Articles tagged 'personal'

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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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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Welcome To The El Parade Sep 24

So you didn’t really think I’d be able to go the entire of September without posting right? I’ve been hella busy since returning to the UK after my vacation to Atlanta in the US of A. I’ve meant to post numerous times but this is the first time where I’ve had chance to grab some words together and form a post.

Getting back into the swing of things has been pretty hard - after spending seventeen non-stop days with my soulmate, it’s pretty tricky to get used to the work routine again, and I’m not sure I’m even there yet. All day every day at work I miss my girl, but work is a part of life (actually, it’s the part that pays the bills). No date yet set for the wedding, as we are still planning and deliberating at the minute…

Plenty more to come as a shitload has happened since I last posted, keep the dial tuned here folks.

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Mac Daddy Sep 24

So I’ve recently got a MacBook Pro, and it’s fucking awesome. For a start, it’s quick, and secondly, I’m finally, after numerous attempts in the past, enjoying the Mac OS X experience. I’m not sure what it is this time around, but I think working on a Mac just feels right in laptop form. I’m running Parallels for all my Windows needs (damn you, VS2005 and C#), and while I’m tempted to also give Boot Camp a go for the gaming aspects (have you seen Company of Heroes? and apparently HL2 runs real nice on the MBP too!), for now I’m sticking with the virtualisation solution.

But I’m also learning TextMate, and man oh man is that a sweet program to use. I’m a little overwhelmed by all the add-ins (sorry, bundles) and shortcuts there are, but at least it’s prettier than emacs :-)

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Happiest Man Alive Aug 29

I’m currently on vacation in Atlanta, in the US of A. Yesterday was mine and my girlfriend’s one year anniversary together, and it’s been an amazing amazing year. We’ve accomplished so much together, and I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her - so last night over our anniversary dinner I asked her to marry me, and she made me the happiest man alive by saying yes! I’m so so pleased, and so is she, and it’s made our first holiday together even more special!

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21 Today Aug 23

So, another year, another birthday. As I was getting older, the day itself was feeling less and less special, just a fact of life I guess. But I was wrong! Today so far has been amazing, and I’ve only been up a few hours!

My amazing girlfriend is making the day so special, we both have the day off work, so this morning I got my presents, now I’m just relaxing. In a little while we are heading over to my parents to have some lunch, and then we are all going into London to have a nice meal, and watch the mighty Fulham take on Bolton at Craven Cottage.

Between this post made on my birthday last year, and today, so much has happened, so much has changed in my life, all for the better. I now am living with the woman of my dreams, own my own home, and am enjoying every single day. With all that I’ve done, I have to keep reminding myself I’m only 21 - but I feel like I’ve grown up more in the last year than I did in the previous 20.

I’m off to enjoy the rest of my day, peace out.


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Dirty Bird Aug 14

Good start to the season for the Falcon’s, start as we mean to go on. I’ll be there in a few weeks time, cheering them on as they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Georgia Dome.


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I'm back Aug 13

So the regular visitors to blogs.eldiablo.co.uk (if there are any) will have already noticed the redirects in place to ensure all requests to the blog end up at its new home: www.crazycool.co.uk. This will be the new home for my personal blog, so everything from code, to rants, to observations on life and politics. I quite like the new design I stuck together for the blog, and I’m going to be building on it to eventually include widgets for easy access to archives, searching, recent comments, and my personal blogroll.

The blog software itself is a totally overhauled version of Scrawl, and this time its so customizable I can truly do whatever I want with it. I’m going to be testing this for a while longer now my own blog has gone live with it, then I’m going to be throwing it open to a few select people who can run their own sites hosted using it. Then we’ll see where else it goes :-)

Because of the overhaul, I haven’t blogged much recently. I’m going to try and get back in the swing of things with some more regular blogging, especially now I’ve got a kick-ass site to do it on ;-)

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Extra, extra, read all about it Jul 15

Hmm, via SvN, Newshutch, a nice looking web based feed aggregator. Might be worth a play.

