Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nontransitive generic interfaces

We're pretty busy racing to a deadline, so I don't have a great deal of time to dig into this. I just stumbled across a C# feature that works differently than I would have guessed. Check out the following code.

public class test
   public void doTest()
      Interface1<object> win = new Class1<object>();
      Interface2 fail = new Class1<object>();

public interface Interface2 : Interface1<object>

public interface Interface1<t> where T : class

public class Class1<t> : Interface1<t>
   where T : class


All I am really after is for Interface2 to act as an alias for Interface1 and hide the generic declaration bits. Well ... here it is. Maybe I'll come back later if I figure out a solution.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Time Machine & Airport Extreme

As I type, my MacBook is backing itself up to a network Time Machine drive. The drive (1TB LaCie) is attached as a USB AirPort Disk to my AirPort Extreme. It took a fair amount of trial and error to get it going. However, once I figured it out, there really isn't anything to it. While most of what I have found on the interwebs cheers that this is a relatively new feature for the AirPort Extreme, the posts out there aren't especially helpful in discussing exactly how to do it. Thus, here are my notes.
  1. To begin, attach the drive to a physical Mac.
  2. Use the Disk Utility and erase the disk using the "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" format type.
  3. (optional) I went ahead and made two partitions; a little one at the end as a general purpose file share for the network. Not sure if that is a good or bad idea, but thought it would be fun since (I think) I can delete it or resize either partition later.

  4. Unmount the drive from the Mac and plug it in to the AirPort Extreme.
  5. On your Mac, open the AirPort Utility and click the Disks tab.
  6. Click the "File Sharing" button and "Enable file sharing" with "With a disk password". It's kind of a bummer that the APE will not secure each partition with a different option. I would prefer to secure the file share with accounts. Oh well.
  7. The AirPort will probably have to reboot.
  8. When it is back online, open a Finder window and double click the AirPort icon under "Shared".
  9. Open your backup disk, supplying the disk password. You should see a disk icon of your backup disk on the desktop.
  10. Open System Preferences and click Time Machine.
  11. Click Change Disk. You should see your AirPort backup disk as an option.
  12. Choose this disk. When you are prompted for a username and password, provide the name of the disk as the username.
  13. Let it start backing up. It will take a while.
OK. That's where I am right now. I will post more on this topic as it progresses. I hope to get all three Macs in the house automatically doing this. I also read that I can configure the Windows boxes to participate, so I'll try that as well.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Java Installer

I just went down the usual path of agreeing to install some update to the Java runtime. I figure, "whatever, maybe something on my system runs on it." This time, I noticed the installer includes a step to install the Yahoo! toolbar.

I can't say that I am terribly surprised that both Sun Microsystems and Yahoo! are circling the drain. Desperation like this only highlights the facts.

Things like this really irk me. This is precisely the reason I haven't installed the Real Player in years. I do remember a time when there was content on the internet that was only accessible through Real. I decided then that such content wasn't a good enough reason for me to install the player. I think now is the time to make the same call for Java applications. Instead of completing the installation, I am going to uninstall all Java runtimes from my PC. I am sure this will blow up more than one other bit of software that I currently have. I'll just have to see how painful it is to live without.

Good bye and good riddance Java.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Google ... working hard

I take exception to this blog post from the GMail blog. They state that, "We on the Google Calendar team work hard to play well with others".

They say that they, "synchronize your calendars with a number of mobile devices and desktop applications." Well, for mobile devices, that number appears to be two: Blackberry and Android. But what about WinMo? And, more importantly to me, what about iPhone!?! Actually ... I am a little torn on that one. Probably, this is Apple's fault for not building it into their Calendar app. OK ... nevermind.

Here is another, unrelated, example. I use several different aliases with my Google Apps gmail accounts. When I send an email from one account as an alias, recipients who use Outlook will see, "From: on behalf of" This has been a problem for years. Google's response is, "Most email clients don't display the sender field, though some versions of Microsoft Outlook may display ...". Most email clients? Except Outlook? OK, I sort of understand. I don't use Outlook either. But most of the world does. Outlook, all by itself, IS most email clients. It's like saying, "Most humans, except for the ones on Earth."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Prism & Caliburn

Spent a little time tonight getting a high level look at some MVC tools for WPF. Microsoft Patterns and Practices group has one called the Composite Application Guidance for WPF (codename "Prism") and then there is another one called Caliburn.

