Web dev at the end of the world, from Hveragerði, Iceland

Weeknote: 28 August 2023

Resurrecting an ancient practice.

What I once did

I used to write these notes every week. Having another go at them just to see if they’re helpful.


The main tasks for the past couple of weeks have been:

  1. Getting print versions of The Intelligence Illusion and Out of the Software Crisis ready.
  2. Preparing a new more code-oriented website.

The former is mostly done. It’s been a while since I last worked on a print book (2016, I think) and that was offset-printed. This time I’m going with Print-on-Demand, which required quite a bit of research on my part in figuring out the state of things.

In the end I decided to order sample copies of both of my books from Book Vault, a glossed up and more user-friendly subsidiary of printondemand-worldwide, which I had heard good things about a while back.

If I don’t like their print quality then there’s always Lulu, which has become pretty much the default option for PoD these days.

The second part is something I’m rather excited about. There are a lot of websites promising to help you with your web dev and most of them are perfectly fine. But I’m hoping that with a little bit more of a holistic and pragmatic take I can help small teams navigate modern web dev without frameworks, with a focus on how to build on some of the more recent (but still well-supported) additions to the platform and combine them with practices that have been well-tested through the years.

I think it’s going to be fun, especially because I’m going into it with an open mind about what it is that people need. Part of the process I want to set up is to be more active in researching and sourcing topics to write about from people in the web dev community.


Unfortunately, most of my reading in the past week has been academic or technical. Papers and documentation. It’s boring, but it’s got to be done.


Obsessed with Chapppell Roan, Eratra, and Sparks.

Enjoying The Last Dinner Party even though they are obviously a bit posh.

Be Your Pet also manages to hold my attention.


As I wrote about earlier, I’ve been getting back into a movie-watching routine over the past few weeks.

Watched the Dirty Harry movies with my dad (his choice). The first is quite well-made, but the overall quality declines steadily as the series continues.

This is the first time I’ve seen them since I was in my teens, I think, so obviously they look quite a bit better now than they did on VHS. However, their politics are genuinely horrifying and I’m kind of shocked at how oblivious I was to them and how blind my dad is to them even to this day. Parts of these movies make 24 look like left-wing social realism.

I’ve also been doing a bit of a horror movie rewatch, watching a bunch of movies in HD (and some in 4k) for the first time.

  • Alien. Obviously a masterpiece and it looks amazing in 4K.
  • Aliens. I might be in a minority in preferring Alien to Aliens. The sequel is a better-made movie in terms of plotting, pacing, cinematography, and effects. But the first is one of the best takes on the classic monster movie ever made and that nudges it over the top in my mind.
  • Night of the Living Dead. I did not know that this was out in HD and I was a bit surprised at how well it works. Turns out getting good definition on grainy black-and-white footage really does have a major aesthetic impact. Also, the movie itself was better than I remembered. Kind of have to acquire a copy of Day of the Dead now.
  • Hellraiser and Candyman. Both are excellent films and some of my all-time favourites. But, rewatching these now, it shocked me how much Candyman has improved with age. The score by Philip Glass is a masterpiece and I found the movie to be much more harrowing and emotionally engaging today than a decade ago. This means that I also have to see if I can’t find Lord of Illusions and Nightbreed.

Also watched a few bad ones, because how else are you going to recognise a good movie if you don’t know what truly bad looks like? The most entertaining of these was Return to Horror High. A little bit weird, very trope-aware, and wildly inconsistent. Features George Clooney’s movie debut as one of the early victims. Good for a few laughs as long as you don’t think too hard about what’s happening on screen. Not remotely a good movie but a fun bad one.

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