Archive for the ‘Computing’ Category

Lots of knowledge share at #Indiewebcamp

Sunday, 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!


London Titanium Meetup – July 2012

Monday, 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

Saturday, 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]

Wednesday, 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.

Raspberry Pi

Wednesday, 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

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!

Codestrong 2011 Session

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

I recently spoke at Appcelerator’s first Developer Conference Codestrong Here are the slides from my session.

Open Source

My Twitter related Github projects are here:

oAuth Adapter
oAuth test app


All images used in the presentation were from my flickr account:
spiritquest on Flickr however the specific images are linked within the embedded presentation and can be viewed directly.

Hopefully there will be a video up of the presentation soon.

Application Tools

Navicat for SQLite
Omni Graffle

App Development



Surrey Police App


Meetup groups

Cue Moo QR

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

I’m down to my last 4 moo cards, shock, horror. and as i’m about to head out to the states in a months time, so I should restock. flickr account is being scanned and QR ideas are churning around my oval brainbox.

My last set of moo cards (full size) featured what was known as a MECARD, very popular in Japan. Which could be deemed as a verbose, VCARD. The storage of contact details that would scan directly into your device without the need of manual input has its advantages. Not to say the least human error, time saving benefits and an instant cool factor.

The code is much denser than QR’s that simply point the user to a URL and take them to a mobile site or special content. There is nothing wrong with that. But the idea that the data required is literally embedded within the pixels on the card, to me, expresses the benefits of this kind of technology. Odds are you have a smart or feature phone with an application that can read QRs to begin with, this most likely means that most if not all of the protocols that can be embedded into a QR can work directly on the device. Why go out to the net create a connection, the download data – this eats up data plans, if you’re roaming, this could be expensive.

So I wanted to see if there were improvements to scanners and what I could do to push the envelop with QR’s and cook up some ideas for the future.

The start if this research lead me to NTTDomoco’s page pioneering the MECARD format. I have options to create the barcode using a few API’s on the web, most popular of which is Google Charts – but further exploration unearthed this great resource:

SPARQCode is a system that utilises the QR Code binary format for encoding by Denso-Wave in ISO/IEC 18004 – they are more interested in what happens after the scanning.

The SPARQCode encoding standard is intended for setting a compliance standard such that QR Code scanning software can agree on a common format for the interpretation of different data types at the application layer.


The SPARQCode website contains a bunch of resources that any QR wanting party can make great use of:

Although SPARQCode’s offerings tend to take a URL and then minify it with their own URL shortener, then serve that up to the end user, they have some interesting offerings:

QR Generator
Offering the following formats:

  • Phone Number
  • SMS
  • Map
  • URL
  • Contact
  • App Store
  • vCal
  • Raw encoding

Part of their business model seems to be providing a full marketing solution for those wanting to utilise a QR campaign, imagine analytics tracking, with barcode creation and high resolution SVG code output for print campaigns. Their free offerings however include the generator above and an API endpoint to generate QR Codes

This may be an untapped area, but imagine using dynamic driven QR’s on sites or electronic displays, these could be changed updated with offers, new locations, the benefits that digital has over print comes into play here.

However what impresses me is that the output of the QRs from their site provides a legend that accompanies the QR, this icon represents the encoded content and gives the mobile user a clue as to what they are going to get from scanning the code. This I like very much, but the presence of SPARQCode Trademark bothers me somewhat. As I am intending on printing the code onto a moo card, physical print space is precious. The upside is you don’t have to use it, SPARQCode do not require you use their logo on any code you create on their site, this is a good move on their part. And although using their generator doesn’t offer the ability to disable that, if you are accustom to any coding or image editing at all, you can easily find ways around that.

What I love are the icons and the transparency offered to the end user, that and the ability to launch applications from a QR, these I think should be used and I’d love to see campaigns in the wild begin to adopt this technique, I for one will on my next batch of moo’s and the mobile apps i’ve been developing lately.

But these concepts are no good, unless the scanner applications support this initiative. Luckily enough another #win from Sparq is its scanner download page. Its mobile friendly. it will detect your handset and prompt you to download a compatible scanner/reader, which so happens to be the best I’ve used to date! And there are compatible readers for the following platforms:

  • iPhone
  • Android
  • Windows Mobile/Symbian (Nokia)
  • J2ME
  • Blackberry
  • webOS

That’s good support and a great place to point users new to QR.

It would be nice to see some sort of open-source community approach to adopting these standards and the iconography as microformats have attempted to do. I think any QR app developer should take a good look at the existing standards and start adopting the full range of encoding possibilities today, it will lead to greater and more imaginative QR use across the board.

I am going to be dreaming up some new uses and intend to see what I can get out of this new revelation: I’m going to leave you with this practical use. I co-organise the London Titanium Meetup group, and we have an event on in 2 weeks time, so if you find you don’t have the directions or want to quickly get them, the geocoding QR option with all the trimmings from SPARQCode is here:

Rebirth Of A Samsung Syncmaster

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

A few days ago, it looked like my Samsung 245B Syncmaster monitor bit the dust. There seemed to be no power running running into the unit, and my heart sank, as it would mean forking out for a new monitor, and the whole hassle of having to replace expensive equipment, time spent researching all of the myriad of choices available.

Yet in the throws of testing, it turned out that it was only a faulty surge protector unit. By this time I had removed the monitor from my desk, unplugged everything and had tried numerous plugs and power cables. It had then struck me that with this particular model of monitor, there was the ability to rotate the monitor into portrait orientation.

The only problem was that Samsung had disabled this functionality from within the VESA mount, the software was still registering the rotation options… So now was the time to go for it.

Next I had to remove the VESA mount from the display

Next I had to remove the VESA mount from the display

Screw Obstruction

Screw Obstruction bottom-right

Remove the black screw and the rotation mechanism starts working again.

Once the screw has been removed.

Once the screw has been removed.

Job Done

Job Done