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   en arranfrance https://blog.arranfrance.com Recent content on Arran's
   Blog Hugo -- gohugo.io en-gb © Arran France Thu, 02 Apr 2020
   09:55:29 +0100
   Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:55:29 +0100

I noticed the default Ubuntu terminal, my daily driver, has been feeling a little slow recently. Having heard about Alacritty, a fast new terminal written in Rust, I figured I might make the jump over and see what it was all about. The kicker, Alacritty doesn't have tabs - this post dives into how I made the switch to a tabless world less painful.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/13329966/battlefront-2-perform ance-problem-fixes Sat, 07 Mar 2020 14:22:24 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/battlefront-2-performance-problem-fix es/

I recently bought Battlefront II on the Origin sale. It's a cracking game, who wouldn't want pew pew it down as Clone Trooper or slaughter without mercy as Kylo Ren? Unfortunately, despite having a fairly neat gaming PC it ran like and asthmatic dwarf - that is to say, not very fast.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/13282643/fighting-a-instabilit y-issue-windows-gaming-pc Sun, 23 Feb 2020 08:58:19 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/fighting-a-instability-issue-windows- gaming-pc/

Recently, using the bones of a friends gaming PC (namely the case, motherboard, PSU, and a couple of HDDs) I built a new gaming PC. Unfortunately, after putting it all together I've suffered from a number of strange instability issues that have been difficult to track down. This is a glimpse into the rabbit hole I've been down this past week or so.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/13222428/top-nine-eureka-baddi es-ranked Tue, 04 Feb 2020 08:15:14 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/top-nine-eureka-baddies-ranked/

Eureka is a series of movies created by Pymm Productions - if you haven't heard of them it's probably because you don't live in Englefield Green, it's fair to say they're a little bit niche.

In Eureka: Journey to the Underworld and the Christmas special Eureka and the Five Gold Rings, Eureka and Brad face a number of monsters and gods, some of whom are easier to defeat than others. Join me as I rank each in reverse order of how formidable they are.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/13098108/eagles-cowboys-week-1 6-2019 Mon, 23 Dec 2019 11:08:07 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/eagles-cowboys-week-16-2019/

This was perhaps the most embarrassing game the Cowboys have played all season. More embarrassing than our 0-4 loss to the Jets and significantly more embarrassing than the game versus a weak and vulnerable Patriots. The Eagles came into this game, deservedly so, as massive underdogs. The Cowboys just had to play 60 minutes of good football to walk away as NFC East champions.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/13090510/regex-in-vscode Sun, 22 Dec 2019 10:12:05 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/regex-in-vscode/ Today I started the process of moving from Stylus to Sass. As a part of that process I also switched to using CSS variables over Stylus or Sass variables. In order to make that transition easy I used find and replace to replace each $variable with --variable - as a manual process this wasn't too bad. I only had about 20 variables to replace. Changing all of their appearances however to start with var(--variable) would've been painful. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/13062459/election-night-2019 Thu, 12 Dec 2019 22:50:15 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/election-night-2019/

Well it's election night 2019 and it looks pretty bleak. A majority of 86 - with the largest share of the vote for the Conservatives in a long time, similarly historical and equally bleak is the Labour seat count - the lowest allegedly since 1935.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/12946271/replacing-vue-with-va nilla-js Sat, 02 Nov 2019 13:32:22 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/replacing-vue-with-vanilla-js/

After a few recent tweaks to my blog I realised that a large portion of its JavaScript bundle size was taken up with Vue.js. I'm a huge fan of Vue - I think it's a great framework for developing applications but given I was using it just for a search box and a pop up it was hard to justify keeping it.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/12877690/jonathans-movies-disc over-bug Sun, 06 Oct 2019 14:56:00 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/jonathans-movies-discover-bug/

Spotting bugs is easy but fixing them can often be a challenge. Here's the story of how I lost three hours of sleep last night to an unlikely bug.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/12761070/always-up-to-date-mar vel-movie-rankings Sat, 20 Jul 2019 19:21:30 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/always-up-to-date-marvel-movie-rankings/ This page lists my up to date ranking of all the Marvel movies I've seen. As caveated in my original attempt to rank Marvel's catalog there are a lot of issues with creating a list like this. Marvel movies don't allow like for like comparisons - even within the bounds of a specific character's story directors change and genres are blended. Thor and Thor Ragnarok have almost nothing in common aside from some of the cast! https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/12320792/japan-2019-day-8 Fri, 28 Jun 2019 08:06:39 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/japan-2019-day-8/

Day eight of ten is Hiroshima day! Hiroshima is one of the parts of the trip I've been most excited about mainly because of its history of being the first place targeted by a nuclear weapon but also because of the island of Miyajima, which comes heavily recommended.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/12290847/japan-2019-day-7 Thu, 27 Jun 2019 15:07:20 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/japan-2019-day-7/

Today was the day we truly escaped the confines of Tokyo and headed South for our three day excursion to Kyoto and Hiroshima.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/12266903/japan-2019-day-6 Thu, 27 Jun 2019 03:35:41 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/japan-2019-day-6/

Day six of our trip to Japan was meant to be a trip to Kyoto but a last minute change of plans due to fortunate weather meant we decided to climb Mount Takao - a mountain about an hour outside Tokyo that has views of Mt. Fuji on a good day!

