Light Pad – Home Automation [what you need]

Light Pad IconWhat do you need in order to use Light Pad – Home Automation? How can you control your home using your iPhone?

First, you need an iPhone or iPad. That probably goes without saying.

Before you can use Light Pad, you need to set up your smarthome. There is lots of information online about how to do this. With that in mind, all you need to know is that Light Pad works in conjunction with Indigo home automation software. Indigo Domotics has a good overview of their software in their Getting Started Guide.

Indigo is a server application that runs on a Mac computer, so, you need a Mac and the Indigo software.

You will also need some devices (lights, coffee makers, or any other device that can be controlled by X10, Insteon, or z-wave).

A typical setup for a smart home would be to have Indigo control a Smarthome Insteon PowerLinc Modem. Of course, if you like z-wave, you would need a similar device that supports the z-wave protocol – the Indigo web site has information on compatible interfaces. Then you need a device to control. There are many options here too. If you want to control a light, you can use something like the SwitchLinc Dimmer or a LampLinc module. You can even control your Phillips Hue lights (using a plugin) from the Indigo software.

Set that up and then you are ready to use Light Pad to control your smart home.


Light Pad server settings

server settings

Go into the settings of Light Pad. In there you will see that you need to enter the Indigo server IP address and port. The IP address is the one of the computer you are running the Indigo software on. If you have not modified the Indigo server settings, then the port will be the default port which is 8176.

Next, you need to look at your devices in the Indigo GUI. One of the columns is “Device ID”. That is what you want to enter in the device ID field in Light Pad. Then you can either use the same name or any name you want in the name field. Once you save that, you are ready to go.





Light Pad App Control Screen

Light Pad Control Screen

Go to the main interface of Light Pad (or start the app up) and you will see your favorite devices. Just press the on or off button and your light should turn on or off.

That’s it. Hope you enjoy Light Pad.

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Light Pad – Home Automation

Light Pad IconOur newest app – Light Pad – Home Automation – is available on the iTunes Store.



The Light Pad iPhone app lets you control your Indigo home automation software in an easy way.

Once you have your Indigo server set up, you can enter the IP address and device IDs for your favorite devices into Light Pad, and enjoy being just a tap away from turning your lights on and off.

See the Light Pad – Home Automation info page for more information.

NOTE: Light Pad requires the Indigo Home automation software – (Indigo Domotics).

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SPIED – Social Photo Information Extraction Device

SPIED IconOur newest app – SPIED – Social Photo Information Extraction Device – is available on the iTunes Store.

Have you ever wanted to know when or where a picture was taken? SPIED allows you to view exif data from photos and images including location, date, time, image size, exposure and shutter speed info, make and model of camera.

SPIED is a social photo information extraction device. It’s spy equipment that lets you view photo metadata and provides geotagging so you can easily see where a photo was taken. Whether you are into photography or simply looking for information about your pictures or photos you find online, SPIED will reveal the exif information.

See the SPIED – Social Photo Information Extraction Device app site or our SPIED app info page for more information.

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Optimizing Web Pages for User Experience and SEO

The Well Dressed Web Page

Optimizing web pages for user experience and SEO.

Far too many websites are designed without thinking about the site visitor or the flow of content on a website. Designing web pages by focusing on user experience and search engine optimization (SEO) produces a mindful website that is more likely to meet visitor’s needs.

On November 16, 2013 at WordCamp Orlando, I gave a presentation entitled “The Well Dressed Web Page”. The presentation covered the key elements of webpage design including content, images, and metadata and provided examples on how to make web pages more user friendly with the help of WordPress plug-ins and a handful of free tools.

Some of the highlights from the presentation include:

  • Content best practices
  • Types of images
  • On page metadata (title tags, meta descriptions, alt image text, meta keywords, heading tags)
  • Structured metadata (rich snippets, data highlighter, Facebook open graph, twitter cards)
  • Keyword placement best practices
  • How to monitor results for your website
  • Examples of the perfectly optimized pages (general pages, landing pages)
  • Where to find free resources (plug-ins, tools, cheat sheets)

Discover how you can improve your current website or mindfully design your next website project.

Download the presentation!

