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a geek commodity

Last Build Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:55:39 +0000


Playing games

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 18:55:39 +0000

Growing up I played the board games that you might expect a kid growing up in the 80s to play: Scrabble, Monopoly, Frustration, Cluedo and so on. Although I mostly enjoyed them, they were all tedious in their own ways. The more interesting the game, the longer it took, and the more “adult” it was … Continue reading Playing games

Blogs in the second decade of the 21st century

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 20:52:53 +0000

Last blog standing, “last guy dancing”: How Jason Kottke is thinking about at 20 One of the compelling things about blogs, for me, was that you had individual people presenting links and information that were a little view into what that person was interested in, and what was interesting about this person.

Output a timestamp with each line in a Maven log

Mon, 04 Dec 2017 13:21:58 +0000

Maven is a powerful build tool for Java and it tends to spit out a large amount of logs, requiring you to scroll back in your output window or console to look at what’s happening. If you’re running it regularly, for example whilst building tests then it’s easy to scroll back slightly too far and … Continue reading Output a timestamp with each line in a Maven log


Thu, 27 Jul 2017 12:48:24 +0000

I do not like debugging. I prefer good logging. The log4j manual quotes Brian W. Kernighan and Rob Pike from their “truly excellent book” The Practice of Programming: As personal choice, we tend not to use debuggers beyond getting a stack trace or the value of a variable or two. One reason is that it … Continue reading Debugging

Internet rabbit rebuild – step 1

Thu, 18 May 2017 21:12:08 +0000

Back in Christmas 2006, I was lucky enough to get everything I asked for, and one of those things was one of the first commercially available Internet of Things devices – a Nabaztag. This was a beautifully moudled piece of plastic designed to look like a rabbit. It connected to your wifi and triggers could … Continue reading Internet rabbit rebuild – step 1

Configuring the VS Code integrated terminal to use Bash instead of cmd.exe on Windows

Tue, 16 May 2017 19:37:13 +0000

Visual Studio has an integrated terminal and by default on Windows this loads cmd.exe – the standard, and fairly rubbish Windows command prompt. I normally use cmder as my default terminal on Windows – this is basically the excellent conemu tabbed console emulator, with a few customisations. If you try and set VS Code’s integrated … Continue reading Configuring the VS Code integrated terminal to use Bash instead of cmd.exe on Windows

Requesting a URL with Python

Sun, 16 Apr 2017 11:17:09 +0000

After a year at the bottom of my drawer, I have busted out my Pimoroni Flotilla. It has a Python API and so I figured this was as good a time as any to use Python3 for the first time in many years. Part of the kit is an LED matrix. I want to use … Continue reading Requesting a URL with Python

The surprise of Spring Boot

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 21:47:32 +0000

I am a long time Java programmer. It was what I used to write my final year project at university, and it was my first, second and third jobs. That third job lasted more than a decade and, alongside a huge amount of other things, I got to deliver a number of projects in both PHP and Ruby. … Continue reading The surprise of Spring Boot

Resolution #1

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 22:12:46 +0000

Weigh myself every day. Nothing about losing weight, just about recording it. That was one of my New Year’s resolutions. Let’s see how it’s going: I missed four days out of a possible 31, which means I had an 87% success rate, which I think is pretty good going for a New Year’s resolution 🙂 I … Continue reading Resolution #1

Full fat

Thu, 15 Dec 2016 20:42:39 +0000

8 years ago The Guardian proudly announced that they were providing full-text feeds of, well, everything: Today rolled out a major upgrade to the RSS feeds. Our feeds now contain the full content of each article so that you can take with you wherever you prefer to get your news. Fast-forward back to … Continue reading Full fat