Tech Lab (Innovation)

Making reactions ‘go’ is a curious science. Powerpoint presenters love the idea of a catalyst – something that accelerates a reaction but can be recovered afterwards, chemically unchanged - but if anyone ever did that Chemistry experiment with the hydrogen peroxide and the liver, catalysts are not so sexy in real life.

TechLab Innovation is catalytic. We look to find parts of the business with the right mixture of ingredients (resources, business problem, realisable value/cost saving). It's a challenging pursuit but it creates good outcomes.

Proactive and retro-active reuse

"All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl." - Charlie Chaplin

Innovation is hard

Today SpaceX sent a rocket into orbit. Between now and Wednesday, it will drift its way to the International Space Station where it will deliver its cargo payload as part of a resupply operation. 'Dragon' is the first time a commercial body has launched such a groundbreaking mission. The reusable SpaceX rocket booster that lofted Dragon into the heavens successfully returned to earth intact too!

Tech Lab (Delivery)

Reuse sounds great. We like reuse. Reuse means less duplication. Ensuring that wheel-like objects are not invented all over DWP’s Digital landscape seems like time well-spent. O that avoiding the reinvention of many round rolling things were as simple as saying “don’t reinvent the wheel.”

Default colours for vis.js

vis.js is great. Here are the colours it uses for traces by default:

blue: #4f81bd
orange: #f79646
green: #75c841
purple: #8c51cf

Update: found a much longer list in the source code:

How to tell VMware player to DHCP an IP to a MAC address

Open C:\ProgramData\VMware\vmnetdhcp.conf

Add a host entry at the end

host elan {
hardware ethernet 00:0c:29:fc:b0:f6;

Don't worry about the vmnetdhcp.leases files. They seem to be the active ones, but .conf is the master source.

Shopify vulnerability reported in PCI DSS scan

Having migrated CultureLabel over to Shopify, I'm now ticking the boxes. Qualy's PCI is reporting a single failure: TCP Source Port Pass Firewall.

Record set for most profitable Sim City

I've been playing Sim City 2013 a bit recently and while irked by some of the bugs, I have enjoyed it. I've worked out how to turn a profit and then scaled that up to claim the top spot on the trading leaderboard. My city 'Plasticity' earns near four times the income of the second place.

Sim City leaderboard for trading

Now if I can just work out how to scale my start-up in the same way....

Simcity (2013) ruined by bugs

I love Simcity. It's like programming, but substantially easier and more rewarding in the short-term. Maxis has produced some great versions of the game over the last 30 years, and Simcity 2013 is almost no exception. Unfortunately it's let down by the bugs.

This screenshot shows a theoretically impossible situation: two oil mines with full storage and two fuel production lines at the oil refinery in dire need of oil. This situation persisted for a Sim month. The two sites were properly connected. All local trade depots were capable of exporting all the affected resources and all were empty. This came about after I upgraded the density of the road outside the depot.

Cygwin-based rsync without destroying permissions

I use rsync to keep my drives backed up under Windows 7 (using Cygwin). Windows permissions were getting messed up, but the solution was to disable ACL within Cygwin. I inserted this line into /etc/fstab.

none /cygdrive cygdrive binary,posix=0,user,noacl 0 0

There was no need to change the rsync command itself:

rsync -avn --stats <source> <destination>

Alex Stanhope is a Technology consultant to the UK Creative Industries and Venture Catalyst. This is my personal website.
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