Matt Gemmell

Best of Irate Scotsman

2 min read735 words

A list of my own favourite posts here on Irate Scotsman. 
These posts also serve as a fairly good representative sample of the tone, 
writing style, and topics covered throughout the rest of the site.
The posts are listed loosely by category, and then in rough order of my preference. 
I've also added a brief note of why I like each post. As an additional bonus, 
these posts are actually new, remixed versions... in that I've reformatted them 
for readability, and made some other minor tweaks here and there.



Without further ado, here are my favourite posts as of the end of January 2004.
Personal
  • Sit Down (Jan ‘04)
    A very recent post (at time of writing). I think it’s a nice story, and it just feels somehow very sincere and warm.
  • Women (Dec ‘03)
    My infamous essay on the fairer sex! I’m fond of it because of some of the feedback I received in person, rather than the online comments.
  • Venlafaxine side-effects (Apr ‘03)
    A very personal post, regarding my past experiences with antidepressant medication. I like it because it’s completely honest, and was difficult to write.
  • Paranormal Experiences (Feb ‘03)
    Anecdotes about unusual occurrences during the course of my life. Despite the date on the post, the bulk of it was written at least two years earlier. I think it’s one of my better written posts.
  • Doing the Right Thing (Nov ‘03)
    A concise statement of some of my moral values, chosen for that very reason.
  • Life on Earth (May ‘03)
    A sombre potted review of the state of human life. Bleak, but sparked some excellent email conversations and followup articles on various blogs.
Mac User Interface
  • NSSchizophrenicControls (Feb ‘03)
    Perhaps the most celebrated post I’ve ever made, consistently one of my most-accessed pages since the posting date, and the focus of a large amount of email I’ve received over the past year. The main reason I include it here, though, is that it became the subject of the opening paragraph of a Daring Fireball article.
  • Death of a Dogcow (Feb ‘03)
    The beginning of a chain of Mac UI articles, which lead to NSSchizophrenicControls just two days later. I love the title, and think the article is quite punchy and effective.
  • Autosave (Jul ‘03)
    Some thoughts about implementing auto-saving of documents at system level. I still think that the core idea could be massaged into a feasible autosave system.
  • Conclusions about live URLs in editable text (Jul ‘03)
    My followup post after having asked for comments on how to deal with clickable URLs in editable text. This post was really community-built by my readers, and hence is a favourite of mine.
Blogging
  • We hates blogs (Mar ‘03)
    Robert Daeley got me started thinking on the future of blogging. I find the topic fascinating, and writing this post helped me form a development plan for Thistle.
  • include “ethics.h” (Mar ‘03)
    A no-nonsense post outlining my view of the ethics involved (and not involved) in blogging. Should probably be linked from the front page somewhere, as a kind of FAQ.
  • Miss URLd (Jul ‘03)
    Pondering how to make URLs pretty (non-parameterised), but still retain useful information. Included here since it took perhaps the longest of any of my posts to write and markup.
Amusing?
  • The Lessons of Zelda (May ‘03)
    Without question the best title of any post I’ve made. My contribution to the internet’s vast quantity of “funny lists of things”.
  • Mailsmith and the Release Notes Pervert (Jun ‘03)
    I had several emails from people saying specifically how much they liked the tone and language in this post, and who am I to argue? It’s all true too.
That just about does it. I'll try to periodically edit this list to reflect my favourites 
at the time. If you have other posts which you prefer over those listed above, let me 
know about it via the comments system.