Developer from the UK, currently a Senior Front-end Developer at Zinc Digital.
Podcasting weekly at munchtech.tv.

New plates!

…and its first wash in a loooooooooong time

SyndiFeed version 3 – It’s finally here!

SyndiFeed.com was one of the first real web projects I worked on all the way back in 2012. At the time, I wanted a nice and clean online RSS reader and the best around at that point was Google Reader (RIP!), so I did what all programmers do, I built a todo list app, wait no, an RSS app! It turned out that a good number of other people also wanted something similar and SyndiFeed became “popular” once Google announced the demise of Google Reader. Since then I’ve made multiple attempts to update and improve on a very simple product, yet none ended up seeing the light of day. Well, that changes today! Over the weekend I buttoned up the last of the code and shipped version 3, almost 8 years after shipping version 1.

It’s a big update, and by big, I mean literally everything has been rewritten and none of the original code was re-used in any way. I simplified a lot of it which on top of making maintaining it going forwards easy, it also has the added benefit of making it quick which is definitely not something that could be said for version 1. The new version will update your feeds in the background for you so there’s no more missing the latest post from that blog you love! I’ve removed a couple of the bulky, less used features and stripped it down to just what I wanted out of an RSS reader. There is a lot more to come (yes, dark mode is one) in the future and I’d like to open up integration into more RSS platforms as well. All featured suggestions are welcome!

If you were an existing user, there’s a small migration process that needs to happen when you first login. In theory, you shouldn’t notice a thing, but in the event that you do have any issues, please reach out to me or the @SyndiFeed account on Twitter and I’ll try to get everything sorted as quick as I can.

2020, the year of RSS?

https://syndifeed.com


Mark Hoppus Bass build is complete!

 

How it started life…


Best of* 2019

* more like my favourite things, but oh well

Another year (decade) over! I thought I’d put together a few of the things I enjoyed the most this past year.

Music

This one is easy…too easy. I hinted at it in last years post but the music I was most excited for this year was the new Angels & Airwaves album along with the new blink-182 album, well, we kinda got that, or at least most of it. The two new Angels & Airwaves tracks have been on repeat ever since they came out and the new blink-182 album (Nine) has been in rotation as well.

Rebel Girl – Angels & Airwaves

Kiss & Tell – Angels & Airwaves

My favourite new discovery of the year has been a British band called Hot Milk, you can check them out here.

I also started using Last.fm (again) this year, so you can check out my listening habits here. Spoiler alert: It’s just blink-182 over and over.

Apps

Not too many standout additions this year. I’ve been getting more and more into using “Things” as my to-do app of choice, it’s a high buy-in price but well worth it if you can stay committed.

The other main app that I’m surprised I’ve stuck so well to is You Need a Budget! This time last year I made the conscious decision to track every single penny going in an out of my accounts, and that’s exactly what I’ve done for the last 12 months and counting. Whether you’re in financial difficulty, I think using a budgeting tool (there are loads, spend a little while and find one that works for you) is an essential tool, really helps deal with unexpected surprises (I’m looking at you cars).

This isn’t really a “best of”, actually, it’s quite the opposite, but can we just give a quick shout out to the new YouTube app on the Apple TV for possibly being one of the worst user experiences I’ve seen in a long time? Apple provide these native video playback controls that work with their remote really well (no matter what you think of the actual remote) but YouTube have successfully used none of that, and it’s the worst. The irony is when the 4th generation Apple TV launched, the YouTube app was great! Used the native video controls etc. and just worked….why fix something that isn’t broken 🤷‍♀️

TV & Film

Toy Story 4. Enough said. Easily my favourite movie of the year. I was a little worried about how they were going to carry on after the ending of the 3rd film, but it ended up very well done and super fun to watch, and oh boy that animation, just wow.

Favourite TV series of the year has to go to Stranger Things 3. After the no so good season 2, season 3 absolutely knocked it out of the park. The storyline was great, the visual effects were great and the soundtrack was outstanding.

Honourable mention to the latest season of Orange is the new black, they really pulled it back together with the last season.

Podcasting

Another great year for our show over at MunchTech.tv, record numbers and I think we’ve really stepped up the quality of the show this year. We’re also approaching 10 years this January, which is nuts. Super excited for the things we have planned for that episode.

Guitars

I’m running out of wall space. This year I’ve spent more time than ever in the shed learning so much about the process of making guitars. Still working on the second one, but the first one you can see the process here, here and here.

The colours might not be to everyone’s taste, but I’m a fan. The first one is a Surf Green Tom DeLonge Stratocaster and the current work in progress is a Hot Pink Mark Hoppus bass – more on that soon.


So here’s to 2020 and the decade beyond, Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone!


New Ernie Ball “String Theory” video!

Could listen to these for hours…


Building a TD Fender Strat – Part 3: Final assembly

View part 1 of the build here
View part 2 here

It’s been a little while since I last posted an update but here’s the final (kinda) post on the build. We’ve got it all painted and put together, I’m now in the process of slowly perfecting the setup.

The only long term changes will be correcting the pickup (currently a SD neck, ideally needs to be a SD bridge) and a few minor wiring tweaks. Eventually I may sand the finish down and redo it, we learnt a lot painting this guitar and there a few areas where we could definitely improve.

Overall though, super psyched about how the guitar came out, it looks and sounds great! Onto the next build (watch this space…)

Link to gallery


Sunday Morning Cars

Is there a better way to spend a Sunday morning? I don’t think so.


Audiobook: Adam Savage’s “Every Tool’s a Hammer”

For any “maker” (I use quotes as Adam does a fantastic job of explaining the many, many kinds of people that can be described as makers) this book is a must read/listen. It covers everything from how Adam got started in “making” all the way to how Mythbusters began and much more.

Audible link | Amazon link


On Repeat: Rebel Girl – Angels and Airwaves


Building a TD Fender Strat – Part 2: The body!

View part 1

We now have an almost complete body after a lot of template building and routing (including some close calls with fingers)! Next up is getting the holes drilled for the bridge and tidying up around the neck pocket. From there it’ll be onto sanding, sealing and priming ready for paint! Can’t say I’m too excited at the prospect of so much sanding…

I’ve put together a little album on SmugMug to show each stage so far. Once I’ve added some more photos to the album, I’ll try and go through them all adding captions explaining each stage.

View part 3 (the final part) of the build here


Older Posts