Here's a notes page (psudo-mindmap) I jotted while reading.

Here are some links

Friday, November 7, 2008

Harvest Gadget

My company uses Harvest for time tracking. It seems like a pretty good tool. However, sometimes I get really far behind on keeping it up. I would like something that I can interact with in under 10 seconds. They have a pretty good iPhone web app ... but it is just barely klunky enough that I don't use it. I am going to give their Windows widget a try. They also have one for the Mac, but I don't have my Mac powered up right now. Writing this is enough distraction for me for the moment. Anyhoo, I haven't done anything with it yet except install it, so I don't have any good feedback. Here's a screenshot.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Microsoft Word 2007 slow to alt+tab

Just found this happy little gem that fixed a problem with tabbing back and forth between Word documents. Thanks to author Anthony Curreri.

Here's the text of his post (just to make sure I don't loose it).

1. Log in as Administrator.
2. Open Microsoft Office 2007.
3. Click the Office Button in the upper left.
4. Click Word Options in the lower right.
5. Click Add-Ins on the left.
6. At the bottom, make sure ‘Com Add-ins’ is selected in the Manage: drop down and click Go…
7. Un-check ‘Acrobat PDFMaker Office COM Addin’ (Or whatever you think might be making Word 2007 slow).
8. Click Ok.
9. Close Word.
10. Open Two Word Windows. Now you can switch back and forth instantly!

To append to his post, he does indicate that you need to log in as an administrator. In Vista, for some reason, you cannot right click Word and choose "Run as Administrator". Instead, I opened a command prompt that way, navigated to "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12" and then ran WINWORD.EXE. That should allow you to change the add-in settings.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My prefered SubVersion client for XCode is ...

At first, I thought that the integrated tools for XCode were pretty good. Then I started working with Ben on the project. Yeah, they blow. We have switched over to Versions. It seems to work very well.

Renaming an iPhone App

Renaming an iPhone app can appear to be a pretty clunky deal the first few times. It is particularly irksome that Apple explicitly states that once you generate an AppID in your developer program portal, you cannot delete it.

This graphic is helpful in navigating the change in XCode.

Also, I have learned the hard way to make sure that the URL in your info.plist "InfoDictionary version" property matches your AppID. So, for instance, you generate a new AppID like "" then make sure your info.plist value is "net.framewreck.${PRODUCT_NAME:identifier}"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

I am writing some use cases right now. I found a good site for quick grammar checkups. Incidentally, the title of this post comes from this book that my wife has around the house.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Microsoft Certification

It has been quite a while since I have been out to the Microsoft Certification site. At first glance, it looks like it has changed a lot. A little deeper digging shows me that I am not yet in danger of having completely outdated letters after my name. There is an interesting new tier of certification, "Microsoft Certified Master".

Oops! I meant this one:

Looked cool, but I dunno if I am interested in the specializations available at the Master level. There is a new MCPD for .NET 3.5, though. Looks like the upgrade tests are not ready.

I vacilate on upgrade tests. I did the upgrade test from Windows NT 4.0 to Windows 2000 MCSE. Man! What a nightmare. It was basically taking all 4 or 5 of the normal tests, except all at once. What is the benefit of that? When upgrading from Visual Studio 6 to .NET 1.1 MCSD, I just did all the normal tests, and then again from that to .NET 2.0 MCPD. But ... I have heard that the new upgrade tests aren't as much of a kick in the head. Maybe I'll try them again when the time comes.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Spent a little bit today learning about Monostate and why some folks think the Singletons are the really bad.
Today I came across two Jeremy Miller posts (second one in list) concerning two completely different things. I think I will keep track of this dude. His comments about the Singleton constructor pattern make me chuckle. I wish I had known about it when he wrote it. At almost exactly the same time, my more aggressive peers at a former employer demanded that many particular types of services MUST be implemented as singletons and the instantiation pattern MUST follow exactly the code that Jeremy is deriding in his post. I won't go so far as to say that only a Sith speaks in absolutes, but I will say that the words MUST and ALWAYS when applied to software architecture tend to make me bristle.

