• App Development in AS3, Objective C, SpriteKit, Swift & HTML5.

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    Hello I am the developer behind ScaleViz – A Theory App designed for Guitarists available on the Apple App Store. If you are looking for my blog on music theory, you can find it here.

    Since starting this blog I have developed in many different programming languages including AS3, Objective C, Unity (C#), Cocos2d-X (C++), Cocos2d & the relatively new SpriteKit & Swift from Apple, which is what ScaleViz Universal is currently being developed in.

    So you can expect to find, HTML5 & AS3 code snippets, hints, tips and tutorials covering subjects learned whilst developing ScaleViz, and check out my Apps on the Apple App Store & Google Play Store along with some other stuff that interests me, like building arcade machines & Studying hypnotherapy, Kung Fu, Vaping and all that comes with it, like making juice, coils etc…

    So, Enjoy your stay and thanks for looking 🙂

    Buy ScaleViz To help you Master the Modes, Nail the CAGED system, learn all Major, Minor and Dominant, Chords, Arpeggios, Pentatonics and Modal Shapes in all positions, go from From Cowboy Chords to Soloing and become a Fretboard Master with ScaleViz today!

  • ScaleViz for Apple TV ready for sale

    ScaleViz Apple TV Guitar Fretboard Shape Trainer
    ScaleViz is now available on the Apple tvOS Store, I have both iOS & tvOS under the same store listings for a Universal purchase so anyone that already has ScaleViz will get the Apple TV version for FREE. ScaleViz also supports family sharing and the whole App has been redeveloped from the ground up…

    Wait for it…the universal version is almost ready for launch too, and I expect to be releasing it April/May 2016…

    Enjoy & thanks for supporting ScaleViz.


    ScaleViz – Visual Guitar Fretboard Shape Trainer


    Buy ScaleViz  To help you Master the Modes, Nail the CAGED system, learn all Major, Minor and Dominant, Chords, Arpeggios, Pentatonics and Modal Shapes in all positions, go from From Cowboy Chords to Soloing and become a Fretboard Master with ScaleViz today!

    Download ScaleViz on the App Store

  • ScaleViz coming to Apple TV

    Yes you read that right, ScaleViz is coming to Apple TV.

    Most of the development for ScaleViz Apple TV is done and I am currently working on the info & theory pages. I figured Apple will not get much bigger than a 1920 X 1080 full HD TV, unless they go 4K? So instead of concentrating on the Universal version. I created all the new art work for the big screen, now all the new revamped graphics & redesigned interface will translate directly to the iOS version.

    Here is a piece of art I created in Illustrator taken from the Apple TV version. This is the main background for the Major, Minor & Dominant sections and will give you a taste of what’s to come.

    ScaleViz Apple TV Main App Section Amp Background Image

    Thanks for your interest in ScaleViz. Visual guitar fretboard theory & shape trainer for iOS & soon… Apple TV.

    Buy ScaleViz To help you Master the Modes, Nail the CAGED system, learn all Major, Minor and Dominant, Chords, Arpeggios, Pentatonics and Modal Shapes in all positions, go from From Cowboy Chords to Soloing and become a Fretboard Master with ScaleViz today!

  • Stop Watch App with play & pause buttons using Xcode and Swift 2.0

    Create and swap out play and pause buttons programmatically using Xcode and Swift while developing a simple Stop Watch App.

    Create play and pause buttons programmatically using swift while making a stop watch app as an example. This video shows you how to swap out and replace a play button with a pause button on press. Using UIBarButtonItem buttons on a toolbar or navigation bar using Xcode and Apple’s programming language Swift 2.0. This video Also shows how to use Xcode’s auto layout to keep your interface elements in place using portrait or landscape orientations.

    You will also see how how to create, start, stop, pause & reset a timer and create IBActions and buttons using code.

    All while I try out my new Blue Snowball Mic.

    As always I have included a download link to the full Xcode 7 project with comments, which you can find under the video below and have also posted the ViewController Code.

    Note: This video was an inspired by a challenge to further enhance an app from a Udemy Course by Rob Percival, there are a few hints and tips as to how to solve the problem of programmatically creating play & pause buttons in the discussions. Although there is no complete solution. So, I thought I would create one.

    Rob’s course mentioned above is designed for iOS8, however, Rob has now created a course specifically for iOS 9, and all the code I have written works in Xcode 7, Swift 2.0 and iOS 9.0.2.

    You can find Rob’s new iOS9 course here: https://www.udemy.com/the-complete-ios-9-developer-course/

    Which I highly recommended.

