Portfolio

Movies drastically changed by the addition of one letter

Wednesday 15th of October 2014

I recently saw a list of movies that would have their plot dramatically altered by the addition of a single letter to their title. It was amusing. But there were only a few of them, so I thought of a few more (with thanks to Rich, Pete and Vicki).

Man off Steel - a documentary following a metalworker forced to retire from his profession due to a crippling allergy to his workplace.

Sink City - a drama about the troubles of a bathroom salesman working in a rough urban area.

S'Up - an ageing balloon salesman must come to terms with the growing youth culture in his neighbourhood.

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A simpler interactive HTML map

Thursday 9th of October 2014

The world, beautifully rendered by my hasty hand

Making a map interactive on a webpage has always been a bit of a pain. The basic problem is that elements on a webpage are rectangular, whereas countries and regions of the world are, well, lots of different random intersecting shapes. Clicking on a part of the map and turning that into a meaningful location isn't so hard, but highlighting regions when you hover over them is more difficult.

There's various ways around this problem, from the simple (using an imagemap) to the complex (licensing some complex SVG plugin). But how about good ol' fashioned straightforward HTML, CSS and JavaScript?

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Thwarting the postman

Friday 26th of September 2014

Monday

Spotted postman coming up garden path at around 7:30, letters in hand. Darted down stairs and leapt at front door, using momentum from descent as boost. Caught shoulder on living room doorframe and tumbled ineffectively into coatstand. Tried to use head to block letterbox but post was already part way through. Did barking dog impression through letterbox. Postman departed at speed.

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A guide for backend developers writing front end

Wednesday 17th of September 2014

Developers, developers, developers

It's not easy being a backend developer. Not only do you have to code massive websites, you also end up being responsible for maintaining things like build scripts and database migrations, and being called on every five minutes to fix the dev system of the front end developer working on your project, who probably caused their problem in the first place. On top of that, you often have to wait for that same front end developer to get on and give you some front end before you can properly check that your website is working correctly.

As a front end developer, I genuinely sympathise, so here's my thoughts on the best way to work on front end when the front end isn't ready yet.

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