The motivation trap

I fail all the time.

Motivation is what gets you going. When a idea is new and exciting you’ll find yourself more than happy to work on a project. Great plans come into your head, imaging Nobel prizes and applause from your peers.

Then, mid-way through the shininess of the thing wears off. It takes a greater amount of effort to get through it. Instead of being effortless, it’s starting to feel a little bit more like swimming through treacle…and something else grabs your attention.

But once in a very long while,  you’ll get to the end of the line. You get to show the successes you’ve made – and then all of a sudden all that effort feels like it’s worth it.

I’ve far too often found myself failing. It’s a good learning process, but nothing is better than seeing something you’ve made make somebody happy – even if it’s just yourself.

Photo from the Library of Congress

Setting up Boris on Mac OS X

I love using PHP’s interactive terminal, but I’ve been spoiled by other languages that provide a REPL. Sadly Boris doesn’t work straight out of the box for OSX.

Get yourself a copy of Boris

You can download a copy of Boris as a PHAR file:

curl -L -O
chmod +x boris.phar

Give it a test

Try to run the phar file by typing the following into your terminal:


If it threw a fatal error, you’re going to have to upgrade PHP like I did. Download a copy from and this will install it into the directory /usr/local/php5.

Once that’s done you should be able to run it with the following:

/usr/local/php5/bin/php ~/boris.phar

If that works, you’ve got it running. Congrats!

Throwing in an alias

Typing in that command will get boring fast, to set yourself up with an alias. Open up the file (or create) .bash-profile in your favourite text editor.

If you managed to set it up without upgrading PHP, add the following:

alias boris='~/boris.phar'

If you had to install a newer version of PHP, add the following:

alias boris='/usr/local/php5/bin/php ~/boris.phar'

Once you’ve restarted your terminal you’ll be able to type boris to start it up. Happy coding!

Hello from Malaysia

Good morning from Klang, Malaysia! I’ve had a great week so far with Michelle visiting her family, her friends, and touring the sights around Kuala Lumpur.

My first thanks have to go to Michelle’s family for being so kind and hosting me this past week. They’ve been very welcoming and have been absolutely incredible.

My plan of staying up for the entire plane ride over was the perfect way to skip jet lag. Somehow I still had enough energy by the time we arrived in Klang to be social and introduce myself properly.

Malaysian pastimes seem to revolve around bad driving (everybody keeps telling me how bad), visiting massive malls and looking for parking spaces, as well as consuming large quantities of food. I’ve found the food to be really good my time here, but have never had the chance to feel hungry as there’s always a meal coming soon. I’ve had the chance to enjoy some really tasty delicacies, and think I’m really going to miss bubble tea once I’m back in the the UK.

My tourist endeavours haven’t been limited to malls though. We’ve met friends, and visited some great attractions. KL’s bird park was very good – we had fun getting pictures of peacocks and feeding ostriches. I got to see the city skyline 32 floors up and get some great views of the towers. We’ve been through markets, passed some amazing looking mosques and Indian temples, been to see a comedy show, as well as visiting some restaurants I would have not imagined going to if I was alone.

We’ve just passed the half way mark of our time here, and there is still much to do. While we are relaxing of today, we are travelling far to Ipoh on Thursday for a wedding all weekend. Between now and then I’m sure that we’ll find a few more adventures to go on in the neighbourhood!

Every Google product I’ve used has at some point started getting worse rather than better, if not simply canceled. From search to docs to notebooks to reader to YouTube to gmail, etc. My problem with all the G integration with other products not for any privacy concerns but because the result is worse than what it was before.