Really Quite Unecessary

Another one from the department of only-of-interest-to-me, but I have spent most of the night writing a little tool to delete the vast swathe of duplicate posts that my shiny new-edition blog dumped back into my LJ. I have no idea if this means that the people who got a swathe of notifications the other day are going to get another swathe – in any event my apologies for one or both sets of pointless email garbage, but with any luck, that’ll be the last of it. And I can go back to playing computer games with my free time, instead of coding.

Plus Ça Change

Or: where to find me, 2010 edition.

So, after years of blogging at umpty-tum different places, I’ve decided not to bother with all that any more. I’m not going to have a linkblog, a photoblog, a writing blog, and a whatever-else blog any more. I’m just going to have one blog. If not all of it’s of interest to you, well, I’m sorry about that, but it’s all of interest to me.

As of today, I go back to blogging at As far as possible, all my myriad old URLs will redirect there, after I’ve had time to make sure that everything is working correctly in my new set up and that I’ve properly mothballed everything at the old URLs.

Further, in the unlikely event that you’re desperate to read stuff I wrote years ago, almost everything I’ve ever blogged is now in the archive there. I’m missing some posts from some time around 2003/2004 when I was using a CMS called nucleus that detonated itself unbacked-up during an upgrade (you can bet I’ve never done that since), but everything else that wasn’t some kind of private post is now back on my blog. (This includes, for example, my old blogger archive from 2000-2002, absent from the intertubes since some time in 2003). Most of it’s only of interest to me and my obsession with continuity, but still, if you didn’t know me ten years ago, and have a burning urge to find out exactly how stupid I was back then, it’s all there in it’s slightly humiliating glory.

(Those of you reading this via livejournal, do not panic (in the unlikely event that my presence, or lack thereof, on livejournal is something you might panic over) – I’ll still be cross-posting everything automatically. Do please bear with me if there are some teething troubles with this new set up, though.)


I finally got around to putting an actual photography portfolio site together over the weekend. If you point your browser at (you can’t buy .er domain names yet, so I cheated) you’ll find what I think of as my best photos from a few years of sporadic photoblogging at electricana.

I’m really only noting this here so I’ve got a record of when I got around to sorting it out, but if anyone’s interested enough to take a look, and let me know if they think I’ve missed any really good shots out, that’d be terribly nice of them.

Dunbar’s Number

This morning, I am thinking about Dunbar’s Number, and my LJ friends list. I have noticed of late that there are an increasing number of people on my list whose journals I don’t read, because I simply don’t have the attention span to concentrate on them as well as everyone else’s, and in fact, that this is carrying over, and I am interacting less with other journals that I might like, because they’re getting lost in the churn.

So a question: should I
a) set up a default view?
b) have a cull?

If a), would you prefer to know if you were on the default view or not? I have not hitherto set up a default view, because I feel it’s kind of hypocritical to describe someone as a “friend” (god, how much simpler would things be if LJ hadn’t used the emotionally loaded term) and not read their journal, but then, as I’ve just admitted, that’s what I’m doing at the moment anyway. But one way round that hypocrisy might be to be open about who’s journals I am reading. Would it break anyone’s heart to discover that while I do consider them a friend, I don’t read their journal very often? Would that be better or worse than a Friends List cull?

Dear god, but I over-think things sometimes. Maybe I should just arrange to have 75 of you shot. That would simplify matters…

Brand New Suit

After some small effort, and a couple of false starts, I have more or less finished redesigning my main personal website, I’m quite pleased with how it’s turned out. I’ve got an IE-only display bug to sort out (the photo grid isn’t quite aligned in IE at the moment, and I really want to spend a bit of time on the related posts feature, because I’m not really sure how the plugin I’m using to run it works out what is related – it feels a bit pot-luck to me at the moment. Still, it’s a rather more modern design than I had been using, which is nice.

Do me a favour: Fight Crime!

The They Fight Crime! synopsis generator has a new home.

