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Ranguard (1858)

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Journal of Ranguard (1858)

Thursday November 12, 2009
05:33 PM - redesign

Well, it's taken me 6 weeks of evenings and the odd weekend, but I'm proud to say the new site has just gone live.

This is a complete redesign and content review. Hopefully it's cleaner and easier for people to actually get the information they are after.

Whilst I was at it I also implemented this skin for and (which needs a lot more loving now you can actually see what's there... not much).

My work ( have donated some of my time, and also some of the designers on my team's time, without which it would have taken even longer.

So enjoy!

Sunday November 30, 2008
12:25 PM

LPW & DBIC talk

Slides from my London Perl Workshop talk are available at:

I created an event on slideshare; 'LPW2008' so if you are also uploading slides please add to that.

Saturday January 26, 2008
04:46 AM

PDF Encryption and printing

I happened to note that if you pass a PDF through imagemagick's 'convert', convert it strips out the PDF Encrypted flag.

I needed to merge several PDF files into a single document, and using PDF::API2 this is really easy. This was until I found that someone had accidentally set the PDF Encrypted on some of the files when they were generated.

pdfinfo is the natty little tool which told me they were encrypted. Then convert sorted the problem out for me.

PDF can be very picky and quite a few generators actually get it wrong, I've seen one file which when printed through windows corrupted some of the very small text, but when sent via CUPs actually crashed the printer (so windoz was somehow correcting, reminded me of bad HTML and browsers 'correcting').

It was eventually tracked down to the pdf2ps part, which did give warnings, once they were fixed (upgrading Cario and switching to pnm images) printing from either windoz or CUPs was fine.

Having said that I no longer fear having to generate something as a PDF and actually would go so far as to enjoy using them.

Thursday July 05, 2007
10:43 AM

YAPC EU - accomodation

Arrrggg - this is one of those times I wish I'd just got on and done that task when it arose. In this case calling the hotel in Vienna to give them my credit card number to confirm a reservation - it's been on my todo list for about 3 weeks.

Long and short is both YAPC hotels are now full, so I've ended up being in much further away; Falkensteiner Hotel am Schottenfeld to be exact - doesn't seem too far, but it's a pain!
Sunday June 17, 2007
02:44 PM

HackDay is over...

It's been a wild weekend, lightening and rain playing a central roll which wasn't to be expected. I enjoyed the London Hackday, the organisers worked really hard. Note for future conferences - make a wired network where possible, never rely on wireless - it might not be as 'cool', but it'll be more reliable, then build wireless on top of that. I had several projects which came to mind, but when I got started I findout the API's I needed to be lacking. The Yahoo guys did help out by giving me access to Yahoo Local for the UK, which is in Alpha right now. Unfortunately it showed when we couldn't get the Lat/Long search working. Out of the 70+ hacks which were done there were about a dozen outstanding ones. But I'm too knackered to report more, I'm sure others will. All in all much fun and the bean bags are fab (which we got to take home).
Monday June 11, 2007
03:44 PM

YAPC::Europe flights

London Heathrow to Vienna Vienna International, Thursday 23 August 2007 - 15:30 BD2812

Vienna Vienna International to London Heathrow, Friday 31 August 2007 - 17:15 BD2805
Friday January 19, 2007
02:42 PM

sshfs on OSX

A few weeks ago Acme mentioned that sshfs rocked. Sshfs as you might guess lets you mount anything you can access through ssh as if it was a network file system.

I got all excited about this and the next weekend I tried to install it on OSX, but to my dismay I found that fuse (something sshfs relies on) was Linux specific and not available for OSX :(

I complained to Acme; who then pointed me to a which had been released that day - talk about good timing.

Now this was fantastic I managed to get it installed - and it worked.

The only problem was how painful it is to build, so I've put together a bundle of everything you will need (except Xcode which you can get from Apple), and two shell scripts to do the install for you.

So download and enjoy (usual blurb about taking not responsibility for anything what so ever goes here)

Tuesday July 04, 2006
08:20 AM

Pod-casting property.

So lots of property sites have RSS - I bet they don't have Podcasts

Thanks to Leon and some Text to Speach and a bit of Perl we now have mp3 audio of our property descriptions.

Thursday June 15, 2006
04:29 AM

Perl is crap

My wife works for a big medical company as project manager; so she deals with their inhouse developers a lot and my work often comes up in conversation. She is always told "Perl is crap", "It's only for hackers", "Perl is hard to read", "Perl is used so you have job security" (as no one else can userstand it).

Now I imagin most of these developers have never seen much/any decent Perl / heard of CPAN or realise that you can do automatic tests so easily.

So where do I tell my wife to point them to so they can see the light? - I'm not trying to convert them (though that would be nice), but I also want to be able to arm my wife (figuratively) with a response.

I've said the first thing she should mention is that the World Health Organisatoin used Perl for it's CRM system; Amazon, BBC and Yahoo all use lots of Perl, and there are success stories out there.

What I'm after is a decent reprisal to all of their points - the main answer is you can shoot your self in the foot with any language if you do not write it well/document/test. Java and XML are NOT the solutions to every problem - I can do rappid clean development with Perl, but they're problably not going to take my word for it.

Sunday May 07, 2006
09:58 AM

The ultimate Perl module list

In response to Dave's post about there being too many modules on CPAN that do the same thing, but no clear reason why a newbie to Perl would use one over the other; and my personal annoyance at some of the pointless perl modules (where Authors haven't looked at existing modules). I am proud to announce - The ultimate Perl module list.

If you are looking for a module, you should look at this site first, only then should you check CPAN.

I did consider trying to use Kwality ratings etc, but at the end of the day I think it's about the modules that you use in day to day life that matters.

So, enjoy - I'll update it from time to time, I may even add tags and other external URLs, but the main point it there is now a single place where I can point people who are starting out in Perl and let them know the basic modules they should be aware of.