Shipley to Jobs: "Don't be evil Steve."

Will Shipley: "But when you sue someone for doing something you do yourself, you become one of the bad guys. Can you name a company you admire that spends its time enforcing patents, instead of innovating? Remember the pirate flag you flew over Apple's headquarters when you were building the Mac? Is Apple part of the Navy now?"

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Objective-C and C++

CodFusion [via James Robertson]: "Can Adobe just port what they have into Objective-C or use Carbon. Unfortunately no, the Flash Player is written in C++ and going from C++ to Objective-C is not very practical. Objective-C is just another superset of C. It simply adds some OOP logic and a messaging and some of the syntax is similar to Smalltalk. You can compile any C program into Objective-C but that's not currently possible to do with a C++ program." - Emphasis is mine. I can assure you, having done it myself, you can use your current C++ code from Objective-C. I took a collection of pure C++ classes, unmodified, and used them from an Object-C/Cocoa based application. That collection of classes did not have any OS specific code, which made my job easier.

That's not to say Adobe doesn't face a huge uphill climb, it really does, but it can be done. Replacing Carbon with Cocoa is going to be tough. Since they're a cross platform shop I would hope they have a nice set of frameworks that abstract most of the platform specifics from the developer, but that of course is difficult to do. The Photoshop team is in the middle of the Carbon to Cocoa battle.

Bottom line - you can use your C++ with your Objective-C code.

P.S. - I have become a huge fan of Objective-C and Cocoa, I'm just sayin'.

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Never count Apple out

NY Times [via Matt Scoble]: "The iPad bet could prove a loser for Apple. Some skeptics see it occupying an uncertain ground between an iPod and a notebook computer, and a pricey gadget as well, at $499 to $829. Do recall, though, that when the iPod was introduced in 2001, critics joked that the name was an acronym for 'idiots price our devices.' And we know who had the last laugh that time." - Will the iPad fail? I don't know the answer to that, but I'm sure willing to hook my wagon to it and join the journey.

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Tinkering

Mark Pilgrim: "Now, I am aware that you will be able to develop your own programs for the iPad, the same way you can develop for the iPhone today. Anyone can develop! All you need is a Mac, XCode, an iPhone 'simulator,' and $99 for an auto-expiring developer certificate. The 'developer certificate' is really a cryptographic key that (temporarily) allows you (slightly) elevated access to... your own computer. And that's fine - or at least workable - for the developers of today, because they already know that they're developers. But the developers of tomorrow don't know it yet. And without the freedom to tinker, some of them never will." - CAUTION: Mark's pretty free with the F-bomb, but the article is worth a read. The thing that really caught my eye, and my full attention, was one of Marks own comments in the comments section, it reads...

People haven't figured it out yet, but Mac OS X is on its last legs. By 2015, Apple will make appliances and developer add-ons. Not general purpose computing devices.

WOW, WHAT A BOLD STATEMENT! He might be right.

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Jobs on Adobe

Wired: "About Adobe: They are lazy, Jobs says. They have all this potential to do interesting things but they just refuse to do it. They don't do anything with the approaches that Apple is taking, like Carbon. Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy, he says. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it's because of Flash. No one will be using Flash, he says. The world is moving to HTML5." - I do like seeing Steve Jobs fired up!

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The Shipley iPad Tweets

Wil Shipley is a very outspoken, and very talented mind, in the Macintosh community. He's the founder of Delicious Monster, creator of Delicious Library for the Mac, and for a very short period of time Delicious Library for iPhone until Amazon's API license killed that off.

Here's a recent set of tweets from Wil about the new iPad, and his concerns about the platform. I'd like to see him write about this on his weblog. You need to start at the bottom and read up.

I'm sure there are a lot of Mac developers worried about this, and other things. Some of us are just trying to write apps.

wilshipley
On first run, they should say, "This is UNSIGNED and could be dangerous. Do you know/trust this vendor?" This is already in Mac OS X.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
Apple shouldn't distribute unsigned apps. They should just allow the device to run them if you download them from a vendor directly.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
All the reasons given why iPhone was closed off aren't valid on iPad: You don't need to call 911. You don't have a voice line to burn.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
We don't need to boycott the iPad. I think it's a great device. All we need to do is get Apple to ALLOW UNSIGNED APPS.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

ccgus
@wilshipley You're not alone in feeling this.
about 8 hours ago from Tweetie

wilshipley
DOES THAT NOT WORRY ANYONE BUT ME?
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
Developers now don't only have to compete with Apple in the consumer software space, Apple ALSO gets to approve or deny our competition.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
Consider: Every single iPhone app from Apple uses undocumented APIs, but if developers use them, their apps are (were) banned.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
Is this REALLY want we want to win? Apple making the choices for us? They are choosing in THEIR interest, not ours.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
For instance, I'd like to use Google Voice. Oops, Apple think it sort of competes or something, so I can't. Too bad.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
How long did we put up with Windows' near-hegemony? Is that what we want from Apple, now? "Go elsewhere if you don't like our monopoly?"
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
Don't give me this: "If the market doesn't like it, they'll go elsewhere," argument. We use Macs. We know the market can choose poorly.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
What we're going to end up with is what we have for the iPhone: a million apps, 99,999,900 of them crapware.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
Who is going to spend years writing an app for a device where Apple can (and does) reject apps with constantly-changing criteria?
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
How are we going to innovate if we can't compete with Apple's Mail or Browser or Address Book or Calendar?
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
What happens when a small developer pisses off Apple? Will our apps still get approved? Note that Steve banned a book from Apple Store.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
The danger of a closed system with a single chokepoint is the next generation of apps that just don't happen. We'll never know.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
Pages. Numbers. Keynote. iTunes. All these started out as products at tiny companies, not Apple. Innovation comes from them.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
For instance, Nintendo interfered with Castle Woflenstein so much Carmack vowed never to work with them again.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

wilshipley
I don't like the "Video game systems already are closed systems" analogy because I don't program for video game systems for good reason.
about 8 hours ago from Twitterrific

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Flash and the iPad

Prasenjeet Dutta: "On the other hand, John Nack points out that Flash made video ubiquitous on the web. They do deserve a hat-tip for that, but now that Youtube, Vimeo, BBC and several other sites have standardized around H.264, the de facto future of web video appears to be H.264 " - If you want to display video it would make sense to create a standalone Flash application for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad. Forget the browser for now, focus on writing an app that'll let people view video. Hey, it's a start, and I can't imagine Apple would reject it.

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Omni Group to embrace iPad

Omni Group Blog [via @danielpunkass]: "Remember how Macintosh was intended to be the computer 'for the rest of us'? That's what we feel Apple's iPad is: the best computing device for most of the things people use computers for. (Or, as Apple puts it, 'the best way to experience the web, email, and photos.') It's the computer people can sit down and start using immediately, without training, whether they're 2 or 92." - That is a huge commitment from one of the leading independent Mac developers on the planet! WOW!

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Hockenberry on iPad

Craig Hockenberry: "What I find most interesting is the inclusion of the iWork applications. I suspect that we'll all benefit from working in Pages, Numbers and Keynote without the distractions of the web, Twitter or chat. And in the long run, we'll prefer it." - Short, but sweet, observation from a man that has embraced both the Mac and the iPhone as developer and user.

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Uses for a tablet

Scobleizer: "Tablets make a HUGE amount of sense in healthcare. Remember Epocrates, the iPhone app that Steve Jobs' own health team helped influence? Now imagine they came out on stage and showed off their new version which has much better integration with your entire health chart." - My brother has been touting tablets and handhelds for use if healthcare for YEARS. I think Jay (that's what the family calls him) is in the wrong field. At heart he's a Software Engineer, or at least a Program Manager. He has great ideas with regards to solving problems in healthcare with technology, especially as it applies to the Pharmacist in a clinical setting. He really needs to get a job with someone like Apple, Google, or Microsoft. He has a lot to offer guys, and the healthcare market is still wide open. I'm sure his brain is spinning on uses for the iPad.

