Quickly Convert .ogg Audio Files to .mp3 Format [Fedora]

OK, first of all you need to install the gnome media apps:

yum install gnome-media-apps

This provides a command line tool called sox.

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Simple ncurses Console Game

I wrote a simple ncurses game in C++ on Fedora.

I’ll actually be releasing the code and talking about how to build the game as part of a new Eclipse-C++ course I’m currently creating (sign up to my mailing list if you’d like updates on this).

It was pretty straightforward (once I finally got the ghost AI working properly – breadth first search anyone?). Ahem.

Anyway – here’s a little video I made of the game.

I cropped the screen area to get rid of distractions, which means the quality suffers a little bit, but you get the idea. And you’ve got to luuurve the cheesy music provided by iMovie…



Quickly Convert .webm Files to .mp4 Format [Fedora]

Recently I made a very basic screencast using the built-in tools on Fedora (write up coming soon).

Once I’d recorded everything I realised that my trusty Mac (well, iMovie to be specific), had no idea what to do with a .webm video file.

And neither did I.


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Tomb Raider 1 Replay Part 1 of 4

Tomb Raider Replay Home

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

I said ages ago that I was going to do a complete Tomb Raider replay. I don’t know why but after my initial excitement (and the purchase of an Elgato HD so I could share online), I really struggled to get into it.

Well, here we are 7 months later and I’m finally on my way.

So here it is in all it’s glory: Tomb Raider, the original 1996 version.

Video highlights include my favourite quote of all:

I’ll heel and hide you to a barn door yet!

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Polymorphism and Overloading in C++

A reader sent me an interesting question the other day. They asked if polymorphism and overloading were essentially the same thing.

My initial reaction was Huh?

What are people being taught if they think that these two concepts are the same thing?

But a quick google search revealed that yes, many, many people are struggling to differentiate between these two terms – and the internet is full of conflicting and unhelpful information.

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iOS App Development – Recurring!

recurring app

Well folks, I guess it’s time I tried something other than bit shift operators and the command line on Linux, so my next project is something altogether different.

I am creating my very first iPhone app, hurrah!

To be honest, it’s something I’ve had on the to-do list for a long time. I’ve played around in Xcode and put a basic app on my poor, unsuspecting phone, but now it’s time to do something serious.

What on earth are you going to make?

What, ’cause there are a billion apps and it’s all been done before, right?

Have a little faith ;-)

In actual fact, I’m going to create something that I want. Something I’ve looked for many times, and never found.

I’m creating a task manager specifically for recurring tasks.


Well, you know you get your usual to-do lists, right? And sometimes there are things you need to do repeatedly (pay bill, tax car, mum’s birthday, defrost freezer, that sort of thing)?

Well, finding a really good app for repeated tasks is really hard.


Seriously? Have you tried Things/Wunderlist/RTM/ToodleDo ?

Of course. I’ve spent hours playing around with productivity apps. More hours than I’d want to count.

But they don’t do what I need.

I want something SPECIFICALLY for recurring tasks.

So I’m going to build it.

Oh OK. When’s it gonna be finished then?

Give me a chance, I’ve only just started.

Wanna know more?

I promise you’ll be FIRST in the door, if you sign up for updates:



Or you can view my pretty sign-up page, dedicated to my new app. I created it especially :-)

‘Til next time.


The Passionate Programmer – Review

Title: The Passionate Programmer
Author: Chad Fowler
Published by: The Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2009
Date finished: 5 March 2014
My rating*: 7/10


If you are the sort of person to pick this book up and read it, there is every chance that you will already do a fair amount of the suggestions within. Sadly, the people that could get the most out of this book will probably never learn of its existence…

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Never Stop Writing Code

To a certain extent, coding is something that you never completely forget. Although you may be a little slower after a break, once the problem-solving part of your brain fires up, you will still have the skills and knowledge to do the things you have always done.

However, coding is also a lot like the knowledge of a foreign language.

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GDB | Auto-Load Safe-Path Declined

More GDB shenanigans today, as kindly pointed out by one of my readers – thank you Laurent!

Did you know that as of GDB version 7.5 (Aug 2012), there is a new security feature in place that prevents GDB from looking in “non-trusted” directories for the super-useful .gdbinit file?

[For more on the usefulness of .gdbinit files, see here.]

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Debugging For Beginners

This post was also published at O’Reilly Programming – you can read it here.

I read an interesting article today, called Debugging for Beginners, over at O’Reilly Programming.

You all know how much I love GDB (huh? you didn’t? seriously?), so I always like to take a look at different approaches to finding those elusive problems that plague all programmers (even those with decades of experience) from time to time.

Anyhow, I headed on over and was a little bit… disappointed. You see, Brian writes in a wonderful, readable way, about topics that concern all programmers, whatever their background. But, I found that the general focus of his article was less on how to debug (even at a higher, theoretical level), and more about how to make less mistakes.

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