The Hybrid Cloud Show is Live!

Posted on Fri 05 April 2024 in Podcast

Exciting news – the first episode of our podcast, the Hybrid Cloud Show, is finally here, part of the awesome Late Night Linux podcast family! 💥 Join me and three very smart industry pros as we dive into the fascinating world of public cloud, private cloud, and everything in between. Check out …

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I'm launching a Platform Engineering Newsletter

Posted on Tue 02 January 2024 in Platform Engineering

Hello! I'm excited to share the first issue of our monthly journey through the world of platform engineering. This newsletter is all about the latest trends, insights, and resources in our field whether you're a seasoned expert or just starting out.

You can find the first month here.

Each month …

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Kindle Scribe to Mastodon

Posted on Mon 01 January 2024 in Digital Minimalism

Kindle Scribe to Mastodon

Over the holidays, I put together a fun little project to put out status updates on Mastodon. Of course, I used some spare time to make this as overly-engineered as possible.

Stringing It All Together

I wanted this to be event-driven and serverless and to give …

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Make your smartphone a little dumber

Posted on Fri 01 September 2023 in Digital Minimalism

Photo by Thanos Pal on Unsplash

For many, MANY years, I've been an advocate for the simplicity of dumbphones. My go-to? The LightPhone 2. However, modern life sometimes demands the functionalities of a smartphone, such as banking or GPS navigation. Every once in a while, I wish my smartphone would be just a touch simpler, but …

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Streamlining OS Development Pipelines for the Beepberry - A Fun Challenge

Posted on Mon 05 June 2023 in Platform Engineering


Imagine a cool device that brings together an LCD screen, Raspberry Pi Zero, and a Blackberry keyboard – that's the Beepberry! It's designed to work like a WiFi-only keyboard phone, and one of the main goals is to reach a super-fast boot time of under 5 seconds. Sounds challenging, right …

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Harnessing the Power of NixOS for Platform Engineering

Posted on Sun 19 March 2023 in Platform Engineering


NixOS is an innovative and powerful Linux distribution built on top of the Nix package manager. Its unique approach to package and configuration management sets it apart from traditional Linux distributions, making it an excellent choice for platform engineering tasks. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits …

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De-risk early when engineering platforms

Posted on Sat 11 March 2023 in Platform Engineering

Platform engineering encompasses a broad domain with continually evolving frontiers that require overcoming new challenges to level up the solutions offered to engineers. However, this evolution can lead to situations where previously-made assumptions may no longer be applicable to new solutions.

Our team recently encountered this scenario when using AWS …

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Reduce developer cognitive load with nix

Posted on Sat 11 March 2023 in Platform Engineering

Nixpkg is a package manager that uses a purely functional approach to package management, isolating packages and ensuring that there are no conflicts between them. It provides a powerful language for defining packages, which makes it easy to manage dependencies and ensure that software environments are reproducible and reliable. Additionally …

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Physical vs Logical resources

Posted on Wed 06 July 2022 in TIL

Logical ID The logical ID must be alphanumeric (A-Za-z0-9) and unique within the template. Use the logical name to reference the resource in other parts of the template. Physical ID A physical ID, which is the actual assigned name for that resource, such as an EC2 instance ID or an …

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How to manage Podcasts on an iPod Classic on Linux

Posted on Sat 26 February 2022 in Digital Minimalism

After my last post generated some interesting discussion on Hacker News, I figured it was worth a little guide on how I manage my iPod Classic on a Linux machine. Thankfully some very clever people put together the drivers and software to make this a breeze, but there's a few …

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Consuming Content Like it's the 90s

Posted on Sun 06 February 2022 in Digital Minimalism

It’s the 2020s, we continue to become more connected that we’ve ever been, and I hate it! I don’t have the self-control needed to handle these always-on devices. It’s awful. They’re all so incredibly powerful and give so much in terms of information. I, however …

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TIL Updating ZSH

Posted on Tue 04 January 2022 in TIL

To update Oh-My-ZSH, all I need to run is `omz update`. Didn't even realise there was an omz command!

Activity Nag

Posted on Mon 03 January 2022 in Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism

Digital Minimalism

I'm trying out a month of Digital Minimalism and I wanted some… encouragement to ensure I stick to my rules. One of which is to use my laptop only for specific tasks I know ahead of time, for an hour a day only. I currently already use Activitywatch …

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Nonviolent Communication

Posted on Fri 27 August 2021 in Leadership

What is Nonviolent Communication?

Nonviolent Communication(NVC) helps us communicate clearly by breaking down and identifying our needs and communicating them compassionately.


NVC can help reduce conflict towards others and ourselves. It can also help us to hear others out and recognise each other's needs and support acting more …

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5 Steps to a better Personal Development Plan(PDP)

Posted on Fri 26 March 2021 in Leadership

Reviewing your PDP can be a somewhat overwhelming process. So many areas of improvement can be highlighted, it can be a real challenge to discover what to focus on. Not only that but you also want to make sure your areas of focus have high impact benefits to the squad …

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Learning Python as a Platform Engineer-First Steps

Posted on Fri 01 January 2021 in Leadership

I've relatively recently moved into a Platform Engineering position after working in very developer oriented teams for many years. What's interesting is that the engineers you work with have much more diverse and interesting backgrounds in terms of their experience, so there's a real opportunity to grow and learn a …

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The vagueness of Secular Buddhism

Posted on Sat 07 November 2020 in Mindfulness

I’m looking for a path to atheist spirituality, and I’ve looking more into Secular Buddhism. I have to admit, the results aren’t so promising, many are so vague as to be almost completely useless.

I’m looking for Buddhism minus beliefs, what I keep seeing is much …

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Make the smartphone dumb again

Posted on Thu 05 November 2020 in Digital Minimalism

I have terrible, terrible impulse control. I cannot stop using my phone as a distraction tool. I simply cannot. We can discuss willpower, or being a better person, but they don’t work. I have no willpower and remain a terrible person despite how hard I try. If my phone …

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TIL - AWS Lambda Environment Vars

Posted on Thu 05 November 2020 in TIL

In AWS Lambda, if you use ENVIRONMENT VARS they are tied to the lambda version, so a new deploy is required to update that config change.

Please, PLEASE make a domain for your own email address.

Posted on Mon 02 November 2020 in Tech

Don’t have a or, have a instead! [Google locks people out of their accounts](, to me loss of my email address would be a total disaster. This is the problem with …

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Quick Review - Long Gone Days

Posted on Mon 28 September 2020 in Random

Coming from the AMAZING Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality, Long Gone Days is a "2D modern-day military RPG set in our current times, with a focus on language and cultural barriers"'.


Love the art-style of the game.


The score is solid and the in-game sounds are fine …

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TIL - AWS Summit - ECR

Posted on Mon 28 September 2020 in TIL

ECR supports vulnerability scanning of pushed up repo images.

TIL - AWS Summit - Eventbridge

Posted on Mon 28 September 2020 in TIL

Eventbridge can translate a lot of useful internal Amazon events into a call to say a Lamdba, so you can drive custom behaviour from those events. For example: high vulnerabilities in your pushed ECR image could trigger lambda to fire off an alert(or delete the image).

