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Umbraco and Azure

August 10, 2015

The Umbraco CMS platform has come a long way in recent years and the back office improvements for version 7 makes it one of the nicest to use CMS's around. I've always found the initial Umbraco setup a bit of a pain so when I saw the option to create an Umbraco instance in Azure I jumped at the chance to rebuild this blog. In this post I will walk you through the process of setting up a new…

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Feature Flags and Nancy

March 31, 2014

Last week I posted about using feature folders to organise your projects into a more manageable and logical way. This is great for keeping on top of your codebase but with the fourth dimension comes more complication. Simon Davey gave a great talk at Agile Yorkshire earlier in the year about his use of feature flags at Canonical . He suggested using them as a mechanism to separate features…

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Feature folders and Nancy

March 25, 2014

Working on large applications can get a little messy and related components can end up strewn across a project. When working with MVC or Nancy I often find myself in situations where I'm sifting through the controllers, models and views folders to find related files. This is frustrating at best - especially when the height of one of these folders can span the hight of your monitor. One solution…

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Google Chrome Extension Tutorials - Popup.html

February 03, 2014

This is the second post in my series of tutorials for Google Chrome extensions . Following on from my last post where we created a very basic - and somewhat annoying hello world extension - we will now start afresh and create a simple pop-up page to search Instagram. In this lesson we will cover: Adding Icons Popup Html Allowing external resources Code from this tutorial is available on GitHub…

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Manage Spotify with AutoHotKey

January 09, 2014

I've got a fancy keyboard at home that's so futuristic it has play and pause buttons on it. Crazy I know! My computer at work isn't quite as spectacular as this so I have to resort to other means if I don't want to be constantly opening Spotify . A couple of years ago a colleague showed me AutoHotKey - a scriptable desktop automation application - for this very reason. I've since lost that…

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Learn Nancy in 62 pages

January 04, 2014

We all like a little bit of light reading over the Christmas break between the massive meals, mulled wine, and cheese and crackers. This Christmas was the turn Christian Horsdal 's new book Instant Nancy Web Development . For those of you who don't know Nancy is a low ceremony web framework for .Net that focuses on making websites and API's simple and fun to write. Nancy draws a lot of its…

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14 Goals for 2014

January 01, 2014

Last year I set myself the relatively ambitious target of completing 30 goals in 2013 . Whilst I didn't complete all of them I did achieve a lot and found it great motivation so this year I'm scaling it back a bit and setting myself less - but maybe more challenging - goals. Lifestyle Walk 1,000,000 steps - I got a FitBit Flex for Christmas so I'm suddenly aware of how many steps I'm taking…

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The end of 30 goals for 2013

December 31, 2013

2013 has been a very productive year. It ' s seen a new job, a house move, the birth of this blog, a couple of talks, the loss of a laptop and a couple of conferences. Not all of these were foreseen but a number of them were down to the goals I set myself at the beginning of the year . I haven ' t completed everything I set out to do but I do think that giving myself these clear objectives has…

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Hello Sandra Snow

December 12, 2013

As the hawk eyed of you will have noticed - my blog has changed somewhat recently. Not only has it had a total redesign but I've also switched the blogging engine from WordPress to Sandra.Snow . Sandra is a Jekyll inspired static html blogging engine written by Phillip Haydon and Jonathan Channon and is powered by the Nancy web framework . The structure of a Snow blog is simple - a Razor…

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When Nancy met Event Store

November 16, 2013

There's a new kid on the database front and it's name is Event Store . Event store is an open source, functional database that supports the concept of event sourcing. In this post I am going to take a look at hooking Event Store into a simple Nancy web project using the Event Store .Net API. What is Event Sourcing? Setting up a local Event Store server Hooking it up to NancyFX Managing Streams…

