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The Nottingham Barefoot Walk

September 2014

Image of walkers from the Nottingham Barefoot Walk

Last weekend I took part in a charity event very close to my heart - the Nottingham Barefoot Walk and Music Festival.

Now in its third year, the event takes place around Nottingham's beautiful Woollaton Park, raising money for worthy causes.

Event founder Lee Todd organised the first walk in 2012 to promote his charity Shoe Aid, and the Nottingham Barefoot Walk has continued to grow year-on-year since.

With food, free live music and glorious late-summer sunshine all day long, this year's walk was a great day out for all the family, and a wonderful chance to experience what us barefoot folk have been banging on about for years :)

I took a few snaps on the day, including the young man on the right, and you can see a selection of my pics on the Nottingham Barefoot Walk facebook page.

Photo: soft grass to crunchy gravel - a free foot massage for everyone who took part.

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Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 15:12

Vote for me!

March 2014

QuickBooks are running a competition for a UK small biz to win £10,000. The #SupportSmallBizUK competition runs until 31st March, and you can vote for your chosen biz every day up to that point.

I'd welcome your votes!

Last Updated on Sunday, 02 March 2014 16:33

Stephen Fry: Out There

October 2013

Last night Helen and I watched the first of Fry's excellent new two-part documentary about homophobia around the world.

It's worth seeing just for the amusing sparring between Fry and the two Ugandan lunatics obsessed with sodomy. One would have thought they would have researched their opponent, and would have foreseen the prospect of looking foolish at the hands of a capable commentator.

I see parallels with my own world. Going barefoot generally yields disinterest to mild bemusement in others, but just occasionally I encounter the most preposterous arguments for health, safety and hygiene from folk failing wholesale to disguise their own disapproval.

Clearly issues borne of my own choices are trivial compared to the prejudices endured by people guilty of nothing more than their natural state of being. Nevertheless, I have some understanding of how Fry must have felt during his discussions with the clergyman and the government minister. Torn between the amusement of running verbal rings around twisted belief systems, versus complete bewilderment as to how these people formed such beliefs in the first place.

Here's looking forward to part 2.

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 09:40

Barefoot Software delivers PHP/MySQL ecommerce application

September 2013

August saw another joint venture between Barefoot Software and Anglesey-based Worth Create, delivering a specialised e-commerce system for the logistics group Westex Ltd.

As usual Worth provided the design and CSS, and Barefoot Software the PHP/MySQL/Javascript programming. The fresh-looking, easy-to-use system has been running live for just under a month.

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Last Updated on Monday, 02 September 2013 12:39

Merionwen | Naturally Nourishing

March 2013

Exciting times here at Barefoot HQ, as the crowd-funding drive for my fiancé Helen's brand new business is in full swing. A trained herbalist, aromatherapist and cosmetologist, Helen's tantalising range of organic natural skin care products will be available from mid-May 2013.

Merionwen is our very first crowd-funded project, and it's such a great way to get a new venture off the ground. Helen has designed a package of rewards to suit any pocket, and you can read about them here.

Suffice to say Merionwen is a Barefoot Software customer, and I'll be seizing the opportunity to deploy Joomla 3.0 as the platform for Merionwen's website and online shop. Technical preparations and template design are in hand... watch this space.

For now, follow Merionwen news and developments on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and of course Crowdfunder. Good luck Helen!

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Last Updated on Sunday, 17 March 2013 17:59

More BlackBerry juice

December 2012

In a timely coincidence with my recent comments about the BlackBerry Bold 9900's battery, I had an email from RIM offering a free spare battery whilst stocks lasted.

Well, I followed the link and instructions, and my spare battery duly arrived this morning (22nd). It came with a little battery holder and a microUSB Y-cable, meaning that I can charge the battery independently of the phone, or indeed the phone and the spare battery simultaneously.

This extra juice capacity will be really useful on summer camping trips et al, where charging opportunities may be limited. Thanks RIM, I'm a happy boy.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 22 December 2012 17:12

Warm start detection on Microchip PIC24s

December 2012

Some while ago we adjusted our firmware to suppress C's traditional initialisation of RAM, to provide a random number seed for RS485 collision avoidance.

The undefined power-on contents of RAM have since proved handy for other things. For example, it has become useful for us to detect the difference between a cold (power-on) firmware start-up, and a warm restart (e.g. after a firmware update). This is a simple job of allocating and testing a variable, with 16 bits chosen to minimise the risk of false information by chance:-

static Word warmStartWord;

Byte boardWasWarmStarted()
     if (warmStartWord == WARM_START_WORD_VALUE)
         return 1;

     warmStartWord = WARM_START_WORD_VALUE;
     return 0;

where Word and Byte are defined as unsigned short, and unsigned char, respectively.

The actual numerical value of WARM_START_WORD_VALUE is completely arbitrary - 0x42E9 just happened to be the start of BASIC code storage on TRS-80s and Video Genies :)

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 13:58

A quick mention for #eastmidlandshour

November 2012

I took part in my first spot of live, online business networking last night, the #eastmidlandshour hashtag run by @lookeastmidland.

I couldn't stay for the full hour, but certainly made some useful new connections. It can be tricky to keep up with all the live updates as they happen, but that doesn't preclude going through them all afterwards at leisure.

Full marks must go to those who give their time running these communications opportunities. I shall certainly be participating regularly - I have a forthcoming software project that I'll be shamelessly plugging soon...

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Last Updated on Thursday, 29 November 2012 15:49

You don't look right :)

November 2012

Wet weather is fine, cold weather is fine (to a point), but going barefoot in cold wet weather isn't that pleasant. Especially when feeling a touch run down due to long hours and the kids importing lurgies into the house. So the clogs may possibly have seen the odd outing lately.

"What's up with you?" came some friendly ribbing from the staff in the local Coop. Apparently I didn't look right :) Then over the road, Jason the butcher teased me about letting the side down.

As I type the weather is turning a fair bit colder, but if the rain goes away, normal service will be resumed soon...

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 17:38

Quail - who'd 'ave 'em?

November 2012

For critters that start out like the cutest little bumble bees, quail chicks don't half grow up into nasty buggers.

We took on seven quail a few months ago (six girls and one boy), and we've since come to wonder whether they're more trouble than they're worth. The little eggs are great, and quail can be quite prolific layers, but blimey they're aggressive towards one another. Even with things to keep them amused and greens to peck at, they still find time aplenty to peck at each other - we're constantly dealing with minor injuries.

Mr. Quail was recently culled as he was the most aggressive of all and a menace to the laydeez. But when the girls have run their course, we'll probably not replace them, and stick with friendly happy chooks instead.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 November 2012 11:12
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