Some Thoughts

Recent Posts

Test and Trace Scams

June 1, 2020 · 1 min read

A very good question was put to Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries

John from Gloucester asked: “If I receive a call from someone who says they are from the test and trace scheme telling me to self isolate, how can I confirm that the call is genuine and not from someone acting from ulterior motives?”

The answer given by Dr Jenny Harries does not correctly represent modern information security issues.


Coronavirus vs Economy : No Conflict

June 1, 2020 · 1 min read

There is no conflict between lockdown and business.

Of course the lockdown is bad for business - but it’s better than (more) mass death and the loss of confidence that would follow.

Unlocking early only means we can have no confidence in our trajectory - we may well see a rise in infections, NHS overwhelmed again, and we go back to square one.


Fabric build scripts and Nightwatch test Reports

April 2, 2019 · 2 min read

I’ve just started some work on a fabric script that works as part of a build process.

The actual script is part of a long process, and I’m not familiar with fabric (or even python) so I spent a little time cooking a basic script that does a few things I need.

  • Hello world stuff just to check I understand the syntax
  • Define a remote host which is a local vagrant instance
  • Run some tests
  • Copy to the local server any test reports (even if the tests fail)
  • Return a failure result if tests fail


Increase Swap Size on an Encrypted Drive

April 1, 2019 · 3 min read

I recently started a new job with and they use a very interesting dev stack.

This uses Docker and Vagrant and for this project it hosts several servers locally some of which run quite memory hungry processes.

I also use the Chrome Browser which is notorious for using memory.

I quickly found I was running out of memory and my laptop would hang.


Http Headers Aws Cloudfront Lambda

January 29, 2019 · 11 min read

All website need appropriate headers setting, even though this is a static site I wanted to start off from a strong security position.

Too often security is an added extra and can’t be properly implement because it would break existing functionality.

Amazon have a good tutorial



January 28, 2019 · 3 min read

Risk is an odd thing - we often think we must avoid it at all costs and yet we never can - all we do is choose which risk to take.

I love this in the introduction to British Canoeing’s safety guidance.

Respect and admiration is due to those who, knowing their sport and their abilities, push back the frontiers of feasibility by tackling ever harder grades of water; or choose to explore in wild and lonely places; or undertake solo paddling be it in one of these contexts, or simply to find their own level of self-fulfilment.

We do not agree with those who regard the occasional inevitable loss of life in these circumstances as disastrous for the sport. Nor that those who choose these outlets – knowing what they are at – are acting in an irresponsible manner. Far from it. They are keeping alive, in fact they are furthering, the essential spirit in mankind to advance against the elements.


AWS CloudFront - limitations

January 15, 2019 · 1 min read

I got this site running on AWS using S3 and CloudFront, it was all easy enough.

But then a couple of things didn’t work how I wanted.

Index pages wern’t there, and I couldn’t add security headers.


Static Site With AWS

January 11, 2019 · 1 min read

Getting a site up and running on AWS via S3 is fairly quick and easy.

Here is what I did.


Choosing a Static Site Generator

January 11, 2019 · 3 min read

I have been a sporadic blogger since 2005

In that time I have used a few different platforms and this is the time to make another choice - here’s how I got here and why I chose Hugo


Setting Up Gatsby

January 10, 2019 · 1 min read

I tried Gatsby and decided it wasn’t for me - but in case I want to revisit it - here’s what I did.