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Darren Nolan

Computer Tech… and stuff

Self vs Static PHP 5.3+

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Just a personal note really. I always confuse the two. For the record, in most cases, you’d want to take advantage of late static bindings from PHP 5.3, use static:: over self::, unless you’re really sure you want the class it was actually written in, in which case, use self.

class A
    public static $name = 'a';
    public static function getSelfName()
        return self::$name;
    public static function getStaticName()
        return static::$name;
class B extends A
    public static $name = 'b';
var_dump ( A::getSelfName() );    // 'a'
var_dump ( A::getStaticName() );  // 'a'

var_dump ( B::getSelfName() );    // 'a'
var_dump ( B::getStaticName() );  // 'b'

Categories: Uncategorized

Backup your shit (online – it’s easy… really really easy)

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This is a post dedicated to Laura. This is not for business/corporate (though you could… I would hope you have more enterprise type solutions at your disposal.)




Welcome to 2014. It’s excited to have you. You have 92 kids. They’re all very special. First steps (face-plants), first words (what-you-called-your-sister-the-other-day) and a bunch of birthday parties (You have kids, why would you invite more into your home?).

All these videos and pictures you have, some you share on Facebook, others you keep private – are tucked neatly away on your computer. Until of course that blows up when cooking toast one morning, because I know you don’t have proper surge protectors (I know you don’t… because 90% of my old clients had this crap happen all the time).

In most cases, losing data is hard. Super smart people (nerds as you call us) are able to get data out of otherwise completely borked computers. My faith in Mandy (I WUB YOU) doing such black magics however is not quite so strong.

But rather than getting yourself into these positions where you require the assistance of a technical shaman, I would propose something the wise technical shaman of old have preached since the first floppy disk (or cassette tape even…).

Backup your shit.


Categories: Backup

Codeception WebDriver with PhantomJS spawned with Grunt

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I do love using Grunt Watch for all my development compiling and running automated tests.  One down side when using PhantomJS with codeception however is that you need to manually spawn an instance (typically with phantomjs --webdriver=4444) before you can run your codeception tests in another window.  This doesn't suit me and thus I've discovered a nice little package for grunt called grunt-run.

Basically when I want to run my tests, I hit grunt test - which spawns an instance of phantomjs, runs codeception, and then terminates phantomjs once codeception is finished.  Here's my grunt file.

I've made a little repo for you to play with as a starting point (or if you want to see each step involved through tags. Available at


Categories: Codeception | Testing

Slow Cooked Rosemary Garlic Lamb (Dazz Style)

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Being somewhat exhausted of people asking me about my lamb (I kid, I love the attention), here is how I do it.  Please don’t be shocked.  It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and requires zip skillz in the kitchen.  I cut many corners when making this, I have done it the “proper” way (using more ‘real’ ingredients etc.) but at the end of the day, it doesn’t make a huge difference to me.  So if you take this, and you’re a champion cooker – please replace the bachelor-dazz ingredients with the real stuff.

Having said that – the results speak for themselves.  This is stupidly tasty.  And you all know it.

2013-11-23 10.51.39You will need:

  • LAMB.  Typically a leg of lamb.  Whatever will fit in your slow cooker.
  • Garlic (paste)
  • Rosemary (paste) and Rosemary
  • 1 Cup Beef Stock (more depending on the size of your lamb)
  • Splash of Oil
  • Salt and Pepper


Categories: Uncategorized

Atlassian Product Splash Page

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Atlassian Splash

Some time ago I worked at a place that had a simple screen to show the links to Atlassian Products.

I’ve taken it a bit further, and now use this page to see all my product version numbers as well, which I mostly take note of while downloading updates for the individual products.

Pretty boring – but I think it’s awesome. XD

Categories: Atlassian | Programming | Web

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