UX London

So, it’s that time of year again. As the front-end developer for the UX London site and primary updater-er of its information, it feels like I’ve been staring at that site for decades. Though, with that in mind, I couldn’t tell you the full line-up, or what the talks or...

Up Front 2015

After some unsurprising rail problems, I finally returned to Brighton after an excellent trip up to Manchester for Up Front. As I mentioned in my previous post, I do like returning to Manchester. It was good seeing so many familiar faces. For their first conference of this size trio Dan...

Manchester

I do like returning to Manchester. This time it’s for Up Front Conf, a conference put on with help from long-time friend, Dan Donald. Manchester has been crying out for a proper web conference in all the time I lived there, yet only now has it come to pass. I...

Street Fighter IV

I talked in a previous post about Fightlab, a local bi-monthly gaming event across the road from my office. I hung up my arcade pad and decided to mostly head over for the beer and game banter. However, a bit like Diablo 3, I find myself slowly getting back into...

Bosnian Rainbows

Yesterday’s post was pretty epic, so today I’ll just quickly mention a band I’ve been listening to a lot recently: Bosnian Rainbows. I found out about them while uncovering what had become of the members of long-time favourite band, The Mars Volta. It turns out that Bosnian Rainbows was one...

Beyond Tellerrand

Marc Thiele is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. Thinking back, I met this laid-back, 80s-metal-haired, snowboarding German at, I believe, the first ever New Adventures conference in Nottingham, all those years ago. So even then, I was aware of the conference he runs in Düsseldorf, Beyond...

Planes, Coaches and Taxis

I didn’t manage to write my 100 days blog yesterday which, for the first time, was actually due to a valid inability instead of sheer laziness. This time, I was at the mercy of the weird world of air travel. Yesterday, I left my house at 15:00 to catch a...

Black Mirror

I had a nice little surprise today, as I perused the Amazon Prime Video catalogue, where I spotted they had Black Mirror within their collection. Charlie Brooker’s alternate realities became known to me once the second series began leaving me, until today, still having never seen the first. And, while...

Dominos

I just have to get something off my chest. Lately, I’ve been addicted to Domino’s. The day when we went on our beer tasting session, we got a bit of Dominos delivered to the brewery to tide us over and, though I ate little, it kindled something within. A need....

Async

Tonight is Async! Ever since it moved into our events space downstairs, I’ve been a regular attendee of this fortnightly meetup. It describes itself as a “JavaScript meetup” but in truth it expands out of that niche and into general web territory more often than we’d care to admit. It’s...

Damn Trains

The title was originally more explicit, but because this is a family website I toned it down… Basically I was attempting to return home from a few stops out of Brighton. There is normally a train which can bypass Brighton and stop at the station closest to my house. The...

Falling Off 100 Horses

For all one of you who read these posts (Hi Linzi!) you’ll notice I haven’t posted a 100 days post in a number of days. I fell off the horse and hard. Not going to lie. After the previous epic Diablo post which took me hours, I felt I needed...

Diablo 3

Just over 3 years ago, Diablo 3 launched. I was one of many who had pre-ordered the game digitally and had it pre-installed for the day of release. At the stroke of midnight, the servers required for the game to function allowed us access and, after numerous widespread connection problems,...

Nothing to See Here

Seriously. I’ve got nothing. I’m spending all my spare time just trying to wrangle a new design for this site that I’ve got nothing to actually discuss! I don’t even have any lights on at the moment. Just pushing pixels around. As a non-designer, I’m finding it incredibly hard to...

The Worst Advice

After the long morning bike ride along the South Downs last Friday, my bike is still somewhat caked in grass and dirt. It occurred to me that I’ve never serviced my bike since I bought it and given that it’s a pretty expensive bike, it really is a thing I...

Currently Playing

What are we, like, 30-ish days into this 100 days thing and I’ve talked about games… what, 3 times? Maybe hardware a couple of times. Seems crazy given gaming takes up about 90% of my free time. So, really, what I’m saying here is that I may start talking more...

South Downs Ride

Yesterday before I left work, colleague James Bates asked, and later posted to Slack, if anyone was up for a morning ride before work along the South Downs Way which lies just to the North of Brighton. He already had Mikey in tow and they were setting out at 7am....

I Love My Bike

At Clearleft we implemented a Cycle to Work scheme a year or so ago. Which gave just about everyone an excuse to get a new bike, whether or not they were already cycling to work. We have a a fair few cycling enthusiasts here so opinions and recommendations were as...