TIL - AWS Summit - Fargate Autoscaling

Posted on Mon 28 September 2020 in TIL

Fargate supports autoscaling options that include `FARGATE` or `FARGATESPOT` for spot pricing.

TIL - AWS Summit - Latency

Posted on Mon 28 September 2020 in TIL

P99 and P95 latency refer to the percentage of requests should be faster than given latency.

TIL - AWS Summit - Spot Instances

Posted on Mon 28 September 2020 in TIL

Currently, ~5% of spot instances are getting taken out, but their pricing is 1/3 of an On-Demand instance.

TIL - Bash Shift

Posted on Mon 28 September 2020 in TIL

In `bash`, use `shift` to reassign positional arguments.

For example:

```bash $1 $2 $3 ```

Would become

```bash $1 matches old $2 $2 matches old $3 ```

TIL - Git Rebase

Posted on Mon 28 September 2020 in TIL

In git, during rebase, ours and theirs are reversed. `theirs` is actually the current branch in the case of rebase.

TIL - How to match python regex postgis

Posted on Mon 28 September 2020 in TIL

Use `(.*)` for matching groups in Python regexes.

Populate Ansible from Amazon secrets manager

Posted on Thu 03 September 2020 in Tech

One of the ways to improve your security and avoid passing around env files is to follow the twelve factor app and start populating your secrets from the environment. Another improvement is to pull those secrets from a known secret store, with features like rotation, auditing etc.


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Better local development for Serverless Functions

Posted on Mon 11 February 2019 in Tech

Lambda is a terrific piece of kit for all the benefits listed on the AWS product page and Serverless is a very useful framework for developing Lambda functions. However, developing serverless applications locally is a total pain if what you're solving isn't totally trivial.

When things get complicated and your …

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Easy maintenance mode with nginx

Posted on Mon 20 August 2018 in Tech

So I combined a few solutions I found online to come up with a quick way to set up maintenance mode using nginx. Ideally it shouldn't happen but in times of emergency in can be good to knock up a quick maintenance page for everyone but your own internal ips …

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Please don't do it Github

Posted on Sat 02 June 2018 in Random

So Microsoft has been in talks with Github about a potential acquisition. There are several reasons why this is a terrible idea. Github is a pretty solid git repo hosting company, but it has a few core values that are in jeopardy here and I'm not sure Microsoft(or anyone …

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Beware the todo list

Posted on Mon 02 April 2018 in Productivity

For the last few months, I've been working off a varying series of to-do lists to drive my life. I use a mix of the Things app, my bullet journal, and a calendar. Basically, my setup is to have annual Smart Goals, broken down into achievable chunks, then broken down …

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Wild Wild Country – The Soundtrack

Posted on Thu 29 March 2018 in Random

Wild Wild Country – The Soundtrack

For anyone who hasn't seen Netflix's Wild Wild Country, I highly recommend you watch it. The story told, along with the wealth of footage they got their hands on makes it an incredible watch.

The soundtrack is also excellent, I've put together the soundtrack as …

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Four years without Facebook

Posted on Mon 26 March 2018 in Mindfulness

I'm happy to see the media dog-piling on Facebook so much lately. None of this 'news' seems to actually be conveying much that's new, more that it's started taking what was slowly becoming normalised and framed it in a way to highlight the outrage. I don't particularly like the media's …

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Leaving no Trace

Posted on Mon 19 March 2018 in Mindfulness

While I was camping along the West Coast of the US, I heard about the Leave No Trace movement and found the idea very much resonated with me. Recently, I've found myself looking around day to day and wondering where I could start leaving less of a trace. We can …

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10 lessons from 150 days of meditation

Posted on Wed 14 March 2018 in Mindfulness

I've been meditating now for 150 days straight, but even before that I was a fairly regular meditator for many years, I had just never kept up with any sort of meaningful streak every single day. My current momentum started from a difficult period in my life and even once …

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Lessons from Remote Working

Posted on Sun 18 February 2018 in Tech

For the past few years as a freelancer, I've done many forms of remote work. I've worked both part and full-time remote positions, I've also worked with teams across multiple time-zones, in locations ranging from home offices, hotdesking, even camping and crummy motels, so I have a fairly broad range …

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Supplementing an iPad Pro with Linux

Posted on Sun 21 January 2018 in Tech

Recently I wrote about why I'm using an iPad Pro as my main "at home" machine and how I'm generally using it for tinkering around with remote servers. There is however, one caveat. I do still have an at-home server that I use for helping with making the iPad as …

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The iPad Pro as a focused, simple coding machine

Posted on Sat 20 January 2018 in Tech

So recently I wrote a post on why a developer might use an iPad Pro as an at home machine. Today, I'm going to elaborate on how I'm actually using it day to day.

So there is not much you can do locally

Realistically, as a local dev environment there …

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Why an iPad for a backend developer

Posted on Mon 08 January 2018 in Tech

So I'm a backend developer. I'm often closest to the source of most technical problems at my job. Networking issues, memory issues, hardware issues, operating system issues, the list goes on. I need to be able to tinker and play with things often, so usually my work environments reflect this …

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Freelancer Lessons – Part 3

Posted on Sat 06 January 2018 in Productivity

This is part 3 in a series on lessons I've learned from several years of freelancing. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here, though you can read these in no specific order really.

Watch your mental state

When you're working a full-time job, you'll have people around …

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Freelancer Lessons – Part 2

Posted on Mon 01 January 2018 in Productivity

This is a series of posts on lessons I've learned while freelancing for the past four years. You can find Part 1 here.

Focusing on "profits only"

I've alluded to this in my previous post, but, now that you're a business, you may start to make decisions that optimise being …

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Freelancer lessons – Part 1

Posted on Sun 31 December 2017 in Productivity

Looking back on this year, many of the lessons I've learned had less to do with specific technologies and more to do with long term career growth. I've been a developer now for 9 years and as a result, I'm starting to think more about longer term goals and happiness …

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A Short Review of 'Freedom from the Known'

Posted on Fri 13 October 2017 in Random

Freedom from the Known can be a tough book to crack, the lessons offered within are almost dismissed by the arguments made within the book, on top of that it's likely most won't be in a position to even accept what they read as they are reading it. Despite these …

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Faster SugarCRM Development with PHPStorm

Posted on Sun 30 April 2017 in Tech

Javascript development with SugarCRM can be a bit of a pain, however combining PHPStorm's filewatcher tool with a cut down repair script can speed things up to a more tolerable level.

What this setup does is watch for any javascript changes in our custom/ folder(because you're not making core …

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Pomot — command line pomotodo client

Posted on Thu 20 April 2017 in Tech

For anyone interested, I've created a simple pomotodo client for interacting with easily.

You can find it here, feel free to use github issues for any issues or feature requests you can think of.

Command line calendars with Khal and fastmail

Posted on Tue 04 April 2017 in Tech

Recently I've been on a bit of a command line kick and I started using khal to render my calendar agenda locally.

