Don’t Feed the Beast – the Great Tech Recruiter Infestation

“Don’t move to that London” warned my northern grandfather once.  “It’s full of spivs”. The Oxford Dictionary (somewhat chauvinistically) defines a spiv as: A man, typically a flashy dresser, who makes a living by disreputable dealings “But I work in IT” I told him.  “engineers aren’t like that”. He gets the last laugh.  Fifteen years […]

Buried Treasure From Ancient 35mm Films

While clearing out a drawer in my teenage bedroom I came across a surprise: a box full of exposed-but-undeveloped 35mm films.  Half B&W, half colour print.  Teenage Alex took a lot of pictures but couldn’t afford to have them printed: long assumed lost these films had languished in the back of a drawer for twenty […]


Fun with a Lomo Konstruktor

For Christmas last year I was given a Lomo Konstruktor.  It’s a plastic airfix-style kit with all the parts you need to build a simple SLR camera. I’m pleased with the results.  I won’t get any prizes for technical excellence (plastic lens yuk) but it’s serviceable and teaches you the basics of photography.  You’ll look […]

Facebook’s Real-Name Purge: Their Website, Their Rules

A lot of people are falling foul of Facebook’s mass-purge of accounts using pseudonyms.  I’m seeing many posts in the vein of “bastards, how could they be so unreasonable?”.  Usually with good justifications for anonymity.  I agree: your identity should be your own to control. But Facebook is a company and it has to make […]

Testing the Wifi on an East Coast Train (tl;dr: useless)

Today I found myself on an East Coast train from Edinburgh to London.  I upgraded to first class for £25 thinking, like most probably do, “comes with wifi, worth it if I can get on with some work”.  When I tried a couple of years back the wifi was free-and-unusable – so if it’s good […]

It’s 2013 and My [Note|Net|Ultra]book is Still Too Big

For years I’ve harboured a vision of a perfect mobile computing device.  It’s not a smartphone and it’s not a tablet, and while they’re heading the right way it’s not any of the present ultrabooks.  I don’t think it even has a name yet so I’m going to coin myself a whole new category. Ultrabook, […]