While I’ve spent a fair amount of time running around on Linux it’s typically been in a mixed Unix environment (Linux, Solaris and HPUX mostly) so my tool-set was comprised of portable applications and scripts. In my current job I’m working with an almost entirely Debian server environment, the few Redhat machines are living on borrowed time as the bosses want them gone. While this may put a crimp on my cross-platform skills it does give me the chance to delve deeper into the “Debian way”, and to be fair it looks like it’s got a lot of neat tools. Read on →

“Sometimes it’s better to want something that to have it.” Some of my friends are slightly too observant for my liking and have been mocking some of my phrases of choice. It’s been pointed out to me recently that I use the above as an excuse phrase, think of a shoulder shrug, in order to let myself off things I’m either not sure I can attain or I’m not willing to invest the required time and effort into. Read on →

The day time job is eating up a little bit too much time at the moment so I’m just going to post a couple of links that look interesting and would typically be gifted with my witty rantings :) Ward Cunningham (now an MSoftie) is probably involved in PatternShare, a site that lets you look through a number of patterns from different authors. It’s probably worth keeping an eye on this and seeing how it develops gmane provides a very neat mailing list to news group service. Read on →

I was lucky enough to get a free review copy of Mike Gunderloy’s new book, Developer to Designer. While it’s not as good as Coder to Developer (and in fairness very few books are!) for the right audience (Windows developers new to building GUIs) this is an essential reference. I’ve now put a full Developer to Designer book review up under my reviews page.

Matt Biddulph has put an excellent little tool up on his website, the del.cio.us tag stemmer will display any tags that it thinks are too closely related and probably need to be merged.

Author: Mike Gunderloy ISBN:078214361X Publisher: Sybex International Having an easy to use, consistent and intuitive user interface is an incredibly important part of today’s software, but for every experienced UI, usability and human-computer interface professional there are legions of beginning Windows GUI developers (VB developers, Coders working with MS Office etc). Unfortuantly they are often left alone to struggle through the basic do’s and don’ts of building an acceptable and consistent, both with other applications and the OS itself, GUI. Read on →

Despite my previous bad experiences with Amazon.co.uk when it comes to DVDs, I decided to give their new DVD rental service a go. I signed up, clicked through a couple of very painless screens and added ten films to my list (which I’d like programtic access to if anyones bored :)). Firstly an oddities, they seem to class a 2 disc DVD as two separate items. Now while I could (maybe) see some point in doing this with entire seasons of TV shows that come in six DVD sets I’m not using up two of my six slots (per month) so I can ignore the extras disk. Read on →

The very slick people over at Basecamp have a very neat UI trick that highlights any changes to the site for a couple of seconds and then fades out. This allows simple tracking of any changes on page-reload. The full (non-technical) details can be found over at 37, the technique itself is called the Yellow Fade Technique. Now as you can see by looking at this site I’m more of a functional than aesthetic person but I wanted to integrate this functionality in to a couple of sites. Read on →

You know you’ve hit the big time when you get your own worm! The MySpool worm is turning badly configured MySQL installations (on Windows) into zombies in a huge bot net. Now I’m not even going to ask why so many people have MySQL installations listening to the network (Debian disables this by default so bonus points to them) but it is depressing. To stop it doing this just add “skip-networking” to the [mysqld] section of the config file. Read on →

Over at the hublog there are two entries that allow you to either graphically browse related del.icio.us tags or browse the network of del.icio.us users as defined by their inbox subscription lists. While neither of these are world changing they are fun to play with, putting in Java and Ruby or OpenBSD and FreeBSD for example shows some interesting interconnects.