Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

watch overshare: the story contact me

I have a part time job as Community Manager of DG717, the San Francisco office of a Japanese internet investment firm and incubator. I was offered the chance to offer to encouraging words to the new crop of mostly fresh college grad employees at the mothership by videolink SF to Tokyo. Here's what I shared with them: mostly English but I performed most of the middle section about my career in Japanese:



You are new to this company.

Maybe you are new to business and to capitalism.

I can tell you: your future is failure and death.

It is the same for everyone.

I will probably die before you.

But before we die, we may make magic.

We can make magic with these people; we can all make magic together.

Before Digital Garage, I was a journalist. I lived in Japan and I wrote about keitai culture.

Maybe articles are boring. Making software is more interesting.

So I started an internet game company. I married my business partner. I was CEO and husband, I felt powerful.

Then the company failed and my marriage failed. I felt weak.

I want you to know that I have failed. This is part of my story.

I hope you have failure in your future, so you can recognize success.

I hope you know death so you can know life.

Digital Garage is a dream.

Digital Garage is not a Japanese company.

Digital Garage is not a global company.

Digital Garage is your company.

We are in your dream company together.

Thank you for dreaming with me。

Playing Games with Patrick Ewing

In February 2016 Patrick Ewing came to my home studio to discuss his work on FireWatch, a popular new video game. I became interested in Patrick after I'd heard he shifted from web coding to game-making. I discovered he hosts, a web site he packed with intensely personal details. This episode of the Justin Hall Show explores the identity of this Patrick Ewing!

Facebook: Playing Games with Patrick Ewing

Playing Games with Patrick Ewing

Posted by Justin's Links on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

For this video I played slightly more with our figures cut out from the green screen. Frankly not enough play; each time I film I learn more about what angles I want. In this case I would like to figure out how to get more straight on with Patrick. Here's his picture of all the camera angles:

How @justinreach shoots his one-man TV show

A photo posted by Patrick Ewing (@hoverbird) on

Turns out Patrick had his own green screen show in high school around 1999. The Bob Sargascar Show: Episode 1 is on Vimeo: "An introduction to the cast and crew, a medical autopsy, an endeavor to construct a Time Machine device, the loss of beloved pets and sad song of Laika the Space Dog" in 29 minutes."

So thanks to Bob Sargascar, I had Patrick Ewing as a green-screened character, and Patrick Ewing cut out from the background on a sports video game fan site. Fun moving pieces for the moving pictures.

Patrick discusses a game called Cart Life. The creator of the game released it open-source, but his web site is offline. The creator, Richard Hofmeier is on Twitter. Wikipedia has a nice page about Cart Life. If you root around online you might be able to find a version to play.

Patrick worked with Campo Santo as a Tools & Gameplay Programmer on Firewatch, the game that Patrick worked on with Campo Santo: you can learn about the game Firewatch on Wikipedia.

The music: "World of Sport" by The Gasman from his album Archive including 200 deep cuts. "L.A. Montage" by Rockit Maxx off Free Music Archive. hosts some Les Brown. Chris Remo composed the piece used from the Firewatch soundtrack, and Pocketmaster recorded the track used in the Cart Life sound track - here slowed to 67%.

YouTube: Playing Games with Patrick Ewing

Patreon Post.

Patrick is @hoverbird on Twitter.

le parfum de l'homme

a new video: "le parfum de l'homme"

Patreon: "le parfum de l'homme"
Facebook: "le parfum de l'homme"

le parfum de l'homme

More information: the soundtrack is "EmptyBottleStar" by Blevin Blectum, off her album Gular Flutter, slowed down to 50% speed.

Posted by Justin's Links on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

YouTube: "le parfum de l'homme"

Saturday March 5 I read this harshly-named article "Why are celebrity perfume commercials so incredibly awful?" in an elaborate hotel room. The room provided a psychographic space akin to a Peter Greenaway set. The result of these factors is this video. The soundtrack is "EmptyBottleStar" by Blevin Blectum, off her album Gular Flutter, slowed down to 50% speed.

Stay tuned for future episodes of the Justin Hall show!

Televangelist streak, for the Internet Archive

I've occasionally served as a sort of evangelist. Getting revved up in front of people, weighing the connection potential in the moment and aiming quickly for maximum.

It helps to have something to rave about. I haven't yet found the book of a true god to wave around. There's no living or dead mortal I would recommend for everything.

