BoardGameGeek graph

Tom Parker wrote “I’m a bit of a gamer, although I’m using that term to cover many things including pen-and-paper RPGs, board games, various forms of LARP, and occasionally a bit of video gaming. Of course, with all those options there’s the problem of what should you play. One of the solutions that people have come up with is…”

By User:Salimfadhley (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

4-way TCP handshake and firewalls

Jarek Siembida wrote “This is one of those pieces that you keep in your head for ages but never get around to write up. Tcpdumping I was doing of late brought it back so here it is. We all know the 3-way handshake in TCP: SYN + SYN/ACK + ACK and voila! But this is not the end…”


Tom Parker wrote “Over the last couple of years I’ve been reading and talking about a lot of things related to distributed systems. This is a common train of thought around here, and after working on this on and off for the past 18 months or so (the version you’re seeing here is in fact version 3 having repeatedly changed…”

By Engineers11 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Scripting vs. Engineering

Ian Rogers wrote “I’ve come to the conclusion that the terms like “programming”, “coding” etc. have become horribly ambiguous which has enabled: organisations to offer courses on html/css editing as “coding” people to make claims like “nodejs is more productive than java” (which is a nonsense statement either way) various arguments along the lines of “is X a…”

Docket: Fun with Todoist and Beeminder APIs

Tom Parker wrote “So, I recently changed over my todo list usage to use Todoist. However, now I had a chunky amount of my phone screen chewed up with both a display of that and my existing Beeminder list, and I wondered if I could somehow merge the two. Also, because my Beeminder emergency days are one of the significant sources…”

Scrutiny: Github permissions audit and backup tool

Tom Parker wrote “These days we’ve all got an awful lot of our code in Github, and so we really need both a backup (so we can cope with them having a catastrophic failure) and a permissions auditing mechanism (so we know who’s getting access). For the latter, some of you may be saying “just use the audit…”

Talky Jukebox bot

Tom Parker wrote “Previously I talked about our soon-to-be-new Jukebox (which is currently blocked on going live due to a Mopidy bug). At the bottom of that post, I mentioned Slack support, but hadn’t figured out what sort of form this support would take. The Mopidy search interface is perfectly good, but having something that notifies our #jukebox Slack channel…”

Yet Another Jukebox

Tom Parker wrote “LShift has for a significant part of it’s history (at least 9 years, according to the blog post in 2006 about an earlier version) had an in-office jukebox. When I arrived here to begin with in 2010, there was the aforementioned earlier version, written in Erlang, and I have anecdotal reports of predecessors to that.…”

Raspberry Chef

Tom Parker wrote “Last month I wrote about temperature monitoring, and how I ended up using Raspberry Pi’s. I’m still fiddling around with their configuration, and I ran into a few problems. For starters, if I brought them home, they knew how to talk to the work WiFi, but not my home system, and vice versa (although this is…”

Kitten videos: an engineering approach

Tom Parker wrote “A little while ago one of my colleagues put up a kitten video feed on one of the spare monitors in the office. This was liked, but as we rapidly found out there was a few problems. Biggest of which is that kittens have a fairly well known failure state: they fall asleep. Sleeping kittens are…”