Recommended Links

Here are some links to other pages that you may find interesting or useful:
  1. is a great little internet search engine focusing on creating a serendipitous web surfing experience akin to the 90s or early 2000s. It is fun for exploring cozy and often overlooked corners of the internet. Admittedly however, it has a small search index (i.e. relatively few sites in its awareness compared to other search engines) and also isn't the best for practical question-like queries and such.

    I love how you can spontaneously discover lots of interesting weird stuff on it though, in stark contrast to the increasingly homogenous environment of the major search engines such as Google or Bing or DDG where it feels like only the same half dozen to dozen different types of websites ever show up. New "old net" style search engines like this give me hope for the future of the internet!

  2. Marginalia is another internet search engine sort of in the spirit of Wiby although different. This one feels more "practical" but perhaps less like the 90s and 2000s than Wiby does. I haven't used it much yet though, so I'm not sure what I think of it yet, but it definitely seems like a useful alternative so far.
  3. The CARI Index of Aesthetics is a collection of images that characterize a wide variety of different cultural aesthetic trends that have come in and out of vogue in society over time and thus provides some potential inspiration for unique overarching artistic themes. For example, look at the Cassette Futurism aesthetic category.

    Doesn't that appeal to your retro tech senses? It certainly does to mine. I really wish computers were still that chunky and solid. I want a laptop that looks like a filled-in cinder block with a floppy drive attached, haha... I know many of you want one too, kindred sprits. You know who you are.

  4. Mod Sample Master is a directory and database of sound samples used in the production of much of the music of the original Amiga computer system. The website can even detect similarities between the sound samples and thus give you hints at which Amiga sounds may have been derived from which other Amiga sounds! For example, some of these sound samples were used to produce music such as Crystal Hammer's theme song.

    Incidentally, Crystal Hammer was probably the very first video game I ever played. I was just a tiny child back then and had no awareness of the existence of Windows yet and we hadn't even gotten a Sega Genesis by then! It was a long time ago! I'm an "older millennial" by the way, in case you were wondering. I still remember the Crystal Hammer music like it was yesterday though. It sounds great, even today. Go download a tracker music compatible player like Open MPT or XM Play or VLC Media Player and go listen to the song. You won't regret it.

    There is also a built-in online player on the page I linked too, but why not expand your repertoire of playable audio files? Tracker music files are great. They are kind of like MIDI files but with built-in sounds for playback so that the instrumentation is portable and still sounds the same as intended (unlike raw MIDI files) while keeping the files still relatively tiny: a fair bit larger than MIDI but much smaller than WAV or (usually) MP3.

  5. One Terabyte of a Kilobyte Age is an article that provides a partial overview of the history of Geocities, of which Neocities is a spiritual successor.
  6. is a directory to many great "old net" inspired resources and also a community of people fighting to bring back a more free and creatively healthy internet. Despite the domain name, this is not a dirty site, haha... It is very wholesome and constructive. You can also read the author's manifesto for restoring the internet to be more like it used to be. Here's a few good quotes from it:
    The folk revival of the web is still out of sight but very much in reach. I see it as an antidote to the miasma the internet has become today, or at least a promise that tomorrow can be better.
    It's about time you stopped playing by other peoples rules and made up your own. Just remember that we are all pixels in the eyes of eternity.
  7. List of Manifestos of the Web Revival is a large collection of numerous people's impassioned expressions of what they think has gone wrong with the "modern" internet and what they think should be done differently to set things right again and to restore a more freedom-respecting and psychologically healthy web ecosystem. There are some inspiring reads here and it is very heartening to see this new movement to bring back some of the best qualities of the internet that have become endangered.

    The modern web has gradually become increasingly stifling to human freedom (especially tending to suppress the diversity, autonomy, independence, authenticity, and audience reach of any form of expression that differs from the prevailing orthodoxy). The more people fight back against that corruption and for revitalizing the previously much more freedom-friendly norms of the old net and for the underlying goodness and wholesomeness embodied by it then the better off we'll all be!

