Archive for June, 2011

iAd Results

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Here’s a couple weeks worth of data on my iAd revenue. I only have one app, Starfield 3D, that uses it.

To give you some context, about 20-40 people download my free app per day. Over the past two weeks, I got about $9.59 in ad revenue. In the same time period, I got about $5.60 from people buying the in-app purchase to remove ads.

I don’t have a lot of data points, but that seems to imply that ads and in-app purchases are fairly comparable with ads generating a little more. The interesting thing is that someone clicking on an ad generates somewhere around 25 cents of revenue for me. So theoretically, that person could generate me more money than someone who paid for the app if they were like really bored and enjoyed looking at ads.

iAd Experiment

Monday, June 27th, 2011

If you’ve got an iPhone, download my Starfield 3D app today and check out the iAds! (The app was originally written for the iPad but for some reason, iAds doesn’t show up on there.) If you see something interesting, tap the ad. In the next post, I’ll post my stats.

Counting Dice

Friday, June 24th, 2011

One of the features in Mach Dice is the ability to count different dice values (go into the settings and tap “Bottom Button Shows” for all the options). For example, you could roll “20d6” and have it count the number of 4s that you rolled.

This turned out to be pretty useful. But more often, you’ll want to count the number of dice that are greater than or equal to a particular value. So I’m starting to implement that feature as well.

I also discovered that the iPhone can display numbers in circles, like “➀” (“Dingbat Circled Sans-Serif Digit One”, or “Unicode 2780” for short). So I’ve tweaked the bottom bar display to make it a bit more readable.

36-Month Grace Period

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Here’s that short film project I mentioned before. It was another 48-hour film project and this time, the ingredients were:

  • a debt collector named Dan Sagan
  • a piece of chalk
  • the line, “Do you have any questions?”

We brainstormed on Friday night, starting with a list of assets that our group had (motorcycle, a bunch of computers, a baby, etc.). For some reason, Shion really fixated on the idea of using the baby in the short. I was a little skeptical because, hey, I’ve worked with that baby and I’ll tell you … working with babies is hard. They don’t take direction and you can’t get them to do more than a couple takes. On the other hand, they are super cute. So Emma and Shion wrote a beat sheet (it’s like a simplified script) and we went from there in the morning.

I make a brief appearance in the short so my main role was to wrangle the baby. But Emma, Shion, and Brett worked almost non-stop from early Saturday morning to late Sunday afternoon. Things went pretty smoothly except at the end when we nearly didn’t make the deadline because we couldn’t get the movie to export from Final Cut Pro. So we made the desperate decision to just film the computer screen of our movie playing in Final Cut Pro instead. As always, it was a ton of fun and a big learning experience. Specifically:

  • if you do want babies in your film, it’s important to be flexible
  • Final Cut Pro has trouble exporting black frames that are color corrected
  • it is theoretically possible to get from Berkeley to San Francisco in under 15 minutes

Duplo Math

Monday, June 20th, 2011

One of the challenges of taking care of a baby (besides sleep deprivation, constant lower back pains, stress over trying to preserve the life of someone with no innate sense of self-preservation, etc.) is that frankly, babies and their toys offer very little in the way of mental stimulation.

I get a some mental challenge from attempting to read the Japanese childrens books that various people have given us. But now he’s more into Duplos than books. So I experimented a bit and worked out that the dimensions of a standard Duplo block is 2 x 2 x 1.2 units cubed and that the nubs are 0.3 units in height. Here, I show an example of the Pythagorean theorem that x² + y² = z² for a right triangle.

Be The Match!

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

At work, we recently had a bone marrow donor match drive. One of my co-workers’ sons was recently diagnosed with leukemia. It’s unlikely that any one of us at work are a match, but the hope is that a drive like this will help find a match for someone else and that similar drives around the world will increase the chance of him finding a match.

It’s a very simple process. It just takes ten minutes to fill out the form and then a few cotton swabs rubbed in your cheeks. Only about 1 in 20,000 registrants ever gets called upon to subsequently donate (and even then, it is now mostly done with a simple non-surgical procedure). Please consider joining the bone marrow registry. It’s just a few minutes of your time and could possibly save someone’s life.

48-Hour Film Festival

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Over the weekend, I participated in another 48-hour film project.

You may recall the last times I did something like this with Agent Pepper and Rollin’ 3. Like then, this was a ton of fun working intensely with friends and a chance to make a couple new ones.

But this is the first time I’ve done something like this since having a baby and he got involved as well. (Surprisingly, it wasn’t my idea to have him in there, but I think it worked out well in the end.)

They still want to work out some of the technical issues before posting it online. But when it’s up, I’ll link the final project and talk about some of the experiences in that post. In the meantime, I’d like to thank the nice lady at the park who let us film her grandson.

48 Hour Filmmaker: San Francisco 2011 Check it out, I’ve got an official online badge and everything!

Stealing Candy From a Baby

Friday, June 10th, 2011
In which I find out just how easy it is to steal candy from a baby.

Big Shoes to Fill

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

The baby has taken to trying on my shoes for some reason and my friend Vince snapped this photo of him. It’s very cute but for some reason, it also makes me think of my dad.

It’s strange to think that by the time he was my age, my dad already had two kids getting ready close to school age. He was a great dad, very patient and way more stoic than I’ll ever be. But he also made us kids feel proud of whatever minor accomplishment we had achieved. Even now, more than a decade since his passing, I miss that. I wonder if I’m doing okay. But then I see my baby smile and I figure, I guess I’m doing at least one thing right.