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Hack Manchester 2013

October 30, 2013

This weekend a group of us from Leeds# (the Leeds .Net user group) took a road trip across to Manchester to take part in this year's Hack Manchester . Hack Manchester is a 25 hour coding competition in the heart of Manchester . It takes place in the amazing Museum of Science and Industry and is a part of Manchester Science Week. This was the second Hack Manchester and the format was pretty…

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Caesar Box Cipher in C#

September 12, 2013

What is a Caesar Box Cipher? A number of years ago I read Dan Browns Digital Fortress . Trashy of me I know but this was the first time I had ever acknowledged cryptography. In this book they discuss a number of cryptographic ciphers but the one that stuck out in my mind was the Caesar Box cipher for it simplicity. Surprisingly this encryption technique dates back to the Roman times when Caesar…

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Google Chrome - The holy grail of password hacks

August 12, 2013

I recently bought a new laptop and one of the first things I did was download Google Chrome (the only real use for Internet Explorer) and log in with my Google account. This is a pretty seamless user experience - Google has done well - all I have to do is sign in and all my apps and extensions start downloading. Furthermore, all of my saved passwords are downloaded and I can log right into…

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Chocolatey - Why have cotton when you can have silk?

August 10, 2013

Setting up a new PC is always a bit of a bore, you end up spending days downloading and running installers. This is what I was doing when a friend tweeted me this: And he was right. Chocolatey is amazing! It uses NuGet to download and install windows applications - all you have to do is run through the odd installation wizard. Here's my powershell script with a brief description for each…

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Browser specific JQuery script bundling

July 17, 2013

Script bundling has become a standard feature for all my recent projects, it simplifies and centralises script management. But what can you do if you need to load different scripts based on the users browser? For example, if you're using JQuery 2.x but have to support lower versions of IE you're going to want to specify a supported version of JQuery. Luckily script bundles work much the same as…

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Google Chrome Extension Tutorials - Hello World

June 26, 2013

This is the first post in a series of tutorials on building Google Chrome extensions. Google Chrome has established itself as the browser of choice boasting a 50%+ market share since March. Part of its success is Google's willingness to let developers extend and improve it. I have been getting to know the extensions platform for some time now and I thought it would be a good idea to document my…

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Localising JavaScript strings in ASP.NET

June 20, 2013

In recent years there has been a huge explosion of rich javascript and jquery plugins giving you everything from drag and drop to wysiwyg editors and autocomplete to fartscroll.js . Using some of these plugins can be a great way to speed up development and cash in on someone else's hard work. However doing this always comes with an element of risk and it may lack the specific details that…

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Unique Passwords - Why you need them and why Uniquify

May 31, 2013

What are the risks? Password safety is increasingly the victim of bad press; rather unsurprisingly this is down to a lack of security. Whether it's passwords being stored in plain text or yet another security breach , hackers are getting hold of passwords. While this is a problem, it is not the most pressing issue that I am concerned about. My concern is with password reuse highlighting the…

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Using RavenDB and AppHarbor

April 06, 2013

I recently started an ASP.NET MVC 4 project using RavenDB and one of the first things I've taken a look at is how to implement continuous integration. We are using GitHub for source control so my first thought was Travis CI but after reading into some of the issues with implementing this with .NET projects I decided to look elsewhere. My next port of call was AppHarbor , I've not used it…

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Introducing Jquery Autocomplete

April 02, 2013

I came across an issue the other day. I needed a fully client side autocomplete to append to a dynamically generated form. We were already using the ajax autocomplete control throughout the site but this was of no use to me here as all the elements needed to be generated on the fly. Also, the designers had already made the ajax autocomplete look pretty so in order to remain DRY I needed…

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30 Goals for 2013

March 30, 2013

I wanted to start this blog by explaining how it first came about. Back in 2010 a friend of mine set himself 101 goals for 1001 days. I think this is great, it's really important to push yourself. It's far too easy, especially for developers, to get stuck in a routine where you're not challenging yourself on a daily basis. At the beginning of this year I decided to set myself a similar task; 3…

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