Posts for 'Tech'


WWDC 2012 – The Keynote

June 27, 2012 •

In the queueIf you’re going to go to WWDC, there’s one tradition you must partake in above all else. And that’s the attending the opening keynote!

Since I’d never been to WWDC before, I went around and asked some of the veterans what time they thought would be best to start lining up for the keynote. Several recommended 5:00am, others recommended 3:30am and a certain sexy Apple engineer wearing a pink shirt even recommended 11:30pm the night before!

Since I knew waiting in a line from 11:30 would absolutely destroy me, and I didn’t want to risk missing out by going at 5 (given how fast the tickets went!), I decided to join the 3:30 contingent. So after a rather brief sleep, we all woke up at 3:30, met in the lobby and headed down to Moscone West to line up!

Blimey was the line already long! Already, the line had gone from the entrance, down the width of the block and around the corner. By 5:00, it had already continued down the entire length of the block and around the corner. By the time we were actually let into the building, it had already wrapped around the entire block, and the back of the line was right next to the entrance!

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WWDC 2012 – The Golden Tickets

June 21, 2012 •

Whew boy! What a week! I totally meant to write this before I went, but time as always, was a fleeting illusion. XD

Since it’s too much to cover in one post (And I’m writing this before work), I’m going to cover my trip to this year’s WWDC, including how I got in, the whole keynote experience, and then reflections of the conference itself. :)

Right after my trip to GDC, I received word that the AUC was opening up scholarship applications for staff and students of Australian universities to attend Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference. Aside from the pool of competitive scholarships, as luck would have it, this year my university had been allocated a scholarship for them to select one staff member for the trip. ^_^

Not wasting anytime, I sent off two applications; one for the competitive scholarships and one for my university’s allocated one. I was initially disheartened when I received word that I hadn’t made the cut for any of the competitive scholarships, but then I was thrilled to receive a phone call from my university’s AUC coordinator saying that I’d been selected for the allocated staff scholarship! ^_^

Now, given the way that Apple decided to roll with the selling of the WWDC tickets this year, simply getting a scholarship did not guarantee we’d all get to go. In the past, Apple simply allocated the tickets to AUC which were then forwarded onto the scholarship winners, but since this year, tickets were digitally tied to the Apple ID they were purchased with, that meant we’d have to see about securing our own tickets when they opened. And given last year the tickets sold out in less than 12 hours, it’s fair to say none of us knew what was coming. XD

When the ticket sales opened, I had JUST sat down in a cinema to watch The Avengers. Thankfully, one of my co-workers had noticed the sales had opened and sent me an SMS to tell me. Not wasting a second, I bought my ticket on my iPhone, in the middle of the cinema, right in the middle of the movie. By the time the movie ended, the WWDC tickets were sold out. So in hindsight, I’m VERY glad I didn’t wait until after the movie to sign up, and I’m pretty sure I owe that ticket to my co-worker.

But… sadly, as a result of that extremely small window, a LOT of the scholarship winners ended up missing out. And in addition to that, one new condition of buying a ticket that wasn’t really made clear before ticket sales opened up was that not only did you need a valid Apple ID, but it had to be an active developer account (eg, currently on the $99 subscription), which tripped up even a few more applicants.

So while I was extremely happy to have managed to secure a ticket to WWDC, it felt rather bittersweet seeing a lot of my buddies miss out at the same time. It was absolutely crazy how fast the tickets sold out this time around and I’m extremely scared to think about what it will be like next year.

Either way, right there I knew WWDC was going to be way more hardcore than GDC. Even getting your foot in the door requires you to be quick, and on the ball. XD

eWaste Recyling with Apple in Aus

February 2, 2012 •

Sooo much old stuff
Now this was a pretty cool thing. :)

It’s fair to say that over the past years, myself and my family have managed to amass a fair amount of computer… crap. XD Headphones have broken, computers have been upgraded, LCD monitors have died, somehow we ended up with 7 keyboards, a printer older than me; the list goes on. XD

It’s really hard to just throw this stuff out though. We’re a pretty environmental bunch in my house (at least, I like to think we are) and we’re all well aware of what happens if this stuff hits landfill. So we’ve been hanging onto this stuff, and while sometimes Perth does have eWaste drives, I haven’t seen one in over year.

Not wanting to REALLY have to pay to have this stuff recycled, I checked out Apple’s recycling program to see if there was anything they’d be able to do. And ‘lo and behold, they did. :D

Turns out Apple’s policy towards recycling changes on a per-region basis, but here’s how it goes down in Australia. If you purchase a new Mac from Apple, within 3 months of that purchase, you are eligible to have any of your old computer hardware recycled for absolutely free! And funnily enough, I recently made such a purchase. XD

Anyway, the process was really simple. After providing my new Mac’s serial number (just to prove I really do have one XD), all I had to do is fill out a form on the Recycling Program page that outlined all of the hardware that I wanted to dispose of.

About a day later, I was contacted by telephone by an Apple employee to confirm the best pickup time. After agreeing to Wednesday, all I had to do was place all of the hardware on my front porch and that was it! When I got home tonight, the hardware had been picked up; no fuss no muss!

Either way, I’m really happy about this. Proper eWaste disposal facilities are still near and far in Australia, and Apple is doing an amazing service with this program. :D

But yeah. If you just bought a Mac, and happen to have a pile of broken technology lying around, send it to Apple! :D

Zooming to a point in UIScrollView

January 14, 2012 •

(Updated March 2015) I’ve rewritten the code for zooming to a CGPoint in a UIScrollView to be even better in a new blog post. Go check it out!

