Well, we’ve moved

Sep 3, 2014
Mark
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I transitioned the site from a shared hosting server over to a VPS. Due to my failure, a few posts fell through the cracks. I’m working to get a newer backup from the former hosts but it’s not on my priority list.

I still have another wordpress installation to process and I fricking hate them. Plus a few other things I have yet to setup.

Stuff is live, flowing, and doing what websites do. It is fun to see live logs again. I have to fix several bits of code to quash warnings. I’m not going to miss OldPappy. Many thanks to the guys at FirstLink for helping with the setup and actually being humans behind a phone number or email. I owe you beers and perhaps smoked pork.

It’s damn nice to be able to update files without weird oddities and “support” people telling you to use insecure variants.

Some stuff may still be broken. I’ll fix anything I can on a daily basis until I’m confident we’ve made it through the transition.


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Modern & Old West Name Lists

Aug 24, 2014
Mark
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Similar to the Medieval Name List, I have launched name list utilities for the Modern Name List and Old West Name List. The former uses the modern name database from the random modern names utility while the latter outputs names from the 1860-1890 era of the United States. Browsing full lists is more useful to some than random name choices.


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Browsing Friendly & New Generator

Aug 23, 2014
Mark
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Several people have requested browse friendly lists of names rather than my random generator chaos. I was reluctant. Chaos is what I do. However, I do understand the desire to see a big list and select from that. So I started with the medieval name database. The starting point is Browse-able Medieval Names. I couldn’t just produce 26 pages so I wrote code to allow you browse between 3 categories * 26 letters all on the same page. It’s not AJAX enabled like I generally do but I learned a few things doing it in alternative way, form free. Browse away, anti-random heretics. I still appreciate you and sometimes need massive results to inspire my creative flow.

If that serves the needs, I’ll likely open the Old West and Modern name databases in a similar fashion. I’m going to wait a few weeks before making that call. It’ll be trivial to open the other databases after working through the first iteration of the code.

Oh yeah, there is new stuff: Rap Sheet / Criminal History. I’ve been pondering this topic for a while and released the pure random variant. Eventually, I want to make it smarter so it can generate progressive criminal backgrounds rather than a few randomly selected elements. For now, it is sweet, tasty chaos.

I hope you all are having fun playing games, writing new fiction, or doing whatever brings you to my random corner of the internet.


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City Name Generator Update

Aug 4, 2014
Mark
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While it has been a few months since I’ve turned my attention to the City Name Generator, I never forget about my longer term plan to ingest data from every country on the planet. Today, I expanded the list by adding nine additional countries: Belize, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.

The additions are smaller countries or ones that I just overlooked during the original build out of the generator. Most of them have fewer than 2000 identified names in the database. The first push was to get results for larger countries or those with many different town names available to maximize the database information. Now, I am turning my focus to smaller countries or those with a less dense population. After all, neither geographic stature or population density equate to interesting results.

Today’s update should fill in coverage for Central and South America. Next, I’ll turn my attention to Africa, Asia, or the Middle East. Or perhaps all 3.


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Random Bank Names

Jul 24, 2014
Mark
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What was once a habit of trolling for new ideas has slacked off of late. I blame summer for heat and distractions. Tonight, I overcame my typical summer lethargy to roll out a new generator: Bank and Financial Names.

The current database consists of a mere 14,000 entries. If it proves useful to others, I can easily expand by substituting city names with other results from the City Name generator. Country and country names are also plausible although I removed most of those from the default output.

In other news, I’m looking at a new hosting provider. Almost half the time I try to upload new content to the current host, it fails. Tired of dealing with their half-assed solution to the actual problem.


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Adding a bit of Geographic Diversity to the Restaurant Name Generator

Jun 3, 2014
Mark
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Added in some establishments from Chicago, Denver, Larimer County Colorado, Portland and El Paso. Unique name count is now up to nearly 70000 entries. I still need to purge the DB of what I find less than useful but its far better than what it once was.


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Time to Eat: Random Restaurant Names

Jun 2, 2014
Mark
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I’ve been trolling around for real business names for some time. Databases of actual business are available at crazy prices but I do one level for this hobby — zero cost. Thanks to data.gov I stumbled across a list of NY establishments — those inspected by the state. The data was a mess. Upper and lower case words, oddball combinations of words, strange abbreviations, and other curious combinations so I spent a fair amount of time cleaning it up. I also stripped out nearly 15000 entries related to schools or repetitious entries. More time at fixing the data could be spent but I wanted to roll out the full system before tweaking and tuning even further.

The resulting generator is the Random Restaurant/Eatery Generator.

I’d really like to merge some of the results with the Street Name and City Name Generators to expand the field exponentially. Until then, it will remain a whole lot of NY style names (both state and city). I like it thus far even if the data cleanup is incomplete.


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