Unknown Painting

I really like this painting, but I don’t know anything about it. I’m putting information here in the hopes that it will come up in searches other people might be doing for the same artist. Please email me if you have information about this or it’s creator.

I don’t know what this piece is called.

By the looks of the signature, I’m guessing the artists name is Chang. I could be wrong about that though. The painting is on a canvas measuring about 12 x 18 inches. It looks like acrylic paint to me, but I don’t have a clue about these things.

I tried searching on Google for some of these keywords to see if I could find a photo of this, or of other works with a similar style that could be from the same artist. I found some artists with Chang in their name whose work I liked, but I don’t think their styles are quite the same as this. If I was a braver man I’d contact them to double check, alas I’m an anxious mess.

This painting was rescued from my mum. Years back she would buy up paintings on car boot sales or local auctions for cheap, simply to sell on the frames which sold much better than the art unfortunately. I don’t remember what she did with the art itself but I have a horrible feeling she burnt them. I loved this one so I kept it. So, this was probably for sale at a carboot somewhere in Norfolk around 2007-2010. I didn’t realise until I wrote that just how long I’ve owned it for.

Since then it has followed me to university, back to my mum’s house, and now in my own flat. On those journeys it suffered a couple of bumpy rides, you can see a couple of indentations on the right and a crease and paint loss along the top. Part of me wants to have it restored and conserved, but then I remember I don’t have any money.

I’m guessing this says “Chang”. Thoughts?

still here

I just realised I haven’t posted a new blog here in five years, or 1696 days to be precise! I thought I would post something just to show that I’m still alive.

For posterity; we’re in the middle of the Covid-19 global virus outbreak. I’m almost 1 months into isolation, and currently not allowed to leave my flat at all.

This post is also a shameless plug for the website I built for my local Extinction Rebellion group, which I’m involved with now. So check out the latest news from XR KLWN.

QuickLook and Archive Utility Not Working

The iMac I use at work had a few users by the time I started using it. Since taking over as the primary user, I noticed a bunch of issues with it. Firstly QuickLook would crash when previewing anything, images, PDFs, documents. Anything at all. Secondly, I was unable to ZIP any files at all. When I tried, I just got the error “The contents list can’t be created for compressing.” Finally, no apps would auto update (where they quit and reopen themselves as a newer version). Continue reading QuickLook and Archive Utility Not Working

Lifestyles Appeal

Crowd at Lifestyles FestivalLifestyles Festival is an extreme sports and culture festival in Hunstanton. It took a year off last year due to lack of funding and to take some time to re-organise and re-group. I got involved by offering to build an iPhone app for the festival (coming soon…), but somehow I’ve been roped into being a central part of the organising committee.

As I haven’t posted anything on here in a loooong time, I thought I’d give a run-down of what I’ve been up to. Enjoy!
Continue reading Lifestyles Appeal

Twitter Etiquette

I love Twitter. I always thought it was full of potential, and I still think it is (though it’s lost in a mass of One Direction and X Factor fans).

Firstly, let me make it clear that I’m not a perfect Twitter user, I don’t have a massive Twitter follower count, and I basically have no authority on this topic. But, I have been on Twitter since about July 2008, so I’ve seen a few trends, rises and falls, and also @StephenFry follows me.
Continue reading Twitter Etiquette

Trouble sleeping?

The modern life of a cyborg is one of little sleep. We’re bombarded with technology that inadvertently stops us from sleeping, even the basics such as artificial lighting (room lights, street lights, lamps) affect our circadian rhythm (the daily cycle of chemical changes that dictates when we should to feel sleepy or alert), tricking us into thinking it’s daytime when it’s dark.

The two main reasons that technology affects our sleeping patterns are these; too much light in our faces, and too much information when we should be winding down.

I suffer just as much as the next man, but I have a few tips that could help out!

flux preferences

  • F.lux is a small utility that alters the colour of your computer screen to try to suit the artificial lighting we use at night. I recommend this to everyone asking just install it and give it 48 hours, it takes a night or two to get used to it but it’s invaluable if you use it. Make sure to set ‘transition’ to slow (1 hour) so that it all happens without you noticing.
  • Backlight your working environment. This will help to stop the glare that you get from your computer screen. I have a desk lamp that shines up and back onto the wall behind my desk, it just helps to even out the light that you’re exposing your eyes to.
  • If you have to use a device in bed, set the brightness to as low as it can go. It’s night and your lights are off, you don’t need the full brightness that you would use on a sunny day.
  • Don’t check Twitter, Facebook, etc. just before bed (and especially not in bed). Apart from the screen brightness, the ‘infinite flow’ of little stories and tweets conditions (read as trains) you to want more and more (“Just another minute”) therefore keeping your brain in ‘processing mode’.

An example of one nights sleep tracked with Sleep TimeOn a side note, but still relevant, phones can be used for good as part of your sleeping rituals. Apps such as Sleep Time by Azumio can be used to track your REM cycles during your sleep and then wake you up when you’re not sleeping deeply. I’ve used this app for a long time and I believe it helps me to wake up at an optimum time, not leaving me feeling rough because I was woken from a deep sleep. I also claim credit for thinking of some features in it, they used to have a bright splash screen which I advised against, also they now create graphs of weekly/monthly data after I emailed suggesting it. Moral of the story, always email app developers with suggestions for improvements (but don’t forget to tell them about all their good work too!)

Finally, a nice infographic to back up all my points via OnlinePsychologyDegree.net

Getting in bed with Gadgets!
Infographic via OnlinePsychologyDegree.net

Managing Online Privacy

Keeping your personal details and identity private online is a hot topic and there are hundreds of other articles that discuss thousands of aspects of online privacy and advise different methods to keep yourself ‘safe’. This article is just a collection of my thoughts on online privacy, I’ll try to give some advice in here too to try to help people learn.

