Build a Cardboard iPad / Tablet Stand and Hologram Viewer

Posted in Art on Tuesday, 29th November 2016 at 4:58PM

Build a Cardboard iPad / Tablet Stand and Hologram Viewer

Last week saw my app, Sun to Moon Sleep Clock, updated with a new and slightly unusual feature - a hologram mode.  The only catch is that you need to build the hologram viewer yourself from cardboard and a few other basic materials. Full instructions can be found at http://www.msibley.com/sleep-clock-stand where you will also find a YouTube run through.

The viewer consists of 2 elements, a cardboard stand for displaying your iPad or tablet at a convenient viewing angle and the hologram adapter which attaches to the stand when the app is in hologram mode.

If you have a go at building either the stand or the viewer I'd love to hear how you get on!

App updated - Sun to Moon Sleep Clock

Posted in Technology on Tuesday, 27th October 2015 at 8:39AM

App updated - Sun to Moon Sleep Clock

Update August 2016: This app now has a new home at http://www.msibley.com/sleep-clock/ where you'll find full usage instructions and latest features

App-Store-Icon play-store-icon amazon-app-store

Update March 2016: I have just added a couple of new features including:
• Soothing sleep sounds with adjustable timer that plays after sunset. Choose between whale song, white noise (hair dryer), breaking waves or off.
•  Audible sunrise alarm. Choose between digital alarm clock, birds singing or off.

It's been over two years since the release of my original Sun clock, in which time I have had numerous feature requests and ideas from users so I felt it was time to give it an update.  The app has now become Sun to Moon Sleep Clock and as well as some new features I am also releasing an iOS version to accompany the Android version.

• Continuous Sunrise/Sunset times
• Shooting star progress bar
• 'Secret Star' sunrise activation button
• Auto dim
• Saved settings

Interactive virtual tour of the beautifully overgrown Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol

Posted in Art on Friday, 8th August 2014 at 8:21AM

A few months ago I stumbled across Arnos Vale Cemetery whilst waiting for a train in Bristol.  It initially looks like quite a swish place to be buried, with it's own cafe and everything - what more could you want!  However as you venture off the main paths you find large areas of the cemetery that have been left for nature to reclaim and the result is most enchanting.  There are head stones that have become melded with trees and crosses entombed in ivy but best of all there is virtually no-one (breathing) there so it feels like a real oasis in the middle of Bristol.

New App for iOS and Android - Sun to Moon Sleep Clock

Posted in Technology on Friday, 25th October 2013 at 3:28PM

New App for iOS and Android - Sun to Moon Sleep Clock

Sun to Moon Sleep Clock is an interactive Childrens night clock that I developed to use with our own children in an attempt to make bedtime more fun and consistent.  With a star countdown, visualised sunrise, collectable snooze coins and sleep rewards, the idea is to make it easier for kids to understand how far through the night they are and to create an incentive for them to stay in bed till morning.

In its simplest form you just set the wake-up time and click the 'Good night' button to switch the clock to night mode,  but there are options for setting sleep sounds, alarm sounds, dimming, reading time etc.. depending on your requirements. You can also customise the Sun and Moon artwork by collecting Snooze Coins which can be exchanged in the Sun and Moon shops for hairstyles, accessories, face paint and lots more. 

All the artwork used in the app is custom made by me in a style that has evolved from my painting style and I will continue to create more items whenever I get time, so feel free to email me with suggestions!

Sun to Moon Sleep Clock is available for Android, Amazon and iOS devices.  Full details can be found at msibley.com/sleep-clock or you can download it using the links below:

 

App-Store-Icon play-store-icon amazon-app-store

Taken, a New iBook by Hazel Thompson on Modern Day Slavery in Mumbai

Posted in Art on Sunday, 20th October 2013 at 10:50AM

Taken, a New iBook by Hazel Thompson on Modern Day Slavery in Mumbai

Recent figures from the Global Slavery Index estimate there to be a total of 30 million people worldwide currently living in slavery.  Contrast this with the fact that the entire African slave trade accounted for about 11 million people being sold into slavery and it becomes one of those figures that make you ask yourself 'how did I not know about this?'. Taken, a New iBook by Hazel Thompson exposes this modern day slavery in Mumbai, India in a beautiful and hard hitting way.

Creating an Ajax, PHP and jQuery website language translator using Bing translate API

Posted in Web Design on Monday, 9th September 2013 at 7:35PM

Creating an Ajax, PHP and jQuery website language translator using Bing translate API

With the demise of free Google Translate API usage it seemed as if the only viable alternative for automatic website language translation was to use their web widget or something similar from another provider.  The widget works well for simple sites but I have found that it can interfere with other scripts running on the page and that the lack of fine control produces variable results.  Aside from the practicalities I also find the toolbars and branding that these widgets insert are ugly and don't look particularly professional.

After a bit of research I discovered that whilst Bing translate API is a commercial product it also provides free translation of up to 2 million characters per month so I set about creating an Ajax translator for NewOfficeAsia.com, a PHP based site I am working on, and here is the result.

NewOfficeAsia

Building a number slider for HTML form inputs with jQuery UI and Draggable

Posted in Web Design on Thursday, 7th February 2013 at 9:27AM

Building a number slider for HTML form inputs with jQuery UI and Draggable

This short tutorial will show you how to create a simple but effective jQuery slider that allows users to change the value of a number field on an HTML form.  I built this for newofficeasia.com, a serviced office rental search site, to adjust the search radius but it could be easily adapted and put to all sorts of uses.

View live demo

Sony DSC-RX100 vs DSLR. Why I have reverted to a compact digital camera

Posted in Technology on Thursday, 10th January 2013 at 8:51AM

Sony DSC-RX100 vs DSLR. Why I have reverted to a compact digital camera

About 6 years ago I was working mainly as an artist and decided I wanted to learn how to use a 'real' camera.  Digital SLR cameras were becoming both affordable and capable enough to allow amateurs (i.e. me) to give it a go without breaking the bank so I invested in a Nikon D40x with a Nikon Nikkor 18-200 VRII zoom lens.  My thinking was that this would be a flexible enough combination that it would cover me in most situations without needing to switch lenses.

A few weeks ago I happened to be reading a review of Sony's new large sensor compact camera the RX100 and realised that the capabilities of this tiny camera far exceeded those of my 6 year old DSLR in just about every aspect.  Within a couple of days my entire setup was on ebay and a couple of weeks later I had more than enough money to cover the cost of an RX100.

Combining keyword and proximity searches to create a classified ads site in ExpressionEngine

Posted in Web Design on Wednesday, 5th December 2012 at 2:09PM

Combining keyword and proximity searches to create a classified ads site in ExpressionEngine

UPDATE 25/02/13: I have since re-worked this site to only use the proximity search.  I have a new site on the horizon which may well use a similar setup and I will update the post if it comes to pass.

I have been working on a personal project recently called newofficeasia.com that requires search results to be sorted by distance from a user's location.  Luckily there's a great add-on called Geofinder that does just that. 

Things became a little more complictaed when I needed to add other search criteria into the mix such as keywords and other custom field data. Geofinder only selects and sorts entries based on their location but I needed the functionality of a fully fledged search module in combination with distance searching. This technique would be ideal for a classified ads site where botht he item description and location need to be searched.  Here's a page on newofficeasia.com that demonstrates what I came up with, showing offices within 20 miles of Raffles Square, Singapore that contain the keyword 'ISDN'.

Michael's Paintings

Over the Shan Kwong Road

Over the Shan Kwong Road
32 x 52 cm
Acrylics, ink and cotton on canvas

Michael's photos

Kunming Man

Man with pipe
Kunming, China

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