All of the codebases used are python based so before I start I've created a virtualenv so as not to pollute my OS.

mkvirtualenv khal workon khal

Vdirsyncer …

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SugarCRM 7 — Conditional Read Only Fields

Posted on Sat 06 February 2016 in Tech

SugarCRM has a few ways to set fields as read-only, but it leaves a lot to be desired. One of the missing features that you might need to implement is having a module flagged as read-only on the record view based on a field on the module or the result …

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NetworkX — Get all Paths from all sources to sinks

Posted on Wed 04 November 2015 in Tech

Often when I'm working with graphs and a set of masses in a spectrum I need to be able to iterate over all paths for all sources and sinks in that graph. Especially if I'm looking to compare multiple ideal spectrums against a given spectrum. Here's some code that will …

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Generate Binary Tree From String

Posted on Tue 27 October 2015 in tech

Recently while implementing the Small Parsimony Problem I had the need to generate a binary tree from a string in Python.

The pseudo-code in the question implicitly assumes you have some functionality that will generate a DNA sequence like CAAATCCC into a binary tree, then run SmallParsimony on it. I …

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SugarCRM — Conditional Actions

Posted on Thu 15 October 2015 in Tech

Say you need to hide certain actions in Sugar depending on the status of a field, I've come across a great snippet of code from an awesome comment by Felix Nilam on the SugarCRM forums and wanted to show you a brief snippet of how it could work.

Make sure …

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Bioinformatics/Rosalind — Skeleton Generator

Posted on Sun 27 September 2015 in Tech

Working through part 4 of my Cousera Bioinformatics specialisation, I decided to write a generator that creates a standardised approach to structure, write and test your algorithmic code. It also works for Rosalind problems.

Explanations are in the README. If you have any issues or are confused by anything, feel …

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Tiddlywiki to Org-Mode

Posted on Mon 31 August 2015 in Tech

Okay, I swear this is the last document conversion script I'm writing this year. I've been on a bit of a rampage to move all of my life in Emacs Org-Mode and converting all of my Tiddlywiki notes into Org mode has been on my list for a while. Thankfully …

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OSQA to Tiddlywiki

Posted on Mon 27 July 2015 in Tech

Recently I've been trying out Tiddlywiki as an alternative to Evernote. I decided to try convert my existing OSQA install to Tiddlywiki as I'm travelling a lot and don't always have access to my servers via the internet. Here's a python script I wrote that might help anyones trying to …

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Verify you're hidden with conky

Posted on Sun 26 July 2015 in Tech

I run a few scripts to ensure my identity stays hidden day to day on my laptop. Here's a few conky scripts to verify things are as they should be.


Because I don't always know my ip or what my VPN's ip is, I wanted conky to display the …

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SugarCRM 7 — Adding an action to the listview headerpanel

Posted on Sat 25 July 2015 in Tech

This tutorial should show you how to add a custom button/action that will appear across all modules. It's a little similar to this tutorial with a few changes to how the button gets rendered and the actions get called.

1. Adding the button to the headerpanel

Firstly you'll need …

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SugarCRM — Prevent currencies getting overridden

Posted on Thu 16 April 2015 in Tech

SugarCRM has some neat features involving currency rates, but one of the more annoying ones is that Sugar will automatically update the base rate every time you save a record with a currency field attached. This can be fairly annoying default behaviour if you wish to maintain the correct record …

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SugarCRM 7 — Roll SugarCRM with Docker

Posted on Tue 07 April 2015 in Tech

I find trying to replicate the SugarCRM environment locally a real pain. One of the main issues is simply that Sugar requires such old versions of PHP to be installed, especially compared to other web projects I have that implement the latest/greatest versions of PHP. Running multiple PHP versions …

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Setting up git with Rescuetime highlights

Posted on Sun 15 February 2015 in Productivity

Recently I've written on another site how I use Rescuetime to provide metrics on my overall productivity that I can review each week. One useful feature I noticed was Rescuetime highlights, which gives you a good overview of your accompishments throughout the day. The first thing I wanted to add …

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Bulletproof productivity

Posted on Sat 14 February 2015 in Productivity

Over the last few months I've been trying different ways to increase my productivity, specifically during work hours. From todo lists to pomodoro's, xeffect cards, the autofocus method and even back to GTD. I've noticed a pattern with a lot of these techniques. They all require a pile of maintenance …

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Solving boot2docker's fail to start error

Posted on Sat 07 February 2015 in Tech

I'm putting this obvious solution up as I couldn't see it anywhere online.

If you try to start up boot2docker with boot2docker start and it returns.

error in run: Failed to start machine "boot2docker-vm": exit status 1

Before destroying everything and wiping your ~/Virtualbox VMs folder, try starting up Virtualbox …

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R — Cleaning/Merging Excel files

Posted on Thu 05 February 2015 in Tech

This is just a useful snippet of code I've been using a lot to tidy up messy exports I've been getting lately.

Takes in a bunch of excel files, rewrites some variable column names in column 3 then outputs them as a list of dataframes. These then get merged into …

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SugarCRM — Git Version Control Strategy

Posted on Mon 10 November 2014 in Tech

I've found SugarCRM an utter pain to work with in terms of version control for a number of reasons, but the most annoying is simply that certain critical elements of the SugarCRM configuration are stored on the database.

Over time I've worked out a system that circumvents this and I've …

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Better PHP Debugging with Emacs

Posted on Thu 02 October 2014 in Tech

Recently I came across an app called CodeBug, a really nice PHP debugger for Mac. I find debugging PHP really painful within editors such as Vim or Emacs, so up until now I'd been stuck using the incredibly bloated PHPStorm.

On Emacs you can currently use Geben for debugging but …

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Shellshock — Am I vulnerable and what do I do?

Posted on Thu 25 September 2014 in Tech

`Shellshock `__ is the latest Heartbleed level vulnerability to be discovered. It's a pretty long running exploit in how bash handles environment variables. It's a good thing to fix asap, especially if you're running any old services like telnet, ftp or an old version of apache.

Is my server vulnerable …

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SugarCRM 7 — Fix to re-enable ElasticSearch on custom modules

Posted on Thu 18 September 2014 in Tech

I had an issue in Sugar where some custom modules refused to appear in the Global Search settings, meaning I couldn't index them in ElasticSearch.

When I checked the module oddly enough unified search would be enabled:


1. Re-enable the module

To force it to be re-enabled …

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SugarCRM 7 — Enable Importing on Custom Modules

Posted on Thu 11 September 2014 in Tech

I've been wracking my brain trying to get this guide to work with SugarCRM 7. Add to the fact that it "looks" like this is also how it's done in SugarCRM 7, if you peruse the code under Accounts or Contacts. However it isn't. This is how I've added importing …

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DOMpdf failing to render certain accented characters

Posted on Thu 21 August 2014 in Tech

I've noticed some issues with DOMpdf when trying to generate PDFs using their internal Helvetica font. After banging my head against a wall for a few hours trying to "fix" UTF-8 support, it turned out UTF-8 support was working fine. Essentially DOMpdf's internal Helvetica font didn't support a few polish …

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Yii — Convert database to migrations

Posted on Thu 21 August 2014 in Tech

It happens to be best of us. You start a new Yii project, generate a few tables and fields, create the models in Gii and totally forget to use any migrations.

There's an easy way to move yourself to a db backed migration.

  • Put txDbMigration in your codebase.
  • Create a …

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SugarCRM 7 — Custom subpanels

Posted on Wed 13 August 2014 in Tech

This tutorial should hopefully help you to create a new subpanel under the Contacts module in Sugar using a custom link class and driven by SugarCRM 7's new SugarQuery API.

