Words from Kenneth

  • 2020

    2020 was the pandemic year. The first real pandemic year. The year of COVID-19. The news was talking about it from the start of the year, in Wuhan. We weren't too concerned because there have been a few diseases starting over in Asia that haven't translated into big problems...

  • Autoplay

    Occasionally, someone will complain that “Twitter keeps resetting my autoplay setting” on the website, and they’ll usually imply that we’re doing it for ads or other nefarious purpose. Truth: we don’t do it for ads or any other nefarious purpose. If anything, there might be a...

  • Well this is weird

    Well this is weird. It's April 20th. I've been working from home for about seven weeks now. Jack's been off school for five weeks. The whole world is on lockdown, is social distancing, is staying at home, is wearing masks, is only doing essential trips, is only working essential...

  • 2019: What I did this year

    My annual review of the past year. This year I tried to take a week off each quarter, rather than saving for a big trip like last year. I kicked off the year with JSConf Hawai’i. It was a bit weird going there without the kids, but also freeing to get a break. I ran every day,...

  • Cookie banners

    In the EU, there's a requirement that users are warned about the cookies that a site uses. It's a bizarre quirk that resulted from well-meaning legislation that appeared before GDPR. However, it suggests that users know what a cookie is and what it might be used for, which they...

  • Taking notes

    There are different kinds of note-takers. Some people record everything: every word. They might or might not share them. Others will write down important points or action items. I tend to note down my own action items and let others fend for themselves. Others take no...

  • Identity and Endorsement

    Verification is a feature common to Facebook, Twitter and several other social media networks. The problem it was created to solve was to differentiate between Jan Smith the famous actor and Jan Smith, the absolute nobody who wants to build social capital off the reputation of...

  • Losing control

    Twitter added a new control to the home timeline recently: "latest tweets". It's a toggle that let's you switch between "Home" (ranked or algorithmic timeline) and "Latest" (reverse-chronological list). The algorithmic timeline has always been...

  • Shipping

    After months and maybe years of stress, meeting, late nights, bug reports, dogfooding, requirements changes, dependency changes, management changes, user testing and actual coding, you're ready to ship your significant rebuild. What happens next? There's often some kind of...

  • Removing cookies

    Cookies are hard to manage. As you'll know, the cookie API is ... infelicitous. You can set a cookie like so: > document.cookie='name=value; Path=/; Domain=kenneth.kufluk.com; Max-Age=1'; When a cookie is set by the server, it uses a similar format, in the...

  • CSRF stories

    I think I first learned about CSRF at an "@media" conference talk in 2008 given by Simon Willison (Twitter). In the middle of a Django presentation, he explained how it's possible to make a form that will post across to a different website, and that when you do so, the...

  • 2018: What I did this year

    My annual review of the past year. One thing I said I needed to do last year was work on my shoulders. I get a lot of pain in my shoulders when I sleep. I can’t sleep on my right side because my right shoulder just starts hurting, I can’t sleep on my left side because my right...

  • Blog Update

    Ah, shit. It’s the end of May. I’d meant to write a blog post at around the end of last year, when I provide my typical end-of-year update. But I didn’t. I should do that. I had this smart idea of trying one new thing every day for each month. I knew that one of those new things...

  • Microservices and websites

    You build a startup quickly, scale the tech as far as it goes. You’ve got one codebase, and one scary-as-hell deploy. You’re known for failure at least as well as you’re known for your product. So you break up your service into microservices. Each can be deployed independently....

  • Granny

    The first time my mother-in-law came to stay with us, she was sleeping on the floor. It was awful. Not just on the floor, but on the living room floor. We were living in a small one-bedroom flat in San Francisco, we hadn’t been there long, and the move had cost us most of our...

  • A day in the life, January 2018

    Five thirty. The baby is making noises. My wife murmurs something I can’t hear while I stretch. It’s my turn. I get up and go to the cot. He sees me and instantly turns away. He wanted mummy not daddy. After five minutes of trying to sleep, he realises he’s awake. I pick him up,...

  • 2017

    The end of the year once again. Last year, I vaguely remember feeling quite upbeat. Although I apparently had a cold, and yes, Trump had been elected and Brexit had been voted for and yadda yadda yadda. From a personal perspective, I was a new dad, I’d just had a huge break from...

  • The last great-grandparent

    When Jack was born, he had five great-grandparents. That's five more than I had. But by the time Max was born, only one was still with us. And now, he too has passed away. Hamish was probably my favourite. He was a sailor, a conscientious objector, a dancer and a fool. He taught...

  • 2016

    Ok, it’s the end of the year. I’ve got a cold. I hate having colds - they attack me particularly badly, and I get all gross and covered in tissues and snot, and all I want to do is sit around and eat ice-cream and… Hang on. … Ok. Ice cream. Better. So, 2016. One of those years...

  • What I love about working at Twitter

    I've never been the one with the fancy words and clever insights. My writing is either hastily-scribbled thoughts to myself, or simple language and simple meaning to convey a message. If you're looking for the poetic literature on this subject, I recommend my colleague Jeremy's...

  • 2015: This year I have ...

    Every year I scribble down a list of things I've done in the past 12 months.See previous years: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008. This year, I ran a marathon (kind of - there was a lot of walking involved), we holidayed in Hawaii (twice) at the Disney Aulani, we flew...

  • How to walk a marathon

    I ran the San Francisco marathon two weeks ago today. Previously (back in 2008), I ran London. San Francisco is hillier than London, and it doesn't take much of a hill to tire you out. After getting close to the coast at 15 miles or so, I took a few walking breaks. And, to be...

