Day 1: Working Away

Day 1: 5 B&W Images in 5 Days

Recently my friend and colleague Paul Eaton nominated me to participate in a small photography challenge that has been passing through social media for some time. The challenge is simple; post 5 black and white photographs over 5 days.

See the nomination post

Challenge Accepted!

So without further a do I seek inspiration from Paul’s photo, and decide another angle of the project will be the first of the set.

Day 1: Working Away

Day 1: MacBook on Desk

View on Flickr

Image License: CC BY-NC 2.0

Setting up PGP on Mac OS X

Just last week I wrote a post explaining How to set up PGP on Windows, but seeing as though I now use a Mac for most of my day-to-day work, here’s an alternative guide to help you to set up PGP on Mac OS X so that you can use OpenPGP encryption and signing, manage your keys, and more from the comfort of your Mac!

PGP on Mac – Installing GPG Tools

Check out the GPGTools website and download the latest version of the GPG Suite. Once it’s downloaded, mount the disk image (just double-click it in your downloads folder) – you should see something like the following:

GPG Suite Disk

Contents of the GPG Suite Disk Image (.dmg)

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Setting up PGP on Windows with Thunderbird

Here’s a short (well, kinda short) rough guide on getting setup with PGP on Windows with Thunderbird! We will be using Gpg4win to provide the GnuPG tools and essentials for easily using PGP, and Enigmail to add support to Thunderbird for OpenPGP signing and encryption.

Got a Mac? Check out my guide to Setting up PGP on Mac OS X!

PGP on Windows – Installing Gpg4win

Head over to Gpg4win and download the latest version (v2.2.1 or newer) and once it’s downloaded run the installer. You will be presented with a set of options somewhat like the following:

Gpg4win Setup: Choose Components

Gpg4win Setup: Choose Components

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PGP Encryption and Signing

Just a quick one to say that I am now PGP signing all outgoing emails that come from my me on either my MacBook or phone. Certain git commits of mine will also be PGP signed.

Related to this, I am now accepting messages both online and by email that have been encrypted using my public key, and I’m also sending encrypted messages to people whose public keys can be easily found (either from key servers or through DNS TXT records).

Key ID – 0xD62083D0

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Creating the WebShop Revolution

At the little office where I work, in a little village just west of Birmingham (UK), big things have been happening.

Shop Made, one of the three main companies within our offices, have been selling online shops for some time now with an established customer base, almost all of which are using the Magento e-commerce platform. Each shop has been hand-crafted and manually titivated until it becomes a masterpiece – days of work go into each and every shop ever sold, and while that’s not a bad thing, it certainly got us thinking…

Shop Made’s Brainchild

What if we could create the same high-quality e-commerce stores, build them upon the same industry-leading e-commerce platform, but do it all in a fraction of the time and soon on a much larger, albeit global scale?

If other companies can make e-commerce so easily saleable as its own hosted package then surely we can, right? We may not have the huge workforce nor the upfront investment that our now-competitors have, but something we do have is passion and commitment.

It was all talk at first, somewhat being the original “pipe-dream” of the company that is now a far more reachable goal than before seen. Nonetheless, Office-talk turned into meetings, meetings became planning, and planning became development.

That’s where I come in – I was tasked with the creation of a system that can make online shops with just a few easy steps.

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Work Life, Projects, and More.

Since early July ’13 I’ve been rather busy, with a new Full-Time job and a few projects on the side it’s safe to say my personal blog has become somewhat neglected in this time. Sixteen days into 2014 and I’ve decided to find time for this site once again – I’ve tweaked and tuned stuff under-the-hood, set up a whole new theme, and even moved servers.

U-GPRV: Unmanned General-Purpose Reconnaissance Vehicle

The U-GPRV project, our computer-controlled drone, had slowed to almost a complete halt, entirely due to lack of spare time on my part, but thankfully it’s picking up pace again. The software is under development and the aircraft is almost fully assembled, we should be in the air in no time! – U-GPRV Project

Web Shop Revolution

Web Shop Revolution is a rather exciting project that came about through work. We’re working to create a really easy-to-use hosted e-commerce solution with a minimalist WYSIWYG-Style setup, but a powerful core, built around the eBay-owned Magento system. The directors are aiming to launch at the end of Q1 2014, so not long until we hit the digital shelves with our all-new SaaS e-commerce platform! – Check out Web Shop Revolution

Other Blogs

As part of the Isaac Nash SEO group, I’ve recently been contributing content to a number of sites and blogs – As a WordPress consultant, I’m currently contributing over at Support4Wordpress, offering guides and support for WordPress, including security tips, setup guides, and discounted access to a number of support and hosting services!


Working as a software developer is awesome, but there is always a need for a ticket or support system for the end product, both during development and post-sale. I’ve used a number of bug tracking and ticketing systems including Bugzilla, Trac, and I’ve even trialed ZenDesk, but what I truly wanted was a simple, lightweight system that could run on a standard LAMP (or WAMP/MAMP) stack with a modern, with a clean UI that can be re-used over and over for the software I develop. From this, I’ve decided to create OpenTicket – If the name isn’t a giveaway, It’s intent is to be an Open-Source (GPL Licensed) Ticket system. The plan is to make use of HTML5 and CSS3 browser technologies, while using Bootstrap and jQuery to make a modern, responsive ticket system, with PHP and MySQL powering the backend for a fast and interactive UX. You can find it at the OpenTicket website, or Fork OpenTicketPHP on GitHub!