The thing I hate the most about Windows

I absolutely hate the experience of attempting to shut down Windows only to have it complain that, "Windows cannot shut down because one or more programs are not responding." The worst is when I am in a hurry. I issue the shut down command, close the lid, throw it in my backpack and go. Hours later, I figure out that the thing has spent hours in the backpack, generating enough heat to melt itself. I think the shut down commands should have the following options:
  • Restart
  • Sleep
  • Hibernate
  • Shut Down
  • Shut the F@#$ Down
Here's a photo of what this looks like on Vista. Seriously! A developer spent a day or two composing this slick, nice looking screen instead of fixing the real problem.

Incidentally, you can recreate this problem simply by opening Notepad, open a modal dialog (like the save dialog) and then attempt to shut down.


This happened last weekend, and I am just now getting around to posing about it. I dropped my PC laptop. it was sitting on a coffee table. I was stretching the power cord to plug into a wall. It pulled the lappy off the coffee table and made a horrific, crackling thud as it hit the hardwood floor. CRAP! Fortunately, the damage appears to be only cosmetic. It dented the floor and bent some plastic on the lappy. I decided to take it apart and try to bend the plastic back. The end result is that it is pretty much fixed. But not until I disassembled/reassembled the thing three times. The first time I put it back together only to find that it wouldn't power up. I had quite the case of cold sweats then. I took it apart to find that a cable had come loose. Then when I put it back together the second time, despite my meticulous attempts to keep track of all the screws, one of them got down in the guts. I didn't figure that out until I lifted the fully assembled (and working) device off the counter to hear a little metal rattle. The third time worked. By that time I felt like such an old pro that I decided to monkey around and see what it would take to replace the lid and the wireless network card. The network card I would like to upgrade from 802.11g to 802.11n. That turns out to be very easy to replace. I also would like to replace the lid. I got a big, bright yellow lid (it's an Inspiron 1720). I really like the yellow, but Dell was having a lot of problems with paint at the time they manufactured mine. Mine got worn and faded spots within a few weeks of purchase. Dell support doesn't want to replace it for me for free. I looked today and found that replacing the lid would cost $55. Probably not worth it since there is no guarantee that a new lid wouldn't be just as bad. I'll tuck that money away and use it in a year or two on a big MacBook Pro that I can dual boot.

OK, anyway, here is some open motherboard surgery pics.

F'ing NDA

Good news that the NDA is lifting! I will try to resurrect some old posts once the coast is clear.

Monday, September 29, 2008

High Contrast

It really is a bummer that Windows and Mac can't accommodate a dark, (or high contrast) color scheme. I'm trying it right now. It is much easier on the eyes, but lots of images and applications are wonky.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

SQL Server Management Studio Colors and Themes

I have become quite fond of darker color themes in Visual Studio. Once you get used to it, it is a bit harsh to go back to the white background of SSMS. It is sort of a bummer that the "Import and Export Settings" tool that is available in VS is not available in SSMS. There is a settings file at C:\Users\(me)\Documents\SQL Server Management Studio\Settings\CurrentSettings-(date).vssettings, but I didn't want to waste time dorking around with it. I just found a tool here that imports your settings from VS into SSMS. I downloaded the source, but the project didn't work for me, but since it is really just a one file console app, I made a new project for it. It is super fast and looks great.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Good Feeling

Me (to self): Um ... how does this work? ... Oh yeah, I'll go look at my unit tests."

Background: I have slept since I built my services and tests. I have forgotten everything. But happily, the unit tests told me everything I needed to know, and I have now spent more time on this post than on the actual problem

Part 3: Vista SP1 Horror

Well, I had lots more Visual Studio crashes. I even got it down to the point where I could crash it on every build. I decided to uninstall Ankh, which was sad because it's a cool tool (Visual Studio integration for SubVersion). I don't think that's the real root cause, but it does appear that the root cause ricocheted a bullet into Ankh's head that brought VS down. I think the real cause is something horked up in our project somewhere (Bryan is getting some weirdness, too and he is running Server 2008 and VS without SP1).

So, all this to say, I retract blame from Vista SP1. In fact, I was pretty pleased at how smooth the install process was and how it managed its own multiple reboots for multiple updates and such.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

On the device

I just got an app on my device, and ready to debug. Breakpoints, debugger, the works. This is pretty slick. I had to overcome some hurdles that I didn't read about online ...

... but maybe I should figure out an "approved" way to share them.

