How to find your resources and how to generally find the directory layout

To find the main download directory for when you are receiving files, put this snippet of code in a test project or your main project at the point of opening:

 NSArray *pathsForDownloadedFiles = NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(NSDocumentDirectory, NSUserDomainMask, YES);
 NSString *pathMain = [pathsForDownloadedFiles objectAtIndex:0];
 NSLog(@"main download directory is [%s]", [pathMain UTF8String]);

The first line lets you allow Apple to put the application download directory anywhere it likes. It will also be able to change it at will, without breaking your program.
The second line means that there is only one directory you need to access and its the first one. Remember in C arrays are zero based which means the first element of the array is at index number zero not at index number one.
NSLog will let you run the app in the simulator OR on your device and send logging information back to the debug console in XCode. Nice and integrated.

An alternative method:

 NSString *mainPath = [self getDataPath];

Uhhhhh yeah a bit shorter. Its not deprecated from what I see so one can use this method also.

Finally lets see where our resource is. Again, if you use this method, then XCode will be able to re-layout the resource directory structure anyway it wants without breaking your program. You KNOW they’re going to do this someday and they won’t tell you until its been done. So lets Program Defensively. Just like you drive defensively.
To find a specific resource that was compiled into your application:

 NSString *resourcePath = [[NSBundle mainBundle] pathForResource:@"mission1" ofType:@"jmf"];
 NSLog(@"Path for mission file is [%s]", [resourcePath UTF8String]);

The AT (@) sign is the NSString constructor without declaring an NSString. In case you’re wondering.

Good Luck and God’s Speed to ya mates.

XCode FAIL Cannot Browse an SMB Windows Share

XCode cannot browse an SMB Windows Share. This has worked in the previous versions of XCode. Current version is 4.02 (4A2002a). Apple Test Engineers you suck. Ummm Yeah I know you hate Windows, but the JOB you took on is to help your customers, i.e. Us lowly programmer serfs. OK???
DUH yeah don’t test that.
The share is active, Finder had it open already.
I opened XCode after Finder had it open. I closed all the Finder windows.
Just a plain old bug.

Cannot connect to Steam Server

Well, well, well, Steam really corrupted things this time. This week they added a survey that detected the software installed on a user’s system, and I can only guess that their changes caused the trouble. I could not connect to the Steam server for several days in a row, and I did not see any new posts from other users with the same problem. Thus the problem had to be on my system.

From an old newsgroup I found this handy tidbit: Rename the file ClientRegistry.blob.

I did as told, and Steam then updated itself, and connected successfully.

Here is a reference article on Steam’s web site:

Clientregistry.blog

Good Luck!

Two features Microsoft should add or leverage better in Windows 7 Ultimate

According to a Bloomberg report, Microsoft is looking for greater technology knowledge in its executive ranks. It is hard to imagine that one of the most successful software companies in all of history needs such. I submit that, irrespective of technical leadership needs, Microsoft needs creativity more than anything else. Microsoft’s name and products are ubiquitous, and the company surely does not need some grand slam new technology to compete with anyone. They need to leverage their existing products to the greatest extent possible. Here are some developments Microsoft could make to greatly increase profitability.

Number one, Microsoft should leverage the language switching capability of Windows 7 Ultimate. It is a terrible shame that Microsoft’s top operating system is always considered a joke. Reading the newsgroup postings that discuss whether Ultimate is worth the money, I usually discover that people see absolutely no value in it. Ultimate does have a great hammer and screwdriver, but they need to assemble the small house, and then sell the entire solution. The language switching feature should be promoted for schools to teach students foreign languages. Microsoft can even develop a suggested curriculum, with the help of teachers, and offer it for free on their web site. As an example of how such a program would work, teachers would instruct students to switch the language of their classroom laptops to the foreign language. Students would then type letters to their in-class pen pals. They would be required to ask a certain number of questions, and provide some information about themselves. Their “pen pals” would then write back in an appropriate manner. The instructor would have administrative access to the entire letter archive, project letters on a screen, and critically analyze the grammar. By writing in the foreign language constantly, students would learn it much more thoroughly and faster than by merely reading, doing rote problems for homework, and taking tests. Microsoft may have to create some tools for the teacher, or the classroom could use Sharepoint or even carbon copy the teacher on all correspondence, to get the information flowing between teacher and student. With a curriculum established, Microsoft would push Windows 7 Ultimate for all students. With the student purchase costs being fairly low, even if Microsoft charges students an extra ten dollars for Ultimate, that would be ten dollars they never would have made. The new standard in the schools would be the premium operating system, and the perpetual revenue increase would be a great boon to the company.

Suggestion number two for Microsoft is to add generational data groups (GDGs) also called generational data sets, to the premium Windows operating system. Long a staple of mainframes, a GDG is a historical collection of a particular file. Each time the file is updated it is saved as a new version, and a set number of previous versions are kept as well. The oldest version is purged when a new file is added, and the total number of versions that are kept is set by the user.

