Articles tagged 'blogging'

It's about time Nov 22

Well well well. Over four years since my last post here! Time flies when you're having fun.

Looking back over the blog, I've done the whole "wow, it's been ages since I last posted, but I'm going to blog a lot more now!" post a fair few times. So what's one more?

As a bit of fun, here are some things that have happened since I last blogged here:

  • We had a third child!
  • Our eldest two children started school
  • I became a governor at the kids school, and have since gone on to become Chair of Governors
  • We all (all five of us!) started learning karate with a fantastic local club, grading a number of times, and competing successfully at a variety of competitions - in the case of my eldest two kids, recently competing at an overseas, international level World Championships event and bringing home bronze medals
  • I finally found a fitness routine that I enjoy and have been able to stick to, with the advice and guidance of a good friend, managing to lose 3.5 stone, and dropping to under 13% body fat in a little over a year
  • I ran a 10K race, clocking in at around 56 minutes
  • I got my first (and for the time being, only) tattoo
  • We returned to Vegas, where we got married ten years ago this year, for a few days break away
  • Worked on and delivered over 12 different web and mobile apps, some from scratch, and some where I was brought onboard to extend and improve them. Some were long term engagements, and others were small 6-8 week projects to deliver MVP (minimum viable product) prototypes
  • I've learnt React/React Native, the Go programming language, and played around with Rust too
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Delicious irony, and MongoDB Dec 18

So I guess it would stand to reason that a day after blogging about how awesome my new blog routine is, and how it helps me to post every day now, I get busy enough not to find time to really polish the draft I have going at the minute. Not wanting to lose my streak (just), I figured I’d at least try to post something useful today, even if it’s just a link to someone else.

This excellent article about MongoDB is well worth a read. I’d already used Mongo and MongoMapper a little bit on a pet project just to try it out - it powers a basic URL redirector, and runs on Heroku and the (so far excellent) MongoHQ. However after reading John’s article, I’m itching to build out something more substantial using Mongo, to take advantage of some of the really cool things that can be done using it, namely array/hash keys, and GridFS file storage.

Check out the article, then take a look at MongoDB if you haven’t already!

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Blogging, and sticking to it Dec 17

As some of you may have noticed - I’ve been blogging a lot more in the last few days. This is me attempting to start a New Years resolution early, and that’s to try and publish a new post everyday.

However, I always found writing a new post from scratch, checking it twice, proof reading it and publishing it all in one day very daunting. Two different things have helped me with this.

The first, is that while reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Crush It!, I took the tip he outlined and wrote down 50 blog post topics that I could think of straight off the bat to talk about. At first I thought 50 was a lot, but when I got going I realised there was a huge number of interesting things I could write about. In the end I wrote more than 50 topics down, and since then have been adding almost as many to the list as I have been crossing off. This means I always have a list of cool things to write about and put down in a post.

The second thing was that I’ve altered my workflow slightly. I used to sit down and try to write a post from start to finish and publish it. This too meant that it always seemed like a big task to try and write something up. However now, I try to simply write “half a post”, or rather, get my initial idea down in rough draft format, and then tidy it up, proof read it, and publish it the next day. Now this means that each day, I finish off one post by simply checking it over, making a few tweaks, and publishing it, and then put another idea down in draft format ready for the next day (if I have time, I might put a couple of drafts down).

Thanks to these two steps, it never seems like too much effort to get a post out each and every day. That, combined with how easy to use Tumblr is, means that I’m now back to writing content regularly, enjoying it, and hopefully some of you are finding it interesting too!

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Advanced Tumblr Customization Dec 13

As I hinted in my last post, I wanted to outline a few tips and tricks I used to customize this site pretty heavily when getting it up and running on Tumblr.

The documentation for building custom themes is pretty comprehensive, and covers the majority of things you’d want to do when building a customized site. I won’t rehash it here, needless to say it’s a relatively straightforward templating syntax that doesn’t take too long to get your head around.

One of the things that the current theme syntax does omit is to be able to identify when you are on a private post, or specifically, when you aren’t. Often you’ll want to drop in Disqus or another such script-based commenting system on all posts - except private posts, if like me you are using them as about or contact pages, you don’t really want to invite user comments for them!

