The Journal

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2024-04-22 (☽): In order to fulfil my mad imperative to make my site as backwards compatible as possible, I've had to test it in multiple vintage browsers, one of them Netscape. However, I was unable to find a copy of Netscape 4.04 in Spanish. It wasn't in the Internet Archive, it wasn't in any of the mirrors of the Netscape FTP, it was nowhere to be found, probably lost media as people never really bothered to do full backups of all translated versions of the program.

For a long time I searched the vast landscapes of the net in vain, hoping to find at least one file. No results. But then I found DiscMaster, a search engine that looks for files deep in the vaults of the Internet Archive, in particular inside old CD images (think shareware discs). Armed with newly found hope, I looked up N32E404.EXE (the filename of the Netscape 4.04 installer) and was presented with a list of results. It had found the file in multiple discs with names in English, German and Japanese. Obviously, I thought, the exact file I wanted wouldn't be in any of them. Death! But I pushed on, and never losing faith, I clicked on the disc titled DOKAN 6. I noticed once I saw the cover that it was the companion disc to a Spanish anime magazine from back in the day (1998 or so), so I downloaded the N32E404.EXE within and... YES! It really was Netscape 4.04 in Spanish! I almost cried (not really)... I had really thought this version of the browser in my language was lost in time. I spent an entire afternoon looking through these anime discs, finding even more versions of Netscape in Spanish (enough to start my own collection), but ultimately I was enchanted by all the low resolution videos, photos and music of anime shows of the time.

Anyway, that was my humble archeological adventure. Who would've thought that I would find the files I wanted in an old anime mag? I'm thankful not only to the authors of the magazine for (unknowingly) salvaging these rare files, but also to all the people who rip discs like these and upload them to the Internet Archive for losers with too much free time for their own good like me to find. Who knows, maybe someday I'll even find Netscape 3 in Spanish. Tempus edax rerum... not this time, I guess.

2024-04-15 (☽): Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer... those names just teem with romance, don't you think? What's the most popular browser now? "Google" "Chrome". A meaningless word and a boring metal. Implied is no more exploring, no more adventure. No wonder things are like they are!

2024-04-10 (☿): I just read an article that was pretty interesting and had a lot of good information, but its fatal flaw was that the author used fucking as an intensifier way too often. Fucking this, fucking that. It was distracting, because every time he used it in the text it simply wasn't necessary; the message was perfectly conveyed without intensifiers at all, so why use fucking so much? I'm not against cursing and I don't think obscenities will make your tongue fall off but that article insulted my sense of aesthetics in a way; the author sounded like an annoying person in my head. If you want to be so crass and snarky so much and litter your otherwise good writings with words that don't add anything to the topic, at least use another goddamn intensifier.
I've been reading a lot about heraldry lately. The strange language that's used to describe the shields is so unique and colorful; I'm learning it. I don't want to make arms for myself —I'm not that self-centered (I said, on a site called—, but I think it'd be nice to design one for the fictional town of Shinano, where all my characters live, to give it a bit more flavor. Heraldry is an amazing artform. I commend all heralds everywhere.
Is it time to write my own unhinged and schizophrenic web design manifesto? Will there be a Manual of Style where I tell you that Javascript is harmful but Flash rules, that we should all go back to HTML 4, that nobody does accessibility right and that if your site doesn't open in Netscape, then it sucks? Come on, it'll be fun. Making sites is fun. Managing this site is fun.