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/12266904/japan-2019-day-5 Wed, 26 Jun 2019 22:53:30 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/japan-2019-day-5/

Day five of ten has arrived and it's by far the most touristy of our time so far (and probably to come). Before we left for Japan, Joel booked a tour of Studio Ghibli - a famous Japanese animation studio, somewhat equivalent to Pixar. Spaces are so limited you have to book a month in advance and today was our day to visit!

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/12209336/japan-2019-day-4 Sun, 23 Jun 2019 21:43:22 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/japan-2019-day-4/

Today was another reasonably late start - we didn't get out until the afternoon. This is partially driven by yesterday's late night, both Joel and I were up till 3am blogging and working on some PhD work respectively, but also the strange adjustment that comes to travelling east.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/12141958/japan-2019-day-3 Sun, 23 Jun 2019 03:26:36 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/japan-2019-day-3/

The third day in Japan was definitely our shortest. Both Joel and I were shattered from our first two days and jet lag caught up with us so we involuntarily spent most of the day asleep.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/12131475/japan-2019-day-2 Sat, 22 Jun 2019 16:51:05 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/japan-2019-day-2/

This was such a busy day I fell behind on my blogging!

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/12084164/japan-2019-day-1 Wed, 19 Jun 2019 10:42:18 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/japan-2019-day-1/

The first day of my trip to Japan with Joel is over! And it's been a long one - 31 hours total.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11988075/blog-updates-2019-06- series Mon, 17 Jun 2019 22:43:14 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/blog-updates-2019-06-series/

I've been using Hugo as my blog framework for a good while now and the reason I've stuck with it for so long is the freedom it gives me to tweak things to be exactly how I want. The series list I added this week is a good example of that.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11910083/japan-2019-0-packing- and-planning Sat, 15 Jun 2019 14:14:52 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/japan-2019-0-packing-and-planning/

So I'm off to Tokyo (and probably other bits of Japan) next week. I'm planning on blogging about the trip but I also thought I'd blog about the process of figuring the trip out!

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11402094/cgo-sqip-rust Mon, 27 May 2019 19:47:53 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/cgo-sqip-rust/

Ive spent this bank holiday weekend building an improved tool for generating my Hugo short codes for responsive images on my blog. In the process I ran into a situation where I needed to call a Go library from Rust. In doing so I learned a fair bit about FFI and as there was no single resource that documented the process I thought Id break down how to do it and highlight some of the intricacies.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11395258/shell-shortcuts Fri, 24 May 2019 18:43:25 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/shell-shortcuts/

Getting good at using a command terminal and distancing yourself from GUIs is part of the rite of passage of becoming a programmer and has been something Ive taken at a slow pace. Here are a few neat tricks Ive learned when I joined Limejump.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11353556/marvel-movies-ranked Mon, 13 May 2019 21:05:18 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/marvel-movies-ranked/

With Avengers: Endgame behind us, it feels like a huge milestone has been passed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Whilst technically there's one more movie still to come in MCU's Phase 3 - I expect the Spiderman: Far from Home to bridge the story rather than add to the previous chapter so I think it's fair and fitting to reflect a little on the past eleven years of Marvel cinema.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11302883/weeknotes-5 Sun, 28 Apr 2019 08:47:30 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/weeknotes-5/

Trys wrote in his weeknotes this week that he uses JournalBook to write his weeknotes up. I havent cracked the discipline side of that yet - and only have two entries for the past seven days - but thankfully those entries reminded me of a few things worth writing about, otherwise this wouldve been a weeknote-less week.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11281158/weeknotes-4 Mon, 22 Apr 2019 11:59:05 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/weeknotes-4/

This week has been short but sweet! I managed to write my first Rust microservice, got deep into interviewing, and took time to see some of my favourite people.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11254919/weeknotes-3 Fri, 12 Apr 2019 08:07:20 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/weeknotes-3/

Features of this week include me curled up in my bathroom vomiting, the proper launch of Limejump's tech discussions, and movie of the week Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11232075/rise-of-shadows-pre-r elease Sun, 07 Apr 2019 00:00:34 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/rise-of-shadows-pre-release/

Rise of Shadows is Hearthstones latest expansion - this week I hosted a private pre-release party to open my packs early and play with the cards.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11229403/weeknotes-2 Fri, 05 Apr 2019 07:50:04 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/weeknotes-2/

This week is a little less full than last week but there was still plenty of time for fun including a rewatch of Creed 2 and some minor tweaks to some of my projects.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11204638/weeknotes-1 Fri, 29 Mar 2019 11:02:14 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/weeknotes-1/

Inspired by my friend Trys, I've decided to join into the weeknote craze and start chronicling what I get up to each week. My rough plan is to include a healthy mixture of the areas of my life: what I've been up to at work, developments in my personal life, things I've been pondering, projects I'm working on, and more trivial things like the videogames I've been playing, books I've been reading, and songs I've been listening to.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11180680/interviewing-candidat es-my-thoughts-after-my-first-few-interviews Mon, 18 Mar 2019 07:47:31 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/interviewing-candidates-my-thoughts-a fter-my-first-few-interviews/

As I write this I'm headed into Vauxhall for my fourth week at Limejump. This time last week I had no interviewing experience at all but since then I've quizzed three candidates and spent a lot of time considering what a good interview process looks like and the kinds of questions it's important to ask. Sitting in the chair of the interviewer as opposed the interviewee has shocked me - I think everything I've been taught about interviews is wrong.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173491/improving-hugo-to-jso n Sat, 16 Mar 2019 09:10:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/improving-hugo-to-json/ https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173492/generating-a-daily-po kedex-entry Wed, 20 Feb 2019 14:54:03 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/generating-a-daily-pokedex-entry/

During New Year's Eve my unofficially-adopted-brother Ethan told me that he was sad because he wasn't going to have a Pokemon daily calendar in 2019. To me, that sounded like a problem technology could solve. Sure, I couldn't give him a fancy flip calendar for 2019 but I could send him a text and email every day!

