Full stack web developer, interested in all the things, but especially the web, code, design, Linux, PHP, WordPress, JavaScript & robots.

Synergy – Mouse and keyboard sharing software image/svg+xml

Synergy combines your desktop devices together in to one cohesive experience. It’s software for sharing your mouse and keyboard between multiple computers on your desk. It works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

When I was using my MacBook Pro, I had it hooked-up to 2 external displays and I used the MacBook Pro display for non-critical stuff like IRC and Twitter. Since I’ve stopped using my MacBook Pro and returned to my Linux desktop, with just the 2 displays, I’ve found that I really miss having a 3rd display (I know, it’s a First World problem).

So, this morning I installed Synergy on my desktop and an old ThinkPad. I now have 3 screens, again, and I’m super-happy with the result.

WordPress crusade against technical responsibility image/svg+xml

It is often stressed in WordPress circles that plugins and themes should be compatible to obsolete 5.2 version of PHP programming language.


Because otherwise you will break people’s sites.


Because people still run their sites on PHP 5.2.


Because they don’t know they should update.


Because we won’t tell them.


Because they don’t have to know.

Wait, what?

It took me a long time to grasp that “they don’t have to know” is one of the most important and least obvious WordPress principles.

I don’t agree with that.

I don’t agree with it either, it’s insane. WordPress has more than enough security concerns without the added issues of supporting dead versions of PHP. Bonkers.

BTW, this WP site runs on PHP v7.0.9 and it really wasn’t very difficult to achieve.

Just! Build! Websites! image/svg+xml

The hosts of Shop Talk show podcast (Chris Coyier and Dave Rupert) get asked a lot of questions about how to learn web development. Their mantra is “just build websites”; there’s even a soundbite for it. As a person who learns by doing, I agree that getting your hands dirty with some web projects and filling in the gaps in your knowledge along the way is a beautiful way of doing things.

What if you don’t know what kind of website to “just build”? The following is a brainstormed list of different projects you can give yourself to practice your web design and development chops.

Lots of good ideas here for when you’re lacking inspiration for what to work on. I don’t struggle with this sort of thing myself, most days there simply aren’t enough hours, but at work, the apprentices and work experience students often struggle for ideas as to what to practice on.

Reducing Adobe Flash Usage in Firefox image/svg+xml

Mozilla and the Web as a whole have been taking steps to reduce the need for Flash content in everyday browsing. Starting in August, Firefox will block certain Flash content that is not essential to the user experience, while continuing to support legacy Flash content. These and future changes will bring Firefox users enhanced security, improved battery life, faster page load, and better browser responsiveness.

Seems like a wise move. What’s interesting here is the graph they show that details how the crash rates decreased dramatically when YouTube and Facebook switched to HTML5 video. I wonder if other browser vendors will follow suit?

P.S. The BBC have covered this story, I hope they take notice and sort their shit out.

The #davegoeswindows Finale image/svg+xml

It’s been one year since I uprooted my dev environment and made the switch to Windows. I’m happy to share that after a year of ups and downs, I’ve made the decision… dramatic pause …to… more dramatic pausing …stick with Windows.

I have recent experience of switching operating systems (Linux to Windows to OS X and finally back to Linux), so I found Dave Rupert’s post pretty interesting. Unlike Dave, I decided not to stick with Windows, but I can certainly appreciate some of the reasons why he is.

Regardless of the outcome of Dave’s (or my own) experiment, I think more developers could benefit from long-term exposure to different environments — my experience of using Windows and OS X has definitely given me a greater appreciation of Linux and a better understanding of both its strengths and weaknesses.