Plumbing With OpenStreetMap osmosis

The OpenStreetMap movement has a great trick up their sleeve for manipulating their data – osmosis. It’s the sort of tool that map, GIS and navigation companies probably have developed in-house, only I’m prepared to bet that this one’s more elegant than most of theirs. For straightforward tasks such as loading some OSM data into Postgres the documentation was clear to me. However, I have been scratching my head more than somewhat with the more subtle plumbing. Continue reading “Plumbing With OpenStreetMap osmosis”

Ubuntu 12.04 Top Tweaks

Ubuntu 12.04 is here and I’ve been using it for almost a month now. It’s the Long Term Support version so it’s going to be around for many years to come. Also Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, is doing a fantastic job of getting Ubuntu pre-installed on PC’s in favour of Windows. However, there are some significant changes to the UI that Ubuntu has introduced in the past year or so that take some getting used to. Here are some tips to get the most out of this latest version with the minimum sweat. Continue reading “Ubuntu 12.04 Top Tweaks”

Avoid Out-Of-Memory Problems in Android

It’s Java so you don’t need to worry  – the garbage collector ‘just does it’, right?


java.lang.OutOfMemoryError: Bitmap Size Exceeds VM Budget is a common error and don’t we know it!  The garbage collector isn’t totally magic and no guarantee that your app cannot / will not leak memory.  There are various deliberate approaches / considerations that should be taken to avoid memory problems: Continue reading “Avoid Out-Of-Memory Problems in Android”

Georeferenced Rich Content Management with Drupal 7


If you want to manage a custom schema with a web interface with multiple users, multiple languages for UI and content, you could roll your own using something like CakePHP to provide a framework. Doing it that way, you’ll be re-inventing many wheels for user management, authentication, etc. I evaluated half a dozen ‘higher-level’ CMS and settled on Drupal since it has all of this infrastructure plus many mature add-ons (‘modules’) that mean that you can focus on implementing the specifics of your web application rather than writing lots of plumbing. Furthermore, it’s PHP so it’s easy to deploy on inexpensive hosted services on the internet (not something that you can say for Java-based CMS, for example). Continue reading “Georeferenced Rich Content Management with Drupal 7”

Windows NT/XP/Vista/7 Password Recovery

A friend forgot their admin password to their Windows machine (as it happens it was Vista). A great, free open source Linux-based utility made it frighteningly easy to clear / reset the password. Job done in 5 minutes. So, thanks Petter, your ntpasswd utility rocks. And free, open source software based on Linux saves a Windows user’s bacon – oh, how sweet that sounds. While I was at it I installed Ubuntu 11.10 on an old laptop of theirs. Needless to say, they were wowed that it boots and shuts down like greased lightning, has lots of (legally) free apps to download / manage from a single control and ‘does all the same things as Windows’ (but better, as they will come to believe, bwahahahaha).