composer, software developer

Just a quick update - a couple of weeks ago I passed my PhD viva, with minor corrections. I was absolutely delighted with how it went, and really enjoyed getting to discuss my work with two extremely insightful examiners. It's a nice conclusion to a jam-packed few years, where I've learned an enormous amount both about music and about many other subjects.

I've been programming now for about three years. For the entirety of that time, I was also doing a PhD in music composition. That changed yesterday when I submitted it.

One of the feelings I enjoy most, in areas both hobby and professional, is that of looking back over old work and wondering how on earth did I manage this while knowing so little? Sure enough, I recently took stock of the code that used to underpin this site, and had that feeling in abundance. At first, vanity might present feelings of embarrassment or disdain for oneself, but pushing past that allows for a far more constructive outlook: if code you once wrote now looks 'bad' or 'wrong', it means you've improved since writing it.

I've added a much-requested (and much-needed) feature to PodStand - you can now have it email out your profile details. Previously it relied on cookies, and users bookmarking the signup page. Probably unsurprisingly, this often led to confusion and people losing access to their profiles.

The new system also allows existing users to send out their details (assuming they still have their cookie/bookmark) by going to this page. I should note that it's an optional feature; you can stick with the cookie/bookmark system, but if you enter your email it's not stored and you'll never hear another peep from the site.

I've started a company - we're called N56 Software, and we're making apps and CMSs for events, festivals and venues. We're really excited to be working with Culture Night Belfast as our first partner, and will be launching soon. Have a look at our website for more info.

The referendum to repeal the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution is happening in a couple of days, and you should vote yes.

It’s vital that women in Ireland have freedom over their own bodies, and frankly I don’t think that there needs to be any further justification than that. If you feel some kind of religious or moral obligation to vote no, I urge you to do some balanced research, and at least consider reconsidering.

Repealing the 8th amendment is a necessary step towards better physical and mental healthcare for women; retaining it would mean continuing to cast off a very serious issue that isn’t going away, when we should instead be extending a helping hand towards those who need it.

Some calculations on what might be required for a VR/AR headset to provide a 'Retina display' experience.

Some improvements to my app, Spectralizer.

I had the pleasure of being asked to be a guest on one of my absolute favourite podcasts recently, Worst Case Scenario. Thanks to the guys for having me, it was lots of fun. I've linked to the episode that I'm on, but I highly recommend subscribing to the show!

051 – All Our Indie Dreams Have Been Crushed – with Stephen Coyle, Worst Case Scenario

Following others' leads, and after a fresh (but far from final, I suspect) batch of news on how shady Facebook is, I've decided to close my account. Being honest, I've generally had a positive-ish experience there; I was a fairly casual user, posting the odd photo in addition to the usual sorts of news people post there. Despite that, though, I've developed a pretty harsh distaste for its effects on other people I know, whether in the form of addiction or anxiety-induction. The recent news has really solidified how pointedly they are actually trying to engender those sorts of feelings, and I'd rather have nothing more to do with it.

I posted my contact details this evening, for anyone who wants to keep in touch and doesn't have them already. In an attempt to get the best of the down-ranking that post is sure to experience, I'm going to re-post it in a week or so, and then I'm out for good.

The fate of my Instagram account hangs in the balance for the moment...

Some thoughts on a better alternative to YouTube's seek bar, for audio especially.

Some thoughts on AirPods after a year of using them, prefaced by a harrowing story that happened a few days after I got them.

A few thoughts on how Apple might improve the Touch Bar for its second revision.

Being both fed up of and annoyed at WordPress, last week I decided to rewrite this site from scratch. If you can read this, it means that wasn't a (completely) foolish decision.

It's been a fun evening project - it's the first full-featured site I've made from scratch. I've implemented most of the features I used in WordPress, but without all the unnecessary cruft that it also includes, so it should load fairly quickly on slow connections or lower-specced devices.

I've written it using HTML5, PHP and MySQL. With the exception of Parsedown, which I'm using to parse Markdown, it's entirely my own code running things.

It should fit nicely on all screen sizes, but if you spot any places where it has problems, let me know. All my previous posts should still be there, at the same links, but if you happen to come across a dead link anywhere, I'd appreciate it if you let me know about that too.

I may do a more detailed write-up about it soon, but for now I need to get back to the work I was supposed to be doing when I did this...

An idea for how Apple could bring a trackpad to the iPad in an unobtrusive and intuitive way.

Explaining the setup I use for syncing and backing up large volumes of data.

Reflecting on a year on the App Store, how much I've earned from it, and what factors affected it.

This is a rough transcript of the talk I gave at Úll 2016.

Reflecting on my first year writing software.

Testing the Bluetooth latency of AirPods

Examining some of the negative consequences of moving towards Bluetooth audio.

A little experiment comparing processing power on the new iPad Pro to some other devices.

I much prefer the iPad.