All posts by Peter Craddock

Closing 2012 with new web tools

Sorry to the Maya people, but 2012 is really the beginning, not the end. For me, that is, and particularly with respect to the web.

Together with Sandrine Kinart, I launched the website (a.k.a. to accompany the publication of an article on building and defending one’s e-reputation. It tells the tale of a fictional company (Janssens-Quidam) and its very trendy product (the Cat Hat, “too cute to wear”) and is meant as a practical guide, so we’ve tried to make legalese understandable and useful. Even if you’re not part of a Belgian company, it’s worth at least a good, long look. And it’s available in English, French and Dutch. And for different devices.

In addition, De Boeck Professionals, a major publisher (certainly in the Belgian legal world), agreed to integrate an Interest Calculator I wrote into their legal database, StradaLex. I’m hoping that lawyers, in-house counsel and other legal practitioners across Belgium will find in the Interest Calculator a useful tool to take away the daunting aspect of computing interest. Now obviously, the world will come to an end if computing interest becomes “fun”, so I’ve tried to stick to making it “easy”.

I also cooked up a few other (more random) web tools, such as a law-related URL shortener that I used in the e-reputation article and on the e-reputation website. It’s definitely not “production-grade”, but I’m now in the mindset where if I think “Things would be easier with …”, chances are my next thought will be “I wonder whether I can make a web app for that”.

All in all, things are exciting. 2013 may turn out to be a very good year!

New keyboard, new recordings

I recently acquired a new Roland keyboard, to fit with my new flat. I love the sound – much better than the ?10?-year old keyboard I previously used.

It’s been the occasion for me to start composing again and to re-record some good “oldies” of mine.

Feel free to discover the new Seasons track, or to re-discover Nuit or Thumos. More re-recordings and recordings of new-ish compositions in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Luck in life

100m2 is the latest figure in my life. It describes the amount of space I have just acquired in exchange for signing a contract saying I’ll be paying a bank for the next 20 years. As of today, therefore, I am in debt. The logic is the following: Peter owns an apartment, and the bank owns Peter.

It marks yet another changing point in my life. Just 15 months ago, I was a student, and from one day to the next, I started working for a law firm. 10 months later, I was signing the first of several documents that would ultimately lead to this day, when I actually own real estate.

I think it’s fair to say that I’ve been extremely lucky in life thus far:

  • I have a job (a few people I know have been looking for one for several months)
  • I really enjoy my job (several people I know don’t enjoy theirs as much or actually dislike it)
  • My job pays well (some I know are paid close to minimum wage)
  • I was able to buy a flat (not all those with only one year of work behind them get bank funding)
  • I think said flat suits me, and I see real potential in it [i.e. for when I’ll actually have furniture in it]

My great-uncle often says that it’s all about being the right person in the right place and at the right time, but I’ve never been sure I’m the right person. What I do know is that I’ve been extremely fortunate, and have my family to thank for that in great part.

Of course, there’s always the risk that the wind might change direction. If my luck turns for the worse, I could be left with a massive debt that would force me to sell the flat. The problem with that kind of thinking is that it would make me gloomy and fearful of tomorrow.

Instead, therefore, I’ll keep on believing that, while possibly premature and potentially very brash, my move to buy was the right one. After all, it gives you a boost in self-confidence, and having the right dosage of that allows you to do pretty much anything.

New composition: Ouest

Having been busy with work and the like, I haven’t been updating this website much. I have, however, been playing the piano a bit, and finally one of my many pending compositions has reached a stage that I consider “ready”.
This one is Ouest, a piano theme tune that has a steady pace to it.

Timekeeping with one click

At work, we (currently) use a piece of software that is very complex. The problem is that it isn’t easy to switch from one item to the next, which is a problem if you have to work on ten different things per hour. Although I don’t encounter such an acute problem every day, it has happened, and I found our tools to be somewhat lacking.

Consequently, I figured I might as well deal with it. When you know a bit of code, it isn’t too hard to patch together a PHP file to deal with this kind of a problem.

I therefore present… the Timekeeper!
The idea is simple: one giant button per timer. Click on “start” to, well, start, and “pause/continue” afterwards depending on what you require. If something new comes up, just hit “New timer”, and the previously running timer will automatically pause while a new one starts.

[There’s plenty of good software for this (I know OfficeTime and Billings are very good at that), but my needs were such that I wanted a web app that I could use, without having to go through the hassle of installing paid-for software on my computer at work.]

For those who want to take a look at the code behind it, you may download the PHP file (all zipped up). I’m sure it can be improved.
And yes, it’s released under a BY-NC-SA Creative Commons licence.

New song: Thumos

Well, it was about time I added something to this website – I’ve been so busy at work that my free time has been limited to making a website that is work-related (I will unveil it to the world if I get permission from Loyens & Loeff – although it’s clearly my creation, it would go against the code of conduct to publish it without obtaining permission) and to weekends.

I have been working on what was meant to be a concerto-like orchestral piece, with a piano melody as centrepiece, but the music evolved away from the orchestral setting.

I therefore present to you Thumos, the latest creation of the Peter Craddock music factory.

In other news, I have finally taken the opportunity to put all of my music in Creative Commons. The current licence is “Creative Commons by-nc-nd“, which means that you are free to download/distribute/copy the music, subject to the following conditions (to quote the CC website):

Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
No Derivative Works — You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

Therefore, download away.

Enter the professional life

Yesterday (Friday 1 October) marked the dawn of a new era in my life, namely the start of my work life. As a lawyer, I fear that my free time may be dramatically reduced, which means less time to devote to music composing, Arpia in all its facets, web design and other things.

I shall be working as a lawyer in the Brussels office of Loyens & Loeff, a Dutch firm, and in their “Commercial/Intellectual Property/Information Technology” department to be more precise.

After my first full week (i.e. the one that starts on Monday 4 October, with my taking of the lawyer’s oath at the Brussels Court of Appeal), I shall post my thoughts on this new environment. Until then, know that my first day with Loyens is best summarised by three words: fascinating, intense and exhausting (all in a very positive way).