  • Age three

    Three years of age is a fantastic time. You're putting sentences together yourself, expressing your own feelings, and beginning to understand feelings of others. Here are some of our favourite phrases: Excu Mees Thanks you Bye bye daddy, have a great sooon! Enough talking to me...

  • 2014: This year I have …

    My annual End of Year update. See previous years: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008. Last year, I made a long list of things I wouldn't do this year. I only broke my promise on one thing: I bought a new car. Well, not a car - a truck. A big, beautiful, red, four-wheel drive,...

  • Flight Mixins

    We started building Flight.js at Twitter back in 2011. The brainchild of Dan Webb, it’s a component-based framework based on his previous frameworks polished with what we'd learned from working with Twitter’s existing codebase. One feature of the framework we wanted to include...

  • 2013: This year I have …

    My annual End of Year update. See previous years: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008. This year, we survived. Yes, I know I said that last year. But it's also how we feel. Exhausted. Things are getting better. Our son is growing, learning new words every day. We might not have the...

  • Flying with a toddler

    Catherine Webb recently pointed me to her outstanding 2008 post "Baby Holiday: SWAT Team special". I felt it needed a little updating for the modern era. Here are our experiences from the summer. Not with a baby, but with a toddler. If your toddler is under two, the...

  • Stories from New Zealand

    I once went to New Zealand. I was backpacking around the world, on my own, and landed in Aukland. I didn't expect much - New Zealand is small, perhaps not geographically, but in terms of population. There's only about 4 million of them. There was actually a huge new modern hostel...

  • Voice recognition

    Bought a new Orange Pay-as-you-go SIM. Stuck it in the phone. Tried to add credit. ME > 450 (send) "Welcome to Orange. Press 1 if you'd like to top up." ME > 1 "If you'd like to top up with a credit or debit card, press 1, ..." ME > 1 "If you're...

  • A day in the life of a test failure

    I love my job. Fact. But some days are easier than others. If you've been reading my tweets this week, you'll have sensed a certain frustration. Don't worry. None of this is your fault. But here's what happened. Over the weekend it had occurred to me, while I was asleep at about...

  • Waiting for Bill

    I throw another log onto the fire. I'm not sure we really need it - it'll be warm enough all night long. Out here in Palm Springs, it's only bearable when the sun sets anyway. The fire simply gives us something to watch while we wait. Bill Gates is due for dinner. Most of the...

  • Apple ideas

    Here are my predictions for Apple products this year. No, hang on. Not predictions. More like hopes and desires. Wishes. 1) Embeddable products. I have just not bought a Honda CRV. I've been driving one as a zipcar, and I love how it drives. We need a family car, so it's an...

  • 2012: This year I have...

    My annual End of Year update. See previous years: 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008. This year we have: Survived. Last year I said I’d take it easy this year. That's not so simple with a baby. But I think we're slowly getting on top of things. I have also worked solidly on twitter.com,...

  • America is big

    I'm English. England is vast. Despite holding about fifty million people, most of the land is still dedicated to farming, and enjoys large exports to the rest of the world. We complain about the variable weather that always comes with island life, but it gives us acres of fertile...

  • Common courtesy

    Remember at the end of the 19th century, when we all got together and agreed to stop bowing and curtseying and saying "good heavens, whatever is the matter child?" That was progress. I know we're more than a dozen years into the 21st century now, but it's not too late....

  • Literature

    Back in secondary school... No, wait, I'm in America. What do you call it? High school? Something like that? Ok. Back in High School, I studied English Literature. Not by choice, you understand. I was compelled. It was absolutely excruciating. Never has anything destroyed my...

  • Tpyos

    I have a problem with spelling. It's a bit like anti-dyslexia. I've seen friends stare at a page of text, totally unable to see the glaring errors in front of them. I don't have that. I get the opposite. When I look at a page of text, errors jump out at me. They're distracting....

  • Exclusive hands-on review - one year in

    Here's my one-year review. Obviously we'd had this product on order for a long time, and there was a lot of expectations. Would it live up to the hype? In the end it was lovely to see it arrive, right on time. The unboxing was something of a complicated process, and we had some...

  • Ten Excuses

    Ten reasons your wife should get up to shush the baby tonight: You've had a hard day at the office today You've got a hard day at the office tomorrow You did it last time She's better at it You've had a beer The baby is closer to her side of the bed The noise bothers her more...

  • CSS

    Working at Twitter is something of a luxury. And I don't mean the snacks. I work on twitter.com, the main website for desktop browsers. My everyday tools are JavaScript and Ruby. Which surprises me, since every other job has heavily involved HTML and CSS. At Twitter, this has...

  • 45 minutes

    Babies are a blank slate. They're the absolute zero of human experience, completely devoid of any knowledge about the world they arrive in. They're learning machines. You can't surprise a newborn. It'll just look at you and say to itself, "ok, so there's that." They do...

  • Gimme a break

    In 2002 I found myself in a miserable job. The new managers had been forced to merge their successful department with our unsuccessful one, and were not happy about it. Everyone with any sense had left months ago, including the clients. I was sitting at a workbench facing into a...

  • Favourites

    Matt Knox asked me this over breakfast the other day, "What's your favourite thing about being a dad?" My brain spun. I didn't have an answer. I think I fluffed a reply with something like "it's not something you have favourites for, it's something you live...

  • Debt and deficit

    I love the language of economics. It sounds so simple in the news reports. It's easy to get het up about the facts and figures they present, but often - no, let's be honest here, always they're presented without context or definition. Two common words of the moment are debt and...

  • Death or serious injury

    When you become a parent, you suddenly acquire this immense feeling of responsibility and protectiveness. This tiny little baby is yours, yours forever, and so it becomes your job to guard it from the world. The mere thought of any harm coming to your baby is enough to put you...

