Weeknotes 7

18th February 2019 – 24th February 2019

A week of hopping between family and work life as it was half term.

Client work

I added a newsletter sign up to the thank you page of the contact form for a client, which is giving them a steady trickle of new subscribers. For another there was a big spec to write as I worked out how to turn a client request in to something Laura and I can build as an actual part of their site. And at the tail end of the week, some Google Ad(word)s work, using the app I’m building as that’s the only way I can stand doing search terms checks since I built it.

My projects

I managed to fix the problems I was having with my new install of Laravel Spark, and get my app working again in it with some code updates, which is a great relief. I now need to make some CSS updates as the front end code has changed quite a bit so my app is currently looking grey on different grey.

On the less important front, I have a tiny app/utility I built several years ago which checks some friends blogs for new posts and emails them to me. That broke in the move as it was built with the old PHP way of talking to the database using mysql_query. I updated that to use mysqli_query and updated SimplePie RSS reader, and went from RMail to PHPMailer, and got it up and running again. In the way of programming sometimes, what might sound complicated took about an hour-and-a-half, if that. It’s nice to easily have some posts to dip in to again.


Within 30×500 I learnt how to pick salient information out of forum conversations, and my practise of it went well even though I didn’t get through much of the material within the time limit.

Last week I was thinking I would be splitting this blog so new posts about freelancing would live here, and my weeknotes and some other posts would move. I’m now thinking they will live on the Farm’s website, as I was looking to write some help for the site anyway, and this would fit in perfectly with that.

I’ll think more about that as I do more research to discover what I’m going to be writing about within freelancing.

The Farm

There were 18 of us at the meeting this week. My notes were…

  • Working holidays
  • Windows automation
  • Dealing with bad clients
  • “I hate pricing”
  • Are server side frameworks more sane than front end frameworks because they’ve been around longer?
  • Bitcoin’s drop in price
  • Using a framework on the side of WordPress
  • Is development particularly heavy on learning to keep up compared to other professions?
  • Vue.js / React.js
  • Jekyll sites and Cloudflare for massive speed
  • Comparing local coworking spaces
  • Chasing money
  • Submerged forest at Pett Level
  • Finding a piece of skull (old? Neanderthal?!?)
  • New political party
  • The current government may be the best of their party, looking at their back benches
  • Very strong laptop cases
  • Waterproof keyboards
  • Bad keyboards on current Macbook Pros – answer? Buy the old version or second hand

Family time

Lots of family time this week as our son had half term. I took Tom to Brighton to play some Pokemon Go, and go to the big playground on the Level, which he loved. Unfortunately I got a migraine part way through the morning, which would be a normal reduction-of-stress trigger for me. So he got to see The Skiff as well at lunchtime so I could have time to try and shake it off while he was somewhere safe with a lot of my friends around, many of who are also parents.

On Friday after lunch with my parents we went to Worthing to take part in Tom’s first “EX raid” in Pokemon Go. This is a special event we’d never had a chance to get to before, and we were worried there wouldn’t be enough people there for him to beat whatever monster was at the heart of the raid. We needn’t have worried, a large number of people turned up, many quite friendly. Sadly, no other children even though it was half term, but Tom still enjoyed it and did catch the Deoxys that they beat so quickly he had a long go in a playground afterwards. I’ve not seen someone play a mobile game across three phones at once before, so there was that new experience for me.

Every now and then I get worried that the Farm group is too geeky. After going to the EX raid, I’ve stopped worrying about it.

Reading: I’ve just finished Death Arms by KW Jeter. It was good but not great, a final twist really making the story.

Writing with: Quite a lot with my J Herbin rollerball, a gift from a friend a few months ago. It takes fountain pen ink rather than normal refills. It’s good, if a little scratchy depending on the ink you’re using.

Watching: I finished Mission Impossible: Fallout and it did indeed get more ludicrous by the end.

Listening to: a lot of podcasts, as usual. The latest episode of Focused on motivation was very good, and new SF podcast Podside Picnic on Neuromancer was very enjoyable too.

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