The start of WWDC is nine days away… Some folks say it starts on Monday morning with the keynotes that have, without a doubt, become a marketing splash message time for Apple, but the reality is that it’ll be kicking up on Sunday evening with the inevitable dinner chats and the first of many social nights.
I excited, but also a bit frenetic, for this one. I’ve been working on my iPhone application and now that time is coming closer, I really want to have my application nailed down enough to take advantage of the labs available. I’ll have a copy of everything (including the application) with me, although it won’t do much good in that area since it’s made to be so geographically specific to Seattle.
I did a presentation for the Xcoders group a week or so back laying out the story of getting it developed. I’ll be making parts of that available as a blog post later. It’s a pretty good tale – working through the SDK’s and vagaries of systems failures that you’ve just got to expect with a hybrid application.
Gus has already mentioned something about this (I figure anyone interested in Mac programming that reads this blog has definitely read Gus’)… but Jens released his BLIP code today which looks really, really interesting.
It’s exactly the kind of library I don’t think I’d tend to tackle at all, and for which I’m very grateful that Jens made his implementation available. I don’t have any particular “ooh, ooh… I’ll use it to do…” sorts of ideas, but I’m definitely stashing it away against a future need.
I spent a little time this morning getting some of the photo’s I uploaded into Flickr geotagged… This is one of the few that I’m pretty confident of the location. I’m less sure about the name, but since this is really, really close to “graves creek road”, I’m betting that this sucker is, indeed, the graves creek so mentioned.
The funny thing was when I popped up Google maps to nail these things down, I didn’t quite realize the mess of BLM roads that we’d run through to get to this end location. Frankly, it’s amazing we didn’t dead end on one or start running in a loop through those mountains.
I declare it’s officially summer now… at least for me.
We’re back from spending Memorial Day in Oregon, lurking about near Merlin, OR and visiting Speckles and Casper – the doggie owner’s of Karen’s Aunt Pat and Uncle Bill. They have a truly amazing piece of property and get-away down there, and we definitely took advantage of it. It doesn’t hurt that Bill and Pat have a couple of Quad’s down there too, and they even rented an extra one for Sunday so that the four of us could all head up in the mountain back-country a bit on dirt and logging roads to go exploring.
But the reason that it’s now officially summer is that at 10pm when we rolled into Seattle, the night sky was still dusk. No stars out – a darkening blue, but definitely still dusk. That’s summer. And a really wonderful summer evening it is too – 60 degrees. Great for driving with the windows rolled down a bit.
As for a southern Oregon report, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the rivers are way up right now. The recent heat has caused it to flood up something good, with a much heavier than normal flow right now.
Karen got out on the quads a bit this weekend too – and it wasn’t even Bill or I harassing her to try it. She said she had a good time roaming about, and that they were fun. I think she also kept it in first gear running all about the property too.
It did definitely get a bit cool up in the mountains though – I’m glad we took some windbreaker shells as well as sweatshirts and gloves. I got a fairly neat picture of the clouds rolling over a crest – although really they stayed up and out of the way for all of our trip. The weather really cooperated beautifully with our explorations.
Finally, we saw a bit of the hydroplane races that happen on Memorial Day on the Rogue River. Karen’s got a nice little video of one of them passing on the inside as we watched them sprint by. I’ll have to wait for her to post up some of her goodies for that though…
I blew the day playing video games – well, a video game, to be precise. Haven’t done that in quite a while. I rented a copy of the (current) ultimate bad-boy game: Grand Theft Auto IV.
The funny thing about the game is that it reminds me of a completely up-to-date and midnight-black clone of “Ultima“. In GTA IV, the character story progresses very nicely and interestingly – and the main character (which you play) is a cold blooded killer. It’s exactly opposite in Ultima in that – in Ultima, you strove for what amounted to positive ideals. In GTA IV, I’m not sure you’re really striving for any ideals. It’s similar to Ultima in that the whole area is a huge playground and you can go anywhere in it.
It’s without a doubt a dark game – and extremely well done. I’ve got the rental for another night, but I may stop here – at least for a while. I think Karen’s heard enough screaming, cussing, shooting, and car wrecks for a while.
