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.

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!

South Staffordshire Green Party

I wanted to help a friend, Andy Wootton, bring some attention to the Green Party candidate, Claire McInvenna, in South Staffordshire. Take a look at his blog. My local Green Party branch is North Staffordshire.

I’m not stating a political preference, but I do like to help make people aware of discussions. The UK is not a two-party democracy. Use the comments to post Staffordshire party and indepdent web sites. The link spread might help.

Learn vi with Agile Staffordshire

Learning how to use a tool is one of the best value-for-time activities for a software developer. Vi isn’t a new tool; on the contrary it has a long and distinguished history as an editor. There’s a real treat planned this evening with Agile Staffordshire and I encourage you to stop by and join in. Details are available on the Agile Staffordshire Blog.

Jason Underhill and Paul Williams have organised a superb showcase of vi being used in a professional context as a tool for software development. These two know their craft and will definitely have some useful and interesting articles to show you.

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.

Agile Staffordshire May 2014

A reminder that Agile Staffordshire is meeting up tomorrow at Staffordshire University for the Lean Code Challenge. As usual, details are available on the Agile Staffordshire Blog and you can register your attendance on Meetup.com.

I will be there and I hope to see you there too! New members are always welcome, it is a good opportunity to network with industry and academia.