Arduino light sensor and illumination example

Arduino Uno

I’ve been meaning to follow up my previous getting started with the Arduino microcontroller article for a while now. Quite a long while as it’s almost three years. The other reason for writing this now is that my first article has been visited quite a lot recently, so I wanted to add to my electronics section. At the end of my last article I asked for suggestions of what to build next but didn’t have any responses. I thought I’d make a variation on my light switch example and have the light turn on when it starts to get dark and proceed to get brighter the darker it became. As

The end of Google Plus as we know it

Google Plus

Last year, Google announced that they were shutting down the consumer version of Google+ (also known as Google Plus) from August 2019. The consumer version are the personal accounts available to individuals and not corporations. The reason that Google gave us was that it had not performed as well as a consumer product as they had hoped and the demands of consumers were difficult to maintain. Towards the end of 2018, Google discovered a second API bug during their own internal audit which they subsequently fixed. They have no evidence that anyone exploited this and that anybody was affected. They believe that no account details were exposed but still the

Negatives and switching image colours in Photoshop

Photoshop Replace Colour

I quite often forget how to switch between a negative and positive image or how to do an exact colour replacement when using Adobe Photoshop. Each time, I need to, which is not very often, I spend a bit of time working it out. As this has just happened to me, I thought I would make a note of the steps and make that into an article. I needed to switch colours in a 2-colour logo to from blue on a white background to white on a blue background. This would have been fine if the coloured image parts were on separate layers or if it was a vector graphic

Time is running out to secure your .uk domain

Dot UK Domain

The .UK top level domain became available for general purchase from 10 June 2014 by Nominet. Nominet is responsible for all UK domain name registrations and had up until that date only provided second-level domains such as .co.uk or .org.uk. In fact the original intention for the UK sub domains was .co.uk for businesses and .org.uk for charities/non-profits before .me.uk was introduced for personal use. They also run .net.uk, .plc.uk and .ltd.uk for specialist use. The .uk domain is general purpose but they needed to make sure that previous owners of the second-level were allowed to purchase the general purchase version. Note that for ease of reading, I will refer

Dodgy WordPress new user registrations

Site Registration

Over the last 6 months or so, I’ve been getting a few new user registrations on my WordPress blog every day or so. When I got a few on the same day, I got suspicious. So, I checked them out and found they were all suspicious. The username caught my attention as I thought, “Why would anyone add numbers to their name when they don’t need to”. It’s not like I have a lot of users and all names have gone. I figured that they must have been automated. I remembered that the default account on my site is a Subscriber and you can’t do anything harmful with that so

Using area maps within images in HTML5 web pages

image-map

One of the features of HTML5 that interested me is the area maps that you can plot on an image. This allows you to include functionality that you would normally find within a hyperlink. Such as clicking or mouse-over to produce previously difficult to achieve effects. This article covers the basics of HTML5 image area maps and the different type of areas that you can have within an image. It also walks through an example usage of area maps to find locations on an image map and give feedback on the web page. What is an area map? An image embedded within a web page will cover a rectangular area

Creating colour tints and shades for websites

web shades

What do you do when you have more colours required than you have brand colour available? This quite often happens when you have to show a chart and you are using colours to differentiate between segments. The answer is to use tints or shades of those brand colours. In this article I will show examples of applying tints and shades using RGB (Red, Green and Blue) colours as that is most commonly used on websites. I’ll write more about colours in the future. For now, I just want to cover something practical as I was asked about a variation of this recently. Also, you should note that I have used

Setting up agile projects with functional teams

functional teams to agile project teams

Introducing the agile software development methodology to companies or even to individual projects sometimes proves difficult. You might think it would be easy in a small company as there are less minds to change but it is often easier in a large company. In this article, I will share my experience of how and why to restructure your development resources for small or large software development departments. It’s written from a point of view of the person responsible for organising the resources and projects at a company and introducing agile teams to take on the work. Getting Started If you don’t already have it, the first thing that you will

Consolidating many Excel sheets into one master sheet

Excel Data Consolidation

A while back we had a situation where we had collected a set of information from various sources and wanted to get all of it into the same Excel Worksheet and I was asked if I could help. There were about 60 spreadsheets all with the same columns but with a variable number of rows and of course, different data. The requester had linked all 60-odd spreadsheets to a master Workbook and wanted to know how to get the information from each transferred to a single master sheet that he could share as a consolidated list. This process needed to be repeatable as the authors of the 60-odd different worksheets

How to hide the keyboard on return for Swift Xcode apps

Xcode with Swift

Today, I will look at hiding the soft keyboard from the screen when entering information into a text field. It’s not a problem if you have a hardware keyboard which is the default for the Xcode simulator on the Mac or when you run on a device with a Bluetooth keyboard as the soft keyboard does not show. The issue is that once you are in a UITextField, the keyboard does not get dismissed by default and takes up the bottom section of the viewing area which quite often hides other controls. When I have finished with the form and select “Return” I expect the keyboard to vanish until I