2024-04-06 (♄): Today I wasted more time than I should've doing the finishing touches so my site looks just lovely in Netscape 4. I had to switch from HTML 4 strict to transitional but that's a good thing because I now have access to <center> and other tags and elements that style content easily without CSS, so checkmate, "cascading" "style" "sheets"! You're cordially invited to boot up your old Pentium and browse my site using the best browsers known to man, Netscape 4.04 (and up) and Internet Explorer 4 (and up), so you may enjoy, well, the same experience you already have browsing this with a contemporary browser, but over plain HTTP like GOD intended! This is all possible because it's not a very complicated site, you know! Heh.
Speaking of sites that work on your e-waste retro computers, there's a very interesting service called Protoweb that allows you to browse reconstructed versions of late 90's websites (some even are updated with live content like weather and news). So, basically, it's a small snapshot of the web from back then. All you have to do to use it is to grab your browser and (without consent), change its proxy settings so it connects to these guys' servers and, voilá, you go back in time. Now I have my doubts about some of the sites featured. As I said, the service is quite interesting and I use it on my Netscape to make some features work but I really have to wonder why anyone would wanna go to old versions of Kentucky Fried Chicken or Best Buy besides one-time curiosity? Are there really people who use this thing and say "aww yeah, today I'm gonna sit at my old puter and browse Home Depot!"? Okay, I exaggerate, of course: the vast majority of the sites on the service are related to technology and games, as it would be expected. I guess that the more "useless" sites are there to provide the complete experience. I think that the most curious thing about this service (as of now) is WarpNet, a video site similar to youtube that works with Flash, Windows Media, and RealPlayer. It's not a full mirror of youtube because nobody's got money for that and you can't upload videos if you're not a contributor (and even then, only stuff from the big site is mirrored as far as I can see), but it has a lot of classic videos and some new ones mostly related to, again, technology and games because other hobbies don't exist. The only real criticism I have is that the ProtoWeb guys use Discord to communicate... seriously, man? Oh, and also my site is not there even though it loads in Netscape 4, as I said before. Pfft!

2024-04-05 (♀): I'm not Christian but it's very interesting to see the rise of the "new internet Christians", as I call them. A good number of them aren't the best examples of good Christian ethics; in fact, they might be just as degenerate as the average new ager. However, they show an intense fervor that I can't help but envy. Who can blame them, really? In this absurd and disenchanted world of ours (a self-inflicted wound) in which the majority of new religious movements are abusive, inauthentic, fail to convince, or are populated by undesirables, for the person who wants to abandon his rebellious atheism and is looking for something more to life the easiest path (I suppose) is to just go back to the system of beliefs that's already there, that works for its adherents and has a long tradition (not to mention that some people simply like orthodoxy and the community). Well, the most difficult thing for any neophyte is to really have faith; that is, to abandon that axiom that posits that reason is the only way to the truth... and turn around. Every initiate has that fervor, but unlike a lot of pagans of more new agey inclinations who don't actually believe in their gods, will the new Christians be able to really believe?

Atheism has failed. The atheism advocated by my generation doesn't work because its fruits are disgusting and its myths akin to cancer. Be it Christianity or reconstructionist paganism or Shinto-Hellenism, it'd be good for the world to really believe again.
Would it be too dumb to save up some and get myself a nobiliary title from Sealand? I know they aren't real titles, but come on, it'd be fun! I wouldn't make you call me Count, but I doubt I'd dislike it...

2024-04-04 (♃):
The site's got a new button! Now Shirogami has an additional way to fly to other domains.
I want to learn to craft dolls. Rag dolls. Plush dolls. A pastime that doesn't depend on computers or electricity. How romantic it is to sew by hand during a nice afternoon, right? Yes! By hand! I'll never use a sewing machine, ever! I refuse! (though one of those vintage mechanical ones wouldn't be so bad, eh) I would make dolls of my characters and bring them to the physical world with a lot of love and care and I could even gift them. Wouldn't it be nice, if I ever have daughters, to make them their own dolls? A super dad! Oh, dreaming is free... Well, if I decide to do this you can expect a new section about the craft on my site. I don't even know where to start, though. I have the materials and everything but I guess refreshing my sewing skills is first on the list. They taught us to sew at kindergarten and I got some renewed practice a few years ago but I'll have to start anew. I know that this will unlock my ultimate power.
The doll image above is from Hirogaru Sky Precure. I finished it last Sunday and while I must admit that it's not my favorite season and that it had plenty of very bad episodes, it also had some of the best moments of the franchise, especially the final arc which is very reminiscent of another season I like very much. Regretfully, finishing this show means I'm (again) up to date with Precure and that I had to say goodbye to daily Precure episodes (it starts to feel like a ritual after a while). Sad! I even miss Sora a bit.

