Category Archives: How to

Save Time – Auto Insert Commonly used Text Within iOS

I use iOS text-replacement frequently to save myself time and reduce typing errors while writing literally anything on my iPhone. Type a small group of letters i.e “sss” and like magic  “” appears.

What actually happens

The iOS text replacement system tracks all key strokes you make on the standard iOS keyboard and then, when a predefined set of numbers, letters or special characters (followed by the space key) are typed iOS replaces the small set with the previsoult specified words or numbers.

(Skip to the bottom of the page for set up instructions).


Auto Fill Email – The Best Use

If like me, you have work, personal, family, project and various other emails accounts then by far the best way to save time and use Text Replacement is to have it insert complete email address for you, while you only type an abbrivieation

This garauntees that you will not make a mistake with that email address and save you precisous typing time.

iOS Auto fill text

More Uses For iOS Text Replacement

Another great option can be to use the system for the replacement of a phone number or postal address, you can even add in often used phrases within a text message or email such as “love you see you soon” or “OK, see you 10 minutes, for example.

Anything you use regularly can and (probably) should be automated. So what do you find yourself type alot?

iOS Phone number auto insert


How to set up iOS text replacement

On your iOS device go to: Settings / General / Keyboard / Text Replacement

Click the “+” at the top right of the screen, from there you will be prompted for the phrase or word you want to add automatically and then the shortcut you will use to auto insert the text.

Indoor climbing with your children; How to start.

By its very nature climbing is a simple sport. No matter the climber’s age or ability they are often, if not always, trying their hardest to climb their best.
As the climber and the difficulty of the climbs progress the holds get smaller and the footholds worse, however, no matter the size, everyone in the family or group of friends are always trying their best and overcoming their own individual challenges.
Climbing is a sport where often you are only competing against yourself, this type of sport, therefore, lends itself perfectly to any group of friends or family of various generations wanting to get fitter, enjoy the same activity, while spending more time together.
Any parent aspiring to become a climber finds themselves on a level footing with their whole family even if it there first visit the indoor climbing wall. I cannot think of another sport similar to that.
No matter how old the family members are or how big the gaps, starting to climb indoors is the best activity to bring all the family together.
How can I start climbing with my children
All of the climbing centres in Bristol have ways for you and your children to start indoor climbing safely. There are 2 main ways in which you can get your children involved in indoor climbing that all of the centres adopt if one way or another.
The children can join one of the indoor climbing clubs or sessions
You sign them up for one of the many climbing courses or clubs that the climber’s centres have to offer, these climbing sessions are always fully instructed and are similar to a rugby or gymnastic club. The sessions can be a ‘one-off’ or one of the regular sessions (depending on the centre).
During these sessions, the children are often taught one of the many climbing skills along with balance, agility and coordination, while also of courses, keeping the climbing sessions fun and safe, hopefully inspiring them for life (For full information visit the climbing centre websites found at the bottom of the article).
Bristol has some of the best freelance climbing coaches and instructors in the UK and the indoor climbing walls all use them regularly. It would be hard to say which wall has the best sessions for children, the best bet is to try them all out to find which one suits your needs more.
The parent or adult becomes the registered member
An adult can gain the skills required to join an indoor climbing centre either through an experienced friend or by one of the climbing centre Induction sessions or beginner classes.
The over 18’s then becomes a ‘member’ (on successful completion); as a member, they are then allowed (at time of writing) to bring along two guests of any age and any skill and take responsibility for them during their time in the climbing centre.
Each climbing centre in Bristol allows up to 2 guests, any more that than and you step into group territory and would be required to book an instructor.
Gaining the experience through a friend
As I have mentioned a member each climbing centre allows a member to sign in 2 guests, that also applies for adults, if an adult came as a guest (to Bloc as an example) for a minimum of 10 hours then they would reach the requirements to register themselves and so take on the ability to sign in their own 2 guests. It is them the member job to educate and supervise the guests.
Learn to climb at an indoor climbing centre
As you might imagine the ‘roped’ climbing centres have a higher barrier to entry as belaying and other ropes and PPE skills are required for a safe climbing session. Both of the roped climbing centres, Undercover Rock and Redpoint have adult beginner courses that vary in length from 4 hours to 8hrs and are often split over a few days. For more info on these indoor climbing, courses visit their respective website and
The bouldering inductions (beginner courses) vary between the two bouldering centres, The Climbing Academy Bristol allows you to watch a video to gain the level of experience to meet the requirements of their registration while Bloc requires that you complete an Induction session with a climbing coach for a minimum of 15 minutes (anytime).
Many parents take both approaches
Many parents wanting to start climbing arrange a mixture of both of the options above. The benefit of the Adult being the members is that you are free to use the climbing centres as you wish. During school holidays and wet weekends you would have a perfect activity for you and 2 (normally the maximum) children or friends.
One of large benefits of your child or children joining one of the climbing clubs or sessions, of course, that your are free to do as you wish, often it is not a requirement to stay on site during the session, leaving you can catch up on that book or grab yourself a coffee.
All of the groups and clubs run by the sessions are fully instructed, all the centres have fantastic coaches and instructors and often you may see the same instructors working at different indoor climbing centres in Bristol, so you know they have a wide level of experience and are in the industry for life.
Learning what needs to be learnt to become a member along with signing you child or children up to a class mean gives you a lot more freedom during those long school holidays or rainy Christmas months, perhaps also you child can pass on some of the skills they have learnt to you.
Why start climbing indoors with your children
Indoor climbing with you child or children is the best sport I know of, it allows by it’s very nature you both to climbing together, in the very same area and try with as much effort as each other. All the hard climbs, the easy climbs and the children climbs are mixed together, there is now adult area. This means that you take it turns to literally climb the same bit of wall (albeit a different colour climb) and have the same fun experience. It’s fantastic, it always bring a smile to my face to see parents and children climbing together, especially if the child is beating the parent!
So don’t wait, give an indoor climbing centre a call and get you and your family climbing. Check out a previous article on the indoor climbing centres in Bristol which summarises the difference and what I view are each their best qualities.
Or if you would like a private Bouldering Induction session or would like to learn how to climb with ropes with me or one of my coaches please contact me here to find out when the next class is available.
Undercover-rock – The Climbing Academy – Redpoint Bristol – Bloc climbing centre

