Archive for June, 2009


Monday, June 29th, 2009

Over the weekend, I saw a fantastic low-budget science fiction movie called “Moon” starring Sam Rockwell, featuring the voice of Kevin Spacey, and directed by Duncan Jones. I don’t want to say too much about the film because I don’t want to give anything away (in fact, avoid the trailer and reviews if you can) but if your sci-fi preferences run more towards 2001, Moon is definitely worth seeing. That said, I understand that movie tastes are very subjective so I’ve devised a handy test that helps you decide.

Complete this sentence: “I saw Star Wars Episode I and felt that it needed …”

a) “… more boobs, exploding giant robots, and wacky ethnic characters like Jar-Jar.”

b) “… a plot.”

How to Create a Hologram on the iPhone / iPod Touch

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Smart Phones

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Occasionally, I’ll get a request to port Mach Dice to other platforms (Palm Pre, LG Touch, HTC Diamond, Google Android, Virtual Tabletop, etc.). But with a full time job, I barely have enough time to just work on the iPhone. So it isn’t likely any time soon. Still, I am curious. Do any of you have one of the other smart phones? Or does anyone have a sense of how many people own each of the devices? My impression is that iPhone has the biggest app customer base out there, but I’ve only ever seen anecdotal evidence.

iPhone 3.0 Sound Issue

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Over the weekend, I upgraded my iPhone and the corresponding SDK to OS 3.0. So far, things seem to be working pretty smoothly but I did run into one problem when recompiling Boom Dice. Some of the sounds stopped working. In the sound allocation command, I got back a result of “kAudioServicesSystemSoundUnspecifiedError”. But then I moved the sound files to a subdirectory, ran afconvert on them and then they worked. Here’s the command I used:

    afconvert -f caff -d LEI16 $x ../$x

And here’s the old broken sound file and the new working sound file.

iPhone OS 3.0

Friday, June 19th, 2009

I tend not to update my iPhone OS because I like to make sure my apps are backwards compatible. But it seems like OS 3.0 is getting a lot of buzz. Is it more important to test my apps with OS 3.0 or OS 2.2?

Fun With Holograms

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Back to Work!

Monday, June 15th, 2009

I took the last three month off from my day job to do some travelling, work on a couple iPhone apps, and take care of some other stuff. But now I’m back! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at work again but it also means less time developing iPhone apps and shorter blog posts for a while. Like this one.

The Woz Liked Holograms!

Friday, June 12th, 2009

This past week, I went to a bunch of WWDC parties. I’m too cheap to actually attend WWDC (it’s over $1000!) but the parties are free and sometimes they have cookies. I met a bunch of other iPhone app developers, saw some neat upcoming apps, and managed to get into the iPhone Launch Party with special guest Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple and creator of the Apple I and Apple ][.

Now, I’ve noticed that Holograms generally gets a pretty positive reaction but it definitely has a certain “geek” factor to it. I figured that if anyone at the party would appreciate Holograms, it’d be Steve Wozniak. So I snapped a photo of him, used my app to turn it into a hologram and showed it to him. Sure enough, he and his wife, Janet Hill, got a big kick out of it! That would have been cool enough but then he asked for my business card and when I gave him one, he gave me one of his. And let me tell you, Woz’s business card is nearly as awesome as he is. It’s a sheet of metal with laser-etched holes for his logo and each individual character is engraved and painted white. Also, the edges are quite sharp. I think I could kill an elephant with that thing.

I had lots of fun at all the WWDC parties but that was certainly the highlight of the week for me. He and his wife are both very sweet people and it was a pleasure meeting them.

Back to Boom Dice

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Now that the first version of Holograms has been released, I’m going back and working on the second version of Boom Dice. First order of business: make some sort of AI for single player mode. Does anyone who’s played it have any suggestions for strategy?

Holograms is Now Available on the iTunes Store!

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Woohoo! Holograms was approved for sale on Saturday afternoon and can now be purchased on the iTunes store. If you buy it this week, it’s only $0.99! It’s kind of a quirky app — not really a game or a utility and there isn’t anything else quite like it. So I think sales are going to mostly be driven by word of mouth and positive reviews. If you like it, please post a review on the iTunes store or consider chiming in on this Touch Arcade forum thread. But mostly, tell your friends about it!