So its a new year, and to go with it is a new plan. This plan includes pushing some things forward, dumping others, and keeping others exactly the same.

Step 1 of the plan, thanking everyone for last year. By all accounts, last year was terrible. So many issues, so little corrected after them. Wouldn’t have got through it however without the help of a few close friends. So with that, thanks guys.

Step 2, kick start some smaller plans. Those things you were planning to do? Less thinking about it, more doing it.

So what are your plans?

Site Maintenance & Updates

Site Maintenance

On July 16 2011 from 9PM (Local time), the site will be unavailable while the server is upgraded to something new and shiny! This is expected to be done by 6AM. If you need to get in touch during this period please use the alternative methods or send an email and hope it survives!


Over the past few days a few updates have been made to the site. This is mostly just content in remote corners of the site. If you know about the areas you will know about the changes. Expect further updates in the coming weeks.

Merry Whatever!

Happy Whatever everyone! Whether it is Christmas, Kwanzaa or anything else, I hope you have a good festive season!


That is the days question, who do you write like? (Via Narfyyy)

According to the system I write like a variety of people including Dan Brown (Whut?!), Edgar Allan Poe and Douglas Adams. One of them amuses me greatly. What about you? Check here

Updates of a general sort


Indeed, science! Not just any science, back yard science! Or atleast rented warehouse science. In recent news has been the story of a man who, when not working as a web developer, has developed a fusion reactor. Yes thats right, a nuclear reactor, in a warehouse in Brooklyn. The DIY project itself cost over $39000 with the majority of the bill funded by the amateur scientist. You can read more at your news outlet of choice, including the BBC.


If you haven’t heard, it is element-14 first birthday. Happy birthday to them!
As part of this they have been running some trivia quizzes, and guess who won one. The prize was a high quality element-14 t-shirt. Some of the best packaging so far. Compressed down to a smaller t-shirt brick.


Messy Carla’s facebook page has reached 100 fans, I’m sure one or two of you may be interested in making that number higher.
If you are interested in a fashion blog, check out Carla’s at http://messycarla.blogspot.com

Everything Else?

Attention Scum!

No, I don’t just mean that as a greeting, I mean the TV series by Simon Munnery, Stewart Lee and friends (Including Kevin Eldon…). Really, why did it have to end? It was a work of genius. If anyone knows whether it can be found on DVD I’d love to know!

Short blog is short, if theres anything you want to see here next time, speak up. Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the weather.

Rant Time.

Todays topic of ranting is dating websites. Don’t want to read? Don’t look.

(continue reading…)


Ok, so you may have noticed the style of the blog just changed. Well theres a good reason for that…sort of…
It seems that at some point in the past day, an update occurred which manage to tear apart the poor defenceless theme (Which consequently died). As a result, the blog was left looking like it was skinned for a mobile device atleast 5 years old. Efforts are being made to go back to what we had, but it may not happen. More later.


It is with some minute hint of sadness that the old theme was just declared dead. After a brief coma and other such inappropriate things, it was scrapped. Why? Despite several attempts to reinstall the theme, it just failed to load properly.

Ask me…Stuff!

So I got a little bored, and decided to follow the recent formspring trend. Ask me anything! I may even post the best ones here!


Round Up

After a change of system, some blog posts were lost, as many as possible have been recovered and follow:


After a short delay (only about a month to be exact), the new project is getting under way. “Module A” has been started and is in a usable state, even if it is not quite there yet in terms of final functionality.
Initial teething issues that caused major problems (Really easy to work one something when you can’t get to it…) have been sorted but are expected to be repeated one day in the future when changes are made.

More less cryptic updates on that some day in the future.

posted by JohnT @ 16:40


Yes, after a rather interesting and some what joyous day at the first UK Makers Faire (http://www.newcastlesciencefest.com / http://makerfaire.com/newcastle/2009/ ) I have decided to delve into the world of embedded systems.
To be more specific, open source hardware, Arduino style.
What shenanigans ensue when it arrives is a mystery. I will however keep you posted.


Very little has gone on recently. There has been an addition to the available demonstrations. The newest allows the user to convert the data exported from the Firefox Signatures Extension to the file format required for imports by the Firefox Clippings extension. The idea for that comes from Little-vampire.
The other lesser spotted changes to the last.fm demonstrations will eventually form the basis for an old and hopefully soon to be revived project. That is of course if the plans all come together.

No doubt more later.

Good night and good luck etc etc.Labels: , , , , , ,

Windows 7? Again

My new official opinion of windows 7 is that you shouldn’t go near it with a stick. Aside from the GUI issues (i.e. Its stolen from Mac OSX and a few Linux distros), it’s horribly slow, tries to do too much from one place (load a game it gives you a window showing the same list you just choose from, load a window froma shortcut it gives you a file browser window again…).
The main factor that has put me off so far is the BSoD. Yes it has it, no its not pretty. Yes its easy to get. While closing a game (out of sheer disgust I might add at the installations inability to state you need better graphics for the default software) it bluescreened. I mean come on! I CLOSED something, nothing hard. To make it worse, when it rebooted itself (because naturally, thats what you want to do with something like this…whatever it is) it gave a nice minimised error that pretty much stopped you even using the shortcuts on the menu until you looked at it.

Its horrible I say, horrible!

In addition, the only good change may be the logo, but even then it looks like someone ran it through some photoshop filters and left it like that.Labels:

Windows 7?

So I am busy trying the Windows 7 Beta and what can I say? Its like Mandriva One 2009 in places.
Opinions so far:

  • Not such a fan, some things are too badly laid out.

Better review/comments coming soon

Travel is…


Planning something vague and totally unnecessary just as an exercise, but have no server capable of supporting the backend it requires. Problems problems…

More later on that.Labels:

Decent days and nights?

“Rejoice!” said the giant sheep as it unveiled the new blog area and the updated contents of the main site.
Or at least, that is what may have happened had this been on BBC 3.
Fear not though, for the above is indeed true if you ignore the giant sheep and it’s statement.Labels:


Long time, no blog, as usual.

Aside from the regular work based fun, the redesign and gluing together of DM goes on. In the past couple of days, a decision was made to implement some sort of ad system to see what effect that has, most likely none. Work on various other functions has also gone on with one or two bits in a stage resembling complete.

More later.


Ok, so recently I’ve been going through my bookmarks (mainly as an attempt to take my mind off various things…) and found a couple I had saved as ideas for projects. One of which required the use of JSON. Now, it may be popular it seems, but seriously, where are all the tutorials? Certainly not online thats for sure, atleast for what I was looking for anyway. To remedy this, I decided to piece together the few bits of code I could to give a basic example. This may be obvious to many, but when you are new to something and need a quick example, its a start. The following example is based on the code for a site API and as such needed to be altered to handle anything else. Enjoy.In this particular example, the source for the JSON itself is the tinyurl API.

$URL = "http://johntiernan.co.uk/";
$APIURL = "http://json-tinyurl.appspot.com/?url=".$URL;
$ch = curl_init($APIURL);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
$jsonData = curl_exec($ch);
$data = json_decode($jsonData, true);
echo "Original: " . $URL . "
echo "New: " . $data['tinyurl'] . "\n";

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