15th February 2017

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll already know this, but I’m now developing a regular expression app for iOS!

It’s called “Pretty Regular Expressions”, and I’m going for a minimal approach, but with some optional settings, and a clean interface. Of course a dark theme was the first thing I built!

It’s still in development, but it’s moving pretty fast, so an open beta is very imminent. I already have a landing page, where you can subscribe to keep updated with the application. Of course I will only send out an email for when the beta opens, and then when the app is released.

If you want to watch the progress of the development, then just follow me on Twitter at @chrishannah, because I post a lot of screenshots.

12th October 2016

I’m getting back into programming, and I’m messing around with PHP and MySQL to create a sort of upload manager for myself.

I just want a place where I can quickly upload an image/video, and then be able to share it with people on Twitter.

So far I’ve got a working database with a file viewer, and a few extra bits. I guess I just need a dashboard for myself, and it’s a working project.

Anyway, check it out on GitHub!

26th September 2016

Back in March this year, Rich Stanton wrote a piece on the development of the classic game, Lemmings. How it came to be, and also what came after.

Somehow this ended up in my Pocket to-read collection, and I’ve only just got round to reading it. Lemmings was one of my favourite games when I was growing up, and I was so young when I was playing it, that I don’t even remember what platform I played it on!

Here’s a snippet:

Mike Dailly had seen tiny 5-pixel high sprites in games like , a popular Atari ST shooter where the player’s ship rescued little android slaves, and thought that somewhere between this and a 16×16 sprite would be a sweet spot – where the small size made the Walker look big by comparison, but the animations were still good enough to impart character. One lunchtime he made an image of little men being crushed by weights, and shot by a laser gun – everyone loved it, and Gary Timmons added a few more traps. While everyone was laughing, Russell Kay was the first to say ‘There’s a game in that!’

If you’re interested in video games, then I highly recommend it, and if not, then you should probably still give it a try.

Read the full post on ReadOnlyMemory.vg.

16th May 2016

I’ve started working on a new app. It’s a Wikipedia search app for Mac, called Qwiki. At the minute it lets you search for an article, and quickly access that page in your browser.

Qwiki Screenshot

It’s only been in development for a few days, so it’s nowhere near the end product.

I plan on adding loads more features, such as copying the link (including Markdown style), and the standard share sheet. I think I will also add in an option to view the content of the article directly in the app, but I’ve got to work out how I want to do that.

But even though it’s super early days for Qwiki, I’ve made the beta open to the public, so that I can get as much feedback as possible.

So if you’ve got a Mac and it runs OS X 10.10 or higher, then you can test out Qwiki!

You can give feedback through Hockey, or direct to me on Twitter at @chrishannah.

29th January 2016

After talking to a friend at university about wanting to start a little side project while I don’t have any coursework, he suggested I tried out MongoDB. He gave me a little demo just in Terminal and how easy it was to simply create a database, I never plan on using MySQL again after seeing this.

To create a new database all you need to enter is use testdb If it’s already been created then it will simply select that database, if not then it will just create it. Easy!

Then to create a collection inside a database (tables in MySQL), just insert some data! So for example if I entered this:

db.users.insert({name: “Chris Hannah”, username: “chris”, email: “chris@email.com”})

It would then create a new collection with the name users, and then insert a new document (row), with the corresponding values for name, username, and email.

Making it into something

So after I realised I could get the hang of MongoDB, I started seeing how I could use it in something like PHP. It took ages to get the different extensions installed, and also working with XAMPP (I wont discuss the trouble I had, it would take too long).

But after getting that sorted, I worked out a little code to display all the entries in the Users collection. That felt pretty nice to have, as I was still inserting the data via Terminal and then refreshing the page to see the data suddenly appear.


After that I thought this could be useful for a basic messaging service, so I started a new messages collection in the database. The only data I stored was the user (which I will then correlate with the users collection eventually), the message text, and a timestamp.

I got the messages appearing just like I did with the Users. But after adding a basic form, and another bit of PHP to take the data and insert it into the database, I got something that slightly resembles a message board.

I’m now going to work on it a bit further, and it may develop into a basic service like Twitter, or a chat room thing, either way I’m not too bothered. It’s all for the purpose of learning, so just making something is good enough.