Part 2: Vista SP1 Horror

For the love of all that is holy! Well, my fear of Vista SP1 appears to be justified. Visual Studio has crashed four times today in the past two hours. It usually happens during a build. I'm going to keep tabs here of what I do to figure out / fix the problem. My first clue is in the event viewer, I see this error for every VS crash:

Log Name: Application
Source: .NET Runtime
Date: 9/18/2008 3:01:12 PM
Event ID: 1023
Task Category: None
Level: Error
Keywords: Classic
User: N/A
Computer: mylappy
.NET Runtime version 2.0.50727.3053 - Fatal Execution Engine Error (71027706) (80131506)
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="">
<Provider Name=".NET Runtime" />
<EventID Qualifiers="0">1023</EventID>
<TimeCreated SystemTime="2008-09-18T20:01:12.000Z" />
<Security />
<Data>.NET Runtime version 2.0.50727.3053 - Fatal Execution Engine Error (71027706) (80131506)</Data>

Digging this up on the interwebs (Bryan calls it, "Google Kung-Fu") leads me to believe that the .NET 3.5 SP1 is horked. So ... reinstalling that ... If there are no more posts after this, then that did it.

Goodbye, cruel world

My PC lappy has been slow all day. Before rebooting, I checked out the "important updates". With fear in my heart, I begin down this path. If I don't come back in a few days, please send some sandwiches through teh interwebs for me.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Reflector and Vista

I just found out that Lutz Roeder sold (or gave or whatever) Reflector to Red Gate. So, I decided to remove my old one and install the new one. I downloaded the .ZIP file from Red Gate and copied it, all nice and pretty, to my Program Files. This is when Vista's security mess started frustrating me. Here's what I did (stripping out the errors from the trial)

1.) Make a shortcut to Reflector.exe, save this to the desktop.
2.) Move the shortcut from the desktop to the start menu items.

Now, I have a handy link in the start menu. However, EVERY time I use the link, I get a security warning. There is a checkbox to permanently disable this warning, but that doesn't work, so ...

3.) Apply this nifty little hack to really disable the security warning.

Done. Sheesh.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


The past few weeks have been that grinding end of a project. But that's all over. I did learn some things that I might chew on a bit before writing here. However, for the moment, I have a few items of note.

The amateur animator in me must address this item first.

Bill Melendez 1916 - 2008

Even if you have never dreamt of being an animator, you have probably been touched by this genius.

Law of Demeter

Bryan introduced me to this important concept today. Very, very interesting.

Visual Studio Style

I think I posted a while back about darker themes in Visual Studio. I have revisited that to find some better (or updated) themes. A quick Google search brought back this posting on such things. I chose the Ragnorok theme from here.

... OK. That is all for now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Copy from Subversion

I am adding some silly test projects to subversion. I found that for one project I would like to have a non-source controlled version. I couldn't figure out how to do that with the SCPlugin, so I figured out the following svn commands. Open a terminal, navigate to where the project is and do this:

svn copy MyProject TempProject
svn revert --recursive TempProject

Now open Finder, navigate to TempProject. Copy is to somewhere else. Should be good to go.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cool things I have found recently

Thanks to Polly for turning me on to Mvelopes. I spent last night setting it up. I really like the idea.

I just stumbled across Jiggy. Only spent a minute there, but don't want to loose the link. Wow, it looks a lot easier than Objective-C. :D

OK. Back to work. I'm sitting on the back porch, enjoying the very nice weather, working on an iPhone app and donating several pints of blood to the billions of mosquitoes that choose my backyard as their home.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

AppStore Intrigue

This doesn't bode well for any of us. Apparently Nullriver Inc created an iPhone app that allows for tethering to a PC (Not sure if by PC they mean specifically a Windows computer). They put the app up on AppStore, Apple approved it. And then, out of nowhere, Apple removed it! No explanation. They later put it back, but now it is gone again. And again, no explanation.

Well let that be a lesson to all of us. Don't go writing apps that might give Apple or AT&T a poopy diaper. You can inject your own level of sarcasm in that statement.

By the way! Nullriver must really have it going on. Their other iPhone app, Tuner completely kicks butt. Why isn't that exact functionality already included in the iPod app?

Friday, August 1, 2008

Put it on your list

For a long time Mary and I have laughed at the Mercury commercials where the tagline is, "You gotta put Mercury on your list!" They might as well say, "We know you are going to buy another car, but at least come by and pester our salesguy on the way to the Honda dealership." It's completely lame. That slogan in NO WAY inspires me to buy a Mercury.

