Zack Michener


I wanted a place to save some of the interesting things I read on the Web, so here they are.


Media for Thinking the Unthinkable: Bret Victor is an enormous early inspiration for me. The way he steps back to consider computing in the context of society feels like something from the era of Engelbart, Bush, or Licklider.

Magic Ink: Information Software and the Graphical Interface: Also by Bret Victor.

The Sixth Stage of Grief is Retro-Computing: Somehow this essay manages to explain exactly what I feel about retro computing and its connection to the present. It’s such a joy to read something that seems to speak for you so precisely.

I Can’t Stop Dreaming of Eudaimonia: This helped me formulate the ways the traditional office doesn’t work for me, and helped me dream of a better environment.

I, Backpack: A great exploration of what physical objects mean to us. This echos many of my feelings toward ownership and repair.

Hundred Rabbits: A big lifestyle and technical inspiration for me. Their commitment to a sustainability and resiliency show a bold alternative for our relationship with technology.

Andy’s Working Notes: I’ve never successfully managed to use a personal information system like Andy’s evergreen notes, but it’s something I’ve always aspired to. Many of his ideas, like “working with the garage door up”, align with mine.

Ise-ji: Walk With Me: Such a cool write-up on hiking through Japan. Definitely on my bucket list.


Flow Fields: Tyler Hobbs is one of my favorite artists, and I love that he writes articles helping others get into generative art.

Ditherpunk — The article I wish I had about monochrome image dithering: Working with my old Macintosh 512k introduced me to “bi-level” graphics and dithering, which are some of the coolest algorithms out there.

Return of the Obra Dinn Dev Log: Fullscreen Dithering: More on dithering; a fascinating redux of how Lucas Pope brought 1-bit graphics to 3D.

Shrink, Reduce, and Implode: The Legacy Zip Compression Methods: More fun algorithms, this time for compression.

A Trip Through the Graphics Pipeline 2011: This series was one of my main teaching tools for writing my own software 3D rasterizer.

How I introduced a 27-year-old computer to the web: This was extremely helpful for me getting my ol’ Fat Mac online.

How to program a text adventure in C: I’ve found myself writing a lot more C these days, and I’m drawn to the simplicity and ubiquity of it. I will definitely be writing a text adventure someday—old classics like Zork and A Mind Forever Voyaging were some of my first encounters with retro systems.