Darren Beale Web developer, retailer & photographer


Handing Over The Keys To My Business


As of 1st August 2019, exactly 13 years and 4 months after setting up my business Siftware, I will be handing over the responsibility for its day to day running to my friend and very capable colleague, Sara Chandler. I will for all intents and purposes cease to be responsible for running Siftware and instead simply have a job there, a part-time one at that. For Siftware’s international...

Bloody Freezing – Week(ish) notes 1


As threatened in my end of year review I’m giving the weekly notes format a trial. Admittedly the term ‘week notes’ is not overly accurate given it’s early Feb as I write this but “Notable stuff since the last time I posted” doesn’t roll off the tongue as well. Back on the wagon After a lazy and over-indulgent Christmas I took a few weeks to get back into...

2017 in Review


Welcome to my third retrospective in four years. I didn’t bother writing one of these for 2015 as I was glad to see the back of the year, but in hindsight I regret not doing so as it was a formative time for my re-invented business and it is useful to be able to look back and see how one has grown or changed. I also really enjoy reading other people’s reviews, especially those of my...

A Few of my Favourite Things 2016


Personal review posts of the outgoing year are becoming more popular and I enjoy reading them, particularly those produced by my peers. However, when I wrote mine earlier this week I purposely left some stuff out as it didn’t seem to fit properly. It’s a list of things that I’ve used – or removed – this year that have in some way made a high impact on my life. Turns...

2016 in Review


2015 ended with me having a panic attack in a restaurant car-park, somewhere in South Bristol. It’s not as bad as it sounds and in hindsight I put it down to that end-of-year, exhausted-after-stumbling-across-the-finish-line thing where your body gives up a bit and is more vulnerable. But still, it was a shame, because up to that point I’d been keeping chimp-boy in his cage after...



Marc recently wrote a post called Disclaimer.
Disclaimers, wordy intros, apologies: they’re all unnecessary. They water down the message.
It resonated with me.
I’ve already mentioned my tendency to tag on “In my opinion“, “I feel” or “I think” to my written word.
It’s just redundancy.

Are Slack Groups The New Twitter?


Around 2010 there was a spate of blog posts bemoaning the end of the comment thread.
The claim was that Twitter was making us dumber. We were too busy, or too lazy, to spend the time to craft a response to posts. Heck we were too busy to read posts.
They had a point.

The OneNote Handbook


As I alluded yesterday, I am going to write a book about OneNote. I’ve been a fan of OneNote for over 10 years and have been meaning to write  this book for as long as I can remember. It has two main aims: Provide a useful introduction for new users. Give them the information they need to start using it most effectively Give ideas and workflow examples for more advanced users so they can...

Removing Redundancy When Writing


When I started this challenge I was focused on volume.
I just needed to write some stuff and publish it.
Writing each day has definitely helped me to get faster and also to have more and more ideas.

At Least It’s Not A Blue On Blue


Twitter told me yesterday that someone at 123-reg deleted a part of the internet.
My immediate thought was:
“Owch, that’s got to hurt”
And then:
“I’m glad I’m not that boss right now”
A few minutes later, my thoughts had turned and instead I was thinking:
“Well, at least it’s not a blue on blue”.

Darren Beale Web developer, retailer & photographer