How Hard Can It Possibly Be?

I really should have known better. In last week’s piece on random music player algorithms, I made the rather blasé statement "I can live with it for a while and I can probably resolve the issue by downloading another music … Continue reading

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 in Thoughts on the World

Inferring Algorithms: How Random is Your Music Player?

“You’re Inferring that I’m stupid.” “No, I’m implying that you’re stupid. You’re inferring it.” – Wilt, by Tom Sharpe My latest contract means spending some time on a bus at each end of the day. The movement of the bus … Continue reading

Sunday, April 8, 2018 in Code & Development, Thoughts on the World

Why REST Doesn’t Make Life More Rest-full

As I have observed before, IT as a field is highly driven by both fashion and received wisdom, and it can be difficult to challenge the commonly accepted position. In the current world it is barely more politically acceptable to … Continue reading

Monday, February 19, 2018 in Agile & Architecture, Code & Development

The Architect’s USP

Very early on in any course in marketing or economics you will encounter the concept of the "Unique Selling Proposition", the USP, that factor which differentiates a given product or service from its competitors. It’s "what you have that competitors … Continue reading

Friday, February 2, 2018 in Agile & Architecture

To BD or Not to BD

Should I buy the Blu-Ray? So you have a collection of several hundred DVDs, you’ve finally managed to remove almost every VHS tape from the house, and you’ve bought a shiny new TV and disk player. Which, if any, of … Continue reading

Thursday, January 11, 2018 in Thoughts on the World

An Odd Omission

Let’s start with a common use case… "I have a television / hi-fi / home cinema system which has several components from different manufacturers. I would like to control all of them with a single remote control. I would like … Continue reading

Sunday, January 7, 2018 in Android, Thoughts on the World

The Decisive Moment

My old mum has recently moved from her house to a smaller retirement flat, and is still in the process of sorting out some of the accumulated lifetime’s possessions. On this visit, I was presented with a large carrier bag … Continue reading

Sunday, December 17, 2017 in Humour, Photography, Thoughts on the World

Testing vs Modelling, Detection vs Prediction, Hope vs Knowledge

The Challenge I often hear a statement which worries me, especially but not exclusively in agile projects, along the lines of “we’ll make sure it works when we test it later”. Now you may think this is an odd view … Continue reading

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 in Agile & Architecture

Does Agile Miss The Point About Engineering?

A former colleague, Neil Schiller, recently wrote an excellent article, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/agile-data-programmes-neil-schiller/, on the challenge of using agile approaches in data-centric programmes. In it, he referenced and reviewed a classic cartoon by Henrik Kniberg which is often used to promote the … Continue reading

Wednesday, November 22, 2017 in Agile & Architecture

The Hut of Alleged Towels

The Crane Hotel, Barbados has a hut whose purpose is to take in used beach towels, and dispense fresh ones. It has no other purpose. It is staffed during daylight hours by a helpful young chap, but on our recent … Continue reading

Saturday, November 18, 2017 in Barbados, Humour, Thoughts on the World, Travel

Architecture Lessons from a Watch Collection

I recently started a watch collection. To be different, to control costs and to honour a style which I have long liked, all my watches are hybrid analogue/digital models. Within that constraint, they vary widely in age, cost, manufacturer and … Continue reading

Saturday, November 4, 2017 in Agile & Architecture, Thoughts on the World

Integration Or Incantation?

I was travelling recently with Virgin Atlantic. I went to check in online, typed in my booking code and selected both our names, clicked "Next", and got an odd error saying that I couldn’t check in. I wondered momentarily if … Continue reading

Sunday, October 29, 2017 in Agile & Architecture, Thoughts on the World

Singing With Each Other

We went to see The Hollies at G Live in Guildford last night. While the words and melodies were those we loved,  and the instrumental performances were good, the trademark harmonies sounded, frankly, a bit flat, and I wondered if … Continue reading

Sunday, October 8, 2017 in Thoughts on the World

Collection, or Obsession?

