About Me

Software engineer and photographer from darkest Essex, UK. When I'm not sat in front of a computer or holding a camera to my eye I can be found watching Formula One motor racing, practising my handwriting, or watching obscure films.

This site is less a blog and more of a silo. It's where I'll put links to things I like, put up snippets and explanations of things I'll probably need reminding of at a later date.

It'll be a real mixture, and the only way to really organise it will be the tags which I'll try and keep concise and to the point.


Site is built using Hugo deployed to Netlify. Images and other binaries are stored on Backblaze B2 (S3 compatible). HTTPS is provided by Let's Encrypt. The background colour is the old default background from Netscape and Mosaic, #C0C0C0.


What I use, and therefore generally endorse.

For the last three years I've used a first gen Dell XPS 13. It's made of aluminium and carbon fiber which makes it very strong and very light. If you measure the thickness at the edge it's slight thicker than a MacBook Air, but at its thickest point it's thinner than the same Air at its thickest point. Even after five years the battery is amazing and the machine is still stable and fast.

Back in the 1990s and early 2000s I used to build my own machines. I enjoyed sourcing the parts and the whole build process. These days I can't be bothered with all that. I generally go with whatever I can find that fits the spec I want at a price I want, safe in the knowledge I can customise it to my tastes later. Right now I'm using a Viglen Genie. It's a core i7 with 16GB RAM, and a 512GB SSD. I have a 1tb HDD for data, backed up to Backblaze, and a 650gb HDD which I use as a kind of temp drive, or scratch disk.

I use two AOC 21.5" IPS monitors on a dual-arm mount. They're fairly inexpensive but they're good enough for what I want. I'm not a gamer, and only an enthusiastic amateur photographer.

I have something of a tradition where I re-purpose my previous desktop workstation for use as my local server. However, I have now switched to a small array of Raspberry Pis. The main one is a Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB RAM hooked up to a 4tb WD Passport. This is the main file server and also runs Transmission. I'm toying with putting Plex or Jellyfin on it to handle all my media files. Second Pi is a Raspberry Pi 3, again with a 4TB WD Passport hooked up to it. This is the backup to the RPi4, and also runs PiHole. Both of these plug in to a dedicated five-port switched, meaning I can add another two Pis to the array in the future.

The Cloud
Backblaze for backups, Netlify for static sites, and Digital Ocean for VPS.

Besides a collection of Russian cold-war era compact cameras, a GoPro (and a few clones), my photography is either with a Nikon D90 which still holds its own after nearly ten years, or a Fuji X100 which is a joy to use and perfect for carrying around one's neck all day. I also have a Holga Digital which doesn't get nearly enough use.

CNC I recently turned forty, so it felt right to get a CNC milling machine and a laser attachment. It's a 3018, and I'm still in the early days of learning it.

3D Printing
My pride and joy, an original Prusa i3 MK2S which I've recently upgraded to the MK2.5. I bought the kit and learned so much building that I've been able to confidently tackle any problem that has arisen. Plugged in to is a Raspberry Pi Model 3 running Octoprint with a RPi Camera Module to allow for remote viewing and timelapses.