John Leach is a human living in Huddersfield, UK. He makes frequent and diverse changes to the universe, though isn’t entirely sure where he ends and it begins.
What I’m doing at the moment
I co-founded and run Brightbox, a UK-based “infrastructure as a service” company. You can build cloud servers, load balancers and all that kind of stuff.
When I make the time I also work on one or two personal programming projects too, like News Sniffer.
Things I have played or sung
I’m learning to sing and play guitar at the same time. I’m also learning to play accordion, which is hard enough to play on its own. Some of my recordings are on Sound Cloud under the pseudonym Carrbottom John. I also do a few open mic nights around Leeds and Bradford on occasion.
I’m also now one half of the two-piece Robber John, playing all the guitar and singing roughly half of the singing.
I’ve also voiced several characters in the Yorkshire-themed point and click comedy adventure computer game Yorkshire Gubbins.
I was previously in The Gillroyd Parade, West Yorkshire’s one-time second-best three-piece acoustic folk-scifi band (now retired).
Things I have written, said or made
- My personal blog about kind of everything, tech, politics, cookery, photography, music.
- My twitter feed updated multiple times a day, usually.
- My github page where I push most of my code nowadays
- My work blog where I write occasionally.
- Status Updates on Twitter, a parody account issuing status updates for an imaginary and rather incompetent company of some kind. (maintained with a friend).
- Everybody Loves Eric Raymond, a web comic I created starring Richard Stallman, Eric S. Raymond and others. Dormant for a while now.
- Bruce Schneier Facts, a site collecting things you might not know about Bruce Schneier. I wrote the app and the first few facts and curate the rest.
- ipq.co, a service to allow instant creation of dns records. More info on my blog
- UNIX: Rediscovering the wheel, A talk I’ve given at a few conferences about rediscovering some of the great features of UNIX-like operating systems. This was recorded at the 2010 Scottish Ruby Conference. I gave the same talk at the London Ruby User Group
- Beautiful command-line interface design, A talk I’ve given about writing command-line programs with good interfaces
- My lanyrd profile, I’ve given talks at various conferences
- My quadcopter build project, which was fun and dangerous. I documented some, but not all of my progress on my blog.
Free software projects I’ve been involved with recently
- News Sniffer, my News Sniffer project is free software!
- Web Page Parser, a Ruby library to parse web pages, like BBC News
- Xapian Fu, a nicer Ruby library for the Xapian full text indexer
- Ruby packages for Ubuntu, I maintain Ubuntu packages for updated and performance tuned versions of Ruby
- PowerDNS Pipe, a little Ruby library to make writing PowerDNS pipe backend scripts easier.
- Brightbox CLI, a command line interface for the Brightbox Cloud API
- Puppet git receiver, a tool to receive and apply puppet manifests via git.
Other projects I’ve been involved with
- News Sniffer, a project to monitor the corporate media (Ruby on Rails).
- Leeds Ruby Thing, a local Ruby programming meetup group.
- Compost This, a database of things you can and can’t compost. (Ruby on Rails)
- Recycle This, a blog of how to reuse stuff, rather than it going to landfill.
- Geekz Shop, we (used to) sell geeky stuff, like t-shirts and stickers, featuring infamous geeks (retired now!)
- West Yorkshire Linux User Group, I (used to) help arrange the meetings and maintain the website
- Eye Vagina,I pranked some people on chat roulette, which seemed to amuse the Internet
- Yorkshire Gubbins computer game by Charlotte Gore. I voiced several characters (Terry the robot, Crazy Uncle Harbert, the Barman, Bernard) in the first two episodes, with more to come I hope!
- Photography. I used to be a fairly keen photographer and still have some photos on my blog and on Flickr
I live with my best friend Louisa Parry who I like a lot.
I’m a legal guardian of two black cats, Kaufman and Matilda, one black, white and ginger cat called Strange and a dog called Daisy. Over the years, all but one chicken died with the last one going to stay with her cousins on her uncle’s allotment.