theWebb.blog

DOPE

A/k/a, I'm easily excitable and distracted on a regular basis.

The name of my company is "Ideas Never Cease" (!NC) because with me, it's true. Ideas, never ever cease. I am unable to turn my mind off and it has been this way since I was eight. At 29 now, stopping isn't remotely possible and I like that.

The downside, of course, is that...ideas never cease. This means I get super focused on a great idea and work on it for some time and juuuuust when things are starting to get interesting, I get distracted by another great idea and the cycle continues. What does not continue, obviously, is progress on those previous ideas...until six months to a full year later. Sometimes, even longer than that!

The notebook my fiancé bought for me
The notebook my fiancé bought for me

My fiancé recently bought me a dot grid notebook because it has gold and marble on the cover, which matches my laptop a bit. I decided to use that notebook to keep track of my weekly duties and the thought occurred to me to write down my neglected projects. Then I figured I'd share with the world because, why not? I've been busy with redesigning BeautyLynk and building BeachfrontDigital so that's my excuse for not working on these projects.

Some of my neglected projects
Some of my neglected projects

DSGN

I want to start a small web design and development firm so I can make 1) my own hours and 2) more money so I can spend more time on passion projects that I really want to work on and not expect a profit from them. To do that, I need to actually design and code the new website.

The good news is that BeautyLynk and BeachfrontDigital will make great initial case studies.

FRSH×BTS

Man, I haven't created music in years. My claim to fame is that when I released "Music from the Love Lounge Vol. 1", people in Barcelona/Belize were jamming to it. Or at the very least, one person and their friend was. "FRSH×BTS" is the production name I go by, "the Wibby" and "Spaceman Fresh" being my rap aliases.

I have my music on Bandcamp at the moment because I never got around to creating the perfect website for frsh.fm. In addition to that, I want to remaster all my old work. This means getting a Windows machine, installing Windows 7 and Acid Pro, inspecting the arrangements, and replicating them in Studio One. I have a boatload of tracks in progress that are great jump off points for new songs and I don't want to lose those. As you can imagine, getting my catalogue remastered is quite the undertaking.

Le sigh.

Oh, and I still haven't released "Waveform", my debut album. When I listen to it though, the only glaring issues I hear are vocal quality and leveling.

WEÖM

Short for "Wisdom Escapes Ordinary Minds", WEÖM is a space-centric lifestyle brand I started a few years ago. People seem to like the snapback I designed better than the t-shirt and I can understand why. The hat is dope and I wear it everyday!

Lakeisha and Sarah wearing WEÖM gear
Lakeisha and Sarah wearing WEÖM gear

I have done a shitty job of advertising it and generating buzz. Obviously, that's the only way I'm going to sell all the stock I have but I have a hard time being a salesperson. Ideally, someone else would be doing this for me and taking a cut of the profits. Also, I need to design more products. Again, I have ideas for them but haven't gone further than sketches.

!NC

I created a web browser, dubbed "Aries", a few years ago just to see if I could do it and it actually worked. Not only that, but people reached out to me to tell me how much they liked the design and how it worked. Then...I moved onto another project. I was using Opera as my main browser back then and now I'm using Vivaldi but I still have plenty of interesting ideas to challenge the way we think of desktop web browsers.

Aries screenshot
Aries screenshot

Hermes is the name I'm giving the desktop email client I intend to work on at some point. Back when the latest iPhone was 5, I used a neat mobile email app called "SquareOne Mail" and I friggin' loved it. You could train the app to put your email into categories you created so only the most important messages appeared in your inbox. I've heard that Gmail can do something similar with filters but I run my own email server. The team behind SquareOne got investors and were persuaded to pivot into something (IMHO quite) boring...I don't even remember what it was. Anyhoo, Hermes would be an evolved version of the original.

SciLab

I've saved the best for last. Prepare for a lot of backstory.

If you follow me on social media or other online networks, you may have wondered at some point what a "NetOp" or "NetOperator" is. Well, that comes from a beloved video game series, called "Megaman Battle Network" (MMBN). There are six main games in the series and the timeline is set in the year 20XX...yes, like other Megaman games. In this future, everyone has an A.I. companion called an "Internet Navigator", or "NetNavi" for short. The people who operate these A.I.s are often referred to as NetOperators. So, combined with my rap alias you read earlier, NetOperator Wibby became my online handle of choice.

