sailing the NorSea


WEEK 3 2015

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Saturday 17 January 2015
Saturday - A nice day, probably in the low 60's and fairly clear. But there were some high clouds and haze, and in the evening when I went to look for the comet I had no luck. Indeed, I could only just make out the brighter stars of Orion and nothing faint, not even the belt stars. This was both in early evening and later at nearly midnight. Ah well.

It was the day for chores - washing dishes, washing cloths, washing bed linens and towels, vacuuming, and so on. I even put up a couple of little shelfs in the garage over the workbench and took down and put away the Christmas lights. There's lots more to do though - a lot of stuff didn't get done at New Years.

Lunch was at the Korean BBQ with friends, then dinner over with friends for pizza and movies. The movies were "Win Win" (which was pretty good) and "Monsters University", which was also good.

Friday 16 January 2015
Friday - Warmer again, but a bit hazy still. I saw a nice picture of Comet Lovejoy, in the same frame as the Pleiades, so I'd like to get out and see what I can, but even light haze is a view killer in a city.

I did various things, little chores and cleanups, but didn't get much else done. Feeling a bit slow I guess. Maybe winding down a bit from the bit software writing push and all the bills and taxes and stuff yesterday?

This Week in 2006 I mentioned that the New Horizons probe to Pluto had been launched. It's now getting close, and NASA has woken it from hibernation and it's starting taking pictures with it's long range camera. It should pass by on my Dad's birthday, which is pretty cool, I wish he was around to watch.

Thursday 15 January 2015

Thursday - Reasonably clear and warm, for winter...

I ground away at the localization issue, and finally solved it. Enough time and enough swearing can resolve most issues... As usual, it was Apple stupidities. Several of them. But now I can switch languages (globally, via System Settings) and have text prompt, screen labels, and audible prompts all switch properly.

There are a couple of people who have published code that kind of "fakes out" the app's checking of the system bundle, so that it can restart it's in another language even though the system is in English, but I'm not sure that it would not be considered an illegal hack to Apple.

So (neglecting the specs for a new version that aren't done yet) all I have left as new work is the switches & scanning stuff. There are also several bug hunt things that need doing, but that's just standard stuff.

I also sent in my taxes, state and federal, and my car insurance and the Christmas credit card payments. Yikes. Kind of an unpleasantly expensive day....

Wednesday  14 January 2015

Wednesday - Clear and warm. A good day for a walk but I spent the entire day doing localization stuff.

About a ten hour day at the terminal, but mostly done with localization. I translated the target image text prompt UILabel strings (and did you know that butterfly is mariposa in Spanish?) and the storyboard labels, then added the alternate spoken prompts - all 48 of them - in Spanish (ok, my version of Spanish...).

The audible prompt integration gave me fits, and everything was exacerbated by the fact that the Xcode simulator crashed every time I tried to switch to use the Spanish version, and I ended up having to always testing it after transferring to the iPad itself and toggling between English and Spanish via System Settings there.

I guess I need to upgrade the MacBook to 'Yosemite', so that I can write for iOS8 - Apple has blocked upgrades of the versions of Xcode that do so for the version of OSX I'm using,  OSX 10.8.5 'Mountain Lion'.

The new OS 'Yosemite' is free, but I will also have to re-install Win7 in Bootcamp (also free since I have the disks) and a new version of Parallels ($50), and probably spend days backing up and reconfiguring things.

Tuesday  `13 January 2015
Tuesday - Almost clear, some haze and clouds but really clearing up. I want to see Comet Lovejoy, now high in the evening sky I think, so that's all to the good.

Worked on the app for about a half day, chasing bugs and memory leaks,and reading up a bit more on localizing,  but my hands were hurting so I didn't do a lot. I pulled out the wrist braces and will start using them again, at least for a while.

Book #4 was another Flavia de Luce mystery, As Chimney Sweepers Come To Dust, by Alan Bradley. Good, but not as good as the first few - I think Bradley is rushing them out a bit, it felt kind of thin in atmosphere and characterization.

Monday  12 January 2015
Monday - The storm is passing, there are patches of blue mixed in with the clouds...

Went grocery shopping in the morning, picked up a few things.

Then it was app work. As I mentioned, we have a big change in the interface, but I want to finish this version - it may be usable later as a "follow-on" for more advanced students. And, since I have to practice Localization and Assistive Device stuff it makes a good place to experiment. Also S needs a few days, she says, to come up with specifications for the newer interface...

So, I finalized the focus prompt screen logic, images, text, labels, audible interface and such. That took a surprisingly long time - there are difference between "alpha=0" and "hidden" and "userEnabled=NO" properties...

I also spent some time looking into localization, which is Apple's term for 'use a different language'. It appears to be overly complex, but not hard, just kind of tedious.

S would prefer for the option to do this to be in the app's local Settings page, not the System Settings page, but Apple wants you to use the System Settings and has thrown various roadblocks in the different ways of doing it locally. Fortunately in iOS 8 and above once can access the System Settings page from the app, so I'll probably do that. Looking around iOS 8 has about 70% share of the Apple OS market, with about 25% being iOS 7, and the rest earlier versions. It also seems like iOS 8 is gaining about 1% a week, so I think we're safe in using the System Setting option.

Maybe I'll put in a popover to notify users of earlier versions of how to set things.

Sunday 11 January 2015
Sunday - Not a lot to say.

I didn't do anything on the app, my hands were hurting Friday and Saturday, time for a break.

I didn't walk - too wet and muddy.

Generally it was a sit-around and read and do minor household chores day.

It was cold enough to need a fire in the late afternoon, so I had one going from about 3pm until almost 11pm. I went through a surprising amount of wood - it's mostly just old bits of softwood from fruit tree's and some pine. Maybe I should look into getting some hardwood.

Picture of the Week
martinez after sunset
Photo Notes: Martinez after sunset.

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