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Living in Japan with my foreign iPhone

July 12, 2014 •

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post on the quickest and easiest way I knew of to get your international iPhone working in Japan. And, after one of my friends traveled to Japan late last year, I can confirm that renting a Japanese SIM card from JCRCorp is STILL a quick and viable option, with unlimited voice, and unlimited data.

That being said however, while JCRCorp is really good, their rates start to get quite expensive the longer you stay in Japan. It’s probably fair to say that this is a service that is geared mainly towards tourists of Japan; those only staying for a short while before promptly leaving.

So last year, when I went to go work at pixiv, something I knew that I would be doing in upwards of 7 months, I figured I’d have to do something else. I also figured that since I would be going to Japan on a working visa, I could most likely pop into a telco shop and just grab a pre-paid SIM card.

So, armed with my carrier-unlocked iPhone 5 (Bought outright from Apple), I traveled over to Japan!

Unfortunately, when I got there, a few of my friends who had traveled over there a few months early, broke the news to me; apparently a ‘pre-paid SIM’ as we know and understand it in Australia, doesn’t really work in Japan. Continue reading

iComics v1.1 Sneak Peek

June 15, 2014 •

Blimey. It’s been a fair  little while since my last post on iComics’ development. Since starting the crazy task of re-designing the entire app to the iOS 7 design aesthetic in February this year, I’ve already started to tease a few pictures of my progress here and there along the way, mainly uploading them to my Instagram account. But after a few emails from people asking for some proper clarification, I figured an actual blog post of the current progress might be best.

Alrighty. So here’s how iComics v1.1 is going! :)

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comiXology’s goals vs iComics’ goals

May 12, 2014 •

This is a post I’d been planning to write for a couple weeks now, and given recent events, there’s probably not going to be a better time than now.

Last month, Amazon bought comiXology, arguably the biggest commercial comics service provider on the iPhone and the iPad. When this happened, more than a few people came and said to me ‘Woaaaah, look at that, Tim! Amazon bought one of your competitors! How does that make you feel?? :D’. I’m still not sure if they were trolling or not. They probably were. But in any case, I’ve given it a bit of thought, and here’s what I have to say.

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Using my non-US smartphone in America

March 7, 2014 •

Over the last two years, I’ve been incredibly lucky in being able to attend a number of tech conferences over in the Bay Area, San Francisco. In all of those trips, I found there was one thing that turned out being ABSOLUTELY essential every single time. That thing was having access to a smartphone with proper data access.

Whether it was to co-ordinate with my mates who traveled to America with me, online networking with people I met around the conferences, or even to simply look up anything that suddenly came along (such as ‘how do American tips work?’, and ‘how do I get out of the Tenderloin?’ ^_^’), there were many times where being able to access the internet at the drop of a hat was EXTREMELY useful (née life-saving. XD).

That being said, if you’ve never been to America before, and have no idea on even where to start, hopefully this blog post will help you. This post is the culmination of experimentation by myself and quite a few of my mates over multipe combined trips to America, so hopefully it’ll save you some trouble doing the same thing (as well as some money).

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The State of iComics – Jan 2014

January 29, 2014 •

Since it’s been a fair few months since I’ve put out a new update for my little comic reader app project, I thought I’d quickly do an update on what stage it’s at.

At the moment, I’m aiming for finishing iComics version 1.1 (Shiny new picture above).
Some of the major features I plan to have in version 1.1 include:

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Disabling Timer Coalescing in OS X Mavericks

January 25, 2014 •

If you’re an iOS developer, and you’re still developing apps that support iOS versions below iOS 7 (Like I am), then you might have noticed after upgrading to OS X Mavericks that the iOS 6 Simulator runs absolutely terribly. EVERY single animation in there runs at an incredibly choppy frame-rate, which makes most kinds of app testing relatively useless.

Today, I learnt from a little birdie that the reason for this issue is due to the new Timer Coalescing feature, introduced in Mavericks:

In OS X Mavericks, Timer Coalescing groups low-level operations together, creating tiny periods of idle time that allow your CPU to enter a low-power state more often. With its activity reduced up to 72 per cent, the CPU uses less energy, giving your battery a break too. This happens so fast you won’t notice a thing. And your Mac still gets just as much done just as quickly.

Apple – OS X Mavericks – Advanced Technologies (January 2014)

It would seem to make sense that as a result of Timer Coalescing, the timers that power the iOS 6 Simulator animations are getting coalesced themselves, and this is resulting in the strange behaviour (Curiously enough, the iOS 7 Simulator is fine though!).

In any case, apparently there is a console command that lets you disable Timer Coalescing across the system:

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