Tag Archives | iPhone

Time for a stupidly big iPhone

Apple hold their annual iPhone event this week. I get a free upgrade on my mobile account on 26th September. I was at the opticians last week. Turns out these three things are actually related.

My optician recommended that I get new varifocal glasses that have a +1 decrease in the prescription strength for viewing things close up. Like an iPhone. I was going to do this. At the very high cost of £595 for the pair of lenses. Advice on Twitter was that varifocals are a pain so I started to have doubts.

iOS on iPhone has a zoomed mode that basically makes everything on the screen bigger. For use in situations exactly like the one I was having to get varifocals for. I have an iPhone 6s now. Apple will release iPhone 7 Plus and probably ship it on 23rd September. I can upgrade just after that. I’m thinking of getting the bigger model and using it in Zoomed mode. It’ll basically show the same amount of stuff on screen as my iPhone 6s in standard mode. But everything will be bigger. And won’t have to hold it at arms length to focus on it!

iPhone 6S in Zoomed mode

iPhone 6S in Zoomed mode

I’m running my current iPhone in Zoomed mode for the next few weeks as a test. If the rumours about the iPhone 7 Plus are true it’ll also be a bit of a speed demon with a great camera.

What are my #goodiphoneapps

Here are the iPhone apps that I use the most. This list doesn’t include any of the built in apps like iPod, Safari, Mail, Voice Recorder, Clock etc. that get used all the time. Everyone has those. The #goodiphoneapps comes from Twitter. It is a hastag that is used to flag tweets about iPhone apps people like. Here are my favourites then. In no particular order. This is just the start of the list. More to add.

Fizz Weather – My favourite weather app on the iPhone. Has lots of options including 2, 5 and 15 day views. Weather warnings. Satellite views.

PCalc – A brilliant replacement calculator. It has all the functions you would expect from a physical scientific calculator. Adheres well to the metaphor that iPhone apps should look, feel and act like the real world devices they replace.

Stanza – a book reader and ebook library management application. Turns your iPhone or iPod touch into an eBook reader. The iPhone is a very nice eBook device indeed when using this app.

Groceries – The Grocery Shopping List – Neat little app that allows you to build a shopping list as you remember things you need. Then when you get to the supermarket you can check them off as you shop.

WWDC ’09 Schedule

The WWDC session times are up on the Attendee site. Here is my plan for the week. Click picture thumbnail for larger view. There are a few sessions still to be announced after the keynote. These will be sessions related to new stuff 🙂

WWDC is imminent – Essential sessions

In 3 weeks it’ll be day 2 of WWDC. Day 2 is the start of the topic specific sessions. The Monday is taken up with the Keynote in the morning and Several State of the Union sessions in the afternoon. The State of the Union sessions are on things like Mac OS X Server, Graphics & Media, etc.

The majority of the sessions I will be going to will be related to management of Macintosh computers and integration into ICT infrastructure based on Microsoft Windows. Listed below are the sessions from those published so far that I’ll be going to. There are usually additional sessions added after the Keynote, to cover any new features that are announced, and there are also some brilliant Brown Bag sessions at lunchtime with external guest speakers (like Pixar). There are also evening events such as the Apple Design Awards and the Thursday Night Party. The Bare Naked Ladies were the house band for the party last year. Here’s a good picture of 3 reprobates watching them from just above and behind the stage 🙂

Here are the ICT management sessions I plan to attend:

Mac OS X Server State of the Union
Mac OS X Server uniquely combines a wealth of powerful–yet easy to use and configure–services that elegantly simplify communication and collaboration in organizations of all sizes. Learn the latest on Mac OS X Server’s technologies for streamlined mobile access; enhancements to mail, calendar, contacts, and wiki services; advanced capabilities in Podcast Producer 2; and an update on Mac OS X Server’s performance and storage capabilities.

What’s New in Directory Services
Open Directory provides standards-based storage and organization of user and network resource information. Get the details on Open Directory enhancements in Snow Leopard Server including a new UI for binding, refinements to Active Directory integration, password synchronization, and performance improvements.

What’s New for Wiki Server 2
Wiki Server 2 in Snow Leopard Server allows any organization’s users to collaborate more easily and effectively. Learn about new features such as Quick Look previews of wiki attachments in the browser window; content searching across multiple wikis; and wiki and blog templates optimized for viewing on iPhone. Wiki Server 2 also introduces My Page, which gives each user one convenient web portal to view and create wikis and blogs, use web calendars, track wiki updates, and access webmail.

