I played a lot of ADnD at school, and while I only took part in a couple of short DragonLance campaigns, I’m a Forgotten Realms man, the books written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman really grabbed me. Over the years, where ever ADnD fans gathered in sleepy, huddled masses, the topic of a DragonLance movie would occasionally crop up and we’d all say how great it’d be but that it’s never happen; looks like we were wrong… It seems that a DragonLance Movie based on the Dragons of Autumn Twilight is undergoing production. Read on →

Another day, another Amazon package… This time it had both the laugh out loud funny Penny Arcade - attack of the Bacon Robots and the ever impressive Megatokyo: Volume 4. In addition to the comics the Penny Arcade book has a short paragraph of commentary for each cartoon and, fortunately, they’re as funny as the cartoons themselves. While Volume 4 of Megatokyo isn’t as amusing as the first couple of volumes, and no where near as funny as PA, it’s evolving in to a great story full of impressive art. Read on →

The March 2006 London PM Tech meet went well, we had 35 people turn up and most of them came along to the pub afterwards. While everything seemed to go according to plan there are three things anyone hosting an event should know… Firstly get a copy of all the slides on a single machine (if possible - if you have speakers using magic point, keynote and Powerpoint good luck…). This will make lightening talks run a lot smoother, saves you trying seven laptops with the projector and stops people from bringing their own electronic baby, with a full head of wires, up to the podium. Read on →

Jeff Barr, who we were lucky enough to have deliver an excellent and entertaining talk a couple of months ago, is coming back through London in July. This time he’s interested in having some 1 to 1 chats with developers using Amazons Webservices. More details are on the Amazon Web Services Blog - Calling London blog post.

I’d originally planned to get to all of these, and even though I’m no longer sure which ones I’ll be able to attend I thought I should at least mention them: LUG Radio Live 2006 - Sat 22nd and Sun 23rd July 2006. Jono Bacon and one of the most talked about events from last year (which I’m gutted I missed). This is going to be excellent. YAPC::Europe 2006 - Brummie Edition - 30th August to 1st September 2006. Read on →

This one’s as much for my own memory as for everyone else, I’ve already used it at two companies and had to rediscover it at each… If you have a number of load balanced apache servers serving the same site and you use ETags to help reduce the number of page requests make sure that the generated ETag doesn’t consult the file inode; these will hardly ever be the same across servers - unless you build from a gold image - and will cause the client to download the page again each time it hits a different server. Read on →

How much of your work is done based on a request? Does the task you’re working on have a an RT ticket, a Bugilla id or story ID associated with it? If it doesn’t should you be doing the work at all? Even some of the more routine tasks can fit in this model, rather than remembering to check for the expiry dates of SSL certs or domain names have scripts that check and put any actions in to RT for you. Read on →

Making a backup copy of a file is a pretty common thing to do (although you should be using RCS for a lot of these…). If you’re using a machine with a GUI then copy and pasting the file name twice, with an extension on the end, is pretty simple. If you’re either a keyboard jockey or without a mouse you can make your life easier with these two short cuts: # make a copy of file. Read on →

If you’ve tried to use any of my Greasemonkey scripts over at Dean Wilsons Userscripts.org Profile then you’ve been out of luck until recently. During a linky session I managed to hit the “delete script link” on each and every script I’d uploaded. The delete link (which I didn’t notice) didn’t require any confirmation so it managed to get everything. I spent a little time last night re-adding the scripts (I have copies on my own site) so they’re now available again. Read on →

When I was a teen I read a fair amount of X-Men comics (and I’ve started again now Joss Whedon is writing Astonishing X-Men) so they are close to my heart, while the first film felt like a prologue, the second film did them justice and the third gives them a decent send off. I’m not going to spoil any of the plot but Storm gets a decent showing this time, Halle Berry - who has six toes on her left foot, made some (deserved) noise about Storm being down played in previous films. Read on →