Reboot with Hugo

Thanks to the magic of static site generators, I’ve now moved from Blogger to Hugo. All static site generators are much for muchness, but Hugo appealed to me with the chance of at least hacking in Go. The main benefit though would be archive all my writing in git - which can now be found at The code to generate my blog is kept in a separate repository. Besides the folders to drive Hugo, I have included a home-made Blogger to Hugo importer.

   blog, technology

Land and Waste New Zealand - #mixandmashnz

Here’s a behind the scenes write-up for my Mix and Mash NZ mashup. Check it out here : This mashup attempts to show land and waste data as it changes, and hopefully illuminates any improvements of our environmental impact as well as regressions. The journey It started out as an idea to gather all kerb recycling data from all 75 odd local councils in New Zealand. That meant scraping the data off the websites of various local and unitary councils.

Fix home/end keybindings in on OS X all the way to the end of the less buffer! Drove me crazy the way end behaves exactly like page down instead. This tip fixed that for me. See this Amp at


Amplify’d from martinfowler.comIdentity MapEnsures that each object gets loaded only once by keeping every loaded object in a map. Looks up objects using the map when referring to them.An old proverb says that a man with two watches never knows what time it is. If two watches are confusing, you can get in an even bigger mess with loading objects from a database. If you aren’t careful you can load the data from the same database record into two different objects.

Facebook - greedy defaults and jarring configs

Commited Facebook Suicide for the second time. Where do I start? … The first thing that jarred me was that my full birthday is published. This in combination with search engine visibility means that it’s spammer time. Next thing that happened is that the privacy settings had “Everyone”, “Friends of Friends”, and “Friends”. Nice and simple, I thought. But no, I have to exclude my full birthday again from everyone. (I know about how your friend’s applications can just mine everyone’s data through friends).

Bash hackery to get around old rspec

I have a problem where a project is using an older version of RSpec (currently the lastest version is RSpec 1.3.0). Therefore running spec spec/model/some_model_spec.rbgives me an error /spec/models/../spec_helper.rb:23: undefined method `use_transactional_fixtures=’The solution would be to use the older, vendored spec. Now, the spec binary that is installed as part of the gem installation should do this (some gems do checked for vendor’ed binaries) and my rspec is installed under vendor/plugins, not vendor/gems.

   technology, rspec, rails, scripting, bash

How to upgrade to Firefox 3.6 for Karmic (Ubuntu 9.10) - firefox-stable

There are a plethora of install instructions out there for Firefox 3.6 Karmic (which uses Firefox 3.5 by default), however it mostly suggests the mozilla-daily build. By chance, I found the firefox-stable ppa ( Here’s how (enter each in turn):sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/firefox-stablesudo apt-get updatesudo apt-get upgradesudo apt-get dist-upgradeHere’s what it looks like:~ $ sudo apt-get upgradeReading package lists… DoneBuilding dependency tree       Reading state information… DoneThe following packages have been kept back:  firefox firefox-3.5 firefox-3.5-branding firefox-gnome-support0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 4 not upgraded.~ $ sudo apt-get dist-upgradeReading package lists… DoneBuilding dependency tree       Reading state information… DoneCalculating upgrade… DoneThe following NEW packages will be installed:  firefox-brandingThe following packages will be upgraded:  firefox firefox-3.5 firefox-3.5-branding firefox-gnome-support4 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.Need to get 12.5MB of archives.After this operation, 32.4MB of additional disk space will be used.Do you want to continue [Y/n]?

   ubuntu, karmic, firefox3

Rails 3 presentation

At the January WellRailed (Wellington Rails User group), I gave a presentation on the upcoming Rails 3.0, with special emphasis on cool new things. You can view the slides after the jump. There are a huge number of changes, but it should be all good fun :) Rails 3 : Cool New Things by Thong Kuah View more presentations from Y. Thong Kuah. Note: Rails 3.0pre was released after the presentation

   technology, programming, rails3

Nuggets of inspiration

Some good Software Engineering pearls of wisdom :  Coding Horror: The Xanadu Dream The bottom line is that a lot of the time it’s OK to create a solution that solves 80% of the problem. Always remember that shipping is a feature. Agile development, startups and government policy My recommendation to just about anyone with an idea is to just build the thing, iterate until you have some user traction, then pitch angel investors based on that traction.

   technology, life, business, wisdom, inspiration, lessons learnt