Mozzarella balls, chopsticks and life’s challenges: lifehack

And now for something completely different…

Ever bought a pack of mozzarella balls, used a few in a recipe and then wondered how to seal the pack until next time? No Tupperware containers or those special squeeze-closed clips handy?

I bet you can find a packet of these in your kitchen drawer somewhere:

Chinese takeaway chopsticks

Chinese takeaway chopsticks!

Don’t break them apart! Just take them out of the packet and slide them over the open top of the mozzarella balls packet and et voilà : one sealed packet:

mozzarella balls sealed fresh for next time

mozzarella balls sealed fresh for next time

Pop them in the fridge (standing!) all ready for that tasty omelette or pizza tomorrow…

Take it from me: they were still fresh 2 days later :-)

(PS: I’m sure this’ll work for other similar packs too – with an elastic band around the chopstick ends if you need to keep them REALLY tight!)


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Polaroid #2: The hotel

If you’ve seen the “Ghost Arm” Polaroid post from the end of last year, you’ll have read that it was a happy accident caused by me triggering the shot instead of setting the self-timer on my Polaroid Spectra camera.

Here’s the one that worked…

ghost in the room

This is a double exposure – the first with just the bed and the second with me in the picture, triggered by self-timer. Had I thought a little more, I would have taken the pictures down from the wall for the first shot… reducing the “floating” effect that they have from being double-exposed… on the whole, however, I’m pleased with how this turned out. The fact that my legs aren’t really visible only adds to the ghostly effect!

Again, apart from resizing from the original scan, no digital manipulation has been carried out on this photo.

Next up: registration for OFFF 2013 and some triple exposure fun!


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Polaroid #1 – the ghost arm

I’m going to start off my Polaroid posts with this one. It’s one of those “little accidents” that often happen when you set off to do something a little more than just taking a quick snapshot.


In this case I was trying to set up a self-timer shot second exposure on my Polaroid Spectra camera… I’d already taken a first exposure of the hotel room background and the aim was to set the timer to then put myself in the shot for the second exposure. As you can see: it didn’t work!

What I find most interesting about this shot is that the black outlines on my incomplete forearm tattoo show up white on my ghostly arm… spooky!

Taken on 5. June 2013, in Barcelona.


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Scanning Polaroids…

Today I finally got around to doing something I’ve been meaning to do for well over a year: scanning some of the Polaroids I’d taken NEARLY 2 YEARS AGO at the OFFF Festival in Barcelona in May 2013 and some I’d taken in Zürich earlier this year. Not because I have so many to scan, but simply because I just “hadn’t gotten around to it”.

Nonsense. I’d had plenty of time but never MADE the time to do this. So. Now it’s done.

If any of you have ever scanned Polaroids, you may be familiar with Newton’s Rings. No? Read about them here… They’re pesky little rings that you can get when you scan something like a photo or Polaroid due to the way light behaves between the two surfaces when they touch.

Here’s a nifty device that stops that happening:


It has two recessed “mount” areas for individual Polaroids, with a sticky surface that grips the photo and holds it away from the scanner surface – eliminating the possibility of Newton’s Rings forming – making for nice clean scans (assuming you brush carefully to avoid dust and keep your scanner clean).

You can find it on the Impossible Project website, along with everything else you may need for Polaroid photography.

So the scanning is done. Expect to see some analog adventures on this blog over the coming weeks and months!


Early Christmas presents…

As already hinted yesterday, I’m going to gradually start writing here again. Some of the posts will be technical – iPhone/other mobile and web development and design – and others not.. we’ll see how it pans out and what I feel like writing about.

I’m also changing my approach slightly and will be offering more mentoring and coaching sessions in addition to my work on logtempo and occasional client projects.

Here’s where the “early Christmas presents” bit comes in:

I’m not sending any Christmas cards this year and have decided instead to offer 12 FREE coaching/mentoring/troubleshooting/whatever sessions to you – to the first 12 people who contact me and claim their Christmas present.

Each person can then use an hour of my time sometime in 2015 for any of the above – for advice on web or mobile design or development, for sales or marketing advice or help, for translations (German-English, English-German) or just about anything else that fits into my field of experience. We can use the time to talk on Skype or I can spend an hour working on something for you.

Time is precious. I’m giving some away for Christmas.

You can contact me by email, via my contact form here, Twitter or via my Facebook page… looking forward to hearing from you and having some fun “mini-projects” in 2015!



It’s been a while…

… since I last wrote a post here – about a year and a half, to be exact!

I shall be writing a very special post in the coming days: a post with my own special holiday season offer, in lieu of Christmas cards and the like.

Meanwhile, play nice and have fun :-)



Comments are off

Should anybody wish to leave a comment for any of my previous posts – despite the fact that I haven’t written a post or answered a comment in months (over a year, in fact) – then please be aware that it won’t work.

After having been rather surprised by a huge leap in comments traffic, none of which ACTUALLY came through as comments, and a jump in referrals from some very dubious-looking domains, I have disabled commenting on this blog.

As far as the future of the blog itself is concerned, I have not yet decided whether to start writing regularly again or not. The blog will stay online for now and all existing content will continue to be available until I reach a decision.

