Letters from Somnolescent

 

Category: Projects

The Somnolians doing what comes natural–being creative, whether that’s big works or just trying to get a printer going under weird circumstances.


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 Alas, the Gopher had not been touched since 2021, outdated and rather embarrassing for me, so I ripped it all out and got it reassembled.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.


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.


September 24, 2023

So I’ll make my clothing myself

devon

Second hand clothing market is cesspool. Searching for decent clothes I like and are of good, natural materials in Normal price is a very… masochistic nowadays. So I decided to torture myself more and make most of my new wardrobe myself.

Tags: sewing,

September 13, 2023

YouTube Layout Timelapse Redux

jake

Today’s menu, remaking the YouTube Layout Timelapse video. I felt the original was a bit incomplete and the process of which I took the screenshots was very ghetto, so I dedicated this afternoon to writing a quick script in Python and sent it running.


September 11, 2023

Fully licensed campus printer

dotcomboom

Getting your printer set up for wireless printing is relatively simple on a home network. Most printers can connect to your Wi-Fi network and make themselves discoverable, and we’ve seen units be all in one, neat little packages for about a decade. It’ll be ad-hoc (Wi-Fi Direct or Bluetooth) or infrastructure, usually, and current operating systems are pretty good about finding them. Save for the occasional clogged spooler problems on Windows—I just reinstall the printer when this happens—it isn’t too bad.

But what if you’re trying to print from your printer as just one of thousands of users on a campus network?

Tags: technology,

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