I have a meeting coming up where some new members are joining a team I’ve been in for some time. The facilitator has asked us to introduce ourselves, “Pecha Kucha” style, with one-minute-per-slide pictures. It’s a big team, so we only get three slides each. I’m an obsessive logger of everything I read, watch, and post — so I thought a handy way to pictorialise me is with “photo mosaics” or “photo collages”. …


A month or so ago, I wrote a story explaining the stack and tool-chain I’ve put together for building tiny responsive web apps.

The technology I chose solved these problems:

  • I only want to pay for what I use (scale-to-zero)
  • I don’t have a lot of time available for learning or building (no steep learning curves without substantial time-savings)
  • I don’t have time for maintenance activities (no patching servers, automated scale-up)
  • I’m not a good UI designer or front end engineer (design systems are great)

My stack works really well for an app with standard create/retrieve/update/delete operations, but I recently…


Working from home

I suspect that Covid lockdowns and the work-from-home revolution inspired many people to reevaluate their home network setups. I’ve actually been surviving fine until recently with my Asus RT-AC68U router, but in my Google Meet work calls lately I’ve been experiencing drop-outs (stalling, stuttering) on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

We have an “ultra-fast broadband” (as they call it here in New Zealand) connection to an optical fibre network. The pricing plan I’m on has 100Mbps downstream and the upstream throttled to 20Mbps. We are big streaming service users, and the plan suits us just fine. I was using…


In my first story in this series, I explained that I spend about a day a week solving problems that interest me with tiny software applications. I’ve been assembling a tool-kit to quickly build against architectural patterns that I find keep coming up in tiny apps. The technology I choose has to solve these problems:

  • I only want to pay for what I use (scale-to-zero)
  • I don’t have a lot of time available for learning or building (no steep learning curves without substantial time-savings)
  • I don’t have time for maintenance activities (no patching servers, automated scale-up)
  • I’m not a good…


In my first story in this series, I explained that I spend about a day a week solving problems that interest me with tiny software applications. I’ve been assembling a tool-kit to quickly build against architectural patterns that I find keep coming up in tiny apps. The technology I choose has to solve these problems:

  • I only want to pay for what I use (scale-to-zero)
  • I don’t have a lot of time available for learning or building (no steep learning curves without substantial time-savings)
  • I don’t have time for maintenance activities (no patching servers, automated scale-up)
  • I’m not a good…


In my first story in this series, I explained that I spend about a day a week solving problems that interest me with tiny software applications. I’ve been assembling a tool-kit to quickly build against architectural patterns that I find keep coming up in tiny apps. The technology I choose has to solve these problems:

  • I only want to pay for what I use (scale-to-zero)
  • I don’t have a lot of time available for learning or building (no steep learning curves without substantial time-savings)
  • I don’t have time for maintenance activities (no patching servers, automated scale-up)
  • I’m not a good…


In my first story in this series, I explained that I spend about a day a week solving problems that interest me with tiny software applications. I’ve been assembling a tool-kit to quickly build against architectural patterns that I find keep coming up in tiny apps. The technology I choose has to solve these problems:

  • I only want to pay for what I use (scale-to-zero)
  • I don’t have a lot of time available for learning or building (no steep learning curves without substantial time-savings)
  • I don’t have time for maintenance activities (no patching servers, automated scale-up)
  • I’m not a good…


I have a day job that I go to four days a week: I keep Fridays for doing other things. My day job is a great job at a great company — it’s New Zealand’s biggest software success story — and (most of the time) I love it. But, with over 4,000 people in the organisation, I’m a long way from the short feedback cycles and satisfaction that comes from being hands-on with smaller and less mature businesses. …


RetroPie is a beautifully put together Linux distro for Raspberry Pi that bundles EmulationStation and a range of emulators to provide a one-stop-shop for retro arcade, console, and home computer game emulation.

While the RetroPie project does a great job of pulling together all of the necessary software and providing a seamless installation experience for the Pi, the quirks of different controllers can provide some configuration challenges.

I bought Nintendo/Famicom-style bluetooth controller for my Pi. It’s an FC30 made by the Hong Kong company, 8BITDO. …

Gareth Cronin

Technology leader for Xero in Auckland, New Zealand, former start-up founder, father of two, maker of t-shirts and small software products

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