All posts by Alexey Kasaev

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad screen

Was fun at first… But too much violence I guess. Definitely not for me.
It was alright when they first started cooking, was even better when Jesse was off drugs. Was kinda nice when they started working with Gus, with all this new equipment, great lab, pile of money.

Was again very interesting when Hank started to look into that again.

But rather hard to watch after Todd killed a kid on a dirtbike, sad when they shot Hank once, even more sad when they killed Hank.

And too much drama, especially everything that had to do with Holly being kidnapped, being driven away by her mother. Just too much for a little baby to take. (This is probably father talking inside me)

Weeds is much more fun.

What About Encrypted Emails?

Long long long (very long) time ago, when I wasn’t even a student (I think, I was 14), when I was using Windows (I think it was Windows 98, not even Windows 2000) I was experimenting with all sorts of stupid stuff.

I remember having email provided by ISP, with a ridiculous 5 MB mailbox size, which was alright back then I guess, cause I was using 56k dialup. Even though I received one email a week, I had The Bat! installed on my PC to work with my email. Back then all web email interfaces were rubbish, even by those standards. But The Bat! allowed me to experiment with email encryption. I think there was a plugin (or even built in capability) of encrypting your outgoing emails and decrypting emails that you receive.

I can’t remember, to be honest, how this all worked, but I think you had to generate two keys, send one of the keys to the person you were communicating with, so that he could assign your key to your email address and encrypt all outgoing emails, so that only you could decrypt those with the second key that you had. It was a pain in the ass, cause I don’t think you could view them after you sent them, so no email history whatsoever.

I might’ve just explained how encryption and decryption works, I might’ve actually explained it wrong (note to myself: Google how this stuff works so that you don’t embarrass yourself next time), but that’s not the point.

I was just wondering, if anybody still uses encrypted emails these days, bearing in mind that governments are spying on us? I know, I can just google that now, but it’s easier to ask (or should I say “send a message out there”, cause I don’t believe anybody is reading my blog). The only reason I am blogging actually is cause I can’t sleep for done reason. Anyway, what about encrypted websites, blogs, forums, messages? Does anybody encrypts anything? Are there some apps out there that do that kind of stuff?

Twitter Bootstrap for Sass

OK, this is really great news. Twitter Bootstrap is available for Sass. I always found it a bit sad that they stuck with LESS, though I don’t have anything against LESS in particular and the only reason I prefer Sass is because I started learning it on CodeSchool.

So, I was really looking forward to that moment and I even wanted to convert it to Sass myself (dreamed really, I am not good in Sass yet).

Now they’ve converted it to Sass. But how do I use it?

What I didn’t like in Bootstrap.css and in the way I had to build a website around it, was the fact that I had specify default classes to make a grid column or an alert. Now I think I don’t have to, but I really need to try that.

Let’s say I want to make a navigation like navbar.

nav[role="navigation"] > .nav > ul {
	@extend .nav-pills;
	@extend .nav-justified;

Something like that?

Things to do list

I don’t like term Bucket list, y probably can guess why. Term wishlist doesn’t really fit too. So I would like to write about some things I would love to do in the near future, let’s say next 10 years.

Firstly, I want to see Depeche Mode live. I always wanted to, but I remembered that now because I am watching their Tour of the Universe in Barcelona and it’s touching and inspiring. Knowing that there will be shows in Moscow and Saint-Petersburg next year, I desperately want to be there. Especially because I like their 13th album Delta Machine.

Secondly. I want to go to Formula 1 Gran Prix. Monaco preferrably, but I would say that any Gran Prix will do. I guess I’ll will write a separate post on my favourite tracks, but for now any will do. Would be even better to have a ticket with pitlane and paddock access.

Thirdly. That’s probably the first one I am going to actually achieve. I want to have a supercar day. I would even say, next time I am in Britain, I will have a supercar day. I’ve seen tons of Groupon deals when you can take a supercar for 5 laps for 100 quid or so. Ferrari would be my choice if I have one.

Fourthly. I want to drive an F1 car. I once saw on TV that there is some sort of school in France that lets you drive an F1 car after you’ve done 2-days of training. Back then — it was about 10 years ago — it cost couple thousand euros.

Don’t want to count anymore…

— I want to shoot timelapse video while driving from St. Petersburg to Kazan, multiple angles of course. So I need couple GoPro HERO cameras to mount outside and couple of iPhones that will work like interval camera from inside of the car. I would obviously need to go to Saint Petersburg with my friend Dmitry.

— I want to drive through United States. I will have a route with POIs shortly. But that will be a months journey at least.

— I want to drive up the very very high mountain. 17,200 ft in Andes as Top Gear did is just perfect.

— Well, speaking of Top Gear, I am a big fan of the show. I want to get in, even if I need to fly to UK for that.

— I want to spend a night in some scyscraper hotel. I am thinking 80th floor or higher.

