Category Archives: Open Source

Arduino the Open Source hardware

If you are a thinker, a mad scientist in the making or just a curious ADD person like me, the Arduino boards are just what you are missing in life.

Arduino Uno BoardArduino is an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple micro controller board, and a development environment for writing software for the board.

Arduino can be used to develop interactive objects, taking inputs from a variety of switches or sensors, and controlling a variety of lights, motors, and other physical outputs. Arduino projects can be stand-alone, or they can be communicate with software running on your computer .

Arduino hardware can be used in Windows, Mac or Linux. The boards can be assembled by hand or purchased pre-assembled and the open-source IDE (programming environment) can be downloaded for free.

There’s a great starting guide at, but I have also been recommended this book:

30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius

This guide shows you how to program and build a variety of projects with the Arduino microcontroller development system. Covering Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, it gets you up to speed with the simplified C programming you need to know–no prior programming experience necessary.

You can find more books and arduino boards and components on here.

Examples of what one can accomplish with Arduino:





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TrueCrypt tutorial

TrueCrypt is a free open-source disk encryption software for Windows 7/Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. With TrueCrypt you can create virtual encrypted drives,  encrypt entire partitions and removable devices or entire hard drives. Watch this tutorial by Thirdfoundation for Windows or the MAC Version by Obrien1979

UPDATE (Oct 14): The development of Truecrypt has been discontinued by its creator but a team of developers has taken up the task of carrying on its legacy through TCnext (TrueCrypt next). For more information please read “About TCnext“.

These videos below are based on an older version of TrueCrypt, but after installation you will see that it looks all the same. For the most up-to-date version go to

Read more »

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Cardsave error “transaction date/time expired”

If you are using CardSave (UK Version) and you come across the following error:

This transaction cannot be processed. It was rejected because the passed transaction date/time has expired. Please press “Back” in your browser and resubmit the transaction.”

It’s caused by your server providing a different timezone to your CardSave Gateway. You need to setup your server/script time zone to UTC.  In PHP you can do this by simply adding this line to your script:  date_default_timezone_set(‘UTC’);

For example, I was having a problem with the Cardsave(hosted) payment extension for OpenCart.  If you are having the same problem do this:

  1. Open the file /catalog/controler/payment/cardsave_hosted.php
  2. Find this line  $this->data[‘fields’][‘TransactionDateTime’] = (date(“Y-m-d H:i:s”).  ‘ +00:00’);  (line 305 I think)
  3. Just before that line add this :  date_default_timezone_set(‘UTC’); 
  4. Upload file to server and you are sorted.

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The Arduino Documentary

The OpenSource movement has changed and improved the way software is developed, distributed and viewed.  This documentary is a great example of how the same principle is being applied to hardware. Forgive me for being cheesy but I have to say it –  “the possiblities are endless” .


Arduino The Documentary (2010) English HD from gnd on Vimeo.

Opencart simple and great e-commerce system

For a long time I have been very frustrated with e-commerce systems, from my self built one all the way to Magento. That was until I came across OpenCart. It’s a great system, easy to use and to develop for. Installation takes 5 minutes, it has all the modules you need to run a successful e-commerce site straight out of the .zip.  I nicknamed it the “WordPress of e-commerce”!  Have a look for yourself at the Opencart demonstration page.

OpenCart features:

  • Open Source
  • Documentation
  • Unlimited Categories
  • Unlimited Products
  • Unlimited Manufacturers
  • Templatable
  • Multi-Language
  • Multi-Currency
  • Product Reviews
  • Product Ratings
  • Downloadable Products
  • Automatic Image Resizing
  • Multiple Tax Rates
  • Related Products
  • Unlimited Information Pages
  • Shipping Weight Calculation
  • Discount Coupon System
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Module System
  • Backup & Restore Tools
  • Printable Invoices
  • Sales Reports

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