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Mini-Scobleizer on iPad

Scobleizer: "Tonight when I picked up my son in Petaluma we started talking about the Apple iPad and he told me he thought it was a 'fail.' This reaction was interesting coming from Patrick (he was first in line in Palo Alto for the iPhone and has been an Apple fan for as long as I remember.)" - A chip off the old block, good review through the eyes of a 16-year old kid. I don't think this device is targeted at kids, I didn't think the iPhone was for that matter, but this one should fit well in the high end netbook niche.

Side note: I can't believe Patrick is now 16-years old. Holy cow, I'm getting old. I met Patrick when Robert came to Paramount Farms to look at how we were using .NET for lots of different things.

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Great iPhone SQLite tutorial

dBlog: "I see many people asking for SQLite tutorials around, and since I am using SQLite for the next part in the Advanced RSS Reader Tutorial, I thought I would write up a quick tutorial on using SQLite with the iPhone SDK." - Now, couple that tutorial with Gus Muller's FMDB and you're off and running.

Thanks guys!

And yes, I am aware of Core Data. I even have Marcus Zarra's Core Data book, just need time to dig into it. I'll definitely be using that down the road some time.

Yes, there's a Mac application in my future, I can smell it.

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Cringely on 2010

I, Cringely: "In 2010 you do so by entering new markets and turning on old friends, sometimes simultaneously. That's likely to be the case with the coming iSlate tablet, or whatever it will be called, which definitely won't be running exclusively on AT&T. You can see that from AT&T's sudden embrace of Android, which never would have happened if Steve Jobs hadn't first made a preemptive move of his own for the iSlate, probably to Verizon. The Apple/AT&T marriage is now one of convenience only." - I added the emphasis there at the end of the quote. How long will it be before we can buy an iPhone on other networks? Will it be available on all networks? It'll be interesting to see the sales numbers for iPhone when it does open up.

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Steve says AT&T is naughty

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs: "And now here we are. Right here in your own backyard, an American company creates a brilliant phone, and that company hands it to you, and gives you an exclusive deal to carry it - and all you guys can do is complain about how much people want to use it. You, Randall Stephenson, and your lazy stupid company - you are the problem. You are what's wrong with this country." - WARNING! There's a bit of language in the article but it's definitely worth a read.

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Apple to acquire LaLa?

Wired: "This Lala acquisition could also help iTunes increase its revenue-per-user. Steve Jobs admitted in 2007 that the average iTunes user had only bought an average of 22 songs. By contrast, Lala CEO Bill Nguyen told us in October that its paying customers spend an average of $67 on Lala music, which is available both as 10-cent streams and normally-priced downloads (buying a stream is a down payment on the download)."

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Gruber on OS's

Ack!John Gruber: "Hardware and software both matter, and Apple's history shows that there's a good argument to be made for developing integrated hardware and software. But if you asked me which matters more, I wouldn't hesitate to say software. All things considered I'd much prefer a PC running Mac OS X to a Mac running Windows." - Very interesting. There was a time, not so long ago, when you could essentially buy a "PC" running Mac OS, but Steve Jobs killed that off when he returned. Much to the benefit of Apple. It is kind of weird to see a Mac die hard make a statement like that.

I'd still like to see the Mac OS X UI and services on top of Microsoft's NT Kernel, which has a bad reputation because of decisions made to support legacy behaviors. Anyway, the NT Kernel is a very good OS Kernel. It would be interesting to see other UI looks on top of it, and yes, that is possible.

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The shoe on the other foot

Dare Obasanjo [Hat Tip James Robertson]: "Am I the only one who thinks the above excerpt would be similarly apt if you replaced the phrase 'mobile apps' with 'Facebook apps' or 'OpenSocial apps'?" - Good point.

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Droid and photographers

Dave Winer [on Twitter]: "I can't leave the netbook. I'm taking a realtime photography trip. Without the netbook there's no realtime to it." - Depending on the type of storage your camera uses the Droid could be the perfect companion for Photographers. If you want to upload photos realtime, take your shots, pop your card out of camera, pop it in the Droid, and upload! No need to take your netbook with you for realtime support.

Now, all you need is someone like Fraser Speirs to create some super applications to get the job done.

This is another thing Apple should consider with the next version of the iPhone. Support for a microSD card would be quite nice.

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Your mileage may vary

PCR: "One of the things that people say an awful lot about the Apple Mac is that the OS is fantastic, that it's very graphical and easy to use. What we've tried to do with Windows 7 - whether it's traditional format or in a touch format - is create a Mac look and feel in terms of graphics. We've significantly improved the graphical user interface, but it's built on that very stable core Vista technology, which is far more stable than the current Mac platform, for instance." - I will always claim the Kernel of Windows is solid, I have for years, and I honestly believe it. Is it more stable than the Mac? I do doubt that.

I do find it interesting they point out they're trying to make the experience more Mac like. That can't hurt them. The Mac is still my favorite platform, with Windows holding at second place.

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Steve Jobs, CEO of the decade

InfoWorld: "Steve Jobs has been down this year -- the leave of absence, the liver transplant -- and he's been up -- his triumphant return, Apple's continued success. Fortune clearly thinks that over the past 10 years, his ups outweigh his downs; the publication has named Steve Jobs its CEO of the decade." - I can't say that I disagree. He brought Apple back from the brink, and turned them into a powerhouse.

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Smart Phone Platforms

Robert Scoble: "He says on Windows Mobile and other phones it's getting downloaded far less often than that. Westergren told me if he were starting development today he'd build for the above three platforms and is seeing more growth in Android than the others, so he'd bias to iPhone and Android, if he had to make a choice of only two platforms to develop on. This is also what I'm hearing from many other developers." - Yep. I love me some iPhone development, so much so I wish I could find a way to do it full time. Having said that, Android is looking more and more like a solid number two, with the Palm Pre coming in at number three in my book.

My brother, who co-developed RxCalc, is dug in at Verizon for mobile service, and he's looking at Droid for his next phone. Not a bad choice.

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What a difference...

John Gruber: "Where was she two years ago? Selling iPods to Oprah and Bono as a manager at Apple's Michigan Avenue store in Chicago." - It's gotta be strange to go from selling iPods to rocks stars to giving away Zune's? I'm just sayin.

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The Apple Difference

Apple - Think DifferentJohn Gruber: "Apple made news this week for the design and tech specs of its all-new iMacs, which start at $1199. HP made news this week for unveiling a Windows 7 launch bundle at Best Buy that includes a desktop PC and two laptops, all for $1199. That might be great for Microsoft, but how is it good for HP that their brand now stands for bargain basement prices?" - That pretty much says it all. Our family has converted. Both daughters are Mac users, I use one. My wife still has an HP laptop, but that will change with the next purchase. She will become a Mac user. Our next family desktop purchase will be a 27-in iMac, no doubt about it.

It's odd, isn't it? I make a living writing software that runs on Windows. I still know that platform best. The real trick is switching to writing code for the Mac all day, every day. There's the real challenge for me.

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iPhone developer gets out

MacWorld: "Second Gear's FitnessTrack and Emergency Information iPhone apps are dead...long live BitBQ's FitnessTrack and Emergency Information! Yes, Second Gear developer Justin Williams has sold his two apps to BitBQ's Patrick Burleson." - I'll hang in there myself, with hopes the App Store will improve based on developer and user feedback. It'll get better, it has to.

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Ruby on the Mac

Mac RubyMacRuby: "The new MacRuby 0.5 runtime is built upon LLVM, a compiler infrastructure also sponsored by Apple. Thanks to LLVM, MacRuby is able to transform the Ruby abstract syntax tree (AST) from the parser directly into highly optimized machine code. MacRuby supports both Just in Time (JIT) and Ahead of Time (AOT) compilation. The JIT mode will compile down the code at runtime, and the AOT mode will allow you to save on disk the compilation result. AOT compilation makes MacRuby a true Ruby compiler." - Hmmm, how long until we have full support in XCode for building compiled Ruby? Then, that begs the question, how long before we see native compilation of Ruby for the iPhone?