What’s New for Podcast Producer 2
Podcast Producer automates and streamlines the capture, encoding, and publishing of high-quality podcasts of your organization’s lectures, training, and other presentations. Snow Leopard Server introduces a host of new features including Dual Source Video capture, Podcast Composer, and Podcast Library. These features let you create picture-in-picture podcasts, provide an easy-to-use application for designing video-based Podcast Producer workflows, and define a new publishing model that uses Atom and RSS for providing long-term media file storage and organization.

Deploying Podcast Producer
Podcast Producer streamlines consistent creation, production, and distribution of rich media assets. Learn deployment best practices from experts with real-world installations. Discover how to use new features such as Podcast Library for seamless integration with iTunes U, adding content to in-house web portals, and publishing training materials.

Podcast Composer In-Depth
Podcast Composer provides a visual step-by-step approach to easily build powerful workflows for Podcast Producer. Get in-depth information from the experts as they show you how to get the most out of this new application. Find out best practices for integrating with Podcast Library and learn how you can incorporate your own content and customize workflows to meet the needs of your organization.

System Management with Apple Remote Desktop
Apple Remote Desktop is the best way to provide system management for the Macintosh computers on your network. Learn from the experts how to optimize Apple Remote Desktop for various networking topologies across NATs, LANs, and WANs. Discover how Task Server can help manage your mobile computers. Come for the latest tricks for easing your system management duties with the Send UNIX task.

System Image Creation and Deployment with Snow Leopard Server
System Image creation and deployment is the best way to ensure consistent configuration of Macs in your organization. Learn how to use the new features in System Image Utility 2 to create NetBoot, NetInstall, and NetRestore images to simplify the deployment of Mac OS X across your organization.

Managing Home Directories with Mac OS X Server
Mac OS X Server delivers flexible options for managing your organization’s user home directories including Network Home Directories, Mobile Home Directories, Portable Home Directories, and External Accounts. Learn which of these options is best suited for your environment, while getting field-tested best practices for home directory deployment and management. See how new features in Snow Leopard Server enhance your options for managed home directories.

Snow Leopard Server Setup: Under the Hood
Snow Leopard Server includes a powerful new Setup Assistant that streamlines the configuration of your server. Learn from the experts about the rich set of functionality that the new setup experience provides for several different network topologies. Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how the Setup Assistant can automatically configure other network devices such as client computers, Airport Extreme, and Time Capsule to provide seamless network connectivity for local networks as well as the Internet.

Integrating iPhone into the Enterprise
iPhone has become a leading choice for mobile professionals. Find out about configuring and deploying iPhone in your organization, learn tools and techniques for configuration and deployment of native and web-based iPhone applications, and discover how server-side technologies integrate with iPhone, all from the IT professional’s perspective.

iPhone Configuration Creation and Deployment
iPhone configuration profiles make mass configuration of iPhones a snap. With configuration profiles, your organization can deploy account information, password policies, secure access settings, certificates and more, all within a single package. Get the latest details on the iPhone configuration profile file format, new additions to the managed services they support, Apple’s profile creation tools for Mac OS X and Windows, and new deployment options that make profile distribution even easier.

I also hope to be able to get to some of these Macintosh and iPhone development sessions:

iPhone User Interface Design Prototyping
Learn how to turn your personal vision into an elegant iPhone application design. Explore your ideas through rapid prototyping and experience the iterative design process that leads to a truly innovative user interface. With some cool tricks and a few lines of code, see how a working prototype provides insight far beyond a static mockup. Watch your design evolve from good to great.

iPhone Application Design Using Interface Builder
Interface Builder provides the easiest route to an elegant and well-designed iPhone application, letting you seamlessly implement many popular interface styles. Take your experience with Interface Builder to the next level and learn how to efficiently build and structure your iPhone interface. Find out how to create a multi-screen interface, work with view controllers, employ navigation controllers, and properly isolate data across master-detail interface pairs.

Effective iPhone App Architecture
Whether your iPhone app is in development or on the App Store, strong code architecture is an essential part of your daily process. Learn about good data modeling, communication between view controllers, and when to use delegates and notifications. Find out how to make important decisions about memory, speed, and a responsive UI. Developers of all skill levels can benefit from this thorough examination of iPhone SDK best practices.

State of the Art Cocoa: User Interface Design
Often, the difference between an amazing application and a merely adequate one lies in the level of polish applied to the user interface. Learn how to take a functional Interface Builder project and add the subtle details that make the user experience feel intuitive and look more attractive. Find out how to add custom drawing and controls to get the exact effect desired, and even how to add Core Animation to make your application shine.

What’s New in Core Data
Both Mac and iPhone developers now have the power of Core Data at their disposal. See what’s new in Core Data for both iPhone OS 3.0 and Snow Leopard. Learn the most efficient ways to employ Core Data in your next project while taking advantage of recommended design patterns. Walk through solutions to the most common problems facing experienced Core Data programmers.

