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.

It seems that my migration wasn’t as smooth as I’d hoped, my local postfix install was bouncing half my mail addresses… Not quite what I was hoping for! If you’ve sent me anything over the weekend (Jan 21st to 23rd) then please send it again as I probably haven’t received it due to both the changes and my cock-up. On a happier note the O’Reilly Postfix book is pretty good, it’s helped me out today, and I’ll probably end up coming back to it when I actually put the real fix in rather than the hack I’m using now.

I’m not very good at keeping track of my Freshmeat Projects, I’m also insanely bad at replying to comments but thanks to Stig Brautaset I no longer need to worry about it. Freshmeat has an a pair of options, tucked away under your preference page (which you obviously have to be logged in to see), with the following descriptions “Send comments to my projects by email:” and “Send replies to my comments by email:“. Read on →

You may have noticed the abscense of my sites and received bounced emails yesterday, this is due to the machine that this site was being hosted on getting cracked via a vulnerability in a PHP application. That machine was a shared box that had a number of people looking after it, but with no central responsibility or formal plans in place. I’m now running on a Bytemark box, which I bought for this purpose about six months ago, and just never got around to finishing, which is going to be my new home. Read on →