"Mercury! Almost good enough to purchase!"

"Mercury! You are probably overestimating the number of people that will laugh at you!"

"Buy a Merc ... well, ... Come shop for a Mercury!"

I just saw this thing that has Microsoft branding all over it. I guess it is a Microsoft sponsored thing. Basically the message is:

"Windows Vista! Not as crappy as you thought!"

Before I go any further, know that I unabashadly like Vista. I think it looks cool, it is secure, I have had few problems with it. But come on, guys! What a horrible ad campaign! Maybe there is a permutation of the grandmotherly advice of, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." to become, "If you don't have something really compelling that will get me up off my butt to go buy your product, then either you don't have a good product or you have a really lousy salesman." What were the ideas that this ad company rejected? Insulting people who will not buy their product?

"Windows Vista! Ha Ha! You suck for not buying it."

Maybe it is time to concede that people have been convinced that Vista is not a desirable product. Maybe it is time to rush out Windows 7. But, man, if Windows 7 gets the same bad publicity and incompetent advertising ...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Google Calendars + CalDAV + iCal + iPhone = WIN!

The number one thing that has confounded me about mobile devices (both my "old" Sprint Mogul / Windows Mobile 6.1 and my current iPhone) has been syncing calendars. My primary calendars are all Google calendars. With the Mogul and Outlook, there was a pretty good tool from Google for Windows that would sync outlook to Google and then you could sync the phone to Outlook with ActiveSync. The big problem with that is that it would consolidate all your calendars into one. The Mac iCal at least handles multiple calendars (and rather painlessly, I might add), syncing between iPhone and iCal is a snap, and you can "subscribe" to Google calendars, but that is read-only, which is pretty poopy imho. Things got a little better today.

Huge thanks to my twitter friend and fellow early-morning-of-the-day-of-iPhone-release-standing-in-line commiserater, Chip, for finding Google CalDAV! With a very few steps, I had iCal set up to automatically sync with my two primary calendars (work and home).

So, syncing between Google and iCal is no problem at all. Between iCal and iPhone is no problem at all. Between iPhone and Google ... not so much. Firstly, I don't think there is any support to automatically sync between the iPhone and Google directly. Secondly, apparently even after all this stuff is synced, you cannot edit the Google calendars from iPhone. So when you go to create a new event on the iPhone it makes a new local calendar and sticks your new events in there.

I am sure that in future there will be support for direct syncing between the iPhone and Google, so for now, this really isn't that bad. I will add events to my iPhone calendar, at the end of the day sync up to iCal, move all the events manually to the correct Google calendar (in iCal), let that sync up and I'm good to go.

The manual step is sort of a bummer, but it is vastly better than the alternatives, which were so klunky that my calendars have been so far out of sync for so long that they have been rendered effectively useless. Time now to sync it all up.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

iPhone Screen Capture

Here's a little trick. Hold down the power button on your iPhone and hit "the button". That takes a screenshot and saves it to your Camera Roll.

Also, if you are using XCode and have your device plugged in, you can get screen captures through the Organizer tool ( [SHIFT] + [COMMAND] + O ).

Found it!

I have been hunting around for ages for a free internet radio player for my iPhone. The AOL Radio thingy is alright, but they are all AOL stations. I am most interested in listening to Frisky Radio and SomaFM. Finally decided that the time I was wasting searching was worth more than the $6 to download Tuner. It works. I am now feelin' Frisky.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

iPhone 3G battery indicator bug

I am pretty sure that I am experiencing a bug with the battery
indicator on my iPhone. A couple days ago, I thought that my phone
wasn't charging because the indicator didn't move. A reboot showed
that it was full. Today, I am getting the opposite. I have been
standing in line for hours talking, surfing and using the iPod, but
the battery showed full. There's no way that's correct. Another
reboot shows the battery at maybe 30%.


p.s. Yup. Here it is.

