Biscotti Labs Site

Updated Biscotti Labs Web Site

I’d originally built the web site for my mobile app development and training company Biscotti Labs as a very simple static Twitter Bootstrap HTML page.

I liked the idea of keeping the site as a static single page, instead of worrying about keeping another content management system up to date (WordPress has to be kept updated on a pretty regular basis because of security holes).

I also didn’t like the idea of digging too deep into a CMS theme to get things to look the way I wanted – customizing a WordPress or Drupal theme can be pretty time consuming, and I don’t really enjoy theme development.

I went with a single page theme that I bought from MediaLoot – my go to place for user interface assets. They have a much better license agreement than other marketplaces, but less selection.

A little customization (including some bear photos my wife and I took during a trip to Katmai National Park in Alaska), and I have a new web site for Biscotti Labs!

The next step will be to optimize the front-end web performance on the web page – out of the box, there are a few things that could be improved with the Javascript on the site.

Fall Semester 2015: Mobile App Development Class for iOS

It’s the fall semester at the University of Texas at Austin, and I’m teaching my introduction to iPhone app programming class again! This is the third time that I’ve taught the class, and I’m always excited by it.

This year, we’ll be using the Swift programming language, and we’ll also be using Auto Layout from the very beginning of the class for responsive user interface design. Those are two major changes from how the class was taught in previous semesters (Objective-C, and very little Auto Layout).

Because this is a class for journalism students who may have never programmed before, I take a slightly different approach than many of the other iOS programming classes and tutorials. We start with a user-interface driven approach, and then go into programming.

If you’re interested, I’ll be adding links from this year’s class (and previous years’ classes) onto this web site on the Mobile Apps Class page.

Twilio Signal 2015: Video of my Talk

My Talk at Twilio’s Signal 2015 Conference, Using your web development skills to build Twilio-powered apps for Android and iOS, is now up as a video. If you’re interested in adding voice to your mobile apps using the Twilio Client Plugin for PhoneGap, this video is a short intro to the topic. If you have any questions about mobile app development with Twilio, I’d be happy to talk about it!

LittleBits/Matrix Color Rotator Code for Twilio Signal HackPack

I made my twitter handle scroll across the screen, changing colors as it goes – pretty simple effect, but here’s the Arduino code:

#include <Adafruit_NeoPixel.h>
#include <Adafruit_GFX.h>
#include <Adafruit_NeoMatrix.h>

#define PIN 1

Adafruit_NeoMatrix matrix = Adafruit_NeoMatrix(8, 8, PIN,

void setup() {
// put your setup code here, to run once:
matrix.setTextColor( matrix.Color(0, 0, 255) );


int x = matrix.width();

int colorRotator = 0;

void loop() {
// put your main code here, to run repeatedly:
matrix.setCursor(x, 0);
if(--x < -70) {
x = matrix.width();
if (colorRotator > 3) {
colorRotator = 0;
if (colorRotator % 3 == 0) {
matrix.setTextColor( matrix.Color(0, 0, 255) );
} else if (colorRotator % 3 == 1) {
matrix.setTextColor( matrix.Color(0, 255, 0) );
} else {
matrix.setTextColor( matrix.Color(255, 0, 0) );