aqcom Design Imported From Epistula

A New Hope

I’ve redesigned. It’s Stuart’s fault. IE doesn’t like it much (I’m using semi-transparent pngs and an Evil Hack() to hide them from IE. Most of everything you can’t see yet will be returning, some of it hidden until you click (New design paradiem). It works as designed in Moz1.*, Fails to work but in a readible way in IE, and will probably look even worse in Konq than the previous design did.

What do you think?

Imported From Epistula Personal

Stories I Won't Tell

On the other hand, some things I won’t write here, because mentioning anything like them here appears to be the kiss of death.

Today I started in Nottingham, had lunch in Ipswitch, went back to Nottingham, and am now in Aylesbury.

I am also tired, and will sleep now.

Afphrid aqcom epistula Imported From Epistula webRPG

Kiss My RSS

Aquarionics now has seperate RSS Feeds for every category. Said feeds are linked to from – logically enough – each category’s archive page. The net result of this, apart from thirty-odd new pages in the Great Aquarionics Empire, is that the news pages for PFd4, AFPHRID and eventually Nomical are all just displays of the RSS feed for that project’s category.


Imported From Epistula Personal

The Art Of Jet Washing

The Aquarionic guide to the galaxy has a lot to say on the subject of avoiding your life.

It suggests a number of alternatives to life, including alcohol, cookery and drugs. But perhaps the strangest suggestion is the final one. It is Jetwashing.

There is an art, or a knack to Jet-washing. Pick a nice day, it suggests, and try it. The first thing any aspiring Jet-washer requires is the pressure-hose itself, which can be purchased from any large garden centre, or hired. You then connect said impliment to the water – and the higher-pressure your taps are, the better this will work – and the mains, taking great care not to put the extension reel you will undoubtably need at anything less than the full extension the flex from the Jet-Washer will allow.

Then, turn your Jet washer into On mode, and find something to shoot.

Patios are ideal, for a Jet will extract any weeds from the crack, and also bring your patio to a Just-Laid Shine you never suspected it capable off. Beware of blasting the cement from between the slabs, as this will attract weeds later on. Alternativly, Jet-Wash away the cement between the slabs, leaving it free for weeds to grow and thus giving you more excuses to send them into a Jet-Wash induced early death.

Use it to clean the tops of conservetories. Use it to clean windows, doors, walls, sheds and gardening equipment. Do not, under any circumstances, use it to clean anything that can feel pain. This includes, but is not limited to, Cats, Dogs, Birds, Children and especially (and this is important) Feet and Hands.

But the best use of a Jet Wash is not any of these things, but is a chore with far more scope for artistic expression and attention to detail. It is to use the Jet Wash to remove the varnish from a fence-post so it will accept paint more readily.

Before you set out upon this mission, you must have the following supplies in a safe and water-tight location: A towel (For a good Jet Washer always knows where his towel is), A Spare Set Of Clothes (Jet Wash may contain traces of water), A Range Of Alternative Nozzles for Jet Wash (For those painstaking little areas).

Removing the varnish is not your average operation. The ideal Nozzle to start with is the “Knife”-like straight edge, giving you a chisel effect that will clean the fence in neat rows. Also on hand you should have the “Light Spray” nozzle, for use upon any person who stands behind the working JetWasher and offers “Useful Advice” on how best to execute the operation. Temptation to point the normal blast at them should be avoided, however deserved.

For optimal enjoyment and relaxation, create images with the jet-wash. Greyscales can be acomplished by moving the jet closer to or further away from the target, You may find the straight hose – bereft of affecting nozzles – closer to optimal for fine control.

Properly done, a single six-by-five fence panel could keep you occupied and distracted from your homelessness for up to three hours, after which you will be exceedingly wet.

Happy Jet Washing, See you tomorrow night, or possibly later.

Design Imported From Epistula


I shall not redesign my website.

I shall not redesign.
Redesign is the time waster.
Redesign is the little distraction that precludes me doing code I’m paid for.
I shall face the new design.
I shall allow the new design to pass though me into Paint Shop Pro,
then I shall analise it for possible pitfalls.

Is it elegant? Does it say “I am cool”? does it spring from the page and make you want – nay – need to explore it?

It does? Then it is good.

Does it dance? Does it swing? Does it sway from side to side? Does it rely on Javascript for important design elements?

It does not? Then it is good.

Is it codeable? Can it be done without resorting to tables? is today’s CSS up to the challanges of this design?

It is? Then you have done well?

Is it easy? Can you complete it in a few days? Will you be bored of the mindless tedium of creating the templates? Will it streach your knowledge of CSS?

It will? Then it is a worthy redesign.


I will not redesign my website.


(Edit: I did. Six days later. Bah)

Imported From Epistula Metablog stories


I write stories.

Just not here.

Well, I do. I wrote on the Christmas Cake Saga, The Station Saga, the Phone Saga and my favourite of the lot, Christmas Fracture, which appears to have been mislayed in the epistulization of Aquarionics.

