May 15, 2006

Posted in Software at 22:57 by graham provides a daily dose of software engineering wisdom to your feed reader or e-mail client – it’s inspiring, thought provoking, and sometimes just plain dangerous.

I’ve been collecting snippets of information about everything and anything to do with the software world, and I had been organising them on a Wiki. I realised I rarely had time to browse that Wiki, even though there was all sorts of principles, practices, quotes and heuristics that I wanted to keep in mind. The solution was obvious – get this info delivered daily to me in handy bite sized chunks ! And, well, if you’re interested, you can get it too:

You can get it sent daily as an RSS or Atom web feed, or via e-mail.

Let me know what you think.

May 13, 2006

Halliburton solves global warming

Posted in Misc at 21:12 by graham

I got the strangest email today, which I originally took to be spam. Read for yourself:


Contact: Photos:

HALLIBURTON SOLVES GLOBAL WARMING SurvivaBalls save managers from abrupt climate change

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May 9, 2006

Markdown quick reference

Posted in Software at 23:18 by graham

I use Markdown to edit this blog.

Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).

Markdown is based on plain text / e-mail format. Often typing something in as you would in a plain text e-mail will produce what you want. Paragraphs and line breaks are the obvious ones for the text you type. Special HTML characters like < and > and & are escaped for you.

Here’s a visual quick reference guide to the rest of the Markdown syntax. The format is simply some text and the output it produces.


# Level one header #

Level one header

### Level three header ###

Level three header

Headers continue as you’d imagine, with extra hashes.


[This is a link](

This is a link


> This is quoted

This is quoted


Indent text at least 4 spaces for all formatting in it to be ignored.

# This isn't displayed as header, because it is indented 4 spaces

Or inline:

Inline code is `escaped` with backticks

Inline code is escaped with backticks


Unordered lists use *, + or –

* This
* is
* a list
  • This
  • is
  • a list

Ordered lists use number followed by period.

1. with
1. numbers
  1. with
  2. numbers

Horizontal lines

Three or more dashes



A single underscore or asterix is italic, two is bold.

_italic_ or *italic*

italic or italic

__bold__ or **bold**

bold or bold


If you don’t want some of these rules to apply, they can be escaped by preceding the special character with a backslash.

This is \*\*not\*\* in bold.

This is **not** in bold.

See also: The full Markdown syntax

Why your company needs a feed reader on every desktop

Posted in Ideas, Software at 22:37 by graham

A web feed is, to quote Wikipedia:

… a document (often XML-based) which contains content items, often summaries of stories or weblog posts with web links to longer versions. Weblogs and news websites are common sources for web feeds, but feeds are also used to deliver structured information ranging from weather data to “top ten” lists of hit tunes. The two main web feed formats are RSS (which is older and far more widely used) and Atom (a newer format that has just completed the IETF standardization process.) Feeds are subscribed to directly by users with aggregators or feed readers, which combine the contents of multiple web feeds for display on a single screen or series of screens

Aggregators and feed readers are widely used, but mainly by tech-savvy individuals. It’s time your company rolled out a feed reader on every desktop PC it owns. Here’s why:

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