Moodle 3.0 Release! Anticipated updates and features.

Moodle 3.0 is coming!

For the release of 3.0, I’ve noticed a few things that are coming which I’ve highlighted in the linked post.

Considering it’s a milestone release (2.x to 3.x), there’s nothing that amazing… but hey.

I had a lovely little line about the use of “tonnes” in this post. But it got removed. I hate* editors :(

*I joke

Dan Bennett
Dan Bennett

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BBC Radio Shropshire Introducing - Halloween Mix 2015

Last year, I was asked to do a Halloween mix for BBC Radio Shropshire Introducing. It was rather fun to do. It was a bunch of tracks from Dubstep/DnB/UK Hardcore/Dutch Hardcore all halloween themed. And it worked quite well.

This year, I was asked again to do one.

Listen: BBC Radio Shropshire Introducing - Halloween Mix 2015


  1. Literally A Heartbeat
  2. Untitled (Get Kryptk*)
  3. Untitled (Why Suffer*)
  4. A Sea Of Jerks
  5. Come Back Soon

(*Working Titles)

Story provided by Matt Bubbles.

Thanks to BBC Shropshire Introducing for asking me to do this!

Special thanks to Danielle Partis.

If you don’t care about the story behind doing this, then just share the mix and enjoy! Else - read on! :)

So this time round, I wanted to do it different to how I did last year. And instead of showcase music, have strictly my own stuff. And for someone who doesn’t do scary music, it was a bloody challenge!

It’s still not that scary. I mean, it can’t be - it’s me! But my idea was to have a bunch of tracks that I’m working on, get them finished (well, finished enough to be worth while putting in this mix) and between tracks have some kind of story.

If you’re no stranger to my SoundCloud, you’ll know these tracks and the progress they’ve made already. None of these are ready in the sense releasing, but they are ready in the sense that the bulk ideas of the tracks are there.

Intro - Literally A Heartbeat

I had an idea straight away as soon as I started, where by it’s some kind of spooky sounding pad music with a nice slow calm heartbeat pulsing. I tried finding some music that I could use, but nothing was really fitting. It was all just… too halloween. So I went and created it myself.

It’s kind of simple, really. A nice pulsating pad. Another pad that goes ontop where the heartbeat comes in. Then some sort of spooky little pad string notes being played. Oh and it all had to be in Minor keys… And I think it’s worked quite nicely.

The little spooky samples on this are just nice little freebies floating around. I really wanted some sort of bell chime going on. I could’ve gotten that myself by going out and recording a church, but time didn’t really allow for that sadly!

There’s also a crying girl in the background, which I only really put in to help flow into the story better. We’ll get to that later…

Second Track - Untitled (Get Kryptk)

This track is something I’ve been working on for a while. I’m kind of proud of it but always struggling where to take it.

In the background of the Intro, this track starts up. The track itself starts off at 60BPM then slowly rises to 128BPM. It took me a long time to make this work against the intro track, simply because if it was too loud it would confuse you in to what is going on. I think I’ve worked it nicely now so it’s just in the background doing it’s thing then pokes out when it needs to.

It kicks off and does it’s thing and I’m quite happy with the way it’s turned out. I wanted something driving and nice to listen to but still enjoyable. Oh and there’s also some added bells in there because…bells…

Story 1

This is where a thanks to Danielle & Matt comes in. I told my friend Danielle about this idea I have of wanting some sort of story to be in between tracks. She knew a guy. Next thing I know I get this.

The first story you hear is actually the second part. This part worked better in this section in my opinion. It’s also not quite your typical halloween story. It’s more of an American Horror Story kind of thing.

Oh, obviously that also isn’t Matt’s real voice. I’ve quite obviously done some pitching and buggering with it.

In the background, the first track is slowly going away as the next one builds. The story ends with “How do I stop?” right before the track comes in and it just made me grin so it had to stay.

Third Track - Untitled (Why Suffer)

This track is something I’ve started working on maybe a month ago. It was a little piano thing I wrote after having this kind of riff stuck in my head all damn day. Actually, the more melodic bit you hear is the original thing.

This is no where near finished I think, but it’s one of those tracks that just works. And again, it uses black notes a lot. And we all know Black Notes = dramatic. Right? Right?

Forth Track - A Sea Of Jerks

This is one that I’ve had in my SoundCloud for a long time with a working title of “Long arse drone thing”.

The idea of this is simple. A nice long arse drone thing… Then into some bassy riff thing. Quite a driving track. Oh and this is also where it goes into UK Hardcore mode. Although that is debatable as it’s not exactly your typical UK Hardcore music…

It’s kind of an experiment this track. I’m still undecided as to whether it works. But I do enjoy the percussion elements and the fact that, somehow (though I don’t recall when I did this), I’ve got a nice guitar pluck going on in it… heh.

Story 2

This is where the 4th and 5th tracks collide. The story explains how the first part happens. Which I think works better than having this part first. The strings from the next track are heard in the background and I just enjoyed hearing the build up. In hindsight, I should’ve spread it out a bit more so that the story ends but the next track is still building as currently it goes right in. But… hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it?

I wasn’t even going to use this part of the story. I was going to leave it out and instead have the next track start and do it’s build up. But it felt right to have some sort of follow up to the first part of the story.

Fifth Track - Come Back Soon

This wasn’t actually meant to be on here. I had two other tracks, but they’re both vocal tracks. In fact, one isn’t even any where near finishing. But because the whole mix so far has been based on melody and telling a story and having this nice journey to it, I decided to use this.