On PCs we all struggle at times updating files and saving backups of them. If Microsoft built in generational datasets into Windows, the user would be able to save any file, and Windows would automatically save the previous version as well as the new one. When the user makes a mistake and loses information in the file, they can easily go to the historical version of the file.  Microsoft should build a thread view of GDG’s into Windows Explorer. A file appears with a plus sign perhaps, indicating that several versions of the file are available. Explorer can show an expanded view of all versions, or a collapsed view showing the most recent file date. Additional columns can be added such as the number of generations that are saved for each file. Microsoft Office may take special advantage of GDG capability, but Windows should seamlessly allow any application to save a file, while the OS automatically turns it into a GDG. Requirements for application conformance with the new standard of course are up to Microsoft, but I suggest making it a built in function that can be turned on per individual file, file type, or global. With GDG capability I would strongly reconsider moving up to Windows 7 Ultimate. How about you?

You want the car to start, or just the wiper switch replaced?

Regarding the following article:

Mechanics Seek Out ‘Right to Repair’

I am not surprised that the automakers continue to make car parts proprietary. This article talks about a Saab windshield-wiper switch that requires initialization before it can be installed. If it is not initialized, the car will not start. Now that is pretty extreme, but the automakers claim they do this to protect their trade secrets. It seems like a lot of effort to go through when designing a superior part that the cheap parts knockoff companies could not match would be the best protection for car parts sales. Independent mechanics are subsequently pushing for legislation that forces automakers to share their cars’ onboard computer data. I feel for independent mechanics, but if such a bill passed, could not the precedent be applied to all technology companies, and force them all, for similar reasons, to share their code? We shall see where this leads, but the cost for independent mechanics to collect all of the proprietary equipment to fix all makes of cars will probably never go down.

Radeon 5750 crashes

It has either been a very long time, or this has never happened to me with of all things, a video card. I installed a XFX Radeon 5750 and when XP (SP3) showed that new hardware was detected, the system rebooted. Hardware contention for a PCI-E video card installation? A Google of this issue shows that users of XP, 7, and Vista have had this problem. This should indicate to us that the issue is not the BIOS, motherboard, or OS patch like all of the guesses on the web reference. Continue reading

Droid will not assimilate you. Long live iOS.

TechCrunch is reporting that if you’re on iOS there is a 90% chance you have the latest OS version, but get this, if you are using droid, there is only four tenths of one percent chance (yes that’s correct) that you have the latest version of the Android Operating System.

We have talked about Droid fragmentation and holy smokes this underscores the mess that is called Droid. Continue reading

Steve Jobs, best of health. Tim Cook its time to man-up.

As you all know Steve Jobs has taken a medical leave. While we know he will stay informed of the new features and products at Apple, he needs to concentrate his energy on his health and his family. The only way for him to do that with a clear head is for Tim Cook to step up and control all aspects of Apple in a way that Steve can accept that its being taken care of as if Steve himself were doing it.

If Steve steps down in a more permanent manner, Tim can take the company in whatever direction he and the board feel it should go. But until then, everyone needs to pull in the same direction that they know Steve would go. Steve is important just because he is Steve, and not because he runs Apple and is the genius behind all of these industries he has dominated. The money, the Apple stock price, the products be damned. They don’t mean anything.

Our best to you Steve, and we wish strength and wisdom to Tim.

Amazon App Store for Droid – developers lose control

Amazon is attempting to create a new pricing model and it sucks.

Currently a manufacturer would set a “list price”. The seller (like Walmart) knew what they bought it for from the manufacturer, typically 35% – 55% discount from the list price. The seller would then set, what they would call, a fair price. Continue reading

Dave Ramsey had a guy on that made a full time living from You Tube

Dave Ramsey is a financial guy with a radio show. He’s hard hitting, and very logical in the financial plan that he wants you to invoke. Mainly its get out of short term debt so you can make financial and life decisions from a position of strength.

Anyway, this guy calls up last week (Jan 10-14, but I can’t find the audio clip), and it sounds like he was making more than enough money for a full time job from You Tube videos. The gist of it was that You Tube (i.e. Google) revenue shares when your video goes viral. They monitor this and are proactive by sending you an email when it hits one of their thresholds. Then they put ads on your video and share the revenue with you. Cool.

Here are a couple of links about how to get started:
You Tube
Frank Furness
Making Hot Ice – Look at the number of views. People want to know how to do things.

-T-

eBook Lending – my rant

The reason I buy dead trees is because I cannot loan eBooks out. Amazon has begun a baby step in the right direction (with the publishers dragged kicking and screaming) but the standard, sub-standard explanation can be found here. (That’s a reference to the original Tron movie which was great and glorious)

The question is: Once the loaned book is placed back in my library, can I loan it out again? That point is unclear Continue reading

Free iPod Promo Codes!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! To celebrate the holidays please enjoy the game Trisaic on us! Here are thirty, yes THIRTY promo codes for this iPod game. This game is appropriate for all ages. When you have used a code, please comment below and state the number of the code you used. (1…2…3…etc.) so that others do not try to use it.

