Joe Innes's Blog

Journalling Habit

I have taken up journalling, and decided to make a few notes about why and how I started this, and how it's been going over the past couple of months. In summary though, it seems to be going pretty well, and I'm finding it a useful habit.

Thing Doer 💥

Keeping up with recurring tasks can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be. Enter Thing Doer, a new mini-app designed to streamline the management of your everyday routines. Developed with simplicity in mind and powered by SvelteKit, Pocketbase, and Pico CSS, Thing Doer offers a straightforward solution without unnecessary bells and whistles.

It's Nothing or It's Awful

Jean-Louis Gassée speaks on a recurrent customer service decision that resonates very strongly with my own personal mindset.

Fun-Free February

Every February, I challenge myself to give up a bunch of different things, and 2024 is no exception. Will this be the hardest year yet? Probably not, but it certainly won't be easiest either.

Mount Everest

Turns out, unfathomable tragic loss isn't very hard. It's easy, in fact. Easy in the same way that falling off a cliff is "easy"–gravity does all the work for you. It's not like climbing mount Everest, desperately putting one foot in front of the other. It's not like struggling to answer questions in a final exam. Tragic loss is just something that happens to you.

CORS: Access-Control-Allow-Origin whut?!

CORS can seem like a super tricky and complex topic to wrap your head around, but in reality, it's not as hard as it appears.

Stoic Quotes

Stoicism is a way of life, a philosophy that advocates living a life well aligned with nature and reality. Often, stoicism is associated with not allowing negative events to affect you.

Drinks App

I launched a little web app today to help track alcohol consumption. I'm calling it 'Drinks' which is a dreadful name for it.

Social Media vs Mental Health

How does social media impact mental health? Well, since Instagram became a big thing, it seems pretty bad, especially for girls.

Social Life Stagnating?

I came across an interesting article on 'Art of Manliness', which talks a bit about social anxiety and what we believe to be true about our social interactions which is actually not (and vice versa).

Focus is, of course, itself just another computation

I read something interesting about light field cameras recently which completely changed my perception of how light, physics, and cameras work.

First Full Year

In which I become a dad, an uncle, a brother-in-law, and miss my sister.

The Yard-Sale Model

The 'trickle down' model doesn't work, and never has. All things being equal, the emergence of the 'super-rich' is inevitable.

Plague House

After two years of ducking and diving, finally COVID-19 catches up with me.

A Curious Loophole

An exploration of optimising car rentals to travel as cheaply as possible.

Signing Out of Twitter

Elon Musk is ruining Twitter, and potentially the world.

Zug.

A small town with charm, mountain and lake views, and 30% rich expats. What's not to like.

Going To Switzerland

I'm going to Switzerland next week, and I'm super excited.

Just Call Someone In

Next time, instead of watching a YouTube video and telling yourself 'that looks easy', call someone out.

Updating failed. Could not update in the database

How to fix this annoying Wordpress error which stops you from updating posts on your site.

Sourdough

The best sourdough loaf I've made so far showed me the importance of choosing the right flour, a long cold proof, and a shallow cut.

What Does An Early Pregnancy ACTUALLY Look Like?

The Guardian have published a set of images that show what the early stages of pregnancy actually look like, and it's quite surprising.

How Much Time Do We Have?

An exploration of how much time we might have left with those we love.

Japanese Grand Prix 2022

After a wet and eventful Sunday morning, one thing that stands out clearly is that F1 is in trouble.

Falsehoods This Guy Believed About Names

A peculiar feature of Hungarian birth certificates I discovered when I married my wife.

Every Key Is A String

As it turns out, there are quite a few tricks that JavaScript plays on us all. One of those is pretending things are something they are not.

Better Colours Easily

Using RGB values to define colours is difficult to wrap your head around, and requires a lot of mental effort to know how to develop a colour palette that will make your site look good. There's a better way.

Lapsang Souchong

An homage to a delicious, robust, smoked tea with a taste that tells tales of autumn evenings.

