Category: Uncategorized

24
Sep

A Little Musical Excursion

A short while ago, two people got married in England. A man called Melvin wasn’t very happy about it. We enjoyed it so much at the idio office, that I made a little song out of it. Enjoy

Angry Melvin by jacques-van-der-griff

 

22
Jul

Chinese Twispers Live

I’ve still not heard anything from Twitter regarding the closure of my Chinese Twispers account. Very annoying. I was a big fan of that account, and felt it deserved to live on. Hence, I give you Chinese Twispers Live. Instead of having a set of pre-determined replacements for words, you can enter your own and enjoy the wonder of defacing other people’s tweets. Then you can share those with your friends so you can all enjoy – what more could you want? Hope you enjoy it!

20
Jul

The End of an Era

Today, I found out that the Chinese Twispers Twitter account (@chinesetwispers) has been suspended. I’ve not heard from Twitter on this matter, but have reached out to them. Annoyingly, all the tweets appear to have been lost, including all the favourites. I’m very disappointed about this, since many months of hilarity were included in that account, and now it’s all gone without so much as a suspension notice from Twitter.

I’ll start work on a replacement this evening, but it will never be the same. Good-bye, old friend!

If anyone has some of their favourite Twispers they happen to remember and would love to share, go ahead and comment on this article and I’ll start a dedication page.

19
Jul

FFT in an SQL Query

I just came across this, and thought I’d share it with you whilst I’m working on a couple of things and don’t have time to post properly.

The Fast Fourier Transform, implemented in an SQL query. This guy must be absolutely insane. Kudos to him!

http://www.adellera.it/investigations/nocoug_challenge/index.html

02
Jul

Trollscripts

Thanks to AppleScript, an office with multiple Mac users can be a prankster’s dream. We recently infuriated a co-worker for the best part of a week, using only 3 lines of code, which I’m about to share with you. First, some ground work:

  • You’ll need the user’s computer password (if they lock their Mac). Wait until they’re off sick or out of the office, and call them to say you need something off their computer. Or, if someone has knowledge of your co-worker’s password, sweet-talk them into giving it to you.
  • Whilst you’ve got access to their computer, go to System Preferences -> Sharing, and make sure “Remote Apple Events” are turned on. Make a note of their computer’s address at the top, as in the screengrab below.

System PreferencesNow you’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to have fun. Open up the “AppleScript Editor” on your computer, and paste in the code below.

tell application "Chrome" of machine "eppc://user@computer-name.local"
	open location "http://emuspin.com"
end tell

(Here’s a direct link to the file)

Obviously, replace “user” with the username of your co-worker, and “computer-name” with their computer’s address. You can also change the URL to whatever you like, and if they don’t have Chrome installed be sure to swap that value for Safari. Hitting “Run” in the AppleScript Editor should prompt you for their password, and then open that page in a new tab of their browser. Repeat as much as is deemed necessary. We found it particularly funny convincing our co-worker that it was voice activated – every time they said “Emuspin” we would open http://emuspin.com on their computer. The possibilities are endless!

Enjoy!

06
Jun

PHP?

After today’s Daily WTF, I discovered this:

griff:~ $ php -a
Interactive mode enabled

<?php
var_dump("php" == 0);
var_dump("php" == true);
var_dump(0 == true);
?>
bool(true)
bool(true)
bool(false)

PHP’s type casting is fantastic, isn’t it.

29
May

Introducing Setlist

Note: Setlist has been taken down for a while.

Today I’m launching a new web application called Setlist. Setlist is a designed to help bands organise the pool of songs they play into setlists, and then use those setlists to promote themselves. Professional cover bands, for example, can add all of their songs to their profile, and then create example setlists. These can be set to either public or private, so the band could publish their example setlists for potential clients to see the kind of music they play.

It was built out of a desire to better organise the songs my own band are playing. We often found that we would forget one or two songs at a practice, or when constructing a setlist. The ability to collaborate on our song pool and setlists, especially given we are geographically separated, will be a big help.

Interested? Try it out for free at http://setlistapp.com – I’d love to hear any feedback you have

05
Mar

Soapbox: Native vs Web-Based Applications

As you’re probably aware, I develop mainly for the web. I love developing Web Applications – the technologies are great, it’s easy to use a blend of technologies, deployment is simple and they can provide a fantastic user experience. However, I also do quite a bit of native development in Objective-C and Cocoa, which I also love – the applications are quick, they fit in to your OS environment, and you can take advantage of really low-level APIs for threading etc. There are hundreds of debates on the web where web developers and native developers try and convince each other that their technique is best: this isn’t one of those debates.

This post was inspired by a talk at devnest this past Tuesday, where someone gave a presentation on developing mobile applications with jQuery Mobile. It was very interesting – I think jQuery Mobile is a fantastic framework, and it really simplifies the process of turning your web application into something that people can use on-the-go with their mobile devices. However, this person then introduced a piece of software called PhoneGap, which allows you to take an application you’ve developed in HTML/CSS/JS, offers you access to the low-level APIs, and lets you deploy it across multiple platforms as a native application.

Don’t get me wrong, jQuery Mobile looks great and works really well – but put it alongside a native application on an iPhone, for instance, and suddenly you see that the jQuery Mobile app actually is slow as a pig and looks out-of-place. That’s the sort of user experience I’d expect from a web app, but I’d expect a load more from a native application, especially if I’d paid money for it.

At work, I’ve been doing a load of research into different technologies and how we could utilise them in our roadmap. One thing I’m continually pushing for is using the best tool for the job. If it turns out that PHP is the best solution, great, but if it turns out that Python is the best solution, and you don’t know Python, you better get hold of some manuals and start learning. If you want to develop a mobile application, the device’s native language is the best solution. If you want to deploy across multiple platforms, and don’t need access to the device’s APIs, then develop a web app. If you do need access to the APIs, you’ve got a lot of work to do.

25
Feb

Commuter Sunrise

Pretty soon I’ll be giving up my daily Leamington Spa to London commute (more on that in a later blog post), so I thought I’d share this picture I took at the station this morning to show that it does have some nice moments.

09
Feb

Clock of Clocks

Clock of Clocks

On a recent trip to London my girlfriend and I visited the Saatchi Gallery (superb gallery, you must go if you’re in the area),¬†where I was mesmerised by a piece in their store called “The Clock Clock” by humans since 1982. Check out this video of it, it’s amazing. I thought that it would make a really cool little HTML5 experiment, so I gave it a go.You can view it here, but you’d do well to fire up the latest version of Chrome, Safari or Firefox first.

I’ve reached out to humans since 1982 to see what they think of it, but haven’t heard anything back yet.

Enjoy!

http://clock.imaginaryroots.co.uk/