  • Context switching

    I'm at work. And I know what you're thinking. Slacker. Logs onto his own blog when he should be working?! When are we going to get 280 character tweets, if the developers all spend their days on personal blogs? I hear you. But I'm getting old. With old age comes a certain amount...

  • Goldfish

    Everyone talks about what makes a great manager. Inspirational, motivational, aspirational. But a great project manager is a different kettle of fish. Or a kettle of different fish. Maybe goldfish. Whatever. Different. Let me tell you a story of many years past. I was working...

  • Disrupt

    With nine months of real work experience under my belt, I felt I knew everything. It was time to branch out and be a contractor, earning the fabled bucketloads of cash. In my early career, life was simple like that. Sadly, the dotcom bust had just taken place, so finding a...

  • Twenty seven

    My first real job was at a company called AKQA. Nobody ever knew for sure what the letters stood for. I'd been working, for fun, in an off license in South Croydon, while attempting to run a web design startup. The startup was going well, save for the fact that I didn't have a...

  • Amazon

    Amazon has a strange lack of an affiliate programme. Yes, I know they have a very well known affiliate programme. Yes, I know I spell programme with an extra m and an e, but I'm English. Live with it. They don't push the affiliate programme any more, probably because they feel...

  • Being wrong

    Back in 1999, I spoke to a friend of a friend about their website. "It's no good," I said, "all the search engines are established. Yahoo, Altavista, Lycos. There will be no new ones." Google started the same year. Back in 2004, I spoke to a client. "It's...

  • How to present something really boring and get away with it

    Some wise person once taught me the correct way to present. You must structure your talk, and follow these three simple rules: say what you're going to say say it say what you've said. Now I'm not an expert in giving talks. No. However, over the years I've built up a lot of...

  • Education, education, education.

    I've been reading newspapers online from back home. People in the UK are always tinkering with education. Like others, I judge them on their ideas, call them crazy, and laugh about how little they understand about anything. What's odd is that we always compare the proposed...

  • Why do we use jQuery?

    It's a common question these days: "why use jQuery"? Reasons given to avoid it are: Large size Poor UI Library No class support No script loader None of this, none of that Moan moan moan As far as file-size goes, I think the lack of modularity could be a real issue....

  • Mark, Steve and Bill

    I finally got to watching The Social Network. It's fun, though I think it focuses too much on the precious "idea". The film itself even notes that Facebook-alikes existed at the time: myspace, friendster et al. The idea was far from unique. What I've always respected...

  • Kindle

    The Kindle is an interesting device. I've had mine for a couple of years now, and I'm still happy with it. It's everything I expected. What surprised me though, was the way it changed how I read books. I'm not a great browser, I'll be honest. For the nerds out there, I'd say I...

  • Temptation

    In my mind of minds, I'm trying to talk myself into buying a Windows Phone. I know that sounds odd, but sometimes I like to get something a little different. After all, I bought the Nokia 7380, a phone with no keyboard of any kind, and in bright sunshine, no screen either. So I'm...

  • How to visit a friend with a baby

    Until recently, I didn't have much experience with babies. Even when I knew it was coming, I still stayed away from friends with babies, because I felt I wouldn't know what to do. I was sure that when I had my own, I'd figure it out. This is true. You do figure it out. But, hey,...

  • I miss running

    I haven't been running for a long time - since my baby was born. There's just not enough time and energy for it these days. We wake up for the second or third time that night at about six am, pull the little one out of bed and try to soothe as best we can. By the time we're all...

  • Space is too far

    I'm planning to live for about 80 years. In that time, the Earth will orbit the Sun 80 times. In turn, the Sun will orbit the centre of the Milky Way (our galaxy). This will take 230,000,000 years. About three million lifetimes. Nine million generations. In the entire history of...

  • What is the problem you're trying to solve?

    This is about the most useful question in engineering. I ask it a lot. "how do I get to this private method?" "hmm, you shouldn't really do that. What is the problem you're trying to solve?" "I'm trying to find the tweet id" "oh that's easy, we...

  • Icebreaker

    This was my first ToastMasters speech at Twitter. I ran over time a bit - I took 20 seconds over my limit of 7 minutes, and would've liked to have gone on a bit longer. I ad-libbed a fair bit. It was good fun. Not sure what to talk about for the next one. Hello. This is my...

  • Step lightly

    At the centre of my childhood home was a staircase. Not one of the elaborate kind, just a brown, carpet-covered, twelve step staircase, with a hallway on each end. We'd play on it for hours. Jumping off higher and higher points. My older brother could leap the entire distance - I...

  • 2011: This year I have...

    My annual End of Year update. See previous years: 2010, 2009 and 2008. Last year I said I'd: Run another marathon. Write some more. Enjoy my new job and life in SF. Well, I'll score that a two out of three. Yes, I ran the marathon, but I stopped halfway (oh, the hills!); I...

  • Five things you don't know

    ... until you have a baby. They come prefilled with poo They have very sharp fingernails They don't just sleep and cry - they spend a lot of time awake They spend an inordinate amount of time and energy straining to fart Adults have very big peculiar heads

  • Big News

    I'm happy to announce the release of a project we've been working on for a while now: a new little human. This project has turned out to be far more complicated than I ever imagined it could be, and so during development, my wife and I agreed to keep our news offline until the...

  • The old grey bar

    I have a secret confession to make. It may shock you. You may start rethinking our past conversations in a new light. You may also sink into denial, call me a hypocrite, call me a liar. That's ok, but hear me out. The truth is, I'm a Microsoft fan. Yes, I know I'm typing this on...

