United Kingdom
2015-08-13 21:58:31

Front-end web developer. Areas of expertise include HTML (including HTML 5), CSS (including CSS3), Javascript, usability, and design.

Other skills include a bit of Python, some server side development in ASP.NET and PHP, an interest in Linux, music production, and the odd idle bit of fiddling about with game development.

Likes simple, efficient things. Hates unneccesary bloat and faffing about. Would rather use the command line than go through a slow, multi-page wizard, but tries to see things from the perspective of a non-technical user.

Uses Cinnamon and MATE, largely platform agnostic and happy to use Windows, Mac or Linux, but prefers Linux because it's faster, you can tinker with it more and it's free.

Has previously worked as a Maths teacher, legal/compliance consultant, Marketer, account manager and bookseller.

Hardware devices
Device Release
Software reviews
Software Score
"Puredata is basically a free precursor to the aweseom MaxMSP. Patches can be shared between them. Great for procedural music generation and multimedia, but has a bit of a learning curve. I'd recommend the book 'Loadbang!' by Johannes Kriedler, which is freely available online, if you get stuck. The help files are also great."
"To get a dark background, go to Edit -> Preferences -> Editor -> Display and click "Invert syntax highlighting colours". this will give you a black background for coding with, much easier on the eyes!"
"A useful collection of good-looking themes. One of the first things I do when I install Linux Mint is redecorate. Shiki dust is my go-to Window theme, and it works well with Mint-X-Dark Icon theme."
"Big fan of DosBox. A little MSDOS knowledge is required for set up, but it's pretty simple ad straightforward to get old games running. I use it for old text adventures, like The Pawn, so in my view this is a vital tool for preserving old games."
"Hmmm... Couldn't get ti workingn in Cinnamon on Mint 14. Yet more faff around on the command line, whereas Dropbox just installed effortlessly. I had to dig around on the internet for isntructions to get it working, which involved downloading the qt-based interface (!!!) and modifying the .desktop file in /usr/share/applications/ If Dropbox can get it right, why not Shuttleworth and co? This application is notable for the referee scheme, whereby if you sign up via a referee's link, you and the referee get an additional 500MB storage, free, and in perpetuity. for what it's worth, my referee link is as follows :)"
"Steam is a game content delivery system. It allows you to buy, download and update commercial games. Games are linked to their Steam account, so once purchased can be installed on any other PC by installing Steam on it. Also includes community, forums, chat function and achievements. Do note that the games available on Steam are commercial titles, not free ones, but there are a large number of excellent Indie games on there (e.g. Braid, Amnesia). Very popular on Windows, keeop an eye out for heavily discounted games in the Steam Sales..."
"Clementine won't hook up to my NAS drive at all, and to make matters worse there's no proper 'help' file. It's not the fact that I can't add my NAS folders to the library, it's just that I HAVE NO WAY OF FINDING OUT HOW TO DO IT. I know it's free, but this is kind fo ridiculous, so I'm sticking with Banshee until they bother with a proper help file and documentation. Connecting to a NAS drive should be a simple process, and not involve hunting around the internet for hours and mucking about with the command line. Sorry, but not impressed."
"Python, Tkinter and IDLE should be installed on *every* Windows, Mac and Linux PC as standard, period. Dead easy to use (Ioften think of it as the 21st century equivalent of BBC BASIC), and an ideal first programming language."
"My favourite text editor, it's beautiful. I use it for everything: HTML, Javascript, CSS, Python coding. Supports build scripts, so if you're coding in Java, say, you can run your code using the Ctrl-B shortcut. You can also define your own. A full license will cost you, but the free version just nags you a bit. Supports theming, so you can choose an easy-on-the-eyes dark syntax theme for long coding sessions. Sublime text is a must have on all my machines."
"I hated GIMP, until they added the single-window mode! Now it's much easier to use, and can be easy rearranged to look/behave a bit like Photoshop (if that's what you're used to). Still feels a bit clunky in places, but seenig as we're comparing FREE!!! against £700, such niggles are churlish at best."
"I adore PyGame. It really took me back to the days of programming games on the ZX Spectrum! Managed to knock up a crappy Manic Miner rip off in a weekend with a little knowledge of Python and GIMP. Documentation is a bit patchy, and you will need to know a bit of programming before creating the next cross-platform Indie smash hit, but if your looking for a dev kit that will enable you to muck about with sprites and sounds, then I strongly recommend this."
"I love Cherry Tree. I use it at work for organising code snippets. It's a bit like Microsoft's OneNote, but cross platform. This has the advantage that you can sync Notebooks between Mac, Windows and Linux via services like DropBox. It supports code-highlighting, rich text, screen grabs and so forth. It's the nearest thing to OneNote that can be used across Windows and Linux that I've found so far. You can import from Treepad or Zim as well, and also export to text/HTML if you need to send your stuff to someone."
"Really useful, especially when combined with DropBox or something similar so you can sync notebooks across machines. Great for organising code-snippets, recipes etc. Be careful if adding/removnig images: delecting an image from your Wiki won't always delete it from the notebook folder..."