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 →

Author: Claudia Baca ISBN: 0782144101 Publisher: Sybex Inc.,U.S. (Habour Light Press line) Change management is like version control: your projects don’t need it to survive but it does help stack the odds in your favour. Once you’ve worked within a well designed process you won’t want to do without it. Unfortunately the ability to create a change management system isn’t one that many techs have, myself included, so I went in search of a decent book on the topic that I could borrow ideas from. Read on →

Author: C.J. Date ISBN: 0201612941 Publisher: Addison Wesley You can almost see the racks of database books from the back of the shop. While the shelves are often dominated by the cheap looking orange Oracle Press books, their black cover range is much nicer, or the red and black Microsoft Press tomes you’ll also find a respectable number written by C.J Date. One of the fields most renowned experts. What you won’t find are many books written by E.F Codd, and, considering how much of the database world exists due to his vision and work, that’s a big shame. Read on →

Authors: Tom DeMarco, Timothy Lister ISBN: 0932633439 Publisher: Dorset House Publishing Co “Your business success will depend on the extent to which programmers essentially live at your office. For this to be a common choice, your office had better be nicer than the average programmer’s home. There are two ways to achieve this result. One is to hire programmers who live in extremely shabby apartments. The other is to create a nice office.” - Philip Greenspun. Read on →