1. Create a new link class

This should go into custom/modules//YourNewLink.php and this class will act as …

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SugarCRM 7 — Making Ajax Requests

Posted on Sat 09 August 2014 in Tech

SugarCRM has a pretty great API if you know how to poll it. Today I'm sharing two examples of where I've needed to poll SugarCRM's API with some sample jQuery code.

A jQuery autocompleter

If you're declaring an input box and wish to autocomplete it's results based on the results …

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SugarCRM 7 — Add a new action to a record

Posted on Thu 07 August 2014 in Tech

Odds are if you're customising SugarCRM, you will at some point need to add functionality to the records page. This article shows you a framework for creating actions on the UI, the API entrypoints to run your code and how to link it all together using SugarCRM's sidecar functionality.

1 …

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SugarCRM — Sugar powered by Salt!

Posted on Sat 02 August 2014 in Tech

SugarCRM can be a pain to setup, especially if you are managing many installs on different servers/environments. I'm a big fan of using salt to configure my servers. I rarely manage any servers directly anymore and generally run things through my salt master. This guide should hopefully get you …

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Friday Fun — Offline 8tracks playlists using Grooveshark

Posted on Fri 25 July 2014 in Random

A lot of people have been asking about how they might offline their favourite 8track tracks and I've come up with a rudimentary solution while I was doing some offline coding. On 8tracks I've found a great playlist series called Cold Machines created by user sowat on 8tracks and I …

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Log Queries with MySQL Proxy

Posted on Sat 19 July 2014 in Tech

What is it?

Have you ever found yourself wanting live statistics of you mysql database, or a log of all the erroring queries. Well MySQL Proxy might

MySQL Proxy is a simple program that sits between your client and MySQL server(s) that can monitor, analyze or transform their communication …

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SugarCRM — Versioning Your Database

Posted on Wed 16 July 2014 in Tech

One issue that constantly re-occurs for me using SugarCRM is that certain knowledge is only stored in it's database. So say you want to revert to a previous version of Sugar and wish to obtain the Studio customisations you've done at that version, say two days ago, well your just …

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SugarCRM 7 — Set recordlist row colours based on row data

Posted on Sat 12 July 2014 in Tech

The tutorial shows you how to do two useful things in SugarCRM 7. Firstly, how to call actions when rows get updated in SugarCRM's recordlist and secondly, how to set information based on row data. The example I have here will essentially update the table colours based on a specific …

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Minimalist MySQL Reporting

Posted on Thu 10 July 2014 in Tech

Sometimes business folk can have crazy demands on the types of reports your system should produce and sometimes these can be really time consuming and painful to get right. Often I find the most flexible solution is to give these power-users access to tidier version of the raw data within …

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SugarCRM 7 — Colour Code Rows based on data values

Posted on Thu 10 July 2014 in Tech

Add this into your recordlist javascript file.

javascript render_colors : function() { console.log('here'); $("tr[name^='<YOUR_MODULE']").each(function() { //loop over each row if($(this).find('div[data-original-title="Out"]').length > 0) { //check value of TD $(this).find($('td')).each(function() { $(this).css("background-color", "#FFBABA"); }); } else if($(this).find('div[data-original-title="In …

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Your brain on stoicism

Posted on Thu 10 July 2014 in Tech

For the last few months I've been attempting to practice Stoicism and wanted to share the effects of what regular stoic practice has had. If you've never heard of Stoicism I'd recommend's introduction, which is very pragmatic. Essentially, what happens after several weeks of watching your emotional reactions …

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Manage background tasks with PHP-Resque and Supervisor

Posted on Thu 03 July 2014 in Tech

PHP-Resque, the PHP equivalent to Ruby's really nice background process runner is a great way to execute long running PHP processes. Supervisor is a python-based process control system, essentially it's a convenient way to manage custom system processes you need to handle. Combining the two to manage long running PHP …

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Simple API Mocking with Guzzle and Charles

Posted on Thu 26 June 2014 in Tech

If you've ever had to try unit test code that's dependent on external services, you'll know the pain of trying to mock-up fake API requests by hand. It's painful to setup and painful to maintain, this little tutorial attempts to make the whole process as easy as possible.

Step 1 …

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SugarCRM — Permissions Script

Posted on Sat 21 June 2014 in Tech

I use salt quite extensively to deploy SugarCRM installs and I wanted a scriptable way to setup the correct permissions for Sugar running on a linux box. This script is based on the Sugar documentation and this handy post here.

Simply fill in your apache user details and the path …

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Engineers Log

Posted on Sun 15 June 2014 in Productivity

Four years ago(to the day) I wrote a post on why I was Giving up on wikis and I have to admit, four years later my opinions on the topic really haven't changed.

It's been 4 years, 700 questions(with 800 answers) and several server moves later and by …

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Quick Salt Minion Setup

Posted on Thu 12 June 2014 in Tech

I find myself setting up salt minions a LOT. So I figured I'd write down the steps in this concise format.

On the minion

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:saltstack/salt
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install salt-minion
sudo echo ' salt' >> /etc/hosts //Or whatever the salt master is
sudo salt-call -l …

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SugarCRM 7 — Hiding subpanels based on specific criteria

Posted on Thu 12 June 2014 in Tech

The new Sugar subpanels look great but they do take up quite a lot space, without any ability to remove Subpanels via studio I've had to come up with a few ways to hide them.

Note: Original Props go to Robin Larsson who wrote the original on the Sugar Community …

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Super simple folder backup one-liner

Posted on Fri 06 June 2014 in Tech

I needed a simple cron job, that just took backups of my project folders, should the worst happen to my laptop. Google brought up nothing obvious, so I figured I'd share it here.

tar zcvf /tmp/snap.tgz ~/Projects && rsync /tmp/snap.tgz user@remotebox:/home/backups/snap_`date +%F_ …

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SugarCRM 7 — Adding a custom column to a list

Posted on Thu 22 May 2014 in Tech

This is the SugarCRM 7 equivalent to this post here, because Sugar has dropped the process record logic hook, we need to come up with a new solution.

Here's how you can add a new column to a list view, I have to admit this is one of the really …

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SugarCRM 7 — Adding an action to the listview

Posted on Sun 18 May 2014 in Tech

There doesn't appear to be a documented way to do this but in SugarCRM 7 this is how I've added actions to the listview. For this example it's showing how to add a button to an animal module, which adds the animal to a related circus event.

