Deskspace Project

I was recently reminded of Deskspace Project this month at Staffs Web Meet-up. I love this idea and think it is worth spreading; hence this blog post.

Deskspace Project is a free-of-charge hot desk facility for new entrepreneurs. This is a great opportunity for those looking to start a new business and want a base of operations in the fledgling months; providing a modern office environment with tea, coffee and wireless Internet access.

TopCashback provides this facility and, amongst other things, sponsors the excellent Staffs Web Meet-up (which I try not to miss).

SSLing All of My Things

I have been thinking about activating HTTPS/SSL on all my web things for a while now. I was procrastinating for two reasons; avoiding expenditure and not wanting to mess about with configurations.

Enter Let’s Encrypt and the emergence of widely available and free SSL/TLS certificates. I tend to use Apache on Ubuntu/Debian and often use Plesk for managing some small virtual private servers. Let’s Encrypt provides easy and simple means for a person like me to automatically install SSL certificates; there’s even a Plesk plugin.

My ISP, OVH, has even taken the trouble to support Let’s Encrypt as a sponsor and enable SSL hosting, free of charge, with all of their hosting packages. I think this is a great move.

So, with my reasons for procrastinating gone, it’s about time I get to work! I’ve started with this blog and I hope you’re viewing this post securely!

Merry Christmas 2016!

It has been a while since I last posted. I’m sure you’ll all be glad to know that I’m still alive and bothering people.

In the Brexit spirit, I wanted to tell everyone that Christmas means Christmas! I’m committed to making it work for everyone. I’ll let you know my Christmas plans by late March; they might be coloured.

Seriously though, I’ll be out of my hole again soon. The three or four of you that have missed my posts were very kind to let me know!

Code Club at Bentilee Library

I’m co-running a new Code Club at Bentilee Library with Samuel Freeman. It is the first Code Club to run in a Stoke-on-Trent library. It has run for three weeks and it has been excellent. The kids have been learning to program games using Scratch. The Sentinel stopped by last week to see what was going on and wrote a great article.

Samuel Freeman setting up the Library systems for Code Club
Samuel Freeman setting up Bentilee Library systems for Code Club.

Enable Three Finger Drag in OS X 10.11 El Capitan

The gesture support in Mac OS X has been superb for many years. I recently had cause to set-up a new Mac and was confounded by the lack of three-finger drag support in the Track Pad settings. Three-finger drag on a track pad is my preferred setting.

I eventually found the setting, tucked away in Accessibility under System Preferences. Upon activating Accessibility, scroll to the ‘Interacting’ group from the list on the left. Select ‘Mouse & Trackpad’, click ‘Trackpad Options…’ and check ‘Enable dragging’. Lastly, select ‘three finger drag’ from the list.

Enable Three Finger Drag under Accessibility
Settings/Accessibility houses the Mouse & Trackpad preferences pane.

I can never figure out why these things have to change, but they do.

Meetup – Functional Programming with Clojure

Agile Staffordshire will be hosting an event on Thursday, 29th October at 19:00. Paul Williams will be introducing Clojure.

The event represents a splendid opportunity to get to grips with functional programming, often mistakenly assumed to be a niche, academic language with little practical application. Paul Williams is an adept software developer and always delivers an interesting and informative session.

Further detail regarding the meet-up can be found on the Agile Staffordshire event page. If you are reading this and want to sign up to attend, it can all be achieved from the Meetup event listing. The session is free and the venue is kindly provided by Staffordshire University‘s Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Sciences. I hope to see you there!

Thymeleaf and Thymesheet

There is a practical session on Thymeleaf and Thymesheet with Agile Staffordshire this month, hosted by Ruth Mills. The session will introduce these Java view layer technologies and how they can be utilised alongside Maven and Spring. This hands-on session will provide an opportunity to use these technologies with examples. It promises to be a good evening and I am looking forward to it.

If you are interested in attending, details can be found on the Agile Staffordshire Blog and on Meet-up. I look forward to seeing you there!

Advanced Git with Maven on the Command Line

On Thursday 28th May, Paul Williams is hosting a follow-up to his Git at the Command Line session earlier this year. Paul is going to build on the previous session by digging deeper into branchless development, feature switches, and how to commit and push bite size changes with a practical workshop.

As ever, you can read more details about Agile Staffordshire on their blog and register your intention to attend via the meet up group. It is free of charge and new comers are welcome. This month’s Agile Staffordshire event is a practical session, so bring your laptop! Check the meet up notes for software prerequisites. I am looking forward to it.