Hey there, I'm Chris.

I’m a computing jack of all trades, master of none, but often better than a master of one. My knowledge and skills go properly full stack from hardware to frontend. PostgreSQL, Devops, Java are my strongest areas, but I’m just as comfortable fiddling with Ceph clusters, networking and web frontend.

I often find the problem I’m solving more interesting than the specific technology I’m using, as long as it’s Open Source.

Here you'll find my ramblings on various subjects as well as a number of side project I've got upto.

Recent Projects

About Lowclus

Lowclus is a Raspberry Pi CM4 based hybrid cluster server that I've designed and prototyped. Central to the concept is that a cluster of smaller more power efficient servers can function and perform as well as a traditional solution and be more cost effective.


Cat LED Badge

A little LED cat badge I made which was inspired by an Art Deco fuzed class objet d'art I saw. A simple project which uses a PCB as the main art and has a ATTiny to control the LEDs.


Elephant LED Badge

A little elephant LED badge I created as a homage to PostgreSQL. Following on from the Cat badge that I previously designed, I wanted to create something PostgreSQL related, so based the design around an elephant.


Recent Posts

pgVis - Simple Visualisations For PostgreSQL

Close up photograph of a flower, where the stamens could almost be a bar chart

pgVis is a PostgreSQL extension for building simple visualisation dashboards with SQL. pgVis aims to make it easy to express data visualisations directly from SQL queries. Letting you quickly visualise some data for adhoc reports in psql or to build and share reporting dashboards in your organisation via pgvis-server. Either way, pgVis is designed to be PostgreSQL centric and to fit with your existing database workflows.


PostgreSQL - Not Just Relational

A Swiss Army Knife, which has so many uses

The extensibility of PostgreSQL is one of it's biggest advantages, making it capable of so many wide and varied usecases. Something that I've leveraged a lot on various projects, so much so that you probably don't need another database. Ryan mentions that it was extensions like PostGIS and hstore which brought him to PostgreSQL initially. For me it was TSearch2 (yeh, it was around 2008, it later got merged into core), then taking advantage of PostGIS, PL/Proxy, PGQ, JSONB and more over the years.


A PostgreSQL Backup Journey

Some broken hard drives, showing why you might need backups

I figured for PGSQL Phriday 002, that telling the story from when I looked after an energy insights database would be the most interesting way to talk about PostgreSQL backups. During the course of the project we used three differing backup tools and approaches, mainly driven by the ongoing exponential growth of the system. I also want to cover my biggest learning from that project. Which was something David Steele said at pgconf.eu: Make recovery part of your everyday processes.


Isokon Gallery

A view of the Isokon building from lawn road showing it's streamline modern lines.

The Isokon Gallery is a small visitor centre for the Isokon building in north London. For anyone into modernist architecture it's well worth a visit, staffed by volunteers who are really pationate about the building, they made the experience very memorable.


Langham Dome

A view of the Langham Dome in the background with a pole mounted Spitfire in the foreground.

The Langham Dome is a unique little museum in the site of a former WW2 Anti-Aircraft gun training dome. The dome was state of the art in WW2 with an innovative projection mechanism, showing footage of planes and a mounted gun which projected a crosshair over the footage.


HOT PostgreSQL

An elephant

A design goal of my monitoring system, Bergamot Monitoring, was to ensure that the monitoring state was persisted. As a long time PostgreSQL user, PostgreSQL was the obvious choice and it hasn't been a bad decision. An interesting aspect of monitoring systems is that they are constantly busy. Even a small scale deployment is likely to be executing one check every second. This translates to around two database updates a second.