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For all these times, that we walked away Jul 14

Bit of a catch-up here, as it’s been far too long since I blogged:

  • England are out, and the World Cup is over. The first event left me feeling raw anger towards the Portuguese (who over the years have given me plenty to be pissed about). The second was a rather bittersweet event. On the one hand, I’d far rather see neither France nor Italy win it, but out of the two I would have to have reluctantly picked the aging French surrender monkeys, rather than the greasy match-fixing Italians, to have won it. But the Zidane incident made the entire thing worthwhile, it was pure enjoyment seeing him getting his marching orders, with the classic shot of him leaving the field yards away from the World Cup trophy, combined with the fact than an Italian was for once legitimately polaxed.
  • I got me SkyHD installed, and it is sw-eeeet. I can now watch HD sporting events, movies, and other assorted goodies (including alsorts of random documentaries, which I’d never usually watch except for the fact that it’s in HD). The box itself is sleek and chic, and bar a couple of random lock-ups last couple of days, has behaved excellently for a first generation piece of equipment. Oh, and the Sky+ PVR system is fantastic, I forgot how much I missed being able to setup entire series to be recorded with a couple of remote clicks.
  • I’m wrapping up the add-in architecture for RIDE-ME. I hope to have it in my branch by the end of this weekend, and then merge it over after then to trunk. We can then test the hell out of it, while the other guys start to write whatever add-ins they can dream up. Eventually, in the 1.0 release, it’ll see the light of day, and we hope to build a nice add-in community around it. Oh, and I’m now hosting all of the resources for the RIDE-ME project.
  • Did I mention HD? I’m currently watching Die Hard With A Vengeance apparently in HD (didn’t even realise HD cameras were around back in ‘95), and Bruce Willis never looked so good.
  • I’ve been having a lot of fun with the object/relation mapping framework I’m working on at the minute, integrating it tightly with the model-view-controller framework I knocked together. It’s starting to come together, and I’ve just implemented associations in queries (read: joins). I’ve got a reason for putting all of this together, and that reason is almost ready for the big-time, so watch this space…
  • I’ve ordered a SleepTracker watch, but there’s no stock at the minute so I gotta wait.
  • The new Rise Against album is fantastic, along with the latest albums from Billy Talent and Lostprophets, expect reviews soon
  • RubyCLR is superb, I think John Lam might be a genius
I think that’s mostly it believe it or not, so peace out for now.

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Farcical Jun 23

Being an Englishman, and following the English Football Premiership as I do, I find the performance of Graham Poll during yesterdays match between Australia and Crotia to be most hilarious. You see, I’m used to the frequent mistakes Poll brings to a football game. And I’m also used to the rather sad prospect of him perhaps being our top football official, our representative to the rest of the world when it comes to officiating a football match. And of course, on the biggest stage, he made a series of blunders that’ll ensure that if by some horrible set of circumstances England didn’t make it to the World Cup Final, he won’t be considered as a possibility for refereeing over the biggest football match in four years.

While I’m here, and as I’ve been quiet on the subject, let’s talk about the England football team. Here’s some quick views I hold over the recent shenanigans:

  • we haven’t played that badly when you keep things in perspective - three games, we’ve scored 5 goals, conceded 2, and finished top of our group, while remaining unbeaten
  • people who think David Beckham should now be left out of the team as he hasn’t played well obviously didn’t watch the first two group games (or even the warm-up games before the World Cup started) - a large amount of our chances, and thus our goals, have come from set pieces and crosses expertly delivered by Mr Beckham, and the idea that one “lacklustre” game against Sweden should see him dropped is preposterous
  • there is such a thing as equilibrium in a team, balance - dropping players, such as Beckham, and indeed Crouch (I’m not his biggest fan, but we’ve never lost a game with him on the field, and in 9 or 10 games he’s scored 6 goals now for England, not a bad international record), could easily upset the balance and have disasterous results
  • we all really know England can play better, and I think we’ll see them step it up a gear against Ecuador
  • I think Sven has gone mad with some of his decisions though, like taking Rooney off against Sweden so early - some of his substitutions do make you wonder what he was thinking
  • I have just read that rumour has it we will play 4-5-1 against Ecuador. Ridiculous. Not a single Ecuadorian player would make it into our team to replace our starting 11 (under a straight 4-4-2 formation), and as such we should be looking to simply play them man-for-man, safe in the knowledge we are better than they are, that chances will come, and that we will take them to pieces
Just a few random musings so far, mainly coming from the fact I’ve decided to ditch my usual staple of rock music in the car to and from work, and around about town, instead listening to TalkSport, who as you can imagine are devoting almost 24/7 coverage to the World Cup. Plenty of dialogue, viewpoints, and information, and I find it both hilarious, informative, and enjoyable. Some of the people that call up you can instantly tell know what they are on about, whereas I often question how some of the callers actually manage to dress themselves in the morning, with the brain power they display on-air being scarily lacking.


