This blog is powered by Blosxom and while it is more than adequate for most of my needs, occasionally I feel the need to add some code to make something a little more “Dean” orientated. I’ve put the first one of my “ready for public consumption” Blosxom Plugins up on my Blosxom Plugins page. It’s called cpan_module_tag. cpan_module_tag allows you to link to CPAN modules in your blog posts without performing the tedious steps of looking up the module, getting the URL, putting it in an <a href=“”> etc. Read on →

Blosxom (pronounced “blossom”) is a lightweight yet feature-packed weblog application designed from the ground up with simplicity, usability, and interoperability in mind. From the Blosxom Homepage. My own Unixdaemon Blog is powered by Blosxom and while it is more than adequate for most of my needs, its small codebase and powerful plugin architecture make it very easy to extend with small chunks of code. Whether you want to change parts of its behaviour or just tweak it to suit your own working style, with half a dozen lines of Perl the customisation oppotunities are amazing. Read on →

A tag cloud is a visual depiction of content tags used on a website. Often, more frequently used tags are depicted in a larger font or otherwise emphasized. Selecting a single tag within a tag cloud will generally lead to a collection of items that are associated with that tag. From the Wikipedia Tag cloud entry. Ever wanted a tag cloud of your Blosxom posts? With just this script (and three Perl modules from CPAN) you can have one that integrates itself with your Blosxom footer and even allows easy merging of the tag cloud and any static text/HTML you’ve used in the past. Read on →

While marketing books ain’t my usual bedtime reading material but as the Open Source movement continues to forge ever onwards the softer skills are going to become every bit as useful as writing code or documentation. While looking for an accessible book on these dark arts I stumbled on Eric Sinks take on the The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing and just had to read the original. The “22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” is an extremely accessible book that details, as you’d guess from the title, 22 common elements of marketing that the authors consider to be (near) immutable laws. Read on →

My employer uses a lot of OpenSource software and develops custom applications with Perl. It has a very strong tech team with ties to a number of online projects and where possible it likes to give things back. I’ve been lucky enough to have been handed some money with which to show our appreciation to the different OpenSource communities whose work we use. While it’s not a huge amount of money it is both a nice gesture on the companies part (it shows they understand both the advantages we can reap from OpenSource and encourages it’s technical staff to stay in contact with their peers) it’s also one of the highlights of my job. Read on →

It will happen! I’ve just been a bit slow in getting information out about it. This is the second GLLUG I’ve put together and while it’s fun it does take a little more planning and effort than I have the time to commit on a continual basis. This time we’re lucky enough to have three talks (at the time of writing this entry!), Matthew Block from Bytemark; the people I rent the UML box that hosts this site from. Read on →

Last September I decided to put a basic 2004-2005 Pragmatic Investment Plan together to give me some goals and tasks to accomplish over the following 12 months. Eight months in (and after considering shorter PiPs) I’ve decided to mark last years as finished. While I’ve not completed every item on the list I’ve made a pretty good showing and I’m pretty happy that I could have finished on time. Halfway through the period covered by that PiP I changed job and my interests and areas of responsibility changed significantly; that’s why I ended up taking so long to finish some of the easier ones such as the book reviews. Read on →

It’s been a long while since I’ve been lucky enough to be sent on a training course for anything so I’d forgotten how depressing they can be. I try and get to as many technical conferences as possible for a number of reasons, the fact that all the people attending want to be there and make a genuine effort to chat and learn is a major one and it’s one of the few times I get to meet some of the people I speak to online in the flesh. Read on →

Despite its odd name the Aardvark FireFox Extension is actually damn useful. Once installed, turn it on using Tools->Start Aardvark and move the mouse over the page. As you hover over different parts of the page a red box will outline the current section, show you what HTML tag created it and show the elements “class” or “id” values. What’s less useful but still interesting is that once you’ve selected the element you’re interested in you can do a couple of occasionally useful things to it, remove it, colour the background, remove the element but leave a blank spot etc.

I had an interest in shared storage FireWire clustering on Linux for a while. After spending a couple of evenings learning about it and having a little play I ended up with a big text file of links and notes. Below is the slightly more rationalised version of my notes. If I ever need it again I’ll try and write them up properly, in the mean time they might serve as a useful pointer to some other traveller. Read on →