Just A Summary

Piers Cawley Practices Punditry


New Layout

You may have noticed I’ve been tweaking. The new layout is based on Scribbish with a few CSS tweaks and some low cunning to get the three column layout working.

The basic font set is drawn from the new fonts that come with Vista: Body text is in Calibri, headings are mostly in Candara. I can’t say I’m a fan of Vista – I type this in a Windows free house – but the new font set is gorgeous. (I’ve put information on getting them installed without Vista below the fold.)

What do you think?


Thanks to Simon Pride for pointing out how ugly things looked in safari – I’ve hopefully sorted out the leading issues now.

Published on Thu, 12 Apr 2007 00:51:00 GMT by Piers Cawley under .

What I've been up to recently

Cast an eye over my new venture. It’s pretty much a place holder site at the time being, but I’m beavering away at the bits that need beavering away at.

Published on Tue, 05 Dec 2006 18:09:00 GMT by Piers Cawley under , . Tags

Everyone is human...

Why do people have to be human with my new computer?

You would think that arriving home and opening up a brown cardboard box and pulling out a shiny new 15" MacBook Pro 2.16GHz would be a fine thing wouldn’t you?

It’s rather less than fine when what you’d paid for was a 17" MacBook Pro 2.33GHz.

Annoyingly, it turns out that this wasn’t a case of someone in the local store pulling the wrong box from the stockroom. That would be easy to fix. Instead, it turns out that someone in Northampton had a moment of humanity and mislabeled the box – the stockroom monkeys in my local branch have apparently checked the apple labels of all the MacBooks in the shop to no avail.

Apparently the nearest real one in the store network is in Sheffield. Assuming that’s not also subject to humanity in Northampton.

Bugger. No new toy until at least Tuesday.

But why the new computer now?

I’m in the process of setting up a new, photography related, business and, good as my G4 Powerbook is, it can’t run Aperture, which is a key part of the game plan, hence the new kit.

Watch this space for details; I shall of course post more once I’ve got the new website up.

Published on Sat, 25 Nov 2006 01:59:00 GMT by Piers Cawley under , .

Second thoughts...

I just pulled the the entry entitled It’s not just open source that has a problem with sexism. Here’s why:

My intention was to point up the kind of unthinking, ingrained sexism that is all too common in our field. My friends’ email exchanges with a conference organizer were textbook examples of the sort of thing I mean, so I used them and posted them pretty much verbatim without a thought. I was aware that it might cause offence, but my aim was to make the organizer stop and think about the message his conference website was sending out. So, basking in the knowledge that I Was Right, I pressed publish and was damned.

Then I watched as the organizer’s reaction grew increasingly more aggressive, opening with a demand to remove the material, followed up by a ranting phone call and a couple of “I know where you live!” messages. His weblog entry on the affair mutated over time too. He ended up accusing me and my ‘cohorts’ of an orchestrated campaign of hacking, abuse and fraudulent spam signups.

Since I had orchestrated no such campaign, I took the view that I would not dignify such ludicrous allegations with a denial.

This morning, I learned from someone I trust that the organizer has indeed been subject to sustained attacks on his webserver. That both he and his 8 months pregnant wife have been signed up to porn mailing lists and have seen massively increased levels of spam.


What kind of infantile idiots do stuff like that? Seriously? How on earth is this kind of victimization of one side of a debate supposed to help anyone? For heaven’s sake, I don’t think the organizer set out to offend, that much is apparent from his reaction to my post.

If you, reading this, are responsible for the attacks and you believe yourself to be doing it at my behest, then please stop it and, if you have it in you, apologise. Your actions are despicable and I hope that, should you persist, you are caught and punished to the full extent of the law.

Why pull the entry?

I still stand by what I intended to say in my earlier message, but after more reflection and a bad night’s sleep, I also realise that what I wrote was hurtful. It’s all too easy to forget that the people we debate with are flesh and blood too. Frankly, being right isn’t a good enough reason to cause as much pain as I appear to have done, and for that I apologise.

Published on Thu, 19 Oct 2006 06:23:00 GMT by Piers Cawley under , .

It's not just open source that has a problem with sexism

This message has been removed.

Please see Second thoughts… for the reasons.

Published on Tue, 17 Oct 2006 22:12:00 GMT by Piers Cawley under . Tags


Has anyone seen my passport?


Found it! I shall go to EuroOSCON 2006. See you all there, or at RailsConf Europe.

Published on Tue, 12 Sep 2006 08:14:00 GMT by Piers Cawley under .

Mmm... I got my theme back

It may not be a nice theme, but it’s my theme. Look! There are adverts again!

Why not click on some of them?

Ahem. Sorry about that. I shall shortly return you to more usual fare.

Published on Mon, 21 Aug 2006 09:52:00 GMT by Piers Cawley under . Tags

Dogfood time

I’ll let you into a secret. You can tell when I’ve done a big svn up on this blog simply by looking at the theme. If it’s all black and white and sans serif, then it’s a racing certainty that I’ve just done an upgrade which has broken my usual custom theme.

So, later today I shall be sitting down with my local theme repository and bringing things up to speed with all of Scott’s changes. Who knows, I might cheat and put back a few helper methods.


Oops, it seems that there was a bug in the Scribbish theme which meant you couldn’t read articles at their permalink…

Published on Sun, 20 Aug 2006 05:13:00 GMT by Piers Cawley under , .

Recent instability

Just in case you’ve been caught by it, the recent instability of this site doesn’t appear to be because of typo and rails bugs, but because the hard disk at my hosting services appears to be in the process of going bad. Hopefully it’ll be resolved soon.

Published on Sat, 12 Aug 2006 02:59:48 GMT by Piers Cawley under .

How do you find me?

Are you reading Mark Dominus’s Universe of Discourse? and if not, why not?

Mark’s one of the cleverest and most entertaining guys I’ve ever met; if you get a chance to attend one of his courses, you really should do it. Your mind will be expanded. Which is by the by, but hey.

The reason I bring this up is that Mark started an occasional series of articles discussing some of the ‘interesting’ queries that show up in his server logs, and he gets some pretty spiffy queries – if I ever get a query as interesting as “if n + 1 are put inside n boxes, then at least one box will contain more than one ball. prove this principle by induction” I think I’ll print out the log report and frame it. And how can you not love a blog that somebody found by searching for “consciousness torus photon core”?

Which is a roundabout way of saying I’m about to pinch Mark’s idea and attempt a pale imitation of it here.

Published on Wed, 02 Aug 2006 19:01:00 GMT by Piers Cawley under , . Tags

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