Learning iOS Development – Day 3 & 4: Lynda

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It’s been awhile, but I decided to take up this subject (yet again.) Although I do still have access to Safari Online, a friend of mine lent me his copy of iPhone SDK Essential Training DVD from Lynda.com for comparison. I spent the last two days watching the video. It’s just under 7 hours, but I spread it over two days because I was watching Tebow get his butt handed to him against the Patriots (sigh, I was hoping for more.)

The video in a word is Awesome.

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Microsoft Love — Finally

201011250858.jpgI’m totally shocked and amazed by some of Microsoft’s latest offerings. If you are a Mac user, do yourself a favor and check out some of the Microsoft offerings. They have been quietly been making advances on a number of fronts:

Windows Live Office -> Windows SkyDrive: I signed up for the Windows Live Office when it first came out because I was testing all sorts of cloud based apps at the time. Microsoft has recently decided (for better or worse) to closed out Live Office and migrating all accounts to SkyDrive. While there seems to be some complaints online about this move, for the limited uses I have found for Live Office, I’m just happy about going from 5GB of free disk space to 25GB!!

Office 2011 for Mac: OMG – that pretty sums it up. Awesome features, very similar to Office 2010 on PC (which is actually a good thing for those of us who have to use PCs at work.) Connects to SkyDrive and SharePoint! I’m still playing with it and I’m pretty impressed so far with the overall functionality. I’ve delved into a little VBA coding and i’m trying to decide if I should try out the Outlook client. The only negative to adding this software to my machine – it doesn’t have anything to do with the product itself, but more my comfort level — I re-installed ClamXAV. Yeah, I’ve been burned too many times in the PC world. Now with this product (with VBA) being on the Mac, time to start thinking about security again.

Silverlight 4.0: Okay – in the past this was always a pain to install. However, I’d like to personally thank the install wizards for finally changing the install script to:

`/usr/sbin/system_profiler SPHardwareDataType -xml | grep “PowerPC”`;

Yup.. that’s right. It’s not looking for Intel chips anymore. It’s looking for PowerPC chip before erring out. Latest version installed without any hacking. Woohoo!

-JT

Dell Mini 9 – Just Over 1 week In

dellmini9.pngThe last couple of days been just gorgeous outside. Now that I have a newly hackintoshed Dell Mini 9, I’ve spent the last couple of days outside with it instead of indoors with the big machine. I have to say that, for my needs, the device has worked admirably as a stand in for the big machine. It blows my mind the number of negative reviews there are out on the internet about the device.

Yes, it’s underpowered. Yes, it does have a small screen. Yes, it doesn’t have a large hard drive. Yet, these are the things are also it’s strong points. Having such an “underpowered” machine makes you really think about what you’re going to be able to do with the machine. It forces you to make compromises – which in the end, doesn’t really affect the quality of your work, but may end up saving you a ton money.

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Makeup Photo! – Automatic online photo retouching

200903240826.jpgStumbleUpon this site just this morning. Makeup Pho.to allows you to upload or retrieve a portrait image from the internet and it will perform a number of image enhancements to that image automatically. The initial touchup will include: “Skin Makeup”, “Eye Makeup”, Teeth whitening, and “Glamour effect”. I uploaded a portrait of myself and the site did an EXCELLENT job of touching it up. It literally shaved 10 years off the portrait.

Once your picture has been touched up, the site gives you several options : you can manually touch up the picture using their online tools, you can simply save it to your machine, or “shared” the picture on the net by allowing the picture to be hosted by Pho.to and the site provides all the necessary http/embedded code to help link to the picture, or you can save to a Pho.to account. The site only supports jpg, jpeg, gif, and png files.

The site is actually a subdomain/application of the Pho.to site and is “Powered by Photo Enhancement Platform from Pho.to”. The Pho.to site has a number of other manipulation tools that you can use to change your pictures. I just think that this one, Makeup Pho.to, is the best.

The other great thing about this site: it’s FREE! This is a great site if you don’t have a workflow process already setup in Photoshop – or are just too lazy to launch Photoshop.

-JT