My name is Desi Quintans. I used to be a pastry chef but now I have a PhD that I earned by studying plant-insect ecology. Isn’t that trippy?
I like cold weather, sarsaparilla, chewing gum, jerky, and old things (especially mechanical things like typewriters). Video games and software programming are awesome cool, too. I write web stuff in PHP and SQL, program macros and apps for Windows using Autohotkey and Python, and write video games with Unreal Engine and Unity 3D. I also tinker with electronics using the Arduino platform. I am so-so at photography and suck painfully at drawing. I’m not bad at sculpture though, and I enjoy carving plaster of Paris. I own around 250 dead-tree books and almost a thousand ebooks, most of them about the wars or science or the unsung histories of salt or cod.
Also, vegetables are overrated, and I do not enjoy conflicting textures in food. And I love starting sentences with conjunctions.
And hey, it was nice to see you.
A short history of DesiQuintans.com
(You can also read about the design considerations of the site.)
- I founded this site on on 29 July 2002. I called it Paper Tiger (because I was a teenager, y’see), although the domain was always under my name.
- I cranked out a piece of fiction every day for a year. It was pretty intense.
- I lost almost the entire archive of that period when I switched blog software. At the time I didn’t really care, but now I feel kind of bad about not having them.
- I started writing How To articles and other suchlike pieces. Articles with bad picture quality were made using a 2 megapixel camera I borrowed from my friend.
- I needed a CMS that had a better fit with what I wanted to do, so I wrote Writer’s Block. I used it to run this site for more than a decade, until 2015.
- My activity here slowed around the time Facebook came out. Personal blogs aren’t that popular any more, since Facebook status updates are much better directed at the small number of people who’d care about your personal life.
- Acknowledging the changed role of this site, I redesigned it at the end of 2012. I no longer call it Paper Tiger, and I now use it to semi-permanently share projects and information with the internet, in a broader fashion than social media would allow.
- I redesigned again in 2015 at the start of my PhD. I made doubly sure to preserve all content (I didn’t want a repeat of #3!). The main reason for designing was to again bring the site more in line with what I needed and what I was using it for. The site is now a static site generated using Jekyll; I can write content in Markdown, which is a skill I picked up during my undergraduate degree; and compatibility with mobile platforms was prioritised.