  8. Pixel Sea is a very fancy animated database system for searching for and downloading a large variety of different icons and animated gifs suitable for evoking the aesthetics of the old internet and its associated nostalgia. This page is both fun to use and very useful for searching for images you can use on your own site. The page simulates a little old school printer that sort of resembles a receipt printer, complete with associated spooling noises. You should definitely give it a try. It is an impressive page and simultaneously very quaintly charming.
  9. What is the Web Revival? is a clearly written and wide ranging explanation of what the "web revival" term means, written by someone who claims to have been the person who originally coined the term! If true, then this article and its author have some special significance in this movement towards the older and freer internet. The article especially gives a good overview of the various different "camps" of the movement, each of which have different dominant motivations (though often overlapping).

    Although the article seems to make a few overreaching (likely very inaccurate) claims about the movement's demographics, such as strangely claiming an absence of straight males when this is clearly not accurate if you browse Neocities or elsewhere, the article was still very worth the read! Anyway, the real demographics of the web revival movement seem to span all of society about equally from what I can see. I'm definitely a straight male, for example, which indeed seems common in the movement, contrary to the author's demographics claims.

    Melon King has a similar page devoted to explaining what the web revival movement is, which doesn't cover the subgroups of the web revival movement as much but does do a better job of explaining the many synonyms for the movement and the big picture.

  10. The Suboptimalist Manifesto is an anti-perfectionism manifesto designed to help liberate one's creativity and to help disengage oneself from creatively harmful societal norms. The article focuses especially on the unsustainability, circularity, and out-of-touch nature of giving excessive attention to "optimization".

    This article really speaks to me because it goes right to the heart of one of my own biggest problems: perfectionism. I can think of perhaps nothing else in my life that has caused more harm to my creative output or indeed to my entire life itself than analysis paralysis induced by excessively searching for the "best option" to the point of burnout. The kind of creative loosening the author describes in this manifesto is something I aspire to and I admire the author's commitment to the inherently imperfect nature of creative expression.

    Another interesting article I enjoyed from the author was: "Good news, the internet as we know it may be doomed.".

  11. What happened to yesterweb? is an illuminating and informative article about how and why a well-known and previously more well-regarded subset of the web revival movement suddenly collapsed on itself. Basically, the admins of the yesterweb site seem to have been radicalized at some point (or, though less likely: had ulterior motives from the start) in such a way that they were derailed from the much more wholesome and constructive goals of the wider web revival movement and instead began trying to opportunistically exploit the subcommunity that had gathered around them as a vehicle for their own personal politics and power.

    Power corrupts, as the saying goes. The overwhelming majority of the community didn't want what the admins were peddling though, so the admins shut the entire community down rather than allow anything that differed from their own political views to potentially flourish in such a large and influential community. One of the people involved even openly admits (in their own words) to premeditatedly targeting the community for psychological conditioning and exploitation. It is really sad honestly.

    I wasn't there for any of this myself (though I've read several webpages about it, each by different people), but the rapid collapse of this subcommunity is still strikingly ominous and instructive. It is a stark reminder of the toxic influence that contemporary politics tends to have on anyone exposed to it and hence of the importance of protecting the web revival movement from any similarly unwise ulterior motives in the future that could jeopardize the freedom of the internet and hence of all of humanity at large.

  12. Sebastian Loncar's Colorizer and Jackw01's HCLPicker are two of the better online color pickers tools I've encountered. Both show you what some equivalent values in other color systems would be and you may find them useful for picking colors more easily, intuitively, and expressively. HCL is a human perception based color space designed to be much easier to use than the (also human perception based but much less intuitive) Lab color space. HSL and HSV/HSB are more common color spaces that are less perceptually accurate but much simpler to implement. There are also things like RGB and CMYK of course. HCL is the best color space for graphic design probably, but each system has pros and cons:
    • HCL is easiest for creating visually consistent color themes (search for the "Interchangeable colors" heading on this related page). However, HCL has a complicated underlying mathematical shape that changes based on what the current parameters are instead of staying the same shape always, whereas the shape of HSL and HSB/HSV never change. As such, there may be "dead zones" in HCL color pickers where parameter changes have no effect on the output color, or else the parameters may be clamped to prevent such choices.

