I've Got an iPhone

Last night Nick, Colin and I went down to Des Moines to go to a CocoaHeads meeting. On the way down we stopped at the Civic Center to get tickets to see Colin and Brad from Who's Line Is It Anyway in September. We then hit the Apple Store so I could pick up this awesome iphone I am writing this entry with.

Anyway, this weekend is going to be busy organizing and runnng a garage sale at my parents'. Saturday morning, I have to take my parents to the airport before 5 AM, then come back to do a garage sale. Next week I will be joining my parents in New York to hang out with my brother. I'll be out of town the week before class starts.

Split Text Views

Every once in a while I find myself working in one part of a document or file and need to refer to another part of the document at the same time. Instead of scrolling up and down finding my place every time, most nice text editors have the option to split your window into sections so you can see more than one part of the document at a time. The most well-known program that has this feature is Microsoft Word.

Word with split text

I found this feature initially in the Terminal application

Terminal Split View

I also use it constantly in TextWrangler and xCode

TextWrangler Split View
xCode Split View

Usually this is enabled by an icon in the top of the vertical scroll bar.


I've joined Pownce and have a few invites. Let me know if you would like to join or be my friend.

Awesome Things Lately

It's been a month again since I last posted. I didn't even get around to reviewing my WWDC predictions. I suppose it was because it was lackluster and not very exciting. I guess I got the new Finder right. I actually ended up sleeping most of that day sick.

Anyway, the awesome things:

Work is going really well. Last Friday I was in a conference call where one of our clients was demoing the project I have been working on for a few months. Aside from being 7:30 AM and including people on the west coast, it went very well. I believe I can have it up and running in production and in use by their vets by next week. I also got my annual cost-of-living raise notice today, after only four months of employment.

Speaking or raises, I got to play with an iPhone over lunch today and was really impressed. The screen is much brighter than I thought it would be, and it was much smaller than I expected. I am really thinking about getting one soon, even though I was planning to wait for the next revision. The more I think about it, the more I'm reminded I was in the market for a smartphone and the iPhone really does what I have been wanting in a smartphone. I already have AT&T and the cost of the basic plan is sufficient for my needs and is not much more than what I'm paying now. I'm going to sleep on this.

Tomorrow will be fun hanging out with some friends for the 4th. Thanks Colin for getting the ball rolling on that.

Pre WWDC 2007 Comments and Predictions

WWDC will start next Monday. After going two years in a row, and after graduating, I am not going. Even if I were to pay for it myself, it probably wouldn't be a good idea to take a week off work just three months after starting my job. That, and I have a deadline coming up very soon. Perhaps next year I will go. Perhaps with Colin.

This year I have heard a lot of changes have been made to some of the events at WWDC. I believe these changes to be dramatic and actually may end up degrading the value of the conference.

I Visited the MothershipFirst off, there is no student Sunday. Traditionally there has been a day the Sunday before the conference dedicated to students, where people from Apple and other companies as well as noted developer community members would give talks and presentations directed towards students, then a career fair with some of the most noted mac development firms. Student day was a great opportunity to meet new people to hang out with for the rest of the week. I still keep in contact with Mark from last year, and every once in a while I will talk with Peter who I met back in 2005. This year, there will be a student session Monday evening followed by the career fair and a bunch of students are organizing a meet of their own on Sunday since many of them already bought their flights and hotels planning to have a student sunday.

The other big change this year is that there will be no Apple Campus Bash. The bash will be in downtown San Francisco. I would have to say, the last two years I have been to WWDC, the Apple Campus Bash at the apple headquarters in Cupertino have been the highlight of the week. Live music, having fun, free food, free beer, visiting the Apple Company Store (lots of great Apple Swag). This year the "Bash" will be in downtown San Francisco somewhere. I hope Apple has a good reason for doing this or compensates the attendees in a different way (free iPhones before release?). We'll see what happens.

Now, my predictions:

Covered Poster at WWDCAluminum iMac

10% - Aluminum has generally been reserved for the Pro class machines like the Macbook Pro, Cinema Displays and Mac Pro. There may be a new iMac, but it doesn't seem like something that would be announced at WWDC.

New iPods

70% - The iPods are reaching a long time since the last update. With the new technology in the iPhone, I can see the next generation of iPods introducing cover flow and touch screen. However, it will not be a communication device like the iPhone.

ZFS File System Default

30% - Knowing what I know from some of the presentations last year that are still under non-disclosure, I wouldn't think Apple would be moving the default filesystem. However, I believe ZFS has the features used in the betas of Leopard preview a year ago. I can see ZFS becoming an option, but I doubt it will be the default option.

