Cool Stuff, 2nd Edition

Published on 2022-04-18 by DistractedMOSFET

Time for another "Cool Stuff" post. Where I just share neat things I've found from around the net. Been meaning to do more of these but better later than never.

Marginalia Search: a fun niche search engine.

There's no shortage of interest in alternative search engines these days. Some are motivated by concerns about tracking, others are motivated by a feeling that Google search result quality has dropped massively. And obviously the second sentiment is ridiculous! Why, Google offers the finest selection of ad-riddled, SEO-spam! Made from regurgitated text harvested from other sources. Truly the cream of the crop.

Okay, I'll put the sarcasm away. The fact is that these days Google is very bad at certain topics. You'll find a lot of ads, corporate websites, content mills, information regurgitators. But some things are very hard to find. Things that feel human, things written by enthusiastic individuals highly invested in a subject. Somehow through searching all available human information, the collective efforts of human culture and endeavour, Google search results manage to be... dull. Boring! And who has time to for that?

In comes Marginalia Search. A search engine with a strong opinion. It prefers pages that are mostly text, simple in design; it's biased heavily towards personal websites, and not corporate ones. It's not a general Google replacement. You can't use it to find a flight to visit your parents, nor could you use it to ask an open question for it to interpret, but for it's specific tasks, finding human pages and communities, finding personal websites of dedicated specialists, it easily beats Google.

Of particular joy to me is the Random Pages feature. Which will pull a collection of random pages from Marginalia's index. The average personal website is admittedly a bit bare and pointless (not unlike mine, to be honest), so the average page you'll find probably won't be particularly enthralling, but refresh the page enough and eventually you'll find something quite curious. It's certainly helped me build up my RSS feed.

Anyway, there's a good chance if you're here you've found me through Neocities. So this should be exactly your sort of thing.

Marginalia Search Random Pages

Noclip site: fly around video game worlds in your browser!

Noclip is a website that allows you to check out levels from an assortment of different 3d games, and fly around in them unconstrained (this is often called "noclipping" in the games industry). For many of you, this will just be a neat small thing you might play around with for five minutes. But if you're interested in game dev, this is actually incredibly useful as reference to professional quality (if sometimes old) video game environments.

Noclip Homepage

SELF PROMO ALERT: In Reverence For A Captain

After a while of working a job she hates, she fears she's having a mental breakdown...

There is an annual event called Inkjam. A gamejam in which contestents make a small game using the Ink narrative scripting system in 3 days. I made an entry last year, and it took 2nd place!

There's no prize for that, other than bragging rights. So here I am. Bragging!

It's free, short, you can play it entirely in your browser. I wrote it in three days so temper your expectations, but people seemed to really enjoy it. Maybe you will too.

Play In Reverence For A Captain


So it feels pretty cheap to reccomend a youtube video here. Part of my explicit point of making this site and doing this blog series is to contribute to the growing independent web revival, but I think this video is very special. Easily in my personal top 10 youtube videos ever.

In this video Tim Rogers, the most interesting person to ever review video games, spends six hours talking about legendary untranslated japanese dating simulator game Tokimeki Memorial.

Now, you have likely never heard of this game and perhaps do not care about untranslated japanese dating simulators and so see no point in watching a six hour video about it. But just listen to me. This video is so good it will not feel like six hours. It is meticulously edited and lovingly embelished with personal anecdotes, essay worthy social commentary, industry insights, and hilarious shitposts.

You should watch this video. I have watched this video like four times since it came out nearly a year ago. It's just that good. You will find yourself invested in a tale about a game you previously never heard of, invested in the personal anecdotes of a particular strange game reviewer, and accidentally mimmicking his speech patterns for several weeks.

However this is a Neocities site and linking to Youtube on here feels sort of... wrong. So I'll give you a link that uses an alternative front-end. If this link ever goes down, you should be able to find the video by title.

Watch on Piped

Libreddit: when you want the content of Reddit but not the website of Reddit.

Last time I shared Nitter. An alternative frontend to Twitter. This time I'm sharing libreddit, an alternative frontend to Reddit. These sites and others are part of a growing tiny movement in "internet reclamation". Basically, people who don't like all the tracking and user hostile design the major sites partake in. So instead you can use these alternative frontends to access all the same content without tracking, in a lighter website that will often load much faster.

In the case of Libreddit, it's very useful on mobile because the page is very light and loads fast, but also it doesn't engage in all the hostile nagging to install the app that the Reddit mobile site does.

Libreddit github (Check out the instances list to try a server. Different servers can be quite a bit slower or faster in my experience.)

Anyway. That's all for this time. Got some random cool thing you've found on the internet? Maybe something you've made? Share it with me! See ya next time.