1 ETR4JXW94WTX
2 X99WX6MHF3AN
3 433NN3P9PXYY
4 M3FT39NN9KA6
5 M4T4AT9LRYFE
6 9F66LRN43HM6
7 J3XJKLREAXWT
8 TWHKWMRPNFFN
9 X9P7K697HTEK
10 KEA4XT7PPXXK
11 RHH4K3646WX9
12 PFH6PJEMAE73
13 PHK4ARHXXLRE
14 FKRFYAMXYAK7
15 6647P3TPAPTK
16 F9FP93TRK4LY
17 WN9F7P37JHTK
18 7WKH9EHJT43K
19 FTK74X37JJ7W
20 T43PJL6REPMA
21 6YHPKLNFYLKN
22 WFRPKW4XF6TK
23 TK9HHJXJFWT3
24 YM9AX9LPKXWJ
25 M3ARTNKWNYX6
26 AMT4R6N4TE7K
27 X36YHP9X9X3M
28 X697JYR636KM
29 7369J9TJE7PE
30 PRXAA4JJX63F

Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Walt Disney have agreements to not poach employees!

The Wall Street Journal has pointed out staple U.S. tech corporations that have agreements to not steal each other’s employees. [Article link below] What effect do you suppose this has on the wages of their employees, and even potential employees from outside these companies who will compete with fewer candidates? This practice is unethical and clearly violates the U.S. culture of free market practices.

U.S. Tech Probe Nears End

Popping up the keyboard on the iPlatform

If you want the virtual keyboard to popup when you display a text field in a view do the following:

In your viewDidLoad or if you call any method to do “things” before displaying then the variable that points to the text field should have the becomeFirstResponder message sent to it.
Example:
In the .h of your viewcontroller or class
UITextField *tfJoroto;

In the .m of your viewcontroller or class
-(void)viewDidLoad {
[tfJoroto becomeFirstResponder];
} // viewDidLoad

This should also set the focus to the UITextField.

Good hunting.
-T-

Do Tech Start-ups Create Wealth For America?

As part of the Joroto start-up experiment I recently met with some venture capitalists.  They had read our home page and understood that we wanted to concentrate on American businesses and creating American jobs.  They talked about a new invention they were funding, and while it would be built in China, it would offer other opportunities, like software developers and such, here in the U.S.  Considering the rate of manufacturing expansion compared to technology expansion I disagree with this notion. Continue reading

iPad Universal App

This is for the uninitiated and for posterity.
Running XCode 3.2.3.
Please NOTE: I had forgotten this. If you update the OS of your iPlatform device (pod/phone/pad) then you MUST update the XCode SDK. Now this makes sense in a way, however last night’s (8/13/10) update of the device was NOT matched by and Upgrade notification of the XCode SDK platform. I had to go a lookin. Bottom line is, unless you NEED something from that update, don’t do it in the middle of a project. It waste Humungo time. That means ALOT for you marketing weasels.

1) Create a View Based app
2) Name it of course.
3) Drop down the targets folder in the project explorer. Continue reading

Suggestions for cleanup of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

This is not I.T. related but it does require technical solutions. It is also one of the most important topics in modern history, and as such it deserves our attention. Put your eggheads together and let us brainstorm a solution!

The biggest issue is addressing oil that has washed to the Gulf shores. In damaged areas in Alaska, oil still exists in large quantities just below the ground surface, and it seeps up with Continue reading

Denial Of Service, BLAH!

Thursday May 27th Joroto experienced a DOS attack. The web site and e-mail were down for the majority of the day. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our client and customers.

If you have not received a response to your e-mail, please re-send it. We did receive e-mail but it may have gotten lost in the scramble for sanity.

Thank you,

John

6 Things a non-engineer should know before founding a web startup

Please reference the following article:

6 Things a Non-Engineer Should Know Before Founding a Web Startup

I have a degree in EE. Many of my casual friends can be heard saying, “Well you are an engineer…” I am not an engineer, my full time role is administering an open systems software product. My real title includes “Analyst” (which I always thought was weak.) However I do not correct my friends because I know what they mean. People equate a degree with a profession and a mindset, which is not necessarily true.

Professional Engineer: A state licensed engineer is the only one who should be called an engineer. (A non-licensed engineer should probably be called engineer in-training.) Anywhere there is a license for a profession, calling oneself the same title without a license is misrepresentation. Continue reading

Do not use Flash? Get real. Real programmers, that is.

I read an article in Entrepreneur arguing not to use Flash on web sites. From a development standpoint this is like saying, “Don’t use a crescent wrench when working on your car.”   But what if the crescent wrench is the best tool for the job? Is prohibitive cost a reasonable reason to avoid using Flash? Continue reading

iPad – The Conqueror

I went to Best Buy and they had the requisite four iPads to touch and feel and play with. Lots of kids/teens/college age. They were all over everything, the macbooks, iPads, everything that was there. It was “an event” for them. The fun they were having, the giggling, “makes” the sale as much as the device. It was like watching one the “cool, hip” commercials. Continue reading

Flash on the iPlatform

Yeah yeah yeah, yet another “why Flash isn’t on the iPlatform” article points out some of the spurious points. The author points out “The facts remain, however, that the iPad will run HTML5 video inline today (and iPhone OS 4 this summer) without even getting warm to the touch while our laptops and multicore desktops turn into noisy miniature blast furnaces Continue reading