The way I tackled this was to have the comments script embedded on all post pages, but to then hide it for specific pages. The easiest way to then choose to hide it on private pages, was to use the post IDs. If you wrap your comment code in a div similar to the below:

<div id="comments_{PostID}" class="comments">

You’ll then end up with something like this on the actual post:

<div id="comments_252690956" class="comments">

This then means that if you know the post IDs for the private posts (or any posts that you don’t want this to show on), then you can use CSS like the following to hide the comment form:

#comments_252690956 { display: none; }

To find the post ID for a private post, you can look at the URL. It will look something like this (this is the URL for my portfolio page):

http://ejdraper.com/private/252690956/tumblr_kthwgddWRp1qap2vc

In this case, the post ID is 252690956.

This isn’t the most ideal solution, as the comments form is still on the page but just not shown, however given the lack of a way to separate private posts from public posts within the Tumblr template syntax, for now this will have to do.

Using the same technique, I accomplished the exact same results with the pagination which I wanted on each public post, but not on private posts:

{block:PreviousPost}
  <a class="pagination pagination_{PostID}" href="{PreviousPost}">
    &#171; Previous post
  </a>
{/block:PreviousPost}

.pagination_252690956 { display: none; }

I used a class here to identify the pagination div, as I actually have two, one for previous post, and one for next post, and so used the same class for both.

Another little trick I had to employ, was to do with my banner image that appears only on the homepage. The syntax for identifying the index page refers to any type of index page, which also runs to both search result pages, and tag result pages. So this means that placing my header image solely within a {block:IndexPage} means it’d also show on both search and tag pages too, which I didn’t want. Seeing as how there is syntax for identifying a search page ({block:SearchPage}) and a tag page ({block:TagPage}), we can use these to specify a class that will cause the banner to be hidden in those circumstances, leaving it showing on the other remaining type of index page, the homepage. The code looks a little something like this:

{block:IndexPage}
  <div id="index"
    {block:SearchPage}class="hidden"{/block:SearchPage}
    {block:TagPage}class="hidden"{/block:TagPage}>
    <a href="/">
      <h1 id="logo">Elliott J Draper, Freelance Developer</h1>
    </a>
    <div id="headings">
      <div id="web">Web and mobile development</div>
      <div id="rails">Ruby on Rails specialist</div>
      <div id="deliver">I always deliver</div>
      <div id="bank">And I won't break the bank</div>
    </div>
    <div class="clear"></div>
  </div>
{/block:IndexPage}

And the CSS is real straightforward:

.hidden { display: none; }

Besides those couple of little tricks to get around some minor limitations in the theme templates, other customization is made relatively simple by the rest of the fairly powerful theme syntax. The only other thing to mention is custom text and images. To enable you to quickly edit certain bits of the theme, such as links or header text, or to upload images, you can use a special bit of syntax. For text:

{text:MyCustomText}

and for images (this puts the URL path to the image into the HTML):

{image:MyCustomImage}

If you then declare these in the head of your document as follows:

<meta name="text:MyCustomText" content="">
<meta name="image:MyCustomImage" content="">

then you’ll see these options now in the “Appearance” tab of the Customize Tumblr view. For images, there will be an upload option to specify the image, and for text you can simply enter the value you want to use. In this way, you can store headings and external links as text, so that you can easily change them, and you can store all images you need for your custom design as custom images which you upload.

Hopefully some of these tips and tweaks will be useful to others customizing sites on Tumblr - I find that on the whole the theming on Tumblr is very straightforward, and a lot of fun. With a bit of thought and planning, it’s simple to create a decent customized site and get it up and running on Tumblr.

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Call To Arms Jun 25

So a quick Feather update: we’re now running against the latest stable versions of Merb (0.9.3) and DataMapper (0.9.1), which should make getting Feather up and running even easier. We’re also currently starting work on running against edge Merb, to try and implement merb-slices, so that Feather can be run as a slice within other apps, and so that Feather plugins themselves are slices in their own right. If you’d like to contribute to that effort, there is a “slices” branch for both core, and plugins. Just fork, hack away, and send me a pull request with your changes!

In other news, the official Merb blog is now running the best Merb blog in the world – that’s right, Feather! It’s great to see the blog running Feather, and we hope we can continue to improve it to make it even more useful for the Merb guys to be able to get out important Merb information and articles!

Also, I’ve been through the tickets on the Feather Lighthouse, and setup two milestones – 0.5, and 1.0. The idea is that 0.5 will aim for stability, and getting the work on slices up and running. Milestone 1.0 will be for trying to improve the distribution, setup and configuration of Feather to make it more user friendly.

