Odds & Ends
This page is a repository for any miscellaneous stuff that comes to mind, so I’ll start with a couple of really ancient things you can download, should you so desire.
...which, as the name may imply, is aimed at Macintosh users.
If you are a Mac user, and especially if you ever prepare any instructional material which involves showing people what to type, this has to be the font for you!
Mac KeyCaps was designed to resemble as closely as possible the keys on a Mac keyboard. It’s a pretty antiquated keyboard, but still bears a remarkably close correspondence to the one I’m typing on now, the main differences being the old power-on key and the three indicator lights next to it, which are no longer there, and the missing extra function keys, F16–F19 which are in that corner on modern keyboards.
Here’s a mockup of an Apple® Extended Keyboard II (c.1995), produced entirely with the Mac KeyCaps font:
That picture does not show all the characters available in the font, however.
You may decide that you need greater legibility for the alphabet keys. This alternative set of characters has larger letters on the keys: while it looks a little less like a Mac keyboard, it will allow you to get away with using a smaller size and retain legibility.
Exactly the same feature is available for the number pad, and pretty well everything else on the keyboard can be found in large, small and combined versions (where there are two characters on one key).
American users are not forgotten: you may have noticed that the top row 3 key in the full keyboard illustration has a £ sign in the shifted position, as on a UK keyboard. The version shown here with a # is also included.
Please note, however, that this is a very old font which can’t now be edited, so unfortunately there is no € (Euro) symbol — yes, it really is that old! Apologies to Continental European users.
Download Mac KeyCaps
The zipped file contains bitmap, PostScript Type 1 and TrueType versions of the font, along with an explanatory document which also includes shareware information.
Antediluvian Screen Savers
If you happen to be using a really ancient Mac (and there are plenty still out there), with an operating system earlier than Mac OS 9, you may also still be using Berkeley Systems’ popular screen saver After Dark. If you are, then please help yourself to these two modules which were knocked up for a bit of fun many years ago. They’re based on different fractal processes: Microscopy produces biomorph-type shapes and Far East, Man is based on a similar ‘fractal popcorn’ algorithm to that used in my Fractal Music software — in the screen saver it produces twirly, vaguely oriental looking shapes, hence the title.
I was contemplating taking these off the site as they’re just so ancient and I have no way of testing them. BUT… I recently received an email from, if you can believe this, a collector of After Dark modules, who downloaded them and says they’re excellent! In the past they were used on many different Macs, from an SE/30 to a G3, with no problems, and I can now confidently say they’re still OK (well, logically, why wouldn’t they be?). That said, of course, no responsibility can be accepted for bringing your dear old Mac to its knees. (To celebrate all this, I’ve dug out my old After Dark Fish T-shirt and worn it for a gig. If the occasion arises I’ll wear my Flying Toasters tie!)
A couple of offshoot web sites, both very old but still out there:
Peter is an old friend and work colleague, and an altogether curious character. Among other things, he is an artist, producing finely detailed pen-and-ink drawings. The image here is a tiny (and characteristically macabre) detail from one of them. A long time ago we put together this web site to show off some of his work. It’s high time he had a new site, but for now this one will at least give some idea of what he does.
The Zappa Zone
This site isn't quite as ancient as Peter’s, having last been updated in 2006. There have been a fair number of releases since then, but all the core stuff is there for you to search. Give it a try, why doncha?