iOS App Development – Recurring!

recurring app

Well folks, I guess it’s time I tried something other than bit shift operators and the command line on Linux, so my next project is something altogether different.

I am creating my very first iPhone app, hurrah!

To be honest, it’s something I’ve had on the to-do list for a long time. I’ve played around in Xcode and put a basic app on my poor, unsuspecting phone, but now it’s time to do something serious.

What on earth are you going to make?

What, ’cause there are a billion apps and it’s all been done before, right?

Have a little faith ;-)

In actual fact, I’m going to create something that I want. Something I’ve looked for many times, and never found.

I’m creating a task manager specifically for recurring tasks.

Huh?

Well, you know you get your usual to-do lists, right? And sometimes there are things you need to do repeatedly (pay bill, tax car, mum’s birthday, defrost freezer, that sort of thing)?

Well, finding a really good app for repeated tasks is really hard.

Impossible.

Seriously? Have you tried Things/Wunderlist/RTM/ToodleDo ?

Of course. I’ve spent hours playing around with productivity apps. More hours than I’d want to count.

But they don’t do what I need.

I want something SPECIFICALLY for recurring tasks.

So I’m going to build it.

Oh OK. When’s it gonna be finished then?

Give me a chance, I’ve only just started.

Wanna know more?

I promise you’ll be FIRST in the door, if you sign up for updates:

 

 

Or you can view my pretty sign-up page, dedicated to my new app. I created it especially :-)

‘Til next time.

 



The Passionate Programmer – Review

Title: The Passionate Programmer
Author: Chad Fowler
Published by: The Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2009
Date finished: 5 March 2014
My rating*: 7/10

passionateprogrammer

If you are the sort of person to pick this book up and read it, there is every chance that you will already do a fair amount of the suggestions within. Sadly, the people that could get the most out of this book will probably never learn of its existence…

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Never Stop Writing Code

To a certain extent, coding is something that you never completely forget. Although you may be a little slower after a break, once the problem-solving part of your brain fires up, you will still have the skills and knowledge to do the things you have always done.

However, coding is also a lot like the knowledge of a foreign language.

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GDB | Auto-Load Safe-Path Declined

More GDB shenanigans today, as kindly pointed out by one of my readers – thank you Laurent!

Did you know that as of GDB version 7.5 (Aug 2012), there is a new security feature in place that prevents GDB from looking in “non-trusted” directories for the super-useful .gdbinit file?

[For more on the usefulness of .gdbinit files, see here.]

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Debugging For Beginners

I read an interesting article today, called Debugging for Beginners, over at O’Reilly Programming.

You all know how much I love GDB (huh? you didn’t? seriously?), so I always like to take a look at different approaches to finding those elusive problems that plague all programmers (even those with decades of experience) from time to time.

Anyhow, I headed on over and was a little bit… disappointed. You see, Brian writes in a wonderful, readable way, about topics that concern all programmers, whatever their background. But, I found that the general focus of his article was less on how to debug (even at a higher, theoretical level), and more about how to make less mistakes.

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Bitwise Operators – Free Guide

Bitwise OperatorsI have an exciting new eGuide available.

Most of this info is available in various places on my site, but I’ve collated it all together in one document, and updated it, so it’s easier for you to use.

What does it cover?

It’s a no-jargon guide to the four bitwise operators in C (AND, OR, XOR, NOT).

Not only does it walk you through exactly how each one works, with examples, it also provides explanations of how they would be used in programming and (as if that wasn’t enough), there’s a handy quick-start guide at the end which you can refer to so you know exactly when to use each operator and why.

It’s all written in a no-nonsense, easy to read format, that makes programming the joy it should be.

Hurrah to that, I say.

 

 

 



Simple Programming | Binary Numbers

Here’s a really quick guide to binary numbers, because I use them in other posts and haven’t fully explained myself.

OK. Binary numbers are represented using only 1s and 0s:

01101001

This is the number 105 in binary. Honest.

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Understanding Pointers (with Lego) Part 1

Ahhh pointers.

