Archive for January, 2010

My Brother-in-Law’s Caruso Sauce

Friday, January 29th, 2010

My brother-in-law, Chris Hughes, is the Chef de Cuisine at a restaurant called Tre Amici in Dallas, Texas. He recently made an appearance on TV! Check it out:

The New Apple Tablet Will Be Called…

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

My friend, Webb, has an interesting theory:

Ok, so I’ll indulge in a bit of reading the tea leaves on the eve of Apple’s tablet announcement: the rumored apple tablet will be called the ‘iBook‘.

  • Jobs is reportedly quoted as saying, “This will be the most important thing I’ve ever done.”  I’d rank re-inventing the book as a far grander undertaking than re-inventing the phone.
  • The iBooks were re-named MacBooks back in 2006.  ’Mac’ is associated with computers (Mac Pro, MacBook) and ‘i’ is assciated with devices (iPod, iPhone, and now iBook).  Granted, ‘iMac’ does not fit into the devices classification.
  • Fits with all the rumors of the return of publishing.   “Apple has just re-invented the book.  Meet the iBook.”  Cue the demo of full screen NYT app followed by National Geographic then a stack of textbooks.
  • Finally, I like ‘iBook’ far more than ‘iPad’ or ‘iSlate’ (the current front runners for the name).  it just rolls off the tongue and is simple and evocative of the product.

“But books don’t show video,” you argue.  They do now.

I like the name “iBook” as well. I would note that Apple actually had a product called the iBook back in 1999. On the one hand, it means that the name is not new. But on the other, it means that Apple already owns the name and it really fits well this time.

Baby Shower Activity

Monday, January 25th, 2010

We had a baby shower over the weekend and one of our friends suggested that we get a bunch of plain white infant body suits and fabric markers to have guests draw on them. It was a great suggestion and I’d highly recommended it as a baby shower activity. Whether or not your friends are artists, it’s lots of fun seeing what they come up with. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if some of your friends happen to draw cartoons for a living…

Word Apps

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

I’ve been playing a lot of word games on my iPhone lately so I thought I’d share the ones I like: Word Fu, Scramble 2, and Words with Friends. I’m partial to Word Fu because it uses Mach Dice code for the dice physics but it’s also a great single player game. Scramble 2 is sort of like Boggle and the best part about it is that you get to see all the possible words at the end of the game, including many that you’ve never heard before (“merocrine” is a word?!). And Words with Friends is a great multi-player only version of Scrabble. Right now, I’m mostly playing with my cousins and they’re kicking my butt (“strow” is a word?!).

What Would You Do With an Apple Tablet?

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

There’s been a lot of speculation about what an Apple Tablet and it seems like almost a certainty that it’ll be officially announced on January 27. I don’t have any rumors to contribute, but I am kinda curious about one thing: What would you do with one?

If I had one, I’d want to develop some sort of simple multi-player touch based game, maybe something like Warlords back on the Atari 2600. Ultimately, I’d love to make some sort of interactive board game or role playing game on a giant table sized version of the tablet. I know about the Microsoft Surface, which is exactly what I want, except that it costs $10,000!

But if I wasn’t a developer, I’m not sure what I’d do with an Apple Tablet. I mean, it’s too big to fit in my pocket and if I’m not carrying it around all the time, why wouldn’t I just use my laptop? So I’m curious what other people might use it for.

Racism and Politics

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Dear Mach,

Was Senator Harry Reid being racist when he said that the US would be “ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama – a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.’”?

Concerned about Controversy

Dear Concerned,

What the hell?! I write a blog about iPhone apps. Why would you possibly want to ask me about something like that?! Well, since you asked…. First off, no one person can speak on everyone’s behalf, even if they are a member of an ethnic minority. But no, I don’t think the comments were racist.

There’s a tendency in America to shy away from any discussion of race but apart from Reid’s choice of words of “Negro dialect”, he’s just saying what a lot of minorities already know and live with. Being Asian, a lot of people make certain stereotypical assumptions about me: that I’m good at math, know martial arts, and am a fantastic lover. Well, okay, yes, I just so happen to fit all those stereotypes but that’s not the point. The point is that it is a fact of life that mainstream America will not accept you if you are too far outside what is considered the norm. That’s an unfortunate and sometimes uncomfortable fact, but that doesn’t make commenting about it racist.

We’re Having a Baby!

Friday, January 15th, 2010

My wife and I always wanted kids but due to medical issues, it looked like we weren’t going to be able to have any. (And I’ll tell you, that made working on Up and then watching it with Tracy that much more emotional.) But then we heard about a surrogacy program in India. So we looked into it, traveled to India last year and now it looks like it’s actually happening. We’ll be going back to India and when we come back, we’ll be parents!

Surprising Spike in Sales

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Dear Mach,

I’ve developed a couple iPhone apps. The first one I developed was a beginner app and I didn’t get very many sales from it. But then in October, it suddenly started to get a couple dozen sales a day and it continues to do so. Any idea why that would be?

Pleasantly Surprised by Sales

Dear Pleasantly,

First of all, congratulations! I haven’t noticed any October spike in sales for my own apps, so I don’t think it was a global thing. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps Apple changed the way they related apps in their recommendation section, which may have increased the exposure of your app in particular.

Mach

Have an iPhone question? Feel free to email me and I might answer in a column like this! Heck, I’ll probably answer non-iPhone related questions, too.

Best App Ever Award Nomination!

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Woohoo! My iPhone app, Mach Dice, was nominated for the 2009 Best App Ever Award in the Best Dice Game category! It’s an award given out by 148Apps.com, a website about picking the best 148 apps for your iPhone or iPod Touch (148 = 9 pages of 16 apps each + 4 apps on the static bar). It’s a great honor to be nominated, especially as it’s the only general purpose dice roller app in any category to get a nomination.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, Mach Dice isn’t a dice game, it’s a dice utility.” Perhaps. But what is a dice game except a set of dice and a bunch of rules? And while Mach Dice provides the set of dice, you’re free to choose whatever rules you’d like: Craps, Dice 10,000 (or Zilch), Cee-lo, D&D, Rolemaster, etc. The only limit is your mind. Oooh… So go cast your vote for Mach Dice now!

(Or, hey, if you’re looking for a more conventional dice game with scores and rules and such, check out my other app, Boom Dice, which I’m actually working on right now.)

Reply to the Paaaast

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Ah, that was neat seeing Monday’s post. I really did write that back in January of 2009.

So, it’s a bit early to tell, but I think 2010 is going to be better than 2009. The economy has stopped getting worse and is slowly showing some signs of recovery.

On a more local note, I did indeed write a couple more apps: Boom Dice and Holograms. Boom Dice still needs a bit more work, but I’m happy to say that Holograms has quite a few fans (including Steve Wozniak!). I’m still blogging on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule and I think more people read my blog now than last year but it’s still a pretty small readership. (Hi, Mom!)

Let’s see, what else did I do in the past year? I got into a motorcycle accident, we traveled to India, visited friends in Switzerland, I worked on a short film about a talking pepper, and wrote a novel. Oh, I also baked some yummy mini cheesecakes. MMmmmm…

Looking back on it, I can see that I didn’t anticipate hardly any of the big things that happened. But in the end, they turned out well. (Okay, maybe the motorcycle accident wasn’t great but I did end up getting a great deal on an even better bike from my co-worker.) It was a surprisingly eventful year and I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2010 will bring. Actually, I do know of one thing, but more about that in a future blog post…