Deathshadow's Madness
Madness and you, perfect together

06 Nov 2017 - Gotta Get Back in Time

For a while I've been laughing at people who thought the old site skin looked like something out of the 1990's, which quite clearly illustrated said folks had never been online in the 1990's... so here's a change for you guys. Since I'm retiring the now eight year old codebase that was sitting under this site, I figured I'd give it a new skin.

AMC Eagle

Welcome to 1985! ... and sorry, the DeLorean is a bit too stylish AND non-utilitarian for this.

Not entirely retro though, I was planning on going with a period accurate webfont to match, but it compromised legibility a bit too much. Likewise I was going to limit myself to the 16 CGA colours, but that too led to a few contrast issues. As such this is a hybrid. Tahoma font which looks kind of nice (almost like a whole different font) once you give it the line-height and spacing it deserves, legible colour contrasts across the board whilst maintaining the overall "feel" of classic DOS text.

You remember TEXT, right? That thing the Twitter generation TLDR mouth breathers get their panties in a wad over going "wah, wah, I don't wanna have to READ!" like a petulant orange cheeto-fingered commander in half-tweet?

Eh, what the hell, I'm gonna make a little checkbox to let visitors select the "period accurate" webfont, just to show it off. Maybe enchance it iwth a hair of JavaScript so it's persistent across page-loads and sessions. I also had a fake colour-mask effect and scanline flicker, but that was just taking things a bit too far. Be REALLY glad I ditched the auto-playing infrasound, I was in a bit of a pissy mood when I added that to the test template.

Amazingly most of the pages converted over easy, but that's because for the most part I practiced proper semantics even back then -- and the few obvious cock-ups were easy enough to correct; except for the glKernedFont pages. Not bad enough that project hasn't seen an update since OpenGL 1.2 -- or that people STILL ask me if they can use it in new games -- but the markup on that remained mostly unchanged since 2005. I was only JUST starting to grasp proper semantics at that time since like most people back then, I was still vomiting up HTML 3.2 and slapping 4 tranny atop it, instead of embracing HTML 4 Strict like a good little doobie.

Paku Paku Live in Browser

Because Java is basically DEAD in the browser -- what with both Chrome and Firefox dropping NSAPI support -- I've taken down the jDosBox verion of Paku Paku and instead used the embedded version of the game provided by the Internet Archive. I've tried several of the JavaScript based DOSBox ports -- including building it myself -- and theirs is the only one that seems to have SOUND working. Only works "properly" in FireFox and Chrome, but that doesn't surprise me given how IE ages like milk, and Safari is following close behind! When I have time I'll dig into it more as I'd like to be able to set my own settings for it... If for no other reason than to see if I can get CMS or Tandy/Jr sound working as adlib inhales upon the proverbial equine of short stature.

Hey, anybody know of a good JavaScript Commodore 64 emulator?

More changes to come now that I'm done with a certain freelancing job that means (if they ever pay me the other half) I can kick back and work on my own stuff for a few months.

If Wolfentstein:New Colossus and Elex would stop sucking down so much of my time... and my back would stop making me scream at the top of my lungs every time I stand up.


Implemented the legacy font toggle. The one I use is my own based on the Tandy video 225 line version as the taller line-height improves legibility. I also do NOT take the time to hammer it into pixel boundaries as if we were on a REAL 1980's CGA display, most such colour displays didn't have the dot pitch to do that ANYWAYS! You take a Tandy CM-5 or an AMDEK and display 80 column CGA text on them, and it WILL be blurred the same way it would be today! It wasn't until EGA that we finally got displays with a low enough dot-pitch to actually render that 640 pixels across!

About Me


This site was created by Jason M. Knight, a retired software engineer with nearly four decades experience in electronics, software development, and graphic arts - not to mention a wide range of hobbies including Saxophone, EWI, programming, carving, drawing, and just being a general pain in the ass on web development forums ripping new holes for the nimrods who think HTML 5, JQuery or Dreamweaver are actually good things.

My Other Sites


Featuring articles, tutorials, and rants about web development. The focus of the site on minimalist semantic markup, separation of presentation from content, graceful degradation, and accessible design.


A small lightweight JavaScript library designed to promote good practices without becoming a bloated mess like most of the "frameworks" out there. Simplifies common cross-browser tasks, aids in navigating and manipulating the DOM, and polyfills bits of ECMAScript 5 that are not to be found in any version of IE.


An informational website about the Akai EWI - Electronic Wind Instrument.