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If Ten Else

This blog is 10 years old

Ten years ago I started a weblog in this space (I mean in here, Tumblrites). That’s a century in Internet years; three and a half weeks if you actually account for my actual writing and lack of enthusiasm. Anyway, this weblog is perhaps my most compreensive (and embarrassing) record of life in the past ten years, mostly in the form of short-lived and now-incompreensible Internet memes (again, I mean this blog, not its content management system, a billion Tumblr years old).

So. It’s actually quite tempting to just pull the plug on the whole thing and call it a nice round decade summed up in 1583 lazy blog posts (one every 2.3 days — not that bad in retrospect). Perhaps I could start investing the freed time promoting my career on LinkedIn or the Behance Network. However, I know I’d actually waste my time sharing short-lived Internet memes on Facebook. So why bother closing?

I’ll come up with a new version of this weblog instead; at least I’ll keep a SQL database of my wasted time. I’m actually working on it, but I’m late. As always.

Two out of five

Almost eighteen hours into 2011, I think it’s time to finally time to look back at the last 365 days. I’m going to steal Daily Meh’s idea and rate 2010. With stars, as if it was a movie. Which it felt like, in some (not so good) ways.

The good things about living through 2010:
- Had all basic needs fulfilled: food on the table, clothes, decent housing and hot water. Plus some money for drinks and entretainments.
- Found myself surrounded by a group of friends who where kind and treated me right. No personal dramas.
- I did finish my Master’s Degree with a pretty good thesis.
- Felt pretty eager to learn most of the time: took up computer programming with renewed interest (I previously though I was pretty finished with that); while being engaged in co-directing a performing arts (another new thing).
- Enjoyed a proper holiday for the first time in years.

The bad thing I endured through 2010:
- Anxiety made its ugly appearance, with a few terrifying psychosomatic episodes.
- A persistent acute feeling of inadequacy, with consequences.
- While I don’t feel at liberty to write about the specifics, something happened that put the brakes on my post-Master expectations. I wish for once I could build something nice without anyone immediately pissing on it.
- Creative bankruptcy: I didn’t shoot a single video besides the camera/editor-for-hire stuff, didn’t write anything either (besides the thesis, that is). But still, 2010 was a good learning year, so I’ll consider this phenomenon as part of a brain tide cycle.
- A bad crop in arts and entertainment. I can’t name much in the way of outstanding movies, or plays, or music or books. I’m sure there were, but fell under the radar.

2010: (two out of five). A pretty mediocre year, then.

The Found Objects Pummelvision, which is as neat as is useless. Anyway, this made me think it’s almost ten years since I started blogging in this space (Tumblr people: I mean here). This would be a nice celebration video, if only it contained pre-2007 content.

Font Face

Ah, web typography. When I did my first website back in 1997, things were pretty much limited to a choice between Arial and Times New Roman. Then Microsoft introduced Verdana and a couple of others, and people found out they could get away with really small font sizes. Georgia was lovely but not for everyone, and Trebuchet… well it just replaced Arial in my mind. The fact remains, for the last twelve years designers had less than a dozen sure choices for web type, fonts readily available in both Windows PCs and Macs. Windows Vista introduced a few pretty good fonts (such as the Candara that used to be this blog’s first choice), and that had designers writing ridiculously large CSS font stacks in order to maintain a small amount of control. Some did go all the way and wrote scripts that replaced HTML text with Flash movies which had some font embedded, but that’s a pretty crude solution to a problem that should be easier to solve.

It took ten years but finally most browsers support font embedding. Internet Explorer is a nuisance, as always, because despite being the first browser to support embedding (since I first started making websites, in fact!), it does so through some peculiar font format which is incompatible with everything else. Anyway, I finally jumped right into the @font-face bandwagon. You should be reading this text in CartoGothic (Font Squirrel also has a pretty friendly tool to help with the CSS and the conversion to IE format); and the headlines should be set in Jos Buivenga’s Delicious. If you are using one of the latest browsers, that is. Enjoy!