There are currently a ton of feature requests and small bug fixes outstanding, that I’ve assigned to me on the LH tracker. I’m going to start to try to get through them, but if anyone out there fancies taking any of them on (a lot of them are great little ways to get into Feather development!), then just let me know, and I can re-assign the ticket to you. There’s no deadline on the 0.5 milestone just yet, but the more contributions we can get to knock off some of the outstanding items, the quicker we’ll hit the milestone! Consider this a call to arms :-)

Lastly, big shout out to some of the contributions coming in – after a mammoth merge session the other night, I rolled in great contributions from aflatter, sudothinker, jf, piclez and fujin. Apologies if I missed anyone else – ping me if I did, and I’ll give you the appropriate kudos.

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Feather + DataMapper 0.9 Jun 11

Last night I finished merging some of the work Alexander Flatter did on converting Feather core code for use with DataMapper 0.9, along with the work I did that was required on the plugins code to be compatible with DM 0.9, and some other fixes that popped up during initial testing. It’s a lot of changes, and so there are bound to be certain bits that aren’t quite right. Also, after some testing today, it appears that the various combinations of Merb and DataMapper that are getting used are causing some strange errors for some people. We’ve taken the decision to try and get Feather running cleanly on the latest versions of Merb and DM, so that if people are experiencing problems, the nice simple solution should be installing the latest versions of both dependencies.

We’ve committed a workaround within Feather for the merb-cache issue that was holding us back from running on the latest Merb (0.9.3), and I’ve updated the Getting Started guide over on GitHub to provide more details on how to setup the core dependencies (Merb and DataMapper) to ensure you are using the latest versions (as well as detailing another potential conflict with the latest version of ParseTree).

As is to be expected with a project as young as Feather, it’s in a fair state of flux at the minute, but please bear with us as we try to improve and upgrade the application to use the latest versions of its core dependencies; we hope that by doing this it will make it easier to setup and install Feather in the long run, and it’ll also eventually make Feather more stable if we are using the latest stable versions of both Merb and DM.

Any questions, comments, issues or bugs can be raised with us in IRC (irc.freenode.net, #feather), or on our new Feather mailing list (http://groups.google.com/group/feather-dev). At the minute, we’d like as many people as possible to try to use Feather against Merb 0.9.3 and DM 0.9, so we can resolve any outstanding issues promptly, so if you encounter any problems, please let us know!

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Feather by mail Jun 7

As an alternative to IRC, we’ve now got a mailing list setup for Feather, where you can discuss ideas, feature requests and issues. Also, we’ll use it for announcements surrounding Feather releases. The mailing list is on Google Groups here, and you can browse the messages and sign up there. The more the merrier, so sign up, and drop the list a mail if you have something to say about Feather!

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Feathered May 9

So it’s been two weeks since we open-sourced Feather. The feedback so far has been great, really pleasing, we’ve had some great coverage, and some great contributions. I figured I’d do an update on where we’re at, and highlight some of the cool things from the last two weeks.

So first of all, the coverage the project has gotten is great. We made it on to the brilliant “This Week In Ruby” on Antonio Cangiano’s blog, for April 28th. We also made it on to the Rails Envy podcast, another great source of the latest Ruby and Rails information, on April 30th. On top of that, after submitting the announcement post link to RubyFlow, it then made it on to Ruby Inside, in a round-up post of the best of RubyFlow for the last couple of weeks. RubyFlow seems to be a great site for the latest and greatest news in the world of Ruby, so it was brilliant to be picked in a round-up post from two weeks worth of links!

We also received numerous links from other bloggers, and there seems to be quite a buzz about the project so far, which is great!

As for the sourcecode itself, thanks to GitHub we are able to keep a great handle on the interest level, and we’ve seen that skyrocket! At the minute, we now have 95 watchers on the main codebase, and 13 people have forked the code! For the plugins codebase, we have 6 forks, with 40 watchers! And each day we have more and more people watch or fork the code.

We’ve also made some great progress with features and bug fixes. In the last couple of weeks since opening up the codebase, we’ve had:

  • XHTML/styling fixes from Michael Bleigh
  • custom permalink formats from Jake Good
  • Mike added pagination for the admin article index, and also for the admin comment index
  • Atom feed support for articles/comments from Markus Prinz
  • a Mephisto importer plugin from Jake Good
  • a Typo importer plugin from Marc Seeger
  • a small markup fix from Bradly Feeley
  • Mike also nailed a few other fixes

I think that’s most of the major contributions, apologies if I’ve missed anyone (let me know in the comments and I’ll update the list!). Considering that it’s only been open source for two weeks though, I think that’s great! We also have some other contributions in the pipeline, and so things seem to be progressing nicely. A list of contributors is also available on the GitHub wiki (thanks to Mike) here. If you’d like to see your name there, you know what to do!