Click Here Button



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Local SEO Presentation for WordPress Orlando Roundtable Meetup Group

It’s officially past midnight, so today is the day I will be giving a presentation on Local SEO for the WordPress Orlando Roundtable Meetup group. I’m still putting the finishing touches on the presentation, but it’s not like I would get any sleep anyway, so I might as well do something useful.

By the way, I’ve discovered a few good WordPress plug-ins that make local search engine optimization easy. Here’s my list so far:

  • SEO Ultimate – this one has just about everything you need to make local seo a breeze, rich snippet creator, open graph integrator, and author highlighter to name a few.
  • Google SEO Author Snippet Plugin
  • Google XML Sitemaps
  • WordPress SEO By Yoast
  • All in One SEO Pack

This one is in beta now, but I’m looking forward to checking it out once it is avaialable:

Local SEO by Yoast

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Orchid App Update Announced by NerdsGeeksGurus, LLC

orchid notebook app iconMount Dora, FL – NerdsGeeksGurus, LLC released an update to their Orchid app for the iPhone and iPad mobile devices. Orchid Notebook 1.5.0, released in September, enhances the database portion of the app by providing an additional field to track orchid collections and allows collections to be viewed by genus.

The grex field was added to the database to allow users greater flexibility on detailing individual orchids in a collection. The grex is used to describe cultivated plants in way that is not necessarily related to the biological classification. The addition of the grex field allows users to put more details about the name of an orchid.

“One of the most requested updates to the Orchid Notebook App is the genus view,” stated Patricia Conrader, marketing director of NerdsGeeksGurus, LLC. “The biggest benefit of having the orchids listed by genus is that it allows users to sort through larger collections easier.” The view shows each Genus name and displays the number of orchids there are of that genus in their collection.

“Orchid Notebook 1.5.0 is the beginning of a series of incremental updates scheduled over the six months,” according John Conrader, CEO and app developer for NerdsGeeksGurus, LLC. When asked about future revisions to the orchid app, Mr. Conrader replied, “The next update will include growing instructions for additional orchid genera aimed at new orchid growers and a wish list view.” He also hinted that a desktop version for Mac users is in the works.

Orchid Notebook 1.5.0 is available for $2.99 in the iTunes App Store. There is also a free version available that has limited features that allows for 5 entries.

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Orchid Notebook 1.4.0

Wow! It has been awhile, but the Orchid Notebook iPhone App has been updated.

The biggest improvement in OrchidNotebook 1.4.0 is that it lets you save a copy of the orchid database to your computer.

What’s really cool is that once you have your backup on your computer, you can save it back to your device or to another device. If you have both an iPhone and an iPad (or more than one iPhone), you can have your data on all your devices. Convenient right?

To let you in on a little secret, I have some other plans for upcoming versions of the OrchidNotebook. Be on the lookout for another update or two over the next couple of months. It should be very exciting for those of you that have shared suggestions.

Hmmm…if you just had a way to edit your orchid collection and wish list on the computer (hint, hint).

By the way, if you want to know how to backup and restore your data, head on over to the OrchidNotebook website to get the details.


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Post Your Orchid Pictures On Instagram

Hey all,

I recently had someone ask for a way to post images of your orchid collection to share with other users. While we currently don’t have plans to implement that within the Orchid Notebook iPhone App, there is a way that it could be done.

It originally came up in on the OrchidBoard Forum in the thread about the Orchid Notebook iPhone App here. The OrchidBoard Forums are a great place to get information about growing orchids and for meeting other people that are interested in growing orchids.

I replied to the post with some ideas  about sharing orchid photos on Instagram. Then I posted a new orchid thread on the OrchidBoard forum with information on how it can be done.

In order to share your pictures, you need to download the Instagram iPhone App (check the App Store).

Then you set up an account.

Then share your photos.

It is pretty easy.

You can tell people your user name and they can follow you. Then, your followers (and any other user) can “like” your photo and make it popular. 

When you post a picture, you can add a tag using the ‘#’ notation. So, for example, when I post a picture, I put something like “This #Encyclia #tampansis #orchid #flower is in my #OrchidNotebook.”

What that will do is allow people to find your posting by keyword search. Each tag you want to use needs a # in front of it.