    OK on with the video…

    Creating a StopWatch App using Play and Pause buttons created programmatically.

    Here’s the ViewController code

    // ViewController.swift
    // StopWatch
    // Created by Shane Hogan on 07/09/2015.
    // Copyright (c) 2015 Shane Hogan. All rights reserved.

    import UIKit

    class ViewController: UIViewController {

    @IBOutlet weak var time: UILabel!

    @IBOutlet weak var toolbar: UIToolbar!

    var stopButton: UIBarButtonItem {

    return UIBarButtonItem (barButtonSystemItem: .Stop, target: self, action: “stop:”)


    var playButton: UIBarButtonItem {

    return UIBarButtonItem (barButtonSystemItem: .Play, target: self, action: “play:”)


    var pauseButton: UIBarButtonItem {

    return UIBarButtonItem (barButtonSystemItem: .Pause, target: self, action: “pause:”)


    var flexibleSpaceBar: UIBarButtonItem {

    return UIBarButtonItem (barButtonSystemItem: .FlexibleSpace, target: self, action: nil)


    var timer = NSTimer()

    var secondsCounter:Int = 0

    var isTimerStarted:Bool = false

    @IBAction func play(sender: AnyObject) {

    isTimerStarted = true
    timer = NSTimer.scheduledTimerWithTimeInterval(1, target: self, selector: (“updateTime”), userInfo: nil, repeats: true)

    @IBAction func pause(sender: AnyObject) {

    isTimerStarted = false

    @IBAction func stop(sender: AnyObject) {

    isTimerStarted = false
    secondsCounter = 0
    time.text = “0”

    func updateTime() {

    time.text = String(secondsCounter)

    func showPlayOrPause() {

    var showPlayOrPauseButton: UIBarButtonItem

    if isTimerStarted {

    showPlayOrPauseButton = pauseButton

    } else {

    showPlayOrPauseButton = playButton


    let placeToolbarButtonItems = [stopButton, flexibleSpaceBar, showPlayOrPauseButton]
    toolbar.setItems(placeToolbarButtonItems, animated: true)


    override func viewDidLoad() {

    time.text = String(“0”)

    override func didReceiveMemoryWarning() {

    Download the Xcode 7 Swift 2.0 project here: StopWatch

    Buy ScaleViz To help you Master the Modes, Nail the CAGED system, learn all Major, Minor and Dominant, Chords, Arpeggios, Pentatonics and Modal Shapes in all positions, go from From Cowboy Chords to Soloing and become a Fretboard Master with ScaleViz today!

  • App Marketing & PR for Indiedevs


    A while ago I was passing an app development studio and I thought I would chance my arm and go knock on the door, to my surprise their receptionist took me upstairs to meet their Marketing guru, he was so helpful and sat with me for nearly half an hour telling me some very useful information, he told me that there is absolutely no secret to marketing, the rule of thumb is that you get 5-10 times the return you put in, so if you have no funds to market your app, don’t expect massive returns.

    Keep reading for an awesome alternative to marketing, especially made for indiedevs.

    Public Relations

    Now if your marketing funds are limited, the alternative to marketing is PR which is obviously free, and he told me I need to take that first step and start picking up the phone and talking to people, his advice was, find a magazine that’s relevant to your app subject matter, look for an article you can relate to, that’s been well written, and by a journalist you respect, and tell them what you liked about their article and their style of writing and ask them if they would be kind enough to review your app, he also said to me, people want and like to help.

    I hope this information helps anyone out there who is also an independent developer or just needs advice on where to start. But wait, I saved the best bit till last…

    Indiedev Community Slack, Twitter, Facebook & Twitch streams

    Now here’s some juicy information for all you Indiedevs out there.

    @Morph_Studios has created a marketing group especially for independent app developers. Interested?…Read on.

    Well as mentioned in the post description, the term IndieDev has now become a term of endearment and instead of feeling isolated, there is a group who can change this. And just as chefs call each other chef out of respect, you will start to feel respected as you will be in a group of like-minded developers, artists, musicians and even some marketers who have now joined and been kind enough to give their advice for free. Also most importantly, never feel isolated or alone again and be proud to call yourself or your fellow developer an IndieDev.

    So how does this all work, well there is a Twitter group called IndieDev Community, a Facebook page, a Slack group where most of the action happens and where you will be invited to join once you have provided some minor details, and a streaming channel on Twitch where you can watch devs streaming live while coding their latest game, check out artists performing their magic, and gamers gaming live.

    So what happens in the Slack group?