The reason I mention this is that it had fallen off the internet for a while (I’m currently wrangling to get my domain back up and running). In fact, it’s been gone for over six months. And in the interim, a load of people who have basically done nothing other than rip off the original and remove the credit, have started to clog up the google listings for “they fight crime”. And I object to other people thinking it’s OK to steal Andrew’s and my work (mostly Andrew’s), remove the authorial credit, and (in some cases) make money off it via ads, when the original was free.

So, if anyone fancies posting the link up in forums, blogs, LJs, myspace, with the usual “Here’s a funny link” nonsense, and perhaps a few choice generated phrases, that’d be ace. If you felt like explaining the reason I’d like the link to do the rounds again, including words like “The original they fight crime generator is back”, or similar, and generally encouraging people to send it about so that we get back to our fair place, that’d be great, too.

Thanks, folks.

A few from the archives:

I don’t expect anyone else will give much of a shit, but I’m delighted about this.

About what?

Well, a few years back, a database that held the only copies of a few things I’d written crashed and died, and I had no backup. I had assumed they were lost. But the wayback machine came up in conversation this afternoon, and on a whim, I plugged an old url into it.


I’ve managed to scrape 8 bits of my lost writing out of it – some of it stuff I wrote almost ten years ago, most of it stuff I still like. I’ve slapped it up in no particular order on just while I work out what, if anything to do with it. (Both the writing and the domain.)

Slightly depressing thing though: I’m sure I wrote better a few years ago that I do now. Or at least, about more interesting things. I know I’ve burbled in the past about the deformative effect of livejournal on the things I write, though – I’m much more willing to talk about absurdities when I don’t know the people that are watching by name. I think I may try dusting Dead Air off properly, and giving myself a blog site back, rather than being part of this terrible “community” nonsense. At worst, it’ll just confirm the diagnosis, and I’ll come sauntering back.

Alternate Home…

I’ve been aware for the last while that the number of non-web-related links on this site is creeping up, which is fine, except that I really want to keep this site for stuff I deal with in my professional capacity – web programming, and the art and science of communicating via the web, and the way that impacts our modern social culture, and design in general.

To which end, I have set up, which is where I’m going to start dumping the stuff about food and drink, politics, photography, on-line gaming, and any other random crap that interests me. (There’ll probably bit a little crossover in the gaming area, because I think it has something to say about the way humans use social technologies, but we’ll see how that shakes out over time.) So, if you find yourself wondering why I’m only talking about/linking to webdev/design stuff on this site from here on in, that’s why. Stop by the new place (WordPress powered, so available via RSS) is you want the other stuff as well.

And of course, both sites will be available through, my personal portal site.

This entry was originally published at my workblog.

This week, I have:

Written a couple of bastard clever AJAX based tools. This is incomprehensible to most of you, I’m sure, but basically, they’re quite tricky, and prior to this week, I had done almost sod-all AJAX related stuff, so what it basically means is that I am a god-like genius, and you should all be Very Bastard Impressed, OK?

In my spare time, I have put together, which is basically a one-stop shop for all the various places I produce writing, photos, and general stuff. I’ve got a few bits and pieces left to do on it – I want to more clearly mark the origins of the different posts, and while it goes and fetches all the content itself, at the moment it only does so when I tell it to, rather than, say, automatically checking every few hours. I’ve got a couple of hoops to jump through to make it do that, but that’s fine.

I’ve also found time to finally sort myself out with some decent time planning stuff. If you should be moved by insatiable curiosity about what I’m doing on a given day, you can get out which will list those of my movements as I’m willing to share with the world. (Before anyone asks: on those Wednesdays where they or I aren’t busy, I visit my folks.) If anyone knows of a PC app that will allow me to convert from iCal (which it uses) to vCal (which my PDA uses) format, then I will buy you a pint if I wind up using it. I also need to write a tool to pick up the week’s diary every Monday, and dump it out, probably both to LJ and to

I’ve registered, which I intend to wire into half a dozen blogs and news sources, as a sort of personal info-feed.

I’ve also been to the gym once (would have been twice, but I had the plague), read three books, picked up two levels in World of Warcraft, and tonight, I’m off to see what promises to be a storming gig, followed by a packed weekend.

Can you tell that I’m feeling more like myself than I have in six months?