What is the IndieWeb?


Over the past several years, you’ve probably heard me or other web geeks talk about the IndieWeb, but just hearing about it doesn’t necessarily tell you what it actually is, exactly. The reality is that it’s both sort of complicated but also, at its core, really simple! If you do anything online with other people it’s definitely worth understanding and knowing more about.

At its core, the idea of the IndieWeb is that rather than participating in the public web on sites owned and operated by others, you do it on your own website, managed using whatever mechanisms you are most comfortable with, with some fairly-simple protocols for sites to then communicate with one another.

It’s not really any one specific thing, so much as a set of ethics and standards to follow to give people control over their own experience online. It’s people driving practices, which inform protocols. There is no one specific piece of IndieWeb software that you must run in order to participate; instead it’s a set of loose agreements about how to participate, with some simple, mostly-optional protocols to make it work better.

But I know that’s extremely vague and unhelpful, so here’s my attempt at writing a practical guide for what the IndieWeb is and how you can participate in it!

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Creative Commons, summarized


The Creative Commons initiative has been incredibly transformative for how people make things, and has been a huge boon to content creators the world around.

Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of confusion around what their licenses are and how they work. I see some very common mistakes with using them, both from creators and from users, especially in the game development and YouTube communities.

My hope is to help clear some of these misunderstandings up.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, I’m just a content creator who has found it necessary to know more about copyright law. This is also not an exhaustive guide by any means.

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Some shopping cart comparisons


Recently I finally set up a shopping site for me to sell some of my art and other merch. In doing so I evaluated a bunch of different shopping cart providers, and decided I should share my findings.

This is of course not an exhaustive list by any means; it only covers the providers and mechanisms I evaluated in trying to build something functional, quickly.

Also this is only for situations where you’re self-fulfilling your own goods; on-demand manufacturing is an entirely different situation (and for that your best bet is probably Redbubble, although I personally mostly use Threadless).

Updated, February 20, 2021: Added information about ko-fi, removed recommendation for Storenvy

Updated, February 9, 2022: Added some stuff about Gumroad, bump ko-fi up to top recommendation, add some terminology explanations

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My streaming setup


Streaming music production has its own set of challenges which aren’t well-addressed by the various tutorials out there. After a lot of iteration, here is a setup I ended up with that had a reasonable balance of flexibility and performance.

It should also be fairly adaptable to other situations where a single-computer setup doesn’t obtain the necessary performance.

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Independent music distribution, 2019 edition


As an independent musician who has been distributing music online since the late 90s (and selling it online since 2000), I am always keeping track of the current landscape for selling music, both online and physically, with a focus on small fanbases and narrow-scale distribution.

As of January February 2019, here are what I believe to be the best practices for selling music online.

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Anti-skate calibration records for turntables


Recently Techmoan released a video on setting up a record player, including a bit on calibrating the anti-skate functionality. He used a proper calibration record, “How To Give Yourself A Stereo Check-Out” by Decca Records. This is a fine way to go, if you can find it, but finding it for less than an asinine amount of money can be difficult in the US (your options are way better if you live in Europe or the UK, though).

There are other anti-skate calibration records out there, but they tend to be a bit expensive for what amounts to a blank vinyl record.

Of course you can buy a blank vinyl record for a lot less.

But what’s even cheaper?

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Anxiety resources


Here are some useful resources for dealing with anxiety; some of these work better than others. Feel free to try different things out, or suggesting other things in the comments!

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AMAB-to-neutrois GRS


While nearly anyone who has heard of anything regarding transgender issues has heard of the more “traditional” GRS for AMAB people (used to construct a neovagina and labia from existing penile/scrotal tissues), this procedure does not cover the bases for every AMAB person. In particular, a growing number of non-binary-identified people — in particular, ones with a neutrois identity — are much more interested in simply eschewing their external genitalia entirely.

Although controversial, there are now a few surgeons who will, under the right circumstances, provide this sort of surgery. In January of 2017 I had this procedure done with Dr. Peter Davis in Palo Alto.


This is a thing that I did because it was right for me, and I knew very well that it was what I needed. I am providing this information as a helpful resource for those who need it. There isn’t any one right way to be trans or nonbinary, and what’s right for me isn’t necessarily right for anyone else.


2020-04-16: I have added some frequently-asked questions to the FAQ section. Please check that before posting a comment! Thanks.

2020-12-12: Updated the surgeon list.

2021-05-26: Added some updates regarding post-operative care.

2022-09-01: Added some notes on pronouns, cleaned up some awkward phrasing, and updated some stuff regarding my long-term healing.

2022-09-09: Added some information about AFAB-to-neutrois (aka FtN) practitioners.

2023-01-09: As noted in the comments, there’s some pretty big news: WPATH 8 recently released, and this comes with a whole bunch of new guidelines for these surgeries! Hopefully this article will soon be a relic of the past, and general information is much more freely available to all who want it. Thanks to reader WheelyCurious for bringing this to my attention!

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Keyboard.io Model 01


A few people have asked me to write up a review of my Keyboard.io Model 01 now that I’ve had it for a little while. Here are my thoughts.

First, some backstory. I have used computers my whole life, and ever since the age of 19 I’ve had quite a bit of trouble with chronic wrist pain. This has only gotten worse over the past 20 years. I have tried all sorts of keyboards, from various mechanical keyboards such as from Filco (affiliate link), to ergonomist-recommended split keyboards such as the Kinesis Freestyle (affiliate link), all the way to incredibly exotic weird-as-heck things like the Datahand and ErgoDox. All of them had pluses and minuses, but ultimately none of them really let me escape the orbit of horrible wrist pain; almost universally, their design flaws would end up ultimately making it worse than it was before and I’d end up going back to a more-traditional Filco 10keyless (affiliate link).

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