    Well… Do you have some news you want re-tweeted or a thunderclap that needs supporting, maybe you want to collaborate with the community and ask some questions or join up with another indiedev to develop a game. Or maybe you would just like to support the community by giving your advice, sharing others tweets, Facebook posts or a combination of all of the above, the choice is yours.

    Click the link below and fill in your details now, and get some help and support marketing your latest game or app, or simply get the word out there about your latest project, all via a community of like-minded individuals including,  developers, artists, musicians and marketers 🙂

    So… Are you ready to join a marketing group made by developers for developers? Click here to join us

    Buy ScaleViz To help you Master the Modes, Nail the CAGED system, learn all Major, Minor and Dominant, Chords, Arpeggios, Pentatonics and Modal Shapes in all positions, go from From Cowboy Chords to Soloing and become a Fretboard Master with ScaleViz today!

  • Data Recovery

    R3 Data Recovery

    When my hard drive went down I did a Google search for data recovery and uncovered some real horror stories about certain companies purporting themselves data recovery specialists, so I decided to do some research before I sent my precious data away for recovery.

    There are all sorts of rouge companies out there that will for example ask you to send them your drive for analysis and a free estimate, do not do this, as once they have your drive they can charge you what they like and you are still not guaranteed to get all or any of your data back after paying out huge sums of your hard earned cash for donor parts that you did not need, or would not have helped in the first place. You may also be charged elevated quotes for low cost recoveries in the pretence that they were forensic recoveries.

    Even worse there are some companies out there that will send you a template report without even looking at or attempting to recover your data or you could just be told that your drive is unrecoverable, as the company in question cannot even be bothered to go through the hassle of recovering data when they find out that your drive is in a bad way (like mine was), and it will take them more time and attention than they can be asked to give, in other words they would just take your money and run. So if you have a drive in need of data recovery, do yourself a favour and read this review before you make a decision.

    As already mentioned I did a lot of research before I eventually chose R3 Data Recovery, and have spoken to, and had quotes from at least six data recovery companies, so I thought it my duty to write a report of my findings to stop small businesses and individuals from being ripped off by rouge data recovery companies declaring drives unrecoverable, leading to unnecessary data loss. I am not saying in any way shape or form that the other companies listed here are rouge, read on, and you will see the reasons why R3 Data recovery were my data recovery company of choice.

    And remember this, a reputable company will be able to give you an accurate quote from the error description you give them without ever having to see or examine your drive and R3 Data recovery were spot on with the fault diagnosis, the quote that they gave me and there were no hidden extras, even though as I was soon to find out, my drive was one of the most degraded they had seen out of all the drives they had recovered during that current month (August 2014).

    Whether it was luck or fate the first company I contacted were R3 Data Recovery, who quoted me £249 + VAT, plus the cost of a drive to put the recovered data back on, ok that sounds good a fixed price quote, they are not asking me to send the drive in for assessment and they have already won me around by telling me they need a drive to put my recovered data onto, which is telling me they are confident they can recover my data, brilliant I thought, I like the sound of these guys, all boxes ticked, although I have a list of companies here so let’s see what the rest have to say.

    Next I had a quote from Data Recovery Direct whose economy service was £240-265, which seemed fair enough, although I wanted a fixed price quote so I moved on.

    MjM Data Recovery were next and they quoted me £599, which seemed a bit excessive.

    The Data Hospital quoted me from £175 + Vat, and also told me that it would be difficult to diagnose and provide precise pricing without evaluating the media, so they were out of the equation straight away.

    My next quote was from The Data Clinic who told me that recovery cost would be dependent on fault diagnosis, so in other words they were not prepared to give me a quote until I sent them my drive, they also charged £95 for diagnosis and gave me an estimate for a standard service that would cost between £350 – £650 plus any parts, they are now out of the running.

    I then spoke to TRC Data Recovery who told me that those My Book drives are hardware encrypted, and my data may not be recoverable, thanks mate that’s just what I wanted to hear, and that the drive itself could have two faults, drive firmware, or failure of read write heads, and if the fault is the former the cost will be 275 + vat if the fault is the later therefore mechanical the cost will be 375 + vat. What unnerved me about TRC was that they told me the fault was more likely to be the later as, get this they had about 6 hard drives sitting around at the moment with the same issues. 6 hard drives just sitting around, to me that meant this guy does not care about my data and I feel sorry for the customers whose drives were just sitting around, so obviously these people were out of the running then I was told that either way we will send you a detailed report of what can be recovered and it will be a 5 day turn around and we will send a courier to collect the drive. So they also wanted my drive before they committed to a fixed quote, so, that would make seven drives sitting around, no thanks, next.

