codeBrane Blog

Time for Agile to GROW

Friday May 20, 2016

Many years ago, when I worked in industry as a driver developer, I used what was essentially the Waterfall method of software development. I had no choice as that’s what the company used. The team wrote and maintained detailed requirements documents. Lots of bullet pointed paragraphs, sub-paragraphs, indices, glossaries, what’s the point of these?

Software development in industry vs academia

Thursday Feb 4, 2016

There’s a fair amount of speculation in both camps about what you can expect from each environment and as I spent my formative years as a software developer in industry, I thought I’d compare my experiences of both. The main difference is the motive. In industry it’s profit. If something doesn’t directly contribute to profit it doesn’t get done. If something doesn’t support something that brings in profit, it doesn’t get done.

migrating from octopress to hugo

Thursday Sep 10, 2015

Well the old pile has a new look both up front and behind the scenes. I was idly thinking of upgrading my octopress install and saw that it was moving to octopress3 and v2 was basically on the way out. v3 had very little documentation and practically no themes. Time to go.

packt publishing free learning initiative

Thursday Aug 20, 2015

Packt Publishing contacted me about their Free Learning Forever initiative, where they make available to their readers and customers a free ebook. Every day. Now that’s a pretty generous offer but why would I want to publicise something like this? I’m a great fan of CPD (Continuing Professional Development). I do it in my technical role, in my mountain guiding role and in my photography stuff so I know how important it is and this offer just seems too good to miss.

installing a shibboleth sp from source

Thursday Jul 2, 2015

I’ve been working on an interesting project recently, along the lines of public access to university library resources (walk-in access). I’ve developed an Android app, set up an iBeacon for the App to detect and a backend which interfaces to Active Directory but between the app and the backend is some gubbins. That gubbins is a Shibboleth Service Provider (SP) and although I wrote my own one many years ago, I decided to go with the ‘official’ one and build it from source.

rescue a usb backup disk

Friday Jun 26, 2015

So I plugged the WD My Passport mega-tera-huge USB drive into the mac, ready to do a backup and nothing appeared. That sinking feeling and the faint sound of a year’s worth of backups spiralling round the u-bend. I went into a terminal and tried some fsck_hfs options but just got: NO WRITE ACCESS UNEXPECTED INCONSISTENCY; … RUN fsck_hfs MANUALLY and other gubbins such as: Resource busyjournal_replay returned 16 The disk was being recognised by Disk Utility but it couldn’t see into the volume.


Wednesday Oct 29, 2014

Sometimes it’s nice to sit down and have a look over what you’ve been up to over the last month, so I brewed up a nice mug of coffee and did just that. It’s been pretty busy with different development projects jostling for space in the old brainbox but with judicious use of Jira (release management) and Stash (git), it’s a pleasurable experience. Toolkit Image Bank Languages: Ruby, Javascript Technologies: Rails, LDAP, Fedora, GSearch, Solr I started the Toolkit as a Rails app in response to requests from a dept.

the shibboleth sonnet

Thursday Oct 2, 2014

It’s National Poetry Day today! So I thought I’d publish a poem I knocked up a while ago. It tells the tale of a Shibboleth IdP when contacted by a fake SP, using the credentials of a long vanished real one. #The Shibboleth Sonnet I shall compare thee to a crypto key, that lives in darkest corner of a disk, unused it seems for aeons until thee have probed my single sign on with your kiss.

your very own raspberry pi and iphone butler

Sunday May 4, 2014

This post is about creating your very own digital butler. You’re iButler if you like. Who will welcome you into your room with a butlerish pleasantry and wave you goodbye as you leave. Let me introduce you to Bluetooth the Butler and his sidekick, piBeacon. What I’ll be doing is getting a Raspberry Pi to act as an iBeacon (piBeacon), broadcasting some data and then getting an iPhone to pick it up.

arduino mega web server with wifly and temperature sensor

Sunday Apr 27, 2014

I’ve had a pile of electronics lying around for a while, waiting for me to tackle an interesting project. How to get an Arduino on the wifi network, broadcasting the temperature. Well, the parts list is fairly simple to get hold of: Arduino (I used a Mega 2560) WiFly shield Stackable headers BMP180 temperature/pressure sensor. I got one from eBay (I think!) A load of jumper wires and a wee breadboard (for the BMP180) Soldering iron and lead free solder Some AC/DC albums (optional) Now I haven’t soldered anything in a very long time but it turned out to be easy (once I’d worked round the tip on the brand new soldering iron not working after 5mins).

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