From Half Finished to Stuck

With my limited design skills I finally sorted out a logo. But that was merely the start of the problems. Where I though I was half way to re-designing my blog, I feel like I’m right back at square one. I’ve tried various background colours with differing font colours and...

Hand Made Hero

Some of you may know that I started writing a series of articles on creating a game with Javascript. If there were dates on those posts, it would show I’ve not updated or progressed it in, probably, over half a year. What’s up there isn’t the current state of the...

No Concentration

I should have known it was going to be one of ‘those days’ when, after turning off my alarm this morning, I blinked and woke up again nearly an hour later. Then, after cycling in to the office (which is about 90% downhill) I was near breathless upon opening the...

Half Finished

Keeping in the spirit of the 9 o’clock leisure limit, which, honestly, I hadn’t intended to enforce over the weekend, I have spent the majority of the day looking at overhauling my website. You know, now that I’m posting to it and all. I still want to keep to a...

Technology

Earlier today, though Linzi is 9000 miles away, she and I both watched the first episode of Game of Thrones, season 5, simultaneously on our respective devices while using separate devices to video chat. Technology is pretty great.

New PC Parts

It’s always the same when it comes to buying new PC parts. Particularly if that PC is a dedicated gaming machine. Once you’ve clicked ‘buy’ on that new component – provided it’s not a peripheral, like a mouse – you spend the whole of the delivery time playing every game...

New Monitor

Some of you may have seen on Twitter today, in amongst the general flak I got for having a dirty keyboard, that I took delivery of a new monitor. The Dell UltraSharp U2515H, to be specific. After it was delivered, I unpacked it, plugged it in and checked to see...

The 100

As I trawled through Amazon Prime TV shows one evening, a show called ‘The 100’ presented itself. It seemed to be well reviewed, according to the Prime reviews, but you really can’t base a lot on those kinds of scores. Anyway, the premise appeared mildly interesting: “In the series premiere,...

Spotify

I read on the Independent today that “Spotify is nearing the end of a funding round that will see it nearly double in value”. This post is not about that. It is, of course, about me. I used to use an Apple TV. The iOS version of Spotify could natively...

The Leisure Limit

I’ve been struggling to think of a better way to phrase it, but I guess it’ll do. You see, rather than a point at which something must end, it is, conversely, the point at which can only happen from. Let’s rewind. What I’ve been finding lately is a creeping malaise....

The Witcher

Over the last couple of days I’ve sunk a bit of time into The Witcher, the first game from Polish company, CD Projeckt, sister company to GoG. Based on a popular Polish series of books by the same name, there are currently two Witcher games already out and a third...

Seaford

The weather did not start out well, which is typical as I’d planned to go and see my friend, Al Power, who now lives over in Seaford, an area I’d yet to explore. But thankfully by the time I made it over there for lunch, it was near perfect blue...

Beerleft

Sometime last week, it was decided that we should totally make our own beer for UX London. Several enthusiastic ‘Hell Yeah’s and a week or so later, 8 Clearlefties found ourselves in the arse-end of Croydon at the brewery for Cronx beers. Here, we were given an overview of the...

No delivery

Whelp. Today was spent WFH (working from home) while waiting for a delivery which never came. But, on the upside, I ‘got hold’ of the first season of Steven Universe, which sounded like it could be good. So I’ll find out if that’s true or not.

Fightlab

Just across the road from our office, is a place called Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. It serves as both a bar and gig venue for smaller acts. But, on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month, it is also host to an event called ‘Fightlab’. The name may conjure...

Seoul Retrospective

It has been a full two days since returning from Seoul. Two days of Easter weekend on which to end my holiday, mostly on a couch or in front of my PC, simply decompressing. But now I think it time to write a final piece about Seoul, draw a line...

Civ 2

Much of our time spent in Seoul was in palaces, museums and cemeteries. Korea’s past is fascinating, tragic and inspiring. Though, I don’t know what it is about reading the history of a culture, but I get a rising urge to play one my old favourite games growing up, Civilization...

Gravity Falls

During an adventure to foreign lands, of all places, is where I came across a great new cartoon series to watch, courtesy of my wonderful Linzi, which is Gravity Falls. Created by Alex Hirsch and owned by Disney, Gravity Falls is a fun show about twins, Dipper and Mable, who...

Flagging

I’ve been up for at least 24 hours and then some. With a 12 hour flight in-between. Then there was the obligatory 2 hours travelling from the airport to home. Fast-food, beer and some crappy TV before passing out in bed is the plan for this eve. Just trying to...