      Unfortunately, HCL is the least common of these color spaces and many art programs don't support it. HCL is also more computationally expensive if used in programmable shaders for creating graphical special effects for games (etc).

      HCL is also sometimes known as LCH, creating some confusion and inconsistency.

    • HSL let's you brighten or darken a color using just one parameter, even if doing so requires weakening the color saturation, whereas HCL and HSB/HSV require you to change multiple parameters in that case. HSL provides a very intuitive concept of brightness/darkness. I use HSL in my own CSS colors because it provides a good pragmatic balance of intuitiveness and effectiveness.
    • HSB/HSV treats the hue and saturation as a strict criteria that the brightness/darkness has to constrain itself to. In other words, HSB/HSV makes it easy to express variations of brightness and darkness for a specific hue and saturation without accidentally desaturating the color in the process, unlike HSL.

    Several color selection methods are available in CSS markup for picking your website's colors. Although hex based color codes are the most traditional format, alternative color selection methods are usually more readable. Here is a really great high quality introduction to using color spaces in CSS.

  13. Bill Dietrich's HTML / XML / RSS link checker is a completely free link checker for VS Code (one of the most popular code editors) which will automatically check for broken links in your HTML markup code. This tool makes it possible to much more easily detect hyperlinks that were previously valid but no longer are (such as if a page no longer exists or was moved) and also links that were input erroneously and were never valid to begin with.

    This can save a lot of time. You have to make sure to open the "problems" log in VS Code to see the checker's results though, so heads up on that. There's a trio of icons that you can click on located in the bottom bar that will open the problem log up if it isn't already open.

    No broken link detector can be perfect though, because there are ways that a link can be broken or redirected that cannot be easily detected. Nonetheless, such tools can catch the most common problems and can be very helpful. This program (editor extension) can also detect links that could be using HTTPS (the more secure version of HTTP) but aren't.

    Additionally, the program can detect some missing "semantic HTML" elements (such as detecting missing or erroneous header, main, footer, article, and section elements) on your page whose absence could harm the SEO or accessibility of your page.

  14. Jun Han's Auto Rename Tag extension is a useful extension for VS Code which makes it so that when you edit either of the starting or closing tags of an HTML tag pair the other tag is also automatically changed to match. This saves a lot of time and prevents many accidental errors.

    [Note: I later discovered that this extension can sometimes inadvertently delete nested text that just happens to have the exact same name as the tag you are trying to edit. This may be related to my use of the Vim VS Code extension though, but I'm not sure.]

    Alternatively, you can use the F2 key when your cursor is on top of the tag you want to change to open the renaming refactoring tool in VS Code. That will change both the opening and closing tags. Previously I had trouble getting this working for HTML in VS Code but it seems the VS Code devs may have fixed it in a recent VS Code version (or I was doing something wrong before) and now it works fine. The F2 approach seems less buggy than Jun Han's Auto Rename Tag extension. Thus, the rename key is what I use now, since it seems safer. I don't want to accidentally deleted nested text.

  15. Street Side Software's Code Spell Checker is the easiest way that I was able to find to add spell checking of prose (i.e. of natural language text such as English) to VS Code. Unlike a few other extensions I tried, this extension actually worked immediately. I uninstalled the other extensions I tried on the basis that getting an extension working should never be tedious or esoteric unless there is no other choice. I use this extension to spell check my HTML text for this website.
  16. Against an Increasingly User-Hostile Web is a great article that compares and contrasts the early (predominately ethical and user-friendly) internet with the "modern" (predominately unethical and user-hostile) "modern" internet.

