Have arrived in Liverpool fine, baulked at the cost of sandwich at Manchester Station so instead enjoyed KFC after checking into the hotel. Am staying in the Adelphi hotel in the middle of Liverpool which is a bit grim – full of stag dos, grannies and for two nights only geeks. It reminds me of the Pennsylvania hotel I stayed in, while visiting New York for ICMC 2010.

Enjoyed an evening drinking far to much Pepsi in the bar while discussing suitably geek topics such as Arch, expectations of online privacy and a possible explanation for the slowness of the bar based on incorrect compiler flags.

All in all a good start to OggCamp 2012.

While I was in London last week I bought some new, old old glass. A Nikkor 24mm 2.8 AFD lens. It is actually the second time I have owned this glass having previously traded it for a Nikkor 17-55 2.8 AFS so why the step back.

Ben Weeks

Firstly I still have the 17-55 glass, its a daily work horse and the flexibility is really useful but its big and heavy. This is where the 24mm excels.

The Nikkor 24mm 2.8 AFD is small, light weight and very flexible, it does have a tendency to flare and produce UFOs if you shoot straight into a light source, but with care its not a major problem. It focus close enough and has a wide enough view that it works great as a walk around every day lens and the fast (enough) 2.8 aperture means it can be used at night as well. Ideal for holidays. In fact when combined with a camera with Dynamic Area AF it actually works well as a high quality compact.

Well I am happy to get the class back and expect it to be my default lens for non work stuff. If you want to see some of my photos why not check out my photography portfolio at http://photo.scotthewitt.co.uk.

I have had a problem with using i3 as a window manager getting screen locking and suspend to work but this is how I got it fixed.

I had pm-suspend working from the terminal with sudo and i3lock installed.

The alias *pm-suspend i3lock*

Had the advantage of also locking the screen however it needed to be run with a sudo command and password.

With an edit through visudo
%users ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/pm-suspend
it could be made so that you don’t need to type the password as the user, so the alias can become,

*sudo pm-suspend i3lock*

This got me thinking that it would be cool to be able to do this from a key press in i3 rather than a terminal.

The first part of doing this is to add the key short cut to .i3/config

bindsym $mod+p exec suspendandlock

then write a bash script into /usr/bin saved as suspendandlock


suspend and lock


sudo pm-suspend i3lock -c 000000

Finally we have to modify the sudoers file again with visudo and change the %users to %wheel.

%wheel ALL = NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/pm-suspend

On Fedora 17 an additional edit is required with visudo, requiretty requires commenting out with visudo to be,

# Defaults requiretty

sECuRE from the i3 IRC chat helped out with the Fedora fix diagnosed through the log error.

requirement “uid >= 1000″ not met by user

within /var/log/secure

Now if everything is work mod+p will trigger power suspend and when you awake will ask for a password.

This comming weekend I am attending Ogg Camp 2012 in Liverpool, I am voluntering as part of the crew so I suspect it will be a busy weekend. The unconference, hosted by Linux Outlaws and the UK Ubuntu podcast is all about open culture and hardware hacking so should be really intrested. I hope to blog my way through the event here, but of course I might be to busy so shall see.

So its August and that means its almost September which means its CreativePact time.

You can find details about CreativePact online at http://creativepact.co.uk/.

CreativePact is a fun way of committing to do something everyday for a month, with a fun sense of community and a source of encouragement. It easy, basically you just commit to do something everyday and tag it #creativepact many people use tumblr or wordpress or you can host it yourself. The main thing is to think of something you would like to do but never have time to do, and then use creativepact as your excuse

My Past Creative Pacts

Last year in 2011 I did a podcast a day which provided a great excuse to talk to a wide range of people who interest me from all sort of activities. http://podcast.scotthewitt.co.uk/category/creative-pact-2011/

In 2010 I did some livecoding every day which was great for developing performance skills which I use within HELOpg. http://creativepact2010-scotthewitt.tumblr.com/

In 2009 I took part in Hackpact hosted by TOPLAP and committed to programming in ChucK everyday. http://www.ablelemon.co.uk/chuckaday/

My CreativePact 2012

This year I plan to continue my 2011 creative pact and restart my daily podcast. My hope is to make use of Google+ hangouts and foster use the podcast as a place to discuss topics, but its just a work in progress at the moment.