Leaving GDS

Three years ago I wrote: “I’m excited to be joining GDS, to see what I can help them achieve and what I can learn from some world class people”.

Software that I use as a developer

Mostly as a reminder to myself when setting up a new laptop.

Leaving Lumi - Joining GDS

Anyone following my life by the continuity of this blog alone may be confused by this title.

Scrobbling Heatmap Calendar

Created by Martin D., one of my ex-colleagues from, this is an amazing visualisation of scrobbling activity by year, month, day of the week and even time of day. Now-Playing information radiator

This is a litte project I started a while back but only finished/cleaned up recently. It’s a simple information radiator that shows you what a user is listening to right now.


8 years of scrobbling, 55,000 tracks and 4 years with the incredible team, it’s been a blast, but it’s time to move on and do something new.

Facebook photo facial recognition

Last Autumn a group of us visited Berlin, renting a bit apartment, exploring the city and taking lots of photos. I don’t upload photos to Facebook, I’m more of a Flickr guy, but it was interesting to watch Becky upload hers and compare the process.

Migrating scrobbling authentication to 2.0

I received this email a few months ago, and it made me smile.

Erlang: For an absolute beginner

Last night I spent 30 minutes having a play with a new (to me) programming language, Erlang.

Tech Hub misrepresents Silicon Roundabout

Yesterday I had a brief conversation on Twitter with Elizabeth Varley of Tech Hub about their claims of 700% startup growth in the Old Street area. I’d suggest reading the original article and the Twitter conversation first. I was convinced to write up some broader thoughts by an excellent post by James Darling, so that is worth reading too.

The importance of virtualised development environments

Gareth Rushgrove just wrote a great blog post entitled Why You Should Be Using Virtualisation, which puts out a great argument for using virtualised development environments.

New Twitter favouritism

Twitter have been slowly rolling out access to it’s new web interface, to much discussion, arguing and complaining - not to mention recent security issues. vs Xbox at DIBI Conference

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Design It, Build It conference in Newcastle, where I gave a talk entitled “ vs Xbox.”

1Bit player update

1Bit is a simple way to let you preview MP3s linked in a web page. It’s a combination of Javascript and (a tiny bit) of flash to automatically pre-pend links to MP3s with a little play icon, allowing you to listen to the track inline. It’s been quite popular, mostly with music blogs. It was built by Mark Wheeler and myself a year or two ago.

Announcing: Design it, Build it.

I’ll be speaking at Design it, Build it - A one day web conference on April 28th in Newcastle. It’s aimed at both designs & developers with a separate track of talks for each

Batch event importing to

Over christmas I sorted out some old boxes from University and found all the paper ticket stubs for gigs from 2002 to 2005. That’s some meaty data I didn’t want to lose, I copied it to a spreadsheet with plans to import it in to the events system (where I track all my current gig habbits).

Music Hackday Boston

A couple of weeks I made a trip to Music Hackday Boston. The 4th in a series of music hackdays, designed to bring together smart and passionate people to hack on music technology.

Jumping out of an aeroplane

About 3 months ago I jumped out of a plane. From about 14,000 feet. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years now, and i’m glad I finally did. I’m not sure I’d do it again though.

JSON, Octal Numbers & Validation

Now it’s launched in London I’ve been playing around with the Foursquare API. While it’s not the best API i’ve come across it gives you reasonable access to their data, so i’ve been pretty happily building some small tools using their data.

Music taste tube-lines music taste visualised as a London tub-map

Micro-San Francisco recommendations

A week later I still haven’t written up my SF trip and as a friend asked for tips here’s a micro version!

Using iTunes Mac to rip CDs at good quality

I haven’t had to rip any CDs on my current laptop till now. I didn’t have a decent ripper and I wouldn’t be using the one built in to iTunes (it’s rubbish). It’s such a rare task to setup a good ripper that I have to go searching for all the details again.

Reblogging the past

Thanks to the beauty of the Internet Archive I was able to find copies of all my old posts. An earlier version of this site was powered by a Wordpress install and apparently I didn’t make backups of the database. It’s quite sad losing content, some of it was quite good and it’s left lots of dead links.

