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Pragmatic Thinking and Learning, by Andy Hunt

Recent reading has included “Pragmatic Thinking and Learning” by Andy Hunt, from @progprog. Most interestingly, it covers almost exclusively topics that I have absorbed over the last 30 years or so – meditation, context switching, personality types, left/right brain thinking, mind maps, GTD, and so on. I didn’t realise that I knew so much! Continue reading ›

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Downtime in the USA

There were times in my life when, each year on average, I spent more time in the USA than the UK (where my home officially was).  Apart from stretches of crashing boredom, I rather enjoyed it.  I can’t pretend that I have any magic secrets on how to make downtime interesting, especially if you don’t have tons of money to burn.  So here are my suggestions; what I did back then, which are all extensively tested, as well as what I might consider doing now (that I couldn’t have done then, or just random stuff with the benefit of hindsight). Continue reading ›

Travel Advice

Once upon a time, in a very different world from the one we live in today, I used to fly. Continue reading ›

On assembling an Ikea PAX wardrobe

We recently decided to install a pair of Ikea Pax wardrobes in our bedroom. Continue reading ›


Twitter enable your app with XAuth!

Community enabling an application can be a pain – far harder than it needs to be. One of the biggest reasons for this problem is OAuth. Requiring a mobile application to open an 800×500 html window is unrealistic, exacerbated by graphic designers who think that a web page is the answer to every problem (remember the saying about how “to a man with a hammer, a screw looks like a nail”?). The sensible solution can be secure http connections with REST/JSON APIs, but it isn’t opening a web page! Continue reading ›

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Adding iAd to Your Projects

I noticed that there is no official sample code for including iAd banners in your projects. Knowing Apple “version zero” demoware, I thought it might be a good idea to build a small project to evaluate iAd. Continue reading ›

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File Well for MacOS X Cocoa

I needed a control for an application I am writing, very similar to one that was a common idiom in the NeXT world – a drag well for files. Drag a file icon to the well and drop it in, and the application receives the full path of the file; drag from the well, and the recipient gets the file path; drop to a Finder window, or the desktop, and you can create an alias, copy or move the original file.
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tinyMCE html editor for Cocoa

One thing that’s been missing in MacOS X Cocoa is an easy way to add html editing features. A long time ago, in an operating system far away (NeXTSTEP, of course), it was simple enough to use Terminal Services to add almost anything you want, and I had a very useful set built for html markup for my own use. But with the advent of MacOS X, and loss of the ability to have tear off menus, this all went away, even though Terminal Services remained, to a certain extent. In the mean time, MacOS X gained WebKit, and the web got grown up javascript – in this case, tinyMCE. Continue reading ›

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iOS 4 Impact

I’ve just finished the first stage of one app port to iOS 4. I have to say that it has been a very rocky road, with the first announcement and beta some months back, followed by the very late announcement of iPhone 4 at WWDC. Let’s look at the timings and implications… and I’m going to use the expression “paradigm shift”, for which my apologies…
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iPad impact – for developers

I did a review last week of the iPad release, based on the Programming Guide and Human Interface Guidelines, for a customer. The aim was to find out what changes I would have to make to their iPhone application; this post is to give my impressions, on that very brief survey, of what changes developers will have to look out for. I am sure that further announcements will reveal many more. Continue reading ›

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