MusicKit

A short post about where Apple goes wrong in encouraging hobbyists to build for their ecosystem. Or maybe that's what they want?

Avenir

A comparison of beautiful geometric sans fonts, starting with the satisfyingly proportioned Avenir.

Singapore Grand Prix 2022 Predictions

Could this be the weekend that Verstappen clinches the 2022 championship (a few days before we learn whether he gets to keep the 2021 championship)?

Taking Care of My Blog

For about the millionth time, my interest in blogging has been renewed, and I'm planning to start blogging again.

The Queen Died Today

Queen Elizabeth II died on 8th September 2022, and it hit me, an anti-royalist, harder than I expected.

Loved You A Little

Charlotte Sands, The Maine, and Taking Back Sunday collaborated and produced my favourite song of 2022 so far.

Christmas 2021

For someone who's lived abroad most of his adult life, Christmases have always been a time for going home and seeing family. I skipped 2020 because of COVID and will forever wish I hadn't.

14 Aug 2021

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Bit of Bassline

DJ De Layna has been soundtracking my Saturday evenings for a while now.

Blob Opera

This little experiment from Google is brilliant, fiddle about with singing blobs and see what you can generate.

Serum - Know How

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Knife Prty–DeftonesxPurity Ring

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BMTH ft BABYMETAL

This new track from Bring Me The Horizon and BABYMETAL is super cool

#endchildfoodpoverty

I [/] built a little something on my day off after the UK government decided not to extend free school meals to children during the October half-term. Although children do not normally receive free school meals outside of term time, the unprecedented economic situation caused by COVID-19 and mass layoffs means…

The beginning of the end of advertising?

Once upon a time, Google sat in the middle. You had a question, and Google could help you find someone who knew the answer. Google built an ecosystem around advertising. There were (and still are) other advertising networks, where you can dedicate a portion of your website to the highest bidder.…

Idris Elba DJ Set

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Team Are Online

> Goal: Enable teams to work remotely more effectively by displaying a ‘status’ which can be set easily STACK Back End Platform: OctoberCMS [http://octobercms.com/], running on a Ubuntu 20.04 server (Linux, Apache, SQLite PostgreSQL, PHP) Front-end: Water.css [https://watercss.kognise.dev/] Picnic.css [https://picnicss.com/] BASIC TECHNICAL OVERVIEW A custom plugin will add two new models: ‘Projects’ and ‘States’, as…

What's So Funny About Brexit?

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Sorry, You're Not A Winner

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Collaboration

Interesting article I came across on collaboration and motivation - David Relph’s Bristol Scale: > C1 — The ‘what’s in it for me motivation?’ I collaborate because I/my organisation benefits. My motivation is personal. > C2 — The ‘I need others to do something that will help me’ motivation. I collaborate because…

I'm Not On Facebook...

Anything I want to share will be on this website (https://joeinn.es [/]) I’M NOT ON INSTAGRAM… I’M NOT ON WHATSAPP… Instant messaging platforms in order of preference: * Signal [https://signal.org/download/], Apple Message, FaceTime, phone, SMS using my number Or you can drop me an email: [my first name]@joeinn.es

Why My Facebook Is Empty

I was a Facebook early adopter. I have an email from October 2006 confirming an email change, but I don’t remember and can’t check when I originally joined. At the time, it was only open to users with an .ac.uk email address, which I’ve since lost access to. Facebook has been…

What is Signal?

Signal [https://signal.org] is a free, end-to-end encrypted, open source messaging platform. OH, LIKE WHATSAPP? Sort of. Functionality-wise, yes. WhatsApp is also free and end-to-end encrypted. SO WHATSAPP IS GOOD? It’s better than Facebook Messenger (unless you use secret conversations, in which case Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are essentially equivalent). In fact, WhatsApp uses the Signal…

Crumpets

Apparently, the below is Warburton’s crumpet recipe… something fun for me to try out (just need to find a biscuit cutter): https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/warburtons-shares-secret-famous-crumpet-18248844 [https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/warburtons-shares-secret-famous-crumpet-18248844] INGREDIENTS: Bakes six * 150g plain white flour * 200ml water * ½ teaspoon salt * ½ teaspoon sugar * 1 teaspoon baking powder * 1 teaspoon dried yeast METHOD: …

The Lighthouse

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Skywalker

Check out this cool Czech band who’ve published a whole live set on YouTube: If you’re into a bit of post-hardcore, you’ll enjoy this.

