The Software Utility Cycle

There’s a well-known model called the “Hype Cycle”, which plots how technology evolves to the point of general adoption and usefulness. While there are a lot of detail variants, they all boil down to something like the following (courtesy Wikipedia … Continue reading

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Thoughts on the World

Morocco Portfolio Uploaded

I’ve just finished processing my shots from Morocco, and have uploaded the portfolio to my album. In addition, there are several new panoramas you should notice at the top of my web pages. Take a look at Continue reading

Thursday, September 24, 2015 in Morocco Travel Blog, Photography, Travel

Lies, Damn’ Lies…

The trouble Volkswagen have got themselves into may be symptomatic of a wider malaise, and we may find that their main failing is breaking the 11th Commandment. Most people, quite naturally, tend to believe the information provided by their gadgets. … Continue reading

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 in Thoughts on the World

Panasonic GX8 – First Impressions

  I was asked the other day what I think of the Panasonic GX8. As I predicted here, it’s absolutely the right size: sit it on the desk next to the GX7 in its half-leather case, which is how I … Continue reading

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 in Photography

Man at Work

Another low-contrast shot from the Marrakech Medina, which didn’t look promising out of the camera, but I think works well after processing. This was at a much shorter range than the "bread" shot of last week’s post, but the cloud … Continue reading

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 in Morocco Travel Blog, Photography, Travel

A Laser-Like Focus?

I suspect we all have something which can attract our attention, like a missile locking onto a homing beacon, even against significant background noise. With Frances, it’s shoes. With me, it’s bread! There was a scene in the excellent, but … Continue reading

Sunday, August 16, 2015 in Humour, Morocco Travel Blog, Thoughts on the World, Travel

More Multishot Techniques, and Going 3D

I have been using multiple shot techniques almost as long as I have been interested in photography. My earliest stitched panoramas were in the days when you got a spare set of prints and took out the razor blade and … Continue reading

Saturday, August 15, 2015 in Photography

It’s Not Just What You Do With It, Size IS Important

On paper, the Panasonic GM5 should be an ideal "carry around" camera for me. The same sensor and processor as the excellent GX7 and GH4 in a neat pocket-sized packaged. A proper electronic viewfinder. Access to all the Micro Four … Continue reading

Thursday, July 23, 2015 in Photography, Thoughts on the World

Crash, Bang, Wallop, What a Picture

I was literally just about to get into bed in my hotel in Liverpool last night, when the air was rent with loud explosions. Fortunately nothing sinister – just fireworks giving a cruise ship a good send-off on her voyage. … Continue reading

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 in Photography, Thoughts on the World

Dark Shadows

I’m finally getting around to processing the remaining shots from my Morocco trip in 2013! I had parked a number of shots from the Dades Gorge, because we were shooting almost into the setting sun, and they were either hazy, … Continue reading

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 in Morocco Travel Blog, Photography, Travel

It’s Not the Camera, It’s the Photographer… Well, Sort Of…

There’s a frequently made assertion in photography books and blogs that the choice of kit doesn’t really matter, and a good photographer will make great images regardless. I don’t altogether agree. While I think it’s laudable to encourage photographers to … Continue reading

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in Photography

Into the (Infra)Red

Last Summer I purchased a Panasonic GF3 which had been converted to infrared photography. Like with many gadgets, there’s a period where you play with the funky effects, and I quite like the way you can get a really deep … Continue reading

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in Photography, Travel

Can No-One Write A Good Book About Oracle SOA?

I’m frustrated. I’ve just read a couple of good, if somewhat repetitive, design pattern books: one on SOA design with a resolutely platform-neutral stance, and another on architecting for the cloud, with a Microsoft Azure bent but which struck an … Continue reading

Saturday, June 13, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews, Thoughts on the World

Cloud Design Patterns

This is a very useful introduction to key cloud concepts and how common challenges can be met. It’s also a good overview of how Microsoft technologies may fit into these solutions, but avoids becoming so Microsoft-centric that it becomes useless … Continue reading