    Especially of interest is the fact that the article features a precise and easy to understand table that exhibits some eye-opening statistics on just how huge the difference between the old net and new net actually is in concrete terms. The magnitude of both the waste and the amount of attention parasitism that "modern" websites often engage in may shock you. Many people underestimate how bad it is.

  17. W3C Markup Validation Service is a 100% free online service for automatically checking HTML code for potential problems. The page provides a "linter" for HTML essentially. The W3C is also coincidentally the official organization responsible for maintaining and guiding the design and evolution of HTML. Thus, this page is the most authoritative automated source on what is high quality HTML markup and what isn't. It is therefore the most credible and reliable HTML code quality checking system.

    Web browsers may treat HTML more loosely than they are officially supposed to. Hence, just because an HTML page displays the way you intended doesn't mean there aren't still potential problems lurking in the code that could cause harm or break things.

  18. Celian Riboulet's W3C Web Validator is a VS Code extension that integrates the W3C's HTML validation standards into VS Code so that you can check your code without opening up the official W3C Markup Validation Service page separately in your browser. This extensions adds a button to the bottom bar of VS Code that you can just click whenever you want to "lint" (to check for quality problems and potential errors) your HTML markup code.

    Be aware that you may have to activate the validator separately on each HTML or CSS file you want to check. Otherwise you may miss things on other pages.

  19. The HTML Standard is the official reference document that defines the structure and interpretation of HTML markup code, jointly edited by the W3C and WHATWG. This is the most authoritative source of information on how HTML markup code is supposed to work and what features are potentially available (depending on what browser the HTML is viewed with).

    There are many different HTML and CSS resources on the internet but many could have errors or ambiguity in them and may be misleading. Thus, if ever in doubt, one should consult the HTML standard itself. It seems to be well-written from what I've seen so far, though it is sometimes overwhelming or has too many distracting low-value technicalities in some parts. Having a light touch and being willing to ignore things that are only relevant to browser programmers seems especially important.

  20. The Book of Shaders is a wonderful (though technically incomplete) introduction to shader programming in GLSL. Shaders are essentially pixel transformation programs that run in parallel, as if there were a separate processor (like a CPU but more limited) available for every pixel on a canvas. Shaders are what enables modern graphics to run so fast and yet still have arbitrarily customizable graphical effects.

    Shader programming is essentially "painting with code", but constrained to what is suitable for high performance computing. Shaders are related to (but different than) creative coding. Creative coding programs can operate sequentially (a.k.a. serially, like a general-purpose CPU) whereas shaders must operate in parallel. That's the main difference between shaders and creative coding. Both are very flexible. Both are fun.

  21. The Obscuritory: For Games Unplayed and Unknown is a website featuring lots of interesting nuanced discussion about various obscure video games. I stumbled upon the website randomly recently by a happy accident (ah, my good friend serendipity!). If my memory is correct, I first encountered the site when a web revival related search landed me on a page about the the dystopian information network of an unusual post-apocalyptic game called Perihelion. The game seems mildly prescient in the current climate of the "tech" world.
  22. Cameron's World is a diverse frankensteined amalgamation of many different website elements from many different websites from Geocities (the defunct ancestor and inspiration for Neocities). The page feels kind of like a collage, with various thematic subsections stitched together like a quilt, but collectively forming one continuous scroll. This page is essentially a tribute to the aesthetics of the old (pre-homogenization and pre-commercialization) internet.

    Cameron's World seems to be widely known in the web revival (a.k.a. old web, small web, open web, wild web, etc) community and so many readers of this page will already be familiar with it. Still though, I think it is worth mentioning for those people who haven't seen it yet. It is sort of a hybrid of an art exhibit and a history page, like a museum.