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173493/what-you-can-achieve- in-a-year Fri, 15 Feb 2019 20:01:39 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/what-you-can-achieve-in-a-year/ Jon Edmiston, one of my mentors and friends, has a phrase he frequently likes to use: “People overestimate what they can achieve in a day, but underestimate what they can achieve in a year1. Like many of his sayings, it's one that's been repeated to me a lot but until recently I hadn't really reflected on it what it actually means. Whilst the specifics of the phrase itself are immaterial I think it captures the reality that consistency achieves more than pure effort. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173494/event-stream-yarn-err or Sat, 09 Feb 2019 14:57:03 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/event-stream-yarn-error/

Recently I encountered a repeated error trying to globally install command line programs with Yarn. No matter what I did it didn't seem to matter, the error would return. Today - I finally cracked the puzzle.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173495/my-experience-hosting -a-lord-of-the-rings-marathon Mon, 04 Feb 2019 23:09:46 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/my-experience-hosting-a-lord-of-the-r ings-marathon/

A couple of weekends ago I hosted a few friends for a Lord of the Rings marathon and we set off on an epic adventure in Middle Earth together. Here's my take on what went well, what I'd change, and which movie I never intend to watch the extended edition of again.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173496/replacing-awk-sed-wit h-amber Fri, 25 Jan 2019 07:52:40 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/replacing-awk-sed-with-amber/ A couple of weeks ago I introduced the concept of replacing basic Unix equivalents with modern Rust alternatives with the example of Bat - today I want to introduce Amber, a modern alternative to awk and sed. I recently migrated to Fastmail and switched my email address from arranf@gmail.com to arran@arranfrance.com in an effort to avoid sharing too much information with Google and ensure people can contact me at the domains I own. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173497/responsive-blog-image s Sun, 20 Jan 2019 23:11:28 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/responsive-blog-images/ The state of images on the web is pretty rough. What should be an easy goal, showing a user a picture, is actually complicated. Good websites deliver the right resolution to the right device, perform lazy loading, support ‘retina’ (or high density pixel) devices, serve new image formats like WebP to the correct clients, and show placeholders whilst images load. It's messy, hard to get right, and requires a lot more effort than a user might realise behind the scenes. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173498/arran-and-joel-player -the-witcher-2-the-prologue Sat, 19 Jan 2019 00:33:41 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/arran-and-joel-player-the-witcher-2-t he-prologue/

Joel and I spent the Summer of second year playing The Witcher 1: Enhanced Edition, a game I've wanted to play since 2007. This year we've decided to pick up The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings, the game famously presented to Obama by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, and I intend to blog my thoughts and feelings about each chapter of the game. WARNING: THIS SERIES WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS THROUGHOUT

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173499/tokyo-2019-booked Mon, 14 Jan 2019 22:43:16 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/tokyo-2019-booked/

