Changing Times

These last few months have seen many changes happen in my life. I’ve moved away from the Apple Systems Engineer role/world and transitioned into a Web Developer role here in Perth. I’ve moved state, proposed to my girlfriend (now fiancée), and bought a house (we’re also getting a dog).

This year saw me launch a fun project that I had been working on for a few months, a database for the best podcast in the world, Stop Podcasting Yourself. The website, SpyDB, is built on Laravel, my favourite PHP framework. This is my biggest project I’ve used Laravel on, and it was a blast to see just how easy it was to make something quite functional with relatively little past experience in Laravel.

The OS X Mavericks Server articles I wrote last year have continued to be a huge hit, but unfortunately there will be no OS X Server tutorials this year. I had planned (and started writing) a OS X 10.10 Yosemite Server eBook that was going to be distributed through Leanpub, but I’m just not able to dedicate time to writing about OS X Server, especially with paying customers. It wouldn’t be fair on the buyers of an incomplete book to wait months for a potentially completed book. I’m just not that kind of guy.

The content of this website will likely change to a more Web Developer aspect, but I’m still playing around with OS X Server so no doubt I’ll blog about some issues I come across.

Many thanks for reading, I hope you have a good rest of your day.

Dan xx

Donations Now Accepted

For a very, very long time I’ve put off accepting donations to the site, but with Stripe accepting me into their Australian beta, I’ve decided to sign up and see how it goes.

If any of my articles have helped you out and if you’ve got some coin to spare, help a fellow dev/sysadmin out and donate a caffeinated drink or two! Many thanks.

Donate to yes > /dev/null Album Image Generator

If you didn’t know already, I have run a Album Image Generator on my old site for a couple of years now. Recently I started playing with Laravel (Façade controversy ho!) and I’ve really loved it, so I decided to port my image generator over to Laravel, and to open source it.

Number 1 Album
The album artwork for

Using Laravel has allowed me to make the service a lot easier to develop, and also extend. I’m taking advantage of the logging and caching features in Laravel, along with using plenty of other fantastic packages from Packagist. Overall, I’ve found Laravel has a gentle learning curve (unlike ZF2) and is easy to get started with. I started with Code Bright which was a really good read and gave me a very good head start in developing with Laravel. Of course, the Laravel docs were very useful, along with my friend, Dr. Google.

If you go to (and don’t pass any variables in the query string) you’ll be directed to the generator where you can enter your username then hit Generate! and you’ll be given BBCode to put on your profile page. Pretty simple really!

Here’s an example of the BBCode you’ll get:


If you’re a developer, I invite you to take a look at the code and submit any PRs for fixes, improvements, enhancements etc.

I hope this service works well for you!

yes > /dev/null 2.0 Released

yesdevnull 2.0
The website as it appears on a MacBook, iPhone and iPad.

Over the last month I’ve been thinking that my website was ermm… rather shocking on any screen that wasn’t a laptop screen. There was no support for phone or tablet displays, along with no support for retina/HiDPI displays that most smartphones are using these days.

I started off with rebuilding the template from scratch using a flexible and responsive Sass template framework called Gumby. This is my first experience using a CSS extension language and it was pretty fun to play around. I am now very much into mixins and includes.

Next, all site iconography (from Glyphicons) were converted to svg and then entered as code into CSS. I figured that it would be quicker to make big up the CSS file size a bit more than have a few extra HTTP requests for a few small images.

I’ve spent a while testing the site on a staging environment so hopefully it’s working ok for you readers! If you see any issues with the site, please let me know on Twitter at @theblahman.


Welcome to my new site yes > /dev/null! Here I’ll be writing about code I’ve written, technical experiences I’ve had, music I work to, and maybe even other things unrelated to computers and programming. I’m planning on doing a couple posts per month, so check back soon for some nifty content. Dan.