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{ Author Archives }

Moving towards a typographic user interface

There’s a lot of noise about the iOS7 UI, unsurprisingly. Some nuts are screaming about betrayal, and kill the fanboys; also, unsurprisingly. For me, some things I like, some I don’t – some of the icons look too stripped back, the font grates on me; but that’s because similar ultra light fonts have already been […]

How To Swear Proper

Or: authentic British usage of swearwords This is really simple; just use “fuck”/“fucking” as punctuation as well as emphasis. Disclaimer: my native dialect is West London, which to my ears has the most unpleasant of the London accents. However, I went to a public school, and most of the time I sound close to RP […]

Learn lisp

I’m a big proponent of the #pragprog adage that you should learn a new programming language every year, but I have sadly lacking at putting it into practice, despite having an early advantage (BASIC, Fortran, Algol 60, APL, Pascal, Forth, COBOL, , IBM assembler, 6502 assembler, etc). Then in the early 90s I had started […] Word List

Here is a little utility to assist solving Letterpress games.  It comes largely (almost entirely) from an article on Stack Overflow.  It uses /usr/share/dict/words for the word list, and requires a initial stage to convert this into an anagram dictionary for efficiency.  Even so, it still takes a minute to run on my recent iMac.

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DODOcase Durables – iPhone 5 Wallet

DODOcase are responsible for the lovely Moleskine-like iPad cases and the texturally delicious BOOKback, and when they produced a new line of cases for iPhone/iPad/MacBook Air, I ordered one for my new iPhone 5 immediately. The case consists of a khaki (they call it “sage”) waxed cotton sleeve lined with orange cotton material (some of […]


Device Sizes

There’s been blog chatter over this since Tim Bray posted his blog entry, and this is something I have had strong opinions about since the Newton, and even earlier (remember Steve Ciarcia’s lunchbox CP/M computer in Byte? It seems highly unlikely that anyone does).

Student Recipe Book

This page is a set of links to my “student” recipe book. These are Pages documents shared on, and can be viewed, downloaded in various formats and printed. The basic idea is to create a collection of student friendly recipes that are nutritious, cheap to make and simple to prepare.


How To Buy Things

Which applies to everything, although this is an approach that I discovered (as did many other people) when dealing with very expensive software. The Wrong Way This is how most people buy things. Find a list of “features” (features are attributes of a product, and could be anything; true, false, or utterly fictional); then find […]

Hiring – how to ignore the guidelines and get it right

I’ve been a hiring manager for twenty years (low ’80s to low ’00s), but I haven’t done any hiring in the last (almost) decade, and I’m disappointed how things have changed in the software industry over that period. I was hiring for technical support and programmer positions, ranging from IBM assembler and mainframe MVS experience […]

SOE Status: iPhone app for monitoring SOE game servers

SOE Status is in the App Store now ( Link is to the UK store, US store link is: This takes the data from the new SOE status page at and displays it on your phone; you can select data for a single game and refresh that display if you wish. It runs […]