New Anime Series: Ars Nova

First Episode(s) Review for: Ars Nova

Mankind has had its butt kicked and been driven from the sea by a fleet of ships that look like normal warships with glowing bits stuck to them, humanity has been relegated to the land with all communications cut. but now a traitor from this “fleet of fog” has teamed up with a young captain to help humanity fight back … but why? what are her motives?


90 percent computer animation, which has not made friends with me but there are lots of bright lights and big guns which is helping

Plot Potential:

It’s a strange plot that feels like an Anime version of the search for the Graf Spee but conducted by cute girls with a taste for English culture & tea, not sure what I make of it but I do want to know what is at the bottom of it all.


Both the opening and closing these are totally mp3 player quality (goes to find them)

Reminds me of:

Strike_Witches in the sea, with a bit of Chobits thrown in for fan service


Another anime with a good plot, I’m struggling to get involved due to the plastic nature of the animation, but it’s holding me more with each episode, so it may be my gateway drug to giving computer animation another chance.




Disclaimer: These are mini reviews of anime’s that are fresh out in Japan and are not licensed in the UK, buy them once they have been licensed or at the very least buy the merchandise, remember if the anime makers make a loss, THEY WILL STOP MAKING ANIME!!

Content Disposition Typo

While doing a quick patch for XLS generation (caused by Microsoft’s security change for Excel 2007+) in which I swapped a clients code from generated HTML to using the POI lib I ran into this fun little browser discrepancy :

If I want to name the file I’m generating and returning to the browser for download, I just set the “Content-Disposition” header thus:

var fileName = workbookName +".xls";
pageResponse.setHeader("Content-Disposition","inline; filename=" + fileName);

Works just fine on Chrome/Safari and even the dreaded IE, but is completely ignored by firefox

<scratch scratch> …. <shrug> if in doubt use more quote marks

var fileName = workbookName +".xls";
pageResponse.setHeader("Content-Disposition","Attachment; filename="" + fileName + """);

That’s better works everywhere now 🙂
(Yes I am aware that the quoted version was the one I should have used in the first place as per [w3 Protocols]( but, if the number of examples that don’t have them in is any judge then I was not alone and browser consistency would still be a nice thing)

New Anime Series: Strike the Blood

First Episode(s) Review for: Strike the Blood

A super vampire comes about every so often capable of shaking the stability of the world, this time its a young lad who really does not want the job and realises fully what damage he could cause, adding to his problems is the young female demon hunter (who is world inexperienced but very violent) that is sent to watch after him.


A “by the numbers” competent production , nothing I would be ashamed to show a none Anime fan but then again nothing that rocks the world.

Plot Potential:

It’s a good background Anime (meaning you can glance away from the screen and not miss anything vital to the plot), but with it being very very close to A Certain Scientific Railgun or Stay fate night its going to have some proving to do, thought the male hero not being an Idiot is a good start (I have not face palmed even once)


American Hard rock (good head banging stuff)

Reminds me of:

A Certain Scientific Railgun ….Hell it’s damn near a copy


Good fun and one that I fully expect to be franchised in English for those that need a dubbed version.




Disclaimer: These are mini reviews of anime’s that are fresh out in Japan and are not licensed in the UK, buy them once they have been licensed or at the very least buy the merchandise, remember if the anime makers make a loss, THEY WILL STOP MAKING ANIME!!

Using Pending and Learning, week 1

Just a weekly snapshot of the tech I have used for a client, prepared to use for a client or am learning for the future.


The IBM Collaboration stack ( Atom db2 Websphere Connections Domino etc etc )


Adobe Flex





Jboss Rest Easy




Swagger link1 link2


Sales force

fuse ESB

Zen Coding link1 link2

This is over an above the usual suspects of Java , Jquery , github, SVN, Mavin, Jenkins et al, that you need to have a grip on.

Is It Important?

Sometimes with both large clients and multiple small clients, you are though no fault of your own faced with tons of simultaneous jobs at once, all of which are somehow the most important thing since the big bang, containing clients and managers both trying to see who can scream the loudest with you in the middle having to decide which one of the multiple tasks that all have to be done simultaneously you are actually going to do first.

If you tell anyone that someone else’s item is more important than theirs they tend to have a melt down, so the way I have personally found to deal with at least some of it, is a simple important/not important decision,

Important Problems

  1. Ones that cost or make money for a client.
  2. Ones that affect a client’s reputation with the wider world.
  3. Ones that would mean a state of compliance or none compliance with a legal or government office.

Unimportant Problems

  1. Everything else.

Amazingly I have not found manager at a large client that has ever taken me to task for taking a decision on this basis of this logic, so I can recommend it if you are in a pinch and don’t know which way to turn 🙂

New Anime Series: Galilei Donna

First Episode(s) Review for: Galilei Donna

Three brilliant sisters of various ages born of brilliant but very dysfunctional parents get caught up in a mystery involving pirates and other exciting space things (don’t look at me I don’t know whats going on at the moment but its something to do with Galileo)


A mixture of muted cell and computer animation, its nothing to write home about and the computer overlay is not of the best, but they have done a good job of the facial expressions of the characters.