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Love for XCode

Fiery Robot!: "I think the true turning point started at around Xcode 3.0. Xcode is now quite simply the best IDE I've ever used. Most all of my complaints have been solved over time, and admittedly I've figured out a few things along the way that made me finally get how it all works. I thought I'd point out a few of the things that made me realize that Xcode rocks. If you're an Xcode aficionado, I'm sure you'll already know these." - The XCode team proves time and again you can create an excellent IDE on top of a UNIX underpinning. Something the Linux guys still haven't quite figured out, mind you they're getting better, but they're still stuck in 1970.

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App Store Problems Continue

MacWorld: "But three dollars, right? I mean, with that much money I could buy a third of a movie ticket! I could take the subway one and a half times! I could pay the convenience charge on the parking ticket I got last night (thanks, City of Somerville)." - For $3 you can *ALMOST* buy a Venti drink from America's favorite coffee company. This debate over the Tweetie upgrade pricing is silly, but it does point to bigger problems. The App Store needs to be reworked a bit, we need a 2.0 release, or 3.0, whatever. The kinder, gentler, App Store needs to include a couple of new features.

1) Trial Versions - 30-days would be just fine for starters, yes, I said for starters.
2) Upgrade Pricing - I'm ok with the $3 upgrade, but what if he had the option to set upgrade pricing at, say, $0.99? Maybe he'd actually do it?

Of course others will have a different list of things, and I'm sure I'll be adding to this one in the future, but it seems like those two things could go a long way toward cleaning up some of the mess at the App Store.

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Developers cool towards iPhone

MacWorld [via @chockenberry]: "Even if your 99 cent application gets downloaded 10,000 times, after Apple's 30 percent cut that's just $7,000 in revenue-not profit, mind you, just revenue-and if you spent the last six months of your life working on that application, you better hope you're still working a day job if you want to cover living expenses." - I still believe there's a market for GREAT iPhone apps, but some may be cool on the idea. That's ok, I'll plod along, looking for a nice niche to settle into, but I can see some giving up all together. It can be discouraging to see your work go unused, or receive little return on your investment. Such is life. Find something you love and work at it. It may pay off, and if it doesn't you may find something positive to take from the experience. I know I have.

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Giving up on the iPhone?

Mike Ash: "What about my part? That part is pretty simple: I have abandoned the platform. Apple's nonsense is just too much for me. There's no joy in iPhone development, and an enormous amount of frustration. It's much more fun, not to mention profitable, to take whatever effort I would spend on iPhone development and spend it on Mac development instead." - While I'm not ready to abandon the platform I can certainly understand why Mike would abandon iPhone development. I myself like developing for the iPhone but would love to have the time to write a full fledged Mac application. I have many ideas, but they're much larger than the applications I can build for the iPhone/iPod Touch, thus, I keep working on the phone. Besides, it really is quite fun.

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Advantage MonoTouch?

MonoTouch: "We take Inteface Builder one step further than XCode does by making MonoTouch automatically bind any outlets you define on your interface and any methods that you define in your interface to your C# code." - Who'd have thunk Apple's own Interface Builder would be outdone by a bunch of hacks? Not me.

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Mini on The Company Meeting

Mini-Microsoft: "Did he talk about how we're losing the edge on client development for Windows and how it's all a confused multi-SDK technology mess centered around everything being .NET based?" - Interesting take. When your own devs say your SDK offerings are a mess, well, that's a problem. As for .NET, it makes developing applications a whole heckuva lot easier. The runtime plus framework are brilliant; pick your favorite language and get busy, C#, VB.Net, Iron Ruby, Iron Python, [insert your favorite here.] Some would say "Hey, that's too confusing." Not really. Everything being equal from the runtime and frameworks perspective is really nice. They have great tools; UI creation is way easier in Windows than on the Mac, at least it is for me.

All that said, I'd rather spend my days writing Mac, or iPhone, software and beat my head against the Interface Builder wall than spend another day writing Windows applications.

Maybe someday I'll have that opportunity. For now, Windows, and to a lesser degree Linux, pays the bills. It's strange. Not that long ago I'd have considered working for Microsoft again, maybe. Now, now I don't think I'd consider it, unless it was on a pure Mac, or iPhone, application.

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The Truth of a Vertical Market App in the App Store

I'm referring to my own experience as an Independent Apple iPhone Developer. Since RxCalc went into the store things have been slow for us, slow but steady. Please, don't take this as a complaint, I'm very proud of our little effort, and I feel that sense of pride when I talk to people about what my brother and I have done. It's our baby, even if it's not making us piles of cash, we're committed to supporting and nurturing it. It wont be left to whither on the vine. There's work to be done!

To date, by my calculations, we've sold 99 copies of RxCalc. Apple Core Labs has received our first check from Apple, it was a very exciting day! In fact, we're going to celebrate it. Yes, I believe in celebrating your victories, no matter how small.

Something I've come to realize about our chosen vertical market is it's very difficult to reach our target audience. It's very obvious Pharmacists aren't finding the RxCalc product page, or our weblog. After announcing that tomorrow (Labor Day) RxCalc would be completely free for one day I expected to not make a single sale, completely understandable, yet we sold a copy yesterday, yes, a single copy. So, it's very obvious our best vehicle thus far is the App Store itself. To that end I wonder if Apple would be open to adding a weblog like capability to the store so our announcements could be linked off the main product page, or brought to the surface a bit more easily, when potential customers land on the iTunes App Store page for RxCalc. Maybe a "News", or "Announcements", section on the page with a headline that announces current activity for the product?

Of course I leave it to Apple to help us because the App Store is a walled garden, they're in charge of their own, and our, "nightmare." I'm not unhappy with my overall experience, I'd just like to see it get better, and as a little guy just getting his feet wet, I can use all the help I can get.

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Y.A.A.S.R - Yet Another App Store Rejection

Kent Place Software: "I got an email last night - Apple has rejected BeerAlchemy Touch. They're not happy about an icon I'm using (not that they told me exactly which one it was so I'm taking a guess). Not a disaster but annoying and it will, of course, delay the release of the app." - Ahhh, more quality feedback from the App Store Review Process. "We aren't happy with your icon." [insert chirping crickets here.]

Thanks fellas! That's swell feedback.

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App Store 30-day Trials!

Gigaom: "The biggest takeaway from this data: People are happy spending money on apps for their smartphones, especially after they've had a chance to try them for free." - Ok, so we can't offer trials at the App Store, but I sure wish we could. As a result the App Store is full of paid and free versions of the same application. The free version is basically a limited functionality version of the paid app. Silly isn't it? If app developers could offer trial versions that could be upgraded to the full version after a period of time, even if that time period is fixed by Apple, would be a huge step forward.

Please dear Apple, please, give us the ability to offer trial versions.

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Placing hope in Verizon?

CNet: "When testing a carrier's network, the only constant is that there is no constant. Not all of the Verizon phones that CNET has tested have been exceptional. Similarly, we've reviewed many AT&T handsets that have surpassed the iPhone both in voice quality and 3G data reception. So I'm somewhat skeptical that a Verizon iPhone will be better simply because it's on Verizon." - We have AT&T service and I don't really have an issue with it. I've heard too many horror stories, but it may just be a problem with AT&T in certain areas, like NY or SF. Here in rural California AT&T seems to work fine most of the time.

It would seem that most people that have taken the survey in the linked article believe the iPhone will be better on Verizon, it stands at 64% as I write this.

Oh, and we haven't arrived at the place where mobile phones can replace hard lines. The technology just isn't there yet, not nearly as reliable, and the voice quality can be crummy.

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App store: How do I get...

RxCalc LogoSomething we're trying to figure out for our next release of RxCalc is how do we know what version of the OS our users are running? I don't know how to get that data?

When we kicked release 1.0 out the door we built it against the 2.1 SDK, and tested it with the 3.0 OS to make sure we'd still work. Everything went smooth, but I'd like to move forward to 3.0 if we can. I've heard the adoption rate is fairly high, but I'd still like to know what version of the OS our users are running it on.

So, does anyone know how to get that information?

