Friday, December 19, 2008

Steve Jobs didn't make the first Macworld, either

Steve Jobs didn't show up to the first Macworld Expo, which was held in San Francisco in January 1985, one year after the introduction of the Macintosh.

Good story about Jobs and his girlfriend.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Apple at Expo: What went wrong?

At the same time, Apple was toning its product-announcement muscles in other areas. The keynote address at Apple's once-sleepy developer conference suddenly became a hot ticket. And Apple began making more and more major announcements at Apple-controlled media events, not only at the Apple campus, but at Moscone West in San Francisco, at the Yerba Buena Theater in San Francisco, and even at the California Theater in San Jose.

Those events were timed by Apple, controlled by Apple, and attended only by Apple's invited guests—VIPs, members of the media, analysts, and Apple employees. The public couldn't get in, and there was no intermediary like IDG World Expo to get in the way. But I think most important was the timing—Apple could announce products when it damn well wanted to, rather than being forced to adhere to a trade-show calendar that's usually set years in advance.

There were more signs of Apple's disinterest in Macworld Expo as a showcase. For years now at Apple keynotes, in its quarterly financial calls with analysts, and even in its press material, Apple has used one event as a benchmark for the number of customers to pass through the doors of its many retail stores: Macworld Expo. (In 2005's Macworld Expo Keynote Jobs applauded the Apple retail stores for hosting "20 Macworld Expos worth of visitors" per week.) The clear signal: "When our retail stores reach so many people, what's the need for a trade show?"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Apple Announces Its Last Year at Macworld -- No Jobs Keynote

Apple® today announced that this year is the last year the company will exhibit at Macworld Expo. Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, will deliver the opening keynote for this year's Macworld Conference & Expo, and it will be Apple's last keynote at the show. The keynote address will be held at Moscone West on Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:00 a.m.

Phil Schiller is a clown.  Something must be seriously wrong with Jobs for him to skip the keynote.  But why let Phil do it?  Tim Cook or Jonathan Ive would have been better choices.  AAPL could lose 20 points on this news.  What a disaster!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Fast Scrolling in Tweetie with UITableView

Cutting to the chase, here's the secret: One custom view per table cell, and do your own drawing. Sounds simple? That's because it is. It's actually simpler than dealing with a ton of subviews of labels and images, and it's about a bzillion times faster (according to my informal tests).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

10 useful iPhone tips & tricks

Tapping the status bar (the bar at the top with the clock) will make scrollable content scroll to the top. It comes in handy in situations like when you've scrolled down a long web page or mail message and you quickly need to get back to the top.

Bjorn Lomborg Says Cool It!: Getting our priorities right on climate change and the world's top problems

"At the end of the day," says Lomborg, "this is about saying, Yes, global warming is real. It's often massively exaggerated, which is why we need smarter solutions.... Let's pick them smart, rather than stupidly. And also, let's remember that they are many other problems in the world that we can fix so much cheaper and do so much more good....If this is really a question about doing good in the world, then let's do real good-and not just make ourselves feel good about what we do."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Cafes » Java is Dead! Long Live Python!

Version 3.0 of Python has been released. Notably Python has again done something Java has long resisted: it has broken backwards compatibility with Python 2.x.  [...] Java by contrast, is dead. It has at least as much brain damage and misdesign as Python 2.x did, probably more; yet Sun has resisted tooth and nail all efforts to fix the known problems.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

No bailout for Automakers

This is the text of a letter to the editor of the Augusta Chronicle. They did not publish my letter.

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to your editorial supporting a federal bailout for the "Big Three" automakers.  Your suggestion of government involvement is likely to make matters even worse.

A federal bailout will only prop up the inefficient bureaucracy of a company like General Motors.  They make uncompetitive cars with unsustainable labor agreements.  Any federal involvement is likely to preserve the current union contracts and avoid the difficult decisions necessary to produce profitable cars.

Bankruptcy is the appropriate way to handle this situation.  A bankruptcy judge has the power to void labor contracts while attempting to save the company and preserve jobs.   For every job you expect the government to somehow "save" through a bailout, you may be costing a new job that could have been created under new ownership.

