Utility Muffin Research Kitchen


The events and characters depicted in these web pages are entirely fictitious. Any similarities between these and living characters is purely coincidental. And anyway, it could never happen this way: in fact, you probably imagined the whole thing. Very few engineers were harmed in the construction of these pages and they had it coming.

Let's be frank. This site exists because it does, so there. It contains lots of information because it's difficult to remember lots of information. Most of it is interesting, or helpful, to me (not you) - I wrote it for me (not you) - if you can't find what you're looking for, that means you haven't written it for yourself yet.
That said, you're welcome to use this info secure in the knowledge that it's 1) mostly accurate, and 2) almost, but not quite, entirely useless to anyone but me. This is reflected in the site title 'Utility Muffin Research Kitchen' which, as mise-en-scene, is a quote from Frank Zappa.
The Kitchen has existed, in some form, since the early 1990s co-incidental with the introduction of the world-wide web and HTML (remember Mosaic?) as a place to experiment with geeky technologies whilst ostensibly engaged in research activities. About that time a colleague asked me what its ultimate goal was. In absurdist mode, I replied, "I'm going to develop the Triple Chocolate Muffin!": a couple of months later she emailed me an advert for a confectionery company boasting their new product. Yup.... there are some cultures you just can't parody. That didn't stop me trying, of course, and there followed a whole succession of obscurely muffin-related goals, each more outlandish than the last and often based on the current technological fashion. The running joke was really about the pointlessness of technology for technology's sake: it was stoked for some time and provided much innocent diversionary amusement..... you know, I think it still does...

This is the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, and you're welcome to it.