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Damn.

Posted 2011.10.05 22.19 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Steve Jobs. 1955-2011

R.I.P.

Linking URLs on the TV

Posted 2011.08.15 20.28 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Music/Movies/TV

Here’s something that has been bugging me for about the last 5 years or so.¬†When you see a URL on the TV, why can’t you just click it and have the link open up on your browser on your computer?

Ok I know the TV isn’t usually connected to the computer. Doesn’t matter. What about the digital hub stuff that they’ve been going on about for a few years? Between all the digital devices we’ve got in our homes, there should be a way to make this happen.

If the rumours of an Apple-branded television are true, then I expect this has to be one of the features. Click a link on the tv screen and it opens on your iPad or your Mac. So you can keep watching the show, while you follow the link.

Wet Pets

Posted 2011.06.10 20.43 in Aquaria

Here’s a random pic of a little get-together in my snail tank:

About 3 weeks ago I adopted some more snails. The big one here is an Apple Snail who’s been eating and growing like crazy. Hitching a ride on his back is a little Nerite snail. Taking a close look at the nerite is an African Dwarf Frog. And a bit blurry in the background are two female Bettas.

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Brain Drain

Posted 2011.03.27 8.45 in Computers/Internet/Technology

It’s very frustrating. I’ve just resumed working on an iPad app, after a 4 or 5 month hiatus, and once again I can’t figure the darn stuff out.

Last time I got back into iOS coding, it was after more than a year away. Things had gone through two major revisions; I had learned coding in iOS 2.x and when I went back to it, they were at iOS 4.x – there were some huge changes.

This time, it’s not like that. I got about halfway through this project in October or November, working against 3.2 and 4.something. Certainly, 4.something was the current level that I was compiling against. And now were’ just at 4.3 so it’s only one or two minor changes.

But this time around, they’ve completely — completely — changed the IDE. I mean utterly, it’s a strange and unfamiliar new beast, and I frakking hate it. I think it’s ugly, stuff is hidden, it feels like they’ve removed things I was accustomed to.

They probably have some positive-sounding marketing spin, but what they’re really doing is slowly moving towards this full-screen one-app-at-a-time bullshit on the Mac. It works on the iPhone / iPad because of the limitations there, and I get that it makes life easier for non-technical people. But if you’re writing code or doing development, then by definition you are kinda technical, yeah?

So I’m really resenting what they’ve done to Xcode.

It’s foreign and ugly and I look at my half-finished project and can’t make head-nor-tails of it. The language hasn’t changed but I can’t figure out what the heck I’m doing. I don’t know if this means I’ve gotten dumber in the last 4 or 5 months, or if I’m just blocking it out because I find the interface so shitty.

Either way it is frustrating and bothersome.

The project has a self-imposed go-live deadline of April 30th. There’s at least a month of work left on it. I know I shouldn’t have left it so late to get back to it, but all that other stuff was happening and this got set on the backburner.

Bah. I’m just venting. Though I fear this is indicative of the direction Apple is taking overall with their desktop OS and I don’t like what I’m seeing. I didn’t like the preview of Lion, either.

Update: Yay, a quick scan through the developer forums revealed that the old Xcode was still available — just hidden. So I’m off downloading that. Later today I’ll find out if it was just the crappy new interface, or if I really have gotten stupider over the last few months.

Whine and Cheeze

Posted 2010.11.07 9.17 in Computers/Internet/Technology, iPhone

I’ve recently gone back to doing some iPhone programming. Back in April 2009, I had a list of features I wanted to add to one of my apps, and here it is, a mere year and a half later, and I’ve actually done it.

Quite a lot has changed since then, of course. The state of the art back then was iPhone OS 2.x, with OS 3 just-around-the-corner. Now we’re at 4.1, and 4.2 is coming in November. The tools have all changed too; I’ve lost track of how many times the XCode development tools have been upgraded.

So the first big challenge for me was to re-learn how to actually do the iPhone programming, and then to get my ‘antiquated’ project sources up-to-date so they’d work with the current dev tools. Then after all that, I could finally start with the actual enhancements.

The current XCode tools let me develop for iOS 4.1 (for the iPhone and iPod Touch) and iOS 3.2.x for the iPad. They also let me select a deployment target ‘as far back as’ iOS 3.0. The reason for this is so that folks who aren’t using the very-latest OS could still use my app. Personally I think it’s important to include backwards compatibility. On the one hand, upgrading to the latest OS is free and typically it is highly recommended, but some people simply don’t want to, or don’t feel the need. Or in the case of the 1st-gen iPhones, they simply can not do it — Apple has dropped support for the original iPhone; the latest it can run is iOS 3.x

So, I build my app using the 4.1 tools and specify that it will deploy for 3.x on upwards. In the places where it uses 4.x-only functions, I put those functions in a conditional branch so they won’t cause a crash or anything on the 3.x devices.

And at last, here we find the whine…

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iPad Envy

Posted 2010.10.13 14.18 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Back in January when the iPad first came out, my reaction was pretty meh. There were a number of points about which I was unimpressed or underwhelmed.

Yet now, a mere 9 months later, I keep thinking I want one. What’s Apple done to me? Don’t they already have enough of my money?

There’s all these rumours spinning around too, about a next-gen iPad. Maybe coming next year, or maybe coming before x-mas. It’ll be smaller, or it’ll be the same size. It’ll have a higher-resolution screen, or maybe it won’t. It’ll be faster. It’ll have more memory. It’ll have cameras. It’ll make toast, walk the dog, and cure cancer.

So I don’t know…

  • I want one.
  • I don’t want one.
  • I need one, to test my own apps during development.
  • I don’t really need one, my apps aren’t optimized or made for the iPad.
  • I would like one, so I can optimize some of the business websites for the iPad.
  • I don’t need one as the iPad has a big enough screen that it’s like using a regular computer, so the business sites don’t need to be modified at all.

I want one now. I don’t want one now, I want to wait till November to see if there’s any announcements.

If I wait till November and there’s no announcements, maybe there’ll be an announcement in January. So then I should wait another month or two.

But I want one now.

Dangit.

PassGenR Update Available

Posted 2010.10.03 10.33 in iPhone

Apple has finished reviewing the update for PassGenR and has approved it.

The updated app is now available for download at the App Store.

I have started working on an update for my second app, Liber Umbrarum et Lux. This one will take longer than a week or so however, as I have lots of big plans for version 2.0 of this app.