Comfort Zone Adjacent

Back in August I wrote about a plugin that I had created for the Stream Deck that was to help me with my pre-stream activities as I was terrible at remembering things, or just assuming things were still working since last time.

Just over two weeks ago someone dropped me a DM as they were interested in my plugin after reading my blog post but I had never released it into the wild. So I decided that I would dust it off again and get it into a releasable state for 2023, most likely just building a webpage to explain it and host the file.


The core functionality of the plugin is very basic in fact is uses the baked in toggle nature of the Stream deck buttons, there was an underlying flaw that I wanted to address.
The state of the buttons persisted between uses, so if you Toggled on that you had published a tweet, the next time you opened the deck it would still be lit up.
For a Preflight Checklist that is going to be reset each use, that wasn’t ideal.

So I set about redesigning how the plugin worked, forcing it to toggle off any button on their first load, but ensuring that it didn’t reset when navigating between page on the stream deck.

Success, WOO.

But actually the ability to keep a button lit up was actually useful, if you were using the Plugin to track achievements or seasonal goals. So I set about adding the option to Persist a Buttons’ state between restarts of the stream deck.

This part took me the longest as the Property Window was always behaving in ways I didn’t expect. But after quite a bit of tinkering and help via BarRaiders PI Toolkit I got everything working as expected.

Comfort Zone

So once I got the plugin into a working state, I then started reading over the requirements for applying to have the plugin listed on the Stream Deck Plugin Store.
I wasn’t that far away from being able to submit the plugin, so I set about ensuring that everything was correct, then when I shared it publicly I also submitted it for the store too.

On the 24th of Feb I got confirmation that it was on the Plugin Store under Productivity, If this wasn’t terrifying enough people were actually downloading it.

Currently there are 487 downloads in the store, I’m hoping people that have grabbed it find good uses for it.

If you’d like to grab it, the plugin is here 

Digital Rogues and GameBlast23

As February draws to a close it also marks the end of another GameBlast Event for the charity Special Effect, this was the 8th year that we have taken part.
I remains as much fun this year with friends old and new taking part in the activities and us stomping all over our donation goals.

Identity & Branding

I registered a domain for our Digital Rogues charity team last year, but only really got it into a proper state in the last few months. I have to say it’s been nice working on a project that isn’t a blog and that contains mostly static data with no Database. (That blog to html project calling to me)
I also designed a new logo to give us a refresh as the original was looking a little dated, to say the least.

Digital Rogue Logos


I decided that I wanted to showcase and document the activities we have already completed, the donations received & hours we streamed.
It took some digging and number crunching but it looks really impressive and makes our commitment to taking part each year a bit more real.

Another of the benefits that came out of this was I could see how close we were to milestones in our fundraising efforts and as the donations started to roll in this year we passed an accumulative total of £10,000 raised by the Digital Rogues team since we started. Which is pretty sweet.

Toot Readers & Links

One thing about Mastodon that actually feels like twitter used to back in the day, is logging in and being able to catch up on updates of those you follow in 20 minutes.

I mean it’s likely due to the fact I haven’t followed tonnes of people at this stage, but even without adverts,  there is/was a lot of company spam on Twitter, how many contests did I enter where following was expected?

But I’m not entirely gone from Twitter, there are still a number of folks that are only on that platform that I like to see updates from, secretly hoping the migrate somewhere soon, as I don’t want to cut them out completely.

Sadly there are some that are just leaving Social Media altogether like Jeff Atwood who tweets I enjoy quite a bit.

I have been pondering following Belghast’s example and greyscaling my twitter icon and header and marking my account as private, but after 15 years I’m not quiet at that step just yet, maybe by the time 2023 arrives.

All links on me

In other news I wanted a common site to link all my online presences together, I like Linktree but thought why not just add one to my website, so I built to start things off.

I am hoping to develop this into a more fully formed site in the future, some on a need by need basis, others like light/dark theme modes or opening links in new tabs.



One of the more recent traditions that has become a fun and enjoyable build up to Christmas has been the Advent of Code.

I never aim to be the quickest or write the nicest code but it’s really fun to have coding challenges that personally I find fun and that flexes my creative, analytical  and problem solving skills.

I know that Tipa over at partook in the event last year and completed it too. I love seeing what people make of each step and how the puzzle and story evolves.

I may see if I can get more folks onboard this year, maybe a private leader board if there is enough interest.

Birdsite and me

Fail WhaleFor days now the following quote has been floating around in my head.

Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair

Given the apparent state of Twitter right now, it feels that we are on the precipice of loosing not only a large social platform but a big chunk of our own personal history in the process. With no real way to repair it or step back from it and all trust bulldozered into a pit.

Thinking back to the brief series of years when MySpace was growing and  everyone was signing up and curating their pages, it was great fun but it’s duration and impact on my life pales when compared with Twitter, for many of us it has been one of the main platforms in our daily life.

I know Twitter was never perfect, I know that many folks see the platform as a dreadful place, for many it became a chore, something they have to interact with to ensure their brand awareness, it was part of modern life. Sadly for others they experienced the worst side of things and have been on the receiving end of continuous hate and abuse via the platform.

For me Twitter has been good, I have met so many great people, been introduced to new music, learnt about other cultures and people in a way that was engaging and wasn’t just reading an article, plus interacting with people was easy.
Thinking back over the years, the number of breaking News items that I first heard about on Twitter far outweighs those I heard from any news site or official news channel.

Where the Wild Things Are

EM said

Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.

However given that users with Checkmarks will have their voices louder than everyone else, it undermines that statement quite a bit. Those unable to pay become second class citizens of humanity in his eyes.
Admittedly he said the statement before trying to back out of a deal to buy the company, maybe that explains part of his behaviour.

Or maybe someone that thought, since they run 2 other companies, another will just be more of the same.

Reading some of the posts by Twitter staff who have opted to not sign up for EM’s extremely hardcore Twitter 2.0, I genuinely feel sorry that their years of dedication to the site has come to an end. I wish them all the best luck in the future.

Going back to that first quote, has the damage done already been too great, too impactful, there is no repairing that can bring something that has been killed. Previously we had to trust a corporate entity that was semi-faceless, now we are expected to trust … who? EM?

I’m not sure what the future of Twitter looks like, I know many folks are planning on sticking around until the last. But what if the site keeps hobbling along until the promised 2.0 is delivered, where is the line?

And does anyone have the stomach to endure that whole process?
I’m not sure that I do.