Review: The House in Fata Morgana

The so-called visual novel is a game format that’s very big in Japan and kind of obscure everywhere else. If you’ve never encountered one, you can think of the genre as computerised puppet theatre with a little bit of audience participation. They tend to be plot-driven affairs with enough gameplay to send a pure ludologist into a frothy rage (i.e. not very much). In the majority of these games, the player’s input is limited to clicking through dialogue and making CYOA-style choices every few thousand words....

Creating a personal wiki with Vimwiki and Gollum

One of the reasons for the Web’s triumph over the Gophernet in the early 90s is its superior organisational structure. Hypertext links allow any one page to be linked from any other page without regard for hierarchy or location, but you can still define hierarchy and location like you would in a filesystem. Early on, in 1994, Ward Cunningham invented the wiki, a sort of mini-web that leveraged the associative power of hypertext linking within a single website. This was good, and it paved...

Review: Paranatural

Zack Morrison’s Paranatural is a webcomic about a serious-faced young boy who faces schoolyard bullies and paranormal supernatural beings armed with a ghost-possessed baseball bat. It’s also a great source of cartoonishly expressive faces, hence my Twitter profile picture. The comic begins with the aforementioned serious boy – Max – and his family moving into a new home in the picturesque little town where his father grew up. Though Max’s face wears a permanent scowl, the rest of his family – and as will become apparent, most of the...

Tiling window managers

Everyone who’s used a computer operating system (whether Windows, Mac or the more popular desktop Linux distributions) knows what windows are. When your computer starts up, you’re greeted with a blank desktop, and in order to do something with it, you open up one or more applications, which, in a bit of a mixed metaphor, appear as “windows” on top of your desktop. You can move these windows around, hide them, and expand them to the full size of the desktop. At first, the whole...

Ghost 1.0

A few days ago, the Ghost blogging engine reached version 1.0, a significant milestone in the development of any piece of software, especially in today’s eternal-beta world. Though I no longer use it, I’m invested enough in its development to mark the occasion. For the first couple of years, this blog ran on Ghost, and it was good. Truth be told, I started this blog for no grander purpose than because Ghost looked cool and new and I wanted to try it out on my ...