Author Archives: dopiaza

New Look, Tidy Up and a Gratuitous Photo

I’ve been having a bit of a clear out. I’ve removed an assortment of old stuff from the web site that few people ever looked at. If you find your favourite Greasemonkey scripts now missing, then I’m sorry. I don’t really use Firefox any more and so am not actively maintaining those scripts. If you’re desparate, you can still find some of them over on, but as I said, they’re no longer being actively maintained.

We also have a nice new look to go with the clean sweep. I’ve de-cluttered and got rid of the sidebars, and added my latest flickr photos to the top of the page to brighten things up a little. ┬áThere’s still some tinkering to do, but it’s starting to settle down now.

And finally, a gratuitous photo:


Hoops and Fire

Last weekend, I took my camera over to Leamington and spent the afternoon with the Leamington Spa Hoop Club. A few of the hoopers were a little wary to start with, but once they got used to me prowling around the room pointing a camera at them, I got some pretty good shots.

Leamington Hoop Club

Afterwards, we gathered outside and the fire hoops appeared. It wasn’t really dark enough to get really effective long exposures, but I was quite pleased with some of the results – and at least the rain held off until we were packing up.

Leamington Hoop Club

I had a really good time – a fun afternoon with a really nice bunch of people. I hope they’ll let me go back again sometime.

You can see the full set of indoor photos here, and the fire hooping shots here.

Busy, but still here

It’s traditional for the vast majority of blog posts to begin with apologies about how infrequent the posts are. My last post was in July; it’s now October. Not too bad, I guess…

I have been busy behind the scenes though – I have a couple of new iPhone apps in development, and at least one of them is now pretty much ready. I’m just doing a little final tidying up of the UI, and then I’ll prepare it for the App store. More news on that when it’s ready.

Autumn seems to be settling in with a vengeance now, and it’s a little while since we’ve had a new photo up here, so lets have one to remind us of summer.


Taken what feels like an eternity ago, with a Polaroid back on my Hassleblad. Fuji FP-100C film.

Utata on the iPhone

I know I’ve been neglecting this blog again, but I guess that’s just the way with blogs. I haven’t been idle though, I have been rather busy.

One of the big things that’s been occupying my time recently has been my iPhone, and more specifically, learning all the ins and outs of iPhone development – Objective-C, Cocoa Touch, XCode, Interface Builder, Provisioning, iTunes Connect – I’ve done them all.

One of the hardest bits was actually getting on the iPhone Developer Program itself. It’s not that the process was especially difficult, but boy was it long. It took 72 days from filling in the initial forms to actually getting access to the developer portal – and almost all of that time was waiting for something to happen. I don’t know what the process behind the scenes at Apple is, but it’s certainly not speedy.

And once you’ve written your application and are ready to submit it to the app store, you have to wade through another batch of treacle. You submit your application, and then you wait. And wait. And wait. The developer forums abound with tales of woe, of applications being stuck in the review process for weeks, months even, only to be rejected on a technicality – which means you then have to resubmit and start the whole process over again. In the end, I got off quite easily – my application was reviewed and accepted in around ten days. It felt like a long time whilst I was waiting, but it seems far better than many others were experiencing.

So what was this application? It is, of course, a Utata application.

Utata iPhone App

For those who don’t know, Utata is an on-line community, originally formed on Flickr, but also with its own web site.

The Utata app works on the iPhone and iPod Touch (with a wifi connection), and runs happily under both OS 2.2.1 and 3.0. It acts as a showcase for the huge variety of photographic projects that Utata run, allowing you to easily browse through the entries wherever you are. If you’ve never taken the time to look through the project entries, you really should – there is some absolutely stunning photography there.

The app is free download from iTunes, and you can open up iTunes to download it by clicking here.

Utata Projects

It’s now been two months since bought my first Mac, and I’ve spent a fair chunk of that time putting myself through a crash course in programming for OS X. I’ve spent the past few weeks up to my elbows in Objective-C, Cocoa and Xcode, and finally, my first application is ready for public consumption. It’s a fairly simple little app, it doesn’t do a great deal, and the user interface isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s my baby and I’m very proud of it.

Utata Projects

On the face of it, it’s a simple desktop app to allow browsing of projects over on Utata. Behind the scenes, it’s a little more interesting. It consists of a couple of frameworks – the first is a general purpose REST API framework that deals with a lot of the nitty gritty of interfacing with web-based APIs such as those offered by Flickr. This REST framework can (I hope) be readily extended to build API kits that interface with a variety of web services. I’ve so far built a Utata API kit and parts of a Flickr API kit. Other API kits are planned, all I need now is more spare time.

You can download the Utata Projects app here. (Requires OS X 10.5).