COVID-19 Hungary

So, I built an app for the COVID-19 ‘pandemic’ - it’s hosted at covid19.budapestpulse.com [https://covid19.budapestpulse.com] by Glitch - check it out! Tech info: * It’s a Node.js/Express app * It fetches data the koronavirus.gov.hu site, and parses it to read out key data points * It saves that to an NEDB…

A Few Snaps From My Birthday

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UK Winter 2019-2020

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Meat Coin

I wrote a PWA to help reduce meat consumption. It’s a fairly simple app - you install it, and for every plant-based meal, you get one ‘meat coin’. For every meal with meat, you use one ‘meat coin’. A meal with dairy costs half a meat coin. All data is stored…

Most Interesting Christmas Presents

A list of some of the best Christmas presents of 2020

We got engaged!

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Weather Display

App to display current weather in your location

Screen2Vid

An app using the MediaRecorder API to record a screencast in WEBP format. Great for quick demos of ‘how to’ questions. Includes a countdown timer, and the possibility to record audio (sometimes - browser support seems a bit sketchy for this). https://screen2vid.joeinn.es [https://screen2vid.joeinn.es]

T-Mobile Austria's Customer Service Car Crash

It all started on April 4th when a well—meaning tweet was sent to T-Mobile Austria: CLAUDIA PELLEGRINO @C_PELLEGRINO APRIL 4, 2018 Does T-Mobile Austria in fact store customers’ passwords in clear text @tmobileat [https://twitter.com/tmobileat?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw]? @PWTooStrong @Telekom_hilft [https://twitter.com/Telekom_hilft?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw] https://t.co/ydFdVRWgE4 [https://t.co/ydFdVRWgE4] [https://twitter.com/PWTooStrong?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw] [https://twitter.com/c_pellegrino/status/981409466242486272?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw] T-Mobile sent the following alarming response: T-MOBILE AUSTRIA @TMOBILEAT APRIL 4, 2018 Hello Claudia! The customer service agents see…

Bubi Bikes

I created an app which interacts with the Budapest Public Transport company’s API to fetch the number of available bicycles at each rental station, and displays them on a map. Check it out at https://bubi-bikes.joeinn.es [https://bubi-bikes.joeinn.es]!

Now for real: The UK Tax System Explained in Beer

An article posted on LinkedIn [https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/uk-tax-system-explained-beer-fraser-kerr] has been gaining popularity as a simplified explanation of the UK tax system. At first glance, it seems quite interesting and well thought through, so I did some fact checking. This is what it really looks like. Suppose that once a week, ten men go…

Voter Power Calculator (2017 UK General Election)

I voted for: ConservativesLabourSNPLib DemsDemocratic Unionist PartySinn FeinPlaid CymruSDLPUlster Unionist PartyUKIPGreen Party YOUR VOTE WAS WORTH 1.36× THE AVERAGE! An average candidate needed to receive 46685 votes to get a seat. Your party required 34244 votes per seat. If the votes of everyone in your party had been as strong as an average vote,…

The Silver Yaris

The alarm clock rings, but I’m already awake. I know it’s 6:45 now, and I’ve been awake for probably about twenty minutes already. I hit snooze anyway, because the air is cold in the flat. Nine minutes later, I drag one leg after the other over the edge of the…

The AWS Outage—What Happened and Why Does It Matter?

Yesterday, one of Amazon’s data centres suffered some kind of catastrophic failure, and their S3 service went down. The US-EAST-1 DC is one of the data centres the tech giant have on the Eastern seaboard (it’s in North Virginia, to be precise). A large portion of the internet was affected,…

Pomodoro Timer

A pomodoro countdown timer. Nothing too fancy and probably full of bugs.

