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PassGenR Update in the Works

Posted 2010.09.24 8.07 in iPhone

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.

How Computer Programming Works

Posted 2007.09.19 0.00 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Writing a computer program is kind of like trying to explain a complicated task to a gifted three-year old who only speaks Esperanto.

What do I mean by this? Well computers are usually very fast, and they usually have a very good memory, but they are not very smart. They need you to explain things in detail, and the fancier the task, the harder it is to explain exactly what you want done. And in Esperanto, because no matter what your native tongue is, the computer speaks something different. Unlike three-year-olds, however, computers always do exactly what you tell them.

Example: Tell the computer to pick up your dry cleaning:

If you’re using a high-level computer language, then there might be lots of built-in functions or routines that you can use, such as getNextDryCleanTicket, accessCar, and driveCar. You still have to program the actual map to the drycleaners, so how many meters on what bearing. You’ll want to include some event-handling processes to respond to other traffic and so on. High-level languages work because someone else has done the low-level work of creating those various functions / routines.

If you’re using a low-level computer language then you have to build your own functions and routines, so instead of just accessCar you need to define how to access it (where’s the key, where’s the car, what the key does, how to turn the key, etc.)

At the assembly language level – the lowest level language – you have to tell the computer everything – not just what’s a key, and what’s a car, but what’s a noun. Then work your way up from there.

The bottom line is, computers always do exactly what you tell them; they just don’t always do what you want, or what you expect.