Fixing Broken Zip Files from Bandcamp - File name too long


Amy Pond, from the TV show Doctor Who, is strapped into a chair. She is saying "OK, kid, This is where where it gets complicated"

I recently downloaded an album from Bandcamp. On trying to extract the zip file using Ubuntu, I got the error "File name too long." This is a known problem with Bandcamp. If you have a problem with long filenames in zip files, here's how to fix it. Quick Solution unzip -p -c whatever.zip "filename.ogg" > […] Read More

A Turing Test For Self-Driving Cars


The robotic taxi driver from the film Total Recall

Imagine that you are sat, blindfolded, in the back of a taxi. How could you tell if you were being driven by a human or an autonomous vehicle? If you've not read Alan Turing's The Imitation Game, I can highly recommend it. The paper is short, well written, and contains a whole world of ideas. […] Read More

The Twitter Logo As SVG Circles


The Twitter logo represented by a series of overlapping circles

Five years ago, Twitter updated its logo and demonstrated that it could be made entirely of circles. Interestingly, the official Twitter logo doesn't use circles directly. So, here is an SVG I've made which is only circles: Or, without the edges, and no transparency: And the raw code: <svg height="100" viewBox="0 0 100 100" width="100" […] Read More

A Vegetarian in Beijing


A weird knobbly thing made out of generic food

I was incredibly fortunate that my new employer sent me to a conference in China recently. I can't discuss what I did out there - but I can report on all the delicious food I ate! (NB - I paid for all meals myself!) Being veggie in Beijing was relatively easy. I had a stock […] Read More

Amazon Alexa and Solar Panels


A listing of every possible subject object verb combination

I can now query my solar panels via my Alexa Amazon Dot Echo thingie (why so many names?). I flatter myself as a reasonably competent techie and programmer, but fuck me AWS Lambdas and Alexa skills are a right pile of shite! Sorry if that sounds a bit harsh, but they're a pain in the […] Read More

Internet Connected Lightswitches - Redux!


The light assembly is put back together. The WisQo is sticking out of the ceiling.

Regular readers will remember that I have had a disastrous experience with WiFi light switches. I've had pretty good results with LIFX bulbs - but I really wanted something which can control my lights' switches. Enter the new WisQo smart lightswitches. The company claims that they'll work with the UK's "unique" wiring designs. They've kindly […] Read More

Whatever happened to URI Schemes?


A web browser showing an error message that it didn't undetand a protocol

A few days ago, I ranted about how chat apps have poor support for URI schemes. By "Chat Apps", I'm talking about the new wave of messengers - WhatsApp, WeChat, Telegram, Wire, and the like. What do I mean by "URI Scheme"? You're probably familiar with: https://example.com The "scheme" is https - it tells the […] Read More

Creating a generic, open source, check-in app


A very basic looking HTML form

Many years ago, when Foursquare was still cool, I built an app to let people check into chocolate bars. You know, "@edent is eating a Wonka Bar classic. 4/5🌟" It was a quick and dirty hackday project. Ever since, I've had the hankering to build something a bit more generic. I currently use Untappd to […] Read More