Full stack web developer working at Gelder Group, interested in all the things, but especially HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, WordPress, Linux, & macOS. You can follow me here. You can get in touch here.

A hiatus (Germany)

I’m taking a break for a few days. I’ll be back, but there’ll be no new posts until I return.

Right then, I’m off, Berlin, here I come.

Bose Wireless Headphones Spy on Listeners, Lawsuit Alleges [↗]

The lawsuit alleges that Bose tracks the listening habits of users when they are wearing headsets like the company’s QuietComfort 35 headphones, gleaning information through the app such as music tracks played, podcasts, and other audio listened to.

According to Zak, who bought a pair of $350 QC35 cans, Bose sends all available information to third parties such as, a data capture outfit whose website promises to “collect all of your customer data and send it anywhere”.

I purchased a pair of Bose QC35 headphones last year. I love them and I wear them every day. I think they were the best tech purchase I’ve made in the last few years. If these allegations are true, somebody deserves a proper good slap.

Super Tiny Social Icons [↗]

Under 1KB each! Super Tiny Social Icons are minuscule SVG versions of your favourite logos. The average size is 600 bytes. The logos are 400×400 & have a 512×512 viewbox. They will scale up and down to suit your needs.

Tiny social icons, handcrafted with InkScape. What’s not to love?

A Modern Front-End Workflow – Umar Hansa | Render 2017 [↗]

The audience can expect to learn hidden DevTools secrets but also how to adopt a modern development and debugging workflow. This talk is important for any web developer who wants to understand and debug the internals of a webpage quickly and with ease.

I love DevTools.

@Mentions from Twitter to My Website [↗]

An outline of how I used Indieweb technology to let Twitter users send @mentions to me on my own website.

A good write-up detailing how to add webmentions to a WordPress site.

My Ubuntu 16.04 GNOME Setup [↗]

Another prominent Ubuntu Unity user detailing how he’s migrated to GNOME from Unity. It’s well written and thoughtful, with details of all the GNOME extensions used to emulate a Unity desktop. Using GNOME on my own systems, I was aware of most of the extensions, apart from Pixel Saver, which works pretty well on the small screen of my ThinkPad X220. Anyhow, reading this makes me feel kind of sad about the death of Unity, it really is a rather nice desktop environment and it will be missed.

TabTab.js [↗]

A simple, Accessible, 60+fps, easy-to-use animated tabs plugin for jQuery.

I don’t use tabs all that often, but I like the look of this, the animations are clean and well executed. Note, powered by Velocity.js.

Debugging Tips and Tricks [↗]

Writing code is only one small piece of being a developer. In order to be efficient and capable at our jobs, we must also excel at debugging. When I dedicate some time to learning new debugging skills, I often find I can move much quicker, and add more value to the teams I work on. I have a few tips and tricks I rely on pretty heavily and found that I give the same advice again and again during workshops, so here’s a compilation of some of them, as well as some from the community.

Lots of useful debugging advice, well worth a read.

Lighthouse [↗]

Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You can run it against any page on the web. It has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, and more.

A nifty tool that provides some helpful hints for improving site performance. I like that it doesn’t just tell you what you’re doing wrong, but shows lots of green ticks for the stuff you’re doing right.

Full stack log: 20170413

Today, I mostly provided cover for the IT Support team, they were a person down, so I volunteered. As I’ve mentioned before, I quite enjoy working on support as it provides an insight into the trials and tribulations faced by non geeks.

One of my first support tickets contained a request to investigate a printer that was printing horizontal black lines on printouts. I investigated and found that the horizontal black lines were actually in the document, and not a fault with the printer. This provided me with much amusement.

Another ticket involved fixing a dodgy WiFi connection. The user’s Windows 10 system would connect to the WiFi, but stated that there was no internet access. As a Linux and macOS user, I was a little stumped on this and I had to ask for some advice, which made me feel like a total noob. Anyway, it turns out that sometimes Windows likes to hang on to the IP addresses that it gets allocated from previous network connections. This is quickly resolved by opening cmd.exe and entering the following commands:

ipconfig /release
ipconfig /renew

The final ticket of interest involved helping a user who could not access the company’s shared training calendar via Outlook. I advised the user to spin in their chair whilst rubbing their tummy and patting their head, before telling them that I would escalate the issue to the person responsible for maintaining the company Exchange servers. I think the user understood that I was joking, about the chair spinning part.

Other than that, the rest of the support tickets were really rather mundane, so I did manage to get some coding done. First, I updated a large SQL statement, adding some conditions to change shipping values for a couple of given suppliers. This was an urgent job, apparently, something to do with the Easter break. Second, I updated some CodeIgniter views removing some out-of-date information, before publishing the changes to one of our subsidiary’s websites.

And that was my day. I’m on annual leave for the next 12 days, so this’ll probably be the last full stack log entry until I return to work.

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