Category Archives: Websites

Lucifer, Anime and Coding

So what did you do over the weekend? I spent most of mine watching anime and developing a new website. Netflix has a lot to answer for in this, but the new Amazon Fire TV stick I picked up in the Prime Day sale certainly helped as well.

As I said, it was only mostly anime and coding – I also finished Lucifer, binge-watching the final ten or eleven episodes (I was a bit behind, okay?) and I’m still expecting there to be some twists that haven’t yet surfaced yet. I’m not convinced that Lucifer really did burn his wings – it’s not like he didn’t have access to a pair of fakes, and I’m actually quite interested in the ways that the series has differed from the books. I’ll say straight off that comparing the comics to the TV series is a fool’s game and that the comics wouldn’t have worked as well for a procedural TV series, but it’s still interesting seeing how they differ all the same. Mazikeen is one of the big differences – cocky and assured all the time with perfect features (unless you happen to catch a look at her in a mirror of course) – as opposed to the Mazikeen of the comics who is much more brooding and disfigured (until she isn’t). So very different to the comics and incomparable, but still a very watchable series even if it is nothing like the original.

Regarding anime, I binged all of Magi: Adventures of Sinbad on Saturday and all of Kuromukuro on Sunday. Both were much shorter than I expected (only 13 episodes apiece) but I’m sure there’s far more to come. Adventures of Sinbad should be watched after Magi: Labyrinth of Magic and tells the beginnings of how Sinbad became the king he is in Labyrinth of Magic. Kuromukuro is a new mecha series that mixes samurai and giant robots and nanotech in relatively modern-day surroundings – I recommend giving it a watch.

Regarding the website, you’ll just have to wait and see. I’m sure it’ll come to light soon.

You know, when a company leaves a message on your blog asking you to contact them after you wrote an article about their product, you kinda expect it to be about them possibly providing free samples or something so you can try it out, not a complaint about an apparent issue with being linked to too many times.

Font Porn

Well that’s one way to start a post – give it a raunchy sounding title.

With over 800 font files installed on my computer, finding the right font for the job can be an interesting task. I recently decided that I wanted an image header on the blog, and so I set about making one.

The first thing to do was to pick a font. I wanted something light (but not too light), a bit light-hearted, and probably handwriting-based. So I put together a block of font samples and sent it to a friend for their opinion on which one to use.

font samples
Incidentally, the title for this post comes from their reaction to being sent a bunch of font samples

The fonts featured there are (left-to-right, top-to-bottom): Throw My Hands Up In The Air, Treefrog, Helvetica Neue, Daniel, Waiting for the Sunrise, Angelina, Rock Salt, Zag Light, and Designer Notes.

Having narrowed down some ideas, I then went looking for a graphic. Ideas were lacking, but I found something I could use – cup rings. Having found myself a thematic image, the idea of it being written on a napkin just seemed to flow, and it had to be a handwriting font. I started putting together sample images but none of them quite worked right. Obviously, it was time to get more fonts.

Sample header
Daniel was my friend’s initial favourite font. I was less convinced.

I downloaded five new handwriting fonts and tried out some other fonts that didn’t make the first cut. Eventually I had it down to two fonts: Estrya’s Handwriting (Jellyka), and dearJoe 5 Casual. I augmented the initial header design (above) with a caption circling the cup ring (“words by Yoda”) and that’s what sold it for me.

Because hot damn, that's some Y
Because hot damn, that’s some Y

Of course, once the header was done I needed a new theme to make it work. I’ve gone back to the 2013 WordPress theme for now, but I’m still looking for an alternative – I just can’t fault the coffee house vibe of the 2013 theme.


So I have all of these statistics available to me now about this site and one thing stands out: I get more visits when I publicise the posts on social media. Not just from a “well of course everyone clicks the link to see what I wrote” perspective, but I usually find that there are one or two other posts that people have a look at as well.

I’m also finding that I get a lot of visits directed from SEO websites which I have no connection with, and no real desire to visit. Places like “” and “”. Apparently you can be directed to my website from those links.

What it doesn’t tell me that I would find quite interesting is which of my domains people use to get here. The default location for my domains is this blog unless I’ve assigned it elsewhere, which means that,,,,, and all point to this blog.

I’m not going to publicise this post, so if you’re reading it why not tell me what domain you use to get here, and how you found it if you’re not one of those people who have known about this domain since I registered it.

GNU Terry Pratchett

To remember a great man, his fans came up with a way to seed his memory in the internet in the same way that the fallen operators of his “Clacks” system in the Discworld books were remembered – through the use of a never logged code that flew through the system unnoticed.

In the modern version of the clacks (the internet), this has been achieved through cunning use of response headers on websites and emails. I can’t add the header to my emails yet, but every website I manage (outside of my day job) now has the header secretly being passed along unnoticed by anyone except the people looking for it with keen eyes (and cunning browser extensions).

A Dark Room

I don’t know why I should be the only one enthralled by this, so I present to you: A Dark Room.

A Dark Room is a simple browser-based game that works from a simple point-and-click interface (though certain aspects are better done through keyboard controls).

It starts off quite slowly, with no apparent goal or purpose, but as time goes on, there’s this story told to you through nothing but environmental cues. There’s no old man who shows up and tells you a story – it’s left for you to piece together.

All you get to start with is a dark room, and the ability to start a fire. From there it tells a story that quite possibly varies from imagination to imagination.

One of the things I like about it is the simple aesthetic. I’m reminded of the early days of Fallen London when the best review about it described it as “mostly beige, mostly text”, and it was the story that made it a success, not fancy graphics.

A Dark Room is done entirely with JavaScript and CSS with no fancy graphics in the time old tradition of the oldest RPGs, and that simplicity hasn’t stopped it winning awards for its concept and design.

Go, play it, and come back and tell me what you think the story is.

It’s also available on Android (unofficial ports) and iOS (for £0.79).

Scottish LARP site

I’ve put together a new site on a new domain I bought: Scottish LARP – LARPing in and around Scotland. The idea is that it can be open to anyone who wants to get involved and provide a central point for LARPers across Scotland to share information.

Plus the domain was cool. I’ve started up a No Rest for the Wicked sub-blog and I can add more sub-blogs for anyone who’s interested. There’s also scope for guest bloggers if anyone wants to do that.

Conflict Resolution

So, over Christmas, I decided to play around with Bootstrap a bit. For those who don’t know, it’s a collection of CSS and JavaScript designed to make templating websites easier. I had something of a goal in mind: a website for Conflict Resolution.

Conflict Resolution is the company we set up to run No Rest for the Wicked (and other LARPs). I’d registered the domain name when we decided on the company name, but until recently, it just pointed at the No Rest website. Now, it still does (kind of), but I’ve set it up as it’s own site.

It’s actually nothing too impressive. I played around with some of the template suggestions from Bootstrap, found a style on Bootswatch I liked (Yeti) and combined the two until I had something I liked. The harder bit was getting the content right.

I’m quite happy with how it all turned out – now I just need to revamp the No Rest site to match…

And we’re back

Not that I expect anyone to have noticed the absence.

For the first time, I’m now in control of my web hosting. Following a disagreement with my previous web hosts QiQ, I’ve secured a VPS service for my own hosting needs.

It may take me a while to get everything sorted out, but it feels quite good to be able to set things up how I want them – without having to faff around with htaccess scripts that never worked properly.

That said, if you want cheap web hosting, QiQ is a good host to be with. They just weren’t the right fit for me any more.