Why I custom code my personal sites

The static route

When I built my first website, I wrote all of the HTML by hand. At that point, it was just HTML. It was annoying to replicate the navigation bar across every page, even though I only had a few pages to update.

I tried a few different methods, such as using frames, and adding the common code via Javascript. I also tried reducing the number of pages on the site that I needed to update, by adding a dropdown and opening some of the pages in a new window, sans navbar. The Javascript method stayed on the site for quite a while.

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Information overload: how are we supposed to keep up?

I’ve always been hungry for news. I like to know what’s happening – and I like to know when it happens.

The thing is, I feel I’ve reached saturation point.

I jokingly summed this up in a recent tweet:

Throw in Pokemon Go (I’m not ashamed to say I’m still enjoying it) and I’m torn between the buzz of feeling in the loop, and information overload.

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Different views: To-do lists

Here are two conflicting views on to-do lists.

Marissa Mayer, however, Yahoo’s CEO and former Google executive, explains that sometimes it’s making the list and prioritizing it that’s important—not finishing.

Source: Marissa Mayer Explains Why Having To-Dos Is Better than Finishing Them

Putting an activity on the TO-DO list is not the end, it is the beginning. DON’T CONFUSE PUTTING SOMETHING ON THE TO-DO LIST WITH GETTING SOMETHING DONE.

Source: The TO-DO List Is Your Enemy

I’m a great believer in to-do lists. However, I occasionally need a to-do item to clean up my lists!


How not to do sticky ads

Making ads sticky can help to improve viewability percentages – viewability is important to many advertisers.

Ads can be made to stick for a short period of time and then disappear, or they can be set up to be “perma-sticky” – so they don’t go away.

When ads are permanently stuck, publishers need to be careful that there’s sufficient space to display everything on the page.

Here’s what I saw on the Telegraph today, while viewing a story:

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A Southern Rail nightmare: my story

After a particularly bad day on the trains, I felt compelled to share my story and ongoing woes with Southern Rail.

Generally speaking, I’m one of the luckier commuters. Whenever there’s trouble on my route, I usually miss it. Sometimes an issue affects a train that’s one or two timetable slots after mine – or mine is the last good train for a while. Sometimes I can get a different train with minimal disruption to my commute. Very occasionally, train problems occur on a night when I’m out with a friend – so when it’s time to go home, things are nowhere near as bad as they were during the evening rush hour.

However, every problem has a knock-on effect – even if I’m often lucky with how things line up. Delays add up. And I’m already choosing my trains purely based on which ones I expect will cause the least amount of pain – rather than the ones that would get me to and from work for my normal working hours.

First, let me tell you about my typical daily commute.

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