1. Adding thebutton …

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Find My Run — My first iPhone app

Posted on Sat 17 May 2014 in Tech

It's a pretty basic app that lists the ten nearest running events in your area. There was a few new pieces of tech(for me) involved. The app was built with Appcelerator's Alloy framework, which I must admit I quite like for rapid development of cross platform mobile apps(hopefully …

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Owning Your Data — Replacing Dropbox

Posted on Thu 24 April 2014 in Tech

Dropbox as late has come under a fair bit of fire. They've added DMCA takedowns to personal folders, scan/open personal files and have appointed Condelleza Rice as a member of their board of directors. Which has kicked off quite a bit of backlash including a #dropdropbox tag that's gaining …

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Philosophy as an extension of mindfulness

Posted on Sun 20 April 2014 in Mindfulness

Recently I read a very interesting mini-tutorial on Marcuse and his book One-Dimensional Man, an apparently brilliant merge of both Freud and Marx. I'd suggest reading the link and forming you're own opinions on him. I myself found the tutorial brought on convincing points, but more than that I found …

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SugarCRM — Search for records related to the current record

Posted on Sun 20 April 2014 in Tech

Say you have two modules in Sugar: Animals and Ringmasters and they aren't directly related via a standard relationship but they are related through some convoluted means. Now, imagine if you want to override the SugarCRM search to allow you to search for all Animals indirectly related to a Ringmaster …

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SugarCRM — Searches with data from indirectly related modules

Posted on Thu 17 April 2014 in Tech

Building modules in SugarCRM can cause you to create a boatload of unnecessary relationships, simply because it's convenient to do so. Maybe you'd have a relationship where A relates to B and B to C but you'd like to search for all A module records that relate to C. One …

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Build Yii 1.* with composer

Posted on Tue 08 April 2014 in Tech

While we're looking forward to Yii 2 coming alive, all of the posts on please do not use it for production**. So it might be a little while before we have in-built composer awesomeness with Yii. The guide online on integrating composer with yii does not seem particularly straight-forward and …

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SugarCRM — Add a code-driven column to a list

Posted on Sat 05 April 2014 in Tech

Sometimes you might find that you want your users to make decisions based on ListViews and you need to pull in relational data beyond the immediately related objects. Example

So using the circus example say you have performers who are performing for a specific show. You might want to see …

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Yii issues with Homebrew PHP 5.3

Posted on Fri 04 April 2014 in Tech

When running yii with a homebrewed install of PHP 5.3, PHP code embedded in HTML wouldn't work. This is because for some inexplicable reason Homebrew's PHP install disables short-tag support. Simply edit /usr/local/etc/php/5.3/php.ini and change short-tags to On.

short_open_tag = On

Also ensure …

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Owning Your Data — Replacing Gmail

Posted on Sat 29 March 2014 in Tech

Gmail isn't secure or private, Google have admitted this. You simply cannot expect privacy from any service that you don't have control of. Thankfully your email doesn't have to be tied a mail service like Gmail, Yahoo or Microsoft. You can simply roll your own email server with your own …

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Useful bit of SQL to update many records in SugarCRM

Posted on Thu 27 March 2014 in Tech

UPDATE clowns SET deleted=1 WHERE id IN
 SELECT id FROM clowns WHERE deleted = 0 ORDER BY id ASC LIMIT 0, 800)
 tmp );

Owning Your Data — Initial Server Setup

Posted on Thu 06 March 2014 in Tech

So before you can move to your own self-hosted services, you'll need your own hosting. This is a really basic tutorial/set of links on getting a server up and running with Salt.

Hosting Provider

DigitalOcean is a terrific hosting company if you're want to play around with a few …

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Perfomance Enhancing Breakfast

Posted on Sat 01 March 2014 in Productivity

As Lance Armstrong has shown the world, putting the right thing into your body can greatly improve performance, I myself have been looking into more maintainable alternative. More and more I'm experimenting with diet as a means to improve my mental performance as well as my running ability week on …

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Owning Your Data

Posted on Thu 27 February 2014 in Tech

Governments are collecting data on you, that's a fairly accepted fact at this stage. Whether you're being "social", reading email, playing video games or even when you're writing a book on the NSA. If you want more details The Guardian has a great explanation as to what Snowden's files mean …

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The Counterfeited Blog Post

Posted on Sat 22 February 2014 in Random

I've been reading E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel and in it I came across a discussion on the French writer André Gide, specifically about his book Les faux-monnayeurs(The Counterfeiters).

The book is a merge of reality and fiction, Gide himself keeps a journal of his life as …

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Cutting caffeine

Posted on Thu 20 February 2014 in Productivity

A little while ago, I read a post on Sebastian Marshall's blog about cutting caffeine, in which goes into the benefits and a method he uses for quitting coffee. He suggests cycling off it to reset your tolerance every so often. I figured that was a really good idea since …

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Rolling your own mail server with Salt

Posted on Sun 16 February 2014 in Tech

Recently I decided to migrate my mail server and I took this as an opportunity to better get my head around setting the whole thing up. I've used iRedmail in the past but the whole process seemed a little like magic so I took a scouring around the internets for …

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Keep up to date

Posted on Sat 15 February 2014 in Digital Minimalism

I love keeping up to date with all the latest tech news, but I find that when I follow numerous blogs there's a heavy noise to signal ratio and eventually I get bogged down with all the blog posts coming at me. On top of that I don't particularly like …

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A tip for introducing new habits

Posted on Thu 13 February 2014 in Productivity

After reading up on Pragmatic Thinking and Learning I decided I would implement a habit called Morning Pages. Effectively you commit to writing several pages of writing each and every morning, for me I intended to write a blog post unit each day, and decide which ones were worthy enough …

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OfflineImap to Thunderbird

Posted on Sat 08 February 2014 in Tech

Last week I moved from Debian to Linux Mint and setup Thunderbird as my new mail client(replacing mutt). Sadly for some reason Thunderbird started tanking and wiped all the mails from my mailserver without actually downloading anything.

I could've restored the mails from a backup but instead I figured …

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On wanting

Posted on Sat 08 February 2014 in Digital Minimalism

Recently I moved jobs and the new company I work for was nice enough to give me a brand new, high-end, retina Macbook Pro. It's a great machineand I've been reminded how great an operating system OSX actually is. Naturally, I've been looking at my own machine a little differently …

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Precision Nutrition Trail Fast

Posted on Thu 06 February 2014 in Random

I went through the precision nutrition trial fast last Sunday, here's a low-down on how things went through each of the steps. I had trialled this while out and about in central London, but failed at around 5pm, I was disorganised and feeling incredibly dizzy from the crowds and noise …

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De-activating facebook for a month

Posted on Sat 01 February 2014 in Digital Minimalism

I'll keep this one short, because there's a million and one articles about people walking away from the social network. People are writing like they're revolutionaries leading the mass exodus. I even poked fun at it in my internet predictions. Anyway, at the start of the year I figured I'd …

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Numbers to replace that smartphone(London Edition)

Posted on Thu 30 January 2014 in Digital Minimalism

I made this list of useful phone numbers to replace the apps I used on my smartphone. However it could also be considered useful for anyone travelling to London that doesn't want to get screwed with data roaming. Just use these numbers at any payphone around town. You know, the …

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Internet Predictions for 2014 that didn't make it

Posted on Sat 25 January 2014 in Random

  • Bitcoin finally crashes forcing the Winklevoss twins to play themselves in a movie where viewers can watch a hooded Jessie Eisenberg slowly turn pale and descend to evil ala the Emperor from Star Wars.
  • The UK's porn blocking bill forces teens to re-learn the lost art of the forged parental …

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Review of The Woman Who Walked Into Doors

Posted on Thu 23 January 2014 in Random

Last night I finished Roddy Doyle's The Woman Who Walked Into Doors and I figured I'd write a quick review on it. It's a book on the life of an Irish working-class woman named Paula who is struggling with an abusive husband and attempting to keep her family from the …

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Switching to a dumbphone

Posted on Sat 18 January 2014 in Digital Minimalism


I am aware, that while there is a trend towards smart-phones there are quite a few articles around on the subject of people swapping back to a dumb-phone or even using your smartphone as a dumphone. Apparently it can help your marriage.

