Today in Useless Projects…

Winter 2018 was a funny time. I can only imagine it’s what the turn of the millennium must’ve felt like, a thought that the future was gonna be so wildly, optimistically better than the present that nothing else mattered. It was so shaky, but it didn’t feel it, not in the moment. I could’ve lost Caby, I could’ve been thrown out of my house, but I didn’t care. I had music to make, friends who actually cared for once, and OCs I was in love with, so I partied. (At least until January’s hangover…and then my courtship. >///>)

At the time, given our recent split from Neocities, I was pretty burnt out from making sites. I was actually more interested, appropriately, in Somnolescent’s new Gopherhole. Problem is, as a bold new frontier for the collective, I bought hosting, and I needed something to go up on that little subdomain with my name on it, didn’t I? In any event, I winged it and figured I’d come up with something better later.

Me unveiling mariteaux.somnol.net v1
Oh yeah, Neo deleted her Discord. Remember when she was pretending really hard to be likeable?

Placeholder sites never get much respect from anyone, and this one was no exception. It wasn’t for lack of ideas; I was still into the scrolling window thing, I went with only EGA colors (to match Caby’s CGA colors), and the vertical text was inspired by an album I’ve had a weird sorta fondness for since I was a little kid, Melissa Etheridge’s momcore comeback record Breakdown. It’s not my favorite throughout of her’s (that’d probably go to Brave and Crazy), but the style of it is so quintessentially 1999, right down to it being a QuickTime 4.0 enhanced CD, that I can’t help but love it. It’s not like the ideas were thin, I just had absolutely no interest in websites at this point.

Melissa Etheridge's Breakdown
Think you can see the resemblance. This was released after the point where she stopped being the female Springsteen and started becoming America’s Favorite Lesbian, which is a strange shift to say the least.

mariteaux v1.0 lasted…39 days. In late Janaury, I came up with the OS 8-styled site I’d ride until about two months ago. This one fucking blew, man. It was cramped, I really had no interest at all in doing anything publicly (still kinda don’t, outside the Somnolsphere), so the content was really uninspired, and nothing of it quite spoke to me despite being ostensibly based on early 2000s web design motifs. I was right to get rid of it, but problem is, I quite literally got rid of it.

You see, up until July 2019, I had a horrible problem not keeping copies of anything. So much of the work that I’ve produced since joining Neocities is virtually gone. I’ve debated bringing back the Neocities microblog to match the archived phlog entries page, but I have none of the entries I wrote for October or November, when they were at their most interesting. I no longer have any copies of the stuff I wrote on the Spyware Watchdog, an absolutely batshit Neocities site written by a woke computer kid. I don’t have my eulogy for VDU, I don’t have the uncompressed renders of the Isolated Together demos, and I didn’t have a copy of this site. Not a full one, anyway.

Leave it to a shitpost to stay the only remaining copy of v1.0 outside of the Wayback Machine.

mawiteaux
Thanks Caby. She didn’t have my handwriting font, so I rendered out a new bit of side text for her for this.

So come last night, while I was busy looking for the original 80-column version of the Somnolescent Manifesto for the Gopher server (coming very soon, promise), I came across some screenshots of back when I was working on this site (you saw one in the opening), and being a more sentimental badger boy than I was at the time (and still pissed at myself for losing the Isolated Together renders), I decided to rescue this one. Just for old time’s sake.

mariteaux.somnol.net v1.0, resurrected
Memories?

Two things really, really helped in once again putting together a now-defunct site from screenshots again: the Wayback Machine capturing two of the pages, thus letting me grab the unmolested stylesheet and background texture so I didn’t have to remake it (Caby didn’t save it for mawiteaux), and some more screenshots of pages that weren’t in mawiteaux or on the Wayback Machine that proved I reused most of the text and assets for the OS 8-styled site, letting me plunder that too. Took about an hour in all.

It’s not exact exact, but no one, not even me, will care. This is as close as it goddamn gets. If you didn’t get to see it and you’re curious, it’s up here now. I dunno. Nice having this stuff back again, as much of it as I can get back.

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