Mark’s Blog

  • Official Kindle subscription to The Guardian

    It seems that finally The Guardian have an official Kindle version, that you can subscribe to here: The Guardian and The Observer [Kindle Edition] A subscription costs a very reasonable £9.99 per month, and like all the official Kindle periodicals, it appears on your device automatically if wireless is enabled.  It looks as if they’ve […]

  • A short introduction to git

    I gave a short talk at work that was intended to be a sound introduction to the basics of using git, and wrote a tutorial document to go along with that. In case that is of wider interest, I’ve now put a copy of the tutorial online. It is deliberately limited in scope at the […]

  • Making an encrypted partition on a USB drive

    On Ubuntu or Debian, it’s really simple to create an encrypted partition on a newly-purchased USB mass storage device.  In my case, I had bought a 1TB hard drive which had very mixed reviews, some people saying their drives had failed very early.  I wanted to be able to return the drive under warranty if […]

  • Missing git hooks documentation

    One part of git’s documentation that is particularly lacking is that on the subject of hooks.  In particular, that page doesn’t explain: What the current working directory is when the hooks run. Which helpful environment variables are set in the environment when the hooks are run. These omissions are particularly irritating since the current directory […]

  • git: Too Many Topic Branches

    Another couple of git tips, that might conceivably be useful to someone somewhere :) git makes it so easy to create topic branches, that it’s easy to lose track of which branches were for what. Here are a couple of recipes that might help with this: Order branches by last commit date I often want […]

  • An asymmetry between git pull and push

    Although git is an excellent system, which has certainly changed my way of working for the better, occasionally one comes across an inconsistency that seems bizarre. In case you don’t want to read the whole of this post, the one sentence summary would be, “By default, git push origin will update branches on the destination […]

  • The Guardian on your Kindle

    Update: It is now possible to buy an official subscription to The Guardian and The Observer. The rest of this post is now largely of historical interest if you just want The Guardian on your Kindle, but I’ve left the rest of the content unchanged for people who are interested in how I generated my […]

  • The Canon PIXMA MP560 on Ubuntu

    I’ve resisted getting an all-in-one printer / scanner / copier device in the past, largely due to worrying about the driver situation on Linux, but when I found out that my scanner hadn’t survived the trip to Zürich and we were also without a printer, we risked it and bought a Canon PIXMA MP560. I […]

  • git Submodules Explained

    I haven’t actually finished the FAQ bit of this post yet, but since I’m not sure when I’ll have time to do so, I’ll just publish it anyway – please let me know in the comments if this is useful for you, or there’s something else you’d like to see included. Submodules in git are […]

  • Superficially Improving Google Reader

    This is really a post about adapting Helvetireader for netbook-sized screens, but I can’t resist adding a short rant about online RSS aggregators first… Why Google Reader? Once upon a time, on the recommendation of Need To Know, I started using Bloglines to keep track of blogs and anything else that published an RSS feed.  […]