baz's blog

Getting a dual header into breadboard by abusing breadboard

Have you ever tried to use one of these    with one of these?  . Well you can't


But I really needed to, because I am quite lazy and didn't want to solder a load of wires onto a breadboard. It just so happens I have loads of these little breadboards, so one was going to be sacrificed.


The plan is simple. Pull those little pin strips out from inside of the breadboard and cut them into two.

Knockout JS: sorting a list based on an element property

Knockout is a JS framework to make building complex apps in the browser a breeze. But somtimes it leaves you with problems that you struggle to figure out.


How exactly do I sort on a property on an object in an observableArray?

say we have an array of these objects
name: "baz",
sales: 10

How would I get sales sorted?

Unfollow everyone in bulk on twitter using only the browser

So someone hacked my twitter. Considering my password is random and huge, I am confused.
Anyway this left me a mess to clean up as the spammers followed thousands of people.
I had to unfollow them all.

I wrote a 1 line javascript to unfollow all twitter users.

Go to /following in twitter. Scroll to the bottom and make sure they are all loaded

The JS

$('.following[data-user-id]').each(function(user) { $(this).children("button.follow-button").click() });

Option A
1) paste the above in the URL bar and hit enter

Options B
1) press F12
2) click "Console" tab

Making Kopete slightly more usable

I have been using Kopete for years, and it is a great IM program. After the recent releases for kde 4.x I have noticed a few irritations. These irritations are small, merely papercuts, but should still be fixed. So I fixed them.

I would say in advance, these fixes are probably (certainly) implemented in the wrong way, and should never go near an official branch. If I ever find time to figure out how to make this work in the right way, I will. For now the patches are here and they are pretty raw, but functional.
Also I didn't bother to try and fix compiling the experimental branch as it seemed more broken than I can find time to fix. These fixes are compiled against the latest stable kopete 0.80.2 from svn. They took me about 2 hours of real work to do these.

A couple of problems in the current kopete, and resolutions

Here are the problems as I see it. You may disagree.

  • Searching. Working but limited.
  • Search visual elements. Shows empty folders in the results view
  • Grouping offline contacts together. Doesn't exist!


Royal Mail Suck

5:28pm just got in from work a bit early. Got the card through the door... "Sorry, you were out"... So Royal mail came with a parcel. Cool. I wonder what it is.

Collection times:
Mon-Fri 0900 - 1700

Um, really? I just called them to make sure it wasn't a really really dumb typo. Nope, it isn't. I can only collect the parcel between the times that 99% of the poopulation are working. Smooth.

I have 7 days to collect it before they send it back. Nice of them.

Okay, now remember I have no idea who this is from? Well, they can't tell me. Data protection. That has to be the worst excuse I ever heard. I have a card they they posted through my door. Of course it is me. You think a burglar is going to go to the trouble of ringing up the post office on the off chance that the parcel wasn't something mundane? No.

Overhearing irritating things

"No one uses Linux for servers because it's not very good"

What? in fact "Linux has now climbed to 13.4 percent of the overall server market, with Unix at 7.7 percent and Windows at 36.5 percent."


So Linux is just under half of the Windows share. hardly insignificant.

"Linux is free, but there is no such thing as a free lunch"

When I overheard this I was torn. I believe there is no such thing as a free lunch, but in the context of the overheard conversation, it is free.
Free to use, free to add to, free to edit. Free as in freedom. You might want some support though. I'm pretty sure you would need to get some support for your windows network too.


Mr Daniel's XBox Cake

xbox's have more in common with mr kiplins than they do an x86. baked to perfection

1x XBox (preferably one of those e74 ones)
1x Screwdriver
1x Box of plasters (for the inevitible blood)
1x Oven (preheat at gas mark 4 30 mins)

It's a common misconception that an xbox is a is infact a type of cake...and although you can play with the dough first and savour it, you will infact need to bake your xbox to get the most out of it....gas mark 4 for 30minutes until the xbox is piping hot all the way though and the 2 fully cooked decoration lights come on, leave to cool for 40minutes until devouring the gaming goodness.

