somnolescent Archives. This is a simple, no frills index of sites put on ice and large collections of files to browse and download from at your own convenience. I’m slowly moving both stuff from my own site and stuff from the lads’ sites over too, so keep an eye out.

It’s official: she’s Caby now, lads

In case you were wondering if it’s “Capy” or “Caby”, wonder no longer–it’s Caby now, officially. Accompanying the change in sona name is a change in subdomain (caby.somnolescent.net), a new 88×31 in case you like those, and a new button on the Somnolescent home page to replace the sketchbook-style one that stopped matching months ago. (My girl’s been busy too <w<)

Click the sneaky Caby

There was some worry about how much of a pain in the ass it would be to update all our links, but no worries–all links to capy.somnolescent.net will continue to work and redirect silently in the background thanks to some really clean .htaccess trickery. If you’re shooting her an email, it’s officially caby@somnolescent.net now, but capy@somnolescent.net has been repurposed as a forwarder, so no worries about that either.

Making it even easier to trick out your Windows 2000 PC

w2krepo also got some pretty significant cleanup and updates this month. Aside from adding a bunch to the collection and rearranging some of it, w2krepo now has item descriptions for nearly everything up for download! This should make it significantly easier to parse some of the strange file names and find what you’re looking for. (These changes have naturally been mirrored to the Gopher version.)

w2krepo's new item descriptions
WebTV Viewer! Make WebTV sites without WebTV even existing anymore!

I really would like to vouch for w2krepo’s usefulness for your old hardware; it’s in such a simple, efficient package that, even on a base XP install with just Internet Explorer 6, I was able to get a much better Firefox and RetroZilla on there so I could do some proper browsing. Do give it a look if you’re in the retrocomputing space, and perhaps contribute some of your own rare software if you feel inclined! We’ll keep it safe for you.

More reading material for Misery Inspires

And one more from the “Cammy has too many projects” pile: Misery Inspires, my long-neglected Silversun Pickups fansite, finally has the last piece it’s needed since I came up with it in 2016: the interviews! I had a ton saved from back then, and this month, I went back through years of old-school MP3 blogs looking for links and sources (and to correct formatting and things–2016 Cammy did a whole lot more editorializing…), and it’s out now!

An interview Brian Aubert did with IGN
I might very well have also checked IGN constantly in 2006. Certainly not nowadays.

Lots to read. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s one of the most recent ones, about Nikki’s bass playing and equipment on Widow’s Weeds, and one of the most informative in the collection thusfar. Others are just fun and goofy.

Man, art portals sound fun

If my post on PNG optimization got its own section in the last recap, Caby’s recent post on Yerf sure can too! Yerf’s one of those old-school furry art sites, a bit more of a curated approach than the (frequently landfill, dumpy, terrible) art sites you have around now. (Plus, it’s all SFW and relatively absent any fetish art, which is good if you’re like me and don’t think with your cock.) Caby was enamored with it for a bit and went on a bit of a spree digging up artists and seeing where they are now, and the results are fascinating. Do read it; when she blogs, the results are always worth the wait…

Greco-Roman tigress and some quadrupedal peacocks
Cammy contributes one of his own favorites, but I suppose I would like a comfy tigress in drapey clothes, wouldn’t I? Caby especially liked this one for the quadrupedal peacocks; “if the world’s fantasy, might as well go ham with the feral animals too”. (Here’s the artist for this one.)

Art highlights

Ah, but enough about other people’s art, here’s some cute recent pieces from our own resident artists!

"Fintan" by borb
“Fintan” by borb (exclusive! And Pinede too!)
"smol bun" by Caby
“smol bun” by Caby (November 6)

I don’t know about you, but I am very ready to shut off at this point. I’m actually still not quite done for the year; I have a tiny bit left to go on a new website for AutoSite (which I wanted to do again as a little way to show my appreciation and partially to help it go gold before the end of the year), but I unfortunately wasn’t able to get it done in time for this recap. It’ll absolutely be done by the big year recap though, so I guess it’ll wait for then.

Aside from that though? I’m going back to playing video games. Remember when I used to play those?

Right, this is the group recap. My bad.

About bulb

Group posts, recaps, and things we all contributed to. Hopefully, our hum-to-English translation is intelligible enough.

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