    Data Track Labs were next on my list, they quoted me £175 plus VAT, again I hear the old subject to assessment and that the price could go up to £400 plus VAT, I then had several calls and email from them stating that the cost for recovery for a drive with the kind of fault my hard drive had was now on some kind of special deal and that the cost was now only £175 plus VAT, then in the same sentence, please note if the HDD is suffering from multiple faults additional charges will apply, oh really, I am sure you just told me that the fault could not be diagnosed without assessment. So with the hard sell, the mixed messages, and the special deal for my precious data, this lot were completely out of the running.

    The next company I spoke to were Fields Data Recovery, same story, send us your drive and we will assess the fault, send you a report, and the cost for recovery could be anywhere between £2-400 depending on what they find, they also tried the hard sell and I was called at least three times by 3 different people, no thanks, I have a mind and I can make my own decisions, bye.

    So after all this calling around and emailing for quotes I decided that R3 Data Recovery were the right choice and I am so glad, from start to finish R3 Data Recovery were trustworthy, professional, reliable and approachable.

    I am an Apple developer and in my wisdom I decided one day to take all the data from 3 of my external USB drives, a 500 GB, a 300 GB and a 250 GB, which had been purchased as separate drives and caddies and combined together and which I have had for many years without issues, into one 2TB Western Digital My Book.

    Result I thought I now have all my data in one place, the drive seemed reliable, although a bit noisy but this suited me better than swapping around three drives, which were now condemned to a different life, after a format I gave one to my daughter, one was securely erased and binned and the other, which is a NAS drive with all my training on, I thought I would keep as is, I also had a lot of the stuff backed up to DVD, so I thought I was relatively safe.

    Wrong! 3 weeks before the warranty expired the WD died in style, no warning, no data, the WD had died on me completely, it was dead, the light just kept flashing, when I plugged it into my laptop the drive was not recognised, and did not even show up, when I plugged it into my Mac the Mac didn’t acknowledge the drive either, Oh dear I’m in trouble now.

    As even though I had some of my data backed up on DVD, the thought of copying all that data from DVD back to hard drive made me shudder, the data on my drive, which was currently running at 1.6 Terabytes, had been saved over a period of 14 years or more and I have thousands of backup discs all stored in zip cases, the data on the drive was sorted and the data on the discs is mixed and spans many different discs, some have not even been written on, and just say disc 1, disc 2, etc. Not to mention the shelf life of some of the earlier discs is shall we say well passed, although anyway, I was not too concerned with what I had backed up, it is what I did not have backed up that concerned me.

    And what I did not have backed up was all the latest stuff I had been working on, namely all my artwork for a rework of one of my early Apps, the artwork for my last 3 Play Store Apps and Artwork for my last 5 Apple App Store Apps, plus lots and lots of code, all the different App release versions, and the Play Store Key codes had not been backed up to disc, now without any of this a re-release or an update is now impossible.

    We are talking all my Photoshop, Illustrator & Flash documents which are irreplaceable & thousands of lines of code, to rework all of that art and re code all those Apps would have been unbearable and all of it had been backed up to the WD Hard Drive that had just died on me as I got complacent and became too reliant on that HD as it was so much easier to copy everything to the drive as opposed to burning discs as well, big mistake!

    I was in panic mode now, so got out the screw driver and prised the drive case off and removed the SATA hard drive with the intention of plugging it into my desktop PC and attempting to recover the data myself, no chance, little to my knowledge the WD My Book drives have an encryption chip built onto the ports, so the data on the drive was unrecoverable without using this bit of hardware that WD decided to activate on some of their drives, just in case one day you decided to add password protection, but to be fair to Western Digital, Andy has since told me that my drive was in a very bad way and that It is testimony to the quality of the drive that we were able to nurse the heads through without the need of a rebuild, and even if this drive had no encryption chip I would have never been able to get the data back as the drive was in such a state that I needed some professional help.

    How my drive got this way I have no clue, the drive has been babied since new, has never left my house and has been sitting by the side of my Mac for nearly two years, I only moved it a couple of times, and one of those was when I bought the drive back home after purchase, I did ask Andy how my drive could have got so bad and he told me that the damage could have happened anytime in the drives life but been managed by the drives electronics up to the point, more of the drive was being used and more bad sectors were mapped by the error checking functions to the point they could not manage all the bad sectors, more testimony to both Western Digital and the knowledge of Andy, who by the way, is the Operations Manager over at R3 Data Recovery.

    So you just never know when your hard drive could fail on you and your precious data could be lost forever, notice I said could!

