12th July 2018
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With all the nostalgia of the early App Store and iOS SDK days, Frederik Riedel tweeted about his experience developing iRedstone:

After he tweeted that, other developers started quoting it, and sharing their experiences. Frederik has compiled a great collection of them over on his blog.

12th July 2018

Well this is unexpected, Apple have updated some of their Macs:

Cupertino, California — Apple today updated MacBook Pro with faster performance and new pro features, making it the most advanced Mac notebook ever. The new MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar feature 8th-generation Intel Core processors, with 6-core on the 15-inch model for up to 70 percent faster performance and quad-core on the 13-inch model for up to two times faster performance — ideal for manipulating large data sets, performing complex simulations, creating multi-track audio projects or doing advanced image processing or film editing. – Apple Newsroom

The improvements are to the 13” and 15” models of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, and there are also a few extra bits of news. I thought I’d try and extract the key improvements:

MacBook Pros

 Hardware

  • Faster CPUs – Now using 8th generation chips:
    • Quad-core Intel i5 and i7 processors up to 2.7GHz (Turbo Boost to 4.5GHz) for the 13”
    • Hexa-core Intel i7 and i9 processors up to 2.9GHz (Turbo Boost to 4.8GHz) for the 15”
  • Up to 32GB of DDR4 memory in the 15”
  • New HDD options – 2TB for the 13” ad 4TB for the 15”
  • New Apple T2 Chip
  • True Tone
  • Upgraded graphics chips:
    • Intel Iris Plus 655 for the 13”
    • Radeon Pro chips with 4GB of video memory for the 15”
  • The 13” model now ships with 4 USB C ports
  • The keyboard has been replaced with a new 3rd generation butterfly keyboard, which is quieter, and maybe more reliable.
  • Battery capacities have been slightly increased to cope with the newer specs. However, Brian Heater at TechCrunch says that no mechanical changes have been made.

Software

  • “Hey Siri” comes to the MacBook Pro because of the new T2 chip.
  • Also, enhanced security with secure booting, and on-the-fly storage encryption because of the T2.

 Extras

  • There are new colour options for the MacBook Leather Sleeve (13” and 15”) – Saddle Brown, Midnight Blue, and Black.
  • These MacBook Pro’s are also part of the Back to Schoo program, where students can receive a free pair of Beats headphones with eligible Macs.

10th July 2018

It hasn’t been long since the release of Text Case, but I’ve already had some great suggestions, so I decided to add them in!

So here it goes.

Five extra formats: – URL Decoded – Capitalise All Words – Camel Case – Snake Case – Hashtags

One format has been “fixed”, and that is Capitalise. It now does the obvious and also capitalises the first letter after a period.

You can now choose which formats you want to enable, by navigating to the Settings page, and flipping the switches. This will obviously allow for a more customised interface, as I imagine some people won’t want all 12 formats to show if there aren’t needed.

I still have two things I want to work on. One is the ability for the action extension to be able to replace the original selected text with the new converted value. The other is a pretty great idea that I can’t share until I figure out how exactly I’m going to implement it. But it will be an advanced feature.

I’d also like to say thank you to everyone that has already downloaded Text Case, and I plan to keep adding useful updates!

If you haven’t already, you can download Text Case on the App Store.

07th July 2018

I’m very glad to announce that Text Case is now released, and is live on the App Store!

Text Case is a simple utility that allows you to convert any text into various different formats.

It comes packed with an action extension that lets you select text anywhere in iOS, tap the Share button, and then you’ll find the “Convert Text” action. This will show you a preview of all available formats, and a simple tap on one of those will copy it to your clipboard, and you’ll be returned to the original app.

The available formats are currently:

  • Title Case
  • URL Encoded
  • Uppercase
  • Lowercase
  • Capitalise
  • Reversed
  • Mocking Spongebob (This one is for fun)

More formats will be added in the future!

Download Text Case on the App Store!

04th July 2018

I’ve been working on a small project called Text Case for a while now. It’s had my attention in small bursts, and I think it’s finally ready to be classified as a 1.0.

I won’t write a whole essay about it just yet, but it’s a utility app that converts raw text into various different formats. The main one being title case, which is very handy for me personally.

Along with the base app, it comes with an Action Extension, which you can access by selecting a portion of text, and then accessing the Share sheet. You then get to preview the possible formatted versions, and just one tap will copy it to the clipboard, and it’s dismissed.

I can already think about different ways the app can be expanded, but I don’t want this to become a habit of mine, where I never ship something because I always want to add one extra thing. There’s definitely going to be edge cases where formatting won’t be perfect, I’m thinking the title case will be 100% of these, but I can fix these quite fast.

But for once, I’m just going to ship an app, and see how it’s goes.