Instead have raved about the potential for us to use our fabulous tools to better know each other. One incarnation is the Internet Archive. When they invited me to participate in their first-ever Internet Archive Telethon, I was honored for the chance to do right by this bulging bargain bin of human creation.

20 December 2015 I showed up before 6am, over 18 hours deep into the proceedings. Michelle Krasowski, an expert archivist and eccentric, offered to first screen my film overshare before our conversation. I suggested we should instead aim for the live. Michelle and I then commenced to discourse on the virtues of this digital library and our potential to educate the young artificial intelligences of tomorrow through our contributions today. For a moment, I imagined a perfect perpetual permalink.

It was a fun ramble, followed by an archivist dance party. All of it broadcast live to 54 people, and then video footage was posted on the Internet Archive in a Telethon wrap up post.

I decided to edit down the whole telethon into just our conversation:

YouTube and Facebook and The Internet Archive and Patreon.

Whilst fast-forwarding through the footage, I noticed home many times I was extolling the virtues of the Internet Archive, like I was daring myself to speak even more convincingly of its critical role in our shared human literacy. It was a good time, for what I felt was a good cause - donations to the Internet Archive. Fun to exercise my televangelist muscles! Next year maybe I can read aloud from Ecclesiastes.

Two Many Gmail Accounts? A Chrome Tip

tl;dr: new video explains a useful way to manage multiple Gmail accounts in Google Chrome:

YouTube: "Two Many Gmail Accounts? A Chrome Tip"


I got my first job in 1988 at 14 years old. I sold computer software at a retail software store in the basement of a bookstore called "Software Etc." Soon customers began hiring me to install software for them, at about 7x my hourly wage ($3.91 an hour, versus $20 an hour). My fondness for computers lead me to a lifetime of translating technology to other people.

Ten years later, I was an on-air TV host explaining the web with ZDTV's "Call for Help" with Leo Laporte:

That web explaining TV gig didn't last long, and I don't do much computer consulting these days. But I still get a deep thrill from helping people use these tools.

Recently I realized that many of my friends have multiple Gmail accounts, like I do. And I realized they mostly used Google Chrome, like I do. And many of them were signing out from one Gmail account each time they wanted to sign into their other Gmail! Or frequently using Incognito windows on their own personal computers. That isn't necessary - as it turns out, the Google Chromemakers have fashioned a useful system of "user profiles" and here's a short video that explains how it might be useful to you:

This kind of technology suggestion video is not a timeless truth - someday like Netscape, and Microsoft, Google will no longer dominate our online lives. But for now, if it does, you might find this tip useful. And then this will be a time capsule to 2016 browsing & online identity history. Perhaps I accentuated the rate of decay on this video by filming in 640x480 using a 2003 iSight web camera. Shooting a tech tip, in my glasses, at my desk, using an old webcam, felt like a nice change of pace from my typical greenscreen productions! Produced with the now-typical level of subtitle saturation (thorough).

email I get these days

I have a 22 year old web site. People email me sometimes about it. I often get emails from people offering me content! A sign of the full blossoming of online attention commerce:

"I am part of the team at XYZ, a site focused on [happiness / love / relationships / standing desks / startups / mobile apps / video games / sexual disfunction drugs]. I came across your site and really liked it! You have some great content, and I think there's a big opportunity here for us to grow our audiences together."

In spite of the rote quality of many of these inquiries, I prefer to take this interaction at face value, and treat these folks like potential collaborators:

"Let's make content together! Based on the overall theme of, maybe you could write content about my life for me?"

I haven't yet gotten anyone to take me up on my offer :-/ I'm curious what someone else might do with this source material!

Today I got a more nuanced email I'd like to share: "Just came across you"

Hi, I'm just a girl who was looking up A.C. Shoulder separation and stumbled across your article about your shoulder surgery. Which led me to your bio, and I watched your full video on your life. I found it so interesting and inspiring. I'm nothing like you, in terms of knowing so much about computers, I'm sure that really was a catalyst for your interesting life. Anyways I'll keep it short. Thanks for sharing yourself and your life. Thanks for your thoughts and ideas on protecting people from big businesses that want to control us all. Very exciting to see such passion. Have a great day!

Your fan,

I'm not sure I'm the best protector from big businesses that want to control us all - I'm a bit of a tech booster, and social technology is a gateway drug to participation in 21st century global capitalism. But I am someone who shares all kinds of stories hoping they might be useful to someone and so I was chuffed to have successfully captured this person's attention, and maybe to have left them happier at the end.