New Finder

75% - The "Top Secret" feature. Finder has been one of the things Apple has needed to fix. I can see use of Core Animation and other integrated features to evolve the finder. I hope to see it well multithreaded so that Finder doesn't stop responding when a network drive unexpectedly goes away.

iLife 07 Announced

50% - This was missed at MacWorld in favor of covering the iPhone and Apple TV. My guess is there will be some features in iLife that are Leopard specific like Core Animation, integration with Time Machine or some other top secret feature. Being that Leopard will not ship until October, I doubt they will announce iLife until they want to ship it.

New xServe

85% - It has actually been a while since the xServe has been updated. Now is a good time to show an update. Perhaps there will be an update to the xServe RAID since it is getting less competitive as it used to be.

We'll see what happens Monday.

Safari Tidy

At work this week I have been putting some finishing touches to the first part of the project I have been working on since I started, cleaning up and validating my HTML. Since the application requires login, using something like the W3C validator can't help me, so I found a nice Safari plugin called Safari Tidy that adds a validator to the status bar and is very nice, and makes tracking down some annoying bugs a lot easier.

Awesome Weekend

The weekend started off with going to see Shrek the Third with a bunch of friends for the 9:30 showing. Didn't really seem as good as the previous two movies, but then again, I was really tired.

Saturday, I set up my new insurance then went to brunch with Gaila. Fixed up our bikes and rode to the Vet school and back to see how it was. That evening we went to see Hot Fuzz at the Varsity. Surprisingly good, kind of a parody of stupid cop movies. Very well done. I should probably get around to seeing Shaun of the Dead then since I liked Hot Fuzz so much. Definitely going to get it when it comes to DVD.

Got my Car Back

I finally got my car back on Monday afternoon. You can't tell I hit a deer last weekend :)

Anyway, the apartment is finally mostly clean after getting it prepared for a mother's day brunch. Gaila and I are once again going to keep it clean. RIGHT!? It was nice to be able to invite people over to play some games on the Wii without worrying too much about the way the place looks, which is a good thing. Sunday night while Gaila was at work and I was passing time with the original Sim City, I got a call from Meri that she was in town and a bunch of us were meetting at the Stomping Grounds. It was nice to go out and just hang out for a while. Random get-to-gethers are a good thing.

I'm rebuilding my old PowerBook for Gaila since I haven't touched it in the past couple months. I have also started working on Cocoa this evening so things are being productive.

I did something interesting with my BNC connector art and my spare iSight magnetic mount:

iSight mount sitting at an odd angle

I feel like I should go back and be productive again.

Goals Action Plan

So, I set some goals for the summer. I even completed one already. Now, I need to figure out how I'm going to attain those goals, so here is what I'm thinking:

Start a Mac App project to learn Cocoa

Since Gaila plays bridge on Tuesday nights, I will have time to work on this without distraction. So, Tuesdays at 7 I will be working on Cocoa stuff. I will perhaps work on it other nights as well, but Tuesday is going to be pretty set in stone. I will go through Programming in Objective-C then moving on to Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X. After I start feeling comfortable with the language and IDE, I'll probably start working on a project. Anyone have any simple ideas for a project?

Learn JavaScript / AJAX

I'll probably set up a night a week to go through a book on this. Anyone recommend a book for this?

Build a simple sample blog using JSP (to learn Java/JSP)

I will probably do most of this at work in my spare time. I have access to some good books and someone who already knows this stuff. If something catches my attention at work, I might spend some time at home on it.

Open a high-yield savings account

HSBC Direct. Easy.

Hang out with some friend(s) at least once a week

Sometimes I feel burned out now that I'm working all day and Gaila tends to work evenings and weekends at the call center. Also, Nick as set this as a goal for himself, and it seems like a good idea. Most of this depends on when friends are available, but I'll have to get active in asking people what's going on for the weekend.

Ride my bike more often

First thing to do is to get new tires/tubes on my bike (they don't hold air very well). I will ride my bike to work on nice days when I don't need my car to do something immediately after work or go out for lunch. Perhaps I should consider bringing my own lunches or having Gaila stop by for lunch.

Help my parents get rid of junk from the basement/storage

Open an eBay account for items of value that my parents don't really want anymore. Organize at least one garage sale. Donate to Goodwill / Salvation Army. Rent a dumpster.

iPod connection in car

I actually saw this as one of my previous summer goals I forgot about. Once I get my car figured out after the repairs and insurance from the deer, I'll have to look into getting an aux adaptor installed. Probably take a trip to Cyclone Stereo and a few hours figuring out what I need and how to do it.

Summer Goals '07

Now that I have a full-time job, I almost forgot about my annual summer goals. So, here are my goals, starting with the usual summer goal.

  • Start a Mac App project to Learn Cocoa
  • Learn JavaScript / AJAX
  • Build a simple sample blog in using JSP (to learn Java/JSP)
  • Open a high-yield savings account
  • Hang out with some friend(s) at least once a week
  • Ride my bike more often, perhaps to and from work a couple times a week
  • Help my parents get rid of junk from the basement/storage
  • iPod connection in car
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