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The Inaugural Post

Posted on September 23rd, 2008 by Neil Crosby. Filed under Blog Posts.

For the last year, I’ve been living in Bedford, but working about 60 miles away in London. Before Becca and I moved out from London, people called us mad, saying that the commute would be hell and that we’d never spend any time together.

As I write, I’m on the 18:00 East Midlands Trains service from London St. Pancras to Bedford. I’m in a lovely air-conditioned carriage, sat at a table with one other person. I have a power supply to charge my laptop from. The only thing missing is wifi, but if I really need the internet then my iPhone is sitting next to me ready to deliver whatever I want. I’ll arrive in Bedford at 18:38 and then have a ten minute stroll home. So, the commute isn’t bad at all.

As for spending time together, that’s improved since we moved out of London too. I now use the commute home to write code, and then when I get home I get to spend the entire evening with Becca. Previously I would have come in, started coding in the bedroom and then have gone to bed when I was done. Spending time with Becca is much nicer than spending time with code.

That said, I do enjoy coding. So, I use my commute now to code. No distractions, just me and a laptop for forty minutes every day. It might not sound like long, but it’s enough time to solve a problem. In the last few months I’ve put together Is Neil Annoyed By, learnt how to slurp data out of Wikipedia and integrated that into The Ten Word Review, written a presentation about SearchMonkey, created a vCard parsing system that allows friends, acquaintances and everyone else to see different amounts of data about me, and probably a whole load of other things as well. Travelling by train allows me to be quite productive.

That’s why I’ve started to blog here. Up until now I’ve been blogging on Working With Me, but server issues and a general ennui with the domain name have led me to start again. Sure, I’m going to lose the google-juice that was being pumped into Working With Me, but that will come again. It’s time for a brand new start, and I’m starting here.

Over the next few weeks I’ve got several posts lined up. As well as fully formed posts I’m going to be dumping half finished work onto here. The reason for this is that previously I’ve tended to wait to blog about something until it was complete and able to be picked up and immediately used by someone. There’s a place for that, but it was causing me to not release at all. From now on I want to release early and release often. I’m going to post experimental things, I’m going to post unfinished things. Most importantly I’m going to post. Oh yes, I’m going to post.

All aboard The Code Train. Choo choo!

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5 Responses to “The Inaugural Post”

  1. I must admit – this is the one thing I miss about working in London.

    My train journey was anything between 45minutes and an hour so I had even more time to be productive and it was often spent preparing the One Phat DJ Podcast or working on one of the many Web projects I had planned.

    Now I’m driving into work, I get hardly any personal work done, hence the demise of the podcast.

    Anyway, good luck with the new blog. I look forward to seeing what you conjure up in the future (talking of which – how’s Finance My Fetish coming along?)

  2. Finance My Fetish is sitting gathering dust at the moment unfortunately. As much as I have time to be able to do things, I don’t have infinite time.

    Still, maybe at some point I’ll be able to do something with it.

  3. quite cool! that’s the highlight of my day as well! being able to code on the train (well for most of the journey)

  4. Glad to see you blogging on the train.

    If you want ideas for a post, I would love to know more about your development workflow (applications, version control, etc)

  5. Thanks Adrian. I’ve already got a couple of posts in the pipeline about how I manage to work effectively on the train – I’m going to try to stick to a 2 posts per week schedule and starting pushing them out.

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