Voter Power Calculator (2015 UK General Election)

I voted for: ConservativesLabourSNPLib DemsDemocratic Unionist PartySinn FeinPlaid CymruSDLPUlster Unionist PartyUKIPGreen Party YOUR VOTE WAS WORTH 1.36× THE AVERAGE! An average candidate needed to receive 46685 votes to get a seat. Your party required 34244 votes per seat. If the votes of everyone in your party had been as strong as an average vote,…

Top Tips For Getting Hacked

[https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2000/0*ZWZjZu5eC0Mxjz2O.jpg] Here is a step-by-step tutorial for anyone who would like to get hacked. * When you install OSMC on your Raspberry Pi, be sure to leave the default user as osmc and the password for that account as osmc * To make sure that hackers can gain access to your…

Javascript Testing For Idiots Who Don’t Understand Anything They’ve Read About It So Far

So, I’ve heard a lot about ‘testing’, and why it’s a great thing, and I’m fully on board. I’ve read all the ‘red, green, refactor’, I understand the main principles behind Test Driven Development, and I’ve wanted to start for months. But, I’ve never been able to wade through the hipster…

How To Trick Everyone Into Thinking You're Not A Racist

Top tips for pretending you voted ‘Leave’ because you’re not a racist! Not a single immigrant in sight! (that’s just how you like it, isn’t it?) You say: “The Common Agricultural Policy is not fair, and is very expensive to the UK”. Your opponent says: “Do you like Italian wine and French…

Why Accessibility Matters, Even When You Think It Doesn't

When designing for the web, accessibility is often forgotten, and this is a bad thing. It’s bad because it means that users with screen readers and the like are not able to use your site. This is unprofessional, and may even be legally classed as discrimination. There is precedent for companies…

Delegating my Job to VBA

In my work, one of my major embarassments is falling behind my colleagues. I work with one other person on our Knowledge Base, and one of our goals is to have every document reviewed once every 6 months. I’m responsible for making sure that 250 or so articles are up…

My Four F's of Effective Email Management

I work for a multinational company, and I’ve tried every to-do list manager going, I’ve even tried to write a few myself. I inevitably stick with it for a week or two, and then give up. There’s a very simple reason for this. My mailbox is my to-do list. I rarely have…

Migrating from Meteor Hosting (.meteor.com) to my own VPS

Sad news — the free and simple hosting provided by Meteor is coming to an end (as do all things), and so if you want to keep your apps, you need to migrate them to another host. I followed the steps below with a brand new Digital Ocean droplet, but this should work…

Setting Up My Home Server

So, I’ve got an old laptop kicking around, and I decided to spend an afternoon making it into a home server. CHOOSING AN OS The Windows key on the bottom has run dry, so I’ve decided to spin up Xubuntu [http://xubuntu.org/getxubuntu/] on it. I want a graphical interface because it will make…

A Punch in the Teeth for UKIP and the Greens

If you voted for UKIP, I feel sorry for you. Politically, I’m so far way from you, you’d need a telescope to see me. Still, you deserve better representation. I wrote a little calculator to show how powerful your vote was. Check it out below. Play with it. Go ahead, I’ll…

Registering a Domain Name

The first step in becoming a webmaster is choosing a domain name. Some domains are easier to register than others. .com TLDs are the easiest. My own TLD (.es) is supposed to be used for Spanish websites, and so I chose a Spanish company to buy the domain from. Now, I…

Designing My Web App

I’ve found a gap in the market. This is going to earn me billions. I’ve already chosen my Ferrari. All I have to do now is actually make the damn thing. WHAT IS IT? It’s an employee training tracker. Yes, we can use Excel spreadsheets, Access databases, and pen and paper, but…

Choosing a VPS Provider

I use VPS Dime [http://vpsdime.com/], and have been very please with the price and performance, but you could just as easily use AWS [http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/], Digital Ocean, or any other VPS provider. The instructions provided here are for VPS Dime’s cheapest VPS, but once the server spins up, it makes no difference…

