Register to vote leaflets

It’s urgent to get people registered to vote before the election. Here are some leaflet designs that I’ve modified to add the important deadline dates. The originals were copied from https://twitter.com/sazmeister88 (I hope she doesn’t mind). I’m not proud of my edits, which were done in haste, but time is of the essence, so here they are in case anyone else can make use of them.

Register to Vote Leaflet page 1
Register to Vote Leaflet page 2

A plea to LibDems in Cambridge

Your publicity says that Brexit is the most important issue facing the country. I agree wholeheartedly. I have been campaigning with you against it.

Here in Cambridge we are sure to get a passionately pro-EU MP. The only realistic candidates are both of that opinion. I think the better choice is Daniel Zeichner MP because he’s a voice of reason within the Labour Party, and as an MP he can have the most influence on the leadership. You prefer your own man. OK.

But given the scale of the disaster facing the country, the question of who gets to be MP for Cambridge is just not that important. What matters is to win as many seats as we can from the parties who are set on steering us towards the edge of the precipice. We can all do that best by directing our efforts to other constituencies.

As a Labour Party member with experience of the party’s organizational techniques, I can be most useful in a place where there is a straight, winnable fight between Labour and the forces of darkness. The obvious choice for me therefore is Peterborough. So today I have contacted the secretary of Peterborough Labour Party and volunteered my services.

I urge you to do likewise: go outside the city and direct your efforts where you can make a real difference on the most important issue. Please give it some serious thought.

Update: the excellent Get Voting tactical voting dashboard from Best for Britain supports my view. It recommends “either Labour or Lib Dem” in Cambridge (and it notes the “current Labour MP’s excellent record on Europe in Parliament”). Meanwhile for Peterborough it urges a Labour vote, and in both South Cambs and South-East Cambs it recommends Lib Dem.

A drawing a day for 2019

I don’t draw enough, so I made a resolution to do one a day this year. I’m curious to see how the drawings change with practice. Here are the first five. I’ve put them on Instagram as well. Not sure whether I’ll publish the whole lot: scanning and uploading seems to be more fuss than just doing the drawings.

Fairphone 2 proximity sensor

I’ve learned the solution to an annoyance with the otherwise lovely Fairphone 2.

The proximity sensor wasn’t working properly for me. The problem seemed to get worse after I replaced the top module for a camera upgrade, but it had never been good. Taking a call almost always resulted in unpredictable weirdness—menu settings changing at random as I accidentally touched the screen, which should have been disabled, but wasn’t. Several goes at calibrating the sensor didn’t fix it.

A conversation with another user (there are other users!) gave me the solution. He pointed out that I was holding my phone in my left hand. Doesn’t every right-handed person? Apparently not. I’ve been holding phones in my non-dominant hand all my life, using the other to write notes or whatever, but it seems I’m not typical, and the proximity sensor on the phone is asymmetrically placed, at the top left corner of the phone screen.

So I have retrained myself to hold this phone in my right hand. Problem solved—it now works reliably.

In Cambridge, Vote Labour

Furious, yesterday evening, to see Lib Dems all over the streets of Chesterton like a rash, throwing huge efforts into — what? Into trying to unseat a passionately pro-European MP! One who is a voice of reason in the Labour Party nationally, one who cares about all the best things they care about (electoral reform, green issues, refugees, …).

Just a few miles outside this city in any direction are Tory-held constituencies where the only possible contender is a Lib Dem, and where huge swathes of the population voted Remain — where there is some chance that they could use their energies to achieve something worth achieving, to help in some small way to avert the coming national disaster.

Well, I guess they’ve achieved one small thing: they’ve prompted a moment of clarity in this muddle-headed and dithering erstwhile Labour activist. At last I have seen one thing clearly enough to know which side of the fence I’m on. Daniel Zeichner in Parliament is an indisputable force for good. If the election nationally turns out the way the polls suggest, his presence in the PLP will be even more important than it is already. We need him to help pick up the pieces and rebuild a credible opposition. Don’t mess that up, please! In Cambridge, vote Labour.

Doing something about this blog

I’ve been a bit busy since – well, since 2012 actually. I’ve only posted here once since I resumed working in the computer industry, and that was only because I couldn’t let Darcy’s death go by without comment. I haven’t even updated my CV or LinkedIn to reflect the new reality. I have a one-track mind, I guess: I either live my life or I write about it.

This blog needs picking up and giving a good shake to straighten it out: a mobile-friendly redesign, a replacement of the photo (I don’t actually look like that any more). A slight change of direction; maybe a few posts about software engineering, even? With a bit of tagging and filtering to allow people to skip them if bored. Maybe next year.

Meanwhile, though, there is one thing I’ve been meaning to put online somewhere ever since it happened, and here’s the place to put it. So I’m going to post it here, and if I can work out how, it’ll be backdated to June, which is when it actually happened.

 

My talk at the Jenkins User Conference 2015

Sarah Jenkins talk
You can see the entire talk on the Cloudbees YouTube channel.

Some people do this kind of thing all the time, but it was quite an adventure for me. They put me on the big stage, too, with two giant screens! I counted the audience quickly before the lights went down, and there were about 100 of them. And they had lots of questions at the end. It went better than I’d expected. The only regret I have is that I didn’t realize my pointer wouldn’t show up in the video, so some of my explanations about where things are in the pictures are a bit puzzling.

The weird bit – the really startling bit – was the absence of women. Maybe there were some I didn’t notice, but my impression is that there were no women in my audience. At all. Was it because my subject involved hardware, and the women at the conference (there were women at the conference) had come to hear about more mainstream use-cases for Jenkins?