Authors: Guy Kawasaki ISBN: 1591840562 Publisher: Portfolio The Art Of the Start is a short, pithy and to the point look at some of the essential knowledge that any aspiring entrepreneur should have. The eleven concise chapters cover a range of topics including the old favourites, positioning, pitching, and raising capital and the less common bootstrapping, rain-making and even “The art of being a Mensch.” The author’s experience on both sides of the road to starting up a business, as an entrepreneur and a venture capitalist, is very visible in the text and helps convey context with his advice. Read on →

Author: Kent Beck ISBN: 0321146530 Publisher: Addison Wesley Summary: An interesting book that presents a useful approach, some good idea’s and many pithy quotes but not a classic. Testing is one of the most overlooked phases of the development cycle. From the worst case scenario of not being done to the more common case of all the testing being done at the tail end of a project, when time is most precious and least available, it is more often a rushed afterthought than a real part of the process. Read on →

I’ve added an IE plugin that allows you to validate the mark-up of an entire web-site, starting with the browsers current page, using the WDG HTML Validator tool. The plugin is called Validate Sites HTML and can be found on the IE Plugins page.

Well at least the main page does for the first time since I added the Google Search on the left hand side. I’ve had a fiddle with the HTML and between removing some styles, turning some in to CSS and re-arranging the tags it now passes validation. The other occasional problem I’ve had is Blosxoms desire to auto-wrap each post in <p> tags. In a casual conversation a very smart chap named Simon Rumble pointed out that you just need to start the post without a <p> and end it without a closing </p> and it works perfectly. Read on →

I’ve seen a couple of people mentioning the Koders Source Code Search Engine recently and I decided I should have a little play. The idea is pretty simple, they spider source code from projects across the net and then allow you to search through the gathered code. While I’ve not played with it enough to know if it’s going to be of any interest to me in smaller projects a couple of things did stick out when I tried the site. Read on →

Like most geeks I did a chunk of my Christmas shopping online and ordered a smattering of DVDs from sites like Amazon UK, my choice for books and, my choice for DVDs. Amazon had a pretty hefty preorder discount on a box-set (Buffy Collectors Edition) and so I ordered it from Amazon and not Play (who are normally cheaper). And then things started to go wrong. Some of my DVDs didn’t arrive so I checked the customer support pages and sent off queries to each company. Read on →

A number of Unix/Linux people seem to pride themselves on obtaining the highest uptime they can. While this may seem like a little harmless fun, in a production environment (which are mostly fun-free places), it can hide a number of problems that will later become major issues. At some point the machine will have to come down and face a power off or reboot, and then it’s expected to come back up, and this is where the problems can start. Read on →

I’ve been doing some work with RSS feeds recently and I wanted quicker access to the FeedValidator from within FireFox, I already have it in IE thanks to a nifty sidebar written by humble ole me, after a little look around I noticed it’s possible to add a custom validator to FireFox’s Webdeveloper Toolbar The process itself is simple, click Options on the toolbar and then click Options on the menu. Read on →

I’ve added a short Perl script called Display Feed Last Modified Date to the miniprojects page. This short (and by no means complete) script looks through a SharpReader OPML file (which can be generated by using ‘Export’ on the file menu) and then tries to obtain and display a Last-Modified date for each feed in the file (this is gathered from the header of the same name) With a single run and five minutes of manual checking of feeds I’ve managed to find and remove 40 dead feeds from my subscription list.

A quick note for anyone who runs a Blosxom based blog and is being aggregated using the Planet feed merging software. By default, the 0.91 RSS feed created by Blosxom doesn’t have per post dates. This means if you add a new post the Planet software will guess at the modified date for each of your posts and will decide that the current time is as good as any. And all your readers will scream in pain as they are forced to work through duplicate posts to get to the shiny new ones. Read on →