Update: screw that, using CartoGothic brings too much of a lag on page load. So it’s back to Trebuchet. But I’m keeping the titles set in Delicious.


If you look at the location bar on your browser, you’ll probably notice that this blog’s address now is Every location is now redirected to the domain, now featuring a new homepage as I moved my filmmaking website, which previously inhabited that address, to a folder under that domain. Don’t hesitate to comment if something’s not looking as smooth as it should be.

It's a feature, not a bug!

This might be the most useless tweak I ever committed to If Then Else, but comments will now show up inline in the blog pages. Facebook-like, if you really want to call it that.

Of course this is something that can be described as Quixotic, as people rarely comment on blogs anymore. It’s a lot more interesting to engage in dialogue with people you actually know (or should) via social networks than disagreeing with strangers who are wrong on the internet; and people read blogs via RSS anyway.

Two other tweaks might be important signs of the times, though:

1. I removed the blogroll. It was hard to maintain and I think whatever’s good is linked via the via segment at the end of posts. I might someday code some ‘autoblogroll’ that fetches the recent via links, or that grabs my RSS subscriptions. But no ‘roll for now.

2. I bumped the ‘Greatest Hits’ box to the top of the sidebar. Because I think this blog is becoming a (valuable, at least for me) archive, and good or in some way important posts should be highlighted.

Neat tweaks

As anyone wiling to examine the source HTML of this weblog would know, my webdesign techniques are what people in 1999 would call the cutting edge. For instance, I still use a couple of table tags, because I can’t see where’s the cardinal sin in that, besides being a lot easier to make grids and to center stuff in tables. This is not what you call design correctness in this decade, but who cares — it’s my site and I design it as I please — just for Lynx even, were I in a retro-cyberpunk mood.

Anyway, since I started my master’s degree in multimedia, I’ve felt an increasing curiosity about new webdesign tricks, and I’ve spent some of my free time catching to the stuff I missed due to my cinematic adventures of the last eight years, therefore trying to relearn some Javascript in the time I would be playing Sudoku.

So here’s a neat trick for this weblog: I built from scratch some keyboard navigation! The left and right arrow keys skip through posts, Page Up and Page Down skip through dates. Tested successfully in Firefox, Chrome/Safari, and IE8! Enjoy.

The 8th iteration

If anything looks weird, please reload: Welcome to the eighth version of If Then Else. Unlike previous redesigns, I totally rebuilt the whole thing from scratch this time, including the backend — no more CGI scripts, no more data stored in plaintext files (gotta love the database technology of the new millenium). And we’ve got tags, baby! This is why no blogging occurred in the last couple of weeks, but as you can see, I did use up my spare time. I hope I got the whole place rid of that duct tape feeling, even though I’m still using a couple of <table> tags (they’re useful, mmkay?).

In the meantime, I also started a portuguese language weblog to satisfy my portuguese language itch, now that Cafeína is no more. You can try reading it in English. It’s funnier.

So I’m turning thirty tomorrow, by the way, so consider this my gift to my… hmm… fifteen readers?


If: I start blogging, then: You start reading

So I decided I should start 'blogging. In fact, it was almost a year ago I decided I should start blogging. I invited a few friends to 'blog along and the result was Cafeína, a sucessful 'blog that is starting to look more like an e-zine, rather than a typical weblog. Trouble is, it's in Portuguese (of the European variety), so 90% of the world's population can't read it. So here's IF THEN ELSE in standard BBC English so everyone from Jamaica to Australia (even in the U.S.!) can read my stupid rants.

FreeWeb is an easy frontend to Ian Clarke's Freenet Project, an encrypted alternative web that seems immune to censorship. Nice. However this still looks like a geek tool, so most people will continue to eat shit sandwiches. Anyway, I can't help feeling sympathy for .free domains. Remember: Free speech is a basic human right.

Looks like the website has been redesigned. It looks nice, but I can't help feeling a little disappointed after such a long wait. It just takes too much space, and I use 1280x1024. I just hate fullscreen browsing, I'm much more of a windows person .