Letters from Somnolescent

 

September 7, 2022

Cammy Revisits the PhotoCam

mariteaux

A recreation of my old artsy photo of the PhotoCam...using a PhotoCam as the camera

Longtime blog readers will remember a post I did in July 2019 called “Cammy vs. the PhotoCam”. It was a cute little lark into trying to score some retro tech on eBay and failing miserably. I didn’t have a job or a lot of money to spend on impractical hobby stuff back then, and the entire thing left a sour enough taste in my mouth that I didn’t bother looking for a working unit.

We’re in September 2022 now, I have a job now, and I figured it was time to go hunting again. I got a lot more than I bargained for. On offer today: storytelling! Burning hot batteries! A showdown between three similarly-spec’ed cameras! But first, we start with…


August 19, 2022

wi(s)p: five years in and one page up

fiveducks

As an average 20-something Canadian, you’ve got enough on your plate—rent’s going up, you can’t afford gas for that van you bought last summer, the ghost in your apartment insists on watching you pee, and you’re not 100% sure what to do now that you’ve dropped out of college. Twice.

Tags: art,

August 16, 2022

both feet in (probably)

fiveducks

Who’s that, a fresh-faced, brand new member of your favourite bulb cult?

Actually, I’ve been in Somnol’s orbit for the past, uh, six years? Maybe longer?

Tags: blog,

August 15, 2022

Revisiting the Official MP3.com Guide to MP3s

mariteaux

The front and back covers of the MP3.com Official Guide to MP3s

I don’t think it’s a stretch to call myself an MP3.com historian at this point. From my initial essay two-and-a-half years ago, to digging deep into how the service worked, to previewing some of the music that MP3.com were promoting their service with, I’m part of that small group who have been trying to keep the memory of one of the most forward-thinking dot-com startups alive after it was all but forgotten post-closure in 2004.

I was effectively honor-bound to pick up the last copy of The Official MP3.com Guide to MP3s from Amazon after all that work, and I was not disappointed for my $6.29! We’ve got late 90s MP3 hype, forgotten MP3 and MP3.com competitors, and even some screenshots of the backend of MP3.com, far away from where any web spider could’ve gone. It’s a trip.

Tags: music, technology,

July 15, 2022

Exploring somnol.net’s Old Banners

bulb

We like to redesign our sites from time to time, and earlier this year, the top-level domain got its turn. The previous design came in the spring of 2020 and featured a rotating crop of big, toony banners at the top of each page that would show up either year-round or seasonally.

While we gave up on that site design, we’re still very fond of the banners. Obviously, they’re no longer featured on the top-level site. That’s a lot of art and a lot of work going to waste! While we’d like to reuse them in another design, for now, this post will have to do.

Being a longtime reader of the Video Game Critic, I decided to take a page out of his book (or off his site, maybe?) and not just write up a bit on my thoughts on each banner, but get the people who made them to tell their stories about each one.


June 18, 2022

I don’t have a problem, I swear

caby

A recently discovered interest of mine is collecting enamel pins. Something about having a sturdy, shiny, and aesthetically pleasing pin attached to my backpack is very appealing to me, and I’ve ended up with a fair few of them. I’m not currently looking to buy anymore, though I have a fair few in my favourites on etsy,,,

o quell my urge to buy more, I’ll write about the ones I’ve already got instead, alongside a couple photos so you can see how neat and pretty they look too.

Tags: 70s, collection,

May 27, 2022

Welcoming the eMachines Netbook

mariteaux

eMachines EM250

For approaching two years now, I’ve had a big ol’ XP tower sitting under my desk. I call it the eMachines Box, a low-end eMachines W3507 from at least 2006, if not 2007. It needs a good cleaning and a ton of upgrades (RAM and a dedicated GPU being the big two), but even if it’s not ideal right now, it’s still a lot of fun to use on the occasion I bust it out.

Of course, you can’t just stop at one XP computer, can you? Suddenly having a job and seeing some numbers pile up in my bank account made me want to indulge a little. Through the lockdowns, I bought nearly nothing and asked for nearly nothing. I’m allowed a cool purchase or two, and a bit of longing got me thinking back to the netbooks of my (younger) youth.

I’ve now acquired one of them. Here’s my deep dive into the eMachines Netbook.

Tags: technology,

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