Anybody wishing to contact me can do so via my Facebook page (link in the navigation to the right) or by email (link elsewhere on this site).

Thank you for your understanding!



Facebook App Error 191: URL not owned by Application – try this…

I’ve recently had feedback from one or two “Facebook Application Development” course students who’ve ran into the infamous “error 191″ problem when trying to run their Facebook Apps.

Normally this error is caused by using an incorrect URL in the ‘redirect_uri’ parameter for getLoginUrl when using the PHP SDK, for example:

$loginUrl = $facebook->getLoginUrl(array('scope'=> 'user_checkins','redirect_uri'=> $app_url));

Another potential cause of this error is mixing your http: and https: URLs or assigning a http: URL to this parameter when the user is actually using a secure https: URL to access your App.

When I recorded the Facebook course the need to check the protocol and assign the correct http: or https: URL simply wasn’t there. Now we need to do this. Many users have switched over to using Facebook over a secure connection and Facebook will also switch off support for http:-only Apps anytime soon (as usual, no exact date).

Here’s a little snippet you can use to check for the protocol being used and assign the ‘redirect_uri’ correctly:

$protocol = ($_SERVER['SERVER_PORT'] == 443) ? "https://" : "http://";

Then simply prepend $protocol to your ‘…’ string to form the URL.

If that’s not the issue and all seems to be fine, all URLs look right and you simply can’t see what else could be wrong, then don’t panic: Stop pulling your hair out :-)

Have you set up an App Namespace in the Developer App?

It turns out that, if you don’t set this and use the APP NAMESPACE to refer to the App, you can get the dreaded 191 error. Set it and use it in your redirect_uri instead of the FB-generated App ID number.

When I recorded the course, the App Namespace was generated and used by default to reference the App. Hence the problem didn’t arise. This is one of the things that have changed since the course was recorded.

To summarise:

  1. Check that your URLs and protocols match – both in the Developer App and in your code.
  2. Assign the correct protocol when assigning the ‘redirect_uri’ parameter for getLoginUrl().
  3. Use the App Namespace and not the App ID to reference your App on

There have, of course, been many more changes in the World of Facebook App Dev since I recored the course – even since it’s release. Watch this space for more updates over the next few weeks!

Happy Facebook App-building!


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iPhone and iOS 5 Advanced App Development – inside the box

In addition to being available online, my video2brain iPhone and iOS 5 Advanced App Development: Learn by Video course is also available to purchase in DVD form

For those of you who haven’t seen how these physical media courses look I’ve taken a couple of photos:

The DVD is packaged rather neatly with an flap on the back of the package. Open the flap and you’ll find a window that reveals the DVD itself and also an accompanying 48-page booklet which contains extra material in addition to that covered by the course. The booklet for this course covers the top features of iOS 5 for developers and also contains a chapter full of tips and advice on testing, preparing and marketing your app – something I felt was important to include with the course.

The booklet also contains important information to help you get the most out of the course and is very nicely finished off, easy to read:

So, as you can see, owning the course on DVD brings with it the bonus of extra material in the form of the booklet – 48 pages of content designed to complement and extend the course material – all written by yours truly!

Pop over to Amazon and get yours today! The link is in the sidebar to the right! ;-)

Happy reading!


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Out now: iPhone and iOS 5 Advanced App Development: Learn by Video!

Yes, the second iOS 5 title from my 10-day recording marathon in Graz in mid-October is now available online!

This more advanced workshop covers new opportunities open for the iOS developer following the release of iOS 5: Twitter integration, iCloud, new ways to easily customize the look of your apps, and storyboards.

It also goes through the use of Blocks and why you really need to know how to use them and covers how you can include sound effects and music library audio in your Apps.

All in all, the course covers 3 hours and 55 minutes – including one mega lesson on storyboards. This storyboard lesson can also be watched for free for a limited time from my video courses page!

Here’s a direct link to the storyboard lesson video…

To purchase the course for online on-demand viewing, follow the link from the above lesson back to the course overview page or click here…

As you can see if you look across to the right-hand sidebar of this blog, the course will also be available very soon on DVD, with an accompanying course booklet covering some extra materials to complement the course – including tips on testing and preparing your app for launch in the App Store and how to market your app. The DVD version of the course can be pre-ordered from Amazon using the link there, or by clicking here…

The thing that pleases me most about the two iOS 5 courses (see my previous blog post about the “Getting Started with iOS 5″ course) is not only that I managed to complete them while suffering from a bad cold AND you can’t notice it in my voice, BUT that I was able to record them within days of the release of iOS 5 and they are already produced and on the market within only a few weeks – great work from the video2brain and Peachpit post-production teams!

Together with the original iOS 4-based “iPhone and iOS Application Development Workshop” released earlier this year, the three courses give a comprehensive grounding for any iOS developer looking to build apps utilising a wide range of the available functionality for iPhone, iPad and co.

I’m looking forward to feedback from those of you who watch the free lessons or purchase and follow the courses – please do use the comment forms on any of the related blog posts or write directly to me under “mail” at this domain. You can also leave feedback for me on my Facebook Page if you wish!

All the best



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