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Hi-Def: highly, and definitely, confusing Jun 17

So I’ve been toying with this post in my head for a few days. I recently bought a Samsung HD Ready 32" LCD TV, and so a week or two ago I decided to get my Mac Mini hooked up to it, using Front Row as a super-duper media center. I soon realised that while the TV touts HDMI/DVI connectors, it really just means HDMI. I’m well aware that essentially, HDMI and DVI are the same signal with different connectors. Why we need two connectors I’m not sure, but certainly DVI-D (completely digital signal) and HDMI are one and the same and so a DVI output from a PC into an HDMI connector will result in a totally digital signal from start to finish.

Now, after my initial disappointment that there wasn’t in fact a DVI connector on the back of the TV, I stuck with VGA (it has a PC input too) until I researched cables and connectors further. I assumed therefore that running using VGA, that HD output from Mac Mini to TV wasn’t possible. I skipped over the fact that the TV picked up on the PC signal, with the Mac switching resolutions to the TV’s native 1366x768 (720p). It didn’t dawn on me that HD could still be possible, as I assumed it needed a digital, not analogue connection.

So onward and upwards… after laughing so hard I thought I was going to break my spleen at the idea of 60 (just over $100 for those across the pond) to buy a gold connector DVI->HDMI cable, I was thinking I’d just give up on the idea, til a trip to eBay came up trumps. 8 (around $14) for a gold connector 2m cable for running from a DVI source to an HDMI connector on a TV. However upon plugging this in and hooking it up to the Mac, it became apparent that the TV and Mac had decided to stop communicating, instead deciding to only offer me some default resolutions (1280x768, 720p, and 1924x1344 or something, equivalent to 1080i). I’ve read that the Intel Mac Mini’s now allow slightly non-default resolutions in order to cater for the native resolutions of TV’s, however I’m out of luck with my PPC Mini (I’ve read about various display tools to achieve the same thing, but am well aware that the wrong settings, especially when talking about refresh rates, can break monitors and TVs).

Long story short, the HD space is crowded with confusion. I’m still not 100% on my thesis that HD will work over VGA or DVI, because its simply based on resolution, so whatever is supported by the TV and output source,will determine if HD is a possibility. I’m still currently using the DVI->HDMI cable, running at 1280x768 (720p), however am not sure if the VGA might provide better quality. And of course, when my Sky HD installation eventually happens (now delayed a further 11 days because of a shortage of boxes), it’ll require the HDMI input, and so I’ll be out of luck unless I buy a switch.

I intended to keep this post shorter than I have, but that pretty much sums up my experience with the integration between HD capable computers and TVs - after all of this, I discovered while playing the test H.264 HD QuickTime videos available from Apple’s website that really my PPC Mac Mini isn’t powerful enough to play HD content anyway - sometimes it just about struggles through, often it chugs and stops and starts making the video, while incredibly detailed, totally unwatchable. I’m now thinking of either a newer Mac Mini, or perhaps even a Windows based media center, more on this later.

It should be said though that Front Row is awesome, and with the Mac also hooked up to my home theatre, I have a simple, elegant way to access and play all of my music collection, as well as the movies, TV shows etc I have stored. It looks truly beautiful on a 32" widescreen TV too.


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