Joel and I have booked a trip to Tokyo this Summer. I'm looking forward to visiting a city I've wanted to see since I was a small child.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173500/building-rust-utility -hugo-to-lunr-json Sun, 13 Jan 2019 23:29:54 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/building-rust-utility-hugo-to-lunr-js on/ Rust is a language which has fascinated me since I was first introduced to it at the end of my first year of undergraduate. Since then Rust has evolved at a frantic pace and I feel like I've forgotten a lot of the subtleties of Rust syntax so I've decided to do a number of small projects in Rust to brush up. The first project I've tackled is replacing an outdated an abandoned npm package, hugo-lunr. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173501/a-new-website-and-blo g-theme Sun, 06 Jan 2019 17:29:52 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/a-new-website-and-blog-theme/ My website was overdue a facelift, it was bland, outdated, look bad on mobile, and missed some key information. Not only that, it was an obscure Jekyll/HTML mashup with a horrible Gulp/Travis build process - not at all friendly to maintain. I decided that to add my CV to the website it was time for a rewrite. I considered writing the whole website in regular plain HTML and CSS but I wanted some things to ‘just work’ like routing and a basic theme but the power to go ‘under the hood’ when needed to define a unique layout for the CV. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173502/rust-alternatives-to- command-line-utilites-bat-cat Sun, 06 Jan 2019 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/rust-alternatives-to-command-line-uti lites-bat-cat/ Any frequent user of a Unix operating system will find themselves using the same command line utilities over and over again: rm, mv, ls, cp, grep, and cat to name a handful. A lot of these utilities are old and are written in C. C is a great language for high performance work but it's long in the tooth and it's speed often comes at the cost of reliability and/or security. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173503/tada68-qmk-firmware-i so Sat, 22 Sep 2018 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/tada68-qmk-firmware-iso/ In preparation for my new working from home reigeme I spent a lot of time looking for a new keyboard. I knew I wanted a mechanical keyboard, known for their robustness and customisability, and I ultimately settled on a TADA68. The TADA68 hit a number of my key wants including customisable mechanical switches, QMK firmware to reprogram the keyboard, and a small 65% profile. Most important of all the TADA68 is available in the standard UK (ISO) layout unlike most other mechanical keyboards which are only available in the US (ANSI) standard. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173504/witcher-one-steam-con troller Mon, 03 Jul 2017 08:54:17 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/witcher-one-steam-controller/ My friend Joel and I have been playing through CD Projekt Red's original Witcher game for a month or so now by sitting in front of my PC with a mouse and keyboard. Now I've moved in with Catherine I wanted to take advantage of the sofa, my larger TV, and my Steam Link. As an older game The Witcher doesn't work out of the box with anything other than a keyboard and mouse by default but fortunately the Steam Controller is capable of remapping itself to correspond to mouse and keyboard controls. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173505/documenting-bricks-an d-mortar-studio-rock-rms-plugins Sat, 24 Jun 2017 16:05:26 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/documenting-bricks-and-mortar-studio- rock-rms-plugins/ A long time ago I spent a Christmas trying to figure out the best way to solve the problem of documenting my plugins for Rock RMS. I'd decided I wanted each to have a standalone website and that I wanted them all to look and feel similar by using a common template. The documentation would live alongside the code by using Github Pages but I was still struggling with one problem - how do I update all of my plugins if the template changes? https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173506/thoughts-on-my-steam- link Sat, 24 Jun 2017 10:44:34 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/thoughts-on-my-steam-link/ Moving in with Catherine has prompted a number of changes, the main being that my computer could no longer be the focal point of the room. Instead, it's relegated to the back corner of the living room which is absolutely fine for development work but less than ideal for gaming with friends. Given that most of the gaming my friends and I do is through Steam I figured I'd give a Steam Link a whirl and for 12 it didn't seem like a bad deal. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173507/hearthstone-beginner- packs Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:45:11 +0100 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/hearthstone-beginner-packs/ I've recently started playing Hearthstone, Blizzards online TCG. Coming late to the party (by roughly 3 years) I've been at a significant disadvantage not only due to my inexperience but also my rather small card collection. As a result, I've been determined to grab every free pack that's available and so I've put together this guide to help other new players in a similar position to me and I'll also touch on some great tips for new players not directly related to getting packs. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173508/online-tcgs-hearthsto ne-duel-links Sun, 19 Mar 2017 09:22:43 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/online-tcgs-hearthstone-duel-links/ For years, going back to my childhood, I've dabbled in various competitive card games - most consistently Yu-Gi-Oh! but also Pokemon, Netrunner, Magic the Gathering, and Mojang's Scrolls. When a friend introduced me to Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links I couldn't resist. The premise is pretty simple, your starting character is one of the two main characters from the original TV series - (Yami) Yugi or Seto Kaiba; and your aim is to rise to the top of Duel Links tournament which pits the best duelists in the world against each other. