Posted by .

I like wordpress, but I don’t really understand it. It does strange things, it uses PHP, all that kind of stuff. I’ve made the switch to Jekyll.

You shouldn’t really notice much changing.

What’s different

Some stuff is going to change, here’s what:


If there’s a scale of competence, it goes from guru at one end to complete, blissful ignorance on the other. In the realm of linux server admin, I’m about 1% away from complete, blissful ignorance–squarely in incompetent. Because of this, when I set up the current server I ended up with a /wordpress/ thing. This is a n00b move. The new url will be just

The front end

Irina has done a very clean redesign of the site. It’s clean and simple. The other thing I like is that because I understand the whole stack, I can change it as soon as I notice something that I don’t like.

The back end

Jekyll is a static site generator. That means that it can’t so fancy server stuff, but it will be really fast. It also means that I can understand it all because it’s happening right there in front of me.

The whole site is going to be stored here under source control. Not that you would, but if you wanted to, you could submit a pull request and change something that was broken or wrong about the site or one of the posts.

Anyway, just letting you know that there will probably be some freaky stuff in the next few days. Also, if you are an RSS subscriber, remember to look at the next post for the new URL.


Posted by .

I like Habitica a lot. I find that it’s good at directing my attention and motivating me to do things that are aligned with my goals1. I also use Rescue Time, it’s job is to tell me what I really do with my life. It stops me lying to myself about what my days look like. Read more »

  1. i.e. it gets me to do things that the good version of myself thinks are useful. The things that–given some time to think about it and plan–I would want to be doing.

Posted by .

Another app idea that I’m never going to make so someone else can have it. Grid size is really hard to get right for home coffee nerds. If you’ve got a 250g bag of something expensive, you can’t run half of it through the grinder to get the grind right. This is an especially big problem if you are running different brew techniques1.


The factors everyone cares about are particle size and consistency. How big are the chunks, and how much do those sizes vary?

Modern smartphone cameras are amazingly high resolution. This photo is a crop out of the middle of a picture from my Nexus 6p on 5mm squared paper. At my screen resolution each square is about 25mm, so that’s plenty of magnification.

The question is:

Can modern smartphone cameras + computer vision + some graph paper2 measure particle size usefully well?

Here’s an enlarged square, bigger than 100%:

I have no idea if there is enough contrast in the images for the CV algorithm to see grain boundaries. Maybe that’s not even required, perhaps you can just do blob detection on the smallest particles?

Seems like a pretty straight middle section, and maybe you could just discard anything really big as likely to be a clump?

Anyway, let me know if you are a CV genius and you make this app, I’d use it.

  1. We’ve got one of almost everything in our house except turkish and espresso.
  2. Graph paper for context, maybe you could use some other context thing, like a Nickel or a ruler.

Posted by .

Suddenly it is normal to get site photography from a drone at the start of an architectural project. As buildings get designed they get montaged into site photos. Traditionally those photos were from ground level. Now that has changed, the the designer is continually reminded of the roof1. Read more »

  1. It also means that the building will be photographed from above much more often during its life. Especially as more people get drones and those drones get more capable.

Posted by .

I’ve been thinking about time recently. Not in a spacetime sort of way, but in a much more prosaic way; the time we spend at work. (And its inverse, the time we don’t!) Read more »

Posted by .

While messing about with switching from WordPress to Jekyll I found a list of posts. With a bit of sublime+R…


Reading over some of the posts from 2006, I was such a dick 10 years ago! Will I feel the same in 10 years time?


Posted by .

Architects seem to act in a ‘us vs them’ way to other architects. I’ll bet that this is the case in lots of other industries but if we want to see the explosive growth that we see in software-backed industries we need to be different.

I don’t think that it should be an ‘us vs them’ situation. I prefer to think about it as ‘us vs nature’. When there are more of us then it becomes easier to overcome nature. Read more »