Wow, well among the reasons for taking your time to respond to someone online, I'm thinking getting married has to rank very high on the hierarchy of Other Priorities haha Congratulations! I hope you were still able to have a magical and fulfilling wedding ceremony despite the current circumstances :^) I must say that I've often wondered how people are adapting things like weddings to current constraints... if you're willing to share, I'd be curious to hear whether you had some sort of big digital ceremony for it (I keep imagining people using things like Second Life or some other avatar-oriented digisocial space for this kind of stuff - or maybe even a game like Animal Crossing).

That's a really good point about the focus shifting from customizing our desktops to customizing our online profiles. I feel like my desktop used to feel more like a bedroom, and now it feels more like a desk covered in projects and tools - but maybe this is also kind of the progression from being a kid and using my computer mostly for fun, and becoming older and using it mostly for research/work/etc. For me, I think a lot of the nostalgia I feel about the older web is deeply tied to nostalgia for my childhood/teenage experiences that were intertwined with that digital landscape. Do you have really distinct memories of when you first started using a computer, and when you first came online? I really appreciate hearing about how your experiences and feelings about digitality compare to mine, particularly because it's making me realize how rarely conversations about these topics happen outside of 'tech' circles - which is a real shame, and ties to a lot of what I said in our first chat.

On a related note, I've recently been really loving the podcast HTML Energy for very similar reasons because it's essentially a series of conversations about how different people approach / feel about web building, in a more casual, non-technical way than I'm used to hearing. I feel like our experiences with computers, the web, etc have become oddly abstract despite how often people are tethered to them, and having these kinds of conversations where we're just talking about how we approach digitality on a basic, personal level is really grounding and refreshing to me (which is one of the main reasons I've been drawn to spaces like SMCC).

And you're definitely right that the hardware/OS we use itself determines in great part the extent to which we are consciously aware of our computing experiences. Thanks for pointing that out, because I've been gradually transitioning over to using a Linux computer, and hadn't really thought about it this way - but I've been really drawn to doing so because my Mac has been feeling increasingly... restrictive? Or like a barrier? Still figuring out how to articulate it, but as I've thought more and more about these issues there's been this deep sense of yearning for not only different software/OS, web routines, etc but different hardware entirely. I'm excited to be starting fresh in the near future, but it's also honestly been quite a challenging, slow climb - kind of like moving out of a place you've been living in for a decade and sorting through all of your belongings to decide what to pack & what to get rid of. But, I digress...

Yeah, Beaker and Glitch are really great! I've been really wanting to dig deeper into the new Beaker, but have yet to carve out the time. I don't know of any other frameworks along those lines, but am reminded of Doom Emacs, which Zach gave a tour of during SMCC recently - are you familiar with Emacs? It's still a bit over my head, but from what I've seen it seems like a really cool way to take notes and create a workflow.

I'm surprised to hear that you haven't built a website before! I think mainly because of your domain which made me suspect that you had a previous website haha What you say is actually really fascinating to me because I feel like there's a lot to be said about how building spaces online doesn't necessarily have to mean creating websites in the more 'ground up' way. (I also love that your Halo site is still up and running. It definitely gives me flashbacks to a very specific chunk of my teenage years in which I was really into playing that game with friends.) As much as I advocate for building with things like HTML & CSS, it's really cool to see people use things like wiki to create web spaces and communities - and gets me thinking about the rise of 'no code' platforms, which I suspect will greatly outpace raw HTML web creation in terms of popularity.

For my sites, I mostly use Neocities' in-browser editor alongside Brackets on my computer. Honestly, I've always had a very crude and somewhat chaotic setup which doesn't really translate well into tutorial form haha And I've actually come to realize that it's mainly through my messy mistakes that I learn how to teach other people. Otherwise, I'm more likely to point people to more sensible things like Kev Quirk's tutorials.

I don't think I've mentioned before, but I've been thinking about how is actually a nice entry point for learning to build a website, because it gives a more forgiving entry point for starting to play with HTML/CSS than a raw, unstyled editor in my opinion. It's kind of like moving into a nicely designed building with the basic, comfortable features in place already, rather than to a starkly empty space where you have to design & implement everything from scratch. And in fact, that's the way I taught my partner her first bits of html and helped her build her new website. Prior to that she was using a drag-and-drop platform which was overly assistive and therefore actually restrictive (you also never really learn how anything works). is a nice intermediate space, where you can still do a bunch of customization by overriding CSS and bringing in Javascript (not my area, personally) if you want to - or you can just use the default styles. Anyway, there's a glowing review for you haha

Seán ⠀