Geeking about


I am Hamish Downer, a wookie programmer and sys admin, hence foobacca.


I can be found on github (and an older account on launchpad). Open source code I’ve worked on professionally that I’m proud of includes:

  • trademapper (javascript) – built to map the trade in endangered species
  • API (python/django) for a content hub for IDS
  • dye (Deploy Your Environment) (python) – a set of script for deploying Django applications, along with a project cookiecutter. It ended up being slightly too tied to our internal project and server set up to be widely reusable, but there’s some good stuff in there.

More on my own time I’ve been obsessed with mail clients including coding for sup (ruby) and some tools around notmuch including notmuch-abook and afew (both python). I also made a pebble watchface called very fuzzy time (using C) – so my watch will sometimes say it is “two ish” or “getting on for five”.


As well as this blog I used to blog on wordpress and have written a number of blog posts for Aptivate. And in the days before blogs (1998-99) I spent a year travelling across Asia, writing emails as I went.

I’ve also written plenty of technical content on stackoverflow, askubuntu and other stack exchange sites.


I have given a few conference talks including:

I also often take notes at conferences.


In the virtual world I can be found on:

In the real world I can often be found dancing the lindy hop or helping run day retreats in the insight tradition.


Reuse my stuff – all blog posts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.