Andy Heathershaw

Welcome to the personal website and blog of software developer and aspiring writer – Andy Heathershaw.

I’m a commercial Microsoft .NET developer and open-source PHP developer based in Tamworth, England. I live with my husband, James, and I’m daddy to a one-year-old Labrador called Mickey.

Check out About Andy Heathershaw to read more about me, or browse my blog posts below.

Server maintenance - 1st/2nd November

My hosting company, Memset Ltd., have advised me they will be performing important maintenance work on their Miniserver platform.

This maintenance is to apply critical security patches to the Linux kernel of the physical servers that host the virtual servers like mine - that power this website.

It is taking place between 22:00 GMT on 1st November and 04:00 GMT on 2nd November.

Read more Miscellaneous

Walt Disney World to close for Matthew's arrival

The Walt Disney World resort announced on Twitter earlier today that it will be closing all theme parks, water parks, golf courses, Disney Springs and the ESPN sports complex for hurricane Matthew's arrival.

The closure comes as President Obama declared a state of emergency in 28 Florida counties, coastal counties were ordered to evacuate and residents in other counties were advised to be off the streets by 6pm this evening.

Read more Reflections

Sky become the first UK ISP to enable IPv6

Sky - who provide broadband and digital TV services to UK residents and businesses - have recently enabled IPv6 to their consumer broadband customers. I believe they are the first UK ISP to do so, and I hope others follow very soon.

IPv6 is a replacement addressing scheme for all computers connected to the Internet. The current scheme - IPv4, which uses dotted numerals like, is fast running out of available addresses.

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OneDrive storage is no longer unlimited

… after some people upload too much.

“Today, storage limits just became a thing of the past with Office 365.”
Julia White, general manager of Office 365 Technical Product Management. 27th October, 2014

Fast forward to November 2015 and storage limits have just become present again. A little over a year after Microsoft announced that Office 365 subscribers would get unlimited storage on OneDrive – Microsoft’s cloud storage solution – the offer has been revoked and downgraded.

Read more Software Development

MariaDB 10.1 is Generally Available

The open-source database fork of MySQL, started by MySQL’s original developer – MariaDB – have certified their latest release of the 10.1 series (10.1.8) as Generally Available – i.e. suitable for production use.

MariaDB 10.1 is a drop-in, binary replacement for MySQL for those that want a quicker development cycle and don’t want to have their hands tied by Oracle, who know own the MySQL project.


I’ve already upgraded my server to this release, and if any of the below sound good to you – so should you.

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A weekend afternoon in Autumn

It’s getting cold outside, the trees and foliage are turning a different shade of brown or yellow with each passing day and the dark nights are drawing in – Autumn is most definitely here.

What better way to spend a chilly weekend afternoon than exploring the local area with my four-legged buddy, followed by an evening in front of the fire? Last weekend I took Mickey to the local nature reserve to visit the ducks and explore the multitude of colours nature has blessed us with.

Enjoy a few photos of my little monkey.

Read more Reflections

Microsoft launch Windows 10 developer qualification

Microsoft Learning today announced a new Windows 10 developer qualification aimed at software developers who want to target the recently-released Windows 10 universal platform.

The qualification is an MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) entitled “MCSD: Universal Windows Platform” and is earned by passing 3 exams.

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Migrate an SVN repository to TFS

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server (TFS.) It is a complete tool for managing an application throughout its lifecycle. However I was bought up (and learnt most of my programming skills) on open-source software. It’s important to me that I don’t forget my roots!

While TFS is a fantastic tool for commercial application lifecycle management, SVN (Subversion) also has its place in corporates. It’s free and has lower training overhead: perfect for companies that don’t need anything other than source control (or use other tools.)

Over the last few years, a new kid has burst onto the scene: Git. The popularity of Git has exploded thanks to hosting services such as Github and Bitbucket and its wide adoption in IDEs. It is fast becoming the defacto standard for source control. It supports remote/offline working, better collaboration (pull requests, flexible branching) and is cross-platform.

In this article I’m going to teach you how to migrate an SVN repository (including all its history) into TFS using a Git repository.

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Linode: Why I chose them to host my website and applications

Software developers sometimes have to get involved in choosing an infrastructure partner or web hosting provider, especially if that developer runs their own application or websites, or they work in a small company that can’t afford (or don’t want) to employ separate infrastructure engineers.

In my current role as a technical consultant, I can be called upon by a client to recommend a hosting environment, so it’s important I know what’s available on the market, and who to trust.

This is all very daunting, particularly if you’ve never had to experience it before.

This post explains why I chose Linode to host my new website (this one) and other web applications I use in my day-to-day work – and why I’d fully recommend them to anyone who needs a virtual server (VPS.)

Read more Software Development

Overcoming anxiety

I struggle with anxiety of varying degrees. Sometimes it just stops me having a good time with new people because I’m worried about what they make of me, other times it takes hold over weeks or months, ever-present at the back of my mind.

This weekend was one of the latter. For over a year, the burglar alarm at our new house hasn’t worked. We tried everything. The only solution was to rip it out and replace it.

Read more Health & Wellbeing