Here it is. A packrat’s collection of links. These are shared for the purpose of spreading them around based on my personal esteem for and intrigue in them. Some are fun, some are interesting, some might be silly. This list is expected to expand and contract with time. Please report any broken links or other issues.
This page was last updated on November 6, 2019
- eBird ~ A must-have for novice and seasoned bird watchers and birders hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society. Submitted user data from anywhere in the world by everyday people is used in real science and in collaborations with other institutions.
- featherbase ~ Database of high-quality images of individual feathers from bird species found all over the world. This is good both for the purpose of identification and as a reference for artists. Please regard your local laws about keeping feathers, of course.
- Curlie ~ The modern successor of DMOZ. This is a directory of web pages, something that might be more useful than a search engine if you’re looking for websites based on topic or interest rather than keyword.
- Neocities ~ Not only The Shade Tail’s host, but a genuinely awesome host of a ton of really cool websites. Neocities’ desire to fill the hole that Geocities left behind with its closure made my heart quiver.
- Eternal September ~ Have you heard of that Usenet thing? Not exactly sure how to access it? It’s not that difficult, but might be behind some modern obfuscation. Eternal September will provide you an access point. Using a client like Mozilla Thunderbird or SeaMonkey and the details provided by Eternal September will grant you access to read and write to Usenet. You may need to do your own research to get it to work.
- CyTube ~ A “watch together” streaming platform that can pull from a variety of URL sources. You are also able to host instances on your own servers with added benefits. There are multiple public channels open to guests, but be careful! No account needed to spectate and chat, but you will need one to host a stream.
- Petit tube ~ (HTTPS not available) This is a constant playlist of random YouTube videos with zero or very few views. A look into the benign, sometimes weird, world of videos underneath the algorithm’s reach. The website is in French, but that shouldn’t matter in most cases. Potentially creepy or alarming.
- Talk to Transformer ~ A very cool interface you can use to interact with an artificial intelligence neural network. Text input will be used to generate a paragraph or multiple paragraphs of appended output. It’s fun to play with and sometimes has very funny or strange outputs. Sometimes returns can be explicit or shockingly vulgar, so please be careful.
- This Person Does Not Exist & This Cat Does Not Exist ~ Another two examples showcasing the power of artificial intelligence. These pages generate a portrait of a person or a cat. A good amount of them are average or mostly normal but body horror sometimes ensues. Just refresh the page to get a new one!
- Bandcamp ~ Independent musicians are welcomed to post their releases here, and listeners are invited to come as patrons. According to Bandcamp, about 80-85% of the price tag reaches the artist. This is an excellent return compared to most streaming services and purchases from brick and mortar stores. Downloads are offered in different filetypes like MP3, FLAC, AAC, and more.
- (Windows / Linux / macOS) Dwarf Fortress ~ (HTTPS not available) An infamous colony management simulation and roguelike set in procedurally-generated fantasy worlds. Independently developed by two brothers Tarn and Zach Adams. Available for free with paid versions on Steam and itch.io to be released.
- (Windows) Cogmind ~ An excellent sci-fi roguelike where you control a robot able to build and rebuild itself either from scavenging from the environment or gunned down enemies. Developed by Grid Sage games and available on Windows with great compatibility with Linux and macOS through Wine or Steam. Cogmind is available direct from Grid Sage Games or from Steam for about $19.99 USD.
- (Windows / Linux / macOS / Android) Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup ~ A classic roguelike set in a fantasy dungeon. Very similar to Nethack in premise, but much more intuitive (and fun!) in play. DCSS is free and open source. Debian users should be able to download direct with
apt install crawl. DCSS can also be run in the browser on the main site.
- BootlegNintendoGames ~ Accessed from the Internet Archive, a collection of 143 ROMs for classic Nintendo systems. These games were all developed without Nintendo’s knowledge or consent, and they don’t fall under copyright distribution protection. Some ROMs may be in Chinese or corrupted and finicky to run due to low quality programming. The games are packaged in individual ZIP archives, so be sure to know how to unpack them. The archive is free to download at a modest 81.8MB. You can run the ROMs on respective system emulators.
- (Windows / Linux / macOS) Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead ~ A zombie and survival horror roguelike. This game is lots of fun! Very heavy on desolation, huge choices, sacrifice, and often just scraping by. CDDA is free and open source.