Insights for Action

Managing migrations with sqitch

Monday, 15 Feb, 2021 By Paul Hewson.

Migrating birds From Pexels Wendy Wei

I do have one little problem with sqitch. I am so used to typing a letter u after a letter q that I regularly mistype the command as squitch, and then end up staring at the terminal for so long I wonder if I should have typed sqint. Very minor naming issues aside, the project has a website at I’ve found it a simple and specific database migration tool which does as much as I want and no more. It’s written in Perl and …

GTD (Getting things done)

Monday, 8 Feb, 2021 By Paul Hewson.

Time management From Pexels

David Allen the consultant and author (sadly not Dave Allen the comedian) promotes a management system in his book “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity”. In my opinion, there are two key features to this system. The first is learning to use a tracking system rather than carrying things in your head. The second is taking the time to review, prioritize and delete actions from this tracking system. So it isn’t just writing …

Some ansible woes

Friday, 18 Dec, 2020 By Paul Hewson.

Grumpy Gorilla Anonymous from Pinterest

After some 12 years, I had to set up a new machine for my own use. I bought a reconditioned HP with around 16Gb RAM, 500Gb SSD. It came with a Windows OS, which I was going to wipe out. However, for various reasons (mainly some wonderful animation apps I use in teaching which require Mac or Windows only and need access to the sound system) I decided to keep the Windows host. First off, I decided to install my development machine under …

Github actions

Monday, 14 Dec, 2020 By Paul Hewson.

Continuous Testing Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

I know this seems like a tiny problem compared to everything else that has happened in 2020. But I started the year having learnt how to use Travis CI. This meant I could put my hobby projects under some kind of continuous testing. Now, whatever the merits of various workflows that can used for CI, Travis was supported by the R community. It was well integrated into R package development. Unfortunately, after an acquisition and a restructure, …

Software capital

Tuesday, 1 Dec, 2020 By Paul Hewson.

David Sankel CppCon 2016 presentation “Building Software Capital”

Recently, I’ve been updating my C++ skills. In the far past, I’ve used it to speed up algorithms in scripted languages. However, I have never used it as a standalone programming language. And when I say C++ I think I really mean C, I just happen to compile it with g++. Currently, I have a couple of problems which might change my limited exposure and get me much deeper in C++ …