If you’ve ended up here, then hello!

So what is this site? It’s a quick and simple place for me to roughly document whatever personal projects I’ve been working on at a given point in time. There might be some code tests, build write-ups, some straightforward writing or even some notes on studying Japanese or even sustainability.

On that note, I’m very much an outdoor person, and for reasons lost to time and tea, for that kind of content, better to have a look at nanikore.net, as that site is more focussed on motorcycling, snowboarding, and the outdoor stuff these days. This site is more the indoor side of things.

From Brightblack Retro to Brightblack today.

The original brightblack site ran from 1996 to 2008 and for the majority of that was hand coded. I was interested in how markup worked, going through various flavours of HTML, CSS and badly supported JavaScript over the years. Later I also put the site into a few very different CMSs such as Drupal, TextPattern and even WordPress for a few months each.

Content wise it was mainly focussed on technology as I’d started a sort-of career in IT/Engineering, and had started living in Japan for the first time. Initially, though it was called brightblack, I didn’t have the .net URL yet, which I bought a couple of years later. It was all hosted on whichever ISP I was on at the time, Airnet, GOL, AT&T in Japan and then Demon whenever I was back to the UK.

By 2008, it had gotten to well over 120 pages, which didn’t even include some of the whole sections I dropped in, such as when I added my whole University thesis in 2002, complete with restored diagrams and essentially an online version of what I’d submitted at University in 1996.

Between 2008 and 2016 it was somewhat on hiatus for quite a while as life and interests away from the keyboard were just plain busy, though I did put some of that in the nanikore.net site. However, I did return to my web origin, cleared out most of the older content and actually wrote some new content.

After a short test stint in Grav, and then in Jekyll, as of late 2021 Brightblack now lives in the Hugo static site generator, which seems to suit it and me a lot more at this point. Don’t expect much regular content though!

As for all of that original content, I’ve been restoring some of it in MarkDown along with some ‘in hindsight’ commentary notes to add context and upload them again as a ‘Retro’ section. Let’s just say it’s in progress and has been for well over a decade. As you’d expect, most of that content was, and is, almost cringe-worthy in style, and I’m impressed at the sheer number of typos which survived so many years and revisions. However, most of it is really only of use and interest to me, so there likely won’t be a lot being put back up. Also, given my lack of available time, I’d rather work on new content anyway, given how it’s a bit thin on the ground.

What’s that name about?

The origin of the name ‘brightblack’ might seem rather obscure if you didn’t grow up in the UK during the 1980s. In 1982 Sinclair Research released the ZX Spectrum 8-bit computer. Despite the name, it only had 8 standard colours, which could be doubled with use of the BASIC ‘BRIGHT’ command.

Somehow, the idea of BRIGHT BLACK, that mythical 16th. colour, struck me as a nice oxymoron. In reality, black and BRIGHT black over RF looked pretty much the same. 15 years later in the late 1990s, stuck for a website name, I used it. There are plenty of other brightblack sites out there, and I’m curious to know where their name originated.