Gruber is not completely correct about Apple’s policy change

This post was sent to me about Gruber’s analysis of the new Apple policy (3.3.1) that stated that developers were not allowed to use third party development tools that could target multiple mobile phone platforms. We were looking into these currently and I have to say I’m quite miffed. Continue reading

I quit

I just read an interesting article about it being ok for go-getters and talented individuals to quit. Hmmmm. “Its ok Dave, continue”. . . “Ok I quit. Its not you its me”.
I’ve had these discussions with more people than I can count. I HATE mediocres. I won’t work with them. At least I “don’t want to” work with them. Sometimes one MUST work with them. I’m not talking about inexperienced people. I’m talking about people who come to work to pick up a check (anyone in this company know whom I am talking about?). Those people need to be fired. They are a drag on the high-fliers.
You know what you do for the high fliers? Everything. That’s right. You remove EVERY excuse they have for not working as efficiently as they can. And when you do that you tell them to prove it. Prove they are better than 10 mediocre programmers/workers. If you’ve never worked with this type of person, you’ll be amazed because they will absolutely, hands down, prove that they are worth 10 mediocres.
I liked the above article. It is one of those always relevant pieces of expository that is timeless and succinct.
So, everyone, fire ONE mediocre person in your organization and let’s get on the path to productivity again. You know who I’m talking about. That person who goes to compile a program that takes 5 minutes to compile, and sits there and waits for it to compile. Doesn’t timeslice to anything else, like documentation, regressions, pick his nose, ANYTHING. That person needs to be fired now. The rest of the employees need to be TOLD why that person was fired. Once the scapegoat is gone, productivity improves. If not start the beatings.

Mwhahahahhahaaaaaaaaa I LOVE world domination.

The Dead Sea Effect article is funny because its true. Read that also. Most of us live that article every day. This guy is a good observer. Here’s another observation for you to read. Bruce posted this link to the slashdot thread.

The dangers of working at a dot com

Working for a dot com can be much less glamorous than advertised. It can even be downright inhumane. The vast wealth gained by programming iPod applications, or reaching any mass audience when one is not prepared, can lead to a tortured life.

Always keep this in mind: If you are buying Joroto’s products, you will be contributing to this morbid lifestyle. You are helping to provide too much money to too few people, and usually they are programmers. Those are the last ones who will know what to do with their success. Here is an expose displaying the effects of success on Joroto:

JB

Appfuse – width of web page

Ok this took a ton of time to figure out.
Problem: I don’t like 800×600 pages. I have widescreen LCDs and many other people do too. I will check the stats which is a developer type site, and here which is more general and based on 32,000+ sites.

Edit the files:
./tree/src/main/webapp/styles/simplicity/layout-1col.css and change line 8 to 924 (1024 – 100 which is what it was set to initially). This will set the login.jsp menu to this width. Continue reading

Appfuse – Test failure

Sometimes the tests will fail because you have generated your classes in an order that does not support the tests.
For example, I have a Base class that is included as an attribute of another class. However, I had made a change in the base class and regenerated the code. This causes the file in ./tree/src/test/resources/sample-data.xml to generate the data in the wrong order. So what happens is that there are zero base class records in the table when the other class runs its test. This second class is, due to me regenerating the base class, now first in the sample data and first to be tested.

The fix:
To fix this, just move the data around in the sample-data.xml file. Poof no more Constraint problem.

Example pseduocode: Continue reading

Appfuse – Extending your classes

I had extended my Event class to include references to other objects. I also created @OneToOne annotations of them.
All of a sudden the tests wouldn’t run.
Well the problem lay in the sample data that is loaded into the table during the tests. I was referencing the appfuse User class. During the autogeneration of my Event class, it autogenerates three records into ./tree/src/test/resources/sample-data.xml . However, the original Appfuse where you did the quickstart from the main site, only outputs two User records.
So I added a third User record and everything fell into place and started working again.

Peace out.

Appfuse – quick start guide for newbies.

Appfuse

Add classes to initial project creation

2/12/2010

Overview:

You have done the QuickStart to see if you can get everything to work. This article assumes you DID indeed get the initial project working. You’re excited and want to “add something” to that project and begin working on your own. You need to read through this with a clear head because there is a gotcha once you get past adding ONE java class file. Not sure why but there is a fix.

Ok here’s the scoop.

Use the videos for the tutorial. They’re up to date. The other tutorials never worked for me.

Continue reading

Pasting text sends e-mail in Outlook

This happened to me using TPX remoting into an IBM 3390 mainframe and MS Outlook 2000.  I was usng in the green screen session and pasting into an e-mail in Outlook 2000.  The process must have capture additional keystrokes from the TPX session.  When I selected to paste in an e-mail, the e-mail was sent.  So, how to handle this?

1) Do not put in an e-mail address until you are ready to send.

2) Copy text from the problem application(s) and try pasting in notepad first, then copying and pasting again into Outlook.

3) Try using any available built-in copy function in the problem application, in my case it was TPX.  TPX has a “COPY” function that captures pure text, versus which does more of a screen capture from TPX.