‘Come Back Soon’ is my little weapon. I’m very proud of this track. It still needs some finishing touches and an actual Extended Edit and proper start sorted (as currently it’s a bit abrupt). But I love this. Surprisingly, I think it kind of worked to end this mix.


So yeah. A 20 minute mix (well, 19:15). With original tracks and original scores with an original story provided. It’s not your average “zOMG ITS HALLOWEEN LETS BRING OUT THE WUBWUBDUBSSSS” kind of mix, but I’m glad it’s not. I wanted to try something different. And so I have.

Hopefully it works for others as much as it works for me.

Now I need to finish all these tracks properly so they can be their own thing…

Dan Bennett
Dan Bennett

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Team Kryptk 24 Hour Charity Livestream - 16th/17th Jan 2016

The lovely folks over at Team Kryptk are doing a 24 hour livestream in 2016 to raise money for MIND.

We have decided to choose “Mind” as our charity because as a group we all understand in our own ways the struggle with a mental health problem, be it through ourselves or our loved ones. We are hoping to raise awareness and promote the understanding through the improvement of services from your donations. Sometimes it is hard to understand something you aren’t personally going through, hopefully with just this little bit of difference our amazing community can do, we can help those going through mental health problems get advice and support they need. The aim is also to bring those who are unaware to reality of the lives of those around them and how to do their own part in helping them. Much like “Mind” we won’t give up until we can change the way people look at mental health problems and allow the progression of the support and respect of those who are going through it.

Please put this in your diary and support these guys and help raise money for an amazing charity.

Dan Bennett
Dan Bennett

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What I expect when I successfully run a Vim command

But when I try a crazy key combination and successfully run a command this is what I expect to happen. vim

I have this exact same feeling. I’m getting a lot better at Vim than I used to. But when I try to work fast and do a bunch of little key commands, I find butter fingers gets the best of me and I just faff it all up!

Still, it’s nicer to use than Nano… so it has that going for it.

Dan Bennett
Dan Bennett

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Note Taking as a Sysadmin

Am I asking too much?

For my job, it’s vital that I take notes of things going on. Whether it’s work I’m doing or clients asking questions, notes are vital so that I can look back on them in the future in case something comes to bite me on the arse.

That’s the main thing. Backing myself up so that I can prove to myself or others that something was the case.

I’ve mostly used Tomboy Notes. It’s a lovely little application that automatically generates a daily note to go throughout that day and I have a seperate note with my todo list, which is always massive.

However, I’ve gotten into an issue where if I want to search for something, it’s difficult. Each day is seperate. In a different note. It just takes twice as long as it should to find stuff.

A colleague of mine uses Amaya. It’s an old but useful application that creates pages that are XHTML based. He uses it for doing a year logbook. Which is the most perfect idea ever!

The only issue, Amaya is old. It’s no longer being activtly developed and has some really stupidly annoying issues. So I need something modern…

Doesn’t anyone care anymore?

Most people seem to be using Evernote or OneNote. I’ve tried both and I’ve hated them.

OneNote I fell out of love with very quickly. It’s one of those apps that just never could sit right with me. It’s got some really stupid shortcut placements (Try inserting the current time or date…) and if the note is too big it just gets a bit slow.

Same with Evernote. That is so slow and bulky. It’s also very slow to load and everytime I paste some text in it seems to have a massive hissy fit on where my cursor is and mostly shows me the advertisements at the bottom. Oh and constantly begs me to purchase Evernote Premium. Feck off.

Simplicity is key…

The great thing about Amaya is it’s HTML. It’s just one big HTML page which means I can easily CTRL + F and search for the words, date, time, month, foot I need.

Also, because it doesn’t need anything fancy. It’s incredibly fast to use and viewing it is no hassle at all…

It’s still got some bulk to it for editing. I mean, it’s essentially a Microsoft FrontPage application, just a lot better and less arse. But it’s not made for note taking. It’s made for webpage development.


I’ve currently settled for another simple Jekyll installation. I’ve got a very simple look and feel to it. All it needs is to open the HTML file and display it.

Quotes from client emails are easily visible. I can easily link to things. I can easily insert code excerpts. It’s great. Because it’s all Markdown.

The only downside with that, is I’m editing in Markdown. So I’m editing in a format that I cannot easily read as I can when reading the logbook itself.

It’s a small compromise and with learning more about Markdown I’m sure I’d get used to it. But heck, why is there nothing that does this already?

Say no to Web Apps!

Web Apps are a big no no. I want something I have control over. Web Apps bug the living shit out of me. Always have, always will. If I want to use an application I want to be able to have it in it’s own little thing doing it’s own little thing. I don’t want it relying on Google fecking Chrome just to run. Especially when Chrome uses enough RAM as it is…

Is this where I start to develop?

Maybe I need to just accept that no one works the way I want to. Or at least, no one has thought of it. Maybe I’m unique in the way I want to record how I do things. Surely I can’t be alone? Can I?

Maybe it’s about time I stop whinging that there’s nothing and actually do something about it. Write a program that is universal, let’s me do the things I want to do and pleases my every need. How hard can it be?

Does everyone write Markdown in plain text?

That’s another thing. I’m writing all my logs in Plain Text. But with Markdown…

Has no one written an application that lets you write in Markdown, but on the fly displays it as HTML? That way you’re typing away in Markdown and it’s showing it as HTML? How you expect it to look?

No buggy Preview panes, no jekyll serve and double check everything’s grand. Just… show me how it’s meant to look as it’s typing. Please?


Dan Bennett
Dan Bennett

Find me on / / Google