I’m not much of a privacy freak online. With very little effort, anyone could get a lot of information about me. But, I’m aware of what’s out there and I’m comfortable with it. I’m pretty sensible (if I do say so myself) so I know what I can/should share and what I shouldn’t. Thinking about if you want to (or should) share something, before posting it to the Internet is the first step. There’s less to manage if you don’t post things you’d be uncomfortable with people seeing.

An example of how some people are *facepalm* stupid about sharing their details is @NeedADebitCard. I just had to check that this is still running and 19hours was it’s most recent retweet so it definitely is. Basically, this account just retweets people that post pictures of their bank cards on Twitter. If you’re unsure; DO NOT DO THIS. If you feel the need to post pictures of bank cards, driving licences, passports, etc. then cover up your numbers!

Basically, as I see it, the problem with online privacy is a user issue. The root of the user issues is education. People don’t know what and how to manage themselves online. People assume that the tools (websites, etc.) will manage it for them. They assume that the default settings are the best. They forget that there are people on the internet outside of their network of contacts. Or, they just don’t care (maybe I’m actually in this group and I’m in denial).

Whilst reading Amber Case’s Illustrated Dictionary of Cyborg Anthropology I came across a phenomenon I hadn’t been aware of before. It’s called “super-logoff”. This is where people would deactivate their entire Facebook account while they were not actually using it to defend their online identity from people from posting or tagging them in things which they would not approve of. It’s easy to see why people might do this, but it’s ridiculously drastic.

Facebook is a good example mainly because it has the finest grained controls. Twitter is just public or private, Google Plus is basically just circles (which I personally think is the best method, but that’s neither here nor there). I tend to notice people are fairly polarised on Facebook, either “Lock everything down, no one but friends should see anything” or “Defaults are best” (meaning that everything’s public because Facebook are like that!).

In reality, neither of these options are how people actually consider their privacy. If you skip work to go to a gig, you might want to hide the statuses and photos from your boss, but let the rest of your friends see it. Or you might want to hide the evidence of that big night out from your family. Colleagues and family automatically put into lists so long as they’ve got their employment on their profile or listed you under family on their profile. Lists are the best way to manage sharing on Facebook (the idea probably stolen from Google Plus), just keep your lists up-to-date and customise the privacy on statuses, photos, whatever by adding or removing lists. People wouldn’t have any problems if they just learnt how to use the tools properly. Really, the onus should be on Facebook to educate their users on how to do all this.

So, in summary:

  • Think before you post! If you act under the premise that everything is public, you’ll think twice about posting personal things.
  • Learn how to use the privacy settings for each site. It’s all there, make sure you’re using it correctly.
  • Log out, or use the ‘view as’ features, to see what the public can see (and adjust settings accordingly).

Hope that helps someone :)


A preview of a Podio activity streamRecently I discovered Podio whilst looking into Client Relationship Management and Project Management systems. During this summer break from University I was invited to carry out work for Lingo Design. Among other things, I was tasked with finding a good piece of software to replace their existing solution. The main trait that I was looking for was extensibility, after looking through many free and paid services I found Podio (in the Chrome Apps store, of all places).

I was given a good idea of what I was looking for by @LingoLiz and I had already done a little work on their current Access database. Also I’ve always been fairly interested in CRMs and productivity tools in general. So, when I found Podio there were a lot of reasons to get a bit excited about it!

The Danish pair behind Podio have taken a novel approach to building this platform and have baked in some very interesting concepts. The main two that I’d like to talk about are:


Podio focuses on collaboration. It is a virtual workplace, connecting people across an office or across the planet. In the relatively little amount of time I’ve spent using it I’ve been surprised by how many people have commented on how “very Facebook” the style of the site is. This is a huge thumbs up like from me. Every item and status in the application gives users the ability to add their two cents by commenting or liking something. They’ve also followed suit of Twitter by allowing you to follow items too.

I don’t see Podios use of Twitter and Facebook’s ideologies as imitation (or, if it is then “imitation is the greatest form of flattery”). It’s a great move on Podios part in terms of user experience, everyone is familiar with commenting, liking, and following things these days so users will automatically be able to engage with Podio at a basic level right from the sign up.


Everyone has different needs. People work in different ways, store data in different formats, and see content as more vital as others. Podio isn’t a software package that you have to bend your workflow to fit around, Podio is a platform allowing you to make your own (or use pre-built) Apps.

Again, everyone is familiar with what an app is and their a big thing at the moment, so it makes sense on many levels for Podio to utilise this approach.

After working with Podio for a bit, I thought it would be good to experiment with setting up a workspace for University. I created Apps for projects, modules, books, and references. I think this will help me greatly in my final year at University in becoming more organised and having a consistent place for my thoughts and resources. I’ll let you know how it goes on when I get back to University in October.

Podio is free for up to five uses so I see no reason why shouldn’t check it out if you’re looking for a new system, or just interested. Let me know how you get on with it. Also sorry for making this post seem so much like to advertisement, I just really love this product felt like I should share my experience of it so far.

Site Update

Recently, I have been porting my old WordPress site (and by my site, I mean this) over to a Jekyll-powered, GitHub Pages-hosted, static site (Note: if you’re reading this then I’ve already deployed the new version of the site). My reasoning? about 33% intrigue, about 33% saving hosting bills, and about 33% for teh lolz.
As my site is now hosted on GitHub, you can see all it’s gooey inner working by viewing it’s repo.
As you can see, at the moment the design is basically the same as before, but I still have intentions of improving it. I think it will be easier now I’m using this system as I have it locally so I can hack away at it safely without the risk of completely screwing it up online. Also, as it’s a repository I can use all of Git’s features, such as branches, in the development of the site.