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The Apple/Google Mess

TechCrunch: "My, how the tables have turned. Earlier this week, we learned that Apple had suddenly begun to pull third party iPhone applications for Google Voice, citing the unconvincing rationale that they "duplicated" some of the iPhone's functionality. We then broke the news that Apple had also rejected Google's own official Google Voice application submitted six weeks prior, sparking a din of complaints from developers and users alike over the arbitrary and possibly anti-competitive restrictions being imposed by Apple. AT&T, too, has been a target of frequent criticism as many of us believe it may have also played a part in the decision." - Boy, this kind of stuff is beginning to really tick off iPhone developers, and the Apple loving community in general. It'll be interesting to see what comes of it. Hopefully we'll get improvements to the App Store that keep developers happy and benefit the users of our apps.

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More App Store Developer Frustration

Stormy Productions Blog: "The second problem is the inconsistency of the review process. One app gets approved with feature set X and another with identical features gets rejected. For example, I submitted two apps on the same day. Both were radio apps for different radio stations and contained identical features. One app was approved after a week while the second app received the dreaded this app is "taking unexpected additional time for review" email. It's been over a month now and this second app still hasn't been approved. I even got the eventual call from Apple telling me I need to change a phrase in the app description and was also told once I did this the app would be all set. The other app that was approved contained this exact same phrase. In fact, both these apps were updates and have had the same descriptions since they were approved by Apple last Fall! So, I immediately changed the text Apple found offensive, and now several weeks have gone by and no word on the app being approved. All Apple is willing to say is "there is no additional information to share at this time"." - This is pretty frustrating. Read the whole thing to get an idea of what he's experiencing. We're cooking up a quick usability fix to RxCalc we'd like to publish, but how long will the review take? Hopefully not too long.

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Finding and fixing iPhone/Mac memory leaks

Ref CountMobile Orchard: "Some memory leaks are easy to see by looking at your code. Some are much more difficult. This is where Instruments comes in. Instruments has a 'Leaks' tool that will tell you exactly where you're leaking memory so that you can get in there and fix it!" - These are the types of tools every developer should learn. Hard as we try to write clean code we will, on occasion, forget to release a reference to an object and you get the dreaded memory leak. I must admit the Cocoa reference counting mechanism is a bit odd to an "old-school" Windows/COM developer, but I've learned to deal with the oddness.

Oh, there is a great tutorial for Windows COM guys to explore if they're coming over to Objective-C/Cocoa to help with the ref counting mechanism.

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Essay on the App Store

Craig Hockenberry: "Now, with 50,000 apps, we're currently looking at three week lead times for reviews. When there are 100,000 apps are we going to be waiting a couple of months for approval? Or more?" - I guess I should consider myself lucky, for RxCalc, we had an 11-day approval time, which just about drove me nuts.

I think the App Store is fantastic, but it's not without it's problems. Craig's post is a great read for any future, or current, iPhone developer.

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Did Jobs get liver because he's wealthy?

CNN.com: "The truth is more complicated. No one can actually buy an organ in the United States (legally, that is). But getting a liver transplant, it turns out, is a lot like getting into college. Once you're on the waiting list, your chances of getting off it depend largely on your personal circumstances -- how sick you are and whether you are a good donor match. But getting on the list in the first place -- or on more than one list, as the case may be -- requires resources and know-how that most people don't have." - Of course I asked that question when I saw the report. My mother has been on a transplant list for years. She was near death four years ago and still no liver. Now she's doing a lot better but the docs are beginning to hint that she may be bad enough to get one in a years time at her current rate of decline. So, you literally have to be near death to receive the organ, and there are all kinds of crazy rules in the fine print. My mom was unable to get one four years back because she weighed too much, thanks to the meds the doctor put her on to keep her alive. So, it's really hard to get one. Jobs must have been very near death to receive a liver when he did.

So I honestly believe the answer to "Did he get it because he's rich?" is no. He got it because he was about to drop dead.

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Steve Jobs meet new liver

The Wall Street Journal: "Steve Jobs, who has been on medical leave from Apple Inc. since January to treat an undisclosed medical condition, received a liver transplant in Tennessee about two months ago. The chief executive has been recovering well and is expected to return to work on schedule later this month, though he may work part-time initially." - Here's to a speedy, and complete, recovery! It's a bummer the man had to go all the way to Tennessee to receive his transplant. UCSF, right in his own backyard, has a fantastic liver team.

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The App Wall

TechCrunch: "Today at Apple's WWDC event in San Francisco, Apple had a bunch of Cinema Display monitors mounted together on a wall showing what looked to be some sort of pulsating canvas. But a closer look revealed that it was actually a huge collection of icons for many of the apps available in the App Store, arranged by color. Apparently, when someone purchased one, that app's icon would pulsate, creating the effect." - Apple needs a mini version of this is all their stores! Check out the video, it's pretty slick.

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Microsoft's iPod Touch Clone

Gizmodo: "The device is tighter and more physically beautiful than the iPod Touch and it's got a better UI, the main menu's scrolling so natural through the swipe gestures. There's a little note on the side, under the volume toggle-"Hello from Seattle." The power button is up top. The home button is nice and prominent, a bar rather than a round button on the Touch. It's smaller. And the accelerometer is more swift in responding to repositioning; images rotate very fast." - The Zune HD does look very nice, at least from the pictures. There are some interesting things to note. It's obvious the idea was to steal some thunder from Apple's iPod Touch/iPhone momentum. Apparently they support touch gestures. It doesn't appear to have applications, beyond what Microsoft will provide? They even did something Apple has always done. When you buy an Apple product you get the "Designed by Apple in California" slogan somewhere on the device. Now Microsoft has swiped that for the Zune HD by placing "Hello from Seattle" on the side of the device right under the volume control. It's interesting they'd choose to use Seattle. Last I checked Microsoft was located in Redmond, WA? I know, I know, Redmond isn't as cool as Seattle so it makes sense. Heck, Microsoft wouldn't even allow the Visio team to remain in downtown Seattle because it was "too far away" from the mother ship.

Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

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Another Strange App Store Rejection

James Montgomerie: "If you're wondering why Eucalyptus is not yet available, it's currently in the state of being 'rejected' for distribution on the iPhone App Store. This is due to the fact that it's possible, after explicitly searching for them, to find, download from the Internet, and then read texts that Apple deems 'objectionable'. The example they have given me is a Victorian text-only translation of the Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana. For the full background, a log of my communications with Apple is below." - Not this again? If you can reject Eucalyptus because you can search for "objectionable" material then you MUST pull Safari and Amazon's own Kindle for the iPhone application from the store because you can search for, and find, the exact material this application was rejected for.

This is a real shame. The poor guy explicitly added a check for Kama Sutra to his search feature so he wouldn't be rejected. Problem is will Apple now search for something else and reject it?

If Apple has issue with certain search terms they should provide API's that applications MUST use prior to submitting those search terms to web services, so Apple can let the developer know the term is inappropriate and cannot be submitted. At a bare minimum they need to provide developers with a list of terms they're not allowed to search for, and make their own software abide by the list.

It's sad. Eucalyptus is a beautifully designed application and gives the user complete access to Project Gutenberg.

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XCode tip-o-the-day

I've lived in Visual Studio since before it was a 1.0 product, yes, that's a very long time. Since coming to the Mac I've been spending more and more time inside XCode, very nice IDE by the way. The only downside is my fingers are trained to do Visual Studio keyboard shortcuts.

Well today one such key combination actually paid off.

If you do Alt+Shift+Mouse Down+Drag XCode column selects! Two thumbs way up guys! I don't know about you but I use that feature all the time!

Thanks XCode, you just saved me a bunch of time.

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Mac Tablet?

9 to 5 Mac: "MacFormat's 3D artist came up with these mockups and some additional specs. Will the Mac Tablet look anything like this?" - While I doubt Apple would call it a 'Mac Tablet', you get the idea. In this case it's essentially a gigantor iPod Touch. It looks nice, but I'm fairly certain Apple would do it one better.

NetBook fanatics, if something like this wouldn't please your fancy, well, what would? Yea, I know, it's not going to be $250.00 and have a free OS. Oh well, there are plenty of us who'd happily own one.

If they did do a form factor like this, what OS would it use, that's an important question to answer. I'd hope for the full blown OS X.

