Synology Packt Book Grabber

Over the years I’ve bought a fair few of Packt Publishing’s IT books – they’re pretty good. Somehow though, I managed to remain blissfuly unaware of their free book a day thingy until recently.

It’s very good at it’s main aim, which is getting people to visit their site frequently. But I’m forgetful so it’s best for all concerned if a computer does that for me, and claims my free daily book.

As well as being forgetfull I’m also pretty lazy so I looked for a pre-existing solution, and found this:

Here’s how to install it on a Synology DS115J NAS
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Business : Development


Somehow I’ve been writing code for a living for 20 odd years now. During that time I think I’ve spent some time as almost all of the stereotypical developer types, including:

  • The new guy who thinks he knows better than everyone else.
  • The old hand with a whopping two years experience who definitely knows it all now.
  • The team leader who has to deal with newbies who think they know everything.

And so on.
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Launching in 3… 2…

If you’ve just migrated to XCode 7 and your app is appearing slightly letter-boxed with black bars at the top and bottom then this might help.

Apparently the root issue is that storyboards now expect to have a launch image and something in the process of launching your app goes awry if there isn’t one which results in the storyboard not sizing properly.

There’s a more technical explaination out there, but that’s the gist of it.

To sort it, all you need to do is add a launch image (Files, Add, iOS, User interface, Launch image). AND, in my case, set the project to use it:

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 19.04.11

Need a holiday

Everyone goes away for a summer break right? Well not me. Not usually anyway. But a couple of days ago we got back from our first proper family holiday in.. well, ever really.

We went all in and did the Disney world Florida thing, with an added weekend away / road trip in the middle to visit friends in the US we’ve not seen for a decade.

Overall, it was great. The family had a good time and I think the break did us good.

But for me, it was quite hard. It involved all the things I don’t like. Traveling, airports, flying, crowds, heat, queuing and a large dollop of ‘the unknown’ which seems to bother me way more than it ever used to. But I learnt a few things along the way…

  • Driving in America is more relaxed than the UK.
  • Big Macs do not taste the same the world over.
  • Root beer is alive and well.
  • My hair gets hot enough to burn other people in direct sun.
  • American coins don’t all have numbers on.
  • Tipping means service is way better than in the UK.
  • American TV is appalling – no wonder they invented Netflix.
  • You can buy almost everything with Mickey Mouse on it.
  • There is such a thing as too much choice.

I guess travel really does broaden the mind. (As well as the waistline in this case.)

The application of beans

I’ve had my mid-life crisis, sorry, sports car for several years now. It mostly sits on the drive looking angry and collecting bird crap.

We have a strange relationship. I fuss over it, needlessly worrying about the smallest thing and hate parking it anywhere in public. The strange bit is that this attitude is completely reversed once we’re at the track. Then I drive it like I stole it, flirting with the rev limiter on most gear changes and tutting at the manically flashing (nay shouting) traction control light as I take each corner slightly too fast. (Yes, yes, I’ll turn it off – next time. And once I address the ’slightly too fast’ issue.)

A clear example of this being the time it decided to *ahem* leak a bit of petrol whilst on a track day. I noticed it leaking from behind the filler cap, out over the rear bumper. But, my track day brain said “it’s not dripping now so it must only be under lateral g-forces” and out we went for another session. Had that have happened at home I would have been a nervous wreck.

Today wasn’t a track day. It was a rather dull Sunday and I was out of coffee. As the whizzy car hadn’t really moved in a few weeks I decided to pop to Tescos in that and get its oils flowing.

On the way back I took the longer, dual carriageway route home and applied a law abiding amount of beans, officer. After a few miles I looped round a roundabout to head home.

Then it happened. As I left the roundabout there was nobody in front of me. Two straight lanes in front, 333 nicely warmed up BHP under the bonnet and some recently purchased wine behind me in need of the fridge.

So I did as BMW’s M division intended and smoothly yet swiftly applied the loud pedal.

No, nothing bad happened. Instead I experienced what Evo magazine’s strapline calls ‘The thrill of driving’. The acceleration, the noise – oh, the noise, and the feel of the road in my hands. It brought a genuine smile to my face which I hadn’t noticed I’d been missing for a while.

Alas traffic, legality and common sense put an all too soon an end to the feeling, but it was great whilst it lasted and the wine was in the fridge in good time.