Vivaldi, and browser options

I installed Vivaldi the other day to give it a whirl. I was a little sceptical of their claims that it was a browser “for developers”

Then I went into the options. My jaw literally dropped. Literally.


Look at all those options!

Vivaldi has options that other browsers don’t provide by default. You can change the theme at a specific time of day, set up mouse gestures, move tabs to the sides or bottom, set a time-limit on your browsing history, change your default fonts (as in, when a web page says “sans serif” you get to pick what that means)

Firefox, Chrome, and Opera (my favourite, up to now at least) have plugins to cater for all of these things, but vivaldi does them out of the box. I thought that would make the whole thing feel bloated, but it’s buttery smooth. It seems to load pages faster than any other browser, though I suspect that’s down to the progress bar, which shows how many bytes have loaded (mesmerising).

I’m going to set Vivaldi as my default from today on, with Opera to fall back on if needed

iPhone 4 battery life

I recently fixed up an old iPhone 4 for fun and to try out iOS. Turns out it’s limited to iOS7 which means most of the apps I try to install don’t work. Damn you apple, damn you.

I stuck it in airplane mode to fast charge, then plugged it out and forgot about it. A few days later I came back and found it at 100% battery life. Turns out the iPhone 4 has incredible battery life if you put it in airplane mode and do nothing with it.


6 Days, 17 hours, 85% and counting

a tiny github project blew my mind today

It’s alarmingly simple – a 52 x 90 grid, which represents your life, assuming you life to be 90. Each square is a week.

I found it a bit of a gut punch to see my weeks splayed out like that. The phrase “it really puts things in perspective” is an overused cliché, but this does just that. You literally see your life from another perspective. And in some ways, it is horrifying. I’m a third of the way down the page, and what have I achieved, really? How long have I left? And this is the best case scenario, really, barring miracle life extension technologies. How much can I cram into those remaining boxes? Each one seems ridiculously precious.

Anyway, it’s an interesting project. The weeks can be toggled, but there’s no functionality there so I don’t know what the point is. Perhaps the author is working on some extra features. It would be cool, and scary, to be able to put in your birthday and see where you are on the grid.



The War On Ads, continued

Peter-Paul Koch over on has mirrored my own thoughts on ads far more eloquently than I could ever manage:

Ad-funded free content providers have a strong vested interest in pretending the web is in danger from ad blockers. They need to protect their revenue stream — and if they can generate some clicks along the way, so much the better.

But the web is a lot larger than just news sites with problematic business models. E-commerce sites, brochure sites, government sites, personal homepages, web interfaces for various services, none of them are inconvenienced in the slightest by ad blockers.

Read the rest here –

wordcount is in the store

I’ve released a new app on the windows store, a universal / UWP app for counting words. It sounds silly, but I needed a way to count words on my phone, and there were no options.

At time of writing there are three other wordcount apps on the windows store. One is full of horrific full page ads, one doesn’t work (on wp10 at least), and one is a paid app.

It seemed to me that there was a gap in the market there for something that worked, didn’t cost anything and didn’t try to sell you some random crap. It takes some balls to charge someone for an app that counts words. As for the ads guy, don’t get me started.

Here’s a link to wordcount in the store, which is free, has no ads, no in-app purchases, and works on windows 10 and windows phone 10.

wordcount for windows 10