With the publishing of Holding down RESET on an NES, I’ve hit
one of my milestones: publish four explainer videos to YouTube. Time
for some self-reflection on The Industrious Rabbit.
This project was initially started as a series of small, Instagram-targeted
comics about my experiences working in and with technology, and I thought
insights gleaned over my years in the software industry would be useful to others.
But around July 2020 I chose to take a step back from trying to teach others and
instead start teaching myself. I also stepped away from using social media to
promote my work after realizing it would not be a good venue for what I was trying to do.
I had always wondered what
NoFastMem did on the Amiga computer, and so I
dove in, did the research, and wrote & illustrated
What the heck is NoFastMem?. It was an experiment to see
if I enjoyed digging into old computer topics that interested me and if I liked
writing about what I found. Turns out I did, and I continued exclusively blogging and drawing
on these topics until Summer 2021, when the itch
of wanting to make videos got to be too strong.
I now consider that first run of blog posts Chapter 1 in the Industrous Rabbit
story – “Is This Even A Thing?”. Like with my comics in the past, it was
focused on storytelling, but it was storytelling that requires a lot of research and technical illustration
to show how things that often have no physical presence works.
And along with these technical descriptions, I wanted to include as many cartoon
characters as I could, because I love drawing cartoons characters.
The skills I picked up in that first chapter helped immensely with
Chapter 2 – “I’m Gonna Make Videos, Gosh Darn It, And I Don’t Care How”. I
made the first four videos in a very sloppy manner, with directories all
over the place and filenames all askew, simply because I was trying to feel
out how these types of things seemed to want to come together. After
23 Year Old Code, I started to have a good sense on
what I needed, since I had now used modern versions of every available
well-polished open source art tool (Krita, Kdenlive, Audacity, GIMP, Inkscape, and finally Blender)
to produce a video. Holding down RESET on an NES came together a lot faster
and with more structure because of this.
So what’s next? Now that I have a structure that I like, it’ll be time to
automate it in Chapter 3 – “Parallelize and Systematize”. I have three
videos that are all related that I want to work on in parallel, and I want to
take those structures I developed and write software to automate their generation.
I’ll be building command line tools to generate directories and template files based on whatever
structured inputs I can use, starting with the data in Kdenlive files,
where I build my animatics from Krita frames and Audacity audio. This is something
I’ve done with my comics in the past, creating build scripts to process
Inkscape SVG files into print- and web-ready files.
After that, I’m not sure where I want to go. I have an idea to work more
streaming into my schedule, most likely involving Amiga development. I do know
I’ll be doing a series of videos on the Amiga soon, so if that’s your thing,
subscribe to the YouTube channel or to
this site’s RSS feed for updates.
Thanks for coming along in this journey! I don’t know where it’ll end up, but
I’m loving the ride, and I hope you are too.