Instagram-api-ocalypse

If you use the standard “Instagram Platform API” for anything then it’s worth noting that planned deprecations have just been brought forward as of 5th April 2018. It seems like this is going to cause quite a few apps to break and result in a lot of unhappy developers:

To continuously improve Instagram users’ privacy and security, we are accelerating the deprecation of Instagram API Platform, making the following changes effective immediately. We understand that this may affect your business or services, and we appreciate your support in keeping our platform secure.

These capabilities will be disabled immediately (previously set for July 31, 2018 or December 11, 2018 deprecation). The following will be deprecated according to the timeline we shared previously:

Khoi Vinh – “In Defence of Design Thinking, Which is Terrible”

Khoi Vinh’s speaker notes from a talk he gave at The School of Visual Arts in New York is an interesting read:

“So when I consider design thinking, it matters less to me whether it leads to a lot of bad design or not. What matters to me is whether it helps broaden the language of design, if it helps expand the community of design, if it helps build a world that values and understands design better than it does today. If design thinking is making us more relevant to the world at large, leading non-designers to embrace the way designers think, then the net effect strikes me as positive.”

Read the whole article at: “In Defence of Design Thinking, Which is Terrible

Also on:

Preston Watson – Dundee’s aviation pioneer

I was watching a documentary about the 100th centenary of the UK’s Royal Air Force today and in particular it looked at the early aircraft used in World War 1.

I was reminded that Dundee has a history of innovation in the early days of flight. Preston Albert Watson built and flew aircraft in and around Dundee, at times from a makeshift runway in Errol. There’s a lot of debate as to when he first flew, some records point to it happening prior to the Wright Brothers first powered flight, however this is largely held to be inaccurate.

Regardless though, Preston Watson is definitely another innovator from Dundee who should perhaps be a bit more widely known.

You can read a lot more about him on Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preston_Watson

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An illustrated history of iOS

Back in December 2014 I published a post about a great “llustrated history of Mac OSX” made by the makers of the Git client ‘Tower’ for Mac and Windows Since that time they have continued to update it to include more recent releases (and also the change the title to use “macOS” as Apple’s OS is known as now).

I noticed recently that the team at Tower have now followed up their OSX / macOS history with an “Illustrated history of iOS” which is a great concise history of Apple’s mobile operating system. It’s a nice little run through of the progress of iOS from 2007 until now.

Sidenote: I see Tower have just launched a public beta of an all-new version of their Git client, find out more on their blog: https://www.git-tower.com/blog/tower-public-beta-2018-starts/

A Newscaster’s guide to alternative snow related neologisms

Newscasters! Are you tired of having only a limited choice of words to emphasise the strength or impact of severe snow-specific weather events? Don’t want to use the old chestnuts of “snowpocalypse”, “snowmageddon”, “snowtastrophe” or “snownami”? Then this handy list of alternative neologisms may* just be what you need!

  • Snowballistic
  • Snowfliction
  • Absnowmination
  • Snowlamity
  • Snowasco
  • Desnowlation
  • Snowlocaust
  • Snowgedy
  • Snowbacle
  • Snowmergency
  • Snowplexed
  • Snowcessity
  • Snowdicament
  • Snowlemma
  • Insnowferrable
  • Snowayitcanbethatbad
  • Snowmyfault

* Usefulness, accuracy and / or relevance of these alternative neologisms may vary, contents may have settled during transit, batteries not included.

Checking out Digital Ocean VPS (or Why UK hosting doesn’t suck compare to the US anymore)

I’ve used many different hosting companies over the 20+ years I’ve been working on the web (and blogged about the poor state of hosting in the UK compared to the US going back quite a few years!), recently I have looked to consolidate a few personal project sites onto a VPS of their own so I thought I’d check out Digital Ocean and see how they stack up to other services I’ve used.

So far my experience has been really good, quick to spin up server instances, or droplets in Digital Ocean’s terminology. Even better is that since middle of January they have at least doubled the specifications that you get for your money. I opted for the $20 a month droplet which gets me 4GB ram and 80GB of disk space and 2 vcpus (previously 2GB ram and 40GB disk space). So overall that is pretty great value for money.

I’m currently working through the process of migrating all my personal sites (including this blog), a bit time consuming but good to get all of my site projects (such as Twitterative.com, isittimetogetupyet.com) and various other bits and pieces.

If you’re interesting in checking out Digital Ocean for hosting they actually offer a referral scheme so if you sign up via this link: https://m.do.co/c/5d661dba3f12 you’ll get $10 credit, so go check it out if you want a few dollars credit to check out out and see if it suits your needs.

How to fix “unable to boot device because it cannot be located on disk” in Xcode 9

I have recently been doing some development using the Xcode 9.2 Beta, but when it came to pushing the app to iTunes Connect I made the switch to the final release version of Xcode 9.2. In the process I ran various clean up tools to remove the beta version and related files etc.

However, after downloading and installing the release version of Xcode 9.2 and trying to test using the Simulator I encountered the error:

unable to boot device because it cannot be located on disk

This error also included a link to a location within simulator files which obviously is no longer there due to the clean up process I had used. I tried a few options but eventually found a series of commands that clean this up and fixed the problem for me. Make sure to quite Xcode and the Simulator app first and then run these commands in Terminal:

sudo killall -9 com.apple.CoreSimulator.CoreSimulatorService
rm -rf ~/Library/Developer/CoreSimulator
rm -rf ~/Library/Developer/XCPGDevices

Hopefully after running them and starting Xcode the Simulator devices should all be functional again. Please note that if you have done any custom devices within your Simulator device list then these will have been deleted and the list reset to the default list of devices.

Dynamically setting an image as the header image on a WordPress theme

I’m working on an interesting project using a Raspberry Pi Zero W computer with the Pi Camera module. Basically the idea is to take scheduled periodic photos via the Pi Zero and camera and then upload them to a WordPress site and then set the latest photo as the Header Image.

There was one thing that took me a little while to figure out and that was how to set the desired image as the header image in WordPress, I struggled to find anything whilst Googling so I thought I’d quickly write up a post about it.

Continue readingDynamically setting an image as the header image on a WordPress theme

Dreamweaver CC Public Beta

Adobe have just opened up a public beta of a revamped version of Dreamweaver offering a lot of improvements and useful features for modern web development.

Dreamweaver’s had it’s share of flack over the years and not all unwarranted, but this new beta looks to shed some of the baggage of its 19 year history with a refreshed user interface and a new code editor based on the Brackets codebase. For someone like me who spends most of the time in code view (and who has split their time between Brackets and Dreamweaver for the last year or so) there’s some nice new features in there that make it a more compelling environment for code-first users.

Continue readingDreamweaver CC Public Beta