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173509/firebase-databases-an d-vue-patterns Mon, 30 Jan 2017 16:56:33 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/firebase-databases-and-vue-patterns/ One of the key principles of software engineering is DRY, or in long form: Do Not Repeat Yourself. It's a principle that prevents errors, reduces the size of your code, and makes refactoring easier. In near direct opposition to this is the poor standard of coding on the web. Tutorials are full of examples that encourage you to do exactly the opposite, to repeat yourself, and given the scarcity of good example architectures it's easy to fall into bad habits. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173510/global-shipping-progr amme-tracking Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:06:53 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/global-shipping-programme-tracking/ eBay offers its sellers a service to help them ship items internationally called the Global Shipping Programme (GSP). In exchange for a cut of the item cost eBay handles the import and delivery of items through a chain of international contractors and GSP hubs. To say that the GSP has been unpopular would be an understatement, it has been heavily criticised for offering a poor service, slow delivery, and causing inflated prices. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173511/often-forgotten-star- wars-imperial-assault-rules Wed, 11 Jan 2017 16:11:52 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/often-forgotten-star-wars-imperial-as sault-rules/ Star Wars: Imperial Assault is a behemoth of a game and with epic scale comes the challenge of complexity. Fantasy Flight, to their credit, have done a decent job of making the game digestable with the tutorial mission and the two rules books: the Learn to Play guide and the Rules Reference booklet. Shut Up and Sit Down have a fantastic getting started video to bring new players up to speed as well. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173512/fantasy-flights-busin ess-model Tue, 10 Jan 2017 07:06:05 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/fantasy-flights-business-model/ Fantasy Flight Games make some outstanding board games. In fact half of my current collection are games published by them and every single one of them is a quality title. Equally Fantasy Flight know how to milk their games for maximum profit. They're in the business of expansion packs and episodic content, viewing their products as franchises rather than games and leaving players nickeled and dimed in their wake. A great example of Fantasy Flight's cash over consumer culture is Star Wars Imperial Assault and it's ally and villain packs. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173513/board-gaming-and-me Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/board-gaming-and-me/ Playing and collecting board (and card) games is one of my favourite hobbies. For the vast majority of people, ‘board game’ is synonymous with Monopoly, Risk, and Cluedo but in 2012 my eyes were opened to a much more satisfying understanding of the term. My journey started when I asked Reddit for suggestions on how best to tackle introducing my girlfriend at the time, who wasn't particularly socially confident, to my family. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173514/star-wars-imperial-as sault-at-st-general-weiss-minifigure-issue Sun, 01 Jan 2017 15:42:20 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/star-wars-imperial-assault-at-st-gene ral-weiss-minifigure-issue/ I'm a huge fan of Star Wars and board game and so when I first heard about Star Wars Imperial Assault, I was hooked on the idea. A vast campaign featuring an array of beloved heroes and villains that punctuate your own narrative in the Star Wars universe. I held out for a week before I purchased the base game which comes with a huge number of mini-figures, none of which is more exciting than the massive AT-ST, which dwarfs the other miniatures by comparison. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173515/ruby-rails-naming-con ventions Tue, 27 Dec 2016 15:32:31 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/ruby-rails-naming-conventions/ Today I started a new project to create an Amazon-esque system for sharing lists of gifts a person might like with their faily. Always keen to learn an new way of doing things I've decided to create Ruby on Rails powered API and a frontend powered by Vue.js. I've spent a huge part of today figuring out how to take advantage generation and some of the difficulties that come with the way Rails migration generation works. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173516/ssh-tunnel-to-complet e-an-assignment Sat, 17 Dec 2016 14:31:13 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/ssh-tunnel-to-complete-an-assignment/ Today I set out to tackle what appeared to be a simple Christmas assignment using JDBC to run a series of SQL commands on a remote database reading from some text files. However, I fell at the first hurdle - I couldn't even connect to the database. After a running a number of tests I determined I could connect to the database server using psql while SSH'd into my university's teaching server but I was unable to connect to the database server from outside the university network. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173517/moving-to-hugo-from-g host Wed, 07 Dec 2016 01:51:59 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/moving-to-hugo-from-ghost/ Why Move? One of the biggest difficulties with maintaining a blog, aside from writing it, has been ‘Where do I keep it?'. In fact, my very first blog post is a rather confusing and contradictory read in which I describe this very problem. Recently I decided to jump ship from a Ghost instance hosted on $5/month Digital Ocean droplet. There are a few reasons I made this decision but the primary factor was things kept breaking. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173518/summer-2016 Mon, 01 Aug 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/summer-2016/ The last blog post I wrote was a few months back in the midst of exam season. A lot has happened since then! I started and completed an Undergraduate Research Project at Royal Holloway to provide a Web Service for ExpoSE.js, a tool for JavaScript testing. During which I learnt Rust, Angular 1, and got to tackle some really cool problems. I even submitted a pull request to a Samsung repo! https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173519/quick-ngrok-script Fri, 08 Jul 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/quick-ngrok-script/

