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Bazel: Fast, Correct, Usable – choose two - 14 Mar 2018 Tools  Rant 

I’d recently gotten reminded about Bazel, Google’s ‘boil the ocean‘ build system, and decided to give it a proper go. TL;DR – it’s not ready yet, and might not ever be, unless you’re willing to throw away everything else. I’m generally on the lookout for good build systems. Some of my colleagues are perfectly happy…

Sked: merged calendars as a service - 22 Jan 2018 Python  Tools  Web 

I have a little bit of an obsession with calendars, mostly generated ones via a variety of tools. I don’t do well with pen-and-paper for this sort of things, and one of these days I will write the Grand Unified Todo Manager To Rule Them All (which will also eat emails, Calendars and probably a…

Panegyric: showing off what we’ve done on Github - 4 Jan 2018 Tools  Web 

Last month, I said we’d be talking more about open source work that we’re doing. This month, I’ve been building Panegyric, a WordPress plugin (which is what this site is written in). This plugin (which isn’t live on the site yet, but will be soon) lists all the Github pull requests we’ve recently done. However…

Extending Splitwise’s currency conversion - 25 Apr 2017 Python  Tools  Web 

I’m rather fond of Splitwise, which is an app/website for recording money owed between multiple people. Myself and my partner use it a lot for various expenses, and it’s really useful when you’ve got many different payments, and you need to keep track over time. We’ve got one repeated payment however that’s been in US…

Cross-grading for fun and profit - 13 Dec 2016 Tools  Debian 

First thing you’re probably wondering: What’s cross-grading? Well, it’s a bit like upgrading, except more sidewise than definitely upwards. It involves the changing of the architecture of a system, most typically from 32-bit to 64-bit, and most typically from x86 to x86-64 (although similar options are apparently doable for other architecture families, including ARM, MIPS and…

Potboiler - 31 Oct 2016 Python  Tools  Rust  Potboiler 

Over the last couple of years I’ve been reading and talking about a lot of things related to distributed systems. This is a common train of thought around here, and after working on this on and off for the past 18 months or so (the version you’re seeing here is in fact version 3 having repeatedly changed…

Using the BBC micro:bit with PlatformIO - 28 Aug 2016 Tools  C  Hardware 

I recently acquired a micro:bit, the new BBC device intended for helping computer education. After a bit of delay, they’ve finally starting shipping the device, and now members of the public like myself can grab one. So, why this device in the middle of a sea of other options in the modern embedded environment? Well,…

Scrutiny: Github permissions audit and backup tool - 8 May 2016 Python  Tools  git 

These days we’ve all got an awful lot of our code in Github, and so we really need both a backup (so we can cope with them having a catastrophic failure) and a permissions auditing mechanism (so we know who’s getting access). For the latter, some of you may be saying “just use the audit…

Yet Another Jukebox - 28 Feb 2016 Python  Tools 

LShift has for a significant part of it’s history (at least 9 years, according to the blog post in 2006 about an earlier version) had an in-office jukebox. When I arrived here to begin with in 2010, there was the aforementioned earlier version, written in Erlang, and I have anecdotal reports of predecessors to that.…

Raspberry Chef - 22 Dec 2015 Python  Tools  git 

Last month I wrote about temperature monitoring, and how I ended up using Raspberry Pi’s. I’m still fiddling around with their configuration, and I ran into a few problems. For starters, if I brought them home, they knew how to talk to the work WiFi, but not my home system, and vice versa (although this is…

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