Our business has since migrated to a different e-mail client.  I am not sure but it does not seem to be sensitive to this problem.

Astro_TJ Comes through with a flash!

Check out our correspondence with astronaut T. J. Creamer via Twitter:

@Astro_TJ Are you experiencing flashes due to cosmic rays? Tell us another unique space experience that we may never have heard of. 35 mins ago

“Astro_TJ @joroto Yes,I do see flashes occasionally,when I close
my eyes.Another unique story?The noctilucent clouds are both mesmerizing & beautiful.”

Wow, this IS neat: Noctilucent Clouds in Wikipedia

Management 901 – Why you want to become a manager

I’ve come to some realizations while watching some, ummm managers at another company. Yes that’s it.
One ponders the question “Why do you want to be a manager”.
1) I’m stupid so I can be a great manager and lead the company to nowhere.
2) I know how to spend money at home, what’s the difference?
3) I can budget money, Continue reading

iPad – uh yeah great name

Open letter to Mr. Steven Jobs:

Steve,
This isn’t a pile on session, I’ve seen the ignorant bashing you incessantly.   I’m too tired). I’m not here to do the same.  Well of course I am. Its fun, its the NEW new thing to bash Apple for not providing everyone their own personal spaceship to Mars (see previous blog post).
iPad: This name, sucks. Continue reading

Mars needs women

Yeah another startup with no babes. Great. We’re geeks and we must be gay.
Can someone please recruit some hot intelligent women please?
Eye candy while we wile away our lives working for DA MAN.
30 hour programming sessions are too long.
Why is our blog “from the guys”? Cause there aren’t any chicks here. Isn’t that against the law?
Help me . . . . Spock.
-T-

the server did not provide a certificate during the session e-mail error

This is written for a user of The Bat! Adjust accordingly if your e-mail client is stating that your provider is not providing a certificate.

1) Go to the SSL link at your Internet Provider. If you are using secure e-mail, this is the POP3/SMTP link in your e-mail configuration.
example: http://host271.hostmonster.com/

2) Click on the “lock” icon in the web browser, or choose SAFETY/SECURITY REPORT, or figure it out for your browser. Continue reading

Who here hates getting telephone calls?

Call Me! But Not on Skype or Any Other Videophone

In the above article Joel Stein nails how many of us have come to hate the telephone. I bring this up because Tom was just telling me how ubiquitous teleconferencing will replace travel for corporations in the future. While that may be so, most telephones are owned by individuals, and I might suggest that telephone communication among individuals could completely evaporate. Read the article and tell me what you think.

Tesla: Cool. Very Cool.

Long-Dead Inventor Nikola Tesla Is Electrifying Hip Techies

Funny I should come across the above article as Tom was just telling me about a book he just read on Tesla, about Tesla’s amazing inventions and his great understanding of how electricity works. From our discussion it sounds like Tesla had some understandings and accomplishments that have been completely lost in history.

Here is my letter to the Wall Street Journal writer of the above article. I could not let this one slip:

Daniel,

One small correction with major Continue reading

Are tax incentives for technology companies good?

Here is a great article on recent developments regarding a state trying to spur technology business growth:

Pennsylvania Tax Incentives Questioned

I am not sure if there was a time when I was a true proponent of tax incentives for business growth. There are too many problems with such policies and as the article states, the results can be minimal, even negligible. Number one, if tax incentives become a competition among different states, where does the race end? One state offers a two year tax abatement, so the next state offers five, then next twenty years, and so on. In the end the citizens get hosed Continue reading

Rhapsody stops playing in XP

[This article refers to Rhapsody software for Windows version 4.0 Build 5.209]

I have the latest Rhapsody software and Windows XP. Periodically Rhapsody stops playing music. I click on the song, and no indicator appears to indicate it is attempting to play. I think this is triggered by Windows XP going into standby mode, but I am not positive.

I wrote Real support and the brainless wonder response I got was to shut off all XP power saving features. I lambasted them but have not heard back, and do not think I will hear back in this lifetime.

I found a temporary fix:

1) CTRL-ALT-DEL
2) Shut down the process RHAPHPLR.EXE
3) Restart Rhapsody

At least it brings back the music pretty easily.

UPDATE: May 23, 2010

Presuming that your software is set to download the files for off-line listening, like mine, try this: Delete all of the downloaded songs. I suspect that when the computer is authorized, it ties the downloads to that particular authorization instance. When you upgrade the software, or Rhapsody on its own decides to re-authorize the computer (have you seen the authorization dialog and wondered why it popped up randomly?) it decides it cannot play files that were saved from the previous authorization event.

After deleting all of my downloaded songs, I listed the library by play count, and started playing the first song. I walked away knowing that it was re-downloading all of my favorite songs.

I closed Rhapsody twice, re-opened, and it played music. It did not do this before without killing the RHAPHPLR.EXE service once or twice.

Let us know how you fare!

UPDATE: June 26, 2010

Well those bozos at Rhapsody decided to re-authorize my computer. So, back to deleted two gigabytes of local files, and the system will have to re-download everything at least once. BAH!

