1. Lenovo can’t fulfil fanboy; fanboy flies Sputnik

    The time came after almost five years to retire my beaten up but fabulous workhorse of a Lenovo X301. Lightweight and playing well with Linux, it was perfect for my line of work. Lenovo have mucked with the formula but I found an x-series that would do… except that Lenovo couldn’t fulfil in less than four weeks. Presumably they have supply problems.

    So what’s a guy to buy? I work with Linux, I want light weight, lots of RAM and a decent sized hard disk (256Mb minimum), and a tough build. Was I going to have to go for the Mac? Maybe not - despite my dislike of almost every notebook Dell has put on the market, the Dell XPS13 Developer Edition (aka Project Sputnik) caught my eye. Sold without Windows, 8Gb RAM, 256Mb disk, very light weight, HD IPS screen and backlit keyboard all for £899 ex VAT. Eventually I laid down the cash, and here’s the result.

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  2. Spreading the Raspberry Jam


    Back in the day, when I were a lad (sits back, puffs on cigar…), computers had membrane keyboards and 16Kb of RAM (if you had the up-market extension pack) and blinked black and whitely when you switched them on. You had to get under its skin to get anything out of it - and that was fun. And we learnt. And when the iPad came along we saw it was locked down but at least we knew we could, we can, if we want, write code to make it bend to our will.

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  3. EC2, Cloudformation, Ansible…

    I’m doing the happy dance. I’ll write some more notes shortly, but I’m really enjoying spinning up infrastructure with Cloudformation, configuring it with Ansible and securing access with OpenVPN (very useful succinct doc here  which covers most of what you need to have individual clients connected, or to tunnel from your office/home network to the cloudy one)

    It’s a good Friday 13th indeed.

  4. Cyanogenmod 7 on a HTC Wildfire

    In the world of smartphones the HTC Wildfire is ancient history. With two of these units in my family, both becoming unusable, the time came to give them some extra time with a Cyanogenmod ROM. These are the steps taken to achieve this.

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  5. How not to depend on PyPi →

    Hosting packages somewhere local and installing only from that repository. It’s easy and releases you from depending on sometimes flakey third party package servers.

  6. Ubuntu <13.04 + Android 4 + MTP? →

    In other words, you have Ubuntu 12.10 or older, a nice shiny android phone that only supports MTP for transferring media, and you want to make it all work together. This link is your solution.

  7. TestDisk saves the day again →

    If you have a failed memory card or other corrupted filesystem, let TestDisk loose on it before you give up. Incredible tool.

  8. Getting PIL to build in a virtualenv with JPEG, TTF etc. →

  9. 7 Python libraries you should know →

    How many of these do you know? And how many would solve a problem you’ve just been handling badly!? Good selection of tools to put in your back pocket if they’re not already there.

  10. Random logouts in Precise

    If, like me, you have upgraded to Ubuntu 12.04, the Precise Pangolin, you may also be suffering from the intense frustration of being ‘randomly’ logged out, without warning, from X and dumped back at the login screen.

    We are not alone - but resolving the issue has taken some searching. This post is intended to provide another place via which fellow sufferers can find solace. The credit for identifying both problem and solution goes to the contributors to the referenced articles.

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