Reflecting on how far open source has come

It seems that more and more these days I find articles cropping up in publications like the Economist or WSJ about open source projects, and it occurred to me how ‘normal’ it had now become for such business-oriented publications to recognise what a driver open source has become in the modern world. It’s expected now, but it made me think back to my personal journey with open source, and how much resistance I’ve encountered to it over the years.

Read more →

Because you're worth it?

fusion gamer gillette vanity

I was already starting to get a little tired of having vanity products targetted at me all the time when I watched TV - seems you just can’t sit down and watch a little bit of sci-fi shlock without having to endure male sports stars and B-list celebrities gurning at you from the screen while they either whisk a razor across their chin at frightening speed, or smear some overpriced goop into their chiseled mugs.

Read more →

Two apps I started using in the last month

I’ve always been a fan of staying flexible as regards to platform, but it’s especially true these days, since my desktop environment is heterogeneous - I still tend to use Windows most for work, but for personal use I’m most comfy in Mac OS X now. I do have Ubuntu around too although I generally only use it when I have to on the desktop (although I love it to death as a server OS since it takes everything that is great about Debian and updates it a bit).

Read more →

Process: no replacement for people and principles

Over my years in working in the IT business, one thing that’s a constant is that we’re never short of talk about the latest “Process” that we should be following. There have been a shedload of them over the years I’ve been doing this, and I’ve tried a load of them out and encountered them via third parties, and while some are interesting and useful when taken as a basis for adaption to individual circumstances, one thing I absolutely cannot stand is the kind of people that focus on this as a proof or guarantee that their projects are being run well.

Read more →

HAG Capisco, 2 weeks on

back Capisco chair HAG Health

I’ve had the HAG Capisco for a little over two weeks now, which is not really long enough to give a definitive verdict, but it is just about long enough to give some initial impressions of it. Let’s get something out of the way right off the bat - this is not an instantly comfortable chair. It’s most definitely not the kind of chair you can buy, plonk yourself into and be immediately at ease - far from it.

Read more →

Good smartphone on the cheap

While I still consider a mobile phone to be an essential accessory to modern life, I hadn’t jumped on the smartphone bandwagon yet, for many reasons. Since I work from home most of the time, my need for a mobile is limited to when I’m out, and on occasional business trips and holidays. While I’d quite like an iPhone, I really can’t justify the price, particularly since over here we get totally ripped off on them (£500 handset-only price for the paltry 8Gb version, imported & unlocked since we don’t have O2 over here - and come on, O2 do the same thing for £350).

Read more →

Guitar adjustments - maybe I don't suck so bad after all

adjustment guitar tuning

I recently took my electric guitar into our local shop to get it adjusted by the resident luthiers, since I’d noticed lately that it was tending to go sharp on higher frets even when tuned correctly. At first, I wasn’t sure if it was just me, since learning for a year on an acoustic meant I often tended to use too much force on the fretboard of the electric and introduced accidental bending (since the string gauges on the electric are lighter, and steel rather than bronze).

Read more →

Why do we like chains so much?

I’ve been neglecting my blogging duties of late, not because I don’t have anything to say (it takes strong gaffer tape to achieve that particular result), but I just seem to be juggling a lot of stuff at once right now and there’s always something else to be doing. This post is therefore for those who have been missing my particular brand of opinionated rambling. 😉 I recently watched Dave Gorman’s America Unchained.

Read more →

Part high-chair, part bronco simulator

My new chair arrived today, packed into a surprisingly small box thanks to the marvels of German engineering (or something). A deft bit of allen key action later, and it was ready to go. Initial impressions are that it’s going to take some getting used to. The gas lift does indeed go high enough to use with a standing height desk, and it’s very solidly built and very stable, which is good when you’re perched that high.

Read more →

Standing isn't the (only) answer

back Health personal

Despite my initial positive reaction to working standing up, since I made that post my back has gone steadily downhill again, starting with a dodgy weekend that I hoped was a blip, but grumbled on for pretty much all last week, before taking a rapid decline this week. This morning I’ve been in the kind of pain I haven’t had since late last year. So, coupled with the hack, colour me extraordinarily pissed off this week.

Read more →