I'm not that naive. Frankly, my reasons …

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Promoting mindfulness through the day

Posted on Thu 16 January 2014 in Mindfulness

Over the last year I've been cultivating a mindfulness habit. Overall, it has delivered great results. One of the aspects I've been less than happy with however, is my ability to carry that mindful state with me throughout the day. I'm unsure if it's because I'm a programmer and my …

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Legitimate ways to support good movies

Posted on Sat 11 January 2014 in Random

Recently I watched Akira Kurosawa's Ikiru, after reading through some of the Criterion info on Kurosawa I realised I'd watched a bunch of his movies, I'm a huge fan of Seven Samurai.

The Criterion Collection is a wonderful distribution company and I'm a huge fan of a number of their …

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Sleep as the fundamental habit

Posted on Thu 09 January 2014 in Productivity

Leo Babuta describes meditation as the fundamental habit, the underlying habits beneath all others. Personally, I disagree. I wrote recently on how I cope with meditation when you haven't had a particularly good nights sleep.

Realistically washing your face is like taking painkillers after a serious injury, it's only painting …

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Make money mining a cryptocurrency

Posted on Sat 04 January 2014 in Tech

A while back I wrote a post on my tech blog about using a tool called salt to configure your boxes to mine a crypto-currency. The currency I was mining was Anoncoin and I jokingly said it was a bit of fun that would make no money. Turns out, as …

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Posted on Fri 03 January 2014 in Random

So I've been looking into intermittent fasting lately for several reasons. Firstly, as a means to get a leaner physique, but also as I'm looking to do more research into leaner more efficient eating as it is. I'm also hoping a side effect of it will promote generally more mindful …

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Avoid anxiety with gratitude

Posted on Thu 02 January 2014 in Random

The Christmas holidays are coming to an end. The flash of New Years fireworks are already beginning to dim in your memory. You might be returning to work or you've already returned. Maybe you're feeling disgruntled and little sad that it all went by so fast and what do you …

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GYPYSs and unrealistic expectations

Posted on Wed 01 January 2014 in Productivity

This article was shared with me recently, it's an excellent read and provides some good reasoning for why people feel that vague sense of living an unaccomplished life. I'll admit it, I am most definitely a Gypsy. My garden right now it full of flowers of unrealistic expectations. I'd begun …

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Performance gains by altering your routine

Posted on Mon 30 December 2013 in Productivity

In the mornings I had a very structured routine. The first thing I would do is meditate as for me, all other habits flow from this. Then after my meditation I would either go for a run or do some dumbbell based strength exercises. The reasoning being that as exercising …

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GSD 2 — Retaining Focus

Posted on Fri 27 December 2013 in Productivity

Xmonad - Xmonad is a Haskell based window manager for both Linux and Mac(sorry Windows users). It's highly configurable but for me it's lack of features and application bar crap is a real advantage. The application your currently working with takes up the entirety of the screen and you navigate …

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GSD 3 — Keeping your habits in mind

Posted on Fri 27 December 2013 in Productivity

So you've removed your distractions and figured out how to maintain focus. You've a set of good habits you'd like to being implementing. Well firstly, read this. Don't jump head first into habits you've never gone through before. You're expectations will be too high and sadly, you'll likely fail. Patience …

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GSD 4 — Reviewing

Posted on Fri 27 December 2013 in Productivity

So the final process I use to help me get shit done is reviewing. Each week I do a fairly lengthy review of the last week. I see what habits have been successful and which have been a struggle to maintain. I look to see if there are appropriate alterations …

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The Freedom of Limits

Posted on Fri 27 December 2013 in Digital Minimalism

Over the course of this blog I intend to show how limitations can in many ways bring positive changes in your life. While limitations can appear under various guises(vegetarianism, minimalism) etc there is a huge number of aspects in your life where you can benefit from limits, just without …

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Posted on Fri 27 December 2013 in Random

Deciding to become vegetarian is not an easy step. I decided to dip my toe in the water several years ago by trying a month of not eating meat, I would highly recommend everyone try this at least once just to see what it might be like. I enjoyed the …

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Posted on Thu 26 December 2013 in Productivity

Going to spend St.Stephen's day going over Dalio's Principles. I always find the holidays a good time to get a high-level view of things.

Thrashing your networks download with dispatch and axel

Posted on Thu 12 December 2013 in Tech

Say you need to grab a file as fast as possible and you also happen to have a few network connections knocking about. For example maybe a separate network for your wireless and ethernet. Maybe you have a phone with tethering or a 3g dongle. This little guide will get …

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Fixing a broken vagrant box

Posted on Thu 17 October 2013 in Tech

The first time this happened I went into a cold sweat. My box with all dev versions of my companies live databases had died. Of course I had the box provisioned with salt so configuration wasn't a problem, but grabbing all those databases, downloading, altering specific internal values and inserting …

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Using PPAs with Salt-States

Posted on Thu 10 October 2013 in Tech

I couldn't seem to find a decent tutorial on using PPA's to manage repos with salt states so I'm documenting it here.

Say you want to install golang using these

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:duh/golang
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install golang

Well, to replicate this into a salt state …

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Making Drupal 6 Development Suck Less

Posted on Thu 03 October 2013 in Tech

So you're here. Like myself probably stuck developing for `Drupal 6 `__. All the modules on-line are for the latest and greatest versions of Drupal and you're scouring posts from 2009 to try find that deprecated module you really need. Well his post is dedicated to making your life that …

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Connect to routers anonymously

Posted on Sat 28 September 2013 in Tech

I've created a little script that incorporates wicd, macchanger, hostname and john the ripper's password list to randomise your mac address and hostname when connecting to the internet.

I've gone with wicd over network manager as network-manager has a tendency to store connection details, so while your machine might id …

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Posted on Fri 13 September 2013 in Tech - match command-line arguments to their help text match command-line arguments to their help

A very nice visualization of command line args.

Happy Programmers Day!

Posted on Fri 13 September 2013 in Random

Happy Programmers Day!

Have a productive one…

Or you're sacked.

Salt Miner

Posted on Sat 07 September 2013 in Tech

I've just created a salt state that allows you to install a crypto-currency miner across your salt provisioned boxes. It's only tested on Ubuntu and Debian, but I intend to extend it to Archlinux(there's a lovely aur package that does all the work). Currently I'm mining anoncoins as you …

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Unit-testing unmanaged Django models

Posted on Sat 31 August 2013 in Tech

Say you have an app with a set of models that aren't being managed by Django, you're going to run into trouble when it comes time to run unit-tests against these. What I mean is if in the model meta you have something like this

 app_label = 'your_app_label'
 managed = False
 db_table …

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Suppling test data to django-cities

Posted on Thu 29 August 2013 in Tech

Django-Cities, is an awesome project that supplies easy to import worldwide location data and a set of very neat location models that you should really be using for any django project needing location information. I've been using it lately but ran into problems when I tried to run unit tests …

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Archlinux Pacman Update Fix

Posted on Sun 25 August 2013 in Tech

I'm writing this up as a quick solution to archlinux's dreaded pacman update problem.