Okay – I’m a PACNW whining git. But it’s hot today. Everyone’s talking about how “lovely it is”, but it’s freakin’ 88 degrees when I’m far more used to 50 and 60. Shoot – it was warmer here in Seattle than Orlando, Florida for crissakes. And Columbia, MO only peaked out at 77 according to the (probably lying) weather widget.
We had a Disney screening of Prince Caspian this morning that was fun – I think they did a really good job with it, and frankly exceeded what they’d previously done with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was definitely darker, and had more violence than the original (not something I’m historically used to under the Disney brand), but I think it really added to the movie.
This evening was Chris Parish’s birthday – so we spent the vast majority of the heat of the day down in Belltown. They’ve plans to go a lot longer into the night, but I was wiped out today and wimped out on the extended pub crawl. I’d never been in Shorty’s before … that was pretty cool. Blew a couple of dollars with Karen playing pinball and had a great time.
CJ was one of my college dorm mates – one of the first people I met when I moved to Columbia and got settled in as a freshman at MU. I don’t think I’ve seen him in nearly 7 years now.
It doesn’t surprise me at all that he got himself a bronze star. I just hope he comes home safely.
I’ve been working on a couple of applications for the iPhone, both of which are “scratch my itch” sorts of things. One was a simple little nonsense thingy for calculating tips. The second is meant to let me know when the next bus was going to be hitting the stop at which I am waiting.
The bus app has undergone several names, starting with “Where’s the damn bus” and currently residing a “SeattleBus”. I took out the somewhat more profane project and class names when I thought “Hey, maybe I’ll enter this into the Apple Design Awards“. Last thursday, I was thinking “Yeah, maybe…” and after the encouragement from some of the guys figured I’d jump into it this weekend and see what came out.
What came out is a reminder that the first app you write will often be thrown away. After I sat down with the functioning app and showed it to some friends (unfamiliar with iPhone programming) it became pretty clear that while what I had functioned, it wasn’t anywhere near the smooth flow and effect that I think I’d really want to have for something to be submitted to the ADA.
In fact, after a few days to really sleep on it, I’ve redesigned the whole flow of the application – hopefully for the better. I’d had a completely navigation bar driven style of working through the application, and that’s getting completely gutted in favor of a tab-bar setup and a bit more automatic capability in trying to determine what bus stop you’re sitting at when you invoke the app. Turns out the whole “what’s coming next and when will it be here” is the easy part… it’s getting to that information and displaying it efficiently that’s the bitch.
What’s really interesting is most folks that I show this application too instantly want another, completely different application to go with it. An application for route finding – not even necessarily related to busses. I hadn’t quite realized how much of a demand there was for something like that. That application is a bit beyond what I’m interested in making – at this point I want to dive in to recode my bus application with the new flow. Not a chance it’ll get submitted to the ADA – at least not this year.
I am really looking forward to seeing what does get mentioned from the awards for the iPhone. Just four weeks away now…
It’s probably no surprise that there has been a deluge of folks asking “Hey, what’s the best way to learn to program the iPhone”. Since I set up and run the Seattle XCoder’s group, I’ve been getting my fair share of those.
Some folks have traditional programming/CS backgrounds, and it’s easy enough to redirect them to some good resources to learn. It’s the folks that have little or no programming background, but who want to get into the game anyway that I’ve been finding harder to help. Much as we’re a great bunch of folks to ask questions and get tips, Seattle XCoders isn’t a tutorial house.
As of yesterday, I might have a new tactic. Uli Kusterer has put up a “Learning C on the Macintosh” tutorial site called Masters of the Void. Uli’s done some really great things in Mac programming, and definitely know’s his stuff. Way better than me, definitely – and quite a bit more in depth than many I’ve run into. That being the case, I’m hoping it translates well into a tutorial on C for the Macintosh. The examples, details, and so forth in the site all point to using Xcode. I don’t know that it takes anyone beyond strict “C” programming, but it’s a hell of a jump start, and freely available.
So if you’re hunting around for a start on programming for the iPhone and you haven’t ever touched C, I’d say start with Masters of the Void and build up from there.
Okay – this is too cool: real time log visualization. I’m going to have to try this out and see how it works for myself. For something really interesting, check out the movie of the site that hosts this project getting Slashdotted.