I try not to misrepresent myself, though I should. This past week I’ve deleted more entries than I’ve posted, mostly because I find myself whining (Still homeless, still jobless, still not king yet), meaning that not only am I not exactly at my creative best (I’ve plotted my two main threads of story now, at least vaguely. Can I bring myself to write them though? Like hell) and slightly too busy feeling sorry for myself to get involved in anything else. (Anyone, anyone even thinking of mentioning how little I have to moan about while people are being killed in Iraq will get the full, eight A4 close typed rant about exactly what has brought me to this condition. Also on why there is not – and nor should there be – any relationship between how we should feel and how the government is governing our country. I’m quite entitled to be depressed simply because my goldfish has died, no matter how many points the stock market rose yesterday. I’m digressing. You really should stop me digressing like this, It’s bad for the flow of essay writing. Not that I can write essays, you understand. No matter how much I know about a subject, the essay I write will be crap, simply because people who mark essays all hate me. It’s a conspiracy of evil directed against me. I’ve seen the manuals they’re given! They have samples of my handwriting in case I forge my name! They have guides for how to mark me down for using the word “Didn’t” even if Plato couldn’t have argued with my reasoning! It’s all a ploy to keep me down! I will avenge! I WILL AVENGE!!!!!)


Do you see my point? You should. My point of writing this weblog is to provoke discussion, to entertain, and to keep the people who I should email more informed of my location and situation. It’s all, in other words, an excuse so I don’t have to phone my parents that often. I don’t misrepresent myself, but I will leave out non-relevant information that will either cause me problems or detract from the entertainment value of the post. If I do misrepresent myself, it’s in such a way as to exagerate to the point that it’s fairly obvious what I’m doing. For example, the poorly thought out conspiracy theory above. As far as I am aware, the essay markers of the world are not conspiring against me.

Oh no, they still haven’t beaten the bionic monkies yet.

The idea that a weblog is more than a weblog (It’s a toy! It can pick locks!) and is a carefully considered lie is one that disturbs me, mostly because I tend to believe in the people I read on weblogs. Not what they say (Which is fortunate, else Epistula would have been written in, in order, Java, Perl, Python, C++, Java again, Python once more, and finally Client side Javascript with XLT Transforms) (Mmmmm. Ikky), but in the people who write them. I’m not going to say what I believe of them, for fear of a) embarrisment, and b) libel. But I do.

I read a few fictional diaries, mostly because I know they are fiction. I enjoy meta-fiction (The Dice Man, K-PAX, Stuff that is fiction but is written in first person by the author’s version in that universe) purely because of my multiversal tendancies, and one day I hope to do a fictional diary.

But when I do, I’ll tell you so.

Right now, I’ll concentrate on finding a house, and a job, and a life. Then I’ll see what fiction can offer me.

Imported From Epistula intertwingularity


Paul has been adding things to his RSS feed. More specifically, he now has the <comments> attribute. I’ve followed suit (in the RSS 2 feeds) as of just now. The only reason I hadn’t done it before was that I was under the impression that the comment attribute was the url at which you were to add and view comments. Since Epistula (And Klind before it) doesn’t work that way, I ignored it.

We also have the slash:comments stuff, which it would be nice if somebody used, and the dc:subject for categories.

And people wonder why I think RSS is overly bloated?

Imported From Epistula webRPG

Roll 2d6 to see if your feed validates

Jumping back into the RSS bandwagon again, I’ve fixed the Aqcom RSS2 feed to escape entities (Hoping that doesn’t break something else somewhere down the line) so that people can stop complaining at me 😛

Most of my current work, however, is spent on the new RPG system. The basic system is now there (Unless you’re using Galeon, which apparently hates label tags when floated left, even if you float them back again later. It just doesn’t display them. Did I mention I hate browsers? I hate browsers). The design is deceptivly simple. Apart from the purple banner at the top, nothing has any formatting, only grouping and positioning. This means that the entire site is built from your browser preferences. This means that not only are any rendering bugs (apart from the labels) not my fault, but I can take the moral high-ground when people tell me that black on white is unreadable by telling them to change their personal settings.

Mwa ha ha.

Also, PFd4 (Said RPG system) is now the only web-based RPG system in existance (That I know of) that has valid RSS feeds of the game…

aqcom Design Imported From Epistula

Aquarionics Experience

On the first hand, I’m going to mention that things appear to be going upwards in life, banks are paying me money instead of charging me it. This won’t last, but is cool while it does. I may even not be homeless soon.

In the meanwhile, Phil Ringnalda was just lightly ranted on the subject of excepts of posts in feeds instead of the full post.

I’m semi-guilty of this. The description field of my RSS .9 feeds are all cut-down excerpts, whereas the RSS2 feeds contain the full post within content:encoded tags as well as the thirty metric tonnes of other stuff RSS2 gives us to play with. (I maintain that the best way to autodetect the trackback of a post is to find the trackback fragment of the RSS feed. My page is too big to add thirty lines of comments for every entry already.

The original reason for the excerpts was that I wanted people to visit the site. At the time, new stuff was appearing here daily (In much the same way he sidebar to the right has been filling over the last couple of months, but over days rather than months) and having spent time and energy on the design, I’d rather people viewed it here instead.

The other major point was that I tend to format posts, emphasise stuff and insert pictures in entries from time to time, and the fact that putting HTML in the description tag was evil was also a factor. The content was having problems in a purely textual medium, and I’m a designer, damnit. You will be forced to see my designs…

In Other News, The blogroll is about to vanish, or at least shrink considerably. It doesn’t mean I’ve Deblogrolled anyone, it’s just that I’m experimenting in differant ways to get my blogshares share value somewhere above $1.

aqcom Imported From Epistula webRPG

We're back

A minor server outage that was due to last just a little while happened today. We’re now back, ten hours later. Nobody’s fault, shit just happens.

Working on PFd4’s messaging system, and various things.

Normal service will be resumed shortly.