• 3 January 2019

    Google Home So Far

    I’ve been playing with Google Home quite a bit recently, with mixed success to say the least.

  • 13 May 2018

    New Site (Again)

    This isn’t the first time I’ve moved my personal site; the first post I still have was after I lost some old blog posts, and I moved to WordPress in 2012 to avoid supporting a separate blog and page builder. However, it was still running on my VPS, and I’ve been trying to remove all production content from there for a while.

  • 1 June 2013

    An Analogy of DNS Resolution

    Imagine that you own a store in the high street. Now, for people to find your store, they can’t just look it up, or walk down the street or anything. They have to rely on some guy (an “informer”) who stands outside their house and says, “The Widget Shop? Yes, it’s on the high street.” People will be able to get to your store, and they’ll remember what the informer told them, but only for a week or so. After that they’ll be like, “Where’s The Widget Shop again?” and have to ask the informer.

  • 12 September 2012

    Computer Names

    dirac Home desktop (decommissioned)

  • 26 June 2012

    Facebook Events in Google (Apps) Calendar

    I subscribe to a number of third-party calendars in my own Google Calendar, one of which being my Facebook events. However, there are a couple of issues to work around to get everything working perfectly.

  • 21 June 2012

    How I Use Smart Playlists to Manage My iTunes Library

    I have a fair amount of music in my library, and because I’m a massive nerd I like to keep it in some sort of order. (My pre-iTunes library has some 20,000 tracks, half of which are utter garbage. I’m slowly moving over the good stuff.)

  • 8 June 2012

    Using Ant and Phing in the same repository

    Here’s the scenario: you use Apache Ant for some of your automated build process, but you also have some tools in Phing. You run both ant and phing from your repository root. Because you use Ant most, the Ant targets are in build.xml, and Phing has to use phing.xml. Sure, you can run phing -f phing.xml ..., but where’s the fun in that? Enter the following build file:

  • 19 April 2012

    Everything Changes

    Motivated by a number of reasons, I’ve begun to move everything from my old VPS to what has been my development server until recently. It’s been a complete digital spring-clean of all the old sites I used to maintain and hopefully the result should be an improvement. Here’s a list of the main changes:

  • 8 November 2009

    Word Clock v2

    I’ve seen a few nice-looking representations of clocks around, but when I saw Gumuz’s word clock I though I could make some improvements to it. Here’s a couple of the changes:

  • 23 October 2009

    Mootools Hash.setFromPath

    MooTools More implements a getFromPath method in Hash.Extras, but doesn’t provide a corresponding setter. Here’s an implementation:

  • 27 May 2009

    Spacing out CamelCase in PHP

    Here’s a nifty function to put spaces in your CamelCased words:

  • 18 May 2009

    2B or not 2B

    …that is the question. The answer? FF.

  • 30 March 2009

    Things I Learnt Today

    That Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw is a goon; that his early stuff is, if anything, funnier than his paid stuff for The Escapist; that I there will always be something on the Internet that I haven’t seen, and that someone will think I have been living under a rock to have missed it.

  • 17 February 2009

    Get a Grid for Transparent Images in Firefox

    Here’s a useful bit of Firefox hackery for you all. It puts a checkerboard (or chequerboard, for you elitists) image as the background for your transparent images. It works for any image when viewed directly in Firefox, by checking for a HTML page containing a single img tag. If you reproduce this structure manually, then you’ll see the checkerboard, but there’s very little chance that a legitimate HTML page would match these selectors. It works by adding some content to your userContent.css:

  • 17 October 2008

    Yay, xkcd


  • 30 May 2008

    Firefox 3 World Record

    The Firefox team are going for a new world record — “Most Software Downloaded in 24 Hours.” The (currently beta) version 3 of their popular web browser is due to be launched in late June. Visit the Download Day 2008 page for the official date, and to make your pledge!

  • 7 April 2008

    Dell & Linux

    I was never a big fan of Dell, mainly because it really annoyed me that they only shipped Windows with their machines. Reading The Microsoft File made it clearer, if no more acceptable; Microsoft bullied retailers to shipping tied processor–product bundles, effectively forcing other operating systems out of the market.

  • 4 February 2008

    Samba and Vista

    Vista’s lock-down strikes again…

  • 24 September 2007

    Enough Packaging?