To try and organize fixes, issues and feature requests, we’ve setup a Lighthouse instance for Feather. It’s available at http://feather.lighthouseapp.com. You’ll be able to add bugs or feature requests, and if you’d like to contribute by tackling any of the issues or feature requests there, let us know and we’ll give you access so that you can be assigned them so everyone knows your working on them. We’ve also setup an IRC channel to hang out and discuss Feather on irc.freenode.net (#feather). Me and Mike are in there quite a lot, so come on in to talk about Feather, whether it’s talking about how to set it up, how to extend it, or specific issues you might be having. The more the merrier!

Something else to mention is those that have switched their blogs to Feather. Obviously me and Mike are running Feather, and Jake finally got his blog over to Feather once he finished his Mephisto importer. And more recently, in the last few days Marc got his blog up and running with Feather too. They all look great, and if anyone else is using Feather, it’d be great to hear about it, so let me know!

Besides logging a few bugs, and hanging out in IRC to help people with some setup issues, I was also able to knock together a basic getting started guide this week. It’s available on the GitHub wiki for the project, here. One of our aims is to make setup easier over the next few weeks, but in the meantime at least there is a set of instructions to hopefully make it easier for people to get up and running.

Also over the next few weeks, we’ll be aiming to get an official Feather site up and running, which will include news, updates, an official plugin repository so that we can have one-click installs for plugins, and some more guides to using Feather, and developing plugins for it.

With more plugins on the way, a few bugs to fix, and some new features to put together, I’m sure the next two weeks and beyond will be just as productive for Feather. If you’re interested in getting involved, drop by #feather and introduce yourself, you’ll be more than welcome!

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Lights Out Apr 28

The response to us open-sourcing Feather has been great so far, with some contributions, some questions, some comments, all good stuff. And now, thanks to the guys over at ActiveReload, we’ve got a public facing instance of Lighthouse to be able to track bugs, issues and feature requests, in both the core code, and the plugins! So if you discover an issue, or want to request a feature, then log it on there at http://feather.lighthouseapp.com and we’ll get to it! If you’d like to tackle the fixing of a bug, or the implementation of a feature, get in contact and we’ll set it up so that we can assign that particular request to you so everyone knows you’re on it!

This should make managing and co-ordinating development a lot easier! Thanks again to the guys at ActiveReload for a great product, and for hooking us up with a free account for our open source project! And thanks to everyone so far who has contributed with code, comments and queries, keep ‘em coming!

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Announcing: Feather Apr 26

So after a few weeks of teaser posts, we’ve finally opened up the code on the software that powers this very blog, Feather. It’s been a collaborative effort so far between me and my boy Mike, but now it’s time to open source it, and hopefully people besides us will not only find a use for it, but will also find new ways to extend and improve it.

So what’s in the current codebase? As alluded to before, the core itself is lightweight. Basic article posting, and user management is all you’re really getting. The beauty is in the wide variety of plugins that are (and will be) available to extend the software further. Within a separate plugins repository, there are currently twelve plugins, that extend Feather to provide comments for articles, feeds, formatters for article content (Textile and Markdown), basic RSS importing for articles and comments, integration with ping services, the ability to setup hard-coded redirects on your site, sidebar and snippet content, overridden css styles, tagging, Twitter integration (to display your tweets in line with blog posts), and file uploads. The code in core and for these plugins probably isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough to power a few blogs already - and improvement is where you come in.

If you’ve got an idea for a new plugin, improvements to existing functionality, or you’ve found a bug, then by all means fork the project on GitHub, implement your code, and send us a pull request so we can merge the changes into the main trunk. Alternatively, send us your patch via e-mail, and we’ll look to include it within the application. If you submit two patches to either feather, or feather-plugins, then you’ll be given commit access to the repository in question, and will effectively become part of the core team. So what needs doing right away?

The biggest deficiency at the minute are specs - there are some specs in the core code, but it doesn’t cover a lot of the application, and ideally we’d be aiming for 100% coverage of the core controllers and models. We then need to devise a decent way of similarly shipping specs with plugins. When we start updating and improving plugins, we’ll need a way of handling data migrations smoothly and efficiently. On top of this, there are still outstanding useful plugins that need to be written, such as content search, and trackbacks, as well as integration with services other than Twitter. Lastly, there are bound to be bugs, so roll up your sleeves and fix them, it’ll be much appreciated!