Friday, July 18, 2008

VNC for iPhone

Found a nice, free VNC tool for iPhone on AppStore. From AppStore, search for Mocha VNC Lite.

iSight always on

Here's the second Apple wierdness I experienced today. I noticed that the little green light next to the camera on my MacBook is always on. After poking around in Activity Monitor a little bit, nothing came to mind as an obvious program that could be using it. I had a thought that a malicious program was watching me. ;) Sorry, not a lot of excitement here unless you get off on dudes reading documentation and writing code. Anyway, that wasn't it. I seemed to fix it by "resetting the SMC". Here's the link from Apple that led me on my merry way.

iPhone won't charge

Here is the first of two wierdnesses I have experienced today. This first one involves my iPhone appearing to not recharge. I plugged it in to a wall jack last night. when I unplugged it, it showed that it was half full. I thought that was a bit odd, so when I got to work I plugged it in again. An hour or so later, it was still half full. So I thought maybe the wall plug thing isn't a good idea so I plugged it into my Mac. A little bit later, still half full. By this point I am getting worried. Oh noes! I have a faulty iPhone. Nah. I just restarted it and it showed that it was full.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jib Jab

Wow, the new Jib Jab cartoon is gorgeous. How amazing that a crudely animated internet cartoon a couple of years ago turns into a very polished and profitable animation that is sort of an expected feature of current politics.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

iPhone Progress

I have had two evenings of great progress on the path to learning iPhone development. After spending several days pouring over a few sample projects from the iPhone Dev Center , particularly NavBar, I decided that I should start writing some code. So, from scratch, I managed to cobble together a little test that builds a TableView with multiple sections.

It's pretty meager; it doesn't really do anything useful. But it did a great deal to help me solidify a lot of concepts. Interface Builder makes a lot more sense, the implementation of MVC is really slick.

After showing this to Ben, he suggested that we put together a SubVersion repository for these little apps. So I downloaded a Mac client called SCPlugin from Tigris' site. It seems to work well. You Fireflies out there can keep up with our learning apps from our SVN server at /projects/iPhone/Playground. Though, after doing that, I poked around a little in XCode and see that the SVN integration isn't too bad there. Here are some pictures of the SVN stuff in XCode:

Sunday, July 13, 2008

iPhone Battery Life

Here's a set of hints on how to extend the iPhone battery life. Man, I gotta say that sure does suck down the juice.

Friday, July 11, 2008

New iPhone Purchase

I am standing in line to purchase a new iPhone 3G. This is probably my last email from my Sprint Mogul. It has been a good phone on a great network. I am pretty sure that it knows that it's time has come early. I have never had a problem with it until about a week ago. Now it flakes out several times a day, and kicks off an alarm in the middle of the night that I CANNOT figure out how to turn off. The poor little guy is probably heartbroken. :(

The enthusiasm here is incredible. The line is wrapped nearly around the mall. Every Apple Store employee is here and giving high fives and all that. This feels more like waiting in line for the opening night of Star Wars (Episode I) than waiting in line for a little gadget.

Friday, June 27, 2008


What a fantastic tool! I have frequently heard mention of Handbrake as a great tool for ripping DVD's to a Mac (they have versions for other platforms, too). I am using it right now to rip Fight Club to watch on the airplane on the way to Ireland.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Firefly Macs

Today I met Ben at the Apple store to have a look at some computers. Ben wanted to see about getting one that we could use to "get our feet wet" with developing iPhone apps. We already have a great idea for our first one. When we met up at the store, he told me that he got approval to buy two for the company and that he and I were to be the first to use them. Within an hour or so of getting it home, the one I am using is all configured the way I like with Firefox, XCode, etc. ready to go. I have already taken to the gesture stuff on the touchpad. For instance, swiping with two fingers scrolls the current window). Thank you, Ben. I am very excited to start working on our first iPhone app.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Time Scarcity

I just got reminded of this great idea. I would like to work at a place that uses Time Scarcity.

LOLZ at their t-shirt store. Especially this one:

p.s. (not worthy of its own post) Speaking of lolz, check this.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Firefox 3.0

Despite the misery that has been reported, I downloaded Firefox just now on the first attempt. Haven't done much yet, but it looks nice. My favorite theme works. Foxmarks works (ooh! They have a new website). Google Toolbar works. The new address bar thing works. In fact, check this out, when I was searching for the link to the Google Toolbar, the address bar told me that it was already installed.

Page content seems a little "smaller" that it was in Firefox 2. However the zoomy thing ([CTRL] + and [CTRL] -) is nice. I'm happy for now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

One small step...

Here it is, the obligatory Hello World app. XCode is pretty cool. I feel comfortable with it after just a few minutes. I got a simple app together, got the iPhone Simulator to run, stepped through some code in the debugger and read some documentation. I still don't know what the frack I am doing, but it's a start.