If there’s one piece of functionality that has become basically boilerplate on iOS, it’s the concept of double-tapping a zoomable UIScrollView to quickly zoom in on a given point. When I was writing the code for displaying pages in iComics, I assumed that this would be a really simple thing to do. I mean, surely all you’d need is a UITapGestureRecognizer attached to a UIScrollView that passes the location of any double-taps to the scroll view… right?

Nope. XD

Turns out that although there is a UIScrollView method called ‘zoomToRect‘ (which lets you zoom to a specific CGRect region of a UIScrollView), out-of-the-box, there is no official way to procedurally zoom into a specific CGPoint. This actually surprised me greatly since I would have thought it would be a standard part of UIKit.

In any case, I did a bit of searching around on Google, looking for some code that would let me do this easily. I found a few bits of code here and there, however they were written in such a way that unless the minimum and maximum scales of the scroll view were set up in a specific way (Uh, which in iComics’ case, they weren’t), the zooming wouldn’t work properly at all.

So, cutting to the chase, I decided to just roll my own category for UIScrollView to add that functionality to it. All it does is take a CGPoint (relative to the bounds of the scroll view itself) and a scale, and translates those to a CGRect that can then be passed to UIScrollView’s drawToRect method. :)

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MacBook Air!!

November 25, 2011 •

Shiny...So, in my last post, I added a rather cryptic photo of an Apple product I received for my birthday. Now that I’ve spent a week breaking it in,  I can write a blog about it!

It’s a shiny new MacBook Air. Core i7. :D

Up until now, the 13″ MacBook Pro I’ve been using has been a loaner from work. And while that laptop has been absolutely fantastic, being absolutely invaluable in at work, not to mention being a great help with some of my side projects in helping further my knowledge of iOS dev, I figured that now that I’m actually starting to get requests for paid commissions, I’d be in a much better position if I bought my own hardware dedicated for that. It also means ensuring I have the proper licenses for all of the software I use is a lot easier too. ^_^;

So, after much research, and coming very close to buying a 15″ MacBook Pro, I decided to go with an Air.

Ultimately, when it came down to the tradeoff between power and physical weight, I decided that I’d rather go with a lighter laptop than a more powerful (but more heavy one) one. While the 15″ Pro is amazing, and from what I’ve seen, even runs rings around my desktop PC, I decided it was too big and too heavy for my liking. And going off the assumption that the Air would be at least as powerful as my 13″ Pro at that point, I figured it should handle everything perfectly.

And boy does it ever! :D

If you’ve had any doubts that the MacBook Air doesn’t really stand up to the Pro series (at least the lower end), you can put them to rest. This thing is extremely snappy in pretty much every case I tried, and the graphics processor can handle running at 2560×1600 at no trouble at all.

Obviously, it isn’t as powerful as most of the Pros can potentially be (eg 8GB RAM, truly quad core CPU etc), so if you’re looking to do really intense things like edit video or play games, I might recommend the Pro. But for my kind of daily usage, which consists mainly of Photoshop design, web code,  and/or iPhone app design, this thing is perfect on all counts.

I’m still wrapping my head around Lion here. There are quite a few new features to get used to. Also, I’m still trying to figure out what other apps I need to fully deck it out. I might write another blog later… XD

Alright. Here endeth the Apple fanboy post. XD

iずかんとiOS5

October 17, 2011 •

It still works.... kinda

(This is a Japanese translation of this blog post)

iOS 5の配達より、iずかんはもっとエラーが出て、ちょっと壊れちゃった。 残念ながら通信を停止しなきゃいけなかったから、もう直せない。 もし手伝いたかったら、この請願をサインください!

やあ皆!

iOS 5がやっと出たね! 楽しみ! もうiPadを完全にアップデートして楽しんでる! いっぱい新しい機能があって、これから来る新しいアプリをよく楽しみにしてる! しかし、実はiOS 5が出る日をちょっと絶望的に待ってた。 なぜなら、iOS 5でiずかんがちょっと割れる事が分かってたから。 今まで、アップル開発の契約のとおり、iOS 5の機能は秘密で、何も言えなかった。

とにかく、アプリの本体はだいたい大丈夫みたいだね。 クラッシュとかは今まであまり見てなくて良かった。しかし、結構大変なバッグが現れたようだ。 もし、どこでもの「並べ替え」のボタンを押すと、普通のようにメニューが現れるが、終了とカンセルのボタンが消えてる。 実はそのボタンはまだあるが、上のメニューの下で表示されていて、もう押す事ができなくなっちゃった。 ^_^;

色々な方々にこのバッグのフィッドバックをもらってきたから、ここで皆に知らせを報告しようと思った。

コード敵にはこれを直すのがとても簡単だが、前に株式会社ポケモンにアプリ配信をやめるようにお願いされたから、そのアップデートが出せない。 :(

これで、とてももうしわけございませんみんな。 これじゃもうなにもできない。 そしてこれからも、iずかんがもっと悪くなる可能性があって、心配してる。 ^_^;

それに、先週の金曜日、ポケモンの弁護士さんと新しいメールがきて、何があったかを次のブログで報告する。今、iずかんをまた配信する事ができないと思うが、おそらく公式のアプリが来るかもしれない。

とりあえず、僕らができるしかない事はただひとつがあると思う。 それはポケモン会社にどれほどポケモン図鑑アプリが人気な物を知らせる事だと思います。 とにかく、ネットで請願があって、もし暇な時があったらサインください。 :)

とにかく、iずかんをよく使っていたら、iOS 5にご注意ください。 そして、アップグレードの時に、iずかんをパソコンにバックアップしてください。 アップグレードではエラーがあったら、削除されちゃうから。 ^_^;