Phillip Pearson - web + electronics notes

tech notes and web hackery from a new zealander who was vaguely useful on the web back in 2002 (see: python community server, the blogging ecosystem, the new zealand coffee review, the internet topic exchange).


UltraEdit 10 does SFTP...duh

This is nice - it turns out that UltraEdit 10, which I've owned for several years now, can do SFTP. I've been spending the last few weeks at work editing XML files in emacs, and it is so much nicer in UltraEdit, only that only works well in the office, as Windows file sharing sucks over OpenVPN + SSH + ADSL latency. With SFTP, though, it's much less painful - I only have to wait when I hit Ctrl-S, not at any randon time when UE decides to check if the file has been updated on the server.

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Making and reviewing coffee

I haven't touched the New Zealand Coffee Review site's code for ages - just added the occasional photo or review - and it looks like it's lost all its pagerank, or something. I should blog more about it so it doesn't get forgotten!

The time I spent talking to the folks at Piranha helped me immensely at making my own coffee. Anyone trying to make coffee should go into a cafe one day and ask them to show you how it's done. It doesn't hurt if it's a cafe owned by people who train top-ranked baristas either ... :-)

Picture of two cups of home made coffee.

The key thing seems to be that there's only so much flavour in a certain amount of ground coffee beans. You can only get 30 mL or so of good coffee out of 5 g (one tablespoon) of coffee. So if you put a spoonful of coffee into the filter part, squish it down, then put it into the machine and let the steam run until you've filled up the whole cup, you're guaranteed to get bad coffee, no matter how good the coffee beans etc were. This means if you want to make a "long black" coffee, you've got to make a "short black" (espresso) and fill it up with hot water.

To make a cappuccino using a cheap coffee machine like mine, you only dip the steam nozzle a few millimetres into the top of the milk, and have to take great care to keep it at the right level - high enough that you can see the milk streaming through the holes but low enough that the milk doesn't bubble too much. This seems to give excellent results.

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