Reading blog posts on your Kindle…Finally!

I have been wanting to read long form blog posts or articles I find websites on my kindle for so long it hurts, all I really wanted was to read, read a lot while no leaning into my computer.

I know there were suppose to be ways (before you all tell me about them) but they were not easy, quick or nearly automatic enough.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 10.07.27Thankfully, Amazon has created something to fix this, and its works perfectly, its aptly named “Send to Kindle”.

“Send to Kindle” strips out all the adverts and creates a perfectly formatted kindle style book and sends it over wifi to your device for reading in your own time and not hunched over a computer.

How to send blog posts or articles from to a kindle

For example you want read this article “Knotty Strangers” by TribeofC (or something similar), in your own time and on your kindle. Firstly you will need to be using Chrome or Firefox so go ahead and grab one of those if you do not have it already, then visit Amazon send to kindle page and download the extension.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 10.07.18

Once the extension is installed click on the little “K” icon (make sure you are on the article page!).

Select “preview and send” to double check the look of the article before its sent to your kindle. Once you do this a few times, simply pressing “send to Kindle” is enough.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 10.07.27

During the preview you can specify the text size, background and a few other features, however as the kindle is flexible enough with this, this does not need changing.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 10.07.45

If you are happy with the preview (not that you can change much) click “send” in the top right corner.

Make sure that your Kindle is on and connected to a wifi network or that 3G is on.

Its time to put the kettle on and wait a few moments while Amazon formats the article and send its across.


That’s it your all done you can now enjoy reading Blogs on your Kindle and with no adverts

If you get stuck at any point, as always, drop me line through the usual channels.

Importing a large .sql database file into MAMP

This article written by helped me out so much and is cleanly written I had to re-share it. Full props go to Fatheadesign.

The original article can be found here

If you are struggling to import a larger database using MAMP you may have seen this image below, if you have you now how frustrating this can be.

I can across this when trying to copy my works WordPress install and set up a local server.

Below is copy and pasted directly from



Screen shot 2013-01-11 at 4.50.43 PM

This happens to me quite often, and I finally found a workaround for this within my local MAMP dev environment.

1. Open up the file within the phpmyadmin dir with your favorite code editor. In your local MAMP environment, it should be located here:

Hard Drive » Applications » MAMP » bin »

2. Do a search for the phrase $cfg[‘UploadDir’] – it’s going to look like this:

$cfg['UploadDir'] = '';

3. Change it to look like this:

$cfg['UploadDir'] = 'upload';

4. Then, within that phpmyadmin dir, create a new folder & name it upload.

5. Take that large .sql file that you’re trying to import, and put it in that new upload folder.

6. Now, solidsthe next time you go to import a database into phpMyAdmin, you’ll see a new dropdown field right below the standard browse area in your “File to Import” section, like this:

Screen shot 2013-01-11 at 5.21.45 PM

Select that dropdown, and your file will show up right there. Hilight the db, and hit “Import” – and you’re golden!