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Brain Drain

Posted 2011.03.27 8.45 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

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.

PassGenR Update in the Works

Posted 2010.09.24 8.07 in iPhone by Stephanie

After what seems like about a year and a half, I’ve finally gotten back to doing some programming for the iPhone / iDevices.

My very first iPhone app, PassGenR, has had a long list of upgrades waiting for it since April 2009. At long last I’ve decided to get that done. I’ve been on it over the past several days, and it’s now in the testing stages. Hopefully I’ll be ready to submit the new version to Apple over the weekend.

Among the new features / improvements are:

  • Passwords can be copied to clipboard
  • Passwords can be sent by eMail
  • Passwords can be sent by SMS
  • History area doubled
  • Added Hexidecimal option to password parameters
  • Improved graphics & new icon

The app is built for iOS 4.x but will still work on devices running iOS 3.x.

As always, PassGenR will remain completely free – and there are no adverts or anything else. I hate ‘free’ apps that bombard you with ads, so I’ll never do that myself.

I’ll post an update once it’s in Apple’s hands, and another once the update is released on the App store.

Still Here… Still Sore.

Posted 2010.03.07 12.24 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Blink and it’s like four days passed… I’m still here, but the pain comes and goes. A friend has suggested that it might be what they call a ‘dry socket’… she had this when her wisdom teeth were removed. What happens is the gums don’t fully close where the tooth was, leaving a bit of the bone exposed. Then any time some food or whatever gets into the socket, it touches that exposed bone and causes pain. If it’s there for a long time it can lead to infection. So I have to talk to the dentist again this week and ask if this could be what I’m experiencing.

When something gets in there, the pain starts within a minute or so, then in about 10 or 15 minutes the pain has spread to include my ear, and then it continues to spread till it’s encompased the entire side of my head. Then it just stays like that, till I can get the bit of food out – which can take a long time, the only way to remove it is by doing lots and lots of rinsing with water.

It takes all the joy out of eating.

Anyhow, so I’ve been trying to keep my mind off that with other distractions. I don’t remember if I ever officially stated in the blob that I had no intentions of learning to do coding for the Nintendo DS, but I definately officially had no intentions to learn how to do coding for the Nintendo DS.

Unsurprisingly, 3 months later, I’m learning to do coding for the Nintendo DS. Nothing pretty or fancy – I’m no gamer, I’m terrible at playing games and have no interest in trying to make them. But simple things, exploring the technology and whatnot, making it do things, making stuff happen. That’s where I’m at.

Test Inputs Screenshot

So I wrote a simple utility that tests all the inputs (i.e. buttons and touchscreen) and does a few funky things, plays sounds and moves a ‘sprite’ around, utilizes the two screens, and so on and so forth. The screenshot makes it look very lame and boring, but I had lots of fun making it, and it kept my mind off the pain and hunger for a few days.

There’s already lots of other little utilities that do the same thing as this, but this one is mine and does things my way. Aside from doing the obvious, it also has some fun little things that it can do, by pressing the right keys.

It was also a good primer for moving on to try doing some other things with it. Maybe like graphics – I understand people enjoy graphics, these days.

So that’s about where it’s at, right now.

Cheers.