ngrok is a powerful tool but remembering the command line flags is annoying so I wrote a quick PowerShell script to make life a little easier.

https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173520/graph-theory Sat, 23 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/graph-theory/ A graph is made up of nodes connected by edges. Each edge connects two nodes, or a node to itself. If two nodes are connected by two or more edges we describe that graph as a multigraph. Two nodes connected by a graph are described to be adjacent, phew! Walks, Trails, and Paths A walk from node A to node B is a sequence of edges from A to B where the edges in the graphs share endpoints (an endpoint is one of the two terminating points of an edge). https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173521/encrypting-variables- for-travis-ci Thu, 21 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/encrypting-variables-for-travis-ci/ So currently there's a bug with the Travis gem on Windows so I figured I'd write my own encryption script in Python to avoid having to remote into a Linux machine to do the encryption. EDIT: I've also produced a static website that performs the same task in your browser. I found very few details on how Travis performs their encryption in their documentation so I thought I'd outline a few of the details I discovered along the way. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173522/functions Wed, 20 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/functions/ A few days ago I wrote about Relations. Functions are a subset of relations that are defined more strictly. Definition For a relation to be classified as a function it needs to meet two criteria: For every input there is an output Each input only has one output We can define those formally. For a relation between two sets A and B, f AB such that: for every a A, there is some b B that (a,b) f. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173523/relations Tue, 19 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/relations/ A mathematical relation describes, as you might expect, how objects are related to each other. For instance in terms of videogames you can describe the relations: developed, published, and plays. Realtime Worlds developed Crackdown Microsoft Studios published Crackdown Arran plays Crackdown Crackdown is related to Realtime Worlds, Microsoft Studios, and Arran but notice the relation is ordered. Crackdown developed Realtime Worlds is not true. A binary relation R is a subset of a Cartesian product SxT of two sets, S and T, where each set represents a a type of object. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173524/reversing-a-list-of-n odes Tue, 19 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/reversing-a-list-of-nodes/ One of the recursive algorithms I struggle with is reversing a list of nodes. It doesn't seem as intuitive as many other recursive algorithms over data structures so I'll break it down here. Objective Take a singly-linked list 1 -> 2 -> 3 -> 4 -> 5 and reverse it 5 -> 4 -> 3 -> 2 -> 1 returning the new head of the list 1. Base Case The obvious base case for this is when there isn't a next node in the list, that node is the new head of the list. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173525/superscript-and-subsc ript-everywhere Tue, 19 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/superscript-and-subscript-everywhere/ Today I learnt about the magic powers of <sub> and <sup> tags. If you're trying to express things in super or sub script outside of a powerful text editor it can be a pain. For me at least it involves trying to Google to find the correct character to copy or resorting to Windows Character Map, ugh. Today I stumbled across this Wikipedia page that describes the use of the <sub> and <sup> tags to express things in subscript and superscript, pretty much everywhere. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173526/software-releases-and -versioning Mon, 18 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/software-releases-and-versioning/ Software development is an iterative process in which code is frequently ‘delivered’. These deliveries are known as releases and encompass both code and documentation. Releases Associated with each release will be features, in various states of completion, bugs, requested enhancements, updates to old technology and old technology that needs updating. On a larger scale each releases requires training, marketing, and an element of timing. When releases are delivered as a binary file source code, configuration, data, and the build environment must be recorded in order to create a reproducible environment. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173527/sorting-algorithms-2 Mon, 18 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/sorting-algorithms-2/ Sorting algorithms are kind of useful. There isn't a ‘best’ algorithm but there are a variety of algorithms that each have a merit in a given situation. They solve the problem of ordering a list of objects or values. This blog post is going to explore the different algorithms and I'll write a simple Java program for each to demonstrate how they work. Background Although the examples in this blog post will demonstrate how to sort integers the approaches taken are generic to all possible entities you might want to sort provided you have a method for comparison and to check equality between entities. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173528/tasks Mon, 18 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/tasks/ A system can be decomposed into a set of small subsystems which can be further divided into modules. This decomposition can be used to create a ‘Work Assignment View’ as we saw earlier. The work assignment view helps project managers plan and allocate resources. 1 Within each subsystem or module the work needs to be divided into tasks. Tasks can be categorised into types: faults/bugs, involve fixing existing functionality; wishes, implement new functionality; and changes, improve existing functionality. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173529/evaluating-software-d esign Sun, 17 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/evaluating-software-design/ Design is iterative Many ways of evaluating design Design Quality There are a number of measures each with a specific focus. Some focus on object orientated principles, Safety Analysis Safety analysis aims and identifying faults. It uses a process called fault tree analysis to identify faults that need to be handled as well as data flow and control flow graphs. Fault Analysis Events identified as ellipses lead under conditionals to failure. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173530/a-quick-break-from-re vision-why-modeling-is-important Sat, 16 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/a-quick-break-from-revision-why-model ing-is-important/ Looking at this blog title you might think I'm joking ‘How is discussing requirements modeling a break from revision?'. Allow me to explain. I took a break from revision to write an additional data select field (children's parents’ email addresses) in Rock, what I thought was a quick and easy job. In truth, it kind of was. I'd already produced a data select like that before and I had a quick and dirty version working in under 15 minutes. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173531/architecture-document s Sat, 16 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/architecture-documents/ Continuing our tour of the software engineering life cycle we're looking at documentation in the design stage. Architecture documentation is important because it's used as the basis for further design decisions, quality assurance, and project management. Software Architecture Document There (as always) is a standard for SADs outlined in ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010. You can find a Hello World equivalent here. Typically a Software Architecture Document (SAD) will include : System Overview Views Software Units Analysis, Data, and Conclusions Architecture Rationale Definitions Let's break that down into a few chunks and examine what the content might be. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173532/prototyping Sat, 16 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/prototyping/ I've split out the section on prototyping into it's own blog post because it covers a few areas. This will just be a cursory glance at the advantages and types of prototyping. Why Prototype? Prototyping helps elicit more details about a proposed system. It allows you to get feedback from potential users and a client about aspects that need improvement, features that aren't useful, and missing functionality. By creating a prototype you also discover whether an approach is a feasible solution to the problem, or whether there is a feasible solution. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173533/the-design-process Sat, 16 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/the-design-process/ So we've looked at requirements, now we're onto looking at the next stage of the software engineering life cycle - design. Design is the process of deciding how to implement the client's requirements and coming up with a resulting design plan. This occurs at different levels a high level view will address the structure of the system and later lower level views will focus on the design of individual units. