Change of topic

October 14th, 2014

A little bug bear of mine is how dreadful printer and scanner software is. Especially that provided by the manufactures (not naming any names, HP!)

Having just done a fresh install of Windows 7 on my laptop I just couldn’t bring myself to install the software included with the printer (all 300MB download of it!!) and did a quick search to see whether the world of scanner software has improved since I last visited. And lo and behold, I found Not Another PDF Scanner 2 aka NAPS2. A typical Open Source name for a product which is actually useful.

Ridiculously easy to use. Create/select a profile. Select a scanner. Click scan. Make some minor changes to the ordering/orientation of the pages. Click Save to PDF. And you’re done. Did I mention it doesn’t take 10 seconds to recognise you’ve clicked something and bring up the next page (HP are you listening?!?)

NAPS2 screenshot

A new direction

August 19th, 2014

It’s been a while since I last posted on here. Since then I’ve been pondering the possibilities of playing with a bit of smartphone app development.

There are a lot of options out there but the technologies I plan on working with (at least until something changes my mind are)

  • Sencha Touch
  • PhoneGap
  • Node.js
  • Firebase
  • I’m also considering using

  • Mozilla’s Persona
  • I already have a project in mind and I’ll be posting updates soon.

    End of Warbook? End of Brimstone.

    February 21st, 2010

    Well apparently, the Warbook mana server has been down for months now and nobody seems to be inclined to do anything about it. There are still some people playing it for reasons of their own but I don’t think it will recover from here.

    This would mean that it is rather pointless for me to continue developing Brimstone as things stand. If things change then maybe I will reconsider but for now assume that there will be no more releases of Brimstone.

    Started work on my new website

    February 14th, 2010

    My previous website was rather basic to say the least. This weekend, I finally got around to creating myself a new Joomla based website. Most of the information that was previously available has been migrated. All I need to do now is some actual design work and stop using the default template.

    You can check out my first attempt at

    Brimstone 0.6.1

    February 14th, 2010

    Made a minor update to Brimstone today. It now:

    • Supports Firefox 3.6
    • Supports the current Warbook server

    However, at the time of writing, the Warbook server wasn’t allowing people to cast spells. (We’re sorry, but we are fixing our DB server. We’ll be back online soon!.)

    Don’t know how long that will last for.

    RememberMe - My First Jetpack

    February 10th, 2010

    Made some time last night to actually sit down and write my first Jetpack. Its a very simple affair inspired by my annoyance that some websites decide to mark their input boxes as autocomplete=”off”. This has the effect of stopping Firefox’s password manager from attempting to remember login credentials. This may be sensible on some banking sites where personal data security is paramount but otherwise is just an annoyance to the user.

    RememberMe is a jetpack that once installed allows you to override the autocomplete attribute by right-clicking and selecting “Remember Me”. The jetpack then remembers your request and from then on the attribute will be forced to “on”. You can reset this by selecting “Forget Me”.

    You can find RememberMe here.

    I have only tested this on sites that I use and so it is quite possible that there are bugs. Don’t hesitate to let me know.

    Upgrading to Firefox 3.6

    February 7th, 2010

    Thought I would upgrade to Firefox 3.6 this weekend. Mostly a smooth process except that it appears that IE Tab doesn’t support 3.6. I don’t know whether this is going to get updated at some point but as work uses a number of web apps that require IE, I was happy to discover that there is an alternative.

    Corel IE Tab is a fork of the IETab project with some enhancements. I haven’t actually tried any of these out, but the main function of embedding an IE tab in Firefox appears to work as expected.

    On a related note Firebug 1.4.0 also doesn’t support Firefox 3.6. As I mentioned in my previous post, Firebug 1.4.0 is the most recent version of Firebug that allows me to do any decent debugging in Jetpack. In the end I resorted to using Nightly Tester Tools to override the compatibility check. This seems to work fine so far. Now I am running Firefox 3.6, I did try out the Firebug 1.6 alpha builds but no joy on the Jetpack debugging front there so 1.4.0 it is for now.

    Which version of Firebug to use with Jetpack

    January 30th, 2010

    One of the nice features of developing in Jetpack is the console.log feature. Assuming you have Firebug installed, not only does it allow you to dump messages to the Firebug console, you can dump objects. Once logged to the console, you get the Firebug object introspection which is a gift for debugging exactly what is going on in your code.

    However, currently there is an issue with compatibility between various versions of Firebug and Jetpack. I am using Jetpack 0.7 but if I use any version of Firebug after 1.4.0, console.log does not work as desired. It works fine in the about:jetpack tab but if you switch to another tab to do some ‘real’ debugging, console.log stops doing anything. Even if you switch back to the about:jetpack tab, you need to reload the tab before console.log starts working again.

    I spent some time this evening going through the various iterations of Firebug and debugging worked fine up and till 1.4.0. I have tried most version after that and had no luck. So, for now, if you are debugging Jetpack, I recommend that you debug profile has Firebug 1.4.0.

    Is Jetpack the future of Firefox development?

    January 30th, 2010

    Its been a while since I’ve done any development on Brimstone. To be honest I don’t play Warbook any more and without input from users I haven’t had any impetus to make improvements. However, I have been working on a few half started projects which still aren’t ready for release but (fingers crossed) I will be making them available soon.

    One thing that has caught my interest recently, is Mozilla’s new project, Jetpack. I’m not going to go into the details here, but the main aim of the project is to make Firefox development more accessible to a wide range of web developers and at the same time improving the experience for the end user.

    I will posting soon with my experience and thoughts.

    Tempus really does Fugit!

    June 27th, 2009

    I was going to write a post here about my new extension for Firefox (see my next post) but then took a look at my last post. Has it really been over a year?! Well I guess it must be.

    Now, I will readily admit that I haven’t done much development on the Firefox side for a while but I haven’t been that lazy. I have made some changes to Brimstone which have rather quietly been released. But as I no longer play Warbook I haven’t had any personal need to make any major improvements. It doesn’t help that people haven’t been particularly vocal recently as to what they like and dislike about the latest versions of Brimstone and so in the absence of any input I have let the status quo continue.

    If you have any strong desire for any changes to Brimstone. Please let me know. The Brimstone forum is the best place to make feature requests and point out bugs.