I always seem to have a huge pile of books to read and an inability to actually read them in any order. This months pile includes: Behind Closed Doors. I’m a big fan of the Pragmatic Programmers books and this one is no different. It covers the things that we’re thankful good managers already know and gives us something to throw at^Wto the bad ones. I’m most of the way through it and it’s a 7⁄10. Read on →

I like the PledgeBank site, it’s a great idea and it’s promoting some good causes (UK Digital Rights is one of them) but it was a pain to keep going back and reading the comments… If only we had a way of subscribing to the comments… maybe using a form of XML that has a number of specs… ;) After sending in a single email asking for RSS feeds of the comments and waiting no more then seven of our earth days they’ve added them. Read on →

Back in August I added Google adwords to the IE Plugins page. If at all possible I plan to keep the site advert free but the IE Plugins, with the possible exception of my blogs atom feed, are the biggest bandwidth consumers by a fair way. This was my first foray in to the world of Google ads and I’ve picked up some very useful information. Firstly adding adverts, and viewing the reports, is incredibly easy. Read on →

Ubuntu’s Jeff Waugh is going to be a very busy man. Before he even gets to the first O’Reilly EuroOSCON, which is being held in Amsterdam in October, he’s stopping off at a Gnome convention, LUG meetings and we’re hoping to get him out for an evening in London. Details are a bit slim at the moment, I don’t have a venue or a confirmed plan for the evening, but with a little luck we’ll get Jeff to talk about Ubuntu, Linux on the desktop and what it’s like being Debians agile sibling and then go for food and drink. Read on →

While sitting in the BBC backstage session at OpenTech I had an idea for an entry to the competition. Which I then forgot about. After an email from a friend recently asking if I’d done anything for it and pointing out I only had three days left I decided to have a coding day on Saturday and try and get a prototype working and submitted. And then the BBC Backstage competition deadline is extended! Read on →

As most of you ‘net savvy people know, the BBC has put a number of feeds online under the banner of BBC Backstage. While it’s nice to see organisations like the BBC offering this kind of data (and the front man, Ben Metcalfe seems a nice, and interesting guy) the initial release of one of the more interesting bits of data, the TV Anytime TV and radio data, only had a Java API available for using it. Read on →

I’m a big fan of The Register but I can’t stand multi-page articles. I’ve put a little Greasemonkey script together to make sure I don’t have to deal with them. The The Register Printer Friendly Articles script is now online and ready for use. I hope someone else finds it useful.

Do Cool Shit Every Damn Day Or Die Trying From Tom Peters. In an attempt to do just that, well the first two bits anyway, I’m currently planning my next project; this one is a little different, I know I’m going to fail. It’s not very often you embark on a project not to succeed but to see where and how you screw it up. Sometimes a challenge is just too big and outside of your area of expertise. Read on →

I’ve made a couple of small changes to my Vim URL Shortener script. It now uses WWW::Shorten instead of WWW::MakeAShorterLink, it’s documentation has been tided up a bit and the vim script now replaces all occurrences of the selected URL in a single sweep. It’s not a major upgrade so don’t rush to update.

As the amount of content available online grows, the length of the URL’s required to access it seems determined to keep up. This little bundle of a vim script and some Perl code will convert a long URL into a shorter one (using MakeAShorterLink) at the press of a single button. While the masl.pl script can be used on the command line to shorten URL’s if you’re lucky enough to use mutt as your email reader and vim as the editor within it you can easily shorten target addresses so they slip under the magic 75 character limit that differentiates visited URL’s from my home pages. Read on →