While I’m thinking about magazines I’m going to complain about Linux Journal. I’ve been a reader for over six years now and apart from the horrible “Cooking with Linux” columns (where Marcel Gagme badly pretends to be a French restaurateur) I’ve been happy with the content. Mick Bauer’s “Paranoid Penguin” and “At The Forge” by Reuven Lerner have long been highlights. Recently the magazines tone seems to have changed a lot. Read on →

I’ve had a couple of people ask what I do with peoples emails addresses once they’ve sent me a request to sign-up/register. In an attempt to prove I’m not making millions with them (but if you know a way, I’m open… :)) I thought I’d document the reasons I ask for email addresses and what I do with them afterwards. The reasons I ask for them are pretty simple: so I can adjust the venue if we need somewhere with a bigger capacity. Read on →

I’ve recently had to get rid of a bundle of magazine back issues, some of them from as far back as November 1999 (sysadmin mag, an article on Expect that I’ve still not read…) and I’ve decided to put a couple of rules in place to help keep things sane: Any magazine over three months old goes. No more than 20 magazines in the pile at any time. The first rule serves two purposes, it stops me saying “I’ll read that on the weekend” month after month, and it helps keep my information up to date. Read on →

When you think about Web Services you think about Amazon. And that’s how good a job Jeff Barr, web services evangelist at Amazon, does! Speaking in London on May 15th, for one night only, we’re fortunate to have Jeff presenting on their stable of Web Services: AWS, S3 and the mechanical turk. Come along and listen to the ideas, views and experiences of someone uniquely positioned in one of the biggest and most advanced companies offering developer access to Web Services. Read on →

I finally got around to seeing Slither. It’s (a small) part horror, (large) part bad comedy and an enjoyable hour and a bit. The gore isn’t as bad as I thought it’d be from reading interviews with the director and it reminded me of Eight Legged Freaks, another funny bad B-movie that I enjoyed. Oh, and it’s got Nathan Fillion in it. It’s not the role that’s going to make his career but he does put on a respectable showing.

I’m pretty sure I had a reason for adding Final Fantasy VII - Advent Children to my Amazon DVD rental queue, but when it arrived in the post I couldn’t think of it. I’ve never played the game so I went in to the film cold and have to say that it was actually a decent watch, even for a newbie. The plot makes a little sense, the voice cast were forgettable but some of the animated fight scenes were amazing. Read on →

Linking to Google maps is nice. Jumping through the hoops to get the target URL isn’t so much. This plugin allows you to use either a raw postcode (it’s built for the UK) or a named location that will get expanded out to a full Google Maps URL. You can use any of these short cuts: <gmap "office"> <a href="gmap:EC1V 3QR"> <gmap>EC1V 3QR</gmap> For full details have a look at the Google Maps Tag Blosxom Plugin source. Read on →

I seem to be partly involved in the first London JavaScript Night, there’s not much to say about it really, other than we’ve got two top notch speakers. The full details are online and if you want to attend then sign up!

Author: Bo Burlingham ISBN: 1591840937 Publisher: Portfolio It’s difficult to spend much time on the ‘net and not come away with the impression that in business small is the new big. Companies like 37 Signals and The Pragmatic Programmers Agile publishing are proving that nimble and smart can make a decent living even in a world inhabited by lumbering behemoths. While there are numerous examples of challenging the big boys at their own game, a second type of small business is starting to get some coverage. Read on →

Author: Robin Williams ISBN: 1566091594 Publisher: Peachpit Press One of the great habits in the world of computers is a love of naming things. Patterns, refactoring techniques, types of security hole, all of these become easier to research and discuss once you have a common vocabulary. This book applies the same principle to basic design. It improves your design skills by helping you identify and recognise good and bad examples of the core principles. Read on →