'Programming' Category

Microsoft BUILD 2011 Video (sans Silverlight)

Microsoft’s BUILD 2011 conference is currently underway, and with its focus on what’s shaping up to be the most revolutionary update to Windows since 95 eclipsed 3.1 over 15 years ago there’s big news coming thick and fast out of Anaheim. Just like Apple has in the past required the OS X version of Quicktime to stream coverage from developer events, the video content on the official BUILD website is presented using Silverlight, precluding a great many from enjoying the available footage.

Luckily, MSDN’s ‘Channel 9’ video repository has streams in raw MP4, with a high quality option for ‘iPad, WP7’ and standard, for ‘iPod, Zune HD’.

The streams are located here, so get ready to make a tear in the fabric of time and space by watching Steve Ballmer pump up the developers, developers, developers on your Android or iOS devices.

Day 1 keynote embedded after the break. (more…)

Hidden Messages from AOL?

I saw the above job listing from AOL on the CrunchBoard at TechCrunch.com for a back-end software developer (see the listing here). The listing is oh-so-cleverly stuffed with carefully chosen capitalised words – the first paragraph reads ‘You love coding and web architecture’, while the second declares that ‘We [AOL] build stuff to help people’.

Fine, very cute. The message hidden in the final paragraph appears to have a very different flavour:

‘A bad reputation means we have nothing to lose’

You said it. Is someone having a joke here or is AOL the most self aware company on the planet? Hmmm, that doesn’t sound quite right…

Schedule WordPress Backups Using Cron

I was contacted a couple of days back by a reader who wanted to add my super simple WordPress backup program to Cron, the Unix task scheduler, to create automated regular snapshots of his site. Backing up my website using the program is something I normally do by hand as part of my general system maintenance routine, but the program is easily incorporated in to Cron to run on a timer. Completely by coincidence, I suffered a WordPress plugin failure within a couple of days of creating the Cron job, and thanks to my now daily backups I was able to restore from a 10 hour old snapshot with the minimum of fuss. (more…)

Colorshare – Available in the App Store

Hot off the presses and approved by Apple mere moments ago, colorshare will become available in regional iPhone App Stores the world over over the next 48 hours or so.

Colorshare is a simple utility which allows you to quickly design a palette of colours on your iPhone or iPod Touch and with the tap of a button share it with the web using the unique palette ID number, which you can punch right into the colorshareapp.com homepage.

Once you’ve entered the ID of the palette you want to work with, it will appear on screen alone with a full breakdown of each colour in RGB, hexadecimal and CMYK.

Colorshare is completely free, and you can grab it from the App Store by following this link.

WikiKnowItAll – In the App Store

Brand new to the iOS App Store, WikiKnowItAll lets puts your own personal wiseacre right in your pocket. We all know someone who knows something about everything, and with Wikipedia behind them your WikiKnowItAll will never run out of interesting factoids – or enthusiasm for letting you know. The app is available in the iOS App Store today.




TWiT Early Show Downloader

For me, TWiT network is one of the most valuable resources on the internet: their programming is always informative, slick and balanced, and the guests are always top-teir tech talkers.

As with most pod/netcasts broadcast from the States, the scheduling of live shows is always at pretty peculiar hours of the day thanks to the time difference, which means waiting for the edited version to be uploaded and published to the TWiT website.

Handily, the editors seem to work much quicker than the web folks over in Petaluma, CA, and the shows are normally uploaded quite a bit earlier than they are listed on the website. I’ve been using a little Python program which I wrote to download the shows before they are linked on the site, which you can grab using