Stop-Motion Shaving

By Daniel Jolly

I recently played a role in a production by a local theatre group. ¬†The play we performed was a medieval farce called¬†“In My Lady’s Chamber” by Giles Scott. My character, the Squire, err… gets into a little bit mischief at the start of the play that drives the story to it’s humorous conclusion. If you enjoy reading scripts, I recommend checking it out. It has some very funny moments and the odd lame joke for good measure. Anyway, to fit the medieval part I decided to let my hair grow out a bit and stopped shaving once rehearsals started.

Now the play is all over I had to give it the chop, but I spent the afternoon hopefully making all the growth (and trimming) all worthwhile. Presenting Shave 2!

Now, it is called Shave 2 because technically it is a sequel to my first video. I don’t really have a good reason for making the first one, besides being cool, I just grew it and got bored one Sunday!

Windows 8: No Start Menu button – It makes sense

By Daniel Jolly

I made a quick video explaining why Windows 8 doesn’t have a Start Menu button, as that seems to be biggest complaint I’ve heard about it (other than Metro). I whipped this up pretty quickly, but I had fun doing it, so expect more soon.

Batch File Tips and Tricks – Getting Substrings

By Daniel Jolly

This is an article I wrote a long time ago. It was the most popular on my old website, so I thought I had better move it across to here just in case people still needed it.

I learnt this trick on a project where I needed to trim some text off the end of a variable in a Windows batch file. Most solutions I found involved a third party program using the string as an argument or piping the string into a text file. I found this; One of the simplest and most useful “unknown” batch file tricks that I think I’ve used in every batch file since.

How to get a substring of a variable in a Windows batch file.

To express a variable in a batch file you start and end the variable with % signs.


To trim a variable, you add :~p,n to the end of the name part of the variable.


where p is the starting position and n is the character length of the variable section you would like to store. If you use a negative for p, the position will count from the right side of the variable.

To get the current year:

%date% = Thu 30/03/2023
%date:~10,4% = 2023

It could also be formatted like this:
%date:~-4,4% = 2023

To get the last 3 characters of the computers name:
%computername% = SALES001
%computername:~-3,3% = 001