My Blog

I try and blog about things that pique my interest, something I've had difficulty with, or just anything in general that I either want to keep at hand or think may be useful for others to know.

You can therefore find posts covering diverse subjects such as software development/programming, writing and all things Disney.

Solid Tools for Developers June 2021 update

It’s been almost 18 months - and a global pandemic - since the last update to Solid Tools for Developers, my suite of free online debugging tools for software developers and system administrators.

Today I’ve released a new update to Solid Tools. Several of the tools received small improvements, as well as some overall tweaks and upgrades to the application as a whole.

This post details all the changes; you can check them out for yourself now at soliddevtools.com.

Software Development Read more


Upgrading an application from Bootstrap 4 to 5

Over the past few weeks I’ve migrated my website to a new content management system - ExpressionEngine.

I took the opportunity to upgrade my website’s front-end technologies to their latest releases - Bootstrap 5 and VueJS 3, for example.

This post documents some of the changes I came across migrating Bootstrap 4 to 5.

Software Development Read more


Apple release macOS Big Sur… but can you get it?

Apple today released the biggest update to macOS in recent years.

It’s so big in fact, it no longer carries the OS X (version 10) moniker it has carried since the early 2000s. No sur; Big Sur carries an all-new version 11.

Sadly, some people may not be able to get it. Find out why in this post.

Miscellaneous Read more


Microsoft releases new Edge browser based on Chrome

Announced around a year ago, Microsoft today released their brand-new version of Edge – the default web browser since the Windows 10 release.The new Edge browser is based on Google’s Chromium project. Chromium is the “base” software that Google builds the Chrome browser on.Chrome easily has the biggest market share of all browsers. You can see this in 2019 browser statistics – Stat Counter (63%) and W3 Counter(56%) for example. Microsoft want a piece of that. Satya Nadella identified…

Software Development Read more


Solid Tools for Developers gets a refresh

It’s been over a year since the last update to Solid Tools for Developers – my suite of online tools for developers, system admins and network managers.Yesterday I published my latest release to soliddevtools.com which gives the suite a fresh makeover and a few improvements to the tools.GeneralImproved the display of the application on mobile phonesAdded all tools to a new top-level menu “All the Tools”Updated the supplier logos to include Fasthosts and ClouDNSAll third-party libraries…

DevOps Read more


Please don’t let my kids and I cross the road

I started blogging about our journey to adopt our two young boys back in 2017. Some day I may finish the story.For my first blog post of 2020, I thought I’d share one of my challenges of being a parent to the boys and a 5-year old Labrador called Mickey: crossing the road.Since the boys moved in 18 months ago, I’ve always encouraged them to come with me on Mickey’s walks. The youngest started coming in a pushchair, and both are now walking, but they still came. It teaches them the…

Reflections Read more


Announcing the launch of Blue Twilight Cloud

It’s 3 years to the day since I made the first commit to what would become Blue Twilight – my open-source PHP photo gallery.Today I’m delighted to announce the availability of Blue Twilight Cloud.Blue Twilight Cloud allows you to run your own photo gallery as an alternative to sharing your photos on Instagram, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.It is an adapted version of Blue Twilight that has been specially designed to work in the cloud. You don’t need any servers, web hosting or technical…

Software Development Read more


Developers – score yourself a .dev domain today

Google is the registry behind the new .dev TLD – the ultimate vanity domain for developers.The .dev extension has historically been used by developers fudging their host files to create realistic-looking development environments. Now, .dev is open in Early Access Preview to allow the world to register their .dev domains.It’s actually been open all week, but the prices were astronomical – starting at $12,000 at the beginning of the week! That price has been dropping as the week has gone on…

DevOps, Software Development Read more


Deploying PHP applications with RunCloud on UpCloud

My first post of 2019 is a tutorial that’s all about the cloud.I’m going to show you how to deploy a PHP application with a MySQL database on a cloud server from UpCloud. I’ll be using the brilliant RunCloud control panel to deploy my PHP photo gallery – Blue Twilight – to an UpCloud server.My friends over at UpCloud have provided an awesome promo-code for free credit to try out their service. Details at the end of the article.Let’s start with a quick introduction of these 2…

DevOps, Software Development Read more


Variable declaration can be inlined – C#

It’s almost two years since I published the post on the Visual Studio IDE information message: “delegate invocation can be simplified.”It is now the second most visited article on my blog!While reviewing some error messages in a new MVC project, I recently learnt something equally as simple and eye-opening. This time, the suggestion is:IDE0018 Variable declaration can be inlinedAs a software developer, you’ll likely recognise the following pattern to declare and initialise a variable:int…

Software Development Read more