Category Archives: web

What software companies can learn from drug dealers

Last week, I opened an email from Sauce Labs, which described some upcoming new features of their service, including introducing a free account with a cap on usage. Sauce Labs is an online service for running browser tests on different operating system and browser combinations (using Selenium, if you’re interested). I really like what Sauce […]

Web designers

(I was thrilled to read’s description of a web designer, which inspired this post.) It’s not every industry where you can be a 30-year old and legitimately claim to have been working in the industry since it’s birth. The field of web design is one of these industries, and the nature of the job […]

How-to log into HSBC online banking from the command-line

This is a description of the HTTP calls you need to make to achieve the log-in and account information retrieval I showed in my recent video. Note that the content of cookies and session variables will be different each time, but examples are included here to illustrate what it going on. Please let me know […]

How to build a DIY TwitPic (without any coding skillz)

Accounts you need A blog you can upload photos to from your phone (e.g. Blogger account on my Sony Ericsson K800i) (or other email notification service) Gmail (or other email account with mail filters and auto-forwarding) Tarpipe Yahoo! Pipes Twitter Coding skillz you need None What is TwitPic? In a nutshell, TwitPic lets you […]

Joyent Smart Platform – a replacement for AppJet?

I’m totally two months behind with this news, but I noticed today that Joyent’s Smart Platform was Brian LeRoux‘s top pick at JSConf back in May. This, coupled with poking from Joyent-er Jim Pick and his response to the Ajaxian coverage of AppJet’s closure, encouraged me to sign up to the Smart Platform beta today. […]

My TiddlyWiki Workbook online – an experiment

I’ve been keeping an online workbook for a few months now (early February was when I think I started writing in it). It’s publicly accessible at As the TiddlyWiki veterans amongst you will immediately recognise, I’m using TiddlyWiki as the vehicle for all the information in there – after nearly two years of working […]

PixelPatternMaster – create repeating pixel-art patterns interactively

[Update: new version! Spot the eyedropper pixel-art… I always find it annoying that I can’t easily make those little repeating patterns that often make up the backgrounds of web pages or content boxes – I’m no PhotoShop user (in the cocaine sense) and Paint doesn’t cut it, ‘cos you can’t see the finished pattern. […]

Email to HTTP. Gimme. KTHXBAI.

I really want a service that POSTs the body text of an email to a specified URL. Why? It’s holding me up in at least 3 mashup projects. It’s a question of, ahem, “data momentum”: many web sites and services send their updates to people via email, probably because it’s judged to be private and […]

From User Stories to… Stories

Two things: I’ve heard it said the only other industry with “users” is the drugs industry Kathy Sierra says we should make people feel like they kick ass So, here’s an idea for you Agile Development junkies. Let’s junk User Stories and just write Stories. What’s a Story? Look back at a User Story: As […]

Getting excited about code in the cloud

[update: thanks for @nickwebb for pointing Bespin out!] I’ve moaned before about the frustration of not being able to find file hosting that doesn’t mess with the URL’s of the files you upload. I want this so that I can write a bunch of HTML files, stick them online along with your regular image/css/javascript files […]