Scottish Ninja Monkey Squad is a repository for those bits of my photography, artwork, and general opinions that I consider suitable for public consumption. It was started several years ago (probably around 2002), with a suitably surreal name chosen by some random guy on the Weyrmount MOO (site appears to be defunct, but the MOO itself is alive and well, if a bit quiet these days). Over the years, odd bits of software, and bits of odd software, have found their way onto it, and with the 2006 rewrite, long rambling articles – much like this one.


SNMS is currently home to various articles related to computer games - both playing and writing. I'm not a professional game developer, but I've been known to play one on Slashdot.


If you're more interested in the pretty pictures, I'd suggest looking at the navigation bar instead of reading further.




In its previous incarnation, SNMS provided a Web 2.0, AJAX, fully buzzword compliant way for some talentless hack to put images online that nobody would ever want to see. Or in other words, it reimplemented Flickr and Livejournal, badly and without most of the features that make them Flickr and Livejournal. After over three years without a code change (and two with nothing working at all, which doesn't do the Google rankings much good), it's finally been replaced with a much simpler version created in ShutterBug.


The original SNMS was static HTML, which was replaced with a version written in Perl with a plain text backend. This was replaced with PHP when I moved from a web server at Edinburgh University to my current host, and then rewritten at least once before being replaced with Ruby on Rails. I feel it's somewhat fitting that it has now come full circle, and is static HTML again (although now with a certain amount of Javascript).


About the author


I'm currently a software engineer in the medical imaging division of a certain large Japanese corporation. While I'm now largely a C++ and C# developer, in a former life (that of a PhD student), I wrote copious amounts of Ruby, Javascript, Perl and PHP on earlier versions of this site.


I’ve deluded myself into believing I can draw for many years now - I’m estimating at least 20, although I only started doing the anime and manga style stuff in 2002 (coincidentally the same year I first wrote a web site to display it). While my creative output these days is sporadic, it encompasses a whole variety of media, including most forms of paint. Some earlier work was done with an airbrush - the real thing, not the Photoshop tool - but that’s been relegated to a box somewhere, mostly because of the time it takes to clean. However, these days most of my creative output is photographic.


Inspiration comes largely from shoujo anime, not to mention Megatokyo. I’m one of the relatively few Megatokyo readers who actually likes the way the story has gone over the last few years. My style of "art" bears little resemblance to either, but that’s more due to a lack of formal (or any) training than conscious effort. Given that Sturgeon’s Law definitely applies to amateur artwork on the web, I don’t think I’m doing too badly.


For a few years I attended AASoc's conventions in cosplay. These days, however, I have depressingly little time for anime, not to mention a fiancée who doesn't seem particularly interested in such things. My sewing skills are now used for more conventional clothing.


I also have the usual collection of other geeky interests, including some obscure ones. I’ve been ringing bells since 1998, although I rarely actually attend practices. However, I turn up to Sunday ringing quite reliably.


As some of the articles on this site might suggest, I have been (and occasionally still am) quite obsessed with various computer role-playing games. World of Warcraft ate up somewhere around a year and a half of my life that I would like back, thank you very much. I continue to play Elder Scrolls and Ultima occasionally.

© 2002-2016 James Matthews. All rights reserved.

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