If you have yaourt installed simply update package-query through it and update pacman normally.

yaourt -S package-query
pacman -Syu

Make sure also to delete the SyncFirst option from /etc/pacman.conf

Writing Django tests for PostGis

Posted on Sat 24 August 2013 in Tech

PostGis is awesome, I think I already established this in this post. However when you start writing django tests you might start getting errors complaining that certain postgres libs cannot be found. This is because you've failed to create a proper postgres_template database for your test database to work with …

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Install nzbget using salt

Posted on Fri 23 August 2013 in Tech

Recently I've been using vagrant to configure more and more of the local webapps I'm using day to day, simply as I find sticking all the apps I use on my host machine a little messy. I've also been picking up salt-stack with salt-states as the provisioner as I personally …

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Octopress back to Wordpress

Posted on Thu 22 August 2013 in Tech

I've been using Octopress for the last while and it felt good having a nice fast static blog as opposed to heavy-old Wordpress. After time passed however, I noticed I wrote less. Having to grab my laptop and pull up vim to write something, then play around with git or …

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Posted on Mon 19 August 2013 in Tech

from cities.models import City cape_town = City.objects.filter(country__name='South Africa').get(name='Cape Town') nearest = City.objects.distance(cape_town.location).exclude('distance')[:10000]

I must be very damaged from location data being badly implemented in MySQL. I'm still amazed that this request could be …

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GSD 1 — Reducing Distractions

Posted on Sat 03 August 2013 in Productivity

Most of my distractions currently come from within. I hit up social media or news sites. Also my email is a big time waster. I needed a way to remain connected but while preventing regular access. Here's what helped.

Get Shit Done-A cross platform OS level site blocker. Simply …

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Getting Shit Done

Posted on Thu 01 August 2013 in Productivity

I created a number of long term goals recently and have been trying to work out a system within which I can continue to keep my focus on those long term goals and reduce procrastination. I try to promote a daily focus on long term tasks through reminders and regular …

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Writing Less

Posted on Mon 29 July 2013 in Random

"I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." — Mark Twain

Lately I've been struggling with consistently writing. I find it difficult to sit down in the morning and begin to write. Usually ideas fall out of my head and I get into …

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Tired meditation

Posted on Thu 25 July 2013 in Mindfulness

When I imagine myself doing meditation, I see myself almost leaping out of bed with boundless energy, followed by a full and focused period of breathing exercises. Nothing could be further from the truth. Right now I'm working through the Discovery Series on Headspace and it's focusing more on looking …

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South Africa

Posted on Sat 20 July 2013 in Random

I'd been in Cape Town for two weeks beforehand, just remotely working and doing some sightseeing around the area. So I had plenty of time for prep for the trip and was pretty relaxed arriving at Ashanti Logde(where the trip starts). The trip was booked through African Budget Safari's …

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Posted on Thu 18 July 2013 in Random

So, for the last 6 weeks I've been over-landing from Cape Town to Nairobi. I decided to ditch almost all of my tech for the trip. My Samsung Galaxy S3 and my Thinkpad were replaced with an old school phone and a notepad. I also picked up a tiny little …

Continue reading — Find workspaces in the UK

Posted on Wed 22 May 2013 in Tech

It's online here. Hopefully people find it useful, it's got data from Foursquare, Yelp and a few other sources.

The site itself is built in Python, Bottle, Bootstrap and MySQL, though I hope to upgrade to Postgres with PostGIS when I get the time. I also want to make it …

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Why Study Philosophy

Posted on Tue 26 June 2012 in Random

Yesterday I finished my final exam in a course I was taking in philosophy and I figured now was a good time to explain the question everyone asks when I tell him what I'm studying. Why study philosophy? To be honest, my answers were always pretty poor, mostly I'd say …

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Circumventing The Pirate Bay Blockade

Posted on Thu 03 May 2012 in Tech

Fuck jou, Tim Kuik _Edit

will forward you to a number of viable options, but in case that goes down.

Download music, movies, games, software! The Pirate Bay - The world's most resilient BitTorrent… _Download music, movies, games, software and much more. The Pirate Bay is the world's …

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Screwed Server Checklist

Posted on Sat 28 April 2012 in Tech

My servers started getting unusably slow at peak hours lately and I decided, midst panic to vaguely attempt to document the various things I had to go through to narrow down the problem, anyway I'm sticking them up here so a) I don't lose the list and b) it might …

Continue reading future proof memories.

Posted on Thu 08 March 2012 in Tech

I've created a little command line diary script for anyone whose interested. It stores your diaries in separate txt files so you know all of your memories will always be accessible to you in a format you'll always be able to read. It's super quick and easy to use. It's …

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Quick vhost script

Posted on Thu 01 March 2012 in Tech

Quick script to setup a new virtualhost entry for apache. Works for me on archlinux.

 import sys, os, subprocess

vhosts_file = "/etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf"
 hosts_file = "/etc/hosts"


def usage():

if (len(sys.argv) != 3):
 sys.exit …

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Easily remember linux commands

Posted on Sun 19 February 2012 in Tech

I use an absolute ton of awesome tools my various linux distros. The problem is I tend to forget a lot of the time how to use the tools, so I got a list of frequently used command with and a few examples of how to use them from here …

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Simple ubuntu backup to S3

Posted on Sat 14 January 2012 in Tech

After browsing the web for ages to find a decent solution to backup my server to amazon s3 I finally came across one and I'm just throwing it up here. So basically all I need it to do was backup my sites(filesystem and mysql databases) and some config for …

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Simple git web interface

Posted on Sat 07 January 2012 in Tech

I decided instead of springing for a monthly github payed account I'd install git on a server and use a decent web interface that could be easily installed.

So for this little guide I'm rocking ubuntu 10.04 with git and lighttpd already installed.

It was a Goldilocks search for …

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CLI Dash

Posted on Sat 31 December 2011 in Tech

Due to being flu-ridden for the entire holiday period, I decided to write up a quick tool I've been wanting to write for ages. It's written in Python, so go easy, I'm no Python expert and I'm sick.

The tool is essentially a wee-little dashboard for your linux server.

It …

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Good Coding Practice Snippets

Posted on Sat 24 December 2011 in Tech

After reading through Code Complete I decided to make up mind-maps on each topic in the hope that I would peruse them every so often to brush up on my programming best practice. Recently I decided take a look over them and was dismayed at the amount of knowledge from …

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Posted on Sat 07 May 2011 in Random

Deciding to become vegetarian is not an easy step. I decided to dip my toe in the water at the start of the year by trying a month of not eating meat, I would highly recommend everyone try this at least once just to see what it might be like …

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Reducing my possesions

Posted on Fri 29 April 2011 in Mindfulness

I decided at the start of the year to reduce my possesions purely as I found myself incredibly weighted down by what I owned. Unwatched DVDs, unplayed video games, unread books even unworn clothes do take a mental toll when deciding what to do with your day, it's pointless guilt …

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Just Keep Going

Posted on Tue 19 April 2011 in Productivity

Productivity has never been my strong point. I'm the ultimate procrastinator. I will literally do anything other than the task at hand. In fact this post is likely being written purely as I don't want to study. But, the post itself is useful in it's function to push me forward …

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Very Simple EC2 Snapshot Management

Posted on Fri 01 April 2011 in Tech

I've been pulling my hair out trying to get a handy ec2 snapshot backup/management working. My google results have ranged from broken libraries to using bash scripts to do one aspect and php scripts to do another, all of the solutions seem to have serious issues with regions.