Sounds achievable I would say.

Coffee Town

Coffee Town — movie I watched yesterday — isn’t particularly interesting or funny, but it was a rather pleasant one to watch. What’s even better it reminded me of the times me and Dmitry used to work from a coffee shop.

We worked from there on some client’s websites. One of the websites we made back then is, which is rather badly maintained at the moment, so you won’t be able to see it’s potential.

Another one is an update to a rather complicated and powerful eComms for Kazan’s large office supply retailer

Those websites don’t look like much but they pushed us towards developing our own eComm and CMS with a working title FullCart — a CMS/eComm that will be intuitive and easy to use.

At the moment I am re-designing back-end interface and Dmitry is working to make it modular. We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we find it inspiring to develop something that we can share with other people passionate about web.

Top Gear

I recently started to watch TopGear again. Right from the beginning, series 1. I think it’s the best car program in the world. The format, the presenters, the music, the video—no one can do better. Somehow they manage to make the show exciting.

Series 1:

  • Jeremy goes to Calle in Citroen Belingo
  • Richard shows concept of Ford GT40
  • Jeremy Drives Pagani Zonda (CI2 SRH) agaings Lamborghini Murcielago (YI)
  • Richard tests what speed you need to be doing to avoid speed cameras:
    Honda Civic Type R 129mph — not enough
    Mercedes CL AMG 148mph — not enough
    TVR Tuscan S (S6 TVR) over 170 mph
  • Jeremy starts Volvo 740 diesel that runs on vegetable oil
  • Richard drives Mazda 6 (GL02 NBG) sport saloon


  • Mentioned Bentley Continental GT

Power Laps

  • Lamborghini Murcielago: 1:29
  • Pagani Zonda: 1:23

Star in a reasonably priced car

In Series 1 they drive Suzuki Liana as a reasonably priced car. It costs just 9995 pounds.


I recently found out that I was registered on for quite a while now, but it was Dmitry, my close friend and colleague who showed me that website again.

It probably was one of those website with deals that was selling an online course on codeschool with a big discount. Seems like I didn’t buy the course, but registered on the website instead registered to see what’s what. Since that I always wondered who is Dan @ codeschool and what’s he doing in my inbox.

One working evening I saw Dmitry watching a jQuery video and trying some code on a website. This is when I discovered codeschool again.

I took the course jQuery for beginners, which is amazing by the way. And realized that this is what I was always missing. I loved that you can be easily introduced to any programming language and that you can start building something simple from the very first lesson.

I sort of knew and used jQuery before, but that was really a monkey job. I used online documentation, trying to find some functions that will do what I need them to do, which is mainly to make some stuff appear or disappear. After the course I got my head around events, saw how much simple and cleaner my code could be. And these basics made me want to dig deeper, to try and do some more complicated stuff.

This is what online programming or developer courses are all about. When you try to learn a new programming language, especially your first one, the most difficult thing is to start. Most of the books start with variable types and operators, with Hello world! application. This is a bit boring and doesn’t give me a feeling of what I can do.

I need help in setting up the environment. I need someone to show me how I can program stuff, where can I test it.

I wish we had codeschool 15 years ago when I tried to get my head around HTML. It would’ve been much easier if someone has explained me the basics. But instead I was copying HTML code from the websites I liked, was playing with it to see what happens. But it was a while after I understood what this was all about. And this was a book that helped me to dig deeper into the stuff I was beginning to understand.

I realise that this post isn’t very informative, but I just want to encourage everyone who’s thinking about getting some programming skills to give codeschool (or any other online courses for developers) a try. Once you start that way, it’s much easier to continue.

Next thing I would like is to take some similar PHP courses, cause I really want to know the basics to be able to edit and adjust some PHP templates slightly and to see if I want to go any further.

Discographies in iTunes Store

Recently, when iTunes Music Store came to Russia, I began to use it for purchasing music. Pretty much everything Apple does is excellent and user-friendly. And iTunes Store is not an exception. Searching music is easy, discovering new music is easy, buying music is also easy… But in small quantities. Thing I really miss is discographies.

I am a big fan of Depeche Mode. I have some of their albums ripped from CDs, I have their recent album Delta Machine purchased from iTunes Store. But being big fan is about having everything. I want to buy every album they officially released, I want to buy every single. I don’t need tributes, I don’t need unofficial remixes, I don’t need their songs from soundtracks, I don’t need mash-ups. All this I can buy if I want to. But I really need a shortcut to buy a discography.

I think it’s not just me who thinks there should be such a feature in iTunes Store. You can buy a complete album (not song by song). It is even cheaper to buy it that way. What’s wrong with discographies?

Depeche Mode in iTunes Store
Depeche Mode in iTunes Store
Depeche Mode Albums in iTunes Store
Depeche Mode Albums and Singles in iTunes Store. You can buy all of them if you want to. Takes a lot of time though…

Please, Apple, please…