Let's Call The Whole Thing Off

I’ve mentioned before that I ‘suffer’ from xkcd 386. I’m trying to improve, and maybe writing this post will help me. If it helps you, that’s awesome too. Let’s work on this together. 🤝 There’s a strong prevalence among some in the Linux community for people correcting others. Specifically correcting pronunciation. I have been guilty of this in the past, but I’m trying to be the change I want to be. [Read More]

Magewell HDMI Capture with ffmpeg

Three years ago I bought a Magewell USB HDMI capture device (affiliate link). It’s a neat, reliable and well made, if expensive device. I use it to capture the output of computers, mostly to get pixel perfect bug reports, and to make some videos for YouTube. I prefer these hardware solutions over the software screencasting counterparts, as they tend to be more reliable, and don’t consume resources on the computer being recorded. [Read More]

Snapcraft GNOME Extension Update

This is an early PSA aimed at developers who publish snaps in the Snap Store. They can probably skip this preamble, but for anyone else here’s some backstory in case you’re bored interested. Preamble Snaps are confined software packages for Linux. They were originally designed / intended for IoT use cases so are optimised for size, bundling dependencies, are compressed on disk and auto update. They can also be used to package server software, like NextCloud, and desktop software like Signal Desktop. [Read More]

Raspberry Pi: Boot to BASIC

10 REM TL;DR My Raspberry Pi 400 boots from this: To this. BBC BASIC! This blog post is what parts I smashed together to make this work and why. 20 PRINT “HELLO” 40 years ago this Christmas, I got my first “personal computer”. It was a Sinclair ZX81 with 1KiB of RAM and a tape deck for storage. Every time I powered it on, like all ‘81 owners, I was greeted with this. [Read More]

Kingdom Rush

Last week I posted about my guilty collection of unplayed games in Digital Hoarding: Gaming Edition. In short, I have a ton of games I’ve bought over the years and never played, even once. I set myself an internal goal to play more of the games I already have, and reign in my game purchasing. I used the dynamic collection feature of Steam to show me the unplayed games, sorted by their steam review score. [Read More]

Building Nothing

Last week I wrote a blog post titled null which did rather well! Note the giant (for my blog) spike on the right of this goaccess graph. That’s the Hackernews effect. It was super to see the conversations over in the comments there. Quite proud to get 3 blog posts and one git repo on the front page of HN in the first month of the year. Don’t expect me to keep that momentum up, but we’ll come back to that another day. [Read More]
null  snap  linux 

Embarrassing Bugs

Well, this is embarrassing! I recently filed a bug against an open source project because I genuinely thought it was broken. It was (almost, probably, entirely) my fault. I thought I’d fess up and explain what happened. It might be useful for others. As I mentioned yesterday, I recently upgraded my Ubuntu machines, including my main desktop. It’s a funky Skull Canyon NUC with a weird hybrid Intel / AMD GPU setup and an external nVidia card in an enclosure. [Read More]

Upgrading Ubuntu

I tend to run Ubuntu on my computers as the primary operating system. Given I work for Canonical, this isn’t especially surprising. However I have run Ubuntu on pretty much everything since 2005 or so - long before I started working at Canonical (in 2011). Mostly I will upgrade as each new release comes out, only doing a clean install once in a while. I ran GNOME 2 for all the years from 2004 through to Unity being released, then switched to that. [Read More]

Distrowatch is Not a Measure of Popularity

Here’s a fun blog post where I get possibly irrationally annoyed by people who use a web page incorrectly. Let me get this off my chest and then move on to better topics tomorrow. Distrowatch is a popular website among Linux enthusiasts. The main page consists of reverse-chronological news articles of interest to Linux users. Often this consists of new stable and development release announcements, reviews and weekly roundups. In addition, there are boxes surrounding the content highlighting the latest Linux distributions, podcasts, software packages and some advertising. [Read More]


I quite like to break things. While I’m not a QA or security professional, I have developed a knack for doing “stupid” things with software which causes it to malfunction. Some developer friends of mine have lamented that they didn’t show me software before they released it. Because I sometimes find annoying bugs immediately after they release. Here’s some fun examples of pushing the boundaries of software, sometimes by doing things a little “out there”, beyond what the developer expected or tested. [Read More]
null  snap  linux