  23. Luke Peters' Element Blocker is a browser extension for Firefox that allows you to block HTML elements on websites that ad blockers can't block. For example, I use this on Quora to block the new "AI" box they've intrusively put on every page, because web scrapping based generative "AI" is inherently unethical due to being fundamentally and irreconcilably based on theft. Ad blockers can't block that box, but this extension can.
  24. The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Privacy Badger is a browser extension for Firefox that automatically detects and adapts to attempts to track you on the internet and blocks many of the associated trackers. This helps reduce how much information exploitive and freedom-hostile companies are able to gather, store, and sell about you.
  25. James Anderson's LeechBlock NG is a useful and flexible website blocker that has many effective customization options and helps reduce attention parasitism and time waste in your life. For example, I have mine set to redirect all links to Reddit (and to several other similar sites) to the Wikipedia page for groupthink instead. It is quite handy!
  26. Unhook is a browser extension that enables you to block all YouTube recommended videos and many other YouTube website elements. This is great for massively reducing any time you spend going down unintended YouTube rabbit holes. It gives you fine-grained control. For example, there are no circumstances where I want to watch shorts and so I have mine set to never show any shorts. YouTube may not respect users' consent, but this extension gives you back control of what you do or don't see.
  27. Rebelle is art software designed to accurately simulate drawing and painting in a variety of traditional real-world art media, but especially watercolor.

    Rebelle is an exceptionally well-made and expressive art creation program. The watercolor diffusion system available in Rebelle can accurately simulate many aspects of physical watercolor pigment mixing, thereby making it far easier to produce interesting and natural-feeling texture and color variation in a painting.

    The various options and workflows available in Rebelle are also very effective and expressive. Rebelle is by far one of the best pieces of art software currently I'd say. Many people would benefit from having a fuller sense of what Rebelle can do.

    Indeed, Rebelle's watercolor painting system is so much better than any other art program's watercolor system I've yet encountered that I'd go so far as to say that Rebelle seems to be one of the very few art programs that has anything that can really be called genuine digital watercolor painting. Transparent texturing isn't enough.

    I strongly recommend trying Rebelle. Rebelle has done a lot to get me interested in learning more about 2D painting, which I'd previously avoided for years. Nothing else creates rich variations in color as easily. I'm looking forward to doing more with it!

  28. Vector Styler is a promising new up-and-coming vector art program. The range of features it has seems to be far more interesting and exciting than any other vector art programs I've used!

    Granted, I haven't used Adobe Illustrator in almost a decade and so can't speak to how Vector Styler compares to Illustrator. However, Vector Styler is at a minimum certainly more exciting than Affinity Designer and Inkscape are, which by comparison are relatively stale and bare bones. In that sense, Vector Styler is tentatively potentially a great alternative to Affinity Designer and Inkscape (more on that later, read until the end).

    There's a lot of really interesting vector art deformation tools in Vector Styler and the software also seems to be more capable of supporting a natural and imaginatively expressive drawing workflow than Affinity Designer and Inkscape.

    In Vector Styler, it feels kind of like you can sculpt your 2D vector objects like a kind of 2D clay if you use the right tools and effects. I'd say Vector Styler is the most fun vector art software I've encountered so far.

    The one big problem with Vector Styler though it that it is (as of , when this entry was written) still quite buggy and thus can often be frustrating to try to actually use in practice. I personally own a copy of it but am waiting until the software becomes less buggy over time before I use it more. Vector Styler is currently pretty unreliable and unstable unfortunately. I have high hopes for its future though!

  29. QCAD is a wonderfully well-designed 2D computer-aided design (CAD) program. Essentially, it is a system for creating vector-based schematics (and other graphics) in such a way that very precise and expressive geometric constraints embodying exactly what kinds of interrelationships you want to exist between the objects you place on the canvas (the blueprint, schematic, diagram, technical drawing, etc) can be specified and easily created. The interface for doing so is quite intuitive too!

    QCAD is open source software (under GPLv3) and is available in two forms: the community edition (entirely free) and the professional edition (very inexpensive compared to the vast majority of other CAD software). I bought the pro version.

    The professional version of QCAD has a trial version wherein you can transfer over to the community version at any time if you decide not to buy it. The blue text on the feature list page highlights which features are only available in the pro version of QCAD, whereas the the black text shows which features are available in both versions.

