Letters From Somnolescent

November 02 2019

How the Goldfish Man Changed My Life

mariteaux

The day I swapped my album for two goldfish

My stepmom had a bookshelf CD collection when I was little. Young spergs have active imaginations, and I was no exception; album art was everything to me at 5. I probably spent more time staring at the cracked out, surrealist album covers and being confused, fascinated, and terrified than I did listening to anything at that age. (Redman's Malpractice, whose blobbily-proportioned cover guy is still unsettling to look at, is a prime example of the weirdness I found in there.)


Of course, I knew just enough about CDs to know what they were for, and just enough about our family's Athlon-based Windows XP machine to be able to listen to the odd album or two. Somewhere down the line, Counting Crows' This Desert Life fell into my lap. It was bound to catch my attention; it had a man with a fishbowl for a head on the cover, how could it not? What wasn't bound to happen was how important the album would become to me; in fact, it's the first album I ever truly loved.


That album turns 20 today, and I'm feeling sentimental. No one else is looking back on it, so I'm going to.


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September 07 2019

How the Feed Killed Creation

mariteaux

Let's start with a premise. We have a creator. She's a writer, maybe, or maybe a visual artist. Maybe dabbles in animation. She's got big ideas and the drive to see them to fruition. Might even be months into a grand project right now. Yet, she'll post her stuff online or in a Discord server, and no one gives a shit.


The internet's built on user-generated content, stuff ordinary people (people like you, perhaps!) create. And yet, with all these sites for it, where's the support? Let's talk about the feed and how it's killed independent content.


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July 13 2019

Cammy vs. the PhotoCam

mariteaux


The AOL PhotoCam

I've long liked early digital cameras. There's a really specific era of 95-98 or so where digital cameras were, by some measures, atrocious, and by others, absolutely fantastic. Their bad CCDs, chunky design, and inconsistent featureset makes them fascinating and a topic of my obsession for a few months now. I would absolutely take pictures out and about with one, they're that appealing to me. Having drooled over a few of LGR's long enough, I decided I wanted an early digital camera of my own.


I am still looking. Here's my misadventure for your amusement.


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July 04 2019

Somnoville

mariteaux

I can remember the last time I had a proper Minecraft server with a group of friends. It was in 2012 or so, when a close friend of mine bought me the game and invited me onto his little public server. (Naturally, since we were spergy kids, I was a co-admin. Too many roles and plugins was just what ya did.) His friends were there, and sometimes, even other little kids would pop in to destroy everything because 1.2.5 was horribly broken and you could session steal like a motherfucker. Good times.


The bug for this game has never quite left me, and Caby and some of the other Somnolians having gotten their hands on it prompted me to set up a little server of our own. A lot's been done on it. Lemme show you around.


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June 03 2019

On Purpose

mariteaux

Less a rant and more musings about the pitfalls of storytelling without a goal for your characters, something I see a lot from amateur artists online.


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May 09 2019

The Web is a Shitty App Platform

mariteaux

I'm a big believer in implementing as little as possible to get the task at hand done. I'm as minimalist as it gets. Proprietary, open source—ultimately doesn't matter to me so long as it gets the job done as simply as it can.


So why in fuck's name did we give everything away to the Web?


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April 30 2019

How a Fusion Drive Ate Our Gopher

mariteaux

If you follow Somnolescent, you'll know we're big fans of the gopher protocol and formerly maintained a server at gopher.somnolescent.net for people to come and peek at.


That gopher's offline and likely will be for a little while, and you can thank a Fusion Drive for taking it, along with my entire music library and all the project files and renders for my next album.


So how'd it happen?


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