Lots of knowledge share at #Indiewebcamp

September 9th, 2012

A lot of sharing on posting content to personal sites, this afternoon. So far,  as personal demos from indie web creators expand our minds, I have setup a pubsubhubub (try saying that when you’ve had a few) tag on this blog, hopefully this will allow ‘people’ to get updates from posted content in timely fashion.

As I’m also using googles pubsub server, i’m hoping this goes down well in SEO and search engine visibility.

I am in awe of the brain-share in this room.

Thank you Brighton!


The Lodger – Hitchcock Restoration & Score by Nitin Sawnhey

July 25th, 2012


The BFI have been involved in a campaign over the last couple of years to ‘Save the Hitchcock 9′. These 9 early films shot by renowned director, Alfred Hitchcock in the 1920’s are in great need of restoration and thus a funding campaign was set into motion, involving a big donation made by Martin Scorsese’s charity, The Film Foundation.

There is no doubt that the genius of Hitchcock in the world of cinema is ingrained within our lives and culture, References and homages will continue, as the years progress. The BFI are celebrating his genius with a season of every one of his films through to October 2012.

What makes this project very interesting is giving an audience to his first foray into a genre that would define much of our understanding of him. Being a member of the British Film Institute, which I would highly recommend, gave me early access to purchase tickets to see ‘The Lodger’, Hitchcock’s first thriller, a silent film that follows a series of ‘Jack The Ripper’ style murders around London town by a character known as ‘The Avenger’, based on a book that purported Jack The Ripper to have lodged in a local guest house. Released in 1927, this movie showed the thinking behind many of Hitchcock trademark approaches to theatrical filming and his unique approach to storytelling through the lens.

Nitin Sawhney & Band + London Symphony Orchestra

Colouring and toning effects were employed directly to the negatives, giving the movie added depth and colour cues. We were given an introduction to the project and a quick extra glimpse into the restoration process with before and after shots. Although this movie was remastered fairly recently, current digital technology has allowed a much clearer and precise restoration.

The Lodger also gave us Hitchcock’s first cameo appearance.


Part of the restoration process involved commissioning a new score, and musician Nitin Sawhney was tasked with delivering his interpretation . The audience in the Barbican and those in cinema theatres around Britain were the first to experience the fully restored movie with a score performed LIVE by Nitin Sawhney’s Band and the London Symphony Orchestra. The acoustics and performance worked wonderfully I initially found it hard to just watch the movie, but after the first couple of minutes immanaged to focus my eyes away from the musicians and just let them do their thing. It was impressive the way the lighting for the orchestra synced with the negative colouting/toning used between the scenes, as the screen hues changed, so did the illumination around the orchestra, it allowed for an immersive experience and the ears to follow the sound and the eyes to stay on the screen.

Nitin Sawhney in Q+A after 'The Lodger'So on the whole I was impressed by the score. Beautiful strings, voices and motifs used to create narratives that weaved between the suspense, comedy and love story. It worked suprisingly well, given the nature of the original novel by Marie Belloc. Great use of drums and percussion throughout, mixed and performed extremely well.

I couldn’t help but notice traces of Nitin’s work from previous albums creeping into the soundscape, subtle string phrases reminiscent of Nitin’s earlier album Prophesy sprang to mind. It was diverse and fitting with a lashings of Psycho and North By Northwest, add in some period atmosphere and a bit of Metropolis. I heard some much Hitchcock in it, yet it had such a distinctive sound that was very much Nitin Sawney. The score sounded full and timed perfectly, my congratulations go out to the Nitin, the band and the LSO.

Experiences like these are what make the world of cinema so special. I fully intend to try and catch future movies with LIVE accompaniment. It is just that one of my pet peeves about the cinema industry centres around poor projection or care in the sound department, something that is changing with digital cinema. When its being played LIVE for you, its a totally different experience. The Barbican has great acoustics, so it is well worth catching performances there if you can.

Nitin Sawhney Signing

You will be able to see The Lodger with the new score at the BFI from Aug 10th – there will also be a conversation with Nitin Sawhney that evening.

Further information:

Nitin Sawhney on twitter @thenitinsawhney

Nicki Wells on twitter @nickiwellsmusic

British Film Institute

The Barbican

London Titanium Meetup – July 2012

July 23rd, 2012

In Just over a week we will have another Titanium London meetup, we have some exciting talks and demos for you. I hope you can make it.

Titanium Mobile Tip 1

July 21st, 2012

Android Development Tip – for Titanium Mobile Developers.

This is, what I guess will be, the first of many byte-sized tips, tricks, hints, whatever you want to call it, that can help speed up and optimise Titanium Mobile development. I will most likely post these up as and when I come across them, in the hope they will be of use.

When working with the android emulator and a device, you may be testing on both simultaneously. If, like me, you jump between command line and Titanium Studio you may find it easy to build for emulator via the command line or create builds with unit tests in mind (eg. jasmine-titanium / jasmine-node).

In this case you can easily install the apk to your device using the command:

adb -d install -r /path/to/app.apk

Quite often, Studio will not be able to do this as it sees more than one device. the “-d” flag will look for an attached device connected via USB.

Titanium Mini Browser [update]

May 30th, 2012

A while back I forked Rafael Kellermann Streit’s mini browser code via github, and started providing android support to this nice little piece of code. It wasn’t as mature as I needed it, so I began to add my required functionality to it, such as local HTML files, custom controls and expanding the existing features a little. This really is the beauty of github.

