Integrate CodePen with Ubuntu Unity Launcher

Like CodePen? Use Ubuntu? Would you like to combine the two in a far more integrated way? Then read on!

As I have written about in an earlier post I quite like Codepen. In many ways I find it easier to code with than just Gedit. I can see the changes I make in real-time without flicking between my editor and my browser. All I felt it was missing was a bit of desktop integration.

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New design on it’s way

For a while I’ve not been happy with the very basic theme I have on this blog. So last week I started work on a new one, something much more exciting to look at and much more me. I wanted something professional but personal, something slick but not too Web 2.0 and something which would stand out. I don’t think I’m too far off!

To make this I have used nothing but the magnificent program that is the Gimp and the Kubuntu text editor Kate. All open and all I need.

It should be finished in the next two weeks but for now here’s a little sneak preview.
Feedback very welcome!

A quick screenshot of work in progress on my new site design.

Ubuntu colours: earthy or veggie?

Anyone even remotely interested in Linux these days can’t really go more than a few days without reading something, somewhere about Ubuntu. It’s easily the most popular distribution of Linux out irrespective of how you calculate this. Be it from distrowatchs‘ rankings or just running a google search for Linux and seeing how many results pertain to Ubuntu (usually most of them).

Currently the chatter surrounding Ubuntu is obviously focused on its next upcoming release 10.04 Lucid Lynx. However, most blog posts and news articles are all talking about the new artwork rather than any technological advances. Discussion (as ever with Ubuntu users and critics alike) seems to focus almost solely on colour. Yes that’s right. I said colour. This release will bring about quite a few changes in not only the colour scheme of the default desktop, it’s wallpaper and themes but also the ubuntu website, online shop, documentation cd covers (just mockups currently) and more besides. Which is nice. But how important is it?

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Gone but not for long

Please bear with me, I’d hoped the transition between my old host and my new one would be smoother than this but due to unforeseen circumstances some aspects have taken longer than they ought to have done. will be back on soon.

In addition, my apologies for the lack of posts lately. Amongst other things I’ve really not been well, a recent bout with kidney stones has laid me low but I feel it’s time now to get back on top… so to speak. I have new toys too (laptop and phone), time I did something with them! Soon as I get Ubuntu set up of course. It spent last night defragging that pesky NTFS partition so today I can resize and free some hard drive space. I’m biting my nails when it comes to graphics support (I’ve always used nvidia in the past, this laptop has a Radeon 3450) but I’m sure it will handle things immaculately.

One thing this HP Laptop has impressed me with so far (I only got it yesterday) is being able to run Bloodbowl at it’s native resolution of 1440 x 900. But not just run – run smoothly with some effects and filters turned on – I’m very impressed! Note to anybody reading this who has a copy of the game – get in touch. I’d love to test the online multiplayer on this game.

That’s all for now, you should see this site return to it’s former state over the next few days. In the mean time I apologise for missing links – sorry!


Ok, so I’ve finished moving to my new domain manager and host so the site is back! All I need to do is change the theme. It’s not autumn any more… time for a new look. Expect my style’s to be in flux for a while as I jangle about in the back (metaphorically) trying to plug the Christmas lights in.

The end for wordpress coders?

I’ve recently (just now in fact) been made aware of an adobe Photoshop plugin for wordpress theme creation straight from a psd design.

Looking through the Divine Project website and reading more about it seems to uncover a few pertinant points.

The site itself answers my initial question in its F.A.Q

What is Divine plug-in?

Divine is the program developed for those who know a bit about Photoshop and sites creation but don’t want to waste their time making up a valid website on basis of popular CMS manually. Using this program you are able to easily make up a professional website and upload it promptly to the server through the embedded FTP-client.

Waste time making a valid website? Are they insinuating that valid code is unimportant? Can’t say I agree with that if that is what they mean. The plugin goes so far as to manage the entire themes’ upload and management as well.

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Design tweaking

As you may have noticed, in the last few days I’ve been tinkering with the design slightly, bringing it slowly closer to the finished article.

If you like the background, expect to see more of it when release it as a wallpaper. I’ll be doing some colour variations and possibly some Linux badges may find there way on somewhere.

My big question now though, is do I make the main content black to match the rest of the page or leave it as white to stand out and ensure it’s easily readable?

Love to hear your comments.

Tweeting with pleasure, courtesy of Inkscape

Today I was inspired to draw.

Well, strictly tonight, technically this morning…

Anyway. I quite accidentally found this Twitter style tutorial and decided I wanted a twitter icon of my own, that would go with the colours of my new design. However, I don’t use Adobe Illustrator… or whatever. Just Open Source programs.

Tweeting the way I like it

Tweeting the way I like it

So out came Inkscape, off ran an hour or two of my time and I produced this.

After a relatively (for me) short period of time tinkering with it, I decided I didn’t really like the way the eyes and cheeks were done in the original article so went back to my more cartoon-like style (seen in my previous doodles.. keep your eyes peeled for when my portfolio goes online).

Actually, I’m pretty pleased with it. I could’ve spent much longer tidying it up, and I probably will go back to it and do just that, but I’ll write up a tutorial to go with when I do.

For now, it’s just gone half three in the morning… and I should really sleep.


Just thought I’d put the source file up for download as well, I bang on enough to my friends about Open Source, what kind of en example am I setting if I don’t follow my own advice!

My Tweeting Birdy – SVG :: Download source