2024-03-31 (☉): Today I released a new version of my first album Cidoku's Night Out to celebrate it's 11th anniversary. A few days ago I decided I would revisit my old stuff to make it sound better and therefore be happier with it. This is the first step; it's how I would've loved for it to sound back then. Oh, if only I had enough time to tell you how much I suffered with some of these tracks. Cidoku's Night Out is a house album, very danceable. It's available on Bandcamp for free. Tell me what you think of it!

My warmest thanks to everyone who's sent me nice messages about my music throughout the years, and special thanks to everyone who decides to listen to this now.

2024-03-28 (♃): Speaking of eclipses and Easter, I realized that a solar eclipse can't occur on Easter because solar eclipses always happen during a new moon. Because the day of Easter is defined as the Sunday following a full moon, the time between Easter and the Paschal full moon can't be longer than a week. However, there are always two weeks between a full moon and a new moon, so there can't be a new moon during Easter.
A little chat I had yesterday on the Neocities comment section reminded me how much Steins;Gate has inspired me. I first learned of it because of the anime, much like almost everyone else. I didn't manage to watch all the episodes live, but right before the last episode aired I watched all 20-something episodes that were out at the moment (2011) and enjoyed the finale with everyone else. It was great! Then I read the visual novel as soon as the fan translation was out.

A certain part of the story tells you one of the reasons why Okabe started his Future Gadget Lab: because he wanted a group of friends. That's, in my opinion (so it's a fact), one of the most important messages of Steins;Gate and it affected me deeply. As I browsed the net and joined and formed chatgroups, Okabe's sentiment was always on the back of my mind. I wish I had a circle like the one Okabe built. These days I have a little chatgroup with five other guys whom I met online and deeply care about. However, I met them a long time ago and I think I forgot how to meet people online. Back then the web was smaller and cozier; is it still easy to connect with others? Can you still go and chat with randoms online and have something that could be called friendship?

Man, I'll always love Steins;Gate.

2024-03-27 (☿): I learned that at my friend's workplace the firewall blocks and puts it in the entertainment category. Is it by association or, dare I say it, someone related to the firewall knows of my site and put it in the database manually? Either way, it's funny that my small irrelevant site that not even my mom knows about would be considered a danger to productivity.

Or are the powerful secret enemies of finally revealing themselves?
The night of the Paschal full moon also had a quaint penumbral lunar eclipse. I don't think it could be seen from my location, so that's why I didn't mention it. Curious, huh? Anyway, it's the lunar eclipse that precedes the coming total solar eclipse that will occur over the United States in April 8. They're crazy for it over there! Due to the amazing celestial spectacle that comes with a solar eclipse because it brings the night for a few minutes, solar eclipses are seen in some traditions and cultures as bad omens, the worst of them all. A great time for bad magic, a bad time for good magic. Supersition or reality, a lot of people surely see the coming eclipse with caution. Will you go outside during the eclipse despite the danger, after all?
When I started my site in 2013 or 2014, I don't really remember, there was nothing like the "small web" or "retro web revival" or "minimal web" or anything of the sort... not that I can recall, anyway (was I not paying attention?). I just bought the domain and started sharing stuff out of whimsy. I suppose I'm part of the movement by association. All I'm saying is, don't go around calling yourself a retro web enthusiast if your site doesn't load in Internet Explorer or Netscape, at least not in front of me, that's all! (laugh) People sure love putting labels on everything they do for validation, don't they? The Cidoku Network is the funny red* site with the white haired girl.
What I like about neocities is that not every site is a goddamn blog about linux and computers. Not every one. Ohh this is how I use computers. Who gives a crap dude. Computers suck.
*The color of is #ff2050, christened by Lord Capstasher as Cidoku Red.

2024-03-25 (☽): Today, a Monday, day of the Moon, was the ecclesiastical (Paschal) full moon. Tradition defines the day of Easter as the first Sunday following the first full moon that happens during or after March 21. And so, as it's March 25, Easter will be this Sunday.