  • The whole shebang

    My colleagues have been amicably bickering, online and offline, about the use of hashbangs. Ben Cherry explains that HashBangs are necessary, though not pretty, temporary workarounds to the lack of pushState support, which is part of the HTML5...

  • the nerdiest thing I've seen all day

    In between the hours spent coding the hardcore JavaScript behind New Twitter, I like to put together fun little JavaScript demos. They get shown, if they're good enough, on the screens around the office. Today's is a tribute to the almighty Matrix. Although they sadly never made...

  • Where babies come from

    Pregnancy has turned out to be harder than I expected. I think they teach you some stuff about babies at school, but I bet you knew that stuff already. Didn't you? It turns out there's a lot you don't know. The lie Miscarriage is a lie of omission. It's completely unexpected and...

  • Living in America

    We have been here for nearly six months now. This is what we've learned: Eggs American eggs are white.  This may seem odd, but they break more easily into two halves, and just look nicer.  It is surprisingly difficult to find free-range eggs though, and this is sad. Grids I'm...

  • What is a modern browser?

    Seems like everyone is talking about the definition of "modern browsers", after Mozilla's Paul Roget published his bitchy IE9 is not post. Microsoft admirably responded. I like them to respond, to show they're human, but the discussion is a bit childish. Here's my...

  • On the buses

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with this door.[caption id="attachment_865" align="alignright" width="225" caption="What do I do?"][/caption] Of course, I'm only saying this because I've been reading Charlie Brooker's recent book on my...

  • 2010: This year I have...

    My annual End of Year update. See previous years: 2009 and 2008. This year had ups and downs. The downs are no fun, so let's focus on the ups. This year I have: Built a Formula1 website for some pirates, and won an award. Passed my Driving Test Got stuck in the Canary Islands...

  • Nobody has wished me a Merry Christmas

    In a land of excesses and enthusiasm, of Macy's and Hollywood, we expected Christmas to be something of a big deal. We can hardly expect to celebrate with our usual joie de vivre, pulling crackers over a wobbly napkin-strewn table waiting for plates filled with myriad festive...

  • Going to California...

    Unless you've been stuck in a cave somewhere, held hostage by extremists, fallen deep into a coma, been discovered living on arsenic, or, worst of all, not been following me online, you'll know that we've up and moved to San Francisco, California, so that I can go to work for...

  • Twitter Streams, Node.js, Web Sockets and the X Factor. Or, how to overload your server.

    I've just launched a new experimental website: http://xfactortweets.com Please don't be too judgemental of the subject matter. :) The aim of the site is to play with web sockets and the twitter streams, and really, to see how far it can be pushed. The page starts off effectively...

  • University: I want my money back

    UK University tuition fees are in the news again.  Early leaks and rumours suggest that students will be expected to pay around £7,000 a year, up from the current £3,000, which was itself a huge rise on the first £1,000, the original "top-up" fee levied on students,...

  • Chaining Asynchronous Methods in jQuery using the Queue

    Someone recently asked me whether it would be possible to chain asynchronous events in JavaScript. After a little pondering, I figured out a way to do it with a simple queue. I thought this would be an awesome addition to chaining for a good few hours, until I remembered how...

  • Lost - cutting a long story short

    Ok, so to sum up. There is an island. This certainly contains spoilers. If you haven't done the Lost thing, you probably should, because they're really good, so stop reading this and head off to Amazon. Otherwise, if you've seen it all, and read all about it on E!, and seen the...

  • JS Fireworks - in SVG

    I've taken another look at last year's Chrome Experiment, JS Fireworks. This time I've rewritten it to use SVG, whose arrival in IE9 promises to make HTML more interesting. In fact, I'm far more excited about animated SVG than CSS transforms and the fabled HTML5. I used Keith...

  • aitch-tee-tee-pee colon slash slash

    It's lovely to see someone stand up and take the blame for a mistake they've made. I'm not talking about the Government (obviously), I'm talking Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World-Wide Web. He's come out and apologised for the redundant slashes that appear in every web...

  • Building McLaren.com – Part 6: Monitoring

    I've just finished working on McLaren's new F1 site, http://mclaren.com/home, for the 2010 season, at Pirata London, for Work Club. Part six, the last part, covers the monitoring tools. Of course, we're using the standard Google Analytics monitoring, which is great at delivering...

  • Building McLaren.com – Part 5: Serving from the Cloud

    I've just finished working on McLaren's new F1 site, http://mclaren.com/home, for the 2010 season, at Pirata London, for Work Club. I'll be writing up what we've done here in several parts. Sign up for my RSS feed to keep updated. Part five covers the setting up of broadcast...

  • Building McLaren.com – Part 4: Load testing

    I've just finished working on McLaren's new F1 site, http://mclaren.com/home, for the 2010 season, at Pirata London, for Work Club. I'll be writing up what we've done here in several parts. Sign up for my RSS feed to keep updated. Part four covers the load testing of telemetry...

  • Building McLaren.com – Part 3: Reading Telemetry

    I've just finished working on McLaren's new F1 site, http://mclaren.com/home, for the 2010 season, at Pirata London, for Work Club. I'll be writing up what we've done here in several parts. Sign up for my RSS feed to keep updated. Part three covers the JavaScript data for the...

  • Building McLaren.com - Part 2: Serving Telemetry

    I've just finished working on McLaren's new F1 site, http://mclaren.com/home, for the 2010 season, at Pirata London, for Work Club. I'll be writing up what we've done here in several parts. Sign up for my RSS feed to keep updated. Part two covers the telemetry panel, known as...

  • Building McLaren.com - Part 1: HTML

    I've just finished working on McLaren's new F1 site, http://mclaren.com/home, for the 2010 season, at Pirata London, for Work Club. I'll be writing up what we've done here in several parts. Sign up for my RSS feed to keep updated. First up, the HTML. The site design is...