    After some trouble with our Belkin router recently, we managed to get it replaced under the lifetime warranty — a very satisfying result! The router arrived today, and the packaging that brought it can only be described as overkill:

  • 10 May 2007

    Ooh, Vector Art

    Today I stumbled upon this vectorising tool, called textorizer, that converts images into SVG format. You can specify your own text and size, as well as playing around with the edge-finding sensitivity.

  • 8 May 2007

    MySQL Joys

    1NF teaches us that we should not store repeating groups in fields. Given that we have a table satisfying 1NF containing values as such:

  • 3 May 2007

    My Favourite Number

    I love the Internet. I love how countless code monkey hours are wasted trying to stop the inevitable. I love how people actually think it’s possible to remove information from the Word Wide Web.

  • 30 April 2007

    Gmail in Multiple Clients

    Gmail has always confused me that when opening POP emails from multiple clients, only those opened in that client show up. In other words, if you open up an email using client A, you can’t open it in client B — you have to view it in webmail.

  • 20 April 2007

    Blog Accepts Media Network Commenting

    This blog now allows you to comment using your Media Network profile — just select “Media Network” as the login method and enter your user name and password. Your account must be activated to make a comment.

  • 1 April 2007

    Internal Anchors

    Well, it was an interesting hour that resulted in this…

  • 23 March 2007

    PHP Snippets

    Whilst browsing the old Invisible Shadow network, I was looking to see if any of the old stuff existed on there. One thing I remember was a section for code snippets, both Visual Basic and PHP. It seems that Logan has started it up again. I always recommend that the best way to learn to program is to read others’ code — this kind of website helps with that.

  • 17 February 2007

    OpenID Now Working

    After my attempts earlier this week, I have managed to get OpenID working on the blog. I haven’t yet sorted out any linking of an OpenID with either a Media Network profile or a tag profile, but it’ll be added in soon.

  • 14 February 2007

    Adapting for OpenID

    Adapting for OpenID is no fun. Especially when:

  • 25 December 2006

    Laptop Digital Picture Frame

    Happy Christmas!

  • 12 December 2006


    After downloading Internet Explorer 7 today, I have spent the morning sorting out a few CSS bugs across the Media Network. One thing I like is that the :hover pseudo-class is supported across all tags now, rather than just anchors; also position: fixed seems to have been sorted.

  • 26 November 2006

    Microsoft vs Apple Advertising

    With the launch of Windows Vista looming, Microsoft have released a viral marketing campaign featuring Demetri Martin, called Clearification. The hiring of an American comedian to advertise their product was matched by Apple, who hired Demitri’s The Daily Show co-correspondent John Hodgman — alongside Justin Long — for their “Get a Mac” campaign.

  • 3 November 2006

    Faith Restored in WLM

    I have re-installed Windows Live Messenger today, after attempting to get it working before and being a bit miffed. For one thing, the contact list seemed to have lost any control over showing display pictures as per MSN Messenger 7.5, and plugin control for Messenger Plus! Live was handled rather differently.

  • 25 October 2006

    Firefox 2.0

    I have just installed and started playing with Firefox 2.0. I’m afraid to say that the first thing I did is install the Winestripe theme, which is essentially the FF1.5 default theme — I wasn’t impressed with the 2.0 default!

  • 21 September 2006

    Dell Laptops Suck

    I hate Dell PCs. I just uninstalled the Paint Shop Pro trial from our laptop, and installed a working, full version. Having done that, the “Sonic Update Manager” decided that it was going to take over our machine, and pop up whenever we started the computer. It turns out that this lovely bit of software is part of the Dell package, and should any unsuspecting (yet sensible) person uninstall part of their software package, they are forced to deal with this tribulation. Five minutes was far too long for me to remove this software.

  • 6 September 2006

    Mosaic Images

    Whilst browsing the Facebook Developers’ Directory, I happened upon a product called Photomosaic (thankfully not guilty of CamelCase). The product offered to create a mosaic of a profile picture using friends’ profile pictures. Being rather frustrated to find that it didn’t work, I set out to find a program to do it for me, and found AndreaMosaic (who are guilty of CamelCase).

  • 3 August 2006

    Back Up & Running

    It now seems that the server is back up and running rather well.