2024-03-23 (♄): At work there's a firewall that's rather intense. A few days ago, just when I wasn't just skipping the firewall, I was wasting time browsing the web instead of working and imagine my surprise when I clicked on a link and it told me it was blocked because of "alternative beliefs". ...What? Well, let's see what the firewall manufacturer (fortiguard) has to say about its blocking criteria:
Websites that provide information about or promote spiritual beliefs not included in Global Religion, or other nonconventional or folkloric beliefs and practices, including but not limited to sites that promote or offer methods, means of instruction, or other resources to affect or influence real events through the use of spells, curses, magic powers, satanic, or supernatural beings.
Will somebody think of the kids? Hilarious. No further commentary required.
If you really think about it, the term "OC" (original character) is completely superfluous. Every character is original, all of them! People call their characters "original" because they're original with respect to the characters from established series and franchises. What, does the metaphysical state of your characters depend on the ones that are on tv? A bit of an inferiority complex, don't you think? Even the most popular characters were "original" once. Just call your characters characters; that's what they are.
I want to sell all my worldly possessions and get an accordion. I fell in love with the instrument (for the 10th time) last year, when a girl got on the bus and played such sweet melodies... I normally hate musicians on public transport, but her sounds soothed my soul and made that day just a bit brighter.

2024-03-22 (♀): I like Justice. Cross was the duo's debut album, and it's so good that they can't escape its success. Everything they do is compared to Cross. New song? It either sounds like Cross or it doesn't. I'm sure they're aware of it. How must it feel? Always living in the shadow of someone else... of something else? Of something you yourself created?

2024-03-21 (♃): When I closed my Bandcamp and removed the tracks from the front page, I did it because of a certain frustration of mine that I feel every once in a while; the last time was in early 2018 and I lost count of how many times I must have felt it before. Music has always been frustrating to me and I've always thought that literally any other hobby would have been more fulfilling. I've never been able to escape from the trap of being good enough to make decent mediocre music but not enough to go beyond and make something great. Eventually, I just stopped making music without thinking too hard about it.

Well, the other day I got this comment on my guestbook in which an Anon asked me why I'd closed my Bandcamp and if it was because I wasn't planning to use it to share new stuff any more. I responded with my most self-deprecating bit yet: that my music sucked and that I wouldn't be sharing anything new, anyway, because I'd pretty much abandoned the hobby. That same night I discussed this with a friend and that was the first time I could come to terms with some of my worries. I concluded that I was being too hard on myself. It seems that it doesn't matter too much if my old music is mediocre. I can't manage to convince myself that my music matters to some, despite its failings, that they aren't just friends and family, and that they've clearly made me know. But what I really can't convince myself of is whether that's good. Were my simple, amateurish loops good enough to reach their hearts and make them smile? I remember that some guy once told me "I envy you because through your music you've reached philosophical immortality", ha ha. Surely that's not a reason not to improve, is it? I just did what I was able to do at the time. Well, none of that changes that I still feel stuck in a desert of mediocrity, and it's hard to escape if I don't make music. Maybe I will escape someday.

From a more technical point of view, my old music fails because it's badly mastered. Back then I knew almost nothing about good sound (and I only know marginally more now), so those tracks sound too saturated and compressed. What's worse is that FL Studio back then (2011) added a limiter on the master track set with gain over 100%... by default!!! Simple compositions were one thing, but how was I to know that my tracks were that badly mastered not just because I was a neophyte but also because FL Studio itself was sabotaging me? All because of the loudness wars too. Frustrating; too frustrating!! And I only learned about that years after I'd shared it all publicly. Well, at least I'm calm in knowing that half of that is not my own fault and, besides, not all is lost: it's just a matter of opening those old projects, moving some knobs here and there, fix them and share the definitive corrected versions, right? But here's the thing: is it worth the effort? Can I really move forward like this? Does anyone really care? You know what, maybe going back and fixing my old music is precisely what I need to find some closure, be proud of what I've done, and start anew. Maybe it's worth it to do it for myself.

