A funny old year

25th January 2020 - Category: Life,Work

It’s been a funny old year. In December 2018 I left my long time employer. To be honest the ground floor staff are hard working and lovely people to know. Good people make a huge difference in the work place and I do miss them.

2019 was a year of recovery and uncertainty. Previous to leaving work I had a bit of a break down and went onto anti-anxiety meds. In my naivety I assumed I would just get better naturally. Sure not having the pressure of work and being able to cope with the tiredness side effect of my medication has been much easier for the space. That said I have based a huge amount of my self worth and therefore motivation based on my working life. The absence of which I felt a fair bit. I started getting counselling to help with the recovery. I signed up to volunteer in a local charity shop to help get back some of that work fulfilment. These have helped.

I still struggle with self motivation and being my own boss. Another issue, which I think many in the design world have, is an element of impostor syndrome. A large part is me just asking myself ‘what am I for?’. I’ll let you know if I ever find out.

Brexit and it’s effects continue to cloud my personal and professional life. It doesn’t give me a positive outlook on the near future. It would be too easy for me to just blame it for all my struggles I have with finding work. That said I seem to see the same senior or high pressure roles appearing again and again. Anything a little more junior or for a smaller company seems to be pretty rare. I have always done a bit of everything to get things working in the teams or companies I have worked for. For a while the world seemed to specialising, now you need to be a specialist in multiple areas or more of a back-front end developer than front-front end…

So I guess gazing out in to 2020, I wonder what could be ahead and where I fit in the world.


11th November 2019 - Category: Site News

Hi All, just a wee update, I am helping a friend learn WordPress so installed a basic analytics system called Statify. Based on my personal ethos of promoting privacy friendly software, I have chosen this as my example as everything it collects is short term and anonymous. We are spied on quite enough as we are, without adding to the problem.

I am a test of the new editor

19th December 2018 - Category: Web Design & Accessibility

blah blahh text here

Cutie Cake
My trip to Alaska

PS2 to the rescue

18th December 2018 - Category: Tech and Computers

As you know I am one of those weirdos running Windows 7 on Ryzen.

One of the issues with Win7 and more modern boards is USB. They switched around the Z170 era to newer way of connecting to it. Suffice to say by default Windows 7 so maybe at its lowest level does not support USB in its lowest levels.

So I had an issue today, I couldn’t get Win7 to boot and the boot repair util couldn’t see any USB devices. Doh!

Option ‘A’ would be to see if the UEFI supports some sort of faking of usb devices as PS2 or legacy USB. Option ‘B’ would be to plonk in an actual PS2 mouse or keyboard. Lastly Option ‘C’ I did setup a recovery partition for such a rainy day.

I ended using Option ‘B’. One of my many half started projects is modernising an Amiga A600 I have. I like the A600 as it is a tenkeyless version of the A1200 visual design, which is my favourite Amiga. I am keeping my A1200 exactly as it was in the 90s.

Long story short one of the best optical mice (in my opinion) is the Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical USB and PS2 (stay snappy MS). Its beige like the electronics of the day so matches my lovely A600. However it contains the built in circuitry to make use of simple PS2 adapters. I have one spare. So it was a simple job to just grab the adapter and start up Win7 recovery and jobs a good’n.

How does this relate to my A600? well I could get a very complicated Amiga to USB HID adapter, but what you can get is an Amiga to PS2 over USB adapter. this makes the whole thing much neater and easier.

Upgrading my ThinkPad X61

25th May 2018 - Category: Tech and Computers

Hi I think I need to post my adventure upgrading to AC Wifi on my ThinkPad X61.

Firstly you need to update to a modded BIOS. For me this old guide helped me prep a tiny 128mb usb drive for the job.
I got the X61  patched firmware here.

Main benefits: swaps the FN/CTRL Key (optional), disables the wifi card whitelist and enabled SATA 2. Also much newer than my old BIOS, so quieter fan profile.

The card I used is: Intel 7260HMW -W041 it must be a Mini PCIE NOT M.2
Also the X61 uses a full length card and this is half-length you will need an adapter. An example name is: “Half Size To Full Mini PCI-E PCI Express Adapter For WiFi Wireless Card”

Okay for disassembly instructions I used this video.

Other upgrades I performed:

Ram upgraded from 2GB to 8GB. Officially 4GB is supported, but in reality you can get lucky like me and get ram that works. I am using Samsung M470T5267AZ3-CE6 which is 4GB 2Rx8 PC2-5300S-555-12-03 sodims
HDD to SSD: 80GB seagate HDD to 240GB Toshiba OCZ TR200

Pretty snappy now :slight_smile:

I don’t have the skill to do the TN to IPS swap on the screen.

First posted on Level 1 Techs forum by me

Steam VR

23rd March 2016 - Category: Games

The image below is the results from the Steam VR test, whilst nice to know I didn’t like the amount of noise I got from my card as it was maxxed out at 99% usage. The coil whine and fans made it sound like a card in pain.


Now VR is an interesting one, you will more than likely have headphones on, so this would be negated to a large degree. I do feel like we are far from crushing VR to the point that it is always smooth. The Steam test is on a Source Engine test and whilst still nice that is an engine I first saw on my AGP ATi 9600 back in the earilish 2000s. It really gives me pause.

Yeah everybody

15th April 2015 - Category: Site News

I know its not that interesting, but I spent some time optimising the site. Should load much quicker now.

My Desktop

2nd November 2014 - Category: Desktop,Tech and Computers


My mate Jeremy in one of his recent shows explained that he doesn’t even use wallpaper. I can’t imagine not tinkering with computers. Just to show how much I play about here is a cut of my desktop. I usually have a different workflow, but I moved everything around so you can see it all in one go.

GTX 970 Photos

26th September 2014 - Category: Tech and Computers


Here are some photos of my new GTX 970, it replaces my old 7970. The GTX 970 is smaller in length, just, but taller. The fans are substantially larger. This is a good thing. The larger the fan, the slower they have to turn for the same airflow. The heat sink can be larger too.

The beast enters

22nd September 2014 - Category: Tech and Computers

AKA, the Sandisk Cruiser Extreme.


This is the Sandisk Cruiser Extreme 64gb on USB 2!


Notice how on random small file writes and reads it beats out this 2TB hard disk. The HDD is not a bad model, its a Samsung I’ve had for years. That’s just on USB 2.

What about USB 3?


This is insane. Only on 512MB writes does the hard disk even have a chance. On everything else its destroyed.

What about an early SSD?


Ah now we see. It fairs very well, but just can’t the random reads of the Kingston 96GB SSD. Its trounced by a modern SSD, even a VFM one like the MX100.

However by every other metric the Sandisk Cruiser Extreme is the fastest flash drive I have EVER seen.

Oh and BTW here is the slowest 64GB USB stick Sandisk make.