Spooly – the Long Kickstarter Wait

I’ve written about Kickstarter on numerous occasions highlighting both the successes and the failures for me on the crowdfunding platform. Today I wanted to talk about the successful failure that is Spooly.

On June 9th 2016 the self-styled “World’s First Magnetic Charging Cables” was fully funded securing £70,000 more than the project goal. What had attracted me to the Spooly was the size, little more than the connector and a short cable, and that it would stay neatly together using a magnetic cable.

The Long, Long Wait

I handed over my money and waited. And waited. And waited. In … Read the rest

How to run code before every controller in CodeIgniter

I have been working on my side project PostRecycler recently which I have re-written to use the CodeIgniter framework. I came across an interesting challenge where I needed to run some code before every other controller.

What I wanted was to prevent a user from moving away from the dashboard page if their account had expired but what I didn’t want to do was to have to remember to put that into every controller. I guess I could have done it as a helper function but that still would have meant putting a call to it in every controller. MY_Controller … Read the rest

Will Chromium give Microsoft the Edge?

Having dominated the browser world and making developers lives a misery with Internet Explorer Microsoft are now adapting to a new world order by adopting a competitors browser.

IE, A Short History

There was a time when Internet Explorer (from now on referred to as IE) ruled the world when it came to browsing the web. Then along came Chrome (and to a lesser extent Firefox) and there was a mass exodus from IE. IE now only accounts for just over 6% of traffic while Chrome has 47%.

With Windows 10 Microsoft introduced Edge as it’s browser going forward but … Read the rest

KeySmart the Tile Enabled Key Organiser

Over the years I have blown hot and cold in my views on Tile, the bluetooth dongle that you attached to bag, keys and other items to keep track of them.

Tile, a History

I was early in and was frustrated by the slow time for order to delivery – over a year at the time of writing this post in 2014.

The fundamental flaw of the original Tile was that the battery was baked in and so when that died you were left with a useless piece of plastic. Tile did offer a replacement facility but the … Read the rest

Brydge iPad Pro Keyboard

Little by little, year by year Apple are slowly turning the iPad into a pretty decent workhorse. And with the ability in iOS 13 to pair it with a mouse even more so. With this in mind I have been looking for a keyboard that would give a more laptop type feel to the iPad.

I already have the Apple keyboard case and that works well but the keys aren’t great for long typing sessions. I also tried using a full sized Apple Magic Keyboard and that was lovely for typing but didn’t have the portability that I was looking … Read the rest

Connecting to Public WiFi with Custom DNS Settings on MacOS

Where’s my free Wifi?

For months I have been having an issue with connecting my MacBook to public WiFi hotspots and nothing would coax it into life. It would be showing as connected but wouldn’t connect to any internet pages.

This was highly frustrating as it meant that I couldn’t do any work on public hotspots (I appreciate that there are a couple of positives of that scenario in that I couldn’t do any work and I was probably more secure).

In an effort to fix this I tried all of the following at one time or another:

  • Cleared the
Read the rest

How to store UNICODE in a non-UNICODE database

For a side project I am working on (Glad you asked! PostRecycler which makes the most of your social posts) I needed to all entry of unicode characters for just one field.

This left me in a bit of a quandary as I really didn’t want to have to convert the whole of my database to UTF-8 just so I could have this one column accept unicode characters.

Then I remembered something I had discovered in our companies web app which accepted unicode characters but I knew the database wasn’t unicode enabled. However, I knew that this column was encrypted … Read the rest

Laptop Stickers

What is it with developers and laptop stickers? It seems that in every coffee shop there will be individuals scattered around hunched over their (usually) Apple Macs and the lid will be covered in stickers. And you know what? I’m exactly the same!

The laptop above is my old trusty Macbook Air along with its accompanying stickers. In fact since that picture was taken it has gained even more. It has stickers covering all my areas of interest:

  • development (including the “Cutting and pasting from Stack Overflow” classic)
  • music (from Real World records)
  • Evernote
  • Star Wars (from here)

Many … Read the rest

Setting the Codeigniter Environment for both CLI and Browser

I’ve recently been getting to grips with the Codeigniter framework after years of using a home-grown monstrosity. I was becoming more and more concerned about the level of security in my own framework and decided I would be better off with something that’s maintained.

I researched the many PHP frameworks to find one that was going to work for me. I toyed with the idea of using Symfony, which is what our products are based on, but the time to get up-to-speed with it was greater than I wanted to invest. I therefore settled on Codeigniter which looked easier … Read the rest

Mouse support in iPadOS/iOS13 Public Beta 3

The latest beta version of iOS13/iPadOS was released yesterday evening and I gave it a quick test this morning to see how the mouse support was coming along.

I know form comments made elsewhere that mouse support is not for everyone and some don’t understand why it is even necessary. For me it is a useful tool for when working away from my desk as I find it speeds up my work and make it a more pleasant experience. I still don’t think I could ever use the iPad as a permanent desktop replacement but it is a lot more … Read the rest