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Level playing field?

Manton Reece: "Except there's one pretty significant problem, especially on the iPhone. Apple cheats." - For now, I'm fine with Apple "cheating." I can understand why they'd be so cautious about allowing applications to run in the background. Have you ever noticed how many background tasks(services) run in your installation of Windows? The answer is, a lot, and most people probably don't even know they're running. This was a great mechanism for the malware/spyware folks to leverage. I'm not saying an iPhone is vulnerable, but I could see it slowing down, becoming less responsive, if you had a bunch of tasks running in the background.

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Great iPhone app advice

Double Encore, Inc. : "To determine price, you need to first figure out who your target market is. Hint: for most apps, your target market is probably not 'all iPhone users, everywhere.' Far too many apps are priced for volume on the App Store despite not having a larger enough target market. If your niche app can command $9.99 from those users or industries that would benefit from what you offer, why price your app at $0.99? All you are doing is reducing your chance of breaking even and turning a profit." - I have an iPhone app coming, really, it is, trust me. The thing I'm struggling with most, is price. The application targets a very focused market. There are a couple of apps like it, but not exactly like, and they're sitting between the $0.99 and $3.99 range. When I began working on the product I was thinking I'd sell it for $39.99, yep, that right, very high end. Now it's looking like it'll fit in the $4.99 and under range. We'll see!

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Posted by Rob at 8:28 AM | 1 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

iPod is King

Apple iPhone/iPod TouchGizmodo: "News doesn't get much worse than this for the Zunes and Sansas of the world: a whopping 0% of surveyed teens planned on buying their devices, with 100% wanting an iPod in the coming year." - Does this actually surprise anyone? Apple embraced Windows as a platform for their player, does Zune do that? I believe the answer is no, and I honestly think that is one of the key reasons iPod sales went through the roof. Remember, the iPod became a wild success before Mac sales started taking off.

It's funny how things change. I had a PC laptop and a Toshiba Gigabeat player. Now I love everything Apple. Mac laptop and two iPod's, a Shuffle for working out, and an iPod Touch for everything else. The Touch is more of a mobile computing device for me. I check e-mail, tweets, and news feeds, and to top it off I stream music through it via Pandora. It is in a word, incredible.

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Apple and Sun, I don't think so.

9 to 5 Mac: Just a thought here - we realize this is pretty much not going to happen - but would there be any interest at all in Sun from Apple? Bill Joy said the two companies almost merged three times in the 90s (when Jobs wasn't running the show). IBM just walked away from the table on a $7 billion dollar buyout opportunity. They wouldn't take the $9.40 a share offer. - No, no, no, no, no. If this happened it would drag a wonderful company, Apple, down the drain. There's no need for Apple to acquire any technology from Sun because Sun gives it all away. Of the three things listed; ZFS, OpenOffice, and Java, none makes sense for Apple to own. Wait a while and when Sun dries up Apple can pluck engineering talent off the streets. No need to spend a bunch of money on a self-imploding company.

Who'd of thunk both SGI and Sun would go this way? Strange.

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Coding for the iPhone

I've been working on my iPhone application again, it's been months, and I've been making good progress. Cocoa Touch and Objective-C are beginning to slowly sink into my thick skull, which is a very good thing. I have a bunch of experiences to share and I really need to sit down and write them up, with hopes is helps another poor Win32/C++/COM guy make the leap into Cocoa/Objective-C land.

Duct Tape, fixer of all things!What are some of the things I hope to talk about? Glad you asked. The application I'm working on is very table oriented. It's really about data collection, so I've formed some very good patterns for dealing with it. Another thing I'd like to address is my view of reference counting with Cocoa, from a COM developers perspective. I'd also like to dive into is comparing Win32/C++/COM to Objective-C/Cocoa to .NET/C#/pick a language. I think Apple used to have a leg up with Objective-C/Cocoa, now I honestly believe .NET may have the edge in the rapid development department.

Hopefully I'll get around to writing about it some day, but you never know, this tease may be the final word.

As of this writing it's still my goal to become a full time Objective-C/Cocoa/Mac/iPhone developer, that's how much I'm enjoying the experience.

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NetBook to the next level?

Apple LogoSmoking Apples: "Based on this factual patent application, and the rumor of 10" touchscreens being purchased, I will bet with almost 95% certainty that the iScreen, iTablet, or Macbook Touch (not to be confused with the iPod Touch) will come to market in the third or fourth quarter." - If Apple introduces a NetBook that comes close to these sketches, and the mockup at the top of the post, it won't silence the critics. The critics are too into cheap, and this device probably won't be cheap. It is very interesting however. It's a strange combination of iPod Touch and MacBook. Something else to note. How would a device like this stack up against the Kindle? Will Apple begin selling books through iTunes and will the device have built in EVDO? Will the price point be close to the price of a Kindle, and by close I mean around $500.00US? Only time will tell.

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Windows Mobile, market leader?

MacWorld: "The real market momentum with operators and the real market momentum with device manufacturers seems to primarily be with Windows Mobile and Android." - Maybe that's so, I'm not sure. Microsoft licenses Windows Mobile to all comers, so it would make sense that their numbers are good, as long as they have licensees. Apple is #1 in the hearts and minds of developers, and users, and they're leading the way in new device sales. Not a bad place to be.

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Hopefully he's fine.

I, Cringely: "A friend of mine has for years been one of Steve Jobs’ Internet chat buddies. And as such his chat client has – again for years – shown as Steve came online each day and remained there for hours and hours as you’d expect a Silicon Valley mogul to do. And it’s a trend that continued well past Jobs’ announcement that he was taking a six-month leave of absence to get well. But then Steve started logging-on less and less. And several weeks ago he stopped logging-on at all. " - Never, never, count Jobs out, of anything.

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Melt down, in progress

I have to vent somewhere so I don't destroy the nearest thing to me. Where to begin...

My MacBook is dead, okay, let's move on. Fire up the Linux box, hmmmm, I can't see outside my network, no internet connection. Great, can't VPN to work to get something useful done. Still trying to figure that one out. Then I notice my iPod Touch needed some juice, so I plugged it in to my Windows laptop. I guess that's a bad idea. Friggin iTunes REMOVED ALL MY APPS! Look, it just needed some juice, why, why in God's name, would you remove all my apps? That is just plain stoopid guys. Come on, you're smarter than that. So now what? I'm guessing I have to wait until I get back my repaired MacBook so I can get my apps back?

Someone on the iTunes team please step up, it's time for a cage match. I'm really pissed and want to destroy something.

Thanks for ruining my day fellas.

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'Nuff said

Steve Jobs: "So now I’ve said more than I wanted to say, and all that I am going to say, about this." - Move along, there's nothing to see here.

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Posted by Rob at 9:56 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Switching

MacWorld: "In the past year, running Mac OS X or Linux as your default OS has been made easier by the capability to run Windows in a virtual machine, giving you access to both Windows-only applications and Web sites that rely on Microsoft's Internet Explorer-only ActiveX technology. But in a business environment, switching to a Mac or Linux PC may not be quite as easy." - I've been running exclusively on a Mac for quite a while now. I use VMWare as my Windows development environment host and it's mostly worked for me. I'm sold on Mac now. It would be so hard to go back to a PC with Windows as a daily driver, but I supposed I could do it. I work with Linux as well but I'm not a very proficient Linux guy, that's ok, we have Linux gear heads all over the place. But I digress.

For me the choice is now clear, it's Mac.

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Mac: two bad things

I've stepped into the world of Mac snobbery. I can't foresee purchasing another non-Apple computer for myself or my family, but there are a couple of things Apple built I don't like. First off their mouse, don't like it, no sir, don't like it one bit. The second thing is their keyboard, too danged small and it doesn't feel right to the touch. I like the keyboard on the Macbook, it works for me.

The good thing is I can replace those fairly easily.

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Netbooks?

There are a lot of folks talking about Netbooks. Netbooks this, netbooks that. My question is this, is a Netbook defined by its size, is it about cost, or is it a combination of both.

