Archive for July, 2010

Mmmmmm Pie!

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

My last beta post lacked images, so now that I have some I thought I would share them with you all! The app allows you to create pie charts in a unique way… I’m not going to go into details… instead I’m going to show you some of the strange pie charts people have been creating with the app! :)

If you would like to join in the crazy chart creation then you’ll need an iPad and to register with my blog and send me a message :) Always pleased to have more beta testers along :) Plus, I clearly need more silly charts! ;)

(Note: Spelling mistakes on charts made by their creators, not me! I only made on of these!)

Corn Bread Recipe

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

One of my favourite foods to eat and to bake is cornbread. It’s this really tasty, moist, slightly cheesy, slightly spicy, corny bread of awesomeness :) It goes really nicely with chilli or any kind of Mexican food. It’s great cold the next day too, should there actually be any leftovers. I adapted an old, american recipe in a number of ways, a few ingredients replaced with English equivalents, and some quantity adjustments so you don’t end up with random leftovers of yogurt and creamed corn. So without further ado, here’s a recipe for you…

1 & 1/2 cups of yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup of plain flour
3 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
200g (small pot) of Greek/Natural yogurt
1 cup grated mature cheddar cheese
1 can (418g) cream style corn
1/2 cup sunflower oil
2 tbsp chopped jalape├▒o peppers

The reason I like this recipe is because it’s really easy. All you need to do is throw everything into a big bowl…

and mix!

You can vary the amount of chilli peppers depending upon your taste (I’ve even made it without any and it was still very tasty!) Once it’s all mixed just pour it into a square pan…

and bake at 190 degress for 45 minutes or until a skewer/sharp knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Serve warm with a bowl of chilli :)

If you try making this recipe please leave me some feedback :) I’d love to know what you think :)

Why I’m Loving iPhone Development

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

Since leaving Astraware I have been doing a lot of iPhone development and have been gaining an increasing love of it. Which is just strange since I put off starting as long as possible thanks to a dislike of all things Apple. I promise I haven’t become an Apple fangirl… Nothing so dramatic… But I am really loving iPhone development, and here’s why:

Speed of Prototyping & Development
Working with interface builder and the UIKit it is very easy to put together a quick prototype without too much time or effort. It all falls quickly into place, and I’m getting even faster as I become more adept with the various controls. This week I started doing more subclassing of the standard controls which gave lovely results without a huge amount of effort. I also worked out how to control the auto-resizing/movement on rotate so my new iPad app can work in all orientations without argument… Mostly thanks to clicking a few carefully chosen buttons!

To start with, xcode annoyed me. All the keyboard shortcuts were different to what I was used to in Visual Studio, I couldn’t find the debugging tools, and, me being me, I seemed to manage to crash it all the time. As time has progressed things have changed – I’ve learnt the shortcuts, the IDE has been updated, and we’re finally getting along. It’s ability to autocomplete makes typing very fast. All its various tools make debugging and leak hunting a lot easier. Plus the simulator is very good, so long as you don’t want to test camera or phone functionality! Apple have really improved it over the time I’ve been using it and I actually quite enjoy using it now!

App Store
As much as I want my app to instantly appear as soon as I have finished it’s creation the app store is a wonderful thing. Being a windows mobile user, I’m used to hunting the internet for new and interesting software. There has never been just one place to go looking which had such a large choice. When I did find an interesting app, there was no guarantee it would run well, or even run at all on my specific device. I know there’s the new market place, but it’s offerings are sparse (or at least, they were thee last time I looked!) and the quality is often still lacking.
The app store gives people, general users who’d never dare download random content from the Internet, instant acces to hundreds of apps. Every app has been checked so they feel confident giving everything a try, even things they might not usually use/play.
So whilst I sit here anxiously waiting for Apple to look at my new game (oh yes, it is a new iPad game I’ve been making!) I can console myself that once it is reviewed, people will trust that it’s safe to play and hopefully some of them will buy it :)

One thing I’ve not had before is use of the internet as a resource for programming. Instead of struggling away with problems on my own, or hassling other team members, I can now just ask the Internet. Any time I get stuck with a bizarre error message, a warning in the console, or just a ui element not behaving how I expect I can just ask Google and since Google knows all, the answer inevitably appears. Stack overflow has saved me from numerous head scratching problems, and various other forums helped when I was trying to do interesting things with multi-touch.

The Devices
I hated the iPhone when it came out. I hated the screen for being touch sensitive rather than pressure sensitive. I wanted a stylus (though I do now have one for my iPad!) and I wanted my accuracy back. I also hated the need for iTunes, but that hasn’t changed! The screen I have become used to, I can be accurate now I’ve learnt to use it, and I can even type! This was mostly written on my iPad!
Apple are putting new technology into the hands of many, those who would never have considered a smart phone before. I find myself recommending the iPhone to those looking to upgrade because of the array of apps out there, knowing that they’ll be happy with the interface (once used to the keyboard) and there’ll be much less tech support for me to do!

So there we go… five reasons why I’m really loving iPhone development. Something I never thought I would say, and the reason why Worcle has been left behind for a while. Maybe I’ll knock up a quick version just for iPhone/iPad instead, I have a feeling it would be a much faster way to get it released than Airplay right now… or maybe my enjoyment will wane soon and allow me back to it. For now, I’m happy with iPhone work and eager to show you my new game (those of you who’ve given my iPad UDID’s should be getting a demo soon if Chris will let me!) :)

What do you love/hate about iPhone development? Are there similar experiences for other platforms which I’m missing out on? I would love to hear your thoughts! :)

A New Job and a Crocheted iPad Case!

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

I have been remiss in my posting duties again haven’t I?
In my defence life all got a bit stressful for a while there choosing between two jobs (I know, nice stress to have!) ;)

Monday marked my first day working full time for Lightwood Consultancy. I have been working for Chris for a few weeks already part time, but Monday was still an exciting day for a number of reasons :) Firstly, I got to spend the morning working on a new game idea (hopefully I’ll be able to tell you all more later, and maybe get some of you involved with testing) and secondly, the afternoon saw me gaining some new gadgetry :)

Working on iPhone/iPad development with my “pretend” Mac has been frustrating at times… when it works, it works wonderfully… when it doesn’t, it just totally refuses to work for anything up to 2 hours! :( So, as much as I don’t really like Mac OS… I am very pleased to have a 17 inch Mac Book Pro sitting on my desk! Even more pleased to have an iPad sat on my desk too ;)

Yes, my desk is suitably covered in gadgetry in that photo :) I had to have a bit of a rearrange as I’m rather too used to having Mac development to the right of PC work… which leaves the extra monitor for my email :) It is rather nice having a full time job where I get to work at home :)

Since today I have been arguing with some silly image transformation nonsense, I took some time out this afternoon to write a little blog post for Chris. Being the strange person that I am, my first instinct when I got the iPad was to make it a case. Oddly, Chris seems quite content for me to put crochet patterns on his blog… I’m hoping for a recipe next time ;) If you’d like to make a case for your iPad and know how to crochet then you can find some rambling and a crochet pattern over on his site – A Simple iPad Case.

I haven’t forgotten about you, this blog, or Worcle. I’ve just been enjoying my new job and the new crocheting opportunities it brings! :D