  • Bursting balloons - a fresh look at the Big Bang

    We've just been watching the BBC's enjoyable Horizon programme "Is everything we know about the Universe wrong?". Clearly a title designed to grab viewers. I confess a dislike to this kind of wording because it implies that we might all be wasting our time, and that...

  • Getting started with Amazon EC2

    Amazon provides a variety of hosting capabilities under the name “Amazon Web Services” (AWS). These are often described as 'cloud' servers. Products offered are: EC2 - Elastic Compute Cloud - Application servers S3 - Storage - also known as EBS (elastic block store) - Disc...

  • Man walks down the street

    Man walks down the street. Takes him ten minutes every morning. One day, his watch breaks and starts running fast. It takes twice as long, according to the watch. Completing the same distance took twenty minutes. He buys a new watch. The following week, some wanker at the council...

  • Long polling Comet

    I've been working on a long-polling comet client from Amix at Plurk, who uses it to monitor messages on the server. While he simply provides it as a 'solution', not detailing the hurdles he overcame to get there, it's clear that there's some thought gone into...

  • The importance of paging

    Something the iPhone brought us was amazing scrolling. I'm not a fan of the pinch-zoom, but the flick-to-scroll has been an outstanding innovation. Macbook users will know about the two-finger scroll (which still sounds somewhat riské). We got hooked on scrolling long before that...

  • The App Store

    I was amused by a comment I overheard in the office last week, just after the announcement of the iPad. It went something like this: People will buy the iPad instead of a MacBook because the iPad has Applications. My initial reaction was "how daft". A laptop running...

  • Typekit

    It's not often I write a blog post just about a new tech.  For good reason:  there's always someone out there prepared to dedicate a bit of time to a full tutorial on implementation, pros and cons. I'd just like to mention Typekit because it's not what I thought it was, and I'm...

  • 4 easy fixes for Apple to make iTunes better

    I expect you to manage my files. Maintain a list of my purchased files and let me download them whenever I want. Why am I expected to keep backups? It's just weird. I expect you to allow me to deauthorize a computer remotely. For example, I've just lost my hard disc. How do I...

  • Leaving Digitas

    I've been at Digitas for five years. Five years. As I've recently learned, that's about thirty-five dog years. Which is about four years older than I am now. Here, I've worked on websites for Hewlett Packard, the Cannes Film Festival, Persil, Nicquitin, General Motors, Opel,...

  • 2009: This year I have ...

    This year I have ... Got married!!! Been to Hawaii on Honeymoon Flown over an active volcano in a helicopter Been to my brother's wedding in a barn Been to my friend's wedding in a hotel Graduated from a second BSc (in silly robes) Submitted a Chrome Experiment...

  • Shortcut Tutorials

    Probably the first real coder I met was at school. He was just some kid in an older class who knew how to code the BBC micros that littered the computer room with the heavy metal door. This guy was a genius. Except he wasn't really. He just learned a lot of stuff from old...

  • Hackday Review

    Is that a hack? Or is that a lemonade stand? Good question. But let me start at the beginning. After many evening chats at the pub, we'd come to the conclusion that some of us were keen to produce more than we do now. Agency-based work can be busy, can be organized, and can be...

  • First Hackday

    We've just tried out our first Hackday: our attempt to produce a website without the usual demands of work-related stresses. And all in 36 hours. The result is "Confessions of a T-Shirt". Follow this link to have a look: Funny T Shirts I think we've got a few learnings...

  • Falling into a Black Hole

    You could fall into a black hole, but I'd never see you get there. Odd, eh? Reason being, Einstein's Equivalence Principle - which forms part of his General Theory of Relativity.  This states that an accelerating frame of reference is indistinguishable from a frame under the...

  • Agile will not save your project

    Agile does not mean faster If Agile meant faster, we would've called it Rapid. The aim is to get a better result. Obviously, getting a better result avoids the need for costly revising later.  That will save time. You can't switch to Agile because you're behind An Agile project...

  • Fixed-height web page layouts are always wrong

    I can understand that when you're designing a magazine page, a poster, an advert, a banner, or hell, even a letter to your granny, then the first thing you need to know is the size of the material you're working with. The challenge of the web is that your users' monitors vary...

  • Our Wedding - Part Three

    Continued from Our Wedding and Our Wedding - Part Two. Leg of Lamb I was most impressed by the way the Manor staff brought out everyone's main course at once. I'm not sure what size oven they've got, but they managed to produce 65-ish sizable legs of lamb all at the same...

  • Tired of ME

    This post is a follow-up to All About ME. I have been planning to write another post, about what it's like on a day-to-day basis without any episodes, but 2 weeks ago or so, I felt tired again. It's got worse, and I'm now off work (something I really try hard to avoid). I'd write...

  • Our Wedding - Part Two

    The Reception So we got back in our car, and started driving towards the Manor. We were married, cruising in the back of a Bentley, and we knew everyone would be waiting for us with a glass of champagne. It was a great feeling. Our photographer had set off at the same time, but...

  • Our Wedding

    On June 12th last year, nearly 18 months after we first met on the tube, I asked Agnieszka to marry me. During a private dinner for two on a beach in Mexico, I asked the waiter to give us 10 minutes, dropped to one knee and dug out the ring I'd been hiding away with me since I'd...

  • Fireworks in Flex - Faster and with Source!

    I've cleaned out the Fireworks code - it's fast. Not smooth though - I don't know how to do a proper timer in Flex - anyone got any hints over how to be smoother than just running off the frame event? Anyway, source is here, for your hacking pleasure. There's a txt file to...