The reason I ask is because along with all the hype surrounding Netbooks there's a group of people that want one from Apple. So, given Apple doesn't create junk with an OS on it (have you every used a Dell laptop? Junk.), would a small laptop from Apple be considered a Netbook if it was over $1,000.00? The current low-end Macbook sells for $1,300.00, and it's a 13-inch device.

So, if you could buy a 9-inch Apple Macbook for $1000.00, would you buy one, or is it all about the price?

Apple, it's time to redefine the Netbook, in your terms. I want a BMW, not a Yugo. Thank you.

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Posted by Rob at 8:28 AM | 4 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Say it ain't so?

Apple.com: "CUPERTINO, California—December 16, 2008—Apple® today announced that this year is the last year the company will exhibit at Macworld Expo. Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, will deliver the opening keynote for this year’s Macworld Conference & Expo, and it will be Apple’s last keynote at the show. The keynote address will be held at Moscone West on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. Macworld will be held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center January 5-9, 2009." - Bummer! I've never been to a Macworld, but would love to go. Job's isn't even do the keynote. Weird.

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Open Source the iPhone?

Chris Petrilli [via James Robertson]: "It seems everyone has advice for Apple. Hell bent to resurrect them from that horrible abyss of having billions of dollars in the bank and making money almost as fast as it can be printed. Today, it’s five reasons why Apple should open source the iPhone. Let’s take a look at his five 'reasons', in slightly out-of-order execution, shall we?" - Some of the Open Source zealots continue to amaze me with their wacked out arguments. Apple is doing just fine the way they are, thank you very much.

I have zero problem with Open Source, zero. Instead of pushing everybody to your model why not focus on making better software than the other guy? I would still put Linux at a distant third on the desktop, with Apple being #1 and Microsoft being #2 when it comes to form and function. My grandmother really doesn't want to open BASH to get something done. Yes, I'm fully aware it's gotten better, but it's still way, way, behind the competition, and everything you hear from the Linux team points to the server, not the desktop. So, given that, why would you want to open source a beautifully designed, highly functional, mobile OS? Apple built the iPhone for people, not machines.

Here's how I see it. Success on the iPhone for the Open Source crowd would mean you could run vi, emacs, BASH, and SSH on it.

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Objective-C Scoping

Guy English: "In Objective-C the lifetime of an object is not governed by the scope in which it appears - it is managed manually by the programmer." - Nice talk on Objective-C object scoping and how to force the garbage collector to do your bidding.

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Posted by Rob at 10:34 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Gifts for the beginning Mac developer

The Unofficial Apple Weblog: "Whether you've just started writing your first lines of code or you've just moved over to the Mac/iPhone platform as a developer, this guide is sure to please." - Looks like a great list to me.

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Posted by Rob at 4:00 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Deciding on a new phone

James Robertson: "I got a chance to play with a BlackBerry Storm last night, and the touchscreen was mostly annoying - I had the devil's own time getting a "C" entered (I got "V" 3-4 times each try. My daughter insists that the iPod touch (and by extension, the iPhone) won't be much better, but I was pretty disappointed." - I've been watching James work through the process of picking a new phone. He's been researching the BlackBerry Storm, which looks pretty darned cool, and comparing it with the iPhone. I have a BlackBerry Curve and I like it a lot. I've already decided I won't be purchasing an iPhone, I'll get an iPod Touch. If I switch phones I'll probably go with something like the Pantech Matrix for it's full size keyboard, or I could go super low end with one of the simple free flip phones. Why? Well, I think having the Touch I'll get most of what I need, minus the phone part. I don't mind having two devices, but I know some do.

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Posted by Rob at 7:40 AM | 1 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Making room for the keyboard

Cocoa with Love: "The iPhone's onscreen keyboard occupies the bottom 216 pixels on screen (140 in landscape mode). That's around half the screen, so if you ever have a text field you want to edit in the bottom half of the screen, it needs to move or it will get covered." - Nice tip for any iPhone developer. There is also a nice example of this in Apple's UIShowcase sample application.

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Posted by Rob at 8:55 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Fill 'er up.

Apple Gazette: "I currently have 7 of the 9 available screens filled to the brim with iPhone Apps of all kinds, and most of them, I don’t really want to be rid of. It would be nice if I could organize them in a more user-friendly way then just swiping from one screen to the next." - Do most folks have that many apps on their iPhone they can't live without? Instead of making a change to the iPhone UI why not use fewer apps?

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Posted by Rob at 7:32 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Cocoa on Windows?

The Unofficial Apple Weblog: "Cocotron is a potentially exciting open-source project that 'aims to implement a cross-platform Objective-C API similar to that described by Apple Inc.'s Cocoa documentation.' What this means is that, in principle, Cocotron would allow an OS X Cocoa app written in Xcode to be easily cross-compiled for other OSes, particularly Windows." - This is pretty interesting. The question is, will Mac developers feel the need to go to Windows? There are a lot of Grandaddy applications on the Mac that are written in C/C++ because they run on multiple platforms, like Photoshop and even Apple's very own iTunes. Those applications use Carbon and Carbon isn't moving into 64-bit land, which is causing grief for folks like Adobe with gigantor codebases written against it. Would it be in Apple's best interest to contribute to Cocotron so they have a viable framework to get their own applications like iTunes fully Cocoa?

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Question for Mac developers

So, is there any way to make XCode not default to K&R style bracing. It's just plain ugly, and quite honestly, I can't believe people still use it. When I got my first professional C job way back we didn't use it then, but it seems to have holdouts in the hacker world, namely the Unix style derivatives.

Anywho, I digress, is there a way to make the braces lineup by default? Thanks!

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Posted by Rob at 12:39 PM | 2 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Steve Jobs had a heart attack this morning?

James Robertson: "If this story is true (and who knows, it could be all speculation), it's very sad news: Steve Jobs heart attack?" - Let's all hope this is false.

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iPhone development tutorial

Cocoa Is My Girlfriend: "Similar to one of my first blog posts on building a basic application for Mac OS X using xcode 3.0, I am going to explain for beginning iPhone/iPod Touch developers how to build the most basic Cocoa Touch application using Interface Builder and an application delegate in xcode 3.1." - Excellent!

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Posted by Rob at 12:27 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

iPhone NDA dropped

9 to 5 Mac: "Apple today gave up the fight to keep the NDA on released iPhone applications built with the iPhone SDK. The NDA has recieved much bad press and complaints from developers who wanted to communicate their experiences with developing programs for the iPod/iPhone platform." - Good move Apple.

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The RIAA and big labels just fainted...

The Unofficial Apple Weblog [via Steve Mitchell]: "Distorted Loop is reporting that Apple has signed a deal with Pure Play Music to add their artists to the iTunes Store, accounting for more that 1 million tracks. eMusic, Amazon and Napster are also a part of the deal." - You all had your chance, now, now you get to play second fiddle.

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Ballmer's on crack

9 to 5 Mac: "And it gets better, 'I'm not saying there isn't a threat' from Apple, he said. But if Microsoft and its PC partners 'do our jobs right, there's really no reason Apple should get any footprint in the enterprise.'" - Time for Steve to go bye-bye, he's lost his marbles, but then again he is getting spanked by the other Steve. But what do I know, I'm a great big nobody.

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Great googlie mooglie

Wired: "Steve Demeter, developer of the vastly popular $5 iPhone game Trism, announced he made $250,000 in profit in just two months." - Wow, that's all I have to say about that.

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But why?

Microsoft Cash Cow.Scott C. Reynolds: "Apple, I beg you, get your act together, gather up some people on the outside that can tell you what it takes to gain ground in business use, and stop treating your business customers like your home customers. I want to be able to use your products in the corporate world. I really do. But you aren't ready for it." - Scott, Apple tries to run lean, and focus on what's important to them. They don't want to be the enterprise company, they want to own the living room and the home. If a product doesn't show profit quickly they typically kill it off and try something else. Why should they lose focus and try to deal with corporations? Corporations require a lot of hand holding, special this, special that. Is it really worth it? Look at Microsoft, they've become so spread out they've lost focus. Sure they have a lot of different products, but they make money on a couple of cash cows; Windows and Office. Maybe there are others now, and I'm sure I'll hear about it, but you get the idea.