Trinity, 64 year atomic anniversary

64 years ago, on July 16, 1945 Trinity was the first test of an atomic weapon.

Testing the Tumblr API

Just testing the Tumblr API. I’ve been pulling content in to my personal site) via the JSON API using the search parameter.

Open Tech 2009

Recently I went to Open Tech 2009an informal, low cost, one-day conference on slightly different approaches to technology, democracy and community. This year’s theme is “Working on Stuff that Matters”. This year it was held at University of London Union, central London.

Using xargs like I mean it, a bash example

I tweeted some bash-fu using xargs:

Installing Playdar on OS X 10.4

Congrutulations, you’re on an outdated verison of OS X, but you still want to play with cool things like Playdar. Here’s a hassle filled guide to compiling it from source.

Going public (again)

I started using Twitter a couple of years ago, following the buzz of SXSW ‘07. I started out, as almost everyone did, with my statuses open to everyone. There seemed no reason to be private with my status updates. Twitter was a (relatively) new and tiny service, known only to power-geek types so privacy concerns didn’t really enter in to it.

Giving XFN more visibility through CSS2.1 Attribute Selectors

As I was redesigning a bit lately and making use of FamFamFam’s very nice Silk icon set (used under the Creative Commons Attribution License) and it occurred to me I could use CSS2.1 Attribute Selectors to show the relationships the XFN defines.

Truck Festival 2007 Lineup

There proper lineup has been announced and is available on the Truck Festival website. Finally!

Panels, gender, confusion and a rant

I was going to include this little rant in my @media round-up post, but thought better of it, lest I get too ranty. So yes, this will be a fairly quickly written up little rant, please treat it as such.

@media London 2007

My first @media and it was a lot of fun.

Upgrading to PHP5 on OS X

I’ve been meaning to upgrade PHP on my macbook for a while now, today I finally got around to it with a little help from Marc Liyanage PHP Package.

1 Bit Audio Player

My good friend Mark Wheeler has been puting together a neat little embeded flash/javasript mp3 player called 1 Bit, which i’ve been writing the Javascript for.

Fun with FAMFAMFAM Icons and jQuery

If you not familiar with the FAMFAMFAM Silk icons they’re a set of 1000 beautiful little 16×16px icons that you’re free to use under the CC-Attribution license.

A tag-cloud generated from XSL

If you use the you can get some pretty interesting statistical data about your musical habits.

Pixel Art Space Invaders

Note: We actually did this a few months ago now – But I lost the ‘making of’ pictures and only found them again recently.

ALA “Ruining User Experience”

Out of the three new ALA articles the one that really caught my eye was Ruining User Experience by Aaron Gustafson.

SXSW Day Three (and onwards)

I’ve been back a couple of days now, so of course people have asked how it was, and my response has been ‘Amazing‘. I really do mean that, the entire week was great. It was a fantastic holiday, full of interesting panels, great people, delicious food and excellent parties. I’ve already started hustling friends into coming next year.

SXSW Day Two

So i’ve already fallen a day behind on my plan to throw something up here every day.

SXSW Day One

Finally arrived in Austin, unpacked, had a shower and feel human again.

Recent downtime & upcoming events

Sorry to the (few) people who haven’t been been able to access the site recently. For the past 6 months or so I’ve been hosting this blog on the server at work, so when we switched ISP’s (and thusly IPs) I completely forgot to update my DNS record.

Teaching Bad Practice

I subscribe to the WSG reading list, an entertaining and informative round up of web-standards-related articles and blog posts. The usual IE bugs, interviews and handy tips, but one thing caught my eye this week was a PHP tutorial on handling forms.

Code Golf: Whats your handicap?

Over the holidays I came discovered Code Golf and got quite addicted to one of the challenges, for those unfamiliar with it:

Dconstruct 2006

I’ve been back from Brighton for almost 24 hours now and I’ve just about caught up on sleep. It was a blast.

Google Code Search

Yesterday Google launched a new search for source code, this is such a great idea that I can’t believe its not happened before. You can search by a variety of languages, licence types and best of all by regular expressions.

Programming Quotes

I came across a rather impressive list of ‘Programming Quotes‘ today, some humorous, some insightful, some neither, some both.