Rosser's Vault

An archive of old posts
Hello! This site is archived and no longer maintained. For Chris' main site go to

September 2020 Update

With an end to lockdown on the horizon, I reveal a new site design, and share some news about my books, podcast and more.

Fixing Steinberg UR12 dropouts on macOS

Digging around in the macOS system logs reveals my Mac may not be dying after all. Instead, I lay the blame for my Steinberg UR12...

Fantasy cartography using the Stockholm method

To kickstart a fantasy map, I look to the islands of Stockholm for inspiration, then apply a little magic with Pixelmator Pro, my...

Broken ports in a storm

When the USB ports of my MacBook Air fail during a game of DnD, I contemplate the merits of upgrading my Mac or switching to iOS. But...

Apps for mobile writers

After a reader asks me to focus on mobile writing setups, I review my favourite writing apps for iPad.

iA Writer 5.6 review

Comments by two readers prompt me to revisit iA Writer. In this review of iA Writer 5.6, I explore the amazing new style checker and...

Two years with Ulysses

My two years using Ulysses coincides with the release of Ulysses 20, so I review the update and reflect on my time with the app.

WWB #9 - Campfire Review

On day 9 of my 30 days of world-building, I review Campfire, a desktop world-building app for macOS and Windows

WWB #8: Medieval Houses

On day 8 of my 30 days of world-building, I look at two medieval houses and use them as models for my fantasy setting.

A recipe for burnout

After writing 7 posts in 7 days, I decide I need to slow and take care of the other domains in my life lest I burnout. Don't worry...

WWB #7: A world-builder’s library

On day 7 of my 30 days of world-building, I review the ten books and primary sources that helped shape my fantasy world.

WWB #6: Don't be afraid to learn new skills

On day 6 of my 30 days of world-building, I take a breather and extol the virtues of learning new skills.

WWB #5: Creating Timelines with Markdown

On day 5 of my 30 days of world-building, I share my hack for creating timelines in pure markdown, HTML and CSS.

WWB #4: Mapping dungeons with Pixelmator

On day 4 of my 30 days of world-building, I wrangle Pixelmator into a quick and dirty dungeon map creator for D&D or fantasy...

WWB #3: A review of world-building tools

On day 3 of my 30 days of world-building, I review four tools writers and Dungeon Masters can use to create and manager their...

WWB #2: Creating gods, pantheons and religions

On the second day of my 30 days of world-building, I explore various ways to create a pantheon of gods. I also reveal a little of my...

WWB #1: Mapping Ilza Kranneg

On the first day of my 30 days of world-building, I set myself the task of mapping my fantasy setting in only one hour.

Winter world-building

On the eve of Australia's winter, I undertake 30 days of world-building to create maps, locations, organisations and more. Throughout...

Affinity Photo review: Can it create Atlas-style fantasy maps?

I review Affinity Photo as an Adobe Photoshop replacement, by putting the app through its pace using Ascension's Atlas Style fantasy...

Building Hafran

I do a spot of world-building with my iPad, Apple Pencil and Procreate to map and flesh out an important setting in my current...

How to create a paperback book with Apple Pages

I show you how to create a paperback book for Amazon KDP using Apple Pages, Apple's free word processor and desktop publishing app...

Alternative apps for creating paperback novels

A review of four alternative apps for creating paperbacks for print-on-demand services. I look at Apple Pages, Vellum, Affinity...

Using SOX on macOS

I show you how to use SOX on macOS to convert exported GarageBand file in mono for your podcast or audiobook, and see if they pass...

Ubuntu 20.04

I download Ubuntu 20.04 for a quick look and give my first impressions. While debating the merits of reviewing this open-source OS,...

Grammarly Review

I review Grammarly, a popular grammar checking service, and asks if the premium subscription is worth the expense for writers and editors.

Managing a blog with Jira

After announcing I’d review a bunch of task management apps, I take a surprising turn to see if I can use Jira to manage my blog.

Women of Wasps and War

Guest writer and Australian author, Madeleine D’Este, shares the origins of her latest novel and her quest to find the right genre

The Death of Holden

As General Motors kills off its Holden brand, I bust the myth about its dubious Australian identity and lament for a local electric...

Back up your shit

After a family member nearly loses months of precious work to a hard drive failure, I contemplate the importance of a solid back up...

New site design, and the fork in the road

I lift the lid on a new website design, and make an admission about a possible future to which I never thought I'd return.

Generating QR codes for free

A simple tutorial on how to generate unencumbered QR codes for free.

Australia Day Sale

To mark the Australia Day weekend, my books are on sale for 99c. All proceeds go to the bushfire relief effort.

Searching for a task manager

After admitting my process sucks, I begin a quest to find the perfect task manager.

The theatricality of war and diplomacy

As Iran and America appear on the brink of war, I wonder if this brinkmanship is merely theatrics for domestic audiences. I certainly...

How I publish my blog

After a reader asks about my publishing platform, I outline the process and tools I use to publish my blog.

What's new for 2020

I outline my plans for the year ahead, setting the bar high once again, even as I temper my expectations after failing hard in 2019.

When magic fades

After watching JK Rowling’s public image go up in flames on Twitter, I contemplate the relative obscurity authors once veiled...


On the eve of 2020, I contemplate the arbitrary nature of time, calendars, and whether or not a new decade is really upon us.

Bushfire relief

To help bushfire relief effort, I'm donating all royalties from booksales made from December 2019 to February 2020.

2019, a year in review

In what's become a tradition, I reflect on my successes and failures for the year, and hint at what's come.

Clarkson vs Thunberg

Rolling my eyes at a silly intergenerational spat between Jeremy Clarkson and Greta Thunberg, I speculate on what it will take to...

Dear Spammers

After yet another dodgy, unsolicited business proposal, I write an open letter to those whose business strategy entails criticising...

The weak link in Scrivener’s armour

After breaking Scrivener for iOS with two massive project files, I vent my spleen about Scrivener’s biggest weakness.

iPad Mini 5, Apple Pencil and Procreate

Sick of poorly made drawing tablets, I upgrade to an iPad mini 5 and draw my first map using Procreate with the Apple Pencil.

Why I’ve outgrown NaNoWriMo

Ten days into NaNoWriMo 2019, I realise the event no longer holds any value for me, while changes to its website have killed the...

The Icewind Dale Trilogy: a retrospective review

Following a reviewed interest in D&D I pick up my ancient copies of the Icewind Dale trilogy from the 1980s and give them the...

Revisiting the Cae Valley

Playing around with Wonderdraft on my upgraded workstation, I recreate my old map of the Cae Valley.

I needed an iMac…I got a Dell

With content creation taking its toll on my MacBook, I looked at getting an iMac. I ended up with a Dell desktop instead.

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Wow you read this far! This site is archived and no longer maintained. For Chris' main site go to