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I was lucky enough to visit Newcastle Upon Tyne for the Makerfaire_uk this March, and since then I’ve been brimming with ideas, and feeling the need to make things. This post is partially here to demonstrate that I am, in fact, still alive, and to show off a couple of little things I’ve made. First, I got a p8tch. This self proclaimed commando nerd patch is an embroidered QR code, which links to a configurable tinyurl style redirect.

Now, don’t just leave straight away, but I’m learning perl. I know I’ve only just started waxing lyrical about python, but bear with me, I’ve not got any plans to dump anything else: I just need to learn perl for work. (If you read on in this post, you’ll find some ruby code, too!) So, armed with some of the ideas from comments on my last post, I’ve tried to build make use of some of the most trendy web resources to help me on my way.

Listen to this post One of the things I’ve noticed during the course of my studying for my PhD is that there’s is a gulf between knowing how to do something, and knowing how to do in a way that’s acceptable to others. I think that this gulf is one of best practices. If that’s not clear, then let me illustrate it with an example. I believe that almost anyone can do research which is suitable for publication (honestly, anyone!

After seeing lifehacker, I was inspired to add an adverb detector to TextMate’s markdown grammar, since that’s the format I use to write blog posts. Far from being a couple of hours work, this was dead simple, and involved adding a couple of tiny bits to the grammar, here’s how to do it: First, fire up TextMate’s Bundle Editor, press ⌃⌥⌘B. Then scroll to markdown, expand it, and find the Markdown Language grammar.

There seems to have been a recent glut in static site generators. It looks like you can pick your templating language, and find a generator to go with it. Recently, I discovered hyde via the github blog, and decided it was worth trying out on a project I’m working on. That project is zshbits, a tutorial/screencast site for ZSH. I’ll be unveiling some zshbits content soon (for now I’m waiting for a cold to let up, so I don’t sound quite so nasal, and a new microphone) and readers here will be the first to know.