• Wifi printing from a Mac, simple huh?

    People say that there are only two certainties in life, death and taxes, but they always forget about the third one - printing.

    Love it, hate it or deny it we all need to print something at some time. Whether it’s a boarding pass, a Click & Collect receipt or a form that has to have an ink signature before being scanned and emailed back.

    Before you start shouting about ‘you can store all this on your phone old man’ just remember that we don’t always have a signal or infinite battery charge - just saying!

    Well, if you are running Windows this doesn’t seem to be much of a problem. Printer manufacturers create drivers and installation packages and utilities to grease the wheels for Windows users. But what about Mac users - it’s that same for them right? Right?

    Read more
  • What was stopping me going to Mac - Visual Studio

    Towards the end of last year, with my Windows and Mac system getting on in years, I was contemplating what hardware I would need to buy. I didn’t really want to replace BOTH systems so I decided I would need to pick one or the other - but which one would it be?

    Well, for a number of reasons that I may post about later it’s going to be a Mac (yes, if you know me I know what I said but times change) but there was still a fly in the ointment - Visual Studio for Mac.

    Read more
  • Rationalising my SQL Server installs with Docker

    Like most .NET developers computers, mine has picked up a number of SQL Server installations over the years, even since I last paved and reinstalled everything.

    I had installations for 2008 R2, 2012, 2014, 2019 and (the reason I noticed the others) the latest version, 2022. I also had three versions of SQL Server Management Studio installed - all chewing up hard drive space.

    Now, it’s not like I’m a digital hoarder - these installations were required to work on client projects during my, soon to be rekindled, contracting years. While everyone wants to run the latest and greatest technologies, sometimes that isn’t possible so I needed to be sure that I was configured to run their code without compatibility issues.

    But surely there is a better way than cluttering up my hard drive …. and that’s where Docker comes in.

    Read more
  • A New Year and a New Start

    Prior to the Covid pandemic and the lockdowns that followed I had been contracting for around 9 years, securing 22 contracts across numerous sectors - some lasting a couple of months and a few lasting around a year.

    When the UK went into lockdown I was engaged with a startup company but with all the uncertainty at the time they decided to pull the pull on the project, leaving me looking for another contract just as the contracting market all but dried up.

    I wasn’t that worried at the time, thinking I could use the time sharpening my skills and work on some pet projects. However as the months rolled on and with changes to the tax regulations for contractors looking to make it much less viable a decision had to be made.

    When I reached out on LinkedIn saying that I was considering permanent roles I was flattered when a previous client contacted me and offered me a position working on the same project with the same team.

    A little over a year later I was asked to take on the Technical Team Lead role, managing the developers, looking after their training requirements and progression within the company.

    It’s now a little over a year since I took on that role and I’ve decided it’s time to move on and while I’m primarily considering a return to contracting I’m not ruling out another permanent role.

    Read more
  • The future of my Development Setup

    In a previous post I presented a rather rambling review of my plans to keep my skills up to date as I look forward to major project updates at work and within my own pet/portfolio projects.

    In this post I’m going to need to take a look at my existing, somewhat aging hardware with a view to not only making sure that I can run all the required tooling but also take into account that I’m in the process of moving house, downsizing now that the kids have all left, and will have a much smaller office so won’t have enough space for all my current equipment - which also needs to be downsized.

    Read more