Personal

Hang loose! \m/

Hang Loose! \m/

Every now and then I receive questions about the ASCII-emoticon in my mail signature. Well, it represents the ‘shaka sign’. A popular gesture among surfers which says: “Hang loose”, something like: “Enjoy life, and take it easy”.

By coincidence this ‘m’, surrounded by slashes, is the initial of my first name. Hang loose! \m/

Let’s go back to the 80s

SquarePants Mono on a typewriter

February 2021:
Hurray! After a few months of work in iterative steps [constructing, testing, adjusting… and again] my bitmap font is now finally ready. By just moving one pixel at a time—with only 5 px for the x-height and letter width—SquarePants Mono took shape. It is astonishing to see how far one can push the contours of the glyphs to sometimes ‘weird’ graphics, but still make us think we’re reading Roman characters! Bitmapping as an act of mindfulness and a useful training in managing contrast.

SquarePants Next Micro sketch

With more than 200(!) glyphs SquarePants Mono contains a full Google Fonts Basic character set. Use this fine monospaced font to:

  • Imitate the time-honoured look of typewriters
  • Create simple tables without further formatting
  • Compose plain emails [never use HTML for this!]
  • Write computer code

Table in SquarePants Mono

Email in SquarePants Mono

Python code in SquarePants Mono

Now add that retro look to your typographic palette! Built in the Netherlands with enjoyment! Get your copy here.

June 2021: A proportional spaced, smaller ‘sister’ is currently under construction.

World’s #1 puzzle

Cube

1974:
Ernö Rubik—a professor from Budapest in Hungary—wanted to help his students understand 3D problems. His solution? The Rubik’s Cube! Ernö created the first working prototype in 1974. With 8 corner blocks and 12 edge blocks, 8!×12!×38×212 different positions are possible. However, it is not possible to achieve every situation by twists:

  • Turns of corner blocks can only be done with at least two blocks at the same time
  • Side blocks can only be rotated with at least two blocks at the same time
  • Movements can only be made with three blocks at a time

Due to these limitations, the above value must still be divided by 2×2×3=12. Result: 43 252 003 274 489 856 000 (more than 43 trillion) in different positions. Only one of them is the right solution!

1982: The Museum of Modern Art in NYC selects Rubik’s Cube for its permanent collection.

2017: Rubik’s Brand enjoys a record year with retail sales reaching $250 million.

2021: For the trainspotters: as a big fan of this legendary puzzle (I solved it!) with its iconic design I have added a favicon of it to this site.

Ping (Pong)

Pong game

Pong is one of the earliest arcade video games, first released in 1972 by Atari. It is a two-player game based on table tennis [ping pong]. The game features simple 2D graphics. It consists of two paddles used to return a bouncing ball back and forth across the screen. The score is kept by the numbers at the top of the screen.

I recreated this game in Python. A tiny project to further develop my OOP (Object-Oriented Programming) skills.

Pong code

You’ll notice that there are several lines in this program that start with a # symbol. The words following the # are a comment, added to make the code easier for users to read and understand.

For the type geeks: Typeface used for writing the code is Operator; a very fit workhorse specifically engineered for the screen by Hoefler&Co.

Living on the edge

Living on the edge

Infographic of the month:
Living on the edge

Cheers!

Down Under Obstacle Run

Infographic of the month:
Just unbelievable! [No further comments]

Warming-up

Down Under Obstacle Run

Global warming? Not exactly one year ago when I joined the Down Under Obstacle Run [7.5 mi] in Nieuwegein (NL)! It was a double challenge: fighting numerous, slippery obstacles + poor weather conditions. With a temperature of 10 degrees Celsius it appeared to be the coldest 6th of October since 1936! A hot shower after some heavy exercise never felt so good before!

Less but better

Braun pocket calculator ET66

For my birthday: Replica of the iconic Braun pocket calculator ET66 (1977)

In the 1980s Dieter Rams, one of Germany’s most important and the world’s best known industrial designers, formulated his design philosophy; The 10 principles for good design:

  1. Good design is innovative
  2. Good design makes a product useful
  3. Good design is aesthetic
  4. Good design makes a product understandable
  5. Good design is not conspicuous or attracting attention
  6. Good design is honest
  7. Good design is long-lasting
  8. Good design is thorough, down to the last detail
  9. Good design is environmental-friendly
  10. Good design is as little design as possible

It’s no accident that this Braun calculator looks surprisingly similar to some features in the iPhone as Steve Jobs and his lead designer Jonathan Ive used to admire the products and design philosophy of Dieter Rams.

My Braun replica—a limited edition in white—comes from the Design Museum In London.

Building back better

Winston Churchill once said:

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.”



Emptier weekends during COVID-19 outbreak gave me the ample opportunity to rethink, rewrite, and rebuild this site.