the darnedest thing is written and designed by Steven Hum with the following..

production environment


the darnedest thing

comments processing

  • Ruby Mail library
  • Gmail spam filtering

web server

hosting services

Other tools used to construct this site can be found here.

keyboard layouts

are a primary subject of interest on this site. Writing and caring about the tools to do so seem to go hand in hand.

The current daily driver being used to compose these blog entries can be found in daily beakl.


somehow fonts became a thing on this site. My source code typeface has always been of paramount importance to me, being on my computer screen persistently. Since migrating from PragmataPro to Iosevka, short of a few configuration customizations, my Iosevka settings remained unchanged for years.

The Atkinson Hyperlegible Font and the Kindle changed all that and i began to heavily customize my Iosevka font for various purposes. The current font customizations can be found in hyperlegible dyslexic. tl;dr: see monolexic type and unolexic


the current dotfiles containing the sources, configuration files and scripts described in the various articles can be found here.

To avoid an unnecessarily large download including all historical commits, pull only the latest repository files with..

git clone --depth 1

»»  about

monday, 14 march 2016

it’s a slow and methodical process. Step by step, extending an already feature rich window manager, molding it to one’s will. Fixing corner cases that invariably pop up over extended usage. Then adding visual flair with ricing scripts to enhance the user experience and keep it fresh.

Distraction free plugins for vim complete my particular setup which is now complemented by an artful desktop. Time to return to the other threads on this site which were always the original intent of this hardware (keyboard and layouts) and software detour to create a publishing environment..

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thursday, 19 may 2022

completes the evolution of the monospaced dyslexic fonts and their unique set of asymmetric glyphs and double cell width characters—adding a tweaked cap height to the Unolexic font.

By increasing the cap (capital) height—a very small amount without significantly affecting the monospaced character cell proportions—at small font sizes, with a line spacing of 1.4 or more (YMMV), font legibility is enhanced and the typeface edges more closely to the vertical stroke proportions of Grotesque fonts—hence, the adoption of the Grotesk family name from the Universal Grotesk influenced Unolexic font.

Characters stand out with the taller ascenders (and extended descenders) and improved gaps (noticeably with the hook of the lower case f and g). Capital letters look less compressed with the added cap height, as well—the J gaining a touch of authority, the P loop more air (height-wise) and the D a fuller proportion.

build settings

Differences between the font rendering engines of the Kindle and Kobo platforms also become more evident, calling for..

cap = 'default_cap * 1.065' sb = 'default_sb * 0.7150' # for Kobo sb = 'default_sb * 0.6150' # for Kindle

As can be seen, only a very subtle increase to the default cap height is applied to the Iosevka configuration file.

The side bearing differences between the two platforms, however, illustrate just how different these two e-readers are “under the hood” (which comes as somewhat of a surprise considering how both are built on the Linux platform).

typeface character

the hallmark of the monospaced dyslexic fonts developed on this site are the asymmetric glyphs and judiciously applied double width characters (notably the Space). Doing so, offers a different approach to the more familiar dyslexic font design with their heavy irregular anchoring strokes—which some Dyslexia conditions may require.

Grotesk presents an alternate approach applying asymmetric glyphs (to counter dyslexic mirroring of the commonly symmetric lower case b d p q and n u characters, thereby, increasing legibility with the aesthetically pleasing strokes of a geometric typeface) along with some upper case embellishments (to improve the “air” within the monospaced cell restrictions) and monospaced cell width for uniform visual separation and cadence..

letter glyph attribute origin
lower case b toothless-rounded asymmetry Universal Grotesk
lower case d toothless-serifless asymmetry  
lower case f flat-hook-extended descender Universal Grotesk
lower case n straight asymmetry  
lower case p earless-corner asymmetry  
lower case q hook-tailed asymmetry Atkinson Hyperlegible
lower case u toothless-rounded asymmetry Futura
capital J descending-flat-hook-serifless descender  
capital Q detached-bend-tailed open descender  

The lower case b f u and capital J Q emphasize a modern geometric heritage, while the remaining asymmetric glyph choices maximize side bearing “air” (character separation)—for dyslexic identification and legibility.

Altogether, a distinctive yet seductively beautiful (IMO) typeface results with a strong modern feel—despite the asymmetric glyphs. i am biased, of course. YMMV (but to these eyes Grotesk offers a very clean maximum legibility font for 300PPI e-ink screens).


This has worked out so well for the small font sizes i use on my e-readers, that i have similarly applied this cap height adjustment to the Monolexic and elementary typefaces (Unolexic is identical to Grotesk)—at larger font sizes, the standard issue of Unolexic, Monolexic and elementary may suffice.

Dyslexic ranking remains the same: first is Grotesk, followed by Monolexic, then elementary. Serifed (“i” family name prefix) for maximum legibility, as well as, serifless capital I typefaces have been created.

The font files may be found in the caps-extended folders.

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