Assorted writing and projects by Ian Malpass, most recently:

Finding my singing voice

I am, it’s fair to say, not the world’s best singer. If the radio is loud enough in the car, and I’m alone, I might mangle a tune here or there. If I’m confident there’s no-one within earshot, I’ll make use of the forgiving acoustics of the bathroom and serenade the shampoo in the shower. But singing for others is just not going to happen; karaoke is my idea of crimson-shamed hell. »»

Drowning in politeness

In which I test the belief that an Englishman would rather die than cause a fuss. »»

A dockable, switchable headset setup for the Apple Thunderbolt Display

I’m lucky enough to have an Apple Thunderbolt Display as my main screen, and I like it a great deal. I have the display wired to the local area network, and have assorted USB devices attached which would be a pain to connect and disconnect whenever I wanted to dock and undock the Air. With the Thunderbolt connector, I can dock the laptop with just one cable. (Well, two if you include the power cable.) »»

Why I’m OK with the BBC Homepage Clock disappearing

So, the BBC Trust (the group charged with keeping the BBC honest) has upheld a complaint about the clock widget on the homepage, and has decreed that it should be removed. »»

Advice to future software engineers

Software engineers write code for a living. It’s our job to make computers do what we need them to do, to take our ideas and the ideas of others about how the world can be made better with technology and actually make the world better. »»

Everybody's Free (To Wear Subfusc)

It was 1999. I was revising for my Finals in Chemistry at Oxford. I use the word “revising” in its loosest possible sense. While trying to avoid anything that looked like learning, I ended up penning a re-wording of Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” that was peculiar to my current predicament. »»

Hénon velocity

This is a Processing sketch that renders the Hénon Map, using the canonical parameter values a=1.4 and b=0.3. Instead of rendering points, it renders circles with the radius of the circle being proportional to the distance the point travelled from its previous position, and the colour depending on whether it travelled left or right. »»

Happy Notices

As I lay on a rug in the shade of a tree, looking up at the clouds with my kids, I noticed I was happy, and made sure to think to myself “if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is”. »»

Fractal trees

This is a simple demo of a “fractal plant” L-system (iterations 3-6) using Javascript and Canvas. »»

Blueprints for regrettable city plans

After sitting through Jared Tarbell’s “Inspiration Session” at Geeky By Nature, I was inspired to go and download Processing and finally have a go at making something with it. »»