  • JS-Fireworks in Flex

    Well, I wasn't impressed with the speed of Flash for my fireworks. Despite using the legendary AS3, it ran like a dog. A slow dog. So I've worked from the awesome FluidSolver, and rebuilt into Flex. It's faster, it's prettier. Click here for the demo. Source needs work before...

  • Porting JS-Fireworks to Flash

    Flash ActionScript is pretty much JavaScript right? So, I thought my Chrome Experiment, js-fireworks should be trivial to port across to AS, and take advantage of the extra speed. It did prove pretty simple. Instead of a canvas, I create a Sprite. The Sprite has a graphics object...

  • JS Fireworks

    I've just submitted my Chrome Experiment - JavaScript Fireworks. http://js-fireworks.appspot.com/ This amuses me because it's such an old-fashioned idea. A bit like snow on your website, it's a very nineties theme and I suspect I'll have a lot of ex-Geocities users asking me how...

  • All about ME

    Something I've meant to do for ages is to write up what it's like to have ME, mostly so that when I look back and don't remember all the detail, hopefully when I'm finally clear of this thing, then I don't feel that I've missed out, or was complaining unnecessarily. It's ironic...

  • SEO Ins and Outs

    There are lots of SEO agencies around now. When I first heard of them, I was baffled. Optimizing a site for search is something I consider an everyday part of my job. The thought of paying an external agency a small fortune to review my work seems like a waste of money. Having...

  • Why do I work here?

    People often ask me why I stay in this job. One of the great things about where I work is because there is only a very small percentage of people here who are simply out to make the company money. What we are actually all here to do is to make better websites. Being paid is...

  • K&A's Awesome Christmas

    This was our first Christmas together, and it'll be our last before we're married.  Cool eh? Last year, I did the family thing, and Agnieszka went to do her family thing over in Melton Mowbray. This year, we did the Polish thing together on Christmas Eve, then had Christmas with...

  • This year I have ...

    This year I have ... Got Engaged Run a Marathon, half marathon and a 10k Finished my second Bachelors Degree Bought a House Turned 30 Recovered (mostly) from ME Released 5 Websites for my job Been to 3 Weddings, and 1 Diamond Wedding Anniversary Been to Poland, Holland, Denmark,...

  • JavaScript Mindmap

    I've been writing a JavaScript Mindmap. It's got very few dependancies: Mootools is used for dragging and the $ and $$ shortcuts. Also, excanvas gives IE canvas support. UPDATE: it now uses jQuery instead of Mootools. I tried to make it use "good juju", by using good...

  • My Cataract Surgery Video

    Finally, I youtube'd the video of my cataract operation. If you've ever wondered why one of my eyes sparkles, this is it. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7lIPwn8lyTI

  • Cross-domain JavaScript to Flash

    Ok, what we learnt last night: If you move your SWF onto another server (eg, using a caching server, CDN or similar), and have JavaScript in the page calling the SWF, then it will fail. First step, we added a crossdomain.xml to the CDN server.  It made no difference, and was not...

  • London Marathon 2008

    I did it! I hurt... :-S First half felt great. Third quarter was great. Though the occasional spot of hail didn't help. Thankyou to the people with wine gums. Thankyou to the folks with fruit. Fiddles to the people with opal fruits. Curses to the bitch with the unexpected...

  • Paris Half-Marathon 2008

    I made it!  Two hours, ten minutes, and about 7 seconds :) This is a bit of a surprise, considering my usual problems.  Especially since I thought I ws going through a fairly bad patch (hadn't been able to run for two weeks before, and could only manage an amble to Notre Dame the...

  • Stars on the blog

    I've added planets and stars to my sky when the sun sets. Best thing is, these are technically accurate. The sun follows the correct path across the sky and sets at the right time. The sky shows the view facing South from London. Future updates: CLEAN THE CODE. Please don't even...

  • Creating new HTML elements

    It's possible to create new HTML elements, and apply presentation and action to it. Jon Resig mentions it here, suggesting it would be a good way to implement HTML5 in an earlier browser. http://ejohn.org/blog/html5-shiv/ He's right.  It would be good.  But I can see applications...

  • IE8 and Meta selectors

    Ok, everyone else is talking about the new IE Meta tag Microsoft announced here: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2008/01/21/compatibility-and-ie8.aspx http://alistapart.com/articles/beyonddoctype [sourcecode language="html"] [/sourcecode] My first thought?  Unusually,...

  • Google Map Tile Stitching

    I've made a Google Aerial Map Tile Stitcher in PHP. I prefer to be a legal type.  No, I don't wear a cape and a wig, or any of that shennanigans.  But I like to pay for things that I value.  Music, software, videos - I do it all. So, to produce a nicely printed aerial-view map...

  • Hello World!

    Hello!  Welcome to the new site. I've decided to make a sweeping update to the site to incorporate a blog and some play areas.  It'll be a work-in-progress, and will balloon with more content shortly (when I have some time). I've built my own look and feel (and drawn my own...

  • Weary Traveller Returns

    I made it! I'm back at last! Home to curries, stella and drizzle.

  • Vietnam - Burning boat

    Ok, so there's a few days left to your trip around the world. You're looking for an easy life, maybe a last top-up to the tan marks. How about a relaxing boat trip? If only. Here is our tour guide on the phone. Inside, where we've just been having lunch, you may see some...

  • Vietnam - Hanoi

    I like Hanoi. No-one hassles you, and the whole town has more of a easy-going vibe than Saigon. And there's no KFC here. There *are* a lot of motorbikes. On very small roads. Who try to kill you. But they don't seem to bug you as much here. I only got five offers this morning,...

