Uneventful year?

Anyone reading my blog this year could be forgiven for thinking that I’ve either disappeared off the face of the earth, or that nothing of note has happened to me during the year! Thankfully, neither of those things are true: I haven’t disappeared and plenty of noteworthy things have happened (I just haven’t written about them!).

Mostly, I haven’t blogged about this year, because I’ve been too busy living through the year! This is obviously very good for me, but not very good for anyone who thinks I’m interesting enough to read about.

Should I make a sweeping resolution to blog more frequently in 2014? No! It is easier to do things because you enjoy it, not because you are forcing yourself to do it!



2013: A Crap Start

We started the year on our allotment, taking advantage of the horse manure that is available for all plot holders.

As parts of our plot were very damp, we also wanted some of the straw to try and soak up some of the water and to protect the new plants from any frost.

The kids really enjoyed themselves helping me collect the manure and hay!



Log entry markup

Earlier this year, I worked for an engineer by the name of Tushar. He’s a very bright guy and probably one of the best software engineers I’ve ever worked with. He uses the following ‘mark-up’ scheme to help identify log file entries.

=== Marks the start of a process (where a process may comprise several methods/objects).
Information; useful information that isn’t an error
>>> Marks the start of a function/method
<<< Marks the end of a function/method
ooo Warning: A warning entry; more serious than ‘Information’ but less serious than an error
*** An error or exception

When you’re formatting your log entry, simply add the appropriate marker at the beginning of the string.

Hinton Ampner

Last weekend was the summer bank holiday weekend. We spent bank holiday Monday at Hinton Ampner, a National Trust property in Hampshire. Apart from a few spots of rain every now and then, the weather stayed dry and the sun put in a few appearances!


We spent a few hours in the gardens while Angharad completed an activity sheet. The gardens were very lovely with woods, a tennis court and ornamental lawns.

Johnathon had some fun pretending to be a fountain! I’m quite pleased with how the photo came out; he and I will have to try some more perspective shots like this in the future!




An avenue of trees presented another photo opportunity.



We saw a few butterflies, as well, including a small tortoiseshell and a peacock. Tortoiseshells are fairly common in England, but I can’t remember ever seeing a peacock butterfly, so this was quite special.



We also spent some time looking round the house; the kids both had activity sheets, which really helped keep their interest. The Trust doesn’t normally allow photography inside its properties, so no photos of the inside.

All in all, it was a lovely day out!

WinMerge Line Filters

I used WinMerge to compare the contents of two folders; there were a large number of text files in both sides that were different simply because a version number had been updated. With so many different files showing, it was difficult to determine which files actually needed to be copied from one side to the other.

I already knew WinMerge had the ability to filter various types of file, but what I didn’t know was that WinMerge can filter lines within a file as well. So, let’s say a text file in the left folder contains a line like:
Build : spf_12208
and the matching text file in the right folder has a similar line:
Build : spf_12230

Without a line filter, this would be highlighted as a difference. To remove this sort of difference, add a line filter as follows:

  1. In WinMerge, click Tools -> Filters.
  2. Click on the Linefilters tab.
  3. Make sure Enable Line Filters is ticked.
  4. Click New
  5. In the edit box, enter a regular expression: spf19_[\d]{5}.
  6. Click OK.

Depending on the exact filter (and whether there are other differences in the file), you should now see a dialog indicating that the files are identical. Identical files can be hidden by unchecking Show Identical Items on the View menu.

Bad Facebook!

I haven’t used Facebook for a long time, because they keep doing things that just aren’t nice!

Here’s another thing they’ve done that isn’t nice.

I’m sure they’ll try and claim it was a bug in their app, but I don’t believe that!

Everything but Sunflowers

Although our vegetables are growing well, the Sunflowers we planted have failed. None of them have come up.




Carrots, peas and some weeds!




Tomatoes and peppers

So, our vegetables are a success, but we’ ve lost Grandad’s Sunflower challenge.