Maybe there's room for a new company to emerge to serve up Apple products to corporations?

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Posted by Rob at 8:52 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Wow, that's a lot

iLounge: "Apple has announced that iPhone and iPod touch users worldwide have downloaded more than 100 million applications from the App Store since its launch on July 11. More than 3,000 applications are now available on the App Store, with over 90 percent priced at less than $10 and more than 600 offered for free." - Dang, I need to get an app together. Smile, life is good!

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Posted by Rob at 9:05 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

It just keeps getting better

The Unofficial Apple Weblog: "229 will get you 8GB of storage, $299 will buy 16GB, and $399 scores 32GB. That's knocking about $50 off the price of each." - I've been hoping to get an iPod Touch for a while now, it's really time to quit hoping and start purchasing.

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Posted by Rob at 9:02 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

iPhone Tetris clone?

Apple Gazette: "If there is a legitimate trademark infringement claim it needs to be settled in a court of law. If the creator of 'Tris' isn’t interested in doing that, then I’m not sure I see a problem with it being removed. I understand that argument that 'he’s a college student, he can’t afford a lawyer' - and I get that, but that’s the system that we have. I would imagine from his point of view its just not worth the hassle - and I would have to agree with that if I was in his situation." - Maybe someone can give this kid some legal advice, or for heavens sake hire him!

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Posted by Rob at 8:55 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Apple in security?

9 to 5 Mac: "Here's an unusual one that's crossed our desk this morning - Apple's getting into the crowded Big Brother CCTV market, and will appear with leading security vendor, videoNEXT (love the Next in that name) at a special event next month." - Apple should be talking to Pelco. Yes, I know, shameless self promotion. Who knows, maybe they are, I'm just a grunt worker and wouldn't be privy to such a wonderful conversation. It would be very cool and it would be my hearts desire to work on a Mac version of our viewing client.

A guy can dream can't he?

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Posted by Rob at 8:50 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Call from Apple?

This is a bit strange. I'm sitting here minding my own business, when out of the blue, I get a call from Apple Computer?

They were calling to follow-up on a computer purchase I'd started, but hadn't completed. That's interesting, I'm ok with that, I want to set that 24-inch beauty on my desktop! I just need to pull the trigger!

Maybe today will be the right day to do so, maybe not?

I really need to go back to my study of Cocoa. I have a great book on the subject sitting on the nightstand next to my bed, but I haven't picked it up since I was on vacation back in early June.

Too bad it wasn't an offer to work on iPhone apps, who could resist that? Smile, life is good!

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Posted by Rob at 10:31 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Yeah, right

CNet | The Open Road: "Columnist John Dvorak thinks that Adobe Systems has a Microsoft problem and that Linux provides a clear solution:" - This has already been done for Adobe, it's called Mac OS X. Now, the one cool thing about this idea is simple. If Adobe developed their own Linux OS we'd finally get a real end-user version of Linux. Do they need it, no, would it make for interesting choice, yes.

If they did it I'd toss out KDE and Gnome, and start from scratch, freshly grown shell from the ground up. Keep the kernel and all the nifty hidden stuff. Add real developer tools, Xcode is a tremendous IDE that makes use of the open source toolchain, gcc and gdb.

Linux doesn't have to be for the hacker only. I work with a few guys, hi Tony and Stuart, that make Linux sing, but 99% of the population don't care to hop into BASH and type arcane commands to get what they want. They want to point and click.

With the proper focus, and a world class company like Adobe, they could make it happen. Problem is, it doesn't really make sense for Adobe. They're all about their applications running across OS'es and making money, not creating the OS.

It would sure be fun to work on! But, it doesn't really make sense.

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Posted by Rob at 8:27 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

iPhone design tool?

teehan+lax: "Over the past few months we’ve had to create a few iPhone mock ups for presentations. The problem we’ve encountered is the lack of resources to help us design something efficiently. Up until now we’ve used a nice PSD from 320480.com but we still found ourselves having to build out additional assets or heavily modifying bitmap based buttons and widgets." - If you're a Visio user and you need a UI design tool for the iPhone I'd encourage Chris Roth, Mr. Visio Guy himself, to get to work.

Chris, you could blow this out of the water. Then we need to figure out how to generate the Interface Builder .xib file, and associated handlers. That would be a fun project.

Just having the template for building UI's would be wonderful.

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Posted by Rob at 7:34 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Switching to the Mac

David Alison: "I was quickly able to get the Mac Pro up and running with Windows XP and my development environment in a VMware Fusion instance. With a couple of minor exceptions it worked great, providing me with everything I needed to build my web based solutions just as I had been on my native Windows XP machine." - I must admit, I don't have the slightest clue who this guy is, but apparently a lot of people do so he's a pretty popular link. Anywho, I digress. I love my Mac, I won't go back to Windows, period. It's my biggest desire to write Mac software full time, but I make a living writing software for Windows and Linux. I do however use my MacBook Pro as a portal to development on both platforms. VMWare Fusion is a wonderful piece of software and allows me to run both OS's and easily switch between them. I have only one complaint, it's small, and I know it's not easy to do. I would love to be able to get full hardware acceleration on the GPU. I know, minor to most, especially Mr. Alison who does web services, but it is kind of major to me as we do live streaming of video and this Mac hardware screams! I've seen folks on our team boot into native Windows, using BootCamp, and get awesome video performance. I just wish we could get it under VMWare.

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Posted by Rob at 8:55 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Cast the first stone

Apple Insider [via digg]: "'The idea with open source software is to allow early adopters access to the buggier pieces of code so they can help fix them or let people who want to wait for a solid release the ability to do that,' says developer Casey Borders. 'The key is choice, and Google has taken away that choice and is developing Android like every other piece of closed software.'" - The open source community threw plenty of stones at Apple for their iPhone "restrictions", now it looks like one of their own darlings is causing developers grief. The Karma bug bites back. So let Apple do what they want, and Google can do what they want. Everybody's happy.

Check out the first comment on the digg post.

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Posted by Rob at 8:50 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Let it sell!

9to5Mac: "The LA Times blog is reporting that the infamous, limited edition "I am Rich" application was purchased by six Americans, one Frenchman and one German. That's right. These guys gave the developer, Armin Heinrich, a total of $5,600 dollars and Apple $2,400 for what effectively is a 320x480 pixel Photoshopped picture of a jewel." - Look, if you agree to the terms of the sale, you've clicked the button, money changes hands, it's your problem, not Apple's, and not Armin Heinrich's problem.

Why should Apple not allow Mr. Heinrich to sell his application? If someone want's to spend $1000.00 on an app that does nothing, let them buy it. Buyer beware!

Check out the screen shot of the user comment. This is HIS fault. He clicked the button. Next time think before you act. Why, just tell me why would Apple put some $999.00 joke on their site? Oh, and it's not a scam, he spells out exactly what you're getting for your $999.00.

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Posted by Rob at 9:51 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Right

James Robertson: "It's hard for free software to get there, because free projects usually progress right up to 'useful enough for me (the author), and no more'. Sure, there are exceptions - but they are rare. Usually, to get 'fit and finish', you have to pay." - I work with a bunch of bitheads that absolutely worship Linux. They love things like emacs and the BASH, which should tell you something. This OS is not built for real people. Open, Yes, easy to use, No. The community can't even decided on a unified look and feel, sure you can claim that's a benefit to open source, and it is a form of choice, but what about the average joe trying to get their job done?

The Linux Bithead: Oh, yes, of course you can do that, just start bash and type 'ps aux | cat | grep | more | lex | yacc | stuff', that will do exactly what you want.
The Average Joe: Huh? Where do I click?

Ultimate power for the developer, no doubt, I will NEVER that that away from Linux. But for the Average Joe, it can be daunting.

Apple has, without doubt, proven you can take the power of Unix (Mach + BSD) and make it something the average user can use. To top it off you can get to all that raw developer horse power if you so choose. The best of both worlds. Heck they even have a great IDE in XCode.

P.S. - Yes, I'm perfectly aware that 'command' I typed is complete and utter crap, but it's only for illustrative purposes, and it makes my point.

