Finally I have caved into peer pressure and added an about page.
mitxela.com is a collection of projects, experiments, musings and half-baked inventions perpetrated by a person known in the real world as Tim Alex Jacobs.
"mitxela", correctly spelt with a lower-case m, is pronounced mit - zela, not mix - tela. Not that it really matters. I have long proclaimed my copyright to all possible anagrams of my name.
My email address is extremely cryptic
and hard to guess.
There is now also a YouTube page with videos of some of my projects. Additionally, a github page exists which has the source code to many of them.
mitxela.com has been featured on several blogs and online magazines, including Ask.Audio, Hackaday, The Verge, and many others. The most popular pages have been the World's Smallest MIDI synthesizer
, the World's Even Smaller MIDI Synthesizer
, and rather unexpectedly, this page about building a bluetooth gamepad
Of course I have no ads on the site, and make zero profit from all this traffic, but hey, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.
Custom MIDI devices, bespoke software and graphic design are just a few of the things I've been paid to do. I generally don't charge very much if the challenge is interesting and fun. Contact
me if you're interested.
I wrote this site in 2008 and apart from adding more project pages it hasn't really changed since then. The original idea was to break as many design 'rules' as possible, while still delivering a usable website. This mostly involves changing every occurrence of the word 'consistent' with 'random'.
- Identifiable logo and consistency of fonts: A core principle of mitxela.com was that every time someone visits, the font for the logos would be different. When a visitor arrives, it chooses from a bank of over 70 different fonts. Additionally, in most of those fonts there are alternate glyphs for each character, chosen at random, so even between page views the number of permutations means it's unlikely a visitor will ever see the same logo twice. Ordinarily, this would be tantamount to suicide in terms of bandwidth, but the site's minimalist format easily compensates.
- Consistency of layout and composition: Instead of having a navigation menu across the top or on a sidebar, all menus and links are positioned at random. By positioning every element on the homepage at random, based on sufficiently general parameters, it's probable that we've managed to break every 'rule' of composition in existence. (For the project pages themselves I have relaxed this a little. It was more beautiful beforehand, but I recently capitulated and added a breadcrumb trail at the bottom.)
- Kerning: is either absent or purposely wrong, and those who wouldn't notice don't. Those who do, good for you. What with the grunge feeling, paint-splatter, hyper-contrast graffiti layout, you can put it down to artistic (dis)placement. Eerie discomfort and a sense of abandonment can help keep visitors on their feet. Besides, it will probably disappear when you hit refresh.
- Quantifiable mystery: In the ultimate self-referential form, we are breaking our own principles by explaining all this. Visitors should leave feeling like they've only just begun their tumble down the rabbit hole, and yes, there are a significant number of 'hidden' pages and features only available to the sufficiently curious.
If you have read the preceding paragraphs and are not yet convinced that I am talking bullshit, seek medical advice immediately.
I hate to reveal these, but I'm sadly aware that no-one ever discovers them. Even the very simplest, least-hidden of them all (the projects histogram) is only ever visted by Googlebot and its pals.
The oldest easter egg is the image drag code. By holding the right-mouse button you can drag and rearrange many of the images on the site. Later this was extended to touch-screen devices, where a second touch will cause it to drag. I'm aware that on some platforms this code no-longer works, because it's now becoming more common to open a context menu on mouse-down, rather than mouse-up. Since I'd hate to disable the context menu entirely, this renders right-click dragging useless, or at best, glitchy.
The text-confuzzilator is another old one. This garbles text in a way that it's still readable. At some point I rewrote this into a fantastic greasemonkey script which confuzzled the whole of the web, but unsurprisingly, it didn't turn out to be a very popular tool. But on-demand text confuzzilation has persisted on the site. A button on your keyboard right now will enable it. What could it be...
There are other effects also enabled by certain key presses. In addition to the font refresh, mirroring and inverting colours, there are two keys which only affect dragging images.
This about page was added after realizing that people were still taking the FAQ section seriously. This about section to the about page was added after that. I will resist the urge to add a further subsection unhelpfully explaining more things.