Here’s a preview:

04th July 2018

Nancy Pearl, writing for The Globe and Mail:

It wasn’t until I became an adult, and a librarian, that I began to question my commitment to finishing each and every book that I began. Now that I really was living a major portion of my life in the library, I literally found myself surrounded by books, tempting me, calling to me from the shelves. How could I – in one lifetime – ever get through everything I wanted to read if I had to finish those books that I discovered to be (at least to me) boring, badly written or just plain bad?

It dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t have to finish every book I started. Gradually my attitude changed, but not without a struggle. I felt bad for the authors whose books I gave up on. Didn’t they deserve a full chance to entice me into the world they’d created? I could hear their voices in my head, like the voice of my conscience, saying, “Wait, wait, it gets better! You haven’t gotten to the good part yet.” Oh the guilt, the guilt!

This is a very good tip if you want to read more books. I noticed myself that I would become stuck on a boring book, and I wouldn’t allow myself to read anything else. And that really messes things up.



So now, I just put a book down whenever I’m bored of it, and then pick it back up when I am. It certainly makes my “Reading” section in GoodReads look rather packed, but it’s a good problem to have.

Read the full post.

03rd July 2018

Photo (Top): KALIN

One of the most extraordinary stories I’ve ever read. It’s about a man that decided his land wasn’t for taking, how he interacted with the government, and how the community respected him.

Elaine Chong, writing for BBC News:

In 1982, a Turkish immigrant started a garden near the Berlin wall on a patch of East German land. Osman Kalin fiercely defended his small domain from any authorities who tried to take it away. Though he died this year, his family are still looking after the plot and the tree house he built there.

Read the full story.

02nd July 2018

After reading Allen Pike’s piece “372 Easy Steps to Expanding Your Mind” on his experiences with Instapaper, the popular read it later service, I decided to finally give Instapaper a go again. It’s been a good number of years since I used it, and I was immediately presented with this lovely message:

Instapaper is temporarily unavailable for users in Europe

Great.

Luckily, I remembered I have an old Pocket account, and I used to like that, so I’ve now downloaded the app again. To be pretty honest, I don’t notice any difference to the app to when I used to use it. Maybe that’s a win for consistency, but it looks a bit outdated.

After logging in, I noticed there was still four articles that I’d saved for later. It’s a good overview of the articles I usually read. Although I must admit these are from a very long time ago:

I’m pretty sure this type of service, is the missing piece of my reading puzzle. I already use Twitter for “news”, and I’m a big fan of RSS feeds, so I have a lot of content already. Along with that, I can find more content on Micro.blog, which is a great place to write your own content, read others, and find interesting conversations and communities.

However, whenever I have just a single article I want to read, but just not that second, it somehow finds a way to escape me.

It’s not that I’ve been completely without a service like this, instead I’ve been ”using” Pinboard. I’m a big fan of Pinboard, with its simple appearance, great functionality, and good API (I was messing around with automation before). But I haven’t found a great app for it yet, so it doesn’t really get used that much. I tend to just send links there to die.

So I’m going to try out Pocket for a while, I hope I can get around the old design of the iOS app. Luckily for me it has a dark mode, and also a Mac app. I think I’ll be fine.

Find me on Pocket

30th June 2018
Permalink

My local zoo Whispnade, has some incredible news about some of their recent additions:

The as-yet unsexed cubs were born to seven year-old Amur tigress Naya, on Saturday 23 June, after 108 days of pregnancy, and only 121 days (four months) after meeting dad Botzman.

Keepers at the UK’s largest Zoo were anxiously monitoring second-time mum Naya using remote camera technology as she gave birth to the first tiger cub at 7.25pm, and were then elated to see her give birth to three further cubs over the subsequent five hours.

It is pretty impressive to say that there about 500 Amur tigers left in the wild, and Whipsnade have now managed to add 4 to the overall population.

Here’s a small video of the cubs:

Read the Full Article.

08th June 2018

Just a small update.

After putting a task in Slate off for at least a few months, I’ve got a big chunk of work out of the way, which makes future development so much easier.

Basically, when I first started developing the different sections (Timeline, Mentions, Discover, and Favourites), the code was completely split, and usually badly copied across classes.

I’ve done some work with protocols and inheritance, and now the before mentioned 4 parts of the app are using 99% the same code, except from the slight change in context. For example Mentions is exactly the same, other than a title change, and a few letters in the API endpoint.

As with most other people, WWDC is taking up a lot of time for me. So I think after I do just a tiny bit more work on composing posts, I’ll send another build out. I have composing working in my current build, but my 2 minimum requirements for the next public beta is a minimal version of Markdown formatting, and also replying to posts.