Plot Potential:

Best plot so far of this season, I genuinely don’t know whats going on, hoping it wont turn into the plot of National Treasure


Nothing that stands out

Reminds me of:

Strangely a mix of Outlaw Star and dragon ball GT


Brill plot, cant wait for each episode




Disclaimer: These are mini reviews of anime’s that are fresh out in Japan and are not licensed in the UK, buy them once they have been licensed or at the very least buy the merchandise, remember if the anime makers make a loss, THEY WILL STOP MAKING ANIME!!

Transparent Children

Part of the work LDC have been doing for Wellesley Information Services on the site has been a upgrade of the home page

One of the upgrades was a overhaul of the Content Spotlight (basically a carousel of stories), but it had a niggly bug that was identified, in which the text showing inside a semi transparent area that was its self semi transparent


Just does not quite right does it? the CSS for this is as follows

div.content {

Playing with the CSS Opacity property of the child text properties makes no difference and that is totally expected, Opacity works like that (boooo!!), the traditional work around if you want none transparent text inside a transparent element is to NOT have the text/object as a child, but rather a peer and then move it into the correct place via css, for this situation that sucks as the whole Content Spotlight is generated via Java script, thankfully we have a lovely little alternative for modern browsers and that is the [RGBA Colors]( setting for the background property, which allows you to set the Red Green Blue and Opacity values for an element and this does not ruffle down to the child elements, like so:

div.content {
    /* opacity:0.65;
   -ms-filter:progid:DXImageTransform.Microsoft.Alpha(Opacity=90);  IE */
        background: rgba(0, 0 ,0 ,.65);

Which suddenly fixes our problem and makes everything look nice again.

New Anime Series: Unbreakable Machine Doll

First Episode(s) Review for: Unbreakable Machine Doll

A boy and his “doll” (a full size and life like robotic girl complete with wedding day dreams) arrives at a Hogwarts style school that specialises in the robotic battle arts, he burns with the desire to become the most powerful ‘puppeteer’ so that he can reek revenge on someone (we don’t know who yet)


This is a standard very well draw anime, of the type they produce when “England” is in some way involved, smokey and full of filtered light

Plot Potential:

I was surprised to find that the hero is rated as completely naff in the school, no naturally talented, no hidden powers, providing they don’t reveal too much too soon this should be good, also as the advanced dolls are sentient, the possible variety of characters is huge


not bad, not up to the visual side, but not bad

Reminds me of:

Gosick + Angelic Layer


A really watchable series, i really hope its ongoing, its based on a 12 volume series so i hope it goes on for at least 26 episodes





Disclaimer: These are mini reviews of anime’s that are fresh out in Japan and are not licensed in the UK, buy them once they have been licensed or at the very least buy the merchandise, remember if the anime makers make a loss, THEY WILL STOP MAKING ANIME!!


OK, better late than never, but here is the report form this years UKICON a awesome fun affair which may be the last of its kind, now that IBM are apparently pulling back on the sponsorship of such (a truly insane plan if you want my option), even knowing that everyone was fired up and I got good audience participation which makes it worthwhile.

Now this was my first conference were IBM Connections was the main order of the day, I was luckily enough to be able to present with Gab see Here for her blog entry (for me it was like being allowed to present with GOD!!)

Mine and gabs slide decks are below


Now this year I got nominated for an IBM champion (the fact that it was accepted just shows that someone at IBM has a very sick sense of humour), but I suspect the naming of my solo presentation is not going to help that cause much (ah well)


everything at the conference was organised perfectly, and for me it was all a swirl of groovy people, cool tech, panicky presentations and vodka, a most excellent time.

As always a great thank you to Warren and Kitty (not to mention the rest of the helpers over the years)

Life and Work update

Its been ages since I’ve shared what I’ve been up to in here. My bad, how can I justify such a terrible absence of updates?

Well the major news is that I’ve taken the plunge and I am going properly freelance in line with our plans for LDC. Its been good to see my LDC compadres Matt and Julian make a success of it and its exciting to now be on the same road. The stuff I’m doing is varying hugely, from dealing with the security and standards implications of the storage of details for minors, though application clustering on cloud services for the lowest cost, past IBM connections customisation and freaky Java on domino and finishing with cutting edge mobile on the latest frameworks.

And its been great, I’m enjoying the variety and getting to grips with new projects. Plus I’ve been doing some fascinating development work for start-ups which enable me to work on things that are truly objects of grace and beauty.

So it’s going well, and if you have stuff you want doing please give me a kick (all my contact methods are on the top left of this page). Always glad to talk it over.