We’ll be rolling out a Feather website soon, along with an official plugin directory to make installing plugins easier - for now, there’s a basic getting started page on the wiki over at GitHub, and there will be more information over the coming days on both mine and Mike’s blog. Any questions in the meantime, then let me know.

Other than that, what are you waiting for? Get your Feather on!

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Thoughts on the Apple announcements Jan 17

Here are just a few thoughts on all the gear that Apple announced on Tuesday - I meant to jot this down yesterday but didn’t get chance.

I think overall, the keynote disappointed me and interested me in equal measures. First up, the Apple Time Capsule was announced. This is quite cool - it’s basically their 802.11n AirPort router re-worked to include a hard-drive. As I currently run an all-in-one ADSL modem/router, it’d be a bit of a pain, as there is no built in DSL modem in this bit of kit, so I’d need to buy one separately and hook it up. However it is a clever idea, as wireless backup is going to be infinitely more useful than wired backup for the legion of Apple MacBook users (myself included). I’ve been on the lookout for a while for a decent NAS, preferably wireless, although above and beyond Time Machine backups, I’m not certain you can use any other space on the Time Capsule drive for run-of-the-mill storage. I’d also be looking for some decent media capabilities from any NAS I pickup (DLNA compliant, iTunes streaming etc). So while the Time Capsule idea is interesting, it has to be said that it’s feature set seems somewhat limited - it seems to be firmly targeted at doing just backups, whereas I think there is definitely a market for a similar product that adds some clever media server and NAS functionality.

Next up, was the iPhone and iPod Touch updates. As an iPhone user, this seemed quite cool - I was however hoping for a beta of the SDK, or some early 3rd party native apps to be announced too. The iPhone update (1.1.3) adds some nice features, although it looks like the cell triangulation doesn’t work over here in the UK (I’m guessing it’s USA first, rest of the world later). We do have the ‘my location’ button however. Perhaps it works in certain areas of the country, or they are thinking it’ll come online fairly soon. The WebClips are a great idea, and being able to organise the home screen really reminds you that the iPhone is so much more than a phone - it’s a brilliant little machine, and even without the SDK, some great apps can now be written to look native to the iPhone, and with a WebClip shortcut, you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference (unless the phone is offline, of course). The iPod Touch update seemed an obvious one - the $20 charge wasn’t quite so obvious. I think that’s a tough sell really, and it’s hard to see exactly why Apple have done it (other than perhaps to give iPod Touch users a reason to save the $20, and save for an iPhone instead maybe). It’s certainly a silly price to put on an update that’ll let you check your mail - but only when you’re in a WiFi hotspot. I’m sure the update will be useful for some however.

Thirdly, was the movie rentals and Apple TV 'take two’. On the movie rental front, this was largely useless being in the UK and all - apart from the obligatory sentence 'US for now, international later in the year’. Outside of all the hype, it’s important to remember that us Europeans that happen to have Xbox 360’s have been through all this before, with the Video Marketplace first coming to the US around 18 months ago, before finally coming online for us shortly before Christmas. I think it’ll really come down to the content that each service offers when iTunes movie rentals finally launches over here, but seeing as I’m yet to use the Xbox 360 video marketplace, it isn’t a particularly big deal for me regardless of when they get their act together. I like the idea of downloading movies, but I’d far rather download to keep, than rent (something that seems to only be available again, in the US, through iTunes). And the movie studios are going to have to realise that people aren’t going to pay the same they do for a physical DVD, to download the movie, especially when it’s released AFTER the DVD. Downloading movies over the net is effectively cutting out physical media and distribution costs, and a retail middleman - it’s high time that this was reflected in the prices given to consumers.

The Apple TV 'take two’ does seem like a good idea, and I like Apple’s rather refreshing 'we made a mess of it first time out’ stance. I also like that it’s simply a software update, and that there’s a price reduction (although more on price later). However I still think that there’s a couple of things that could help it really take off. They should provide 'Apple TV’ as a software-only package to install and run on other Mac’s - many people custom build media solutions using beefier Mac Mini’s, so that they can include more storage, a quicker machine (for things like HD decoding), and TV tuners. On top of a 'software+hardware’ bundle, they could effectively offer 'Apple TV’ as a piece of software on DVD (or available via digital distribution?) for order on the Apple store as usual. This might increase the take-up on the software itself, and would get more people looking at using iTunes movie purchase and rentals, as well as buying iTunes music straight from their TV. Seeing as how they’ve just radically overhauled the product without touching the hardware, I think it’s obvious that the product is the software itself, and decoupling it from the hardware could push the idea over the edge.

