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WEEK 8 2014

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Saturday 22 February 2014
Saturday - Beautiful warm weather. Worked in the garage in the morning, cleaning things up. Met up with some friends and hung out. We went out to the airport for lunch and their kids got to watch the planes come and go...

We let the dog run around the back yard for a while, and discussed the Xeriscaping ideas I had. It was pointed out that the river rock idea would work, but that it would require a lot of yard work to keep clean. Which is true, my river rock in the front is always full of leaf debris blown in by the Lancaster winds, and there is a lot of that (debris) in the existing back yard. Nevertheless, I need something besides all the grass. Perhaps more pavers, though that means a lot of digging and earth removal, and I don't think I can do that under the three fruit trees without harming them. Maybe a mixture of stone and paver paths and raised planters with drought tolerant shrubs here and there?

I picked up a brochure from Lowe's on pavers, and they were extolling the virtues of another type of paver install, the "Brock" way. Essentially you skip digging deep enough for the paver base, but instead use 1/2" of sand, with a proprietary rubberish mat, and put the pavers onto the mat. It seems a bit dubious to me, but it might last a few years.

Friday 21 February 2014
Friday - Just another unexciting work day. I did go with S to a dog rescue place, out into the desert near Mojave around lunch time, to pick up another dog for someone.

The dog rescue place was interesting - they had two big trailer homes, with a big covered and raised breezeway between them. It was actually a pretty neat design, cool and with a gentle wind flowing on an 80F day.

I fixed the issue with the app template and assign vs. copy issue. Essentially you can "archive stuff", which writes it to memory, and "unarchive" it, which reads it back. This is a deep copy, and did the trick (thanks, but I should (thinking it over) probably break things into simpler objects for future projects, but for works.

So now, between COLOR2 and COLOR4 I have about 90% of a working app. I need to merge things, clean up and document the code, and add in the preliminary artwork that S has created, and send it to the iPad and see how well it runs. I haven't used my iOS developer credentials in a year or so, I'm not sure if I am even current with Apple, and that's going to be a pain if I have to redo it all. In fact, I seem to recall they got hacked sometime last year, and were going to make everyone redo things throught their provisioning portal anyway. Oh well.

friday cat photo
cat tunnel
S gave me a "cat tunnel" the other day. All three cats were very interested in it :-(

Thursday 20 February 2014

Thursday - Working away on the app, adding in scenes for all the different views, and making sure they work. Of course, late in the day I discovered that things weren't working when I put them all together. I was scratching my head, when I realized: it's a C style assignment, not a copy!

I know this stuff, but my years as a FORTRAN programmer have unsensitized me... So, yeah, I was using a template to make the different drawing scripts, and every time I changed the template all the draws in the previous views changed as well as the current draw, because they were always pointing at whatever the template contained last... Well, parts of it. Some parts were primitives, and therefore actual variables and not copies. Since the template had arrays containing arrays in it I essentially need a type of "deep copy" rather than a simple "shallow copy", which would have been easily enough done with a "copy" parameter. Bah.

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Wednesday -  Keeping busy with the app. Met with S for lunch, went over a few things. She has a nice design for the work area, with square tiles rather than the rectangular I've been working with, but since I'm still coding stuff up it's no big deal. Today was improving the storage of the drawing parameters for passage to the actual drawing object.

I wanted to be able to change the type of bezier path, depending on the drawing, so I had to implement saving the (variable) points for the drawing outline in an array, which I then saved as a single object in another array. The drawing object thus always sees the same number of objects rather than a variable number. One of the objects is, of course, the boundary path array with a variable number of points, but you can easily extract that number, and then read the array, when you need to. Well, easily as long as you remember the order you wrote in, because if you try to read an array out of a scalar...odd things happen!

Suzy has an odd habit, in the mornings, of chasing her tail in the bedroom while I'm getting dressed. She doesn't do it anywhere or anytime else, and I was a bit puzzled. I finally realized that it was the bulb in the overhead light fixture. This is a four bulb fixture attached to the fan. The lights, all four, have burned out over the years and I'd replaced them with a single 40w utility bulb (I only use that fixture for perhaps 20 minutes a day) - which wasn't frosted. So the distinct shadows from the single bulb made an exciting, moving, target for her!.

Tuesday 18 February 2014
Tuesday - Another solid day of coding. I'm getting a bit better at this, I guess. But this is two days of work to implement drawing stuff that I outlined in about 10 minutes! Baroque isn't a good description of Objective-C, Rococo  would be better. Anyway, when I'm done I should be able to draw on a various tiles the basic objects - circles, squares, stripes, and even objects of arbitrary shape, and of any arbitrary foreground and background color in any orientation.

It's a bit of overkill for the current app, but we'll want this in the follow on stuff. And I'm putting stuff in the model objects and view controller objects, more-or-less in conformance with a MVC design pattern.

I went by the library at lunch - just needed to get out of the house and was interested in seeing if they'd any new iOS books there. There wasn't - indeed, I don't think they've anything past Xcode version 3 right now, which is antique.

Picked up a couple of SciFi books - a couple more sequels in the Destroyermen series. Easy reads, though I spend so much time looking at the monitor that I really don't feel like reading in the evenings.

Speaking of books, I finished Book #8, The Judge of Ages, by John C. Wright. This is the third book in the series, and we are finally up to the year 9999 or so. It's Space Opera, in the grand old sense, kinda.

Monday 17 February 2014
Monday - Working away on the app. Made some progress, though I got bit, again, by some of Apple's horrible OC library decisions. But I needed to get started on the drawing aspects of the code, and I did that, a solid 8 hours plus of work.

I was surfing the web the other day, and ran across this image at gCaptain: a huge building atop three spindly looking legs.


It's an oil rig platform, of the "jackup" type, a JU-2000e, and it's huge. Those are people in the shadow at lower right. These platforms cost about $200 million each, and weigh about 42,000 tons. Remarkably the legs can be as long as 400' - though the legs in this image appear to be about half that height. The buckling loads from the dead load weight alone must be extraordinary, and then factoring in the safety factors you need to operate in the North Sea with side loads from waves and current, it's just amazing.

I would guess this is a picture of a rig platform jacking test, performed before taking out to sea.

Sunday 16 February 2014
Sunday -I woke up all ready to work in the yard...and my hands gave out. I've learned not to ignore that pain because it just gets worse if I continue, but it was frustrating. I had stuff I wanted to do, programming and yard work about the house, and instead was limited to minor chores. Gahhh..

Not much else to say. Kind of a wasted day.

Picture of the Week
Photo Notes: Powerlines. I like the (unintentional) graininess, it looks like a picture from an old textbook.
In paticular the clouds look like they were airbrushed in, but that's what they look like.

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