2024-03-18 (☽): Have I really not updated this in a week? Life hasn't been too eventful. I've been able to progress a lot with the design of my game and that pleases me. The programming language of Flash 8, ActionScript 2, is soooo easy to use. Absurdly so. That's helped a lot. In other news, I convinced my friends to watch one episode of each of Precure, Kamen Rider and Super Sentai every Sunday. Our very own Super Hero Time.

In the meantime, it seems I fell in love with mathematics again. I've been reading quite a few articles about set theory and logic lately, the loves of my life. Now that I think about it, I have never published anything about math on the site, even though I spent many years doing nothing but it. I guess I just haven't had anything to add to the conversation; maybe someday? I always say that math is like an abusive girlfriend that hits you and throws plates at you, but you love her so much still... Or maybe math is like a cat, nice and elegant, but moody and scratchy. Not the best analogies, I know. Point is, math hurts, but when you finally understand the mystery and make it yours... that's when it all becomes worth it. And there are a lot of mysteries to uncover. In fact, we will never run out of mysteries. That makes math quite the romantic endeavor.

2024-03-11 (☽): I was thinking how wiccans, nazis and scientologists are all spiritually related because all three groups ultimately descend from the freemasons. They're all cousins in occultism, say.

It's alaways a funny story to tell how the Nazi Party was founded by Hitler from the Thule Society as its political wing (he basically coopted it), and the society started as the Munich lodge of the Germanenorder, an occultist society that followed a certain German ethnonationalist ideology and that had an internal hierarchy based on that of the freemasons.

On the other hand, both Gerald Gardner and L. Ron Hubbard, the founders of Wicca and Scientology respectively, were influenced by Aleister Crowley or met him personally. Crowley, just in case you've never heard of him, was probably the most important occultist of the 20th century and is influential to this day (regretfully, I must admit). A mason (among other things), of course, he was the founder of the neopagan magical religion of Thelema and of the occultist society Ordo Templi Orientis. It's intimately related to Freemasonry.

Although Gardner, the witch, was a straight-up mason, I think it's Crowley who connects him and Wicca to Hubbard and Scientology. Legend tells that Hubbard learned of Crowley's writings and philosophy through Jack Parsons, the famous rocket engineer and occultist. Parsons was an avid practitioner of Thelema and was a member of Ordo Templi Orientis. Hubbard and Parsons became good friends in the 40s and shared women and practiced sex magic* together. A few years later Hubbard would give a series of talks in which he connected many of Scientology's beliefs with the magical practices of Crowley.

So there you have it.
*I'm not spelling it "magick", screw you!

2024-03-10 (☉): As I was getting ready to go to bed right after publishing the last entry, I suddenly got an idea for a game. I was feeling down lately because I was making no progress on my projects but out of nowhere I thought "well, what if I make a game about something that's actually been on my mind lately?" and therefore decided to make a game about astrology, in particular about making charts. I'm serious! I realized that it was likely that nothing of the sort existed and that if I made it in Flash and everything went okay it could end up being a very strong entry for Newground's Flash Forward 2024 jam. I even feel like it could compete for the grand prize... Anyway, I worked on the engine in Flash 8 during the weekend (after planning some stuff on paper first of course) and believe it or not I already got much of the basic functionality down. It's been a long time since I was this inspired! I don't wanna say too much about how the game's supposed to go lest I jinx it but this time it finally feels like I can bring it to completion.

2024-03-07 (♃): No more music from me. I closed my Bandcamp and I'm gonna hide the site's music section. I don't make music anymore, I don't feel like making it anymore, and it makes me feel like I'm fooling myself. I'm not a musician. The dream is officially over. I'll leave it all behind, so I can finally move on.
My game Shirogami's Maze Pocket got 18th place (out of 30) in the best games of February list on Newgrounds. I never uploaded it expecting it to win a prize or anything, but it did better than a lot of other stuff. Some guy popular there played all the games nominated to best of the month and he played mine last. After 8 hours of playing games. I couldn't stand watching him. I cringed. I took the game down.