Lastly in the keynote, and most disappointingly - the MacBook Air. Don’t get me wrong - it looks incredible, and from a design standpoint is great. I also think the specs are about right, and think that the multi-touch trackpad is a great idea. However with all of the rumours in the build-up, there was definitely a sense that something really radical could be announced - not just a marvel of design, but something that technologically pushes the boundaries. I think that being able to cram a computer that powerful into something so light and thin is brilliant, but with the 'Air’ name, and the slogans surrounding 'cables not included’, I sensed that Apple was about to do something special. Something like induction charging, thereby waving goodbye to the power cable. Now of course this kind of technology is still very early stage, but if anyone was going to take it and run with it to drive innovation and consumer adoption, it would be Apple. Imagine not having to run a power cable to your laptop! The other potentially gamechanging rumour that was floating around was having a wireless broadband solution built-in to the machine, either EDGE (like the iPhone), or even 3G, or perhaps even a way to share the iPhone’s EDGE connection over Bluetooth. This would have been groundbreaking, and it would have meant that the new laptop they were announcing, like the iPhone, was usable anywhere. With the iPhone connection sharing option, it could have driven iPhone adoption too. That doesn’t mean that at some point I won’t look at getting a MacBook Air - I think it looks like a decent piece of kit. But I just think with the hype that they knew the rumour mill would crank out prior to MacWorld, having something with one or both of these incredible technologies in might have pushed the keynote over the edge - instead, with the lack of a 'One More Thing’, and the economy as fragile as it is, Apple stock took a tumble. It’s also worth mentioning that the Air does have a few hurdles - notably, it’d be interesting to see how hot it runs (remember the original MacBook’s and MBP’s?), and also with the lack of an optical drive (not including the optional, clunky external superdrive), the 'remote disk sharing’ feature touted needs to work really well.

That was it for the keynote, although there is one other bit I want to touch on - pricing. I mentioned while talking about the Apple TV price reduction that I’d come back on to pricing, and the reason is because once again it seems that us in the UK are getting a raw deal. Now it’s possible that it’s the same elsewhere internationally, but speaking just for myself when browsing these new goodies on the Apple store, the price difference between here and the US is staggering. For example, the base MacBook Air over in the States can be pre-ordered for $1799. At the current exchange rate (1.891), this would put it at £951.35. However, on the Apple UK store, pre-ordering the MacBook Air costs a whopping £1199! That’s a difference of £167.65, on the base model alone (and an increase of around 26%). And to doubly illustrate my point, how about the cheapest Apple TV, shortly to be updated with 'take two’? In the US, the 40 GB Apple TV is available for $229, which is the reduced price. This equates to £121.10. In the UK, we will pay £199 for the same thing. That’s an increase of 64%, for the same item! This has been going on for years with Apple gear, and they usually give some excuse about VAT and the added cost of doing business in Europe. But the notion that that has to result in a 25% to 65% increase in various prices is crazy. The bottom line is that as a fan of Apple products, I definitely think that they could do better to bring prices down over here so that comparing the UK and US stores wasn’t quite so frustrating :-)

So over-all then, the SteveNote at MacWorld this year had some good points (innovative Time Capsule, cool looking MacBook Air, iPhone update), and some bad points (lack of innovation on new MacBook bar the design, movie rentals being US only for the time being, new gear being completely over-priced over here). Still, the circus that is Steve Jobs giving a keynote (this year completely bringing Twitter down) is always fun and worth following. Looking forward to the announcement of the iPhone SDK next!

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Updates Dec 21

I’ve decided to stick with the static html for this blog, as it has made the site nice and quick, and let’s face it, the content doesn’t change all that often :-p Seriously however, I will be attempting to post a little more often that I have recently, and I’ve now finished a simple command line publishing tool to enable me to blog and push out changes to the site. I’ve made a few changes already, and re-implemented comments using the Disqus comment system (http://www.disqus.com/), so we’ll see how that goes. I’ll be using Twitter for more regular, shorter updates (http://twitter.com/edraper), and am hoping to stick more technical articles up here over the coming months, time allowing.

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