I finally got around to reading the very good Pragmatic Project Automation, the short summary is that it’s excellent for new Java coders, a good read for new developers of .NET or dynamic languages, a useful but not critical read for people with four/five years experience in delivering software and working in small teams. The review is now up on the London PM Reviews page and also, surprise surprise, on the Liverpool Java User Group. Read on →

Author: Mike Clark ISBN: 0974514039 Publisher: The Pragmatic Programmers Pragmatic Project Automation is the third in the Pragmatic Programmers starter kit trilogy (so far…) of books. As it is also the first one not written by Dave or Andy the first question is, does it live up to the high standards set? The answer is a very strong yes. While the first two books in the series increased the developers workload (using CVS and writing unit tests) the third installment focuses on pushing the work back to the machine. Read on →

Here is a rarity, something that annoys the hell out of me :). If you have a website then your goal is to get people to view it, or at least it should be if you’re sane. So why the heck do so many site admins require me to type in the ‘www.’ before I can view the site? All it needs is a “ServerAlias domainname” in the Apache config; or what ever you IIS people use instead. Read on →

I’ve never been a huge IRC person but I do like amusing quotes, if you get a bored five minutes it’s well worth having a sift through both Bash.org and QDB.us. The quality of the humour varies a lot but some of it is good wholesome geek humour. And a lot of it isn’t :)

If you’re reading this site then there are pretty good odds you own a number of tech books, take a look around your shelves and admire your collection. Now think about the number of those books that include a CD, next try and think of an included CD that was actually useful. Did you think of any? If you did you are a better man than me. One of the reasons CDs are seldom included in tech books is the shelf life of the book vs the software contained within. Read on →

I’d like to see the European Union spend some more time investigating regional pricing. I’m in the market for a new monitor and I’ve seen a number of people recommend the Dell 2001FP, it’s a nice looking monitor with a good spec. More importantly everyone who has bought one has recommended it. This monitor looks pretty good and I considered buying one. Being a diligent consumer I decided to do some pricing, for comparison lets use the details at Dell 2001FP UK and Dell 2001FP US. Read on →

I do most of my small scripts and minor hacks in Perl, it’s powerful, cross-platform and it has CPAN. While I’ve spent some time investigating other languages such as Python, Groovy and even sed and awk for certain tasks, only one has held my interest; Ruby. It was recently announced that the second edition of the Pragmatic Programmers Programming Ruby (the pickaxe book) is now available for preorder in PDF and dead tree formats. Read on →

On this page you will find a number of my shorter scripts, applications and bits of code I find helpful and that scratch my own itches. Each one is accompanied by a short explanation of the script, any dependencies, any needed configuration and a link to the code itself. Unless otherwise stated all the code on this page is GPL’d and you are free to do what you want with it. Read on →

I’ve added a new entry to my miniprojects page, the getpageranks script (written in Perl) allows you to pass in a file containing URL’s, one to a line with whitespace and comments allowed. Each entry in the file will then be checked with Google and the PageRank will be displayed. Note: If an invalid URL is given the PageRank will be returned as zero, this makes it very difficult to determine which sites are invalid and which are just unpopular. Read on →

Unless you run IE on Windows with the Google toolbar installed it’s always been difficult to determine the PageRank of any given URL, while a FireFox/Mozilla extension was created it was, from my experiences, very flaky. It also required manual use. I was pleasantly surprised today to see a module called Google::PageRank hit my local CPAN mirror. I’ve had a quick play and it worked on all my test cases. Tool writers, start your engines!