I am a Blogger

These are the posts about writing, the software used for writing, the type of blog and the design of the webpage it produces. Probably more the latter three than the first one if I'm honest, though.

Getting Back on the Horse(s)

Last year, around August, I fell off two horses, more or less simultaneously. Metaphorical horses, much as I would love to say that failing to straddle two galloping steeds is the reason that I ended up skipping the gym for six months.

One of those horses was training, the other was blogging.

“Ah hah hah, hold on there,” you might say “But you clearly fell of the blogging horse quite some time before that.” Which would be true, mostly. In the run up to August I spent quite some time revamping this site, both in terms of design and technology,

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Why HarveyNick?

So. HarveyNick.com is the name of this website. It's also my Twitter handle, and my username or moniker on Hacker News and various other sites. Sometimes it's not available and I end up using something like "TheRealHarveyNick", or I just don't create an account at all (Hello, Reddit). I use it in several professional capacities, as well. Where am I going with this? People keep asking me why, and I keep having to repeat a story. The story I'm going to tell you now.

During a lot of my education, I also worked in catering. All through my A-Levels

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New Blog!

Well. This has taken a little while. After trying out just about all of the options I mentioned in a previous post I decided that most were still a little on the under baked side. As fun as it can be to be on the bleeding edge, I actually would mostly like a blog which just works.

I already had one of those, you might argue, but as previously mentioned the "just works" part came with more than a few caveats. Specifically, it required a "compile phase" to turn the "source" (being the actually document written by me) into the

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Is it Time to Change Blogs Again?

So you may have noticed that it's been a little quiet around here as of late. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, I've been stupidly busy with work and the amount of... faff involved with adding a new post using Octopress has been something of a blocker.

You see, Octopress Isn't like Wordpress or Blogger. It doesn't run on a server out there in the cloud. It's a program and a set of files on your local machine. You create new posts as text files, then run the program. This generates a set of HTML files, which you

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Some Thoughts on Gamification

If you're playing any sort of a game, the question "Am I winning?" is usually quite easy to answer. "Is my score higher than the other guy?" usually covers it (though if you're playing something like chess it might be a little more complicated than that). If you're playing a computer game the fact that your character is still alive may well be enough to settle this question in your favour.

In life, though, it is a much harder question to answer. It may well be true that, to the healthy mind, it's not something which should ever really matter,

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Categories and Goals

It's good to have goals. Even if you fail to meet them. Sometimes especially when you fail to meet them. It's quite widely publicised that at Google we're expected to score 0.7 (on a scale where 0 is a complete failure and 1 means all targets were met) when assessing our OKRs (objectives and key results). Generally this is good. It means you're always striving, always raising your eyes, hitting the top of the tree by aiming for the sky.

In my personal life, though, this probably isn't the best approach. Be that as it may, this year I

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

So a couple of things about this website have changed. Perhaps you've noticed.

Firstly, I changed the background. Much as I love that dark linen image I was using, it's really obviously "the apple background", which carries connotations I didn't really want to project. The first place I saw it was on an apple device, granted, but I wasn't using it because it's the apple background. The new one is similar aesthetically, yet distinct enough that I don't think it screams "fanboi". It'll do for now. More on that later.

I've also removed that cool effect where the background and

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Wandering Around London

Apologies, once again, for the radio silence. Over the past couple of months there have been some complications in my private life, and a remarkable amount of my attention has been taken up with figuring out where exactly I'm going to be living after my current lease runs out (more on that later, perhaps).

Be that as it may, after almost a year, I did find some time to go wandering around the city I now call home. Whilst I took every opportunity to make a brisk constitutional around Edinburgh, I'd never managed to really do this in London. Part

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Now We're Blogging with Photos!

Fair warning: this is going to be a bit of a programming heavy blog post. It's also going to be quite Mac specific.

One of the things I wanted to change about the format of this blog was to make it more visual, specifically with pictures. This first part of this was to add pictures to the front page. There were a couple of options for doing so. I could just scan through an article, look for the first image tag and use this. Alternatively I could add a mechanism which allowed me to choose the image, in a similar

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New (ish) Year, New (ish) Blog

2011 was an interesting year for me. A lot changed. I turned 30. After 10 years of residency I moved away from Edinburgh, a city I love dearly, and took a job in London. With Google. As a result, I no longer work with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for a living. Instead I build web services. Quite the change, I'm sure you'll agree. In the early months of the year I finally completed the corrections to my PhD, and then in the summer: I graduated. It took 6 years (all together) but I am now Dr. Nick Johnson. I also lost

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