Some links, blogging, and maybe some updates on projects I'm working on. If you really want to know more, click the link below.

Recent Posts

Tiddly Wiki #

TiddlyWiki is a fascinating project.

They describe it as:

[A] unique non-linear notebook for capturing, organising and sharing complex information.

Sounds like a cute little, low-tech piece of software. But then you dig into the documentation. Tiddlers are “[small] semantically meaningful units” of information. TiddlyWiki is a system for creating, storing these Tiddlers and model relationships between them. This lets you filter, aggregate and compose the information in various ways.

This is an advanced knowledge system. And all lives in single file made up of HTML and Javascript. It’s a single file. And in that file you have the all your data, the database and management system, and the front-end website.

You can store the file locally and open it in your browser without having to install anything. You can share it over a network using something like Dropbox. Or you can have it on a server so you can access it online.

Dated: 2020-05-19
Category: text

Covid 19 Stats #

I’ve been learning Data Analysis tools (Jupyter and Pandas) recently, so I thought I’d have a go at pulling together some stats on Covid 19.

Some of the stuff online is pretty impressive. But there wasn’t much about Scotland specifically. I had a look for myself.

I have found some great data from individuals such as Watty62. Impressed at their great work, gathering and tidying up the data.

So, some background:

  • Cases first started appearing in Scotland around 1st March.
  • Scottish Government started advising people to isolate around 12th March.
  • We started ‘social distancing’ around 17th March and that went official around 20th March.

Now, the number of new cases peaked at the end of March, around 30 days in and 10 days after we started isolating. But they have remained pretty steady since then.

I’m curious if the numbers are being inflated by an increase in the number of tests being carried out.

Chart of Number of confirmed Covid 19 cases, showing the numbers peak at around 400 news cases, after 30 days and fluctuating around the same number since

The percentage of cases identified in Scotland has been very similar to the UK wide stats, up until the last week or so. Does that mean things are improving in Scotland, maybe due to Scotland being less densely populated, or some other factor?

Chart showing the exponential growth of number of cases in Scotland and the rest of the UK, as percentage of population. Both lines look similar, with scotland dropping off slightly in the past week.

One of the big fears was that hospitals could be overrun. The number of cases currently in ICU appears to be flattening at just over 200. For comparison, the new hospital in Glasgow has capacity for 300 beds currently. So critical care capacity doesn’t look too bad. Hence, I guess, the focus shifting to other issues, like testing capacity and supplies of equipment.

Chart showing the number of patients in Intensive Care in Scottish hospitals, growing to over 200

Notebook available here.

Now I’m wondering how I can improve things. Is there anything interesting I can do with the data? Can I improve how it’s displayed?

Dated: 2020-04-13
Category: text

Local Breweries and their beers #

With the lockdown in place here in Scotland there will be no pub visits for the foreseeable. But we can still drink beer. And we can support small, local businesses by ordering directly from the breweries. Such benevolence, I know.

So I’ve been looking around to see which breweries I can get deliveries from.

The first place I checked was Top Out, near Loanhead, just south of Edinburgh. An online shop, free delivery for local order. Perfect.

I’ve only tried a couple of their IPAs before, so the Cabin Fever Box was ideal for me. Six of their beers to sample.

A box showing the Top Out label

I’ve only just cracked open the Schmankerl. They describe this as a Hefweizen, a wheat beer. I know nothing about wheat beers so had to look it up.

There seem to be three distinct categories of wheat beer:

  • American Wheat Beer
  • Belgian Witbier
  • Bavarian Hefewiezen

(There is probably a lot more to it, but those seem to be commonly used)

As wheat beers go, I’ve always preferred things like Goose Island’s 312, without really knowing why.

But it is starting to make sense. American Wheat beers are apparently lighter and more hoppy. Which is going to be more familiar for someone who loves an IPA.

Hefeweizen is a traditional bavarian style. It uses bavarian yeasts that are characterised by the smell of banana. The style is less crisp, and normally cloudy if not filtered.

And as far as I can tell, Top Out’s Schmankerl is a great example. It’s easy drinking, with a light banana smell and the odd spciy hit of cloves.

Going to have to explore more. A whole world of beers to try out.

Schmanker Label

Dated: 2020-03-27
Category: text
Tags: ,

Back Up #

Screenshot of FTP server showing '32923 successful transfers'

That’s the sum total of 11 websites. Thank the gods for rsync.

Dated: 2019-11-08
Category: text

tailwind (again) #

While building co.untdown I really started to get annoyed with the time I was taking fiddling with the CSS. Apart from playing about with Bootstrap, I’d never used a CSS framework, but I’d heard a few good things about TailwindCSS so I read up on it and it sounded so weird and contrarian, that I had to try it out.

So Tailwind uses ‘utility’ classes that let you define the style of an element, effectively meaning you no longer write CSS, instead you write HTML classes, almost as if you were writing all your CSS inline.

class='bg-blue-500 text-white p-6 rounded text-2xl font-bold'

This is the opposite of most advice to use semantic class name and separate the styling into the CSS.

co.untdown is the first project I’ve tried it out on, but so far I’ve been enjoying it. It make it quick and fun to fire out a web page.

And this way of doing things might just make sense when you start composing websites and applications from pre-defined components. Maybe.

Dated: 2019-10-26
Category: text

co.untdown #

Screenshot of co.untdown timer

Got a new project on the go.


It’s a very basic egg-timer type application. I wanted to build something simple, but make it work quite well. And I wanted something useful.

Most of the functionality I’m going for is already in place, but I want to test it out in real life to see how well it works.

The number one thing I want to improve on is getting Notifications working to set a ‘alarm’ of some kind on completion. I’m currently using a basic Notifications API but I need to learn more about it.

Repository is here.

Dated: 2019-10-26
Category: text

Read More