Mark’s Blog

  • A strangely unpopular feature of AV receivers: HDMI-CEC remote control pass-through

    A strangely unpopular feature of AV receivers: HDMI-CEC remote control pass-through

    We had a couple of power cuts in quick succession recently, and the fluctuations in power around that time killed our old AV receiver. ¹ (If you’re not sure what such a device is for, I’ve described how we use it in footnote 2.) In shopping for a replacement, I thought that to a reasonable […]

  • Migrating YourNextRepresentative from PopIt to django-popolo

    This post was originally intended for the mySociety blog, but because of its length and technical content people suggested to me it might be more suitable for my own blog. This about the development of the YourNextRepresentative project (GitHub link), and in particular why and how we migrated its storage system from using the PopIt web service to […]

  • Printing out GitHub issues for triage or estimation

    On one of the projects I’ve been working on at mySociety had a large number of open issues, most of which hadn’t been looked at for some time, and didn’t have estimates of difficulty. To address this we tried a variation of an exercise that’s suggested in “The Scrum Field Guide” in the chapter called […]

  • Cryptic Crossword for Sarah

    This is a cryptic crossword that Jenny and I wrote for my sister for her birthday, and I thought it might be worth putting up here (with her permission) in case anyone wants to give it a try. Many of the answers were chosen because the word might have some particular meaning for her, but […]

  • Books in 2012

    This is a rough list of the books I read in 2012 with some brief comments – I’ve seen other people do this on their blogs and enjoyed reading their summaries, so thought that I would have a go. (Originally I added a mention of each person who recommended one of these to me, but […]

  • The most confusing git terminology

    To add my usual disclaimer to the start of these blog posts, I should say that I love git; I think it’s a beautiful and elegant system, and it saves me huge amounts of time in my daily work. However, I think it’s a fair criticism of the system that its terminology is very confusing for […]

  • Extending the wireless range of a BT Home Hub 2

    Update: While the device I discuss below initially seemed to work promisingly as a repeater, we’ve had lots of problems with it – it seems to work fine for a few hours, but then will stop working for no clear reason. At some point I’m going to try reflashing it as suggested in the link […]

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation

    I’ve had a long-standing affection for Star Trek: The Next Generation, since it used to be shown on TV right after I got home from school and I would watch it almost every day.  I must have seen every episode several times when I was younger, but it was only recently that I went back […]

  • No, “cassette tape” hasn’t been removed from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary

    I’ve seen many people link to a news story claiming that “cassette tape” has been removed from the Concise OED — this story appears to be complete nonsense,  and I’m genuinely intrigued as to how it got started.  Of course, none of the news stories that repeat this claim cite any source.  This is a minor […]

  • Ubuntu on the Sony Vaio VPCYB2M1E/S

    tl;dr: This post describes how well Ubuntu GNU/Linux works on the Sony Vaio VPCYB2M1E since there’s otherwise not much information on the web about the hardware support for this model on Linux.  In summary, so far it seems that this is a good choice for running Ubuntu on so long as you use the 32-bit […]