I have decided to start another collection. Actually the real truth is that I’ve got a bit obsessive about something, and now I’m trying to put a bit of shape and control on it. I don’t generally have an addictive … Continue reading

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 in Thoughts on the World

Back to the Future

I’ve opined before about how Microsoft have made significant retrograde steps with recent versions of Office. However this morning they topped themselves when Office 2016 started complaining about not being activated, and the recommended, automated solution was to do a … Continue reading

Monday, August 7, 2017 in Thoughts on the World

Business Models

Here’s a business model: I’m a drug dealer. I sell you a crack cocaine pipe complete with a packet of wraps for £220. It’s a good pipe (assuming that such things exist) – burns clean and always hits the spot … Continue reading

Thursday, July 13, 2017 in Thoughts on the World

A "False Colour" Experiment

This is a bit of an experiment, but I think it works. I started with an infrared image in its standard form: yellow skies and blue foliage. I then performed a series of fairly simple colour replacement operations in Photoshop … Continue reading

Thursday, July 6, 2017 in Photography

Infrared White Balance

"I’m shooting infrared. My main output is RAW files, and any JPGs are just aides memoire. Between my raw processor and Photoshop I’m going to do some fancy channel mixing to either add false colour, or take it away entirely … Continue reading

Liberation from the "Frightful Five"

There’s an interesting NY Times article on our dependency on "Tech’s Frightful Five", which includes a little interactive assessment of whether you could liberate yourself, and if so in which order. I thought it would be interesting to document my … Continue reading

Friday, May 12, 2017 in Thoughts on the World

What Are Your Waypoints?

How do you remember the waypoints and landmarks on a journey? What are the key features by which you can replay in your mind, or to someone else, where you went and what you did? Like any good Englishman, I … Continue reading

Saturday, April 22, 2017 in Humour, Thoughts on the World, Travel

How Strong Is Your Programming Language?

I write this with slight trepidation as I don’t want to provoke a "religious" discussion. I would appreciate comments focused on the engineering issues I have highlighted. I’m in the middle of learning some new programming tools and languages, and … Continue reading

Monday, March 20, 2017 in Agile & Architecture, Code & Development

3D Photos from Myanmar

I’ve just finished processing my 3D shots from Myanmar. If you have a 3D TV or VR goggles, download a couple of the files from the following link and have a look. http://www.andrewj.com/public/3D/ Continue reading

Saturday, March 11, 2017 in Myanmar Travel Blog, Photography, Travel

Why I (Still) Do Programming

It’s an oddity that although I sell most of my time as a senior software architect, and can also afford to purchase software I need, I still spend a lot of time programming, writing code. Twenty-five years ago people a … Continue reading

Monday, March 6, 2017 in Agile & Architecture, Code & Development, Thoughts on the World

Travel Blogging and Photo Editing

I’ve been asked a number of times recently how I manage to write my blog during the often hectic schedule of my trips. It is sometimes a challenge, but it’s something that I want to do, and so I make … Continue reading

The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good. I’m not sure who first explained this to me, but I’m pretty sure it was my school metalwork teacher, Mr Bickle. Physically and vocally he was a cross between Nigel Green and … Continue reading

Monday, February 27, 2017 in Agile & Architecture, Myanmar Travel Blog, Thoughts on the World, Travel

Myanmar Musings (What Worked and What Didn’t)

Well, I’m back! Apart from a mad dash the length of Bangkok airport which got us to our plane to the UK with only a couple of minutes to spare, the flights home were uneventful and timely. Here’s my traditional … Continue reading

Thursday, February 23, 2017 in Myanmar Travel Blog, Photography, Thoughts on the World, Travel

The World’s Worst Panorama – 2017

As per tradition, I’ve compiled a group photograph from a series of hand-held shots taken by the members of the group in turn, in low light and high alcohol conditions. I’m moderately pleased with this year’s which was taken using … Continue reading

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 in Myanmar Travel Blog, Travel

The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York

I am slightly disappointed to find that the "floating market" is actually on solid ground, and only "floating" in the same sense as the "floating crap game" in Guys and Dolls. However it’s still a bustling, vibrant place, with lots … Continue reading

Sunday, February 19, 2017 in Myanmar Travel Blog, Travel

Drifting Along

A decent night’s sleep! I am obviously now so knackered that I have just “tuned out” the boats. After breakfast we go to a different area of the lake, to watch more leg-rowing fishermen but who use a different style … Continue reading

Friday, February 17, 2017 in Myanmar Travel Blog, Travel

A Broader View

I really shouldn’t complain. I know the sleep deprivation thing is a bit annoying, but it’s just become a running joke. On the other hand, I am getting the opportunity to see and photograph some rather magnificent sites. Here, and … Continue reading