personal website: joe crawford. code. occasional comics. toy robots. bodysurfing. san diego. california. say hi.
since 1998

April, 2023: 33 posts.

Quake yesterday

I didn’t post about the earthquake yesterday. But I felt it.

And sign of the times: I didn’t immediately check Twitter. And when I did look at Twitter no accounts I follow mentioned it, but several Fediverse accounts have.

Note: I’ve unfollowed many Twitter accounts since the last major quake.

from Instagram (IFTTT connection to Instagram was paused when this post was made)

Aces to be back

BarCampLA5 – 15 years later.

I learned so much at BarCamps.

Dan Kaminsky, rest in peace

You can see me in the back in that photo. Red checker shirt and a goatee chin.

I enjoyed reading my write-up, seeing what I called out, remembering such a good time.

I also liked reading my slides from the talk on YUI I gave: “License is BSD; if Yahoo implodes or explodes it will live on”

from Instagram (IFTTT connection to Instagram was paused when this post was made)

(Last week in Santa Barbara ❤️)

Blog Refer

Oh, the more innocent times when I started storing each and every url coming in via HTTP referer (sic)that was coming to pages on my website.

Decades ago!

It wasn’t long before referring urls started including pure crap, spam, so it was not something I kept on the site for very long.

Time passeth.

A Live Well Wasted… returns.

I bought the Downcast app on April 28, 2013 and ALWW has been in my subscription list since then. Like the rest in my list I refresh dutifully regularly. I always have hope. When a fresh episode showed up 9 years after the last one, frankly, I didn’t believe it. But it did. You ought to listen to A Life Well Wasted. I did.

You might also want to listen to I Come To Shanghai. Particularly Eternal Life, vol 2.

Afrofuturism with Greg Tate

I went to a speech by Greg Tate in 2016. It was super cool. I apparently did not take notes.

October 18, 2016 6:30 – 9:30 PM
Visual Arts Facility, Performance Space

The UC San Diego Visual Arts Department, Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, and Black Studies Project at UCSD are pleased to present a lecture by Greg Tate.

Since launching his career at the Village Voice in the early 1980s Greg Tate has been one of the premiere critical voices on contemporary Black music, art, literature, film, and politics. Flyboy 2 provides a panoramic view of the past thirty years of Tate’s influential work. Whether interviewing Miles Davis or Ice Cube, reviewing an Azealia Banks mixtape or Suzan-Lori Parks’s Topdog/Underdog, discussing visual artist Kara Walker or writer Clarence Major, or analyzing the ties between Afro-futurism, Black feminism, and social movements, Tate’s resounding critical insights illustrate how race, gender, and class become manifest in American popular culture. Above all, Tate demonstrates through his signature mix of vernacular poetics and cultural theory and criticism why visionary Black artists, intellectuals, aesthetics, philosophies, and politics matter to twenty-first-century America.

It bums me out a great deal that I didn’t take notes on this. I did post some things.

I can’t find that ink in the 2016 notebooks I have.

Bad archivist!

I did tweet though:

Though I did tweet:

Tate got me turned onto things I’d not really considered before. Parliament Funkadelic for example. And Space is the Place by Sun Ra. And the fact that he name checked the then new — “roaring sound in cyberspace” & the fact that he namechecked both William Gibson and William Burroughs put him squarely up my alley.

Tate died in 2021. Remember him.

Affirmations Bot, Still going

Merger Email of the Day

Going to the beach as often as I do, I have subscriptions for both Magic Seaweed and Surfline. Looks like they’re going to combine.

How to get started with Surfline.

Magicseaweed has been a part of the Surfline family for over five years and now we’re coming together under the Surfline brand umbrella.
Learn more

What’s in it for you?

As magicseaweed moves over to Surfline, our tech and team are coming with us, so you can be confident that forecasts will still be spot-on. Plus, you’ll get all the features Surfline has pioneered over the past four decades.

  • You’ll have access to both platforms until we complete the changeover in the coming months.
  • Don’t worry, we won’t charge you for two memberships. Your remaining MSW subscription time will be added to your existing Surfline Premium account.
  • Your Surfline Premium membership will continue to auto-renew, after you use up your added subscription time. See below for more details.*

Personal Websites are good.

I make this bold statement following a read of Exploring Personal Websites. I of course have had a personal website since 1996 which is an astounding 27 years, so I’m biased.

I continue to feel queasy about how folks use Instagram handles to sign their art. I have a sense that these will age like MySpace profile handles and AOL Keywords, but who can say?

Oh look, I’m in a large language model (LLM) corpus

Vacillating between “It’s a major award” (1) and “I’m somebody now!”(2)

RANK: 77,171
TOKENS: 250k

From: Inside the secret list of websites that make AI like ChatGPT sound smart.

A fine remembrance of the web as it was; and is

ReadWriteWeb Turns 20 by Richard MacManus.

Take blogging itself. People don’t have blogs anymore, now they have email newsletters. People used to read blogs in their RSS Readers, and you would visit the website to leave a comment — or write your own blog post in reply, which would show up as a trackback link on the original. The “blogosphere” was truly a marvel of the distributed web; and, not coincidentally, it was run mostly on open source software.

Admittedly, some folks still blog. We even do it on the indieweb. I think the blogosphere still exists, it’s just that a giant megalopolis was developed around it.

Keep writing, keep sharing, I say.

Quote of the Day

I say often that computers are terrible. Nontechnical people seldom take me seriously. But people in tech, like Galloway do:

A growing vein of the tech community (Venture Catastrophists) deploy weapons of mass distraction and fear to wallpaper over an inconvenient truth: The menace unleashed on America the past two decades isn’t psychotic homeless people or a crime wave, but a tech community whose products depress our teens, polarize our public and render our discourse more coarse … making it less likely we come together and address issues including homelessness and crime. Our failure to regulate this sector, as we have done with every other sector, is stupid.

We must do better.

Programming graphics on the TI-99/4a

Back in 2019 I wrote about programming in TI-BASIC a little bit. I remembered going from graph paper to hex but the mechanics of drawing to the screen was not something I remembered.

I did remember it was pretty tedious. But rewarding! Well, the other day I was inspired to create a chunk of code (a bit of primitive jQuery, SCSS and HTML) that allows you to create that crazy hex code:

But what about the other code, what code went around it? Well, now I know. Here’s the resulting final image.

And what does the source code look like?

It’s in BASIC, and it’s all about printing characters to the string at individual cursor positions. To do that, one has to use ASCII codes. 32 is and always was the space character, so we don’t use that.

To determine how to customize those characters, I wrote some PHP code to read a source image I created of my ARTLUNG logo sized to the specifications of a TI-99: 32 columns wide, 24 columns high. So to create graphics one can only ever do a graphic that’s those numbers times 8 – every character is an 8×8 pixel square. So, 256 by 192 pixels. For reference the first iPhone 16 years ago was 480 by 320 pixels. And a current Android Pixel screen is 2400 by 1080 pixels. In some ways that 1981 screen is not so different.

It’s very strange when a programming task like this becomes a sort of compulsion to get out of my system. Solving challenging problems, even seemingly trivial ones is so rewarding.

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