Tom Bennet

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New Website: Tom’s Carnivores

March 6, 2017
— for Tom’s Carnivores

In the year since I wrote it, my guide to building a Raspberry Pi-powered terrarium has been read over 15,000 times. I’ve now moved it to a new website: Tom’s Carnivores, at www.carnivorousplants.co.uk. I’ve been fascinated by Venus flytraps and pitcher plants since I was little, and I plan to build this site into a modern resource for today’s growers.

It’s also an exercise in modern web development - I’ve opted for a JAMstack approach, using the static site generator Hugo with npm as my build tool. Code is hosted on GitHub and deployment via continuous integration is handled by my web host Netlify. Look out for my Highcharts-powered data visualisations, which are launching imminently.

Read on Tom’s Carnivores

Getting Started with Content Grouping in Google Analytics

February 2, 2017
— for Builtvisible

This tutorial explores the Content Grouping feature in Google Analytics, running through common use-cases, the various ways it can be implemented, the difference between content grouping and custom dimensions, and solutions to some of the most frequently encountered problems.

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An Interview with Frank Cifaldi

May 18, 2016

During research for my feature on remastered games for Polygon, I was lucky enough to speak with Frank Cifaldi, Head of Restoration at Digital Eclipse. Only a tiny part of our conversation was included in that feature, and so I‘ve presented it here in full for the benefit of those who are interested in the subject. TB: You mentioned to The Verge that video games occupy a unique space among other forms of media in that they are tied to the technology they were originally made for.

Continue reading…

3 Logical Alternatives to Animated GIFs

May 16, 2016
— for Builtvisible

GIFs are one of the oldest image formats on the web, and animated graphics are one of the format’s few remaining strongholds. This article explores three ways in which the modern web can offer us a better solution to animation.

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How to Build a Raspberry Pi Terrarium Controller

April 11, 2016
— for Tom’s Carnivores

Whether you’re growing tropical plants or keeping reptiles as pets, an electronic controller can provide a more stable environment than you could ever hope to achieve using regular timers. By integrating your terrarium into the Internet-of-Things using a Raspberry Pi, it’s possible to create a highly-extensible system which offers automation, data visualisation, alerts, and pretty much anything you or your pets could want.

Read on Tom’s Carnivores

Bridging the Generation Gap: Porting Games to New Platforms

November 30, 2015
— for Polygon

This feature explores remastered and ported video games, and is based on my interviews with developers at Naughty Dog, Bluepoint Games, Nixxes Software, Aspyr Media, and Digital Eclipse. Using The Last of Us Remastered as a case study, the piece explores the unique challenges inherent to the reproduction of interactive experiences.

Read on Polygon

The 3 Fundamental Principles Of Technical SEO

November 25, 2015
— for Smashing Magazine

This comprehensive guide to technical SEO is aimed primarily at web developers, and walks readers through the fundamental principles of organic search optimisation. The article covers crawl accessibility, indexation diagnostics, canonicalisation, multi-regional and multilingual setups, link profile maintenance and more.

Read on Smashing Magazine

Responsive Images for Busy People: Srcset & Sizes

September 30, 2015
— for Builtvisible

This guide provides a practical, hands-on introduction to the responsive image syntax using the new ‘srcset’ and ‘sizes’ CSS attributes.

Read on Builtvisible