Category Archives: Tech

“4 hour work week” from 2009


For the past year or so I’ve been averaging just over 4 hours of work per week. I know this because I’ve been using to monitor my the time spent in different applications and tried to keep a split of applications for my proper work and my random other projects.

rescue time work time usage output

What work:

I work as a linux, coding and consulting geek. The standard structure of the way I deal with clients is that they give me a specification and a deadline and then I deliver.

How to:

There’s alot of things you can do to start off down this road. A few that spring to mind; specialise, enjoy your work, have a good setup, have an idea on how you are going to do a bit of work before you start, work remotely, work sharp, buy less crap, take breaks/stock and have/make contacts.


For me the 4hr work week is all about time and personal freedom. Working in this style just gives the ability not to just seat warm for the 8hr shift. The number of hours I saw wasted with people unable to get working in the morning, lagging before and after lunch and towards the end of the day, it’s just such a waste of everyones time.


The stats don’t tell the whole story on this. For starters there’s the thinking time needed to actually fully work out the problem, then the logging method isn’t going to get all the time spent and simply the fact I just enjoy what I do. The 4hr work week isn’t for everyone, however it’s something that works for me and gives a good work life balance.

Have a good day

“It’s not which browser it”s which browsers and how you use them” from 2009


We’ve got so many browsers to choose from, for me, it’s not which one is the best one, it’s how you use them together.

What browsers:

Currently using a combo of, firefox, ie7, ie6, ie5.5, safari and google chrome.

How I’m using them:

Opera – Do most of my morning crap surfing here. Been a fan for a good few years, love the mouse gestures, the solid session save and the quick dial. For my random surfing it suits me perfectly and when I want to do some work, it just gets minimised to the toolbar. For avoiding ads go for a hosts file solution which while not as beautiful a solution as ffs still does the job.

FireFox – My work browser. So many lovely firefox plugins to make web dev just that much easier and also use for google mail which have has my main work contact point.

Google Chrome – Quick browser. Do love the speed and house mates most used, but for it’s speed don’t really use it enough. Currently testing it as my work research browser.

IE7 – Used when in windows for hotmail (as it opens directly from msn, instead of the default browser, *cough*), windows updates and checking that somethings not borked in ie7.

IE6+IE5.5+Safari – Check not broken in that browser.


Find the split keeps me on track, can straight away know where certain stuff is and can keep my surfing from my working.

Chrome and Gmail encrypted emails sending and recieving guide

This guide is there to help people with the first steps with using email encryption, hopefully will be of use.

First things first, we need to get the basics set up:

1. Install

2. Find the application in tools -> extensions -> then “Mymail-Crypt for Gmail” and click on “options”.  This will bring up a page like below.


3. Next we generate our keys. Go to my keys, generate new private key, this will generate us a private and public key. For pass phrase I recommend going for longer phrases, these are harder to crack. The generation of keys takes around a minute rather than the few seconds the application claims.

4. We can now share our own public key with friends and add in our friends keys.

To send stuff encrpyted:

1. First you need to add in someones public key. The public key one for is here, add it by going to friends keys -> insert public key then copy and pasting in the key text. The key starts with —–BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK—– , then press submit.

You should have something that looks like this:


2. – I recommend restarting chrome after this step, it seems not to notice new public keys straight away at times.

3. We can now send someone an encrpyted email! To do this go to gmail click on compose, you’ll notice that the plugin has added in 3 options at the bottom right. For now we’ll just use one which is encrypt, as I’ve had problems getting encrypt and sign working on this plugin so far. Now to send encrpyted, write out your message, highlight and click encrpyt.



4. Now click on send. Congratulations, you’ve just sent your first encrpyted email to someone.

To receive encrypted:

1. With your keys created, send your public key to someone you want to communicate securely with. To do this, you click into friends’ keys, then show key by your email address. Copy and paste that key into an email to someone. If you want link them this article and get them to follow the steps above expect tell them to use your key instead of the key, hopefully you should get sent something encrpyted to you soon.


2. Hopefully they will email you back which will look something a lot like:


All you do now, is use your pass phrase you set up earlier in the box under decrypt, click on decrypt.


Congratulations, you have now entered the beautiful world of encrypted email.

Have a great day.

php ides

After years of playing around with Zend Studio, finally moved to netbeans as my main php editor. Seems to do nearly everything Zend does and more. My only issue with it is not really being able to edit files on sftp on the fly. That said it currently has better support compared to Zend for public key logins and currently for me at the moment this is the most important at least for this project.

New install 9 firefox plugins to install

1. Ghostery to block most tracking:

2. Https everywhere to use https for security whenever you can –

3. Lastpass, secure password manager unlike firefoxes password manager that just shows the passwords! –

4. Adblock plus, because it is nicer not being sold to the whole time –

5. Download helper, download youtube, vimeo and other videos –

6. Download them all, handy for downloading all the images on a page –

Optional geek ones mostly for developers.

7. Firebug,  any developer debugger –

8. Google pagespeed, useful for flagging optimisations –

9. Yahoo yslow, again optimisation flagging, remember to cache 🙂 –

Hopefully that’s of use