I’ve been wanting to write a series of posts on pointers for a long time. When I’ve finished, I’ll upload a complete PDF eGuide. In the meantime, enjoy :-)

Pointers.

A concept that some programmers avoid through fear, others abuse through ignorance, and yet others manage to use with grace and efficiency.

Every programmer who does more than dabble in C and C++ needs to understand this subject. Properly.

This is Part 1 of a multi-part series, and there will be a lovely quiz at the end, which I expect you will all get 100% on after reading my posts, right?

Let’s crack on.

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How To Compile a 32-bit Executable on 64-bit Fedora 19

You know how sometimes you just have to compile and run a 32 bit program on a 64 bit machine, and it’s really annoying that it doesn’t seem to work?

Yeah, me too.

Turns out it’s actually pretty straightforward on Fedora 19.

First of all, you need to use the -m32 build flag. Below I’m using it to compile my program ‘pointers’:

gcc -m32 pointers.c -o pointers

You may run into the following error:

/usr/include/gnu/stubs.h:7:27: fatal error: gnu/stubs-32.h: No such file or directory
# include <gnu/stubs-32.h>
^
compilation terminated.

To fix this you need to install the 32 bit glibc-devel package. You can do this by running:

yum install glibc-devel.i686

Next, you might see this error:

/usr/bin/ld: skipping incompatible /usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-redhat-linux/4.8.2/libgcc_s.so when searching for -lgcc_s
/usr/bin/ld: cannot find -lgcc_s
collect2: error: ld returned 1 exit status

Which means you need to install the 32 bit standard C++ library package. You can do this by running:

yum install libstdc++-devel.i686

Then you can quite happily compile your executable with the -m32 flag, as above:

gcc -m32 pointers.c -o pointers

And, as if by magic, you get a 32 bit exe that runs on your 64 bit machine.

You can use the file command to admire what you’ve made:

[faye@localhost src]$ file pointers
pointers: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), 
for GNU/Linux 2.6.32, BuildID[sha1]=0x39958fed2f5c099ad97fd7512e780066acfb1231, not stripped


No Picture on TV with Playstation 1 Games and Elgato Game Capture HD

The first thing I tried to do when I got my Game Capture home was connect it up and video Tomb Raider 1 (the PS1 1996 original).

But it just wouldn’t work.

Although the Game Capture software could see the game output, the telly just displayed an unhelpful message saying Unsupported signal.

Even more bizarrely, the console output DID appear on the telly at start-up, but as soon as I tried to load a game, it vanished.

Bah.

Well, it turns out there is a fairly simple explanation and solution to this problem.

The PS1 is a retro console and the reason you can’t see the game on the television when you add in the Game Capture is because most modern televisions do not support low resolution input over HDMI.

Eh?

What I mean is, when you connect the PS1 to your TV, it ordinarily goes via a composite input. Composite input supports, among others, QVGA (quarter VGA) or 240 horizontal line resolution, which is what most PS1 games output.

But when you add the Game Capture into the equation, you’re sending the input to your TV via HDMI, not composite. Most televisions (ours included) do not support any resolution lower than 480 horizontal lines over HDMI.  The television just doesn’t understand the signal.

You can check this in your TV manual to be certain of the range that your HDMI input recognises.

Er, OK. So basically my PS1 is sending a signal via HDMI that my TV can’t use?

Exactly.

But how come I can see the console output at startup?

Ah. Yes – this is because the PlayStation itself outputs at a higher resolution than the games it plays.

Oh right. Now what?

OK, so there are various solutions to this problem.

For the full list of options (um, there are four), use this support page at Elgato (My TV can’t receive the HDMI passthrough when using Elgato Game Capture HD with my retro console) to see which is easiest for you.

We went with option 4 – buying a small HDMI to composite converter. We paid £27 on Amazon for ours.

The loss of quality was negligible using the mini converter and I was really pleased with how easy it was to use.

To see the converter in action with our PlayStation 1, check out this tutorial on the full set up.

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