Lockdown Screencast

If you haven't yet check out the Screencast done by the fine folks at SupportCasts. It's very nicely done.
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MWSF09 predictions

I'm actually kind of excited this year -- The rumor mill has been pretty quiet which means either
  1. There is nothing to announce
  2. Apple has kept a good lid on it
Here is my wish list of things I want to see -- Unlike some pundits *everything on this list is achievable today* -- I'm ignoring the obvious (iLife 09) and the boring (update to time capsule)
  1. iPhone nano -- No big screen, no apps -- just a phone that syncs your contacts, calendars and is an ipod (possibly wireless syncing with mobile me) -- A great phone for folks who don't need the big screen (I'd get one for my wife) and who don't want to pay the data fee.
  2. i7 based computers -- Ideally a 4 core iMac (24+ LED screen)
  3. App store reforms with trial period for apps.
That's it -- If I get 2 out of 3 I'll be a happy guy.
[Update after keynote]
  1. iPhone nano -- FAIL
  2. i7  based computer - FAIL
  3. App store reforms - FAIL
New iWork & iLife seems promising but hardly worth a MW keynote, new 17" is fine (and expected) 
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MovieFlick

Over the past few months (on and off) I've been working on an iPhone app -- I'm happy to say it's not released. First let me say that any of my (few) readers who want a free copy just send an email to support@movieflickapp.com with the subject 'free copy for reading the blog' and I'll shoot you a coupon for a free copy (maybe you can say something nice about it in the comments in iTunes...)
Anyway it's an app for managing your NetFlix queue -- Sorry to say it's only available in the US itunes store since NetFlix is only (sadly) available in the US (For those of you outside the US I suspect you know what it is, originally dvd by mail rental and now also an 'instant' view for about 10,000 or so titles over the internet)
It's been a fun experience writing an iPhone app -- I'll probably end up sticking mostly with Mac Apps going forward since I enjoy the richness you can bring with them but it is amazing how much of a 'desktop' experience you can achieve with a mobile application.
If I don't post again before Christmas I hope everyone has a nice holidays and (hopefully) a prosperous new year
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End of an era

  • Steve doesn't do the keynote: Not a huge suprise -- They've been backing him off the one man show stick for a while.
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RapidWeaver 4.2 & RapidBlog

Hi All,
If you are using RapidWeaver 4.2 & Rapidblog you might see some problems uploading pictures.  I've put up a release that *should* fix it here
The reason it's not available on sparkle or the download section is I am still waiting for some testing results -- if you try it and see any problems let me know.
-John
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Crazy?

In the last 4-6 months I've worked on three seperate iPhone apps.  The previous two attempts were aborted when I saw something very similar appear in the app store.
This time is different... I'm making practice and the app is actually usable to me today.  I'm currently trying to line up help with artwork and putting some finishing touches on feature set but it's close, very close.
So what changed?  Did I think of an idea so freakishly creative that no one else has done it?
Sadly, no.  Initially I thought it was unique but I know of at least three other apps with very similar functionality but this time I've actively ignored them.  Yes, thats right, instead of doing the 'sane' thing of looking at the other products and thinking how I could do it better I've ignored them -- I know they exist but I'm choosing to pretend they don't.  I intend to ignore them up until the point I'm done and then maybe, just maybe, I'll take a peek (to make sure what I push out to the app store is at least competitive)
It's crazy but its working -- I'm happily working on my app with my head in the sand.  It's kind of like having a baby and not finding out the sex.  You get a planned suprise -- Completely rationale? perhaps not but it's the only way I can keep from giving up.
I'll post again when It's up in the app store (or, if I give up I'll post and let you know why)
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Loving me some chrome

Unless you have been under a rock you have heard about Google's new browser Chrome.
Well, not new exactly, it uses WebKit the same rendering engine that we know & love in Safair (really, webkit is amazingly well done) but they added their own goodies.
Right now it's Windows only (Mac & Linux "Real Soon Now") but after installing it yesterday I can say it's replaced Firefox as my windows browser.
Unlike Safari for Windows Google hasn't tried to port a mac app to windows.  The have made a windows browswer on Webkit which is a much more satisfying experience.   Add to that the process-per-tab and slick way they drag in & out coupled with WebKit's already very good rendering speed and the new javascript V8 engine and you have, well, a very compelling product.
I've been a diehard safari user for the last year on the Mac but I'll likely be using Chrome when it comes out on the Mac.
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RapidBlog quick tip #1

Want to search by categories using "And"? Put a slash between them..
So for instance in my blog you can look for my 'Mac' categories this way.
and my "misc' categories this way.
And posts that are both this way
You should be able to combine them with multiple "/" between them.
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A bunch of small items