So if you ever use a mobile webview for the purpose of presenting remote or local html documents and want a nice CommonJS module to do that, please take a look at the fork.

I have submitted a pull request to Rafael, so lets see if he wants to incorporate this into his branch. I will however be supporting and expanding on this code for some time to come. If you have any requests or comments leave them here or on my github page.

New Prometheus Trailer

March 18th, 2012

The new Ridley Scott movie set in the Alien universe, Prometheus, has a new trailer It looks stunning.

I will have to watch ALIEN again, not just to get back into the universe, but also as a mark of respect for the late Jean Giraud aka Moebius whose comic and film design work changed all of our lives.

Raspberry Pi

February 29th, 2012

I got up early to try and get my hands on one of the first Raspberry Pi’s to be released, a developer release if you will.

Not the fruit and pastry kind of Pie. The Raspberry Pi is a small cost-effective computer the size of a hand. It contains HDMI, RCA out, USB, audio, Ethernet & an SD card slot. Runs linux and can be used to learn / hack and do interesting projects on low power consumption. Lots of interesting possibilites. See a BBC Video on the Raspberry Pi

A brief glimpse at what might be, as site partially loads

A brief glimpse at what might be, as site partially loads

An announcement was posted to mark the 29th Feb 2012 6am, everyone expected pre-ordering of the first batch of Pis. Electronics companies RS & Farnell were announced as distributing and building the units for sale worldwide. Needless to say, both sites crashed within a minute. And continuous news coverage on the Raspberry Pi is hammering both sites.

(Raspberry Pi Minecraft logo above from http://b3njee567.com/raspberry-pi-minecraft-logo/)

Farnell, 3hrs later, are still struggling to keep their site up. Sporadically loading, but they seem to be the only site actually taking orders.

Its absolutely great for the Raspberry Pi that demand is high, I know there will be a lot of frustration over the badly managed distributors websites, however a very good sign for the project. A positive step forward in affordable computing and hopefully a great tool for learning, hacking and innovation.

@Raspberry_Pi on Twitter keeping the world informed

@Raspberry_Pi on Twitter keeping the world informed

 RS sites boinged around too, and went offline

RS sites boinged around too, and went offline

I managed to get through to the sales team on the phone for RS, after nearly 40 mins on the phone, but they were only registering interest. The RS techs soon cottoned on actually and redirected traffic from their search so all terms for Raspberry Pi to redirect to a static HTML page to register your interest in it. Good move. However you are now waiting for a call back or email….

I have managed to get the Pi in a cart on Farnell, 3hr 15m later I have managed to check out, but as of yet there has not been a confirmation email!

Final Order - checked out with Pi

Final Order - checked out with Pi

Demand is Hi for the Pi!

Kapow! Comic Con 2011

November 21st, 2011

I’ve never been to a Comic Con before, i’ve seen youtube clips and heard the buzz about them, but this year was the first time i’ve ever attended one. All thanks to Kapow! 9th -10th April 2011 . Set in the heart of North London – I bought my ticket months in advance and was treated to a wealth of costumes, independent artists, signings and a great atmosphere.

I only managed to attend one panel, and although it was a wonderful experience, I was let down by the endless queuing and regular disappointment of not getting in to an event. Regardless of spending huge amounts of time in the queue. Twitter kept me amused and there were lots of new friends made.

I will definitely be going next year.

I went armed with my Fuji W3 – 3D camera and have uploaded a large amount of pics to flickr already.

Having already started the upload process of the images to flickr on the Saturday night of this 2 day Con, I noticed a HUGE amount of interest in it from the states, hence, my flickr view stats spiked from the usual 100’s/day into a 6k+/day over the period of the conference! Which is mind-blowing!

Following the twitter hashtags and streams for the event is a mist for me and on the morning of sthe second day I offered @johnfreeman_dtb to use my pics from flickr in his blog post:


Here were the main highlights of the con for me:

Indie Releases

Independent Comic book artists with innovative use of music and  Eternal Descent Volume 1

Eternal Descent Booth at Kapow! Marshall and EMG Guitars

Eternal Descent Booth at Kapow! Marshall Amps and ESP Guitars


Artist Destiny Blue was offering Chibi sketches, and I loved the idea of having a little crazy character of myself sketched, I asked her if she would mind doing a larger version and one in colour, so she went ahead and took some pictures of me as a reference and promised to post it on later once completed. I am in love with the result :)

Chibi sketch of Ket by Destiny Blue

Chibi sketch of Ket by Destiny Blue


I queued for hours to get my copy of Batman: The Killing Joke (Deluxe Edition) signed by artist Brian Bolland, but it was worth it. This was my main mission attending the con, i didn’t bring any other titles with me, as I was a noob and I really didn’t want to cart too much down to London with me, something I intend to remedy next time, I wish I had chosen some choice titles in my collection now.

Brian Bolland Signing my copy of Batman The Killing Joke

Brian Bolland Signing my copy of Batman The Killing Joke

Kid getting his book signing

Kid getting his book signing


Of course there were an insane number of cosplayers out in force and made the day much more interesting: This next image was shot on my 3D camera and processed to be seen with Red/Cyan glasses.

Black Cat + Wormwood

Black Cat + Wormwood

Joker and Harley Quinn

Joker and Harley Quinn

Thoroughly enjoyable day out, except for one american artist who acted like a egomaniacal jerk when I said hello and complemented him on his artwork. Hey just a tiny drop in the ocean compared to all the awesome, cool and fun people I met that day. Roll on next year.