Weeknote 2024-02

Cake Schematics

  • I spent some time over the Christmas period hacking on some updates to this website. Which I’m very excited about.

  • It’s now powered by Bridgetown rather than Hugo. I really like Bridgetown, the project layout makes a lot of sense to me, and it’s always bugged me that, as a committed Ruby developer, my personal website has been generated by Go.

  • I’ve also tried to give the whole site a more “professional” look, rather than the previous monospaced font hackerman aesthetic. I’m pretty happy with it, and building it finally forced me to learn a bit more about flexbox and how we lay out elements in 2023/4.

    I found myself really enjoying laying things out with flexbox, with one exception:

    On my homepage, the “about” section with the QR code has a structure a bit like this:

    <section class="short-about">
        <span class="mecard"></span>

    And I got it laying out how I want it: with the QR code aligned to the top right (where it is currently) and the text to wrap around it and filling the full width where it can.

    I did this with something like the following:

    .short-about {
        display: flex;
        flex-direction: row-reverse;
        flex-wrap: row-wrap;
    .short-about .mecard {
        flex: 1;
    .short-about .mecard p:first-of-type {
        flex: 4;

    Which does mostly what I want - except for a couple of small niggles.

    • the paragraph spacing is inconsistent, between the paragraphs that wrap and the paragraphs that don’t. I had to wordsmith the first paragraph quite hard to make the spacing look ok.
    • and related to that: in viewport widths under about 650px wide, the second paragraph doesn’t flow under the image at all, despite looking like it should.

    Given that perfect is the enemy of good, I opted to ship anyway. And minor niggles aside I had a lot more fun doing this than I’ve ever had working with floats and clearfix divs, and absolute and relative positioning. So that’s a win.

  • I got a new camera this week too. I’ve been ruminating on whether to buy one for nearly a year.

  • I haven’t owned a dedicated camera for about 10 years, when I sold all of my 35mm film gear, so looking at the landscape of digital cameras in 2023/4 was pretty intimidating.

  • I eventually settled on the OM System OM-5, with a 12-45mm f/4 constant aperture kit lens. It has a Micro four thirds sensor so I’m a little concerned that in a couple of years time when the latest phones are out I’m going to regret not getting a bigger sensor. But honestly the main things that sold it to me were its size, the IP53 weather rating, and that it reminds me aesthetically of my old Minolta X-370. I got it for a very good price, thanks to camera shop January sales, and OM-Systems winter cashback offer.

  • The only other real contender for me was the reasonably new Fujifilm X-S20. It’s probably a more technically competant camera in most ways, and the 18-55 f/2.8-4 is widely regarded to be one of the best kit lenses available for any camera. But the absolute lack of any weather sealing ruined it for me. I don’t mind a bit of special handling, but I absolutely do not need the anxiety of going somewhere humid, or out in the rain, and worrying if my camera was going to die. Honestly I don’t know what Fujifilm were thinking - even the XT-2, a camera from a decade ago, was weather sealed to some degree.

  • So far I am really enjoying the OM-5. Although it’s become painfully evident how little I understand the intricacies of modern cameras. Looking forward to learning more.

  • One thing that I have to think about that I never had to with 35mm is a post-processing workflow. I have literally no idea what I’m doing here, Darktable and the interestingly named RawTherapee seem to be the two big hitters for Linux users.

  • Shooting Ilford HP5 and developing it inside a dark bag in the kitchen was a lot simpler.

  • A recent firmware update to my Surface Pro 7 has left the latest Fedora unbootable. Which is clearly bullshit. Thankfully almost all the data on it is ephemeral, and what isn’t lives on a microSD card in the back.

  • I tried Ubuntu briefly, but while it works, it’s still very much not for me. So for now I’m back on Windows 11 until either: I get brave enough to attempt a firmware downgrade, or Fedora 40 comes out and fixes the issue.

  • Scoop, and WSL2 are making this machine more bearable than I worried it would be.

  • Damn! Windows 11 is slow, compared to Fedora on the same hardware.