Setting Up Your DNS

You don’t want to have users typing in your IP address to access your server, you want them to be able to access your server via the name you paid for. The exact steps to follow will depend on your registrar. First though, a little background. When you register your domain,…

Setting Up Your VPS

So now you have a server in the cloud. Nice! But at the moment, it’s not doing anything. It’s connected to the internet, sure, but it’s not actually ready for you to do anything with yet. In order to do that, you’re going to need to get used to the…

Crimea in Crisis—How the West Has Lost

Russia and Ukraine have always felt a very close unity. Indeed, Russia’s name places it as the descendent of Kievan Rus, which unsurprisingly had its capital in Ukraine. It’s worth mentioning that this is not a one-way thing. Many Ukrainians support Russia, and support forging closer ties with them. In…

Ukraine on Fire as Protests Turn Violent

It was to be a decisive move that put an end to the Euromaidan protests. After three months of protesters camping on Ukraine’s main city square, pro-Yanukovich forces moved in thousands of protesters. Although they were not the first casualties during the past quarter of the year, the 28 people…

ASBO 2.0 Rejected—But the Problem Remains

The Ipnas were conceived to broaden the powers the police have to prevent annoying behaviour. That’s not a joke, by the way, it’s there in the name. The full name of the Ipnas was “Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance”. Fortunately, the proposal was rejected by the House of Lords…

No Benefits Please, We're British

I am, as are many others my age, in something of a pickle. I have just escaped the 18–25 age bracket, and almost simultaneously have found myself without a job. Now, I’m not expecting sympathy and I’m not asking you to get out the chequebook. My prospects are relatively good and…

François Hollande Caught With His Trousers Down… But So What?

France’s least popular president since France began having that sort of thing has experienced an unlikely boost in his ratings. It would seem all you need to do to impress the French is to fornicate with somebody other than your designated life partner. The French are some of the biggest perpetrators…

Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished

Tonight, riot police line the streets of Kiev. Protestors are bedding down in tents on the Ukrainian capital’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the big square, and there’s no sign of either side backing down. For the most part, the protests and the police reaction have been peaceful, but tensions are high, as…

Nelson Mandela

On 5 December, 2013, Nelson Mandela passed away in Johannesburg, South Africa, the country he helped to shape and reform following his 27-year incarceration. The world is celebrating his life — and there is much to celebrate. Mandela was an instrumental figure in demolishing apartheid in South Africa, and a campaigner for…

The Financial Transaction Tax, The EU, and You

As we continue to live through the media’s caterwauling of austerity, cuts, and double-dip recessions, we find ourselves in a position of power over the financial institutions whose machinations ultimately led to the crash itself. The government has a significant stake in a number of banks, and owns some outright.…

Zero-Hour Contracts

One of the ways retailers have fought off the recession is by saving on staffing costs. Obviously, nobody likes to hear about companies making people redundant, or closing shops that are performing worse, but I can’t help but feel that some of these options are better than the zero-hour contract…

The EU Debate

As the next elections loom in the distance, we face a real possibility of having our say on EU membership in the imminent future. However, we as a country are woefully unprepared to make that decision. Only 37% of Brits claim to have a good understanding of the EU (according…

Pussy Riot Denied Access to their Own Parole Hearing

As Maria Alyokhina lay in a hospital bed, newspapers reported that she was upbeat and positive. Her hunger strike began when she was told she would not be allowed to attend her own parole hearing, a fate that Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was to share. Both were denied parole in their absence. The…

The Abstraction of Warfare

War is hell. People around the globe are widely in agreement on this simple statement, which is pretty impressive, seeing as we can barely agree on the day of the week most of the time. And yet, for some reason, we’ve only managed about three years without war since WWII. We’ve…

Le Hashtag

Earlier this month, L’Académie Française issued a diktat that from this day forward, there was to be no more le hashtag and from now on it is to be referred to as a mot-dièse. This was picked up fairly widely in the media, and laughed off as another example of…