I've had a bunch of small things I've wanted to blog about but I've never quite gotten the energy up to start. In the interest of you, my dear reader, I decided to pull a few smaller things together into one blog First a bit of news. The Pope is still catholic, bears do their business in the woods and Apple is planning a September Special Event that will involve ipods. It boggles the mind that anyone would expect apple NOT to have a special event as they have clearly demonstrated a yearly cycle for iPods and quite frankly for consumer products like this they *have* to follow a yearly cycle, 'nuff said. Next up: 3G or not to 3G? I purchased a 3G iphone (white) and like most folks discovered it runs through batteries faster, and I mean much faster, than my 2G. Now as it turns out I know a bit about cell phone design and RF stuff and I can provide a bit of insight into why this is. You see a '2G' iphone is GSM based which is also known as constant modulation. What this means is that the processing of the signal is very simple and power amp (the part of the circuit that boosts the signal when you talk) can be very, very efficient because you can run it highly compressed. Enter 3G: 3G is none of these things, it's a very complex signal that requires a *lot* of baseband processing (that's one of the ways they get the zippy speeds) and the power amp is not nearly as effecient becuase you need to operate it in a mode that wastes more power. The unfortunate thing is that for voice there is *no* difference between 3G & non 3G talking (it doesn't sound any better at all) but it's all or nothing if your radio is in 3G mode for data it *has* to be in 3G mode for voice which means you loose power even though you don't get any benefit (sad really) Of course Apple thoughtfully added a switch to turn off 3G and it *does* return the phone to it's good old power situation but that sort of defeats the purpose of buying a brand new 3G phone, no? What I'd like to see them do is add a turbo feature. Look, if I'm not talking and the phone notices a *lot* of internet traffic, I'd like the phone to switch from 2G to 3G.. If after a while it notices no more traffic it can switch back. It takes some time (5-20 seconds) to switch between modes but that strikes me as a very reasonable way to allow for good battery life and fast data transfers when I need it. Then there is Apple TV vs. the Roku Netflix box. Honestly I've used them both and they both have pluses and minuses. On the Apple TV the only Minus is the fact that you have to pay for everything -- Look I only want to watch Weeds season 2 episode 3 one time in my life I really don't need to purchase it. I would happily pay a subscription fee to get unlimited access to movies & tvs. That is where the netflix box is brilliant. For the cost of membership you get access to lots of content unlimited -- to be sure not all of it is first run content but a suprising amount of it is useful (for example you can watch the aforementioned weeds on it) Finally the app store. Is it just me or does it feel like working in a windows environment? Lot's of stupid apps useless apps, shady developers (such as the 'one ebook per app' guy and the unit conversation that switched to paid or the fellow with the $1000 "I am rich"), toss in the user rating system with such witty ratings as "Epic Fail", "This app is way overpriced at $1.99, should be free", etc. -- I'm actually in development of two apps for the phone but that marketplace really turns me off, on the upside I have a new appreciation for my mac customers who are in general a much better breed of person than the average iPhone user... Ok, 'nuff for now.
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WWDC

I'm headed off to WWDC starting Monday so support (both in the RW forums as well as email) will be slower than usual. I'll try my best but it's a pretty intensive week. Everyone loves doing predictions so I thought I would throw out a few to the googlesphere. The only sure bet is a 3G iphone. I'm willing to bet serious money on this, I mean comeon -- Apple is out of stock, AT&T is out of stock, rumors are rampant and it's been a year. I do hope beyond 3G they get a GPS in there along with more memory (32GB) and (ideally) I'd like to see video camera functionality (to capture short clips) with perhaps a upload to youtube? In term of OS's when I first heard the 'snow leopard' rumors I thought "This sounds crazy, 10.6 has no features, just stability & performance?" but when I sit back it makes a certain amount of crazy sense. Security is increasingly important and in the mobile space even more so. Also, Apple has been really pushing scripting languages for development (Leopard has this cool scripting bridge for instance) and it's 'widely reported' that the iPhone SDK includes a LLVM version of gcc so it's clear they are thinking of changing the compiler technology -- why not go to something like bytecode LLVM for 'most' applications to allow easier sandboxing? My other thought on 10.6 is the first release of the OS without PPC support will bring howls of pain from folks. If you make it a 'feature lite' version release people will have less room to complain. Finally factor in apple actually *wants* you to upgrade your computer so it's in their interest to kill ppc as fast as they can. What about the rumored 'slate' computer? To me it sounds pretty nice in concept and I'd buy it (I love the iphone but the screen is small) -- My ideal would be something about the size of the Amazon Kindle with a long battery life that can be a web browser/e-book reader/mail client. Having said that I don't think they'll introduce it next week.. iPhone 2.0? Probably not next week but it will be out in june so no biggie there. Apple TV updates? They'll announce 48hour rentals iTunes? Nothing to see here, move along folks. Macs? Maybe a small bump but nothing big here. "one more thing"? -- I don't expect much here -- I'd love to be proven wrong however. Regardless of what they announce I'm still pretty excited about WWDC -- I really enjoyed it last year and I expect this to be as much fun.
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