Software Patent Malaise

We should all be paying attention to events involving software patent processes in countries around the world. The processes of issuing patents and hopefully, forthcoming corrections, highly influence technology development and implementation.

Software patent vote delayed

February 13, 2010 update

Here is an interesting blog entry, the title speaks for itself:

Debunking the ‘Patent Troll’ Myth

NO JOY. An OS 3.0 upgrade story

Went to the iTunes store to upgrade one of my iPods to the OS 3.0 SDK to see if we can monetize the crap out of it. Hey, I’ve BEEN BUSY, so shutup.
Anyway, No joy. An UNKNOWN ERROR occurred on my transaction.
I will report back on this when I solve Apple’s problem (again).
Update and FIX:
The error was “An Unknown Error Occurred (1004)”. Continue reading

HOLY CRAP BATMAN SNOW LEOPARD’S GOT ME

Face (our undead President) close your eyes and skip this rant.
Ok folks, spent the whole $25 in cheeseballs on the OS X upgrade.
Those *beep* *beep* *BEEPITY* *beeps* (edited by Face) at Apple have completly wiped my XCode links to the SDKs. NOTHING BUILDS NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HOLY **** Batman!
I’ll update here about this crap. GREAT! Like we need MORE WORK. Of course WE’LL be blamed for this. Those BEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep (edited by Face).
-T-
Update:
Ok my fault, when I upgraded, I should have put XCode 3.2 into A NEW PLACE!!! otherwise it “upgrades” your existing install (assuming you used the defaults) by erasing all your SDKs! How intuitive. Yeah if I RTFM. Ok so the way out is to download the OS 3.0 SDK which “doesn’t have all the 2.x SDKs”. Hmmm Let’s see nope. No more ranting. By this time you want answers.
I’m doing that right now and its taking 20 minutes for 404MB.
The original solution is to install the new 3.2 Xcode into A NEW PLACE and DO NOT UPGRADE the existing installation. Well they at least got that part correct.

Sunday night Shark Tank Victims should be worried about the next attack.

The Television Show “Shark Tank” has a team of millionaires offering venture capital to inventors and entrepreneurs alike.    The millionaires include Barbara Corcoran, Kevin Harrington, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary.  The contestants are inventors, some who have very cool products, but who are mostly ignorant about venture capital.

The name “Shark Tank” is apropos in that the cast offers “puny” amounts of money to the entrepreneurs in exchange for a large percentage of the entrepreneur’s business.  The idea that the millionaires convey is that the entrepreneurs will become millionaires themselves if they take one of the highly aggressive deals offered to them.  Of course the investors are bound to make a great deal of money also, or they would otherwise not offer funding.

The entrepreneurs asking for money need to seriously consider the next funding step in their businesses.  Take for example Marian Cruz, inventor of the Turbo Baster. Continue reading

Add a custom symbol to a field in Excel

I came across this method when attempting to add a percent (%) sign to my data without Excel multiplying all of the numbers by one hundred, as it does when formatting as a percent. I could find no way to just append a symbol to my data, except, for some reason only Bill Gates knows, there is a feature to add a custom currency sign to Excel. So these instructions add a custom dollar sign to the sheet, as though you are entering currency numbers from a country that does not use the dollar sign. However, the symbol can be any symbol you choose. Again, I will add a percent sign, because that was my mission for my customer.

I am working in Excel 2000. Hey, why upgrade? Any feedback on the options in later versions of Excel is certainly welcome.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1) Right click the field(s)

2) Select FORMAT CELLS

3) Select CUSTOM.

4) In the TYPE field, type this: ##.#[$%]

* Use your symbol of choice in place of the percent sign.

The pound signs represent the numbers in your data, so adjust the number of them before or after the decimal as necessary. The period is a decimal, of course. The bracketed expression is telling Excel that “In this country, we use a percent sign rather than a dollar sign.”

Now you can enter data, or paste number values (PASTE/SPECIAL/VALUES) from another sheet into these newly formatted cells, and
this:                          3.19
will appear like this:  3.19%

The Matrix for the rest of us – Virtualization for the masses

Ok I got one of those stinkin locked down Corporate PCs. Yep one of dem.
I wanted to put CentOS and my other Linux PC’s image (The one I used until the Corporate Execs caught me. Jack booted thugs).
Anyway I thought (stupidly of course) let’s give Microsoft’s Virtual PC a try. Nope. Choked and then spit it out. Not what a geek wants from his trusted minion.
Next up let’s try Sun Microsystems’ Virtual Box. Ahhhh bliss. A free solution to the “You’ll run what WE want whether you like it or not you cubitized pond scum”. LOL I now run Linux “underneath” the corporate package. Network is connected, I’m even sending to the corporate printers. Way cool. I thumb my nose at those dweebs.
Props for VMWare. I use it at home and it is truly seamless. I don’t run it on the corp PCs so that the suits won’t have even more cause to, umm, flush me. You can see by an other post that they work us hard. Some of us need not work as hard because we’re 10 times more productive than the other 100 mediocre programmers. So we skate and the manager’s lick our boots and think we ARE gods! Mwhwhahahaahahahaaaaaa

See you at the LinkedIn Patio Party!