  • Vietnam - Motorbikes

    Walking down the street anywhere in Vietnam, people are falling over themselves to help you. But not in any kind of charitable way - they just want your money. The streets are full of motorbikes. Full. And they all want to offer you a lift. In an average day I must reject between...

  • Vietnam - Saigon

    Or Ho Chi Minh. I don't know or understand. But Saigon is easier to spell. Hnaging around waiting for my cold to clear. It's hot but not too bad, and humid/rainy esp int eh afternoon/evening. It's hard to believe so much water can hang around in the sky.

  • Australia - Surfer's Paradise

    I think most people would dispute the name. The surf isn't great on the beach (you have to go 20 mins down the road), and the skyrises just rise straight out the top of the beach blocking the sunlight in the afternoon. It's not a bad beach though. I was here for a couple of days,...

  • Australia - Byron Bay

    Ask anyone in Australia and they'll talk about Byron Bay. It seems like a good place now I've got here - not quite sure why it deserves such a reputation, but it's a nice beach, and cool town (for once, the town's not alongside the beach, but more perpendicular). First day here,...

  • Japan - Quakes!

    Waking up to a shaking in the night is a weird experience. Being in the lowest of a tri-storey bed, you usually assume someone above you has got lucky - but not last night. We all noticed the shaking. It felt very odd. There's a single news report I'm aware...

  • Japan - Unicon

    The Unicon is now over. Full report to follow. Cheers to unicyclist.com for the wallpaper...

  • Japan - Arrrggghhhh

    just found out why my camera doesn;t record movie clips like everyone else;s. It;s because I bought it in the states, and the Casio Z$ in the states DOESN;T HAVE IT!!! WHY????????

  • Japan - Kinichiwa!

    Or something like that. Im in Tokyo, trying very hard to type on this weird Japanese keyboard. The Unicon seems to be going well, weve done the group and pairs events so far - the real stuff starts Tuesday (ie hockey). Id write more here, but this keyboard keeps switching to...

  • Australia - Surf's Up Dude

    Whatever that means. Just added the surfing shots. As you can tell, Chris can surf. I can't. So if there's a picture of a dude on a board, on a wave, it's not me. The only picture of me is the close up one, where I'm trying to hang on to a board, crash through a wave and take a...

  • Australia - Phish Fotos

    I've just added the shots from snorkelling in the Whitsundays. As usual, the throwaway waterproof cameras aren't up to much - you'll have to trust me that it's really a lot more colourful down there. The only thing that spoils the fun is the sting-suits they make you wear....

  • Australia - Groundhog Day

    I met up with Chris Power in Brisbane and we went up to the Sunshine Coast for 4 days or so. He complains that his life is now like Groundhog Day; every day is the same: Wake up, go surf, eat, surf, jog, eat, sleep. Repeat. Sound like hell. Somehow I think he saw a different...

  • Australia - Photos

    I've added some recent photos. Some of you may be surprised by the weight I appear to have put on in one of the pictures. While the food on board the boat was good, it wasn't that good - it's just that the wind caught my shirt as the pic was taken - honest!

  • Australia - Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays

    Cairns brightened up after a while, but apart from the notorious bars, there's nothing to do there. It's just a backpacker-tour selling town. So, I took a day-trip to Cape Tribulation. Despite the thrilling name, it wasn't too exciting. The rainforest meets the beach. That's the...

  • Australia - Cairns

    Oh good grief I thought Cairns would be like Darwin, but instead of the pleasant blue skies I expected, I landed to find it overcast and drizzling with dusty rain. Rats. Better still, I go to look at the beach and it's all mud! Like the saltings back home (ie, marshland)...

  • Australia - Darwin

    Darwin appears to be the best place to be in winter. It's nice and warm all the time - much like summer at home! The only downside is that the beaches aren't up to much and the town is very small. Not really a problem though. I've been whiling away my time playing cards in the...

  • Australia - The Rock!

    Took me bloody ages to get here, then 6 hours on the bus at 6 in the morning. I get to the rock, and guess what? You can't climb because it's too windy! I had to content myself with walking round it. Mind you, the bus driver didn't give me enough time. It's 9.4km (6 miles), and I...

  • Australia - Adelaide & Alice

    Adelaide is a nice enough town I guess, but kindof small, cold and very rainy. I had a cold for most of the 5 days or so I was here, so didn't get much done. I got the train from Sydney which took around 26 hours to Adelaide. Unfortunately not being royalty, I can't afford the...

  • Australia - Sydney

    Well, I've made it to Sydney! This is somewhere I've always wanted to go to. The city is great - like London or New York. It's got good trains (double-decker!), you can cycle over the harbour bridge (without being arrested!), and the views of the opera house and bridge are...

  • New Zealand - Wellington

    Well, I'm back in Auckland. I've been here for a few days, trying to get some work done and stuff, before heading South. The cycle trip was good fun, but not sure if it's practical any more - I've covered most of the warm bits of the country. Today I went for a cycle around town,...

  • New Zealand - Auckland

    Well, I'm back in Auckland. I've been here for a few days, trying to get some work done and stuff, before heading South. The cycle trip was good fun, but not sure if it's practical any more - I've covered most of the warm bits of the country. Today I went for a cycle around town,...

  • New Zealand - Hills from hell

    Or Mordor perhaps. No wonder it took them 3 films to get there. The hills here are terrible. And when it rains - it doesn't half rain. On day 8 of my cycle trip of the Northlands (north of Auckland). Done 450kms so far - and my legs hurt...

  • New Zealand - Hobbitses!!!

    I'm now out in Auckland, staying at the ACB - a big hostel. Ok, but very hotelly. I've just bought myself a bike and plan to try cycling the islands! Will charge up the camera and let you know how it goes.. If anyone knows anything about New Zealand I should know (good...

