tom moody

parasitism 2.0


For years we netizens have had the "404" page to tell us a site is down. Now we have Silicon Valley companies such as the above "adding value" to a still completely functional process. Someone got paid to design this page and come up with these pedantic and redundant explanations. An economy of uselessness rides on top of the regular economy.

- tom moody

August 22nd, 2017 at 7:18 am

Posted in computers-R-stupid



- tom moody

August 19th, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Posted in around the web

egregious e-book errors: Mariner Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The e-book version of Philip K. Dick's 1964 novel The Penultimate Truth contains this passage from Chapter 2:


"This is how it must feel, he thought, to contract the Bag Plague, where those virtues get in and cause your head to expand until it pops like a blown-up paper bag." Virtues? What does this mean? Virtues make your head explode? Is Dick even a good writer?

The perplexed could track down the Belmont original paperback from 1964. Dick may have been a starving hack then but at least he had editors:


This bleakly funny, proto-Cronenberg-esque image of body mayhem in the opening pages of the book sets a tone for the desperate lives of Dick's underground dwellers, crowded into shelters after a nuclear world war. Theirs is not merely a dungeon of claustrophobia and rationing but one with scary new diseases. The word "viruses" is critical and important not to flub so of course the publishers type it as "virtues." This error actually appeared in a paperback edition from 1984 and has been dutifully transcribed in every copy since. Was hoping it would be caught and fixed in the e-book but it appears that Dick's estate, the current publisher, and everyone else involved is on Dick Autopilot, slinging out his books for new generations of non-readers as some kind of empty capitalist ritual.

Here's the Belmont cover:


- tom moody

August 17th, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Toronto Brakin' 3


Another broken .mov file -- thanks, Apple -- that ended up being converted to a GIF. My animation based on screenshots of art by John Parker, from his website; more discussion on my 2001-2007 blog.

- tom moody

August 16th, 2017 at 4:24 pm



Another broken .mov file -- thanks, Apple, you're a hell of a company -- that ended up being converted to a GIF. My animation based on art by John Parker; explanation of image from my 2001-2007 blog.

- tom moody

August 16th, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Grey Grid (Aron Namenwirth) - GIF version


From a quick skim around the WWW, it appears Apple is to blame for old .mov files not working. Apparently they stopped updating Quicktime and forgot to tell anyone and it became a malware haven. Thanks, Apple, you dudes are truly... the genius bar.

Anyway, this means .mov files that I convert to .mp4 don't automatically loop unless I save the .mp4 with a javascript controller. (The old Quicktime had the option to make .mov files loop.) Too much hassle, so for files such as the above, I converted the .mov to .GIF and specified "looping." This destroys one of the subtle charms of the piece, which was that the Quicktime player struggled with a short (.4 seconds) loop and you got erratic repeat times in the above, causing the vertical blue-grey bands to drift from side to side. The browser plays the GIF fairly uniformly. Anyway, too much info. The post explaining the project above is on my 2001-2007 blog.

- tom moody

August 16th, 2017 at 1:43 pm

get a .mov on

My first web video art (2005 - 2009) was posted in the .mov format, I suppose as a concession to the dominance of sleek Apple laptops among the new media crowd.
Suddenly, about a year ago, all those .movs stopped working in Firefox, Chrome and IE. I contacted my conservator, a harried individual who moonlights restoring old broken Cory Arcangel web art, and demanded: "Make these .movs playable!"
Fortunately he had a PC with an older, un-updated version of Quicktime that could be used as a plugin to convert the .mov files to .mp4 (same basic Apple codec, blah blah).
Gradually he is replacing the .movs I posted to the new "friendly" spec (which won't work in five years).
Here's a list of conversions, which will be updated as new ones are added:


"Dancin' (Please Register)" (Quicktime video converted to .mp4) [9.5 MB .mp4 video]


"Exit Maurice" (Quicktime video converted to .mp4) [10.5 MB .mp4]

Guitar Solo Still

"Guitar Solo" [4.5 MB .mp4 video]

I have more recently posted .mov files that function adequately -- it's not the filetype that's the problem, per se. Possibly it's only .movs made from 2005-2009 on a Windows machine, converting .avi or .mpg to .mov. My conservator said, "don't even try to understand the twisted minds of your media new media overlords -- just accept that they have killed your work product and .mov on."


"End Notes" [18.8 MB .mp4]

Sensor Readings Screenshot 2

"Sensor Readings" [27 MB .mp4]

Ninja Elements Screenshot

"Ninja Elements" [16 MB .mp4]

big rock grid movie screenshot

"Big Rock Grid" [12 MB .mp4]

- tom moody

August 15th, 2017 at 5:36 am



ink, marker, and Prismacolor on paper, early '90s

- tom moody

August 12th, 2017 at 5:27 pm



ink on napkin, 1990
colored with GIMP, 2017

- tom moody

August 12th, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Yeats' "The Four Ages"

An earlier draft of the W.B. Yeats poem, "The Four Ages of Man":


He with Body waged a fight;
Body won and walks upright.

Then he struggled with the Heart;
Innocence and peace depart.

Then he struggled with the mind,
His proud Heart he left behind.

Now his wars with God begin;
At stroke of midnight God shall win.

This version appeared in a 1934 letter from Yeats to Olivia Shakespear, quoted in Richard Ellman's The Identity of Yeats. I prefer the gender-neutral title. The other differences with the finished poem are (i) the words "body" and "heart" aren't in initial caps and (ii) the second line is "But body won; it walks upright" (too many semicolons!).

In any case, this poem offers a capsule version of Yeats' book A Vision -- the cycles apply to the individual as well as historical, collective "ages." I like the poem's elegance, brevity, and certainty.

- tom moody

August 12th, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Posted in books