If you have not decided yet, I encourage you to go ahead and make the big effort. Come introduce yourself to me, as I will be at the Shaker Heights Country Club LinkedIn event Tuesday night! Good luck finding me of course as there are well over six hundred people registered. WOW (™Microsoft). I am waiting for a cancellation or a notice of overcrowding to dash my hopes. The guest list has continued to increase, although I thought it would tail off at about five hundred.  (That is why I never win the lottery nor predict recessions accurately.)

This will be fun.

Today Tom continually iterated how much he hates people and there is no way he is going. Therefore, if you are interested in talking high-level tech talk with our lead developer, I must apologize. That is okay by me though. At least Tom will not embarrass us by showing up at this posh event wearing the same green polo he has worn to work for the past three months.  Instead, we should send him to CES the next round. That is, if he can bear to sit next to a human being on the plane ride.

July 22, 2009 Update

The event was very cool.  Seven hundred-something did I hear?  More accomplished people in one area than I have ever seen.  Real tough to do this sort of thing at the end of the workday, but well worth it.

How to backup your WordPress Blog

I post this, not because there are not a million other web sites that tell how to do this, but because they all tell me to go to “manage” and I do not see a “manage” function in WordPress. Here is how to backup your WordPress content:

1) Go to the ADMIN Panel – http://www.YOURBLOG.com/wp-admin Continue reading

Create an iPhone app splash screen

1-Create a .png file with Adobe Fireworks, Adobe Photoshop, Gimp, or any of the graphic programs out there.

2-Name it Default.png.

3-Add it to the Resources tab of your Xcode project.

This will add this splash screen automatically to your program when it runs, and will place this graphic on the screen as your app loads into memory and runs.

Replacing graphics files in XCode

I wanted to replace some graphics files under my resources in the Xcode environment. They are currently symlinks. I wanted them to be actual files in order to zip up and send to other developers. I thought an inexperienced user may appreciate this content.

Select the graphics files with a click, Continue reading

Monster.com going bye-bye?

BusinessWeek wrote about Monster.com’s competition and loss of business:

Recruiting: Enough to Make a Monster Tremble

A clear sign that a formerly super-successful dot com with a spectacular profit margin has turned into a typical Fortune 500 Company run by a myopic big city businessman: The CEO eliminated paper cups in the break rooms.

Newsflash:  Just like Monster.com replaced the newspaper, Monster better think completely out of the box in order to gain some new, currently unknown, advantage over its online competitors.

As I have worked for major corporations that have gone the same route, here is some advice Mr. Iannuzzi: Put the paper cups back. Not only is your business revenue hurting badly, but you just made all of your employees resentful.  These are the people whom you will rely on for innovation and superior service.

Mr. Iannuzzi, I have an idea for you to steal a very cool niche in recruiting. Contact us if you are interested.

JB

Where is our CTO? And who really cares?

Yesterday I received an e-mail from a partner asking where our third partner and lead developer is. Like the rush of Niagara Falls, thoughts of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford taking off for Argentina and telling no one went though my head. Then there was Steve Jobs: He nearly died, and no one holding Apple stock, most of the value of which is Steve himself, knew anything about his condition.

Rest assured, Tom is not duplicating the efforts of either of the above shady characters. He is taking a rare break from developing device drivers all day, and developing web apps all night, to spend some time with his family.

I do not miss the twenty-something e-mails a day that each details some new, advanced system or method that gets Tom all excited, but which I could care less about. For one week I have been able to spend most of my time communicating with magazine editors, developers, and users in the tech blogs, continually trying to figure out what we can do for them. People are awesome. Life was never better.

Alas I fear the honeymoon is over, and I will be chastised for my marketing prowess and lack of high level tech insight any minute now…

JB

aGauge now available for iPhone & iPod

aGauge is now available for the iPod and iPhone! Test your accelerometer with this utility. Super Cool!

aGauge WEB SITE

Or visit the Joroto iTunes Store:

Internet Pricing Exposed – Time for a personal domain?

Yet another sour deal:  In 2007 I was offered high speed DSL from AT&T Yahoo! for $24.99. At the time I said, “That is too low, they are going to raise the price in a year.” I was a little bit off. Almost two years later, and sure enough they raised the price five dollars. Of course I am not sure about the price because the phone company consolidates all costs (hides them) in one grand total on the bill. They must have gotten that idea from congress.

Just after seeing the price increase I was notified that AT&T will be dropping Usenet. Tom said this is a decision made solely to gain bandwidth. He is right (only because he is always right…just ask him.)

I feel like I am back in 1999 with Internet companies raising prices and dropping services.  (At least the constant, unexplained communication outages are not still a problem for me.)  Anticipating AT&T pulling another stunt in two or four days, I must look at my options. The only big problem with switching providers is changing my e-mail address. Whoop! Time to register a personal domain, select a permanent e-mail address, and update all of my contacts for the final time. I wonder if “tomslesserbusinesspartner” is taken? In any case, a personal domain can stay with a person forever. This is something I should have done ten years ago.