God damn crappy software

As a developer I know that software crashes occasionally. I accept these things and move on. Some things, though, are just too god damn annoying to let it pass without rage.

Here is a list of software that has ruined my life this week

Firefox 3.0.4 on Linux:

  • Crashing randomly, even when backgrounded.
  • Can't open many pages that I could before without javascrit errors.
  • Gmail, google search and google images are all now defaulted to plain old HTML
  • flash has stopped working, both free and non-free.
  • Java makes firefox hang, and needs -9 killing

I make more sense when I sleep

okay, so anyone that knows me or my partner Lucy will know I do wacky stuff in my sleep. I like to spend a large portion of the night talking nonsense, or occasionally making complete sense.
I also appear to like arguing with people in my sleep, possibly acting out the kind of arguments you can't have in the workplace.

I am going to start recording this oddness in the hope that it will all mean something, or it triggers a memory of what I was dreaming about at the time.

Here is a log of some of the things I have apparently (I don't know if it is true!) said in my sleep...

"I don't know, do you know? so you don't know and I don't know. We don't know" etc for about 10 minutes.....

eBay extras... extra lols

I just got an email from eBay inviting me to earn points by spending money by buying.

Their generous offer was for 5 points per £1 you spend. "Fair enough", I thought I will sign up and see what I could earn.

Well... it turns out that they are pretty crazy bands for the points. I have to earn 10000 points to get a T-shirt or a £5 web cam. 10000 points? I nearly fell off my chair with laughter. I laughed and laughed for all of a minute until the anger set in. They want me to spend £2000 in 53 days in order to get enough points to buy a T-shirt? Are they taking the piss? What kind of incentive scheme makes you spend the best part of 2 months wages to get a sodding T-shirt? ... Deep breaths ...

Watching the watchers

It has been said that the UK has the largest number of CCTV cameras watching us compared to anywhere in the world.

There is something slightly sinister about seeing a small dome of glass silently and unemotionally peering back at you, reminiscent of HAL in "2001 - a space odyssey". It almost brings me out into cold sweats knowing I am being constantly watched. I am one of those people that gets instantly nervous when being watched... despite having nothing to hide.

I did a quick tally of the amount of cameras I could see while going the 2 miles to work today... I counted 27 cameras before I even pulled into the car park. I know for certain that the building I work in has a very high tech security system comprising of dozens of camera per floor. A educated guess for the camera count would put it at nearly 60 units by the time I strolled into my office.

Virgin Media and SKY suck

Sky switched off the signal to their "Basic channels" today. I am now without Sky One and all the other sky channels, and quite frankly it sucks.

It would seem there is a childish dispute between the two companies, with sky playing the bully.

So this is a message to Sky:

Dear Sky,

I do hope you are happy with what you have done to the customers of Virgin Media... No wait, that isn't right... I hope you rot in hell.

In bullying Virgin Media with your "give us 2x the amount" tactics you have condemned us to watching the crap that is regular television. Wake up to your mistake and provide these services to Virgin Media at a reasonable price before an angry lynch mob comes for you.

Site update

Today I updated the site to work properly (ish) with Internet Explorer 7 (IE7)

Unfortunately this seems to have broken IE Mac support and Konqueror. Oh well.

Thanks for your patience

Der Management

Wanted: 1 concrete car

looking for one concrete car. MPG not important, bad condition prices negotiable.
Needed for destroying irritating f*** pigs who like to drive too close. Must be strong enough to destroy another car with one tap of brakes.
Please phone 0123 3456 7890

Open Source Xmas

Makezine have produced a nice lineup of Open Source and hackable gadgets for Christmas:

"There are hundreds of gift guides this holiday season filled with junk you can buy - but a lot of time you actually don't own it, you can't improve upon it, you can't share it or make it better, you certainly can't post the plans, schematics and source code either. We want to change that, we've put together our picks of interesting open source hardware projects, open source software, services and things that have the Maker-spirit of open source."


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