2024-03-06 (☿): Does the Earth go around the Sun or is the Earth the center of the universe? I don't think anyone will even bother denying that it's the former, but, in the end, whether to take heliocentrism or geocentrism as your model of the universe is just a matter of perspective, because both systems are isomorphic; you can translate anything from one model to the other and everything would remain as-is. The actual difference is philosophical. Putting theology aside, it seems that heliocentrism (on purpose or not) seems to show human experience "from the outside", like we're just aliens studying yet another race of bald monkeys on yet another wet rock —quite a disenchanted view I'd say— while geocentrism describes what man can actually see from the only vantage point he actually has; a point of view that is innately ours and properly human. Were I on the Moon, it wouldn't be wrong for me to take on a "selenocentric" view of the world.

Well then, if helio- and geocentrism are really equivalent observational models, could someone go further beyond and say that the flat Earth model is equivalent to the usual model of the universe? I don't think it can be done for a few reasons (geometric and observational), but imagine if it could: wouldn't it end all internet debates forever, end wars and famine and bring world peace, except among those who believe the Earth is shaped like a dinosaur?

2024-03-05 (♂): Gotta find a way not to destroy my voice. My job requires that I use it a lot; if I don't do something about this I could end up hurting myself. I never liked my voice much really, but I still want to keep it, you know?
I watched all five episodes of Wonderful Precure so I'm up to date with it now. It's such a fun one! I love Iroha and Komugi. Komugi is so small and dumb... Anyway, it's been a while since I followed Precure weekly. It gives me a good reason to wait for Sundays. In what feels like an eternity ago now, Space Brothers was my reason to get up every Sunday. If everything goes as it should, I might just follow the new Super Sentai weekly as well; I enjoyed the premiere.

2024-03-02 (♄): I've always wanted to join a webring. One that interests me is The Old Net's, because you can browse in old computers and I thought it'd be relevant to the purpose of that site. However, the ring is full of people whose sites don't load over HTTP and definitely won't load on Netscape 4. Pfft. The search for belonging continues...

2024-03-01 (♀): I drew. She's Angela, Amy (Angel Eye Springs)'s character. She drew my Shirogami the other day, so I considered returning the favor. I went and shared it on her guestbook, but I didn't know the image would be embedded at full size so her guestbook now looks all stretched... It's so embarrassing, I hope she can forgive me! Anyway, it's not the best doodle in the world but it was nice to do. Fun character.
I watched Precure All Stars F. Gods, what a beauty of a movie. The finest and classiest celebration of Precure that could've been done for an anniversary of the franchise. The film relies on nostalgia for a lot of scenes, but I felt it was done respectfully and without outright pandering (yes, I'm biased, leave me alone). The villain is incredible and really feels like a threat! Hardly anything's more enjoyable than this. The movie is undeniable proof that Precure is the best thing that exists and that we can forgive the industrial revolution at least for an hour or two. In conclusion, ten out of five stars and a masterpiece. A contemporary classic that will be studied in universities everywhere for centuries.

2024-02-29 (♃): Happy leap day! It only comes every four years, and sometimes every eight! Last time that happened was between 1896 and 1904, and it won't happen again until 2096.
Today was my first day at my new job. Managing my free time will be a big challenge now, but I'll finally have more money to waste- I mean, to help at home with.
Many times I have thought about closing my guestbook because of all the spam it attracts, but every once in a while I get such nice messages, like today, that they make everything worth it.
I just noticed that my game Shirogami's Maze Pocket got frontpaged on Newgrounds. Just like that, out of nowhere. I'm not sure how I should feel about it, but an award is an award. It's my first Newgrounds award.

2024-02-28 (☿): Today I went from watching videos about quantified modal logic, to the daily Hirogaru Sky Precure episode (I'm not up to date), to a presentation about why the whole sign house system in astrology is not ideal. Then I spent a cozy evening watching live japanese TV with friends until late at night. It was a good day!