  • Fiji

    Bula! I finally made it to Fiji from LA. The flight was much longer than I expected, and we arrived at 5.00am to Nadi (pronounced Nandi). I met up with 4 others there who were staying at the Horizon hostel too. I was planning to stay there for a few days to get my bearings, but...

  • Costa Rica - Ok...

    Flight last night got cancelled, so had to stay the night in Costa Rica. Nice hotel though, free, which saved me some cash. Some nice Americans who were also on the flight bought me some beers too, so it all worked out nicely. Plus I got to have a go at some Bush-voters :) Now in...

  • Ecuador - Guayaquil

    Hmm. Tricky one to pronounce this one. I like to think it goes "Guy I kill", as in "It was just some guy I killed". Something like that anyway. Big city. Amazingly developed for South America. Apparently they spent lots on redoing the waterfront. Doesn't...

  • Ecuador - too long

    It's easy to get trapped in Quito. The hostel I'm in is called El Centro del Mundo. It's a good place - full of other travellers (though most are more hardcore than me - most are on multi-year trips to every country on the planet). The real problem with the place is that they...

  • Ecuador - whoosh!

    Just got back from two days downhill mountain biking. I got a tour from Quito with two Americans, Bridgette and Andy. We went up to Cotopaxi (it's a big ol' mountain) in a Jeep, the got the bikes out and cycled down. Lots of fun - the roads are just dirt tracks, and not good ones...

  • Ecuador - Knackered in Quito

    I'm now in Quito in Ecudor. I did go on a Pantanal trek in Brazil. I joined up with a bunch of French people, so I had to try to remember my now 10 year old (jeez) French lessons to keep up. But fortunately they (and the guide, Aildon) could speak English in reasonable form when...

  • Brazil - Cuiaba

    Even hotter here. About 37 degrees today. From here you can arrange a trip to the Pantanal for a few days - see wildlife, trek through jungles and get bitten by mosquitoes. Living in a cool Pousada with lots of small cats, some chcikens and the odd turkey. Bit weird, but fun. Not...

  • Brazil - Hey

    Hey... hey mate... amigo... hey... psst... kweeessst... hey my friend ... hey ... hey ... hey....... Can I shine your shoes? No? But I have this special polish? Yes, even on sandals! Oh, well can you buy me a beer then my friend? I'm very thirsty... Can I just have your empty can...

  • Brazil - #at the copa, ...#

    Here in Copacabana, Rio. Very hot. Beach not really all it's sold as, but it's still nice. Ipanema's better, but not much. Could use an ABC store or two. Update: First hostel wasn't so good. I was staying in a dorm room with six other guys, and the rest of the hostel was much the...

  • Brazil - Sao Paulo

    Kindof a big boring city. I think I´ll move on to Rio asap. I´m sure there´s lots of exciting buildings here to look at, but give me a beach any day. Plus, no one speaks any English here! Portuguese is really hard! Not really like Spanish at all! Will probably now waste my time...

  • Brazil

    I´m in Brazil! Got in at about 3 this morning, but managed to find a hostel ok and get some sleep. Haven´t really been out yet. Anyone know any portugese???

  • Peru - Altitude

    Cuzco´s not bad - though due to some bad planning I reckon I don´t have time to make it to MacchuPicachu. Which probably makes me the only one not to, but hey, I can always come back I guess. The food is much better here than in lima, but the altitude gets annoying. everything´s...

  • Peru - Sand

    Just arrived in Cuzco near MacchuPicchu (which I think is some sort of Pokemon?). Yesterday went to Ica. Bus journey was terrible, but driving and boarding on the sand dunes was excellent. Photos sure to follow, but I couldn´t really capture the feeling of plummetting down a sand...

  • Peru - Deepest Darkest

    Well, not quite deep and dark. I'm in Lima, which is a big city, crazy driving and the craziness you'd expect. Great hostel here, The Point, lots of cool people. Tomorrow if hangover isn't too bad, I'm going to Ica, where (hopefully) I can try sandboarding, then Friday to Cuzco...

  • Peru - Finally!

    After many hours on a plane, Ive finally arrived in Lima. Seems nice, but weird. None of my phone work here - I hadnt thought that my new Nokia wouldnt be dual band!! More updates later when huge lack of sleep headache clears...

  • Hawaii - I need a new camera

    What do you get if you take 1 disposable underwater camera, several bad photographers and no flash? Wel,, not much to tell the truth. Most of them didn't come out - the rest are here.

  • LA - New Website

    I've taken some time out in LA to fix this website so it's easier to update from internet cafes. Comments to messageboard please!

  • Hawaii - Aloha!

    It rains here too, but not really for long enough to matter (I dodged the real floods by a day or two)! Having a great time in the Hokondo Waikiki Beachside Hostel. It´s admittedly not on the beachfront, but it´s just 1 block away. I´ve been having a great time eating, drinking,...

  • Palm Springs - Flip a coin...

    Raining in the desert now (!) and staying in the most expensive hotel in the world. Well, ok, not quite. But it's really expensive because the rainy season is the popular season here (?!?) But I met up with Caerwyn and Amanda and I've done all the usual things: played some golf...

  • Las Vegas - Not so hot...

    Vegas is probably an ok place if you've got loads of money and some friends here. I checked out the hostel here, but it sucks. It was empty and miles away from anything So I stayed at the Tropicana, Lady Luck (downtown) and the Stratosphere. Having lost all my money in Vegas, I'm...

  • The trip starts!

    I'm off to Las Vegas Tuesday 17th, starting an 8-month RTW trip. Very much looking forward to it. The plan is to post progress/pictures here if/when I get them.