Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

I’m back!

Monday, July 27th, 2009

I’ve been a little quiet on things like twitter recently, and silent on my blog here. Work has been very busy for the past month or so, and everything else kinda got put to one side while I focused on it.

It was an interesting project: an interesting mixture of IBM server products and web development, including following James into the wonderful world of iWidget development.

But – after 8000 lines of JavaScript, 500 lines of Java, 15,200 words of documentation, and 6370 miles of customer travel – it’s all done and delivered.

Woot. I’m back. Normal deranged service will be resumed shortly. 🙂

Behind the firewall? In-front? Both?

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

I have a blog out there in the Internet wilderness: My use of it has varied over the year and half I’ve had it, in both style and frequency. But overall, I feel kinda comfortable with it. I don’t have to think too much about what I do with it – I just post whatever I feel like.

But I have another blog: hidden away behind the IBM firewall. It’s on BlogCentral – which if you’re not familiar with it, is the blog platform on the intranet here at IBM.

And I’ve never really worked out what to do with it. It hasn’t really found it’s voice.


Hello (video blog) World!

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Is 2008 going to be the year that video blogging takes off?

Not sure, but I’ve been watching people like Andy Piper and Chris Dalby (aka Yellowpark) start to play with Seesmic and it looks interesting. Services like this could encourage more of us other than the hardcore video bloggers like iJustine to give it a try. Scoble has been saying good things about Qik – which allows video blogging directly from your phone. Might this be a glimpse into how things might go?

At any rate, I thought I should try my first video blog post.


It’s Christmas!

Friday, December 21st, 2007

It's Christmas-time!

Wow, that’s not a sight I see very often.

No upcoming meetings. An empty inbox. A task list under control (well… more or less!).

It can only mean one thing – it’s time to eat, drink and be merry.

Merry Christmas everyone!

When WordPress make changes

Thursday, March 1st, 2007

WordPress made a change to the WebSphere MQ blog this week which screwed up a bunch of my posts. Yesterday morning I had a few people at work point out that code samples in posts (text surrounded in <pre><code> tags) were being chopped in half – the lines truncated at the point where they went off the edge of the column that they were in.

This included a post which I had only written the night before! It looked fine when I checked it before I went to bed, and then the first email I got at 6.40am the next morning was a message from Nigel to say that he couldn’t read the samples properly. Grrr.

To their credit, WordPress did respond to my query pretty quickly, and helped me get it fixed. They had changed the CSS stylesheet used on the blog to add overflow: hidden “…so that images and such so not flow into the sidebar and cause problems there….”.

For $15 a year, you can unlock the Custom CSS page, and change it back. The fix:

#primary {

and now our code lines are readable again. Yay.

Thank You…

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

…to the ‘anonymous’ who donated £5 to Solent Youth Action via my JustGiving link. I am gobsmacked.

I added the link to my blog as a bit of a long shot – not really expecting that anyone would go for it. Since we signed up with JustGiving, we’ve not really made much use of it, so I thought it might be worth a try.

So thanks very much. 🙂

This Week

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front – both here and on the WMQ one – this week. I thought it’d be interesting to touch base by explaining why I’ve been busy.

This week I:

  • Finally made the difficult decision over whether to federate our school with another local school
    In a long meeting between us and the governors from the other school, we came together, reviewed the results of the various consultations, and argued out the pros and cons of the proposal. It’s strange not to have more to show for work that needed a lot of time and consideration – this will be a big change to the future of both schools.
  • Worked ‘Mission Pay’ on some WMQ stuff
    Our slightly odd approach to overtime, essentially – when there is a lot to do we get paid extra to finish stuff in the evenings.
  • Met with the other trustees for Solent Youth Action
    Our regular monthly meeting – discussed a bunch of stuff, including our action plan for dealing with staff pregnancies and a trial of a new project we want to try
  • Met with the manager of OTL – the mentoring programme that I am a mentor with
    The meeting was a review of how the last few months have gone, and think about plans for the next few months
  • Went to see a friend in a brilliant production of King Lear
  • Added a bunch of new features to the database we use at Solent Youth Action
    Needed to take some time off work to do this – trying to add features to our homegrown PHP/MySQL database to make our administrator’s lives a little easier!
  • Set up a way to do Mail Merge from Microsoft Word using data from Solent Youth Action‘s MySQL database
    Actually, this one might be worth a separate post – as it was a massive pain to get this to work
  • Worked on the School Profile for my school
    I mentioned this on Monday – it’s still ongoing
  • Made some changes to my Windows Mobile wiki app to allow people to disable a feature I added a couple of weeks ago
    It seemed to split users down the middle, with half of the emails I got saying thanks for the new feature, and the other half berating me for breaking their existing pages! Whoops.
  • Worked on what I hoped would be a new SupportPac for WMQ
    Then found out that someone else (third-party company) has already done it. Damn.
  • Finally found a babysitter!
    Up until now, we’ve been using friends and family as babysitters for Grace. But that’s been getting harder recently, so it was finally the time to take the plunge and find a paid babysitter. Slightly nervewracking, but she comes recommended from a colleague at work, so I’m sure it will be fine!
  • And work
    Good to do some stuff that I get paid for every now and then. 😉 But we’re pretty busy at the mo.

Right – excuses over. Back to work!

Starting a new blog

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

I’ve been quiet this week because I’ve been working on the creation of a new blog. This one is a group blog that I’ve started for people that I work with on a software product called “WebSphere MQ”. It’s now live at

I went for a hosted service this time, rather than set it up all myself, so if I don’t have to worry about bandwidth usage if it proves to be popular.

And – also unlike this one – I actually bothered to customise the style of the blog and draw a custom banner image (my artistic skills truly know no bounds! ;-)).

Other than writing some posts for it myself, I’ve also been persuading colleagues to write me stuff, writing some of the static pages like ‘About’ and ‘Disclaimer’ to get it all ready, and double-checking our work guidelines on blogs to make sure I’m not breaking any rules!

Unless you have an interest in WebSphere MQ, it’s unlikely to be very interesting to you. But if you do, please take a look and add a comment.

(And if you work on WMQ and I haven’t badgered you already, please join in! Give me a shout with your wordpress ID and email address and I’ll add you to the list of authors. :-))