Things Which Really Bug Me About the Kindle

I  read a lot using the Kindle applications for Android and PC. While there’s a lot which is good about that process there are a number of things which really bug me. Some of these look incredibly simple to resolve, … Continue reading

Tuesday, June 9, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Thoughts on the World

Service Design Patterns

One of the most influential architecture books of the early 00s was Enterprise Integration Patterns by Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf. That book not only provided far and away the best set of patterns and supporting explanations for designers of … Continue reading

Friday, June 5, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews

A First Day Mistake I’ve Never Seen on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is full of useful little articles about mistakes not to make in the world of work. However here’s one I’ve never seen mentioned. I’ve just had a kick-off meeting with a new client. In order to appear friendly and … Continue reading

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 in Humour, Thoughts on the World

Scary Format Reversal

My penultimate purchase of music on vinyl was in 1989. I think, if memory at this distance serves, it was Running in the Family by Level 42. In the intervening 26 years I have felt very limited need to use … Continue reading

Saturday, May 30, 2015 in Thoughts on the World

Edge of Silence

We’ve just finished our 30th anniversary viewing of Edge of Darkness. I must now have seen the series at least 10 times, but in this case familiarity breeds respect. Like the best Shakespeare play or Verdi opera the series rewards … Continue reading

Friday, May 29, 2015 in Photography, Reviews, Thoughts on the World

Next Generation SOA

This book sets out to provide a concise overview of the current state of, and best practices for, Service Oriented Architecture. While it may achieve that for some managerial readers, it is simultaneously too general for those with more background, … Continue reading

Thursday, May 28, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Reviews

Standardising the Mac Keyboard

My MacBook Pro is, ironically, the best portable PC I’ve owned. The Big Old Alien is slightly faster and more powerful, but you’d never use the word "portable" about it without gritted teeth, and since the PC world went to … Continue reading

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in PCs/Laptops, Thoughts on the World


It has been said that the ideal car for Darth Vader would be an original Mercedes CLS, in black. I think I have discovered the ideal car for Dr. Henry Jekyll, and Mr. Hyde! Mercedes themselves acknowledge the dual personality … Continue reading

Friday, May 15, 2015 in Humour, Thoughts on the World

Lotsa Changes!

I’ve taken advantage of a bit of spare time to sort out our web sites, and in particular fix a few things which didn’t work quite right after our enforced emergency upgrade in February. Hopefully you should see everything working … Continue reading

Thursday, May 14, 2015 in Website & Blog

A Visitation

Great excitement chez nous last night. The security lights went on and we spotted not one but two hedgehogs snuffling around in the courtyard. Fortunately they stayed round long enough to get a few photos. The security light provided good … Continue reading

Sunday, May 10, 2015 in Photography, Thoughts on the World

A Failure of Curation

We visit a lot of photography exhibitions. The majority are inspiring or thought-provoking, and well worth the effort of the photographers, the presenters, and the attendees. Along the way there has been the odd disappointment: sometimes we just don’t connect … Continue reading

Sunday, April 5, 2015 in Photography, Thoughts on the World

Normal Service Being Resumed

Apologies to all for the interruption to our websites and email service around last weekend. My server was hacked and used to launch DDoS attacks, and had to be taken offline and rebuilt with the latest software versions. Fortunately I … Continue reading

Saturday, February 28, 2015 in Website & Blog

Efficient Fuzzy Matching at Word Level

I’ve just solved a tricky problem with what I think is quite an elegant solution, and thought it would be interesting to share it. I’m building a system in which I have to process fault data. Sometimes this comes with … Continue reading

Friday, January 16, 2015 in Agile & Architecture, Code & Development

Positively On Fire…

Apologies, my first blog post of the New Year really should have wished you all the very best for 2015. Please accept this as a pseudo-first post, with said wishes. I also just wanted to post this shot from yesterday. … Continue reading

Monday, January 12, 2015 in Photography, Thoughts on the World

Monochrome, Sort Of…

I’m making use of my new Windows MacBook to catch up with photo processing, including a few shots from our trip to Barbados last year. One of the things I particularly love about the Caribbean are the splashes of colour … Continue reading

Wednesday, January 7, 2015 in Photography, Travel