Archive for July, 2006

My Podcasts

Friday, July 21st, 2006

Just over a year ago I started listening to Podcasts in a big way and wrote Automated Serendipity to facilitate my new obsession. Since then the feeds I’ve been subscribed to have changed a lot. I keep the feeds list online so that I’m not replicating a list at work and a list at home.

Here’s what’s in it:

Funky16Corners – Miscellaneous funk
Adam and Joe’s XFM podcast – hilariously immature
John Snow’s snowmail – short takes on current affairs by a media hero
The Sounds In My Head – miscellaneous great music
The Bitterest Pill – Basically winey standup comedy material about being a stay-at-home dad’s 1UP Yours – games discussion
Mark Kermode’s Film Reviews – Reminds me why I used to listen to Radio 1. I guess I should listen to Five Live instead, eh?
Channel 4’s music podcast – various unsigned artists from all genres
Engadget – gadget discussion
Inside The Net – Web and internet discussion with the Godfather of IT broadcasting and a Canadian who looks too fit to be into IT
This Week In Tech – Tech discussion with various people who know what they’re talking about
Coverville – Cover versions
Tracks Up The Tree – Random good tunes
I Motor Away – More random good tunes
The Chaos Report – Again, more random good tunes
BBC Radio Newspod – In case I missed the news from the previous day
The Now Show – Punt and Dennis with Marcus Brigstock. Series has ended now but I expect they’ll be back soon enough
Ebrotunes – Mashups
Infinite Potential’s Oddcast – Awesome mixes of UK hip-hop. Get a real RSS feed, guys!
Rhymes and Beats – Hip hop mixes
Radio Clash – REAL alternative music (and currently the only podcast that gives me a heads up to cool goings on at GYBO)
Make Some Noise – Another GYBO connection, just not updated often enough
50 Pound Note – More real alternative and general quality stuff
FreeMotion Hip-hop – Selected hip-hop tracks
FluxBlog – Vaguelly pop-y, sometimes excellent tunes
Soul Sides – Great soul
Moistworks – Soul and funk mainly
Earfuzz – More soul
Lemon Red – Misc hip-hop. Currently taking a break for the summer.
Certified Bananas – Great mixes on the occasion they’re released
Cocaine Blunts – Hip-hop
Beatlife – More Hip-hop
Moebius Rex – More Hip-hop
CCC Mashups – Fantastic mashup mixes
Sploitcast – security hacking discussion
Security Now – Brilliant network security discussion with that Leo bloke and some kind of /ninja/

Now I just need to work out a way of syncing that lot with my new car 🙂

Jumping into Rails

Tuesday, July 4th, 2006

I’ve just picked up Rails after a course at OpenAdvantage (great course BTW, if your feedback form was on the web I would have filled it in guys, and you would have got “excellent” on all counts! Who uses paper feedback forms these days, honestly?!) Having been a PHP developer for about 5 years and having developed web apps in Coldfusion, .NET, Java, ASP and PERL in between I thought this needed a look in. From what I’d seen of Rails, my PHP development was getting incredibly close to what Rails was trying to acheive anyway.

It turns out Rails rocks, but it needs some tweaks to the default install. The problems I have with it at the moment is that although scaffolding is brilliant, the code it produces isn’t. Sure, it’s only supposed to be a “scaffold”, but why should you have to touch it at all? Isn’t Rails supposed to be DRY?

Turns out you can fairly easily create your own custom scaffold which will stop you having to go back and tweak things. I’m going to have a go now, and I’m going to try and “fix”:

– H2 at page start instead of H1s
– OLs for listing objects instead of tables
– Consistent whitespace usage
– Use of a “confirm” page for deleting objects instead of that horrid JS hack that creates a form to post on the fly and uses client validation
– More semantic form markup
– AJAX forms, without any JS on the page prior to onload

If it works I’ll zip up my scaffold and post it on here


Saturday, July 1st, 2006

Had a bit of a play with parsing emails using PEAR’s mime email class last week. What I ended up using this for is taking emails send via a mobile network’s MMS system and creating a moblog which also cross posts to specific threads on Rllmuk Forum.

If you’re already registered on Rllmuk forum, and you want to use this cool feature, read this thread (and in the event that it’s unavailable, just send your forum ID number in an MMS to, then await a PM through the forum).