Get rich slow with tech

I read a blog post from Jenny Wong* on how she’s turning around her finances.

Then I wrote a reply, but it got a bit long, so I decided to turn it into a blog post here instead:

Nice read Jenny Wong!

I like your blog post about turning around your finances.

It reminds me of the book ‘The Barefoot Investor‘ that my brother in Australia recommended to me. ‘The Barefoot Investor: The Only Money Guilde You’ll Ever Need‘ is a bestselling book sensation in Australia apparently.

The author reminds me a bit of the UK’s ‘Money Saving Expert‘ who pops up on ITV morning telly from time to time. (And was the boss of a woman I speed-dated once‡.) Except the Barefoot Investor is more likely to tell you your account pays ‘two parts of bugger-all’ (page 17).

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Choosing a software project

After a busy summer buying my first flat, (flat [noun] – a London flat is like a US apartment, but smaller, and more expensive) and frantically developing websites and apps for a failing (now failed) technology start-up company, I was made redundant.

I suddenly had some free time to work on my own software project, buy some furniture, blog, and stop living like some cross between Mark Zuckerberg and Renton from Trainspotting.

But what software project should I make?

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If you were to start React all over again what would you do? [NSFW]

TLDR; If you are looking for a quick list of things to do, to start with React, go to the end of this blog post.

React is a technology created by Facebook for building websites (and for building apps using React Native.)

If you don’t know what that sentence means, probably stop reading now.

This post is going to get technical. I’m aiming this blog post at Alvin. A software tester, wannabie junior software developer, who has studied the basics of coding including HTML, CSS and Javascript. If that doesn’t sound like you, go do something more important, like having lunch or caring for the people around you.

Continue reading If you were to start React all over again what would you do? [NSFW]

Computers For Good

Introducing the Raspberry Pi, a computer the size of a deck of cards, cheap enough at £40 to give away to children and designed to help with teaching programming.

I grew up playing around on a ZX Spectrum computer at home and a BBC Micro at school.  I remember programming the computers using the BASIC programming language and at aged ten writing a BASIC program as part of a school history project.

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No Script Required (3 min)

I just discovered that this short film I worked on has won the first round of a filmaka.com competition.  Instead of the usual working behind the scenes I was in front of the camera on this one.

We had a story outline but no script.  We improvised the film using Meisner and Impulse Company techniques.  Some people have made kind comments about my apparently understated acting.  I can mostly attribute this to training with Remy Bertrand at Imprology (Far Games), Pat Kelman’s direction and to being heavily sleep deprived at the time.

Update: This short film went on to win the ReelTube category at the 2009 ReelHeART International Film Festival.

Possibly The Worlds Most User Friendly DVD Menu

Simply Pain DVD Menu
Simply Pain DVD Menu

Working on a health education DVD project, armed with DVD Studio Pro, I set out to create possibly the worlds most user friendly DVD menu.

DVD menus are often built to be flashy and innovative. Unfortunately this is usually at the expense of usability. DVD menus are inherently unresponsive because each menu must be loaded as a video from the disc individually. Manufacturers disagree on which buttons to put on their remote controls and what to call them, and then there’s the possibility the DVD is being watched on a computer or games console. This all adds up to a usability nightmare.

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