Registering a domain name is in the ten dollar range. Additionally, if one is already hosting a web site (joroto.com for example), they may be able to use the same hosting service for the new domain (tomslesserbusinesspartner.com). That means the additonal domain’s yearly cost is limisted to the registration fee, which is quite a bargain.

If you are not tech savvy, you should be warned that there is more effort associated with managing your own domain.  This is only moderately difficult, but if I can do it, you can do it faster and better.

Now  I am seriously considering the personal domain option.  Once I have an e-mail address established on my own registered domain, I can switch to any Internet provider, at any time, without having to worry about updating all of my contacts (hi mom!)

Just a thought for the day for the millions of you who just got jacked by AT&T.

Time to surf for a good responsive newsgroup server before AT&T cuts off Usenet on July 15th.  Ideas?

JB

iPod/iPhone “No provisioned device” error in XCode

In the Organizer in XCode you notice that your iPlatform device (iPod/iPhone) is not recognized as a provisioned device. The little “light” is not green. However iTunes can sync with it and give it a great big kiss.
Cause: I believe this is due to the iPlatform device being plugged in when the computer goes to sleep.
Solution:
1) Unplug the iPlatform device from the USB.
2) Hold down the top power off and the circle App Exit button at the same time, then release at the same time.
3) A slide switch appears saying “Power off”. Do so. This is a hard power down of the device.
4) Now you can just plug the device back into the USB cable. XCode will see it and use it now. This has happened many times to me and this is the exact solution to that.

How to Edit Your WordPress Blog with Adobe Contribute

As usual, this should be a process that a newbie could execute. In other words, open Contribute, point to your web site, type your login, and go. Of course, Contribute returns generic errors stating that it cannot connect, and so you (I) try every password in your password file. Well, here is the skinny on setting this up, and let me know if I missed anything.

This setup assumes you are hosting your own WordPress blog, which does support xml-rpc. Edit the url or settings appropriately if you are using WordPress.com or another protocol.

1) Turn on XML-RPC in WordPress Continue reading

The miserable life of a programmer

Why not begin the new blog with some fun!  (I anticipate Tom quickly taking over and never allowing me here again, unless I can make up some highly technical explanation for something-something.  Well, it was nice meeting you anyway.)

Here was our promotional video for our game Trisaic for the iPod.

VIDEO

We were hoping for responses such as “Awe, that’s funny.”  Along with some positive comments like that, we immediately began receiving comments like this:

“LOL, I thought it was funny. Sad thing is, there is probably some truth to it. My nephew had a friend who was a XXXX developer for XXXXX and told me stories of some of the things they would do to meet dead lines.”

Okay, so we are now as worried about you all as we are about our developers.

What comes to your mind as you view this?

JB

Joroto promotes both electricity use and more sustainable production methods

In response to the naturally-inclined actions of many organizations reducing their electricity us in celebration of Earth Day, Joroto is taking a different approach: Rewarding employees for using the most energy possible over the course of April 22nd, Earth Day 2009. Joroto, in fact, will be holding a contest, and will reward the developer who uses the most electricity on Earth Day.

President John Boukis states: “In the world of software and web development, electricity is productivity. On Earth Day, we will be monitoring the electricity use of our employees. We have outlined a set of rules that define cheating. Employees will be forbidden from executing such tactics as adding accessories such as portable air conditioners to their personal network stations, or playing 3D games (restricted only on this particular work day.). We have basic monitoring capabilities which will help us determine which individual used the most electricity on Earth Day. The winner of this internal contest will receive an additional $5 million dollars in Joroto stock options.”

Asked about observers’ gut reactions that these actions are generally irresponsible Boukis cautions all to carefully consider their reasoning: “The problem the world faces is not overuse of electricity. The macro problem is that our lifestyle depends on electricity more than ever, and we need to produce a great deal more electricity in order to continue growing our new computer-based economy. ”

“We absolutely believe that energy should be produced using the latest, most efficient, and most sustainable technology.  Every new house should be built with solar panels, and local governments should bury their bureaucracies, and allow the building of private wind turbines in all but the most dense areas, in order to generate significantly more electricity while producing (including manufacturing processes that produce solar and wind power materials) greatly reduced pollution levels.  With this in mind, consider that this contest is a celebration of the computer, and what it has meant to our employees and this company: Creativity and most importantly, freedom. Electricity is productivity. The more electricity we as an IT company use, the more applications we crank out. The more applications, the more revenue, the more we grow, the more people we hire, right on down the line. This is Productive Energy Tap, and we will continue to vehemently promote all of its tenets.”

Joroto, Inc Releases Trisaic for the iPod and iPhone

Today Joroto announced the release Trisaic, a puzzle game for Apple’s portable devices, the iPod and iPhone. The game board for Trisaic is full of pairs of adjacent triangles that the player must match. The player selects the objects and cycles through their various designs in order to match the design of an adjacent object. The game quickly becomes difficult, and a great memory teaser, as the number of possible designs for each triangle increase with each new level. A handful of objects will have no match, making the game even more challenging.

Find all Joroto products at the following web page:

PRODUCTS