Last Day in Seoul

We are currently one beer away from the end of our last day in Seoul. A week, while just enough to see almost everything that interested us, was barely enough to time to spend together in the midst of Linzi’s year in Japan. Tomorrow morning we must wake early-ish and...

A Valuable Lesson

During our trip to the DMZ, we were able to buy North Korean wine. In related news, today we learnt that North Korean wine is freakin’ terrible. I think it may have fizzed a bit when opened. It also had bits of, what we assumed to be, grape still floating...

A Little Bit of History

I have never been good with history. Memorizing all those facts and figures, then writing billions of pages in answer to a single exam question. It was not enjoyable. But, strangely, when I visit a new country, my first thoughts are to learn about its history. Over the last few...

A long day

Thankfully, after yesterday’s fiasco, today was conversely fantastic. I lie here, mere minutes to midnight having not the time to really cover our antics, but suffice to say, we saw palaces, art museums, an history museum, a markplace, drank beers, and ate Korean BBQ. Nice.

Not quite the plan

It turns out that on Mondays Seoul is closed. Like, the whole place. Every time we thought ‘Oh, that place is closed today, what about we do this other place, then?’. Nope. That place was closed, too. The fallbacks of our fallbacks were closed. We did manage a lovely trip...

Coffee and Palaces

Coffee in Seoul is not very good. We’ve tried it numerous times and it has always disappointed. Good thing I had some Small Batch coffee to use up and decided to bring my Aeropress. Today we explored the the ‘Palace District’ where we stumbled upon an underground museum, sauntered for...

First impressions

Maybe it’s due to being based in the outskirts of South Seoul, but taking a trip to the Han riverside reveals it’s not the city of sprawling super structures I had expected. Of course, with all the smog, they could just be hiding… I’ll uncover more in due time as...

Korean Air

After what seemed like 3 billion years, I am now lying comfortably on my hotel room bed, some atrocious, cringy Korean J-Pop (K-pop?) on the TV and the remains of travel Pringles in hand. I’m not allowed to enjoy Seoul until Linzi arrives tomorrow so I’ll use this time on...

Rendezvous

At this moment, I’m sitting on a relatively empty train, headphones on, bag of Twirl bites open and a can of G&T in hand. We’ve stopped at Gatwick. But I’m not getting off here. I ride this train to the end of the line and further still, all the way...

Jekyll

There was, and in fact still is, one mental barrier to my involvement in our 100 Days Project, which is that this site is powered by Jekyll a static site generator. Unlike certain other static site generators, such as Statamic, there’s no admin panel. Jekyll appealed to my inner (and...

Visual Thinking

Today us Clearlefties were honoured to receive Dave Gray to host his workshop on visual thinking. It came highly recommended from a handful of my colleagues, so much so that they were right back there doing the workshop again! The day started out with us listing several techniques we’d like...

100 days

As of today, various members of Clearleft are participcating in a 100 days challenge, of which there are many examples. Ours lives at clearleft100days.tumblr.com. The idea is to, and I quote, ‘Repeat a design operation for 100 days straight’. The ‘design’ aspect is flexible. Choose a thing and do it...

Scraping Twitter Feeds with NodeJS

Well, the time finally came. I had been using Remy Sharp’s handy little twitter.js script to show one tweet on the homepage of my latest live site, Pulse, and Twitter’s API changes finally caught up with it. Now, I’m not the sharpest cookie in the drawer (see?) so wrapping my...

Setting up a FreeNAS server

Intro The Hardware Installing FreeNAS Configuring Conclusion Intro I’d planned on setting up a Fileserver/NAS for quite a while now. Who hasn’t? I even bought all the hardware over a year ago. But, for whatever reason, I’d felt that it would take forever to sort out and put it off...

Occasional Git

Welcome to Occasional Git! For when you’re working on your own, on small-ish sites. These are the things I encounter sometimes only once a month, if that. I’ll be supplementing the commands with examples I’ve used personally. Ignoring files already committed git rm --cached I’m horrendous at knowing what files...

The Case of the Linux Box and nginx

Following on from the last post which laid the landscape covering the whys, we now get on to the hows. The server I’ve been with MediaTemple for many years, first with their (dv) servers for client work, then their (gs) servers for my personal sites. I’ve never had a problem...

Welcome!

Welcome, fine folks, to the all-new gablaxian.com. It was back in May when I vowed to take this back to basics in a blog post called, ‘The Rebrand’. I wanted to get a bare-bones server and configure it the way I wanted, from the ground up. Well, I got the...