On Saturday (July 23rd) I made my way across London to the NTK/UKUUG/BBC OpenTech event, carrying on the tradition of NOTCON and sponsored by the BBC it had an impressive list of speakers including Jeremy Zawodny (Yahoos best PR) and Ted Nelson. The crowd was a pretty varied one, along with the usual London Perl Mongers, London Linux users, Debian dudes and UKUUG people there were a lot of people that seemed to be more culture and media orientated. Read on →

I was lucky enough to go to the NTK/UKUUG/BBC OpenTech event on Saturday (July 23rd) and one of the sessions discussed whether we need a British digital rights group to help promote and campaign for our freedoms. While I wasn’t in the session (bad Dean!) I can’t not pledge money and consider myself a decent member of the community. In order to start the group off there’s a PledgeBank fund you can sign up for. Read on →

The right to improve and better yourself is, in my opinion, one of the most important things a person has. Whether you’re from a repressed minority that is unfairly denied opportunities, a broken home you never want to re-create or ‘just’ a poor family that never seems to get any breaks the hope that you can do better if you’re willing to work hard, persist and keep trying is something you can hold on to in the darker hours, days and, unfortunately sometimes, months. Read on →

I’m a Londoner by birth, by dwelling and by choice. I’ve travelled through Liverpool Street station, twice almost every weekday, for the last seven years. I work about 5 minutes from Russell Square. I’ve worked in Aldgate and it contains some of my favourite restaurants and fondest memories of friends I no longer see. My new job is at Old Street. To me these weren’t just acts of “random terrorism”, I’m taking them personally. Read on →

Fate offers you opportunities for a while, and if you don’t take them, Fate says to itself, `Oh I see – this person doesn’t like opportunities,’ and stops giving them to you. – Douglas Coupland I have two (among many) rules, one that goes along the lines “if it doesn’t feel right then don’t do it” and one about opportunities that Douglas Coupland phrased much more eloquently than I ever could. Read on →

Twice today I’ve suddenly stopped what I was doing and thought, they must have set out to make this awkward… The first incident was also the simplest one, in xinetd config files you’ll often find “disable = yes”. Firstly this is insane because you should assume something’s off and people will turn it on if they want it. This is a basic principle that should be stuck to. Secondly the option is strange to read. Read on →

After an initial problem with the projectors that looked like it was about to sink the whole day (if you saw me at that point I looked like I was about to either explode or cry :)) we managed to get the equipment sorted and all four talks (with five speakers) went almost perfectly to plan. The only talk that overran was the Xen talk, which was due to the number of audience questions. Read on →

Author: Mark Pilgrim Dive Into Greasemonkey Homepage Q: What is Greasemonkey? A: Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension that allows you to write scripts that alter the web pages you visit. You can use it to make a web site more readable or more usable. You can fix rendering bugs that the site owner can’t be bothered to fix themselves. You can alter pages so they work better with assistive technologies that speak a web page out loud or convert it to Braille. Read on →

I ended up seeing two films in the cinema yesterday, and for the record going to the cinema during “working hours” doesn’t make it any less busy dammit! After watching both Sin City and Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith I have only a few comments to make. Firstly I enjoyed Sin City more, Sith seemed to be about 45 minutes too long and, despite the gorgeous backdrops and neat fight scenes I found myself clock watching. Read on →

The bash shell gets more negative press than it deserves from most “real” programmers. Between the “I can’t see what it’s doing, I need an echo after nearly every line!” and the “Why doesn’t it have a check option like perl’s -c!?” most people that only occasionally dip in to bash end up frustrated by it’s lack of features. All because they can’t be bothered to read the man page… I’m going to show you three simple bash “tricks” that’ll make your script debugging a lot easier; and none of them require that much searching to find!. Read on →