The primary location for my blog posts is now - please head over there and take a look!

You can find my projects/media channels with

Shakespeare's Sonnets: The Graphic Novel campaign

My campaign to produce Shakespeare's Sonnets: A Graphic Novel Adaptation needs your help! Please sign up at for access to exclusive content and the opportunity to be a part of the magic!

I'm also producing a podcast discussing the sonnets, available on
industrial curiosity, itunes, spotify, stitcher, tunein and youtube!
For those who prefer reading to listening, the first 25 sonnets have been compiled into a book that is available now on Amazon and the Google Play store.

Friday, 17 August 2018

self-signed localhost ssl certificate on windows (for dummies)

[THIS ARTICLE IS OBSOLETE: you'll find better ones here and here]

if there are devs i really admire, it's everyone behind the software listed in this guide. they're out there making the internet a safer place and saner place, building easy-to-use tools and providing their services and products for free.

today i needed to self-sign certificates, and while there are good guides available they make a lot of assumptions or use complicated tools. here's what i figured out this morning after a long struggle with scripts that windows doesn't like:

1. install openssh for windows, and make sure to remember where the installation directory is. there are a number of options available from the openssl wiki, shining light productions' version is the most official. download the default build (the larger installation file) paying attention to whether your system is 32-bit or 64-bit.

2. install babun (bash and zsh on windows for people who don't want to micromanage their software)

3. using babun, change to the openssl bin directory. run the following command from letsencrypt:
openssl req -x509 -out localhost.crt -keyout localhost.key -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -sha256 -subj '/CN=localhost' -extensions EXT -config <( printf "[dn]\nCN=localhost\n[req]\ndistinguished_name = dn\n[EXT]\nsubjectAltName=DNS:localhost\nkeyUsage=digitalSignature\nextendedKeyUsage=serverAuth")

once installed in your app you'll be able to access with http or https - your browser will warn you that the certificate isn't signed but it's yours, so just accept it and get back to work!

Saturday, 11 August 2018

IIS Rewrite Rules Regex

I'm not sure why it's so hard to find clear examples of the not-quite-regex regex that the IIS Url Rewrite module implements for its rewrite rules. Here are three things that I've wasted time figuring out.

1. Rewrite actions use regex matched groups by referencing {R:<group number>} eg. {R:1}

2. The order of the rules is critical, rewrites are then re-matched from scratch.

3. To prevent matches beginning with a word, use "^((?!theword).*)"