Thoughts on website ideas, PHP and other tech topics, plus going car-free
Writing (page 1)

The curse of learning how to spot security and privacy holes in software is that you can’t start unseeing them. Ever the eternal optimist, I try to report them as a service to system users, even though sometimes I am either ignored, or receive abuse for my troubles. In this case, getting the Queensborough Group […]

Categories: Life | Add a Comment

Preamble I’ve done enough data protection training to understand when it is and isn’t applicable. Moreover, I’m generally supportive of data protection and privacy legislation, and here in the UK I don’t think it goes far enough. So it’s frustrating when lazy customer service staff reflexively parrot “data protection rules say no” even when (a) […]

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I’ve blogged here in the past about woeful customer experiences – partly for the cathartic release, and partly because complaints seem to be taken rather more seriously when they are discussed in public. Perhaps that’s the problem with complaints in general – they are hidden from view, and large companies can afford to treat the […]

Categories: Docker, Technical | Add a Comment

I’ve recently wanted to look at Kubernetes, having found some cases where Docker Compose and Swarm don’t seem to do what I want. I’ve been putting it off for far too long, so I am jumping in. At the time of writing, I am intrigued by this monster article. The first piece of advice I’ve […]

Categories: Life | 1 Comment

I’m a keen all-year cyclist, and accordingly I do a fair bit of night riding. Since I live in a British city, being visible on the roads while on the bike is important to me. For a few years I have used front rechargeable lights of Chinese manufacture and British import; I started off with […]

Categories: Tech misc | 8 Comments

I have lately been editing questions on Stack Overflow quite a bit. It’s my equivalent of doodling on a notepad, or idly completing a crossword: editing is my little non-taxing pastime that benefits future readers and helps illustrate the community’s desire for post authors to put some effort into their posts. Over the years, I […]

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I’ve been keen to move some of my web services from CI to CD recently, and I was keen to see if it could be done using zero-downtime techniques. In other words, I wanted to run a minimum of two instances, to restart each one independently, and then to use a networking system to route […]

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Setting up deploy keys is not something one does very often, and accordingly when one comes to do it, it’s something that needs to be looked up from piecemeal locations on the internet! Thus, as an aide memoire for me and anyone who wants it, here is what I do. Create a key pair. I […]

Categories: Projects | Add a Comment

Introduction Over the last year or so I have taken a sabbatical from working on other people’s projects to work on my own, and while I have discussed them in other fora, it seems sensible for me to put them down here. As it happens, I have various people interested in my recent work anyway, […]

Categories: Docker | 6 Comments

As documented in some of my past posts, I’ve been using Docker on CircleCI a lot recently, and I thought it was about time I investigated adding Docker layer caching to the mix. This is one of Docker’s best features, in my view: if a layer does not need building, because the command and the […]

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Introduction Over the last six months, I’ve been working on a microservices-oriented application, and it has reached a level of complexity that means I could not do without the tests I have written. My tests are not perfect, and there’s times when I’ve plumped for slow functional tests when fast unit tests would have been […]

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Introduction When I first started maintaining “play” servers on the internet, in order to run my own blog and various software projects, the build process was long and laborious. That would have been around 2009, and at that time I was working for corporate logistics provider whose Disaster Recovery time was measured in days, not […]

Software & ideas
Categories: Doodles, Ideas | Add a Comment

I recently completed a small TypeScript project in CDK, which deployed a lambda and an API Gateway to AWS. The deployed code was pretty simple, but I found the CDK difficult as I’d not done any TypeScript before. I am on home turf with PHP, and I wondered if it would be possible to write […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

Now that she’s older, my cat has recently been accumulating a number of medications she needs to take, and it is getting hard to keep track of them. Some of them are essential, and need to be taken at a specified time; some are good to have, and can be taken at any time. Some […]

Introduction As a person who is both scatter-brained and busy, I’ve gone through various ways of organising my time. For over a decade, I have maintained an electronic mobile-phone calendar, so I can get reminders of where I need to be and when. I like this, and plan to carry on doing it; it ain’t […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

I have recently been pondering a way to keep track of purchases for my bicycles. Some of these are components for the bikes themselves (e.g. a new wheel after one was stolen), and some are attachments (bike lights, clothing). My use case is to get a view of: What my total cost of ownership is […]

Categories: Docker, Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

Introduction I’ve noticed several things with Docker registries: The APIs to interrogate them are either cumbersome, unfinished, or usually only partially implemented Free private registries are rarely found on the web, probably because of the cost of storage and data transfer GitLab are one of the few providers that offer free registry access, but today […]

Categories: Code, Ideas | Add a Comment

I have some integration tests for a system that deploys PHP software to an Apache host via FTP(S) and SSH/SFTP transports. The tests run in a Docker image that has FTP and SSH servers installed, and they are stopped and started using shell scripts. This is a bit hacky, and it does not offer much […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

I see there is a ready-made [WordPress Docker image]( available, and I’m sure it is very good. However, I like my version, since it pulls in the latest versions of the required plugins and themes, and deletes themes and plugins that are not in use. It’d be great to set up a simple JS app […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

I recently donated some money to a small web-based charity, which accepts Paypal payments and electronic bank transfers. Whilst I have no fears that the charity misspends any donations, I realised after giving that I had no idea how the money had been spent. This particular organisation is run by over-worked volunteers, and whilst I […]