Some Thoughts

Recent Posts

The Time Travellers Guide to Medieval England

January 2, 2021 · 2 min read

My News years resolution 2021 is to watch less TV and read more books. Off to a good start with my Christmas reading.

This was a gift from my wife who heard me complain to many times about history books being all about Kings.

The Time Travellers Guide to Medieval England


Good Enough

June 3, 2020 · 2 min read

Steve Jobs famously said

Good enough isn’t good enough

Despite being famous I’m not sure he actually said this.

It’s a popular idea but I consider it harmful.

Sometimes we should strive for excellence, but by no means always.


Website Tests

June 3, 2020 · 1 min read

Having got this website running fairly well I ran it through some tests to check it looks OK

These test for

  • security
  • accessibility
  • performance


Hugo Theme using Bootstrap

June 3, 2020 · 2 min read

I built the first version of this site a year ago - but couldn’t really find a theme that I liked and that works well for what I intend to be something of a stream-of-consciousness website.

Like many people I spend a lot of time reading news and social media.

I end up with lots of half formed thoughts that I don’t know quite what to do with - I’m hoping that the discipline of writing them down will help bring me calm.


Hugo Syntax Highlighting avoiding Unsafe Inline

June 2, 2020 · 1 min read

If you use CSP headers to add security to your website and you use Hugo with Syntax highlighting you may run into a problem in that by default Hugo generates inline styles.


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