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173534/evaluating-requiremen ts Fri, 15 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/evaluating-requirements/ Reviewing Requirements Why review requirements? Well poorly specified requirements are a huge source of faults in projects. Reviewing requirements gives you a chance to prevent these faults which propagate through the process. The more ‘upstream’ a fault occurs the more collateral has to be dealt with and consequently the more expensive fixing the fault is. Elements to be Reviewed Compare the requirements definition with the goals and objectives of the system Assess and document the risk of the proposed functions, compare alternatives Review how the requirements will be revalidated as they change Validation and Verification We saw in the initial blog post on requirements that part of the requirements phase is validating requirements. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173535/modelling-requirement s Fri, 15 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/modelling-requirements/ Where does modelling fit in to the requirements process? It helps us define and communicate desired behaviour as well as better understand the requirements by revealing assumptions, inconsistencies, ambiguity, or gaps in our definitions. As you might expect there are many different ‘standards’ for modelling notation, each with advantages and disadvantages. We'll consider a few each operating at different levels of depth before discussing user stories and use cases in detail. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173536/software-requirements Fri, 15 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/software-requirements/ As we explored in my blog post on the Software Engineering Life Cycle an essential part of any software engineering process is eliciting, understanding, and translating the requirements of your client. This is part of the analysis stage of software development and is a foundation for the entire project. Poorly understood requirements are likely to lead to a product that does not meet the client's expectations whereas well understood requirements minimise the amount of time spent clarifying leading to a faster development process. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173537/a-warning-revision-20 16 Thu, 14 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/a-warning-revision-2016/ More geeky posts incoming, I'm afraid. It's revision season and this year I'm trying a new approach to my learning where I synthesise a topic and then blog about it to reinforce my understanding. You can look forward to maths based posts about: the fundamentals of computers including number representation, logical propositions, boolean algebra, logic and switching circuits, finite state automata, and regular expressions; mathematical structures including sets, relations, functions, induction and recursion, algorithms, discrete graphs, vectors, vector space, and linear transformations; and probability and distributions. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173538/software-engineering- processes Thu, 14 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/software-engineering-processes/ The Concept The basic premise of all software engineering processes is that software is large and complicated. To tackle engineering any software the basic paradigm is to take the problem, abstract it decompose it into smaller sub-problems and then engineer software made up of small components to produce a system that solves the problem - analysis and synthesis. Easy, right? To help structure the otherwise ethereal task it makes sense to have a process that allows reflection, provides a structured repeatable approach, and allows us to control the activity. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173539/usability Thu, 14 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/usability/ Introduction So we decided that user experience (UX) was a bit of a fragile definition but usability is very well defined. It's the aspect of UX that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. Simple. It's defined into a few attributes: Ease of Learning - How easily can users understand how to perform simple tasks? Efficiency - Are experienced users able to perform tasks quickly? Memorability - How easy is it for users to remember how the system works if they haven't used it for a significant amount of time? https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173540/user-experience Thu, 14 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/user-experience/ Introduction User Experience (UX) is an interesting term, and difficult to define. My simple definition is as follows. UX is a user's perception of a product as informed by their use of the product. The study and design of UX is a multidisciplinary field that requires input from computer science, psychology, and other areas. Disparate fields to tackle a difficult to define area - a promising area of research I'm sure. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173541/ngrok-3 Tue, 29 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/ngrok-3/ I'm a fan of Ngrok. ‘What is Ngrok?’ I hear you cry. Ngrok, is an infuriatingly useful tool - allow me to explain. There are things known as ‘webhooks’, an address for a message to be sent to when an event occurs. When the message is sent to that address the webhook captures the message message and processes it in a useful way. For instance, if you send email using a service like SendGrid there's an option to have events like emails being opened to a webhook. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173542/keeping-the-secret-sa fe Sat, 26 Mar 2016 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/keeping-the-secret-safe/ Joel, my best bud, and I are working on an Android application for IsThereAnyDeal, a service that helps users track the price of PC games across a number of digital distribution stores. We're both big believers in open source and so right at the start we made the decision to open up development and host our source code on Github, a site which lets users share, distribute, and collaborate on code. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173543/ghost-api-trusted-cli ent-domain Sat, 12 Dec 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/ghost-api-trusted-client-domain/ My first term at university has come to an end and to kill a Saturday on the barely qualifying fringes of Greater London I've set myself the challenge of revamping my landing page in 24 hours. I'm about half way through that time period and I've got a fairly bare bones template that I'm trying to make more interesting by accessing information from the various places I inhabit on the web. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173544/engage Sun, 18 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/engage/ In my second year of internship my church sponsored me to take part in the CYM Engage course, a level three qualification in Youth Work. Doing so enabled me to justify spending another year as an intern as it offered me some concrete training and something formal to demonstrate to future employers. Despite appearing on paper to be a positive thing in reality Engage was perhaps the most difficult element of my past year. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173545/inconsistent-blogging Sun, 18 Oct 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/inconsistent-blogging/ Despite being fully invested in the idea of blogging, in reality I've been very inconsistent. If anything chronicles my life, it's certainly not this blog. My posts are fairly sparsely distanced and my Twitter and Instagram feeds are a lot more active. For some people, a Twitter or Instagram feed would be a sensible alternative to a blog but I don't feel the same way. I believe in “long-form”, relatively speaking, and I believe that the process of blogging is an important one. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173546/open-wrt Wed, 02 Sep 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/open-wrt/ Note: This was written a while back but I only just got around to publishing it. So I've had a fairly inadequate router for a while. There were no advanced configuration options to speed up gaming, block adverts, or anything similar. I put up with it mainly because of the expense of replacing it but also because of the knowledge that DD-WRT (custom router firmware) might just be on the horizon. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173547/romania-2015 Tue, 01 Sep 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/romania-2015/ This is an incredibly late update on an even more incredible adventure. In the first week of August I spent a week in Romania on a trip that, if I'm honest; prior, during, and after departure I was not looking forward to. The temperature was forecast for 35 degrees, I was already stressed out and emotional, and on top of it all I somehow had to magic an evening's youth service out of my brain and onto paper in the spare moments I could salvage from the day of our flight. