JonBlog
Thoughts on website ideas, PHP and other tech topics, plus going car-free
Writing (page 1)
Categories: Tech misc | Add a Comment

Just recently, I came across a list of my NY resolutions from a year or two ago, and it was fun to see how many I’d accomplished (around half, not bad). So, this year I’ll make a couple of techie predictions, and add on some geek resolutions too. Here’s what I’d like to see in […]

Categories: PHP | Add a Comment

I’ve been writing a PHP course for beginners over for the past couple of weeks, and think it is now good enough to share. It’s a work in progress, but what I have at present is useful already, and I plan to add to it. I’d previously looked around the existing resources on the web, […]

Categories: Mac, Technical | Add a Comment

Today I tried to install texlive on Snow Leopard via Macports, in order to make use of pdflatex with pandoc. However I received this error: Python interpreter is too old This would exit Macports with an error, suggesting that a bug should be raised. It appeared to be looking for Python 2.6 specifically, which is […]

Categories: E-bikes | 7 Comments

Back in November last year I replaced my aging Juicy Bike with an Ave XH-3, and after some 1,600 miles of bedding in, I’m now reviewing it. I’ve added some hi-res pictures for potential buyers, or anyone wanting a closer look. Having now e-commuted daily for the last two and a half years, I write […]

Categories: E-bikes | Add a Comment

Here are some pictures of my current electric bike, an Ave XH-3, after about five months of heavy usage. My recent review is here.

Categories: Life | Add a Comment

A number of years ago I signed up for a Paypal account. I’m not sure why I did this, since in most cases Paypal can be used as a card merchant without specifically having a web account with them. Anyway, I recently started receiving monthly marketing messages from Paypal, somewhat disguised as identity fraud emails: […]

Categories: Life | 8 Comments

Sadly I’m in a position to write quite a lot of posts like these. Having seen spam to unique email addresses for Amazon and Play.com, on 5th March I received one from a email used to register with groupon.co.uk, which I created in August 2011. Others have spotted this too: says one, “getting several e-mails […]

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

I’ve written a simple PHP script to keep an eye on mobile internet usage, and have open-sourced it under a MIT license for anyone who wants to have a play. It scrapes account data from a provider’s website and stores that data in a local SQLite database. This mini-project gave me an opportunity to play […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

Grassroots pressure groups, such as Amnesty International, ask their members to write letters in order to lobby individuals in positions of authority. Other groups request that messages of petition are sent to corporations or journalists. In each case, new members wanting to join in a letter-writing effort may find the process difficult, especially if their […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

I’ve mentioned before on this site that I sometimes work day-to-day from coffee shops. To get an idea of what a café is like prior to visiting, I’ll sometimes refer to services like Beanhunter. However, many websites of this kind focus on coffee reviewing — not unimportant, of course — rather than what the space is like […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

I use wireless broadband via a wireless router, the use of which needs to be monitored carefully to avoid going over-quota. However I also use another wifi connection at home, and wifi connections at the office and many public ones. Thus, I wish to count data bytes on a specific interface for one specific router; […]

Categories: Code, Ideas | Add a Comment

Nearly three years ago, I wrote about the difficulties of finding programming roles without involving recruiters. The problem primarily is that high-quality direct roles are mostly pushed aside in search engine results in favour of highly cross-linked agency noise. A simple solution to this is a crawler system that specifically indexes no-agency roles from their […]

Categories: Code, Ideas | Add a Comment

One of the risks of running a public website is that there are plenty of nefarious people – usually spammers and illicit marketers – who want to crack the security systems protecting it. There’s primarily two reasons for this: stealing email addresses of comments to add them to marketing databases, and gaining access to the […]

Categories: Ideas, Outline | Add a Comment

One of the surprising things one can learn from The Electoral Commission’s website is that they don’t have official responsibility for recording local election results. In fact, though there is all sorts of interesting factoids to be mined from that data, it seems there is no public body responsible for making it available. There are […]

Categories: Code, Ideas | Add a Comment
Graph from Good Energy, illustrating fuel mix for some UK energy providers

I rather like this graph from energy provider Good Energy, which shows the renewable/traditional mix for a handful of their UK competitors. It turns out that this data has been made publicly available in the UK since 2005, some of which has been documented on this public-interest site. That site looks at the mix per […]