I can’t believe I never wrote about the Ideal home show. I’d always wanted to go so I forced the manfriend to go with me. I told him there would be free food, which there was, so that kept him happy!

Giant lampshades – check!

There were various show homes you could queue up to walk round and presentations at various times throughout the day, I can’t stand still for that long though so we wandered around all the stalls trying all the samples and watching the demonstrations instead.

The place was huge!
The manfriend, always pleased to be looking at gardens, and candles, and paint… This section was small gardens created by schools, you had to vote for your favourite. Suddenly my garden didn’t seem so pretty!



Me in my element! Next to me is a  giraffe twice my height but we didn’t drive so I couldn’t have him :(

manfriend, not so much in his element!



When I spent those months researching my vitamix I only watched the US demonstrations so it was nice to see a UK one. I snagged a copy of the show recipe book too along with a shiny new dry container for making my own gluten free flours! So far I’ve only used it to grind coffee beans though.


We spent waaay to long deciding which of these to buy, we went for the tropical flavour in the end, which goes so well in orange or apple juice. Perfect for summer cocktails. The ironic thing is neither of us are big drinkers. The best part was when I got home I noticed that they were based just down the road! So I can slowly work my way through the whole lot!


Man friend wasn’t much interested until we reached this part, I introduced him to olive oil and balsamic vinegar a few years ago, since then he’s been obsessed. Manfriend didn’t consider a stir fry to be a meal until last year. We bought a fair amount of this stuff, it is amazing! You can order it from Greek Olive Oil Direct.


I also bought some magic knives, if you hate cutting up butternut squash and massive caulis these are the knives for you. Super sharp with a lifetime guarantee!


Getty have announced embed which basically lets you embed watermark free images in your blog posts within an iframe. While it might be great for some blogs I do have a few issues with it.

How do the photographers feel about it? There are already a lot of photographers moving away from getty because of the measly 30% commission they get on their images, if getty are giving away their content in an iframe they why can’t they do it themselves and keep all the profits? Upload your images to amazon s3. Write a few html pages displaying the images in different sizes or even write a script to resize the image to a custom size (premium feature?!) add a link to your page and an ad somewhere in there too. Profit! You could even write a wordpress plugin that sets the featured image of the post to be that image that automatically credits and links to the photographer.

Eventually Getty will start monetising it themselves or worse collecting statistics on your visitors. Does embedding an iframe to another site that includes ads interfere with your other ad networks? (I honestly don’t know enough about ad networks to answer that question)

Its great that they get to have control over their content that’s already illegally used all over the place but scary when they can just take the image down and your left with nothing.

From a developers point of view that iframe I’ve included above is not responsive, I also can’t use it as a featured image for a post as it would interfere with the terms of service unless you factor credit into your featured image design. Not to mention if your site is on SSL it wont load and if the content in the iframe is ever hacked it could be problematic! Update, I’ve just read about iframe sandbox mode, support is OK but the sort of browsers you’d want this support in aren’t working.

but then again, it is rather convenient, so there is that!

If your not seeing a fish above that means the inevitable has happened and getty have changed their minds about the whole thing!



A few weeks ago I was sent a Watchbot 3.0 to review. I had some problems getting it setup but now that its working wirelessly I’m using it to spy on the cat at night, because she cries all night and this way I can check if she’s ok without getting out of bed.

tl;dr, This thing is awesome, very easy to setup if you have windows, or a phone and a normal router!

Plug the camera into router and power. Download correct software from here – or use the cd.

Open the software, go to Preferences and at the bottom click Camera list, scan for the camera, click add, close and go back to the camera tab, select the camera in the list on the left and tada, webcam feed!



watchbot_windows_3 The error messages are very blunt!


If you double click you get the options for that camera, so you can input your wireless settings, then unplug power and network cable, then plug power back in and tada wireless camera! :D So ridiculously easy!


Totally Wireless!


Of course the first thing you should do is change the default username and password especially if your going to be viewing it from outside your home network.

The video quality is not that great but the IR mode is really clear. The software, when it works, will send you screenshots when it detects motion you can also upload images to ftp so if you didn’t want people accessing your camera remotely you could have the images display on a page that refreshes every few minutes, very 90s!

The first problem I had setting the watchbot up is not really a problem, for me, but it is for the watchbot. I have a mac, my family has macs, my friends have macs. The Watchbot Camera has no software for Mac. It is coming apparently though. 

Secondly, I have Virgin Broadband, the side effect of Virgin Broadband is the super hub which can cause problems. In an unrelated conversation I discovered the super hub was the reason I couldn’t connect to the vpn at work. After I changed the subnet mask suddenly the IP Scanner software could find the camera but as I have a mac, I have no software options and entering the IP address into the browser didn’t (and still doesn’t) work, on Windows or PC, in any browser.

Then I tried the watchbot app which is awesomesauce. It works beautifully and saved the day.  The QR scanning option is so handy, you just click add and scan the QR code on the bottom of the camera and it inputs the fiddly camera ID and default username/password for you and tada, camera! The in app purchase to be able to record video/save pictures is annoying though, :(

By this point I was resigned to the fact I’d only be able to use the camera with my phone but then I remembered, Mini Vinni, my netbook, which still has (on a very small partition) a copy of XP!

watchbot2 My high end monitor stand…

When I first looked for support on the website. I didn’t find it very helpful, which I think is because the FAQ & Support on the site is for an older watchbot model, which isn’t made clear. The watchbot ships with one of those mini CD’s but they don’t work in macs and netbooks don’t have CD drives! So I tried downloading the software from that page, which of course wont work because its for an older version! At some point through all this I emailed for help and they offered to set up a call to guide me through it but unfortunately I’d be at work during their support times! They did send through a document though which is how I got the app working.

There is also the watchbot support website but the separate domain was odd and confused me at first, why have support in two different places? At some point since I started setting the camera up I think that site was updated and is now much more helpful, it gets you to select your watchbot model so you know its relevant to your device – and the software I download from that site worked – immediately!

You will need a screen resolution higher than 1024 x 768 to be able to see all the options in the software though!



oops turned too far, the antenna is in the way!


Apparently some people have had trouble with their encryption being WPA and the Watchbot apparently deals better with WEP so if your having problems try changing your encryption. I’ve not had this problem though.


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