Martin's Blog


Posted by Martin Orr on Sunday, 22 July 2007 at 19:30

Since the end of June I have been in Basingstoke, Hampshire. I am working for a web development company, Sygneca. It is a small company with four employees; the Managing Director is Jon Pretty, who until June was IT Officer for TCMS (Trinity College Music Society). I have mainly been working on a project management system for internal use, and some other small projects from time to time.

I am renting a room about twelve minutes' cycle from my work (although there is a big hill in between). There is also the landlord and one other man living here. The landlord was originally an engineer, but now an executive coach; and the other man trained in telecoms. Basingstoke is full of hi-tech companies. While it had existed as a small town before that, it was mainly built in the 1960s with lots of very similar estates separated by dual carriageways.

I am coming home to Belfast on Wednesday. On Saturday I am going to Zambia with a church group to build houses with the charity Habitat for Humanity. After two weeks in Zambia, I will be back in Basingstoke for another month.

no comments Tags accommodation, basingstoke, sygneca, zambia

New blog

Posted by Martin Orr on Sunday, 15 July 2007 at 16:35

I'd really completely given up posting anything on my old blog, but I've decided to start again. I never really liked many features of the Blogger blog, especially its appearance. I know you can adjust this a lot, so I came with an open mind as to whether I would be able to fix up Blogger to something I was happy with. However then I discovered that in order to access my Blogger blog I needed to have a Google Account. Now I am very nervous about the power of Google, and don't particularly want to sign up for a Google Account, so this made up my mind that I would switch to a blog completely under my control.

This blog is hosted on the Student-Run Computing Facility, who kindly provide a server with pretty liberal usage policies for individuals and societies in Cambridge. It runs on Simplelog, an application written using the Ruby on Rails framework. A lot of the blogging software out there is written in PHP. Now most of the PHP code I have seen is pretty ugly; in addition it is far too easy to write insecure code in PHP. So I wanted to avoid PHP if possible. I have never worked with Ruby before, but it seems fairly well-designed. For the sake of history, I have copied and pasted the posts from my old blog but not the comments.

no comments Tags blogger, blogging, google, php, rubyonrails, simplelog