Also, am currently reading the iPhone OS Programming Guide (in all of its two-sided printedness glory). That is probably a better starting doc than the Objective-C one.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Print is Dead

Well, reading hundreds of pages from a monitor kind of sucks.

So I bought this (image is link to Amazon, though I bought it from Circuit City for a great deal, $240.)

Amazon review here
HP review here (they're the same text in both places)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Objective C documentation

... so the iPhone adventure continues. I downloaded a bunch of PDF's from the iPhone Dev Center. I ran into a conundrum with what to do with them once I got them. I really am not the biggest fan of reading lots of text on a screen. When I want to learn a new language or technology, I usually buy a book or start a certification track. I have thusfar resisted the urge to buy some books. So on top of a new language, a new operating system and a new IDE, even the reading part of this journey is a departure from what I am used to. The printer we have at the house is an old HP DeskJet that really wouldn't be up to the task of printing hundreds of pages, I don't have access to a duplexing printer, and taking them to Kinko's is just too cost prohibitive. So I am lounging on the couch reading on the screen. Maybe this is my big chance to make the switch and save a few bucks and a few trees.

The first doc that I am trudging through is The Objective C Programming Language. It actually turns out to be a pretty good read and, despite the aforementioned difference in approach, I am getting a lot out of it. My first impression is that Objective C is much more similar to my experience than was my first forays into Ruby. There is a lot that I recognize as similar to C# and my meager experience with C++.


Found these really nice looking widgets the other day on I really like the little menu and how it gives you option to embed in lots of different sites. Reminds me of another flash widget with which I am somewhat familiar. ;)

Tag Cloud

Added a tag cloud from this guy. Thanks!


Cool little article ( about an iPhone app when iPhone apps wasn't cool allowed. Went to these guy's blog and found this article ( about Time Machine that I would like to read later.

Friday, June 13, 2008

a new apple developer?

The other day I downloaded and watched the Apple WWDC keynote where Steve Jobs announced the new iPhone and the iPhone SDK. Wow!!! It is one of the coolest things I have seen in a while. I decided that I want to learn how to write applications for it. I have never written a line of code for the Mac. Heck, I just got my first Mac about 6 months ago. I'm still giddy that I can navigate around in it. It looks like iPhone applications (and Mac applications for that matter) are written in Objective-C. I am an intermediate C++ hack at best. Nonetheless, I am undaunted. So here begins a running record of my experience. I started by registering a user at the iPhone Developer Center. The first thing that struck me were all the Getting Started Videos. I downloaded all of them to iTunes and watched them. They seem to give a good overview of the significant design goals. I was kind of impressed that most of them seemed geared to developers that had OO experience, but no Mac development experience. Hey! That's me! While watching those, I downloaded the iPhone SDK and the XCode development tools from the Apple website. XCode is apparently the IDE for Mac and it's free. I am just now installing those. I think next I am going to read the some documentation they have for Objective-C and maybe dink around with some sample applications. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I think reCAPTCHA is a really cool idea. I am glad to come across that interface with increasing frequency. Funny word combinations are an inevitability with a service like that. I got a small chuckle out of it the other day.

That's right! American Authority! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Firefox 3 is coming!

Download Day 2008

On the one hand, I am sure the new Firefox will be pretty cool. On the other hand, I downloaded and installed a beta a while back. It lasted only a few minutes on my box. Foxmarks didn't have an add-on ready yet for it. They do now, though. So I should be ready to go when the final browser releases.

Friday, May 30, 2008

One of the Greatest Movies of All Time

Here’s the WikiPedia entry. There are a few good reviews at Amazon. Particularly:

“Made on a rumored budget of $243.18 ($202.56 of which went to Burger King for catering), Yor, the Hunter from the Future is bland, horrible, dull, stupid, inconceivable, shockingly unprofessional, idiotic, and....crashingly funny! (though certainly not intentionally).”

IMDB has some links to other reviews.

Lol this one

This one is too long, but read the rest of what comes after:

“the words ‘favorite’ and ‘Yor’ have, to my knowledge, never been uttered together before ...”

I can’t yet find a quote I read a few years ago with the director where he basically said he will lie in his grave embarrassed by this movie.

Ok, back to work.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Yesterday Ben found some year old Jolt in the fridge at out client. He was kind enough to share. Today, as he cracked the frosty lid, we gathered like hungry wolves.