Yes, there will be pain if the automakers go bankrupt.  The federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) may have to foot the bill for the pensions of retired workers if the automakers don't reorganize successfully.  Current shareholders will lose money (but they've already lost most of their investment, anyway.)  Putting the taxpayers' money at risk does not  offer the same incentive to reorganize as Chapter 11 does.  It is better to let the "creative destruction" of the market handle this crisis rather than having politicians take control of the "Big Three" automakers.

Bellarmine wins CCS

Bellarmine running back Usua Amanam stood with a championship banner draped over his shoulders and tried to separate all the touchdown runs in his head. "The 88-yard run? Which one was that?" It's not every day a running back forgets an 88-yard touchdown. Friday was that type of day for Amanam. The Stanford-bound senior ran for 263 yards on 20 carries and scored three long touchdowns in a 21-0 win over Valley Christian in the Central Coast Section Open Division title game. The game was played in front of a crowd of 8,000-plus at San Jose City College.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

IEEE Spectrum: How We Found the Missing Memristor

For nearly 150 years, the known fundamental passive circuit elements were limited to the capacitor (discovered in 1745), the resistor (1827), and the inductor (1831). Then, in a brilliant but underappreciated 1971 paper, Leon Chua, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, predicted the existence of a fourth fundamental device, which he called a memristor. He proved that memristor behavior could not be duplicated by any circuit built using only the other three elements, which is why the memristor is truly fundamental.

Memristor is a contraction of "memory resistor," because that is exactly its function: to remember its history. A memristor is a two-terminal device whose resistance depends on the magnitude and polarity of the voltage applied to it and the length of time that voltage has been applied. When you turn off the voltage, the memristor remembers its most recent resistance until the next time you turn it on, whether that happens a day later or a year later.

It turns out that the influence of memristance obeys an inverse square law: memristance is a million times as important at the nanometer scale as it is at the micrometer scale, and it's essentially unobservable at the millimeter scale and larger. As we build smaller and smaller devices, memristance is becoming more noticeable and in some cases dominant.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Clojure could be to Concurrency-Oriented Programming what Java was to OOP

Clojure is a new language and one of the things that Clojure really seems to "get right" is it's approach to concurrency. It is extremely simple to use (and understand) and (especially if you've everwritten concurrent code in Java or C++) most people will find writing concurrent Clojure programs a real pleasure!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Canada Goose Hunting in Georgia and South Carolina

Today, there are still no migrant geese in Georgia, but there are plenty of resident birds. Many of the Canada geese are descendants of the Pennsylvania geese that were stocked in Georgia, and many are descended from captive flocks held by hunters to lure migrants in. When live decoys were outlawed, according to Balkcom, a lot of people turned their captive flocks loose.

Over time, the state's Canada goose population has swelled to nuisance proportions. In the 13 years since that first eight-day season in 1991 in about 10 percent of the state, the shooting session has burgeoned to a 70-day season in 100 percent of the state with a five-goose-per-day limit for anyone who wants to hunt.

An early season for Canada geese will be Sept. 1-30. This season is statewide. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset. The daily bag limit for Canada geese during this early season is 15 birds.

There's also a late season for Canada Geese (roughly Nov. 26 to Feb. 15 with some breaks).  Details here:

pyjamas - AJAX in python

Many people, when first finding out about Google Web Toolkit, wonder "why can't I use Python instead of Java?". pyjamas is designed to make that possible.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Git for the Cocoa Developer: A Typical Workflow

Aside from being a repository for me of all the tasks I commonly do with Git, I'm hoping that this post will act as a quick start guide for anyone who's interested in using Git for their Cocoa development source control needs.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

JSCocoa — A bridge from JavascriptCore to Cocoa

Write Cocoa apps in Javascript ! JSCocoa bridges Cocoa to JavascriptCore (WebKit's JS engine). It allows you to call C code, ObjC code, use C structs, and build Javascript classes inheriting from ObjC classes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

12 SQLite Resources for iPhone Developers

We've collected together some of the best SQLite related tutorials, and libraries in order to help you on your way with this essential iPhone programming technology

Monday, November 10, 2008

iui - iPhone web framework

iUI has the following features:

  • Create Navigational Menus and iPhone interfaces from standard HTML
  • Use or knowledge of JavaScript is not required to create basic iPhone pages
  • Ability to handle phone orientation changes
  • Provide a more "iPhone-like" experience to Web apps (on or off the iPhone)

Dynamic Default.png files on the iPhone

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Phys Ed - Stretching - The Truth

The old presumption that holding a stretch for 20 to 30 seconds — known as static stretching — primes muscles for a workout is dead wrong. It actually weakens them.