    Although QCAD's intended audience is engineers and architects and such (typically), the program's technical drawing capabilities are also very useful if you want to be able to express compositional interrelationships between objects in any 2D scene in a way that ensures consistency and makes it easier to not make mistakes.

    For example, you can more easily ensure lines and objects stay a certain distance apart in QCAD than in conventional free-form vector art programs (e.g. Inkscape). I personally intend to use it for planning out paintings and then painting over them! That's the main idea that inspired me to get it, but I'll use it for DIY project planning too!

    Thus, QCAD is actually a really great program for all forms of 2D visual planning and hence for both art and engineering! When I found it it was honestly a great surprise and a breath of fresh air since I had previously been quite frustrated by how lacking in constraint specification capabilities most other art (or art adjacent) software is!

    I really wish that other vector graphics programs would offer similar capabilities!

  30. Archive Team is a decentralized organization devoted to monitoring and recording information about websites' deletions (or impending deletions) and taking steps to archive some of the associated content via voluntary contributions of effort.

    Archive Team also has other related pages, most notably providing an abundance of evidence for how incredibly fragile the web actually is and how easily a random organization or political event can wipe out any part of the web at any moment.

    For example, there are pages on the site that: (1) list some of the many different ways that websites and/or the data on them can end up unexpectedly deleted, (2) track websites that have already been deleted or seem to be in danger of it, (3) track potentially high value sites that could still randomly be deleted, (4) list links to various related news stories about web content being deleted, and (5) remind users of the importance of always backing up data and always remembering that many companies are unethical and don't care about users despite pretending to when convenient.

  31. The Internet Archive is the most well known large-scale collection of archived websites, through which it is sometimes possible to see what some of the content that previously existed on websites was before it got deleted. Often the backed up sites are only partially functional, but that is far better than nothing.

    Most of you probably already know about this site, but the site seems highly relevant and suitable to being listed here, especially alongside the (less known and smaller scale, but similar in spirit) archival effort of Archive Team. The web is very brittle!

    The common notion that "everything lives on the web forever" is quite false. I'd perhaps even go so far as to say that there is no more unsafe place to store things.

    A reliable backup system should always include both multiple physical backup devices (e.g. HDDs and/or SSDs, etc) that you own completely and also ideally at least two physical locations, such that if one location "burns down" or suffers a similar fate then you'll still have another backup (since two places experiencing a catastrophe at once is much less likely). Even if you only update the further away backup less often (e.g. once a month) then that is still far better than losing years worth of your data.

    Also, you should be aware that "cloud" storage providers (such as Google Drive, OneDrive, and DropBox) integrate theft-based "AI" in their "services" and use the fact that your data is on their server (legally on their property) to "AI"-process that data. Thus, anything you allow to exist on the "cloud" could be easily stolen by these "AI".

    This may be one of the main reasons why these "services" are free: it provides a large volume of stealable private data to train theft-based "AI" with. With how unprincipled and short-sighted these companies have become, this seems more likely than not.

    Anyway, that tangent aside, remember to back up your data and always favor software that is as standalone and independent as possible. Avoid all "web based" editors (e.g. all web based art programs, all web based text editors, etc) whenever possible for example. Those programs can be taken away in the blink of an eye (deleted or removed) and all your content can easily be stolen, which is much less true when using independent computing devices and fully standalone software.

    Always remember: when you use web-based software you are giving away your freedom and human dignity and creative independence all just because you didn't want to bother spending 1 to 5 minutes to run an installer program on your machine... 😮

    Insist on owning as much of your software as you can. Protect your human rights!

  32. Free File Sync is a wonderful free program for automating the process of synchronizing the data you care about on multiple physical backup drives. It is extremely useful if you want something that has a similar level of ease of use as "cloud" services but is entirely under your own ownership and control and thus far better protected against capriciousness or exploitation. It's data backup done right!

    Free File Sync can also be used as a kind of "version control for huge files" (such as art files and such), but only one version of each synced file is kept around. It is really great for preserving and maintaining your collection of files and personal data.