Network Utility OS X Yosemite

Network Utility has moved again in the latest release of Mac OS X (Yosemite).

It is located in:

Macintosh HD > System > Library > CoreServices > Applications > Network Utility

Alternatively, you can launch the program from the System Report menu (under ‘Window’). From the Apple Menu, click ‘About This Mac…’. Click ‘System Report…’ and from the ‘Window’ menu, click ‘Network Utility’.

Mac OS X Yosemite - About This Mac

About this Mac… shows system information about your device.

Once the Network Utility is running, use the context menu from the dock icon to show the location of the application in Finder or pin it permanently.

Network Utility - OS X Yosemite

The Network Utility – a useful program that keeps moving location.

Network Utility shown in Finder.

Network Utility shown in Finder.

Why does it move?

I would like to know why this application keeps moving. For the longest time, Network Utility was located under ‘utilities’ in ‘Applications’. That made sense. Can anyone enlighten me as to why the location of this useful application is continually obfuscated?

BCS and Agile Experiences

On Tuesday 4th November 2014 at 18:00, the North Staffordshire Branch of BCS and Agile Staffordshire are getting together for a special event. We will be sharing experiences in a series of lightning talks and exercises. This will be a great opportunity to network and learn more about what is going on in the area. This event is also ideal for students with an interest in software development who want to know more about practicing agile techniques in the industry. Continue reading

Agile Staffordshire July 2014

This month’s Agile Staffordshire session is going to a be a real treat. Ian Russell is scheduled to deliver a session on F#, a functional-first programming language. This is of particular interest to me as I have no experience with functional-first programming and this session should prove to be a good opportunity to ‘dip my toe in the water’.

You don’t need to be a ‘member’ to take part. The Agile Staffordshire sessions are open. Just register your interest on the Meet-up page and read the blog for information.

Coding Standards – any standard you like

We (those who develop software) still argue over coding standards. I do not refer to meaningful discussions over clarity, readability or group/project management. I mean crazy, ranting and aggressive behaviour towards one another over a ‘trivial’ matter.

Before anyone jumps on my face for using the word ‘trivial’, I offer the following advice:

  • If you work at a place with a compelling reason to adopt a style, adopt it and join in on constructive discussions about its use at the appropriate time.
  • If you have a personal preference, then apply it consistently and bask in the loveliness of your own code.

I do not think code standards are trivial and pointless. I think they are important and create clarity. I think arguing about code standards is unimportant. Actually, I think arguing about code standards is more than unimportant, I think it can be destructive for communities in general. It really does not matter what the requirements are, we have programs to format source code at the speed of a key stroke.

PHP, for example, has a number of standards to consider:

That list is not exhaustive, there are many other code standards to consider and they are usually related to various application frameworks. Big choices, big decisions – so big that I can configure my IDE of choice (PhpStorm) to convert my source code to any of them, almost instantly. I can also configure hooks to format code according to a project specifications, which can even be done automatically before commits. Unless you are pair-programming and decide on a mutually acceptable standard, code in whatever standard you like and simply convert it for your needs.

Why argue? Get along with each other and create software instead; you might even catch yourself smiling more!

A Plea for Help

I will soon be talking in schools in my role as a STEM Ambassador and hope some of you might help me with an endeavour. With the introduction of a new computing curriculum in schools, I will be talking to school pupils about computing in the wide world and what an education in computing might lead to. I am not ‘selling’ computing over other subjects, I am letting people know about the opportunities that computing can lead to.

One thing I would really like to do is make a video, because listening to a myriad of lovely, interesting people will be even better than just me, talking.

Interested

I hope you’re interested. If you are, what follows is a little more detail on how you can help turn my presentation into something special.

Using a web cam, phone or other video recording device (a steady one, if you can, maybe a tripod); make a short (30 seconds to 2 minutes) video introduction of (pick any of these you like):

  • Your name, where you’re from and what you do.
  • How you know me, or met me, or even just your Bacon number.
  • Why you like (love/get fanatical/are inspired by) computing.
  • How you learned or studied computing, and what discipline you chose.
  • How you use computing in the things you do every day.
  • What you hope to do with computing in the future.
  • Why you would love to be studying computing for the first time, today.

If you decide to help me out, please leave a comment and I will organise collection and answer any questions you might have. Please keep it school safe! I don’t want to edit your message into oblivion to avoid being banned from schools. If you’re a wizard at video editing and can make an extra special job of it, please do so. I will be learning video editing as I go a long.

I volunteer my time to STEM activities, so I do not have a budget for this activity. I will be relying on your generosity and your time – both highly valued. I will need your permission to use the videos for the purpose of inspiring the new computing generation. If you wish me to follow a specific license, please tell me.

Alan Turing – Pardon Me?

In what way does it make sense for the state to forgive Alan Turing for…well, being himself? A summary from BBC News:

Computer pioneer and codebreaker Alan Turing has been given a posthumous royal pardon.

It addresses his 1952 conviction for homosexuality for which he was punished by being chemically castrated.

The conviction meant he lost his security clearance and had to stop the code-cracking work that had proved vital to the Allies in World War Two.

The pardon was granted under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy after a request by Justice Minister Chris Grayling.

It would seem appropriate for the state to apologise for its past actions and recognise that this is not a good way to treat other people. Making a request for the state to forgive him posthumously seems callous.

I agree with the sentiment, and by today’s standard it would seem abhorrent to treat a homosexual, or anyone else, in the way Alan Turing was treated. However, at the time he did break the law (however absurd it seems now). I can only imagine in 1952 that people saw appealing to law congruent with appealing to morality. I guess that might still be true today. Our law changes, of course, and I prefer that it does when it makes sense to do so. We must recognise the previous state of affairs and be responsible, at least in some measure, for how those decisions might have affected others. Instead of forgiving him, how about we forgive ourselves and work towards this never happening again?

As an admirer of Alan Turing’s work, it is easy to get caught up with him and his contribution to science, but I think it is a distraction in this case.

He should not get a pardon, or an apology, or an overturned sentence for being an extraordinary academic (he was) or someone who took part in crucial work for the government during World War II (which he did). It’s incredible that Turing managed to achieve any of his potential given the time he lived in. An individual pardon addresses none of the concerns of those in a similar situation without the privilege of being an internationally recognised, brilliantly keen mind. Most people are not extraordinary academics and did not do important code breaking work during World War II, but I imagine any ‘outlaws’ were caught and convicted in much the same way as Turing. While I appreciate the message that I think Ed Miliband is trying to convey, I think it misses the mark. The implication being homosexuals that were not extraordinary academics and WW2 code breakers somehow still deserve it – they were not redeemed by their extraordinary brilliance! Can we just say sorry, at least, without caveats, to everyone that had to deal with this?

When laws exist that make it illegal to be yourself, when you do no harm to others, we know that is wrong. Let’s not come off like callous idiots after the fact by forgiving someone (anyone) for the trouble of going through it. We can get on with honouring Alan Turing while we are at it.

Mavericks Network Utility

I thought it may be useful to post the location change of Network Utility in OS X Mavericks. I know I find it useful. I do not know why it moved, but it has.

Previously:

/Applications/Utilities

Now:

/System/Library/CoreServices

Alternatively, you can launch it from the System Information menu, under ‘Window’ (see screenshot).

Launch Network Utility under Mavericks

Launch Network Utility from the Window menu of the System Information application.