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173548/uni-bound Tue, 01 Sep 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/uni-bound/ It's just a few weeks until I start the next chapter of my life, university! Two weeks ago I bid farewell to my internship which I've dedicated the past two years of my life to in various forms and ever since I've been ramping up my preparations for university. My two major concerns up until recently were finance and accommodation but both potential issues have been put to rest. After resolving an issue with Student Finance England I've been awarded the full amount of finance I was expecting and after some quick budgeting it looks like I'm covered for the year if I spend wisely. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173549/to-america Sat, 25 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/to-america/ I'm so excited. I'm headed to Peoria in October for RX 2015 - the first annual Rock RMS conference. Up until three weeks ago I'd written off the prospect of me going. The cost of flights, a hotel, and conference entry totalled up was in the region of 1200, a seemingly insurmountable amount of money. Still, I mentioned the idea to my Dad and he suggested that if I had the opportunity to go that I should grab it. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173550/arrans-guide-to-fixin g-a-pull-request Thu, 02 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/arrans-guide-to-fixing-a-pull-request / So today I was feeling proud as I fixed a bug with a single line change. I changed if (_groupId != -1) to if (_groupId < 0). I summed up my change in a simple commit message, created a pull request to share my change and continued making the necessary changes to the remote server. When I tested the changes on the remote server I had a panic moment when I realised my simple change didn't work. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173551/romania Thu, 02 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/romania/ Last week I had the majority of my hair shaved off. I went from a guy with a fairly untidy amount of hair to a man with very little on his scalp in just under five minutes. It's all in the aid of a trip to Romania to visit the Corabia Foundation. For my shearing I've raised enough to pay for my flight to spend over a week working with the young people there. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173552/websites-should-handl e-accounts-better Fri, 05 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/websites-should-handle-accounts-bette r/ I'm taking a break from a marathon of password changes. I use Lastpass1 to manage my passwords. It stores my usernames and passwords and helps me generate new secure ones whenever I change my password or sign up for a new site. It also has a handy feature called the Lastpass Security Challenge which analyses your passwords (~740 odd in my case) and checks for duplicates, old passwords, and compromised passwords. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173553/crunch-time Fri, 29 May 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/crunch-time/ I've spent a long time today reflecting on what I'd like to do. As much as I love God I feel like now isn't the right time in life to be pursuing a theology degree. I haven't been excited by the prospect and I've been dragging my feet for a long time on it. What excites me is developing, expanding, and innovating. I want to build a competent and effective church with a vision for transforming people's lives. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173554/blog-favicon Fri, 29 May 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/blog-favicon/ My blog now has a favicon. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173555/frustrations-with-win dows Thu, 28 May 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/frustrations-with-windows/ My desktop PC is a mini-ITX built with dual boot in mind however several months down the line I'm still only running Windows 7. All of the PC's parts are OSX compatible except for two, the graphics card (which I've yet to upgrade) and the wireless card. In today's day and age a computer without the internet isn't really a computer so I recently bought a replacement wireless card with the intention of installing it and then immediately going to dual boot. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173556/rock-rms-2 Fri, 15 May 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/rock-rms-2/ I'm now in the final stretch of my internship – I've got a little over eleven weeks left at Hope Church and a to do list that's longer than Snake Way. Before the academic year is out, and I move on to wherever I might go, I've got two trips in the summer to look forward to, a mission trip to Romania as well as a week spent at Soul Survivor Momentum. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173557/page-changes Thu, 07 May 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/page-changes/ When I created the Ideal Postcodes plugin for Rock I realised that there was no reliable way of keeping up to date with changes to the Ideal Postcodes API. There's no RSS option, no email newsletter, and their Twitter feed would be easy to miss and is inconsistent anyway. They have one key page on their website that lists all the major changes to their API. After a bit of Googling I discovered a service that monitors pages for changes which then alerts you via RSS, perfect! https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173558/coursework-strain Mon, 06 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/coursework-strain/ The past few months I've had a crazy work ethic – one that's probably borderline dangerous. I've put in a lot of hours past five, worked on weekends, and even on days “off”. That workload though is finally starting to pay off and settle down. The past week I've been sat in front of my computer typing up coursework in a last ditch effort to get my first batch of assignments completed before the (slightly extended) deadline. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173559/life-update Fri, 27 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/life-update/ There's been a lot going on in my life recently. Here are the major headlines I've found a course I'm potentially going to do next year. A placement based BA (Hons) in Applied Theology I've almost summed up the willpower to write a CV to knock on some churches doors and offer my services I helped lead a young persons weekend away I've visited London to see Kate I've been geocaching with Carl I've kitted out my old computer with a new mini-ITX H97N motherboard, a i5 Haswell processor, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a fancy new 500W semi-modular power supply, and a 3TB HDD. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173560/a-holiday-break Tue, 23 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/a-holiday-break/ I've been working pretty much flat out since my year of internship kicked off at the start of September and the work has already taken its toll on me emotionally and physically. Fortunately, today marks the start of a two week break in which I can recover and relax. I've booked a few appointments in with friends and family but for the most part I'm planning on spending a relatively solitary holiday. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173561/cowboys-eagles-14 Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/cowboys-eagles-14/ I've been a Dallas Cowboys fan for the past three years. I fell in love with the team playing Madden NFL ‘11 on the Xbox throwing vertical passes to Miles Austin and clinching close games with Hail Marys. Since then I've seen the Cowboys come close and fall at the final obstacle twice. Their 2012 and 2013 seasons both ended at the hands of a divisional rival on their sixteenth game leaving them with an 8-8 record. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173562/heroes Wed, 03 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/heroes/ This afternoon I read a blog post written by my friend Carl on the subject of his childhood hero Action Man. If you were to ask anyone who knows me well if I was an “Action Man Boy” they would probably tell you I wasn't – and they wouldn't be wrong. To be honest Action Man left very little of an impression on me, the toys were always a tad too expensive and on the whole something about his hyper masculinity never quite appealed to my geeky younger self. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173563/blog-quandaries Sat, 29 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/blog-quandaries/ Update: I eventually gave in after releasing that Buster was poorly implemented and now host this blog (as well as Shoulder the Boulder) as a live Ghost instance on a Digital Ocean droplet. My last three blog posts have been posted to three different web addresses using three different web services. Choosing where to host my blog and which service to use has been a bit of an ordeal. I initially started out using Scriptogram (which has now long since died) but their theme support didn't quite cut it. https://feed.arranfrance.blog/link/20837/11173564/changing-shape Sat, 29 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 https://blog.arranfrance.com/post/changing-shape/ The past few months for me have been a time of transition. I have a new role at work, a new set of friends, and even a new home. On the whole I love change and the past few months have been incredibly exciting and inspiring for me but what I find most exciting of all is amidst the external changes is the way God has begun to work on me internally.