Matthew Dickens

my personal space

Paperclip CMS 2.0.0 Released

Several years ago, I created my own content management system in PHP and MySQL. I called it Paperclip CMS, because its original name—NothingFancy CMS—was dumb. It was the product of many months of frustration, and when it was completed, I used it as my default for running all my websites.

Last year, I noticed that the code was producing all sorts of PHP errors. I figured out that the code I was using was PHP 4/PHP 5 and some of it had been obsoleted with the introduction for PHP 5.5/PHP 7—mysqli_query instead of mysql_query, &c. So, for the next couple of months, I have been rewriting all my code to bring it up to date. This was especially annoying since I was having to use someone else’s CMS script in the meantime. It felt dirty.

Well, last night, I finally finished!

I am proud to introduce Paperclip CMS 2.0.0. Everything looks and feels the same from the outside, but everything under the hood is shiny and new.

In the next few weeks or months, I am planning to add some new features—features that version 1.x.x didn’t have.

Feel free to download it and play around with it. Please let me know if there are any bugs or if you have any suggestions on ways to improve it. Please keep your unconstructive criticism to yourself. :)


Whenever I’m working on a new web project, I hate having to start my CSS from scratch. The big-name boilerplate libraries are too big and have too many options, in my honest opinion.

So I created good.css.

A Review of Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House

Hill House Banner

Diego and I finished our three-night marathon of binge-watching Netflix’s adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House last night. It has been a little while since I’ve watched a movie or tv show and enjoyed it so much that I was still thinking about it the next day.

I added the series to our List right after it was released and promoted on Netflix’s home screen, and started watching the first episode by myself when Diego was working late one night. My mom had walked in and asked if it was any good after I was only about four minutes into the episode. She told me that it was a remake of a movie from when she was young and that it was one of the scariest movies she had ever seen. I looked it up later and found out that it was actually based on a book[1] (I missed that part of the opening credits) from the 60s and turned into two movies, both just titled The Haunting.

I asked Diego to watch it with me because I though he would enjoy it, but he doesn’t like scary movies all that much and he wasn’t that interested. After I was already four episodes deep, he read a posting on Facebook by one of our friends, raving about how amazing the show was, along with the string of confirming comments from that person’s friends, and finally decided that he would get the show a chance. I didn’t mind rewatching those episodes. In fact, because of the back-and-forth why the story is laid out, there were very subtle things in those early episodes that made a lot more sense the second time.

Starting with the fifth episode, major plot points begin to twist and turn and my mind was constantly being blown. Something exciting would happen and I would freak out, shouting at Diego, “Oh my god! That happened at that other part!” (I am a delight to sit next to during a tv show.)

With no gore, except for a few cringe-worthy scenes of bodies being prepared in a funeral home (if you consider that gore), and only a few jump-scares, this series had the interesting characters and storyline that most scary movies lack. I am almost hesitant to even consider it a “scary movie;” it was a story about a family who just happened to have a run-in with a haunted house.

I am giving this series 5/5[2], which has only been reserved for a few.

[1]: I downloaded the audiobook to listen to after finishing the series. I’m only a little bit into it and it’s already completely different than the show. There are characters named Theodora, Elenor, and Luke, but they are strangers, all meeting at the Hill House to assist a paranormal professor research for the summer. It has been very difficult to erase the characters from the series out of my head. I can already tell that I’m not going to like it as much.

[2]: Scale: (1) I hated it; (2) I didn’t like it; (3) It was ok; (4) I liked it; (5) I loved it

New Year, New Domain

You’re here. You made it.

I’ve been eyeing this domain name for a long time now, but I could never think of a good reason to buy it. Every few months, I would check to make sure that it was still available and sigh with relief when it was. I finally decided that I should probably just go for it and snatch it up before someone else does.

So, I typed in my credit card number, click “checkout,” and here we both are.

I haven’t decided what I am going to use if for. I was thinking about re-taking up podcasting this year. If I do, I will be using this space to host that.

We will see.

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