    When I realised this was not something that I could try and fix, that is when I decided to Google data recovery and as mentioned above, out of all the companies I spoke with, I am so glad that R3 Data Recovery were my company of choice, I am so thankful to Andy and Mike for the awesome job they did in recovering all of my data, not just a few bits here and there they managed to recover every single file and directory perfectly, and as already mentioned, the data on my drive was running around 1.6 Terabytes.

    Everything was smooth sailing from start to finish, for me anyway as I now knew my drive would be in safe hands. Andy sent a courier to collect my drive which was promptly collected the following day, even though my second contact when I had finally made my decision to go with R3 Data Recovery was on a Sunday at very early hours, Andy emailed me back straight away as he was still working on another job, impressed, I was.

    During the process I spoke to Mike on the phone for an update who informed me that they had to build a custom heat sink so the drive would stay on long enough to get the image from the drive and the heat dissipation was to prevent the motor bearing over heating due to friction as there were just short of 4Billion sectors on my drive and several million of those were bad. One of the worst they had seen, at least amongst their current batch of recoveries, and that even new heads would have struggled to improve the read times by a few percent, and that the only cause for this would be a head crash, most likely during power fluctuations or a knock or drop, pointing to slight spindle to motor angle change, all very technical stuff, again making me feel confident that I had made the right choice in choosing R3 Data Recovery.

    While my drive was in recovery I was informed of every step of the procedure and also had a very nice courtesy email from Andy reassuring me that my data was in the process of recovery and that there was no need for concern, which was very much appreciated and went a long way to calm my peace of mind and as soon as the raw data image was on the recovery machine, Andy had the faulty drive couriered back to me so I could return the drive to WD for a warranty replacement, now that is what I call customer service.

    The recovery did take a bit longer than expected, but considering the state of the drive this was more than acceptable and as soon as my data was recovered from the image and copied to the replacement drive, that was promptly sent back to me with all my data intact and safe, so all in all they sent me three couriers, and recovered every bit of my data, I have no clue how they did it and I really do not know what I would have done without their help, as it certainly would have been the end of my App development days for the foreseeable future.

    I whole heartedly recommend R3 Data Recovery to anyone who is of need of data recovery, and would urge you to look nowhere else for the sake of your data and your sanity. In my humble opinion R3 Data Recovery are more than specialists they are genuine professionals.

    Copyright © Shane Hogan
    Do not copy this article.

    R3 Data Recovery
    Buy ScaleViz To help you Master the Modes, Nail the CAGED system, learn all Major, Minor and Dominant, Chords, Arpeggios, Pentatonics and Modal Shapes in all positions, go from From Cowboy Chords to Soloing and become a Fretboard Master with ScaleViz today!

  • ScaleViz – A journey into Development

    ScaleViz was developed in Flash CS5 using ActionScript 3.0, which I have been learning since February 2011, AS3 was my quickest route to developing for iOS as I have experience working with timeline animation in Flash and some basic AS2 knowledge, although this didn’t help much as the language has changed significantly from AS2…

    I started developing ScaleViz when Adobe first announced their Packager for the iPhone, but at the time I didn’t have an iOS device, then the project was cancelled, and so was ScaleViz, left on the shelf for another year, I did change the development to Flash Lite for a short while but didn’t get very far as device support was dwindling.

    Eventually I got myself an iPod (Gen 2) and it absolutely blew me away, I could actually see ScaleViz working with swipes and my enthusiasm was reborn, within the next few days I joined the Apple Developer Program and guess what I did first, that’s right, the cobwebs were blown away, and ScaleViz was compiled, needless to say it didn’t work, it was all timeline and AS2 based. but, that’s how my AS3 journey started…

    Notes on using Flash for App Development: The AS3.0 code sample’s are the same for all devices, the publish setting you choose when you compile your app, sets the target device.

    For targeting Android devices you need to use, Flash CS5.5 using “Air for Android” as the publish setting (The Flash CS5.0 Air for Android Extension is no longer available).

    For publishing to an iOS device, you need Flash CS5.0 with the “Flash Professional CS5.0 Update for iOS”, which you can find at Adobe’s Flash Support Center, or you can use Flash CS5.5. You also need to be a registered Apple Developer.

    Note: If your not running the Mac version of Flash for iOS development you should have access to a Mac to create your .p12 certificate, and upload your binaries for review.

    Buy ScaleViz To help you Master the Modes, Nail the CAGED system, learn all Major, Minor and Dominant, Chords, Arpeggios, Pentatonics and Modal Shapes in all positions, go from From Cowboy Chords to Soloing and become a Fretboard Master with ScaleViz today!