WEEK 48 2014
Mon- Tue- Wed-
Picture of the Week
17 March 2002
Years Ago, This Week 2002
Ago, This Week, 2003
Ago, This Week, 2006
Ago, This Week, 2007
Ago, This Week, 2008
Ago, This Week, 2009
This Week, 2010
Saturday 29 November
Saturday - Reasonable weather.
still cleaning in the garage. I wanted to remove the summer
air-conditioning units from the windows, but the garage was so messy
that it was hard to find a place to put them. Or even get to my tools.
So I decided to put up some shelves, which meant moving the tool bench,
at which point it made sense to paint the bench and wall behind it,
and... Now I have to wait for paint to dry.
Lunch with friends.
Then, back to working on the app in the afternoon. Still trying to get the feedback stuff right...
Book #48 was The Rheseus Chart, by Charles Stross. This was another Laundry Files
story, but didn't advance the overall arc much, really more of a stand
alone story. OK, but nothing spectacular, and I'm glad it was a library
They are predicting a big storm in the next few days - it
keeps getting pushed back - so I may head down and check on the boat
after the test on Monday.
- Back in Lancaster, warm and sunny, for late November.
Still grinding away on the code.
making my coffee yesterday morning some dripped on the hot plate. And
made a nice sizzling sound. So I recorded it on my phone, then played
it back while holding it over the laptops microphone. And.... good
enough for the sparklers sound effect.
In general it is
proceeding. But there are lots of little details to finish up. For
example, there's a need to prevent user interaction during feedback
animations. But these are varied (5 levels of play, positive and
negative feedback for correct, incorrect and partially correct
answers), and are 'dispatched', i.e., asynchronous, so you don't really
know exactly when they'll end. So triggering something after they end
is a pain.
Once the 'little' details are cleaned up there is
still a bunch of work to do, for tap and switch versions, and to handle
pad rotation and stuff. These are separate from the main logic, and
likely to be complicated, so I'm leaving them until last, deliberately.
Then we'll incorporate the 'real' artwork and audio, all of which will be slightly different in size from when I'm using.
Then, off to the App Store.
It's a rather painfully amusing memory: I'd estimated to be mostly done by the end of October.
I can look at the Snapshot Log (Apple's CVS for Dummies) and see that
I've been working nearly every day since October 9th on the current
version (V2), not slacking off. So, currently at 50 calendar days,
rather than 20, and still going...
It's cool in the mornings, so the schedule as of late is to
I haven't even been taking my afternoon walks.
- get up
- have breakfast
- play with the cats
- start working about 8am
- break lunch
- work until 5 or 6pm
Suzy likes to hang out with me when I'm working. Here she is, napping
on my laptop after watching the cursor-bug skitter around the screen for a while....
Thursday 27 November
- Happy Thanksgiving!
Nice weather here, even better - a bit warm - down in Simi Valley.
friends that I usually visit with were invited to their relatives, so
their relatives invited me (and L) as well. So we put on our casual
best and headed down to Simi Valley, where we had a good time with
K&L, good food and good company.
Wednesday 26 November
Wednesday - Another nice day. I did
get over to Walmart, but late, and there was a huge line and the bays
were full, so... There is weather predicted for the weekend, so I
should head down and check on the boat beforehand, really. Maybe Friday.
I also went by the library and checked out the iOS book that I'd been forced to return last week - hey, people have had their chance to check it out, now it's mine for another six weeks or so...
My friends are having fun in Texas. I guess they visited an old-time school, Car Henge Cadillac Ranch, and other places - pretty neat.
working away on the app here. I had a scare when the code suddenly
stopped working in the morning, and the debugger kept popping up, even
though I'd only done a bit of clean up here and there. Worrisome,
because I'd had Xcode completely choke on a project last year, and had
to recreate it. After a while I realized that it was just that I'd
accidentally set a breakpoint...
Just grinding away on stuff. I need a "sizzling" sound for the sparks animation. Maybe I'll fry up some bacon and record it.
- Cool at night, in the 30's, but warming up nicely during the day, into the 60's.
I didn't get over to Walmart for a battery. No great rush I guess.
My friends made it to Texas, sounds like they're having a good time.
been pretty quiet, mostly I'm just grinding away on the app. In this
case it's the positive feedback animations, implementing a 'sparks'
effect by using a CAEmitter layer, which has a plethora of options. I
also had to update the logic for the correct answers for the simplest
level, having left it until last... Anyway, it's coming along. I need
to modularize some of the animation steps now, code size is increasing
again, but it should be pretty straightforward.
One of the
things S wants is an animated example of how to use the app, that plays
on startup, easily dismissible by the user. It's not amazingly
difficult, but the question is whether to use a screen recording, a
video of someone using the app on an iPad, or to create an entirely
separate animation sequence. That last sounds harder, but it'd only be
ten or twelve steps, and would help minimize the download size of the
app, since we'd need five or six of them. There is an option to reduce
size, which is to set up a server and let the app download the videos,
but then we're maintaining a video repository somewhere...
- Cold but sunny in the morning, warming up very nicely in the afternoon.
didn't get over to Walmart for a battery, this was EXAM DAY at the
college. It was just above freezing, but we walked over to the college
anyway. At a few minutes after the hour the aide came by and put a
"class canceled" sign on the door. S said she wasn't surprised the
instructor didn't show, as this "practical" test today and the final
exam next week (said to be an exact duplicate of the mid-term) were the
only things left to do in the class. I guess I'm not cynical enough
yet, I was surprised.
spent an hour or two reviewing stuff on the app, then went our separate
ways, meeting again for lunch. She had to go out and get an allergy
shot, I had to go out and get a Flu shot, and since it was right next
to the Thai Cafe'...
friend T is on the road, off to Texas for a few days with his family.
It sounds like they're having fun. I enjoy road trips, though
usually it's just me and a friend, not an entire family. Looking back
at the vacations my parents took me and my siblings on; pre-cell phones
and before a big selection of FM radio, and today's personal music and
video players ... I'm astonished they let us live.
I'd done work for last year called with a request, so I spent a little
time looking at what to do about that. I'd been asked to remove a data
validation field, done so, and now they wanted it back. The actual time
to do the task was a few minutes, but I spent a couple of hours looking
for my backups and trying to remember what I'd done. I have notes, and
I clearly was dubious about the change back then, my email to the
contact had that section in bold and bright red, saying essentially "Do you really want to do this?" Heh. Well, so it goes.
- Partial overcast and partially sunny and somewhat windy again. In
fact a lot of leaves blew right out of my yard! Sadly it blew bunch in as well, so it's a wash, chore-wise.
I was still feeling a bit
under the weather, but I did get out in the garage and work for a few
hours, moving the bench a few inches. This took forever, because of its
awkward location and the vast amount of stuff stored in and on it. I
couldn't even budge it until I cleared the shelves. It probably weighs
70lbs on its own. I did find the ancient kit of dinghy fiberglass
materials I bought years ago - apparently there's been a leak inside
the box somewhere, judging from outward appearances....
I did go over to Walmart
early, 9am, to get the battery replaced in the Explorer, but there was
already a huge line. I'd talked to Tim and he said that he'd heard that
the Walmart and Costco brands were as good as Diehard used to be, but
supposed to have our 'Practical' exam tomorrow at the college.
Unfortunately my notebook, along with my USB key full of work on an attached
lanyard, has gone missing. I did a small amount of reading and review,
but without notes, and tutorials, and without Photoshop and Illustrator
at the house (I can't find my old install disks) I don't fell great about
things. All I need is a "C" though, and I can probably get that....