That silly 404 page

Every website’s gotta have an HTTP 404 File Not Found page that says nothing is there, ask the link owner to fix the link, here’s how to find what you’re looking for, yada yada… why not have a little fun with it? If you get a 404 error on pikadudeno1.com, the site takes the number of letters in the requested URL modulo 6, and uses the result to choose one of 6 stupid jokes to show on the error page!

Were I to share a bunch of links to nonexistent pages, I’d end up with search engine robots trying to follow them all and getting a whole lotta nothing… which is why I’m using the Robots Exclusion Standard to stop them from visiting any URL that starts with “http://pikadudeno1.com/nothingness/”. And since the number of letters in the “nothingness/” prefix is a multiple of 6, it doesn’t change which message is chosen!

So, without further ado, here are all the silly messages that can appear:

http://pikadudeno1.com/nothingness/a
http://pikadudeno1.com/nothingness/bb
http://pikadudeno1.com/nothingness/ccc
http://pikadudeno1.com/nothingness/dddd
http://pikadudeno1.com/nothingness/eeeee
http://pikadudeno1.com/nothingness/ffffff

With a little cleverness, you can make URLs that appear related to the message that appears:

http://pikadudeno1.com/nothingness/LooksLikeAlderannsAGoner
http://pikadudeno1.com/nothingness/GrammarNaziHell

Whatever humor you may find in this feature, you’re certainly not finding a file.

It’s been a quiet year for my creative works.

Too quiet.

LET'S MAKE SOME NOISE, AND SOMEHOW RESIST DOING SO BY INCREASING THE FONT SIZE!!!!

Every month for the rest of the year, college workload permitting, I shall release one creative work from the following list. Items marked with an asterisk are closest to completion, and yes, "every month" includes this one.

  • * Zapster Solitaire 0.8: A card game based on the standard 52-card deck. It's mostly luck-based, but there is a limited-use mechanic to keep you interested.
  • * Random Bookmark: A Firefox extension to pick a bookmark at random from a chosen folder and open it.
  • Yin-Yang It (this name may change): An arcade game that has you controlling the two dots of the Yin-Yang symbol simultaneously.
  • Wackyland v2: A truly mobile-friendly Wacky Theater with a new cartoon, plus the new location Wacky Labs, where humor is not just art, but SCIENCE!
  • Zapster Solitaire 1.0: Zapster Solitaire 0.8 + audio + original artwork for Jacks, Queens, and Kings.
  • Signs of Life v2: Many new puzzles (most of which will require payment), an easy way to compare scores with friends, and vastly-improved presentation will make Signs of Life a much more impressive game.

September 1 update: Wow, that plan worked out fantabulously, didn’t it, Internet? Eh, I’m still going to have five of the above out by the end of the year, just on a slightly denser release schedule.

That’s an interesting card

I was debugging a web game based on the standard 52-card deck, called Zapster Solitaire, which I’ll release later this year. The game is supposed to end when you’ve depleted the draw pile, but due to a bug I found the draw pile empty but the game still going. I tried drawing a card from the empty pile, and the program gave me the NaN of Hearts and declared me the winner. I found that hilarious.

Return of the Blog: Attack of the Unrelated Paragraphs

Kilimanjaro sounds awesome, and makes me more confident than ever that I went on the right path when I decided to be a plugins-free Web developer. I hope to have an awesome thing or two ready by Day 1 of the release.

I probably lack a sufficiently-outgoing personality to pull it off, but at some point in my life I’d like a good excuse to spout the line “What does the scouter say about our party level??”

Signs of Life Fun Fact #1: I was originally going to name it “Sign In”, but at the time it was first released, the page it was listed on didn’t visually separate the login form from the rest of the page, and I realized having a game called “Sign In” too close to the login form presented a usability problem.

Signs of Life Fun Fact #2: There is a sandbox mode in the game, accessible via this URL. You can enter nothing when prompted for a puzzle to get a random 4-digit puzzle. This helped me create some of the game’s 27 puzzles, and it will probably be a big help with the additional puzzles I plan to make for Signs of Life 2.0.

Internet Explorer 8 gets a lot of hate from fellow Web developers, and I don’t quite get it. Sure, it was behind the times on Day 1, but it made some important steps forward, including support for box-sizing, window.postMessage, and the speed of not just any snail, but a snail specially bred for racing! I am quite happy to support it for my less tech-heavy Web apps. (Probably because I don’t have to maintain jQuery, ha ha.)

What the future of my website holds: Not Internet Channel support

I had what I thought was a neat idea once: Create JavaScript apps that explicitly supported the Wii’s Internet Channel, with special controls enabled for the Wii Remote. These days, I don’t think that idea is worth it, so I’m abandoning it.

Nintendo’s basically ignoring the Internet Channel. They’re not doing anything to promote it beyond what they’ve already published, and more importantly they’re not updating it. That means developers of made-for-Wii content won’t get any new functionality (access to the B button on the browsing remote would have been nice…) or any of the performance boosts and standards support improvements from anything beyond Opera 9.30. With the Wii U on the way, I don’t foresee this situation improving.

The rest of the world seems to be ignoring it, too. There seems to have been practically no buzz about it, save some murmurs of excitement and a joke or two when it first came out. marketshare.hitslink.com reports 0.00% market share, which is probably rounded, but still pretty darn low.

Creating made-for-Wii apps accomplished two awesome things. #1, it allowed the player to play these games while holding an NES gamepad-like device. If you’re the sort of gamer that I am, you know the importance of holding a controller in your two hands to play games. (Which is to say, not at all important, but we like it, dang it.) #2, that combined with saving game data on the server freed you from the PC and let you take your game experience to another device.

For #1, I’d like for Web games to be able to use actual gamepads on the PC. I’ll pursue this soon.

For #2, if the buzz surrounding iStuff & Android is any indication, the best way to do that is to make my apps mobile-friendly. I shall do that, then. This will be somewhat hindered by my not actually owning a mobile device that does Web browsing, but with any luck I’ll be able to borrow my mom’s phone every now and then. (Hi, Mom! 😀 )

So yeah, those are my plans, let the past be past and ROCKET FORWARD IN BLAZING GLORY, at least when I get around to picking up the pace on my projects.

P.S.: Because it doesn’t make much sense to update an app just to remove a feature, Signs of Life and Wackyland will keep their Wii-specific features until I have real updates for them.