Personal


ON: BY: Christopher Hannah

My regular expressions app for iOS and macOS, has now been released into the wild!

It features a dark/light theme, various options to fine tune your Regex pattern, and also ways to visually see what text is matching!

Anyway, it's just $0.99/£0.99 to buy on either platform!

Links

The very first Apple Watch was released 21 months ago, in April 2015. It was to me, a revolutionary new product, and I just had to get it. So I did.

In September 2016, 18 months after the original Watch was released, Apple then updated the original model, naming it Series 1, while also releasing a whole new version, Series 2.

You could argue that the Series 0 (first edition) to 1 change wasn’t even worth noting, the only main difference was that the Apple S1 processor used in the Watch was replaced with a dual-core variant. However in the Series 2, they added a newer Apple S2 processor which was also dual-core, but also an ambient light sensor, 50 m water resistance, 2x brighter display, and a GPS sensor.

So we can all agree that Series 0 → 2 was a decent update.

Therefore, you would expect that because of this, along with the fact that the Series 0 is a version 1.0 of a new product, that the need and desire to upgrade would be huge.

Except for me, it wasn’t. And it still isn’t.

Continue reading on Medium (7 min read).

A bit of a weird post today, but I’ve come to the realisation that I need to find a way to fund myself through the last bit of my university course.

I spend nearly all of my time doing one of two things, university work, or developing things for everyone. Whether it’s a new application, a website, or something, I’m always making stuff.

I guess most people would simply raise the prices of their products, in order to try and make more money, but I don’t really want to do that. I want to reward people for backing what I do, so this is what I came up with:

Why would I make everything free, or really cheap? Because I trust everyone that finds my content useful, wants to help me in what I do, or simply is a super awesome person will back me.

And that's why I've set up a Patreon page. Honestly I feel a bit dirty doing this, because I don't want to ask for your money, but if I can balance this out by creating some awesome projects, then I think I can make sense of it.

If you can support me, then it really is a case of anything helps. The costs associate with University (especially in London) are stupid, and then there's my desire to make things that also adds to that, even a coffee will help me through the day.


Don't worry though, because I'll have a good announcement in a few days relating to a certain app I'm making!

ON: BY: Christopher Hannah

Over the past few days I've been setting up my own media server, and in particular, Plex. Plex is a great tool that can do wonderful things to your media collection, but the one thing that I just love is that it can take plain video files, an then give it so much context. It really makes your library something to look at.

The Server

The actual server itself is my old MacBook Pro, which I don't think is the best machine for the job, but it's the best spare machine I have available at the minute. I'm not going to write down all the specs, but it's got an i5, 4 GB Ram, and a 1 TB hard drive. The only job of this machine however, is to manage my collection, the storage is a 3 TB NAS drive that I've had for a while.

My Collections

At the minute I have three different libraries in Plex, one for all the movies I have downloaded, second for the TV Shows, and then I have also included my iTunes Media folder as a library, as I have a huge number of films in iTunes.

Now let's get on to how I populate these libraries (Leaving some ethical behaviour behind of course).

TV Shows

The TV Shows are just video files that I have collected over the years and obtain manually, there are a few applications that can track new episodes, and even download them automatically, but I haven't found any that I deem good enough. I don't watch many tv shows, so a tiny bit of manual work isn't a big deal for this.

Movies

My Movie collection is a mix, I have ripped some movies in the past (I hate DVDs), and also have a rather magical automation for downloading other movies I like. Here is a step by step process on how this automation works:

  1. Find a movie on Trakt, and add it to my watch list.
  2. CouchPotato finds new additions in my Trakt watch list, and then populates them in it's own database.
  3. Every so often, CouchPotato will check to see if any of the added movies are available to download (with some quality preferences).
  4. CouchPotato then sends these links to download to Transmission, which is currently running as a local web server.
  5. Transmission will triage each addition, and with some specific restrictions like cumulative download limits and speed limits (that actually change depending on the time of day), start these downloads, and place them in the correct folder on the NAS.
  6. Plex Media Server tries to detect when new files are added to the libraries (It also checks regularly), and then it will analyse the media, add it to the library, and also put together all the needed metadata.

It's a really fast process, and I enjoy how little work I have to do to make something happen. I'm sure the process may change in the future, but at the minute it feels pretty seamless.

iTunes

This is definitely where my main content comes from, it's where I get all of my favourite content. Even to a point where I will have a copy of a film, but I will then also purchase it on iTunes. Because it means I get the best quality available, any iTunes extras, and I also feel like it's future proofing my movie collection slightly.

Thoughts

I'm starting to really see why I hear so many good things about Plex, it's easy to set up, it work's nearly everywhere, and it just makes my media collection look amazing.

Running my own media server is something I think I will take further, and if I can pick up a cheap Mac Mini soon, that may be the next step. With my Amazon Dot, and now this small project, automation is becoming a fun hobby.

ON: BY: Christopher Hannah

I'm just on the way home from finally seeing Lion King at the theatre. It was one of my favourite movies growing up, so it certainly had a lot to live up to.

In general I think that it was pretty good, there were some bits that were really enjoyable, and others not so much.

My favourite characters were easily Rafiki and Pumba, because they seemed the most "realistic", and the songs seemed to be near original with them.

What I didn't like was when scenes were added or removed. I understand that it may be slightly different, but there was a 2/3 minute scene that just wasn't in the film. A slightly smaller example is when Timone and Pumba are tasked with distracting the Hyenas, instead of the little song and dance I remember from the movies, there was some random Irish dancing?

Of course there was some Frozen references, but I guess we can't escape that anymore.

So as I said before, it was pretty good.

I would encourage people to see it, but I don't think I'll be going a second time.o