Been neglecting my geek muscle…

I’ve been neglecting my geek muscles way too much lately. It’s time to get back in the game and immerse myself in the new stuff that is hitting the market. Basically do stuff for The Plan minus the Open University stuff which I’ve dropped.

From a infrastructure technology point of view I plan to dive in deep and dirty with:

On the development front I will be reading the small mountain of books I have on:

On a personal front I will be finally studying some mathematics and reading through the huge pile of unread books I have bought over the last year.

Books to read Books to read. Click for larger view

This weeks events in Belfast (DevDays and BarCampBelfast) will be a good springboard to get back in the geek game…

New stuff from Macworld Expo 2009

This entry will be a place to find the new hardware and software that gets released this week to coincide with Macworld 2009 and CES 09. Check back over the next week or so as this page gets updated with stuff that catches my eye.

Productivity Applications

Apple iLife ’09 – Latest version of the best available consumer media suite.

Apple iWork ’09 – Update to Apple’s productivity suite. Nice additions to Keynote and Pages. Endnote and MathType integration with Pages is a nice addition. I’ll be using Endnote and Mathtype a lot for courses I’m doing. This might mean I don’t have to use Microsoft Word.

Microsoft announce that they will make it easier for Office for Macintosh 2008 to connect to and use SharePoint services.

Music Creation

Toontrack Drumtracker – Convert audio drum recordings into drum midi data.

Development Tools

Widget Press ModelBaker – Web development app to quickly build web apps, iPhone & iPod touch web apps and Android web apps.

FileMaker Pro 10 – latest iteration of the easy to use database application.

Odds and Sods

Xsilva Lightspeed – Mac based Point-of-sale system. Run your retail business on Mac!

Plastic Logic eReader – Upcoming ebook device. Loots very nice.

Apple grabs 2nd place in Smartphone market

Bests both BlackBerry (and the hardware front) and Microsoft (on the software front). Microsoft is now 4th in the mobile OS vendor table. Which is nice given that Windows Mobile is an abomination to use!

Apple swiftly jumped in second place, grabbing a 17.3 percent share with the iPhone 3G. Apple even bested sales of RIM’s popular BlackBerry models, but the firm is not far behind, taking 15.2 percent of the smartphone market.

More at: Apple leapfrogs RIM for #2 slot on smartphone sales list

The plan

I like to set goals. I’m not that keen on keeping to them, but I like setting them as targets and frameworks to work with. I’ve got a set of personal and work related goals that want to work to over the next few years. Sort of my own personal Soviet style 5-year plan.

Work Stuff

Become the go-to guy for VMware VI3 questions and also for Mac OS X integration into Windows environments. Also be the person people search out when they have questions about current and new technology.

Personal Stuff

Learn mathematics. Using this selection of self study books:

mathbooks Click picture for larger view

I want to be able to read Penrose’s The Road to Reality and understand the mathematics in it.

Do several Open University courses to finish a BSc I’m doing with them:

S366 Evolution

SXN390 Science in Society Project

Do the Open University MSc Science and Society. As long as they let me in. [Update: They did!] I’ve pulled out a few courses recently and they have a rule that stops you registering for new courses. Which is fair enough. They don’t get paid by the government if people don’t complete the courses. In any event I’ll be doing something in the science communication field (including many more posts here on the Soapbox) as we need to fight the hoards of superstitious nut jobs. We can’t cede any of the ground won in the last 400 years with rationality and the scientific method.

Continue to work on some science fiction stories I’m writing. One is set in a space opera scale universe and the other is set in the Frank Herbert Hellstrom’s Hive universe.

Music – I’ve got about dozen songs in various stages of work (all have full lyrics). I want to continue to work on them and maybe package them together as an actual album. That’d be cool 🙂

Write a cricket match scoring system for Macintosh and iPhone using Cocoa. Unless someone else develops on that meets my needs first. I’d be happy if they did. Programming projects always bore the tits of me after the initial requirements specification and design are done! [Update: I’ve also had an idea for an app that uses the Twitter API]

We’ll see how I get on…

Ordered a 16GB iPhone

Was out at lunch today to get cash. Dandered into a Carphone Warehouse.

Have you any iPhone’s left?“, I asked, “Or are you all sold out?

We’ve got some 8GB ones here, but they are reserved for people. If you come

back after 2 we’ll have released any that haven’t been collected yet.” said a

sales representative sporting an iPhone 3G t-shirt.

You’ve no 16GB ones then?

We have about 1000 in the warehouse. We can order you one if you like.

Can you do upgrades for existing O2 iPhone customers?” I asked.


Lets do that then!

I pick it up from the store on Tuesday. It’s a holiday weekend in Northern

Ireland this weekend. £59 + £20 for a Griffin hard shell case. Painless.

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