So, I started a user called OrchidNotebook. I post pictures of my orchids up there. I am trying to post a picture a day. I tend to use the filters in Instagram, but I also will post some of mine with no filter (since the colors are more accurate).

It is a great place to share your photos and see photos of others.

I have set up a page that you can go to to see the latest photos that have the #OrchidNotebook tag on them at OrchidNotebook. This is just test site for now – I will be adding more features to it later. I might eventually have to move it off the front page.

There are also other sites that you can view your (and other’s) photos. I like Inkstagram.

Anyhow, I hope more people join. Whether or not you use the #OrchidNotebook tag, I would still like to see more orchid pictures up there. I know you all have some great photos and some great orchids.

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Orchid Notebook v1.3.0 (and a free version)

We have released v1.3.0 of the Orchid Notebook. This version takes care of some database optimizations to make the app be more efficient in its memory usage.

We have also released a free version so you can take it for a test drive. The free version has all the features of the full version, but is limited to 5 entries in your collection. You can download the free version of Orchid Notebook from the iTunes store.


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Inside Scoop on iPhone App Development

Being an iPhone app development company, it’s not surprising that we at NerdsGeeksGurus, LLC frequently receive comments and inquiries from people that would like to have an app developed. What is surprising is the amount of sensitive information people are willing to share in the process of having their questions answered. If you have a great idea, you need to protect it. This is the first in a series of blog entries focusing on tips and frequently asked questions pertaining to the app development process.

How much detail do I need to share about my app?

An app developer needs to know what kind of features and services you need. How much the developer needs to know depends largely on the services that the developer is capable of providing. Some developers only provide programming services, while others feature a broad range of services such as marketing, PR, and app maintenance on Apple’s iTunes App Store.

Some common information that developers want to know about your app include:

  • Who will be providing artwork and wording for the app?
  • Do you need email or social networking capabilities?
  • Who is responsible for marketing the app?
  • What kind of app is it?
  • Does the app target a specific industry or age group?
  • Who is responsible for maintaining the app on Apple’s iTunes App Store?
  • Who will be providing insurance for the app?
  • Do you have a time limit for completing the app?

For a check list of features and services download the iPhone App Development Worksheet.

Content details shouldn’t be shared until after you’ve determined that the app developer is capable of meeting your needs. Once that has been determined, most reputable app developers will provide a mutual non-disclosure agreement to protect both parties during and after the negotiation stages of app development. As with any contract, it is always best to consult with an attorney before signing a legal document.

How much does it cost to develop an app?

This is the hardest question for a developer to answer because the cost largely depends on how much work is involved in creating an app.

If you’re willing to learn how to program, you can develop the app yourself for FREE. If you want to sell your app on iTunes, you will need to either find someone to host your app or join Apple’s iPhone Developer’s Program so you can host it yourself.

If you want to have someone program your app, you should be aware that the cost of development varies from company to company. At NerdsGeeksGurus, LLC, our hourly fee is $150. Our average app costs from $1,000 – $1,500 a page. Keep in mind that a very basic app will contain 3 or 4 pages. A video game style app can easily run into the $100,000+ range. We also require a downpayment and signed contract before work on the app can begin.

Other options to consider are app acquisition or co-branding an existing app. The iTunes App Store features contact information as part of the description and lists the name of the seller. These options are especially suitable when time is of the essence.

What should I look for in an app developer?

Finding the right developer can be overwhelming. There are many factors to consider when selecting an app development firm. Before you sign a contract, you should have a solid understanding of the developer’s capabilities and what is expected from all involved parties. Interviewing multiple app developers will help you become familiar with the types of services that are typically offered and is a good way to clarify any questions that you may have regarding the app development process.

The main questions to ask your developer:

  • Do you currently have any apps available for sale?
  • Have you developed apps for other clients?
  • How and by whom will my project be managed?
  • Do you outsource work or is it completed in-house?
  • Is your work insured and guaranteed?

Price should be considered when choosing a developer, but you also want to make sure that the developer will be able to take good care of you.

I hope this helps answer some of your questions about the app development process. In my next blog entry, I’ll discuss the question “How much will I make with my app?”

Enjoy! Have an awesome day.


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