Anyway …

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Music at work

Posted on Thu 13 January 2011 in Tech

For anyone bored of trying to decide what to listen to at work I'd recommend indie 103.1. Decent music and as it's in La it's 8 hours behind, so no annoying presenters during the work day(If you're in the timezone of course).

Anyway, for anyone rocking mplayer a …

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Daily WTF — Shopping Carts

Posted on Wed 12 January 2011 in Tech

Daily WTF-Shopping Carts

Really entertaining how the writer "thought" through this solution.


Software Engineer

Posted on Sat 08 January 2011 in Tech

Best job of 2011


Intel Insider — Now hardware can screw you with copy protection.

Posted on Thu 06 January 2011 in Tech

Intel Insider-Now hardware can screw you with copy protection.

Another product I have to remember never to buy. Companies should be punished for this behaviour.

PHP and big numbers

Posted on Wed 05 January 2011 in Tech

PHP isn't friends with big numbers.

Wonder where I can stick this number to cause some serious problems.

Worryingly accurate — This is your brain on vim

Posted on Wed 05 January 2011 in Tech

This is Your Brain on Vim _la casa de kev en

The Power of Nightmares

Posted on Tue 28 December 2010 in Random

I always wondered why, if the UK/US were at war with terrorism, why they always made such fantastic declarations about how powerful terrorists were and that they had infiltrated all elements of society? Surely this would simply add more gas to the fire and prolong the effect of the …

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For any active users I'd highly recommend…

Posted on Fri 17 December 2010 in Productivity

Pinboard: social bookmarking for introverts _For a few more bucks a year, Pinboard offers an archiving service which saves a copy of everything you bookmark, gives…

Simple ubuntu backup to S3

Posted on Mon 22 November 2010 in Tech

After browsing the web for ages to find a decent solution to backup my server to amazon s3 I finally came across one and I'm just throwing it up here.


So basically all I need it to do was backup my sites(filesystem and mysql databases) and some config …

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The problem with God arguments

Posted on Fri 05 November 2010 in Random

Atheists and theists alike have for centuries attempted to debate the existence of God, desperately trying to reason out a conclusive answer. The reality of this struck me while I was reading a series of MIT lectures notes on arguments for and against the existence of God.

The lecture notes …

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Descartes, Second Meditation

Posted on Mon 20 September 2010 in Random

In Descarte's second meditation, he moves onto classification of the mind and body. The initial argument is that he must exist, even if there is absolutely nothing in the world he must exist, even if all existence is presented by a deceiver, he still must exist to be deceived. He …

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Reflections on Descartes Meditations

Posted on Sat 11 September 2010 in Random

So I've just finished Descarte's Meditations on First Philosophy and I'm going to try put up a response to each Meditation in the next few days, as well as the objections and responses Descarte added after the initial six meditations.

I whole-heartedly accept the I have the unfair advantage of …

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The Museum-going Cannibal

Posted on Sat 11 September 2010 in Random

From the lastest issue of philosophy now. I find it's on the right side of harsh.

The Museum-going Cannibal

by Yahia Lababidi

Upright specimen, looking to be fine-tuned on weekends by the civilizing influence of beauty, standing still and reflecting in the refracted light of another's encounter with the sublime …

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Google History told me I'm a nerd

Posted on Thu 06 May 2010 in Tech

24000 searches later and here is my top ten sites I click to on google.

Top sites

Ubuntu Forums _A help and support forum for Ubuntu

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia _Allied naval bombardments of Japan during the last weeks of World War II in 1945 targeted industrial …

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8 randomly useful php tricks

Posted on Mon 22 February 2010 in Tech

1)debug_print_backtrace() I use this one a lot, print a debug-style list of what was called to get thethe point where this function is called. Very, very useful.

2) __autoload() - Called when you attempt to load a class that hasn't been defined. the autoloader to attempt an import of xyz …

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Top 10 webapps for programmers

Posted on Tue 16 February 2010 in Productivity


Although I use evernote as my brain online for everthing, it is incredibly useful for programmers too. Where I work things like requirements can be captured on almost anything, so snapping photos of whiteboards/notepads/beer mats that become OCR searchable is very handy. On top of that it's …

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Sync config files over dropbox

Posted on Sun 14 February 2010 in Tech

One of the many reasons for my love of linux is the idea of keeping config information in simple texts files in the home directory of each user. It all very painless. And now with Dropbox I can have a set of application configurations stored via the web.

Using Dropbox …

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Disable jQuery autocompleter cache

Posted on Fri 12 February 2010 in Tech

For anyone wondering how to disable the autocompleter cache in jQuery(meaning you always poll the server each time a letter is entered).

Simply set cacheLength: 0, in the autocompleter's settings. Seems obvious but my googling told me never set this value below 1 or the whole thing would explode …

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Php Beautifier

Posted on Sat 23 January 2010 in Tech


When you're faced with an ugly PHP file(or files) with little to do but trawl through it, there is a solution.

PHP beautifier is a pear package that will process PHP files and reformat them in a (hopefully) nicer format.


You can install it using pear with …

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The Pomodoro Technique

Posted on Mon 18 January 2010 in Productivity

I bought a book, basically because it was a GTD technique that came off the pragmatic bookshelf so I figured I'd give it a shot.


To give a very brief explanation of the technique. You have a sheet with Today's Todos, each time you do 25 minutes of work …

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Posted on Mon 11 January 2010 in Tech

For a while now vim has been my editor of choice and only up until recently have I began to unearth it's potential. My reasoning before was that it was so cross-compatible(even working in ssh terminals) that this would always be my go-to editor. Now it's become so much …

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Google Wave Server Admin

Posted on Wed 16 December 2009 in Tech

Download here.

What it does

Execute commands from google wave on your remote server.

How to set it up

You need python2.6 or greater, which sucks for a lot of debian users but I need it to be able to kill processes nicely.

Fill in the details required here …

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Pseudocode Programming Process

Posted on Mon 23 November 2009 in Tech

So for the last while I've been experimenting with PPP as described in Code Complete. Jeff Atwood has a great description of it on coding horror. You should read the blog post the metaphor of pseudocode as tang is a good one. I've been using PPP for a number of …

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Code Complete

Posted on Fri 06 November 2009 in Tech

I've been reading through Steve McConnell's Code Complete for the last few months, in fact I'm working through mindmaps of each section to traverse through this dense book in a fairly easy manner. Basically, instead of saying "Hey I need to create a new class what should I be thinking …

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Useful Linux apps you've probably never heard of

Posted on Thu 12 June 2008 in Tech


What corkscrew does is allow you to tunnel ssh connections over a http proxy very easily. As far as admins of the http proxy can see this is encrypted traffic which is most likely anssl connection to a web server(the server you have sshed to), you could in …

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Getting yourself on Trinity's Wireless network with Linux

Posted on Sun 03 February 2008 in Tech

Since ISServices have washed their hands of any support for Linux, I've banged up a guide on how to get onto it with Linux. I'm using Ubuntu so things may need to be changed depending on your distro. :D Right, you need wpa_supplicant installed and modify it's config file /etc …

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