The Lo-Fi Experiment

Another go at this whole having-a-website thing

I’m not an audiophile. In fact I listen to the radio a lot of the time, staticy frequencies no less so, so if anything I am the opposite. So why do I seem to be a website perfectionist?

I’ve done a couple of these posts on this site, and others elsewhere. You know, the ones where you say ‘hello again, I’m back on the blog posting saddle.’ I’m always slightly cynical when I compose them because the habit of writing and publishing never lasts forever — whether a few days, a few months, or a few years. And that’s fine honestly, all things with a start also have an end.

But a problem comes when I have something I want to write and it’s been a while since I last put something up. My tools have become stale, meaning I have to spend time better spent writing maintaining them, and it just feels awkward to add a post after a hiatus without commenting on it. The previous incarnation of this site was based on blogdown which in turn uses Hugo, and of course it’s out of date at this point and I just can’t be bothered.

Instead, I apparently can be bothered to just write this site from scratch, using pandoc to bake markdown files in to html templates. It looks primitive — obviously — but I like it and it’s mine. If I want to just chuck up a not even properly styled page to link to somebody, and not even connect it to the rest of the site, that’s ok. Freedom! Hopefully this will get over my perfectionist-avoidance cycle, for a little while.

The site is lo-fi, in that it’s designed to have a tiny footprint (it won’t fit on a single floppy disk because of images, but everything else is very small) and be able to run on old computers. I’m not sure what I will do about https, but I think I’ll turn off the enforcement that previously existed (although I expect, having not yet implemented it, that the RSS will have to be https-only). Why do I want it to be able to do this? Well when I made RTI Anywhere I was designing for an intro-tier phone and other low-spec devices, and in the years since I’ve come to very much appreciate this decision. Also I have zero excuses for the terrible visual design choices if I make things myself.1

Some thanks must go to this blog post by Roman Geber for the inspiration for the scripts I’m using to automate pandoc processing, although I have made significant modifications to them (realname is my new best friend) and I feel like I will end up converting them to makefile or something silly like that sooner or later. If I do any further with them I might write a post about it, as I think it’s pretty interesting what you can do.

I have some thoughts about what I might write, but really this is just about doing a refresh and having somewhere to put stuff if and when it comes up. A note though: old links will get a 404, because I’ve changed how I arrange things. In general for a blog post at the URL becomes but there are no redirect rules set up. Instead, check the blog archive which should have the new links. Or just check the wayback machine.

  1. Also also, html+css only stuff is cool, and I don’t really know javascript anyway.↩︎