I’m Steve Atkins
an email developer
from Palo Alto

about me

I’m Welsh-Californian.
I code. I cook. I make.
I make the Internet a better place.

recent projects

emailstuff
Email standards tools
DkimCore
Simplified email authentication
Status updating…

found on

contact at

steve@blighty.com

Accomplishment

- - posted in pebble, teatime

I’ve spent a couple of days playing with my new Pebble, and I’ve gone from “I vaguely remember C, I guess” to “I have a finished app, in the Pebble app store”.

It’s been very satisfying to complete something from start to finish, something that seldom happens in my professional life.

So what did I build? It’s an app that lets you select a type of tea from a list, tells you how much leaf tea you should use and what temperature of water, then runs a countdown timer so that you brew it for the right length of time. When your tea is ready, it vibrates.

Pebble-the-company are announcing something at CES tomorrow, probably their new 2.0 OS and it’s associated app store ecosystem – so I decided to sign up for an app store account and publish it. They’re geared up for commercial developers, so they required some marketing banners and other collateral. Yay for Photoshop, Illustrator and some stock icons.

The app store isn’t live yet, but the whole thing is available from my github page.

Pebble Watch

- - posted in pebble

I ordered a Pebble as a late Xmas present for myself.

It’s a nice bit of hardware – eInk display, 80MHz ARM CPU, three axis accelerometer and bluetooth to connect to a phone, all in less than 50 grammes.

Out of the box it has some fancy watch faces and the ability to display notifications from apps running on the phone, so inbound SMS or facebook updates display on the watch.

But it also has a fairly decent SDK that lets you develop native apps to run on the watch in C, and talk to either native phone apps or portable javascript apps hosted by the phone, to give a configuration UI and to get access to geolocation and web services.

Half an hour in I have “hello world” running on it. This might be interesting – though it’s been years since I’ve written more than a few lines of C.

Rice Pudding

- - posted in recipe

  • 1.5 oz pudding rice
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 20 fl oz milk (2% or full)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • nutmeg

This recipe comes from the 1958 edition of Good Housekeeping’s Basic Cookery In Pictures.

If you can’t get pudding rice then other short grain rices might work – arborio or a short-grain japanese rice.

Put the rice, sugar and milk in a broad pyrex or ceramic bowl or pie dish, dot the surface with shavings of butter and grate some nutmeg over it.

Bake at 300F for about two hours.

Cable Car

- - posted in cocktail

  • 3oz spiced rum (e.g. Sailor Jerry)
  • 1.5oz orange curacao
  • 1oz lemon/lime juice
  • 1oz simple syrup
  • 1oz sour mix

Shake over ice, strain into two cocktail glasses.

Quick Kansas City BBQ Sauce

- - posted in recipe

When you say barbecue sauce, this is what I think of.

Laura
  • 1.5 cups bourbon
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 4 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar
  • juice of half a lemon

Reduce a cup of the bourbon down almost to a glaze, maybe 2 tbsp of liquid.

Add the rest of the bourbon and pull off any solids that have begun to stick, then add everything else. Simmer until it’s reduced by a third.

PostgreSQL and ISO 8601 Timestamps

- - posted in postgresql

ISO 8601 is the ISO standard format for timestamps. It looks like “2013-08-27T10:30:00Z”, where the “T” is a separator between the date and time, and the “Z” stands for the UTC timezone.

It’s not often used in end user visible text, but it’s a decent format to use for data interchange, metadata and microformats. As just one example timeago.js uses it to render HTML5-style

If we’re pulling timestamps from PostgreSQL then we can use to_char() to render them in whatever format we like.

Thai-ish Shrimp

- - posted in recipe

  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 12-16 medium sized shelled, deveined shrimp, tails intact
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced serrano chile
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves