Entity Framework Double PK Overwrite Gotcha

I was writing some unit tests: largely out of completeness I wanted to test that you couldn’t insert two records with the same primary key. The code is simple enough. var car = db.Cars.OrderBy(g => Guid.NewGuid()).First(); var pool1 = db.Pools.OrderBy(g => Guid.NewGuid()).First(); var driverName1 = Guid.NewGuid().ToString().Trim('{', '}'); var created1 = PoolAllocatedCar.Create(car, pool1, driverN… Read more →


Black Marble Christmas Event

Black Marble have some lovely ideas. One of them is to use the venues (and some of the speakers) from their technical conferences to run parallel events for local sixth form students. I've been helping out with sessions for a while now, and today I got to go over to Leeds and strut my stuff for a couple of hours. I was talking about something dear to my heart, the importance of self promotion, of… Read more →


itunes madness

Why? WHY? I'm an Apple user, but an unwilling one. I love the iPhone for the hardware and what it can do, but I'm not very keen on how it does it. My situation reminds me a bit of a poker player who, when told that he is playing in a crooked poker game replies "Yes, but it is the only game in town". My iPhone doesn't have the graceful UI of my lovely Lumia 1520. And, now that Microsoft have pulled… Read more →


HullOS in the Hull Pixelbot

I've spent a day having some "quality time" with the Hull Pixelbot scripting language. Which is now called HullOS.The idea is that the computer in the robot (which can be a lowly Arduino Uno) is entirely responsible for converting the plain text of the program into actions. The behaviour will be rather reminiscent of the early 8 bit computers like the BBC Micro and Sinclair Spectrum, which had bui… Read more →


Shortlisted Superhero Science

Well, this is rather exciting. The Secret Science of Superheroes book (which I wrote a chapter of) has been chosen by @PhysicsWorld as one of their 10 books of the Year. And it keeps getting good reviews too. It's not too late to get a copy in time for Christmas. The perfect gift. Buy it for someone you love. Perhaps even yourself.... Find out more here. Buy it from Amazon here. Read more →


Untangling MSBuild: MSBuild for normal people

I don't know about you, but I find the documentation on MSBuild is be rather confusing. Even their definition of what MSBuild is is a bit misleading: MSBuild is the build system for Visual Studio. Whilst having to pull apart the .csproj file of a project of mine and put it back together again to get it to do what I wanted, I spent a considerable amount of time reading Microsoft's (bad) documentati… Read more →


Floe and Dancing Robots in Hull

Saturday night found us in Hull, drinking hot chocolate at Nibble prior to taking in some culture. First up was a look at Floe. Laser projected artwork on the side of The Deep. We saw some of this earlier in the year at the Made in Hull event. But this was even more awesomer. The laser projection system provided really rich and sharp colours, and the whole thing was amazing. Then we went down to t… Read more →


Build a Robot in a Day with RB

We did another "Build a robot in a day" course today. It was for a bunch of folks from Reckitt Benckiser. We call it "Build a robot in a day" because that's what you do. But it's not really about robots. It's about learning how embedded devices are created and programmed. It was great fun. Everybody managed to build their robot and get it moving around and reacting to its environment. We were usin… Read more →


A summary of the Rendering Pipeline for Humans

I just started playing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on the Switch. It is pretty neat. Anyway In this post I wanted to talk about the rendering pipeline, or rather put it in simple terms that less tech savy people can understand. In a game, rendering can be seen as the process of drawing a scene on a computer Read more →


Rob at Substance

One of the rules that I live by is "if you're going to make a fool of yourself, it's best to do it wearing a sharp suit and a pair of illuminated goggles". Actually it's a rule that I've just made up for today. But it definitely fits the bill. I was part of a presentation from 2042 that c4di put on as part of the Substance element of the Hull City of Culture celebrations. I figured that, since 25… Read more →