Aproximating Me

An erratically updated set of thoughts and musings


After an extremely long break, i’ve committed some new code to the PublicRepo. The new code is a very simple iOS 8.3 swift project that implements an arc in a view. I’ve made it IBDesignable and IBInspectable, and for once managed to get autolayout to do what I wanted in a short period of time.

This mini project is a new way of working for me. Essentially, build small parts, then assemble the small parts into something bigger. Let’s see whether that helps with the procrastination.

Alfred Workflows

Now that I have some time on my hands, I’ve decided to become more Ninja like with my keyboard fu. To that end I have thrown myself into using Alfred 2.0 a lot more. There are a whole host of really useful workflows published on the Packal site and there are a large number of articles on useful and good workflows, that have really kicked started my use of Alfred.

I have also written my own workflow that binds ctrl+cmd+alt+F to toggle the functionality of the ‘fn’ key on an Apple keyboard. Everytime the shortcut is executed it toggles the behaviour from default apple behaviour to naked functionality and vice-versa.

I have published the workflow on Packal as well as put it my PublicCode github repo


In 2010 I was intrigued about getting XBee mesh networks connected to twitter, it seemed to be the thing to do. As a result, I ended up purchasing an iDigi connectPort X4 starter kit, it came with an ethernet to XBee bridge and some indoor and outdoor temperature sensor.

The result is a small piece of Python, using the excellent BeautifulSoup, that responded to peoples requests for temperatures. As with the other code in the public repo, I am sure that the twitter api, no longer supports this interaction, but is here for pedagogic purposes.


The first of the open source projects is now moved to the github repository. MacOSXVirtualSerialPort was a means of creating a virtual serial port pair on Mac OS X 10.7. Sadly it doesn’t work anymore as the code relied on an interface builder plugin that no longer works and an authentication model no longer supported in Mac OS X.

The readme file in the repo does include instructions on how to use the underlying socat tool to achieve the same outcome.

Starting Over

It’s been a little over 5 years since I committed a great quantity of code to open source. A lot has changed since the and the time is right to bring the code together on my github pages.

The plan is that as I migrate code over, I’ll update this blog and provide links into the repository.

First up, Mac OS X Virtual Serial ports, a project that provided a wrapper around the socat command line tool and has been broken for at least 2 releases of Mac OS X. I am not necessarily proposing fixing it right now, but at least bring bring it to github first.