Also in this future? A 3D Internet and a futuristic device (Personal Terminal, or PET) that is basically a smartphone. Not so revolutionary-sounding but when the first game came out (2001), it was mind-blowing and captured my imagination. Can you see where I'm going with this? The ideas never ceased.

It became quite clear to me that this awesome-sounding future had to exist because...reasons. Like...it's awesome. But, how was I going to make this happen? I was only 13 at the time with a lot of time on my hands. Good grief, I spent 16 years thinking about this stuff 😰

When I (briefly) attended college, I enrolled in Software Engineering for the sole purpose of learning how to write an operating system, even if it was from a middle-aged man with impeccable bright white facial hair and a tendency to accidentally spit on students in the front row. However, I was forced to leave because I found out I couldn't afford college. That dashed my dreams a bit but I taught myself web design and development, got an apprenticeship, and eventually landed good-paying jobs and skills that led me to think, "What if I just...wrote an 'operating system' in HTML/CSS/JS?". This is how hikari OS was born! For those keeping score at home, "hikari" is the creator of the 3D Internet and NetNavis in MMBN. Hey, innovation is a family business.

hikari is an Electron app that will be designed to boot from a minimal Linux distro in fullscreen on a Raspberry Pi. It's like Chrome OS in a way. Anyhoo, I worked on hikari for awhile and got distracted, of course.

For my NetNavi project, I'd need a good voice recognition/synthesis library and currently, Google is the best for that and I don't consider them an option because they are beyond terrible with user privacy. I'm not sure why they need to store your voice commands on their servers for an unspecified amount of time but hey, that's what happens when things are free. I'm not expecting my NetNavi project to be considered "real A.I.". Siri, Cortana, and everything else are just elaborate if/then/else statements. The PET is low priority because the base being a Raspberry Pi makes things super easy (like, creating a dock station, &c).

Lastly, the 3D Internet. In my research, I got downvoted to hell across a couple StackExchange sites (I was told to ask a different site, at least four times). In hindsight, that's what I get for going there for useful advice.

With regard to "NetCity" in the MMBN anime, I sketched a process that would allow for the automatic generation of buildings based on how deep a website's links went. Take this site for example! I have four main links in the header. Each of those links would represent a different floor. Each page's contents would be represented on each floor depending on what it was. Blog posts would become eBooks, mp3s would become a CD, and so on. Just like search engine bots visit your website every now and then, so would this 3D 'Net bot and it would report changes that would update your generated building.

This 3D 'Net would be accessed via "the Network", which is effectively an MMORPG where your NetNavi is your avatar. Aries would have a built-in viewer for this, although I'd probably just use three.js.

...This is going off the rails, I understand that. This is also going to cost a fuck ton of money. Yes, the fuck was necessary because unless I become super rich in the next 10 years, what I'm seeing in my head will never see the light of day until I'm 60...y'know what, that's around the age Grandpa Hikari created the Internet. Also, I just realized that he looks like a chubby Vint Cerf.

&c

I could go on and on about my project backlog. Here's a couple more that are in the incubation stage of my ideation process:

  • social network that doesn't suck, enables better communication, provides ways for users to deal with harassment, and makes money without selling user data.
  • an outlet that showcases black excellence, positivity, and training resources to aid small business owners and aspiring freelancers.
  • an eCommerce platform that allows for true customization, doesn't treat you like you're dumb, and has a self-hosted option.
  • a curated site for lefties that doesn't look like it was built in 1999 and stayed that way.

I'll get to these projects some day. I've attempted to work on things on a schedule but my mind/enthusiasm doesn't work that way. I'm using a dot grid notebook as a weekly planner instead of the weekly planner I bought months ago, simply because predefined lines and boxes make me feel constrained. I'm not quite sure what the solution is but I think if I had more time (hah, don't we all want this?) and made my own hours, I could figure this thing out. Or at the very least, start knocking things out one by one.

I think I could learn a thing or two from The Rock. 🕸