A blog for odd things and odd thoughts.

Bashing bash

Microsoft are porting bash to Windows. Microsoft may as well tell me that they are going to support those old Sun mice that required the special gridded mouse mats. Why would we want to go back to that?


Security Notice: Chasey It Selection Protocol

To decide who is “it” (or “in”) first, in a playground game, such as chasey (a.k.a. tag), a fixed algorithmic process is used to make a pseudo-random choice.

Of course, this is a deterministic procedure, and we can, with diligence, careful calculation, computational power and just a little bit of luck, reverse engineer the algorithm and determine who will be eventually selected.


Anti-Pattern: Let the Users Configure the Business Rules

Here is a software analysis anti-pattern I have seen many times in my career. It is popping up in my current project, and I am trying to work out how to subvert it early.


Abandoning screen

I have decided to abandon screen, and am returning to having to re-login each day.

I am filing this under “I am doing Linux wrong, but I don’t know where.”


Categories: Insufficiently Advanced Technology,S/W Dev
Tags: editors, Linux

Confusing Spammer Strategy

So, there is this spam web-site, that has grabbed snippets from a number of RSS feeds about Kakuro solvers (including this site), and put them all on one page in the hope of getting some Google juice for a search term. To squeeze some of my Page Rank, it then attempted to leave some pingback […]


A Whinge about Media Players

Look at media players including YouTube, iPhones, VLC, Windows Media Player, etc.

Underneath the video is a slider bar representing the progress through the movie, and (where applicable for streaming players) how much has downloaded.

It is time for some new widgets to control sound and video.


What do you need from a torch?

Julian complains a phone app, designed to replicate a battery, a lightbulb and a switch, is over-engineered.


Windows look-and-feel for SSH and DOS command lines

Here are the specs for a great weekend project that I don’t have time for, that would improve my cross-development productivity.


How Python Logging Bit Me, Part 1.

In which Julian stumbles over a serious gotcha in Python’s SMTPHandler for logging messages.


Categories: Heroic Failures,Insufficiently Advanced Technology,S/W Dev
Tags: logging. gotcha, Python, SMTPHandler, software

Spatula Silly

Aren’t you bored of all these articles in the blogosphere, yammering about the finer points of spatula manufacture? Here’s yet another one jumping on the bandwagon. Sigh.


Categories: Insufficiently Advanced Technology,Observation
Tags: plastics, plastics spatulas, spatulas