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Posted by Rob at 9:56 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Missing the point

Free Software Foundation: "Unfortunately, we are not. The extreme here is represented by Jobs and Apple. The iPhone is an attack on very old and fundamental values -- the value of people having control over their stuff rather than their stuff having control over them, the right to freely communicate and share with others, and the importance of privacy." - Wow. The first item in their five reasons to avoid iPhone 3G says "iPhone completely blocks free software. Developers must pay a tax to Apple, who becomes the sole authority over what can and can't be on everyone's phones." Tax? It's strange someone at the FSF would speak of taxes, the GPL is a tax. Sure, I can get my free software and compile it on my box, but where's the integration? My Mac in combination with my iPod is a complete, beautifully integrated, solution. It's the same with the iPhone. It works with desktops and laptops and Apple TV. I can create free applications and Apple will handle the distribution for me. Hey, that's kinda nice. Open source has its place and if you want it to become the dominant force in the software world here's a tip, write better software. Write it for folks like my grandmother, not for me. That means paying attention to all the little things, just like Apple does. Remember guys, the user interface IS the application to the end user, they could care less about the cool algorithm you implemented under the hood. Seriously.

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Posted by Rob at 9:02 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

iPhone 2.0 is a monster

Gizmodo: "It looks like not everyone in AT&T land loves the iPhone. When reader Dennis' mom went to the AT&T stand in the Moorestown Mall in New Jersey to ask about iPhone insurance, they laughed in her face. They then handed her a bunch of articles written arguing for the BlackBerry over the iPhone, printed from places like Crackberry.com and Pocket PC Magazine. At the end, there was the name and number of an AT&T regional manager." - My brother tells a similar story. He called AT&T and the customer service lady was frustrated with answering iPhone questions. He said she sighed when he said he wanted to talk about iPhone pricing and plans. I guess it's succeeding, everybody hates 'em.

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Posted by Rob at 8:49 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Apple #3

AppleInsider: "Macs garnered an 8.5 percent share of the U.S. PC market during the second quarter of the year, pushing Apple past Acer in the national rankings and into third place overall, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by market research firm Gartner." - Apple has nowhere to go but up, amazing.

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Posted by Rob at 8:40 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

I had a feeling

Say hello to iPhone.IT PRO [via NerdyNews]: "All the components are in place – Windows Mobile as the underlying OS, the Zune user interface for the front-end, tweaked and extended using the team and technology at Danger (the company behind the front-end ssoftware for the Sidekick smartphone, which is based on Windows CE)." - I had a feeling something like this would happen. I have a friend there that said he was working on a "really cool" bit of mobile technology he couldn't talk about, but when I said If you're working on a device that plays music, you have a big hill to climb, and I hope you do a lot better than the Zune things got real quiet. That and the iPhone and iPod are a huge success.

Well, like I said, good luck with that Microsoft. There are a bunch of iPhone wannabes showing up now and I'm sure they're not fairing very well. In a way Microsoft has become the underdog even though they still own a gigantor share of the PC market. Apple recovered, but Jobs had to come back to do it. Jobs brought focus back to the company. Microsoft is just doing too much. They need to focus on something and get their mojo back.

I'm not sure a new smartphone platform is it.

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Posted by Rob at 8:23 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Twenty iPhone applications

Macworld: "With Apple’s iPhone App Store now online, we decided to take a look at some of the more interesting third-party programs, applications and Web sites that have been developed to help make your iPhone an integral tool for both work and fun."

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Posted by Rob at 9:06 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

New iPhone apps

Apple Gazette: "After spending the last hour or so rummaging through the iPhone App Store in iTunes there are several applications that I just can’t wait to get my hands on." - One of the five applications has a horrible UI, TripLog/1040, very much not what you'd expect to see on an iPhone.

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Posted by Rob at 9:08 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Going all Mac

9to5Mac: "Axel Springer (no relation to Axel Rose) is doing what no company of its size has ever done. It plans to move its 12,000 desktops to nearly 100% Mac. Besides the GooglePlex which is a mix of Macs, Windows and Linux and Apple itself, Axel Springer will become the biggest Mac shop in the world." - This could be fairly easy for a lot of shops, go buy everybody Mac Mini's for starters. You can use the keyboard, monitor, and mouse you already own.

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Posted by Rob at 9:29 AM | 1 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

What a nut

Uncle SamBBC: "Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, and the rest, offer you software that gives them power over you. A change in executives or companies is not important. What we need to change is this system." - This guy is a complete nut job. He wants to trade paid software for free, why can't we have both? There's nothing wrong with someone making a living writing software and there's nothing wrong with giving your software away. You choose, but quit banging the drum for everything to be free. There's a price to pay for free software as well. I can't hack up Linux and sell it without making those changes available to everyone, right? Where's the freedom in that? It forces me to give away the changes that make my system better. That's not freedom, it's a dictatorship. I'm not against free software, I do, however, have a problem with people telling me what I can and can't do.

If Open Source software were truly open I'd be able to distribute it in whatever form I see fit. I know there are licenses that allow this sort of distribution, but Stallman's idea of open isn't one of them.

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Posted by Rob at 11:28 AM | 4 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

I'm not fussed about it

Daring Fireball: "Talking about technical progress only serves to focus attention on the fact that it is Apple’s decision, and by all appearances, Apple does not want Flash on the iPhone. Even if Adobe eventually gets Flash running well — by any standard for “running well” — on actual iPhone hardware, rather than just in the iPhone simulator, they can’t ship it without Apple’s explicit permission." - I really don't think the iPhone needs to have Flash support. Apple has gone to great lengths to make sure the experience is what you'd expect from an Apple product. Like the decision not to allow background tasks, I'm OK with that as well. Why? Allowing applications to run in the background comes with its own price. I don't own one, yet, but that will be remedied July 11. I may not have one, but my wife will, and that's essentially like having one myself.

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Posted by Rob at 8:10 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Apple gets it

Microsoft should take a page from Apple's playbook, streamline the OS, go work on the guts, forget adding features, in fact it might be a good idea to remove a few!

Hat tip James Robertson.

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Posted by Rob at 10:36 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

Public Enemy #1

MacWorld: "That’s right: Apple is now officially the labels’ number one enemy—with a bullet. As the largest purveyor of music in the U.S., Apple holds tremendous sway over the music-buying population. And that understandably worries the record companies. The labels are used to being the ones controlling the distribution of their product, raking in the profit on every song sold, but more and more, that power is being consolidated into Apple’s hands, thanks to the overwhelming market share of the iPod and iTunes." - That's right, just target someone else, don't change with the times, try to kill them. Good luck with that.

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Posted by Rob at 4:58 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

More on iPhone 2.0

Popular Mechanics: "The first would be the addition of a GPS antenna. I recently sat down with the president of a GPS navigation system manufacturer to ask him how he felt about the prospect of a GPS-enabled iPhone. "Scared [expletive]-less," he said. Hardly a rarity in the handset world, GPS functionality is already used by many carriers to sell location-based services and for Emergency 911 (or E911). And the iPhone already does rough location positioning by cross-referencing tower triangulation with a database of known Wi-Fi hot spots." - Yes, I want one.

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Posted by Rob at 8:32 PM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

iPhone 2.0 Shipments?

iPhone in the palm of your hand.Fortune: "Searching for shipments to Apple, Inc. (AAPL), employees at the Scottsdale, Ariz., company reported on Friday that they’ve spotted a 'major spike' since mid March in ocean containers marked with a mysterious new label: 'electric computers'" - Hey, even if it's not true, it's fascinating to watch the frenzy developing around iPhone 2.0. If I said I didn't want one, I'd be a big fat liar.

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Posted by Rob at 8:51 AM | 0 comments | Click here for a permalink to this entry.

About

Rob Fahrni has been a Software Developer for 20 years. He's developed DOS, Windows, Linux, iPhone, and Palm based applications in C, C++, Objective-C/Cocoa, C#/ASP.Net, and, yes, even BASIC...
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I work at Pelco. The opinions expressed here are my own, and neither Pelco nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.

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