Stretching muscles while moving, on the other hand, a technique known as dynamic stretching or dynamic warm-ups, increases power, flexibility and range of motion. Muscles in motion don't experience that insidious inhibitory response.

These exercises- as taught by the United States Tennis Association's player-development program – are good for many athletes, even golfers. Do them immediately after your aerobic warm-up and as soon as possible before your workout.


(for the hamstrings and gluteus muscles)

Kick one leg straight out in front of you, with your toes flexed toward the sky. Reach your opposite arm to the upturned toes. Drop the leg and repeat with the opposite limbs. Continue the sequence for at least six or seven repetitions.


(for the lower back, hip flexors and gluteus muscles)

Lie on your stomach, with your arms outstretched and your feet flexed so that only your toes are touching the ground. Kick your right foot toward your left arm, then kick your leftfoot toward your right arm. Since this is an advanced exercise, begin slowly, and repeat up to 12 times.


(for the shoulders, core muscles, and hamstrings)

Stand straight, with your legs together. Bend over until both hands are flat on the ground. "Walk" with your hands forward until your back is almost extended. Keeping your legs straight, inch your feet toward your hands, then walk your hands forward again. Repeat five or six times. G.R.

The link has diagrams and a video.  Also, static stretching is still considered a good way to cool down after exercise.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Paul Broun for Congress

I attended a campaign event for Paul Broun at the Savannah Rapids Pavillion yesterday at lunch time.  Governor Sonny Perdue was the guest of honor.  The Governor and I have had our differences, but today the focus was on supporting our local congressman.  Paul Broun is one of the few principled conservatives in Congress these days and I'm proud to support his re-election.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Parallels versus SP3

I updated BootCamp recently and it allowed me to update Windows XP with Service Pack 3 (SP3). Today, I'm catching up with Parallels. I updated the Parallels Desktop app, but when I tried to start the virtual machine, Windows complained about not being able to find "autochk" and it looked like it continually tried to restart Windows.

Google found this answer for me:

I had the same problem with my bootcamp install after updating to SP3 with the missing AUTOCHK and BSOD. I fixed it by opening the hard disk config for the VM, go to the advanced page and clear the parallels info from the boot camp partition (there is a CLEAR button there for this) and when it finishes boot it up. Parallels will show the message about this being the first time using the boot camp partition you can hit ok and everything should boot up like you had it before. I didn't even have to reinstall tools and coherence was even still working. :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Adobe Flash updates

I've complained about Flash before, especially their installer, so it's only fair to point out that the latest version seems better in every respect. Test your version with the web page. Here's a security announcement.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Tragic Cost of Sunday Drivers

Georgia is one of only three states that still has a Blue Law against selling alcohol on Sundays. After reading an op-ed piece by Governor Sonny Perdue about the issue, I wrote the following letter to the editor of our local newspaper, the Columbia County News-Times (registration required), which is owned by the Augusta Chronicle. You can also read Governor Perdue's original column on the state's official web site.

Update: The News-Times published my letter to the editor. (registration required) The full text follows:

Dear Editor,

You recently published an opinion column by Governor Sonny Perdue entitled "Tragic cost of Sunday alcohol sales" in which he opposes the repeal of Georgia's Blue Law prohibiting the sale of alcohol on Sundays. Governor Perdue cites a study which found that alcohol-related traffic crashes and deaths increased in New Mexico after they allowed alcohol sales on Sundays in 1995. His conclusion is that "We cannot afford to jeopardize people's lives ... even under the guise of letting people choose." But doesn't the force of the Governor's logic compel us to examine the danger of driving at all on Sundays? How many people must die before we conclude that driving is simply too dangerous in Georgia? The Governor says that he is expected "to do all that I can to make the people of this state as safe as possible." Banning driving on Sundays is a good first step toward making our roads safe for all citizens. The alternative would be to "to stick our heads in the sand", as the Governor puts it, by trusting people to drive responsibly.

Steve Miner
Evans, GA

Monday, February 11, 2008

Translucent Menu Bar control in 10.5.2

Use the Desktop system preference pane to control the translucent menu bar in 10.5.2. No need for my ugly hack anymore.