My drafts

24 January 2010

Last week, some colleagues of mine were discussing how many blog posts they had drafted in their blog software, but never actually published to their blog. I took a look at my draft posts in Wordpress today, and thought it might be fun to publish what the titles and ideas behind them were. Some of them are years old, and it wouldn't make much sense to publish them as they are. So this is just a bit of fun really, as well as being an easy post which might start me down the road of regular blogging again. Actually, this could become quite a fun meme. Maybe.

Using your old PC as a development server - May 2005

This was really a guide on how to set up a machine running Linux with Apache, PHP, MySQL, etc, and make it available on a fixed IP on your local network. The kind of thing you'd be more likely to do using a VM these days. I'd recently inherited an old Pentium 2 which had an aversion to Windows, so it became a playground for my first real experiments with Linux and web server technology outside of a shared hosting environment. I never finished writing it.

Working at Google - November 2005

This was a tongue-in-cheek look at the various employee benefits that Google people allegedly enjoy. It started with a few well known and genuine perks and gradually got more silly, with things such as speed-dating nights for geeks that don't get out much. I don't think I knew anyone at Google when I wrote this.

JavaScript Libraries - December 2005

Something of a rant about the dangers of plugging JavaScript libraries you don't understand into your web pages. This was at the time of Prototype's dominance, and prior to the rise of jQuery. It was inspired by a Carsonified Ajax workshop with Thomas Fuchs that taught Ajax solely through the features and API of Prototype. It was very silly, not least because 80% of the attendees (BBC, Multimap, Yahoo!) couldn't go away and put Prototype on their websites.

Redesigning MAS - March 2006

I used to do unsolicited redesigns of small but well-known websites in the music business. Along the lines of 37better projects. This was immediately after the redesign of the MAS website (it's the one you still see to this day), on which someone did such an appalling job that I couldn't hold my tongue. As a former client of MAS I should say they are a superb operation, but their web presence is, to put it bluntly, crap.

Buying a bed and mattress - April 2006

On moving into my flat in East Dulwich I was looking for tips on how/what/where to buy a decent bed. I probably should have published this one as I've never been happy with the thing that I ended up buying.

Ten years of XHTML - July 2009

In the wake of work on XHTML 2 being stopped I wrote up some thoughts on why it hadn't worked out, why HTML 5 was working out, and how we can rationalise the specifications and recommendations of the W3C (and others) in our day-to-day work as web developers. Could re-hash this and publish, I guess.

Full Frontal - November 2009

Some thoughts on the Full Frontal Conference that I attended. It was one of the best technically focussed conferences I've been to in years, but this post was more around what it's like to be a Microsoft employee (which I was at the time) at an event like that. I didn't have the company name on my badge on this occasion (which I was quite glad of) but it's interesting how it was generally assumed that no one from Microsoft would be there. Not that I would be standing up for or representing the company in any way, but it would be good for people to know that employees are out there, that they are part of the community, and that they're not all big, bad, and evil in nature.

The Spectrum of Opinion - December 2009

A piece on how having a strong belief or opinion can warp your objectivity on that subject. Your mind subconsciously looks for and solidifies evidence to support your theory, and dismisses or discredits evidence that contradicts it. There's probably a well known name for this phenomenon, though I haven't come across it, and it's something I find interesting.

Understanding HTTP - November 2009

Some thoughts on this fundamental piece of the web's architecture and its impact on how web technology is innovated, built, and delivered. Will probably finish and publish this now that I have left Microsoft. If you see what I mean.