Category Archives: Programming

Rambling thru August

I’m not a huge Windows user, except at work. 85% of my work days are spent using Visual Studio doing something with C#. Coding, fixing bugs (usually other peoples in some legacy app), enterprise back end stuff. Rarely UI/UX unless it’s a bug in something.

(I’m actually working on my first new coding project of the year. Heavily UI based, though I’m following a design by someone else. Fun stuff. CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, etc. things I don’t get to do very often for work projects except when bug fixing.)

The rest of my time is spent in Outlook or other office tools. With the occasional foray into things like Balsamiq or LinqPad.

At home? I’m heavily invested in the Apple ecosphere. I’ve been a Mac use for over 2 decades. OS X user since 10.0. And an iOS user since it became available.

I’m not looking forward to Windows 10. I don’t have any issues with Windows 8.1 (at home) and Windows 7 ( at work). After all… Visual Studio works just fine on them. I can just ignore the minor  nits in 8.1. Why change now?

Busy, busy, busy…

My plans for the fall just got torpedoed this week. Due to a project at work ( it’s been on the maybe someday list for a while but last week someone finally said “Do It!” ), it looks like I won’t have much time for any serious fic’age for the next week/months. Instead, I get to become the local expert in something so I can work on this project.

Granted, that’s actually how my job works – learning a new ( to us) software platform in a horrifically short amount of time and applying/integrating it with one of our products. If one were to read between the contract lines. It can be exciting, once the initial panic at the scope of the project and what I need to know to do it wears off. And I might even get some prof. Certs. out of this one. If I survive.

But it doesn’t leave much brain power for non- work things.

Although I do plan to finish a couple story parts that are mostly done anyway over next couple weeks, unless I need the stress relief don’t expect to see much from me until at least Christmas.

Pontification – iPhone OS 4.0 Programming

I’ve had the designs for several iPhone apps floating around in my head for the last year. Nothing fancy. And not things I could sell (ideas related to my day job). An internet/client/portal kind of thing. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any real time to get beyond the design stage – and no incentive to do more than tinker. Maybe someday. Anyway…

Apple changed the Developers Agreement for OS 4.0 yesterday. There’s been a mild uproar from the usual suspects — folks whom it would never affect anyway since they never plan on doing Apple/iPhone development – for whatever reason.

The basic idea appears to be that – if you (developer/software co.) want to sell your iPhone app thru the iTunes AppStore, you have to use Apple approved software dev. tools. Of which there appears to be only 1. XCode 3.2.3+. And Apple approved API’s and libraries. Which means – C, C++, and Objective-C (which is C with a twist of Smalltalk syntax). And none of the cross-platform tools ->

Some pundits claim it’s a shot across the bows of Adobe, since it basically kills off their CS5/Flash to iPhone app generator (that they are supposed to announce/release next week. Ouch.). (Another skirmish in the Apple/Adobe Flash-wars?)

Another possible victim is Novell’s MonoTouch (It lets you use Mono (Novell’s .NET clone) and C# to develop iPhone Apps.)

And then there’s iSqueak – a version of Squeak (Smalltalk) for the iPhone. Not sure where it fits in – it might survive since it IS built with XCode. (Not that you can get it from the App Store since it breaks at least one App Store rule. But the the person who ported it to the iPhone has used it to generate several iPhone Apps that are in the store.)

I believe there are a could other similar cross-platform development tools that violate the new rules but I don’t remember them.

The point? IMO – Ordinary mortals (aka non-developers and non-tech-pundits and non-tech blog denizens) aren’t going to care, as long as developers keep writing new and interesting software for the iPod/iPhone/iPad platform.

Me? I couldn’t afford the Adobe tools anyway. Monotouch was $1000/year the last time I checked. iSqueak? I’ve been tinkering with Squeak for years but never written anything “real” (I just like the environment). So none of those really affect me.

Apple only charges $99/year for their iPhone Dev. program (aka access to the App Store) but XCode is free (It just requires a Mac to run it on. And a test device would be good when using beta versions of the iPhone SDK.)

So the rule change doesn’t affect me personally. I couldn’t afford the possible commercial non-Apple cross-dev tools anyway. And I’m not one of those people who thinks Apple is evil so it doesn’t really upset me.

But I really need to find the time to do something :-).

Nostalgia – it’s what’s for breakfast…

I was thinking about my first programming experience this morning while I was getting ready for work.

And then things went meta and I started thinking about HOW I got to thinking about that in the first place. So bear with me for a moment. (I’m not going to explain all of the tech things I mention along the way. Sorry. There’s a google for that.)

Continue reading Nostalgia – it’s what’s for breakfast…


It’s been a while since I looked at Squeak. (Open source cross platform Smalltalk). Just haven’t had the time.

Looks like it’s been ported to the iPhone as iSqueak

(There’s even a couple apps written in Squeak available on the iTunes app store. I bought 1 (a wiki server app) more as a way to show support for them than anything else. Not sure what I’m really going to do with a wiki on my iPhone.)

– unfortunately, it isn’t going to appear on the app store any time soon since it really IS a Smalltalk environment and you can write your own programs and run other people’s programs (Just look at what happened to that C64 emulator when Apple found out the Basic interpreter was enable-able (Is that even a word?))

But if you know an Apple iPhone developer…  and you want to do some Smalltalk on your iPhone/iPod touch… and you ask nicely… maybe they’ll build a copy of it for you.

Issues —

  • Hopefully, the Squeak image used by iSqueak can be updated outside of the iPhone VM — because it doesn’t want to get past the second change set (10420) on my iPhone. (And, given the way the iPhone OS does multi-tasking… you can’t have that going on in the background.) — or I’m doing it wrong.
  • Keyboard support? Sure, it starts up with a Squeak VNC server so you can access it externally… and there isn’t a whole lot of screen space on an iPhone in the first place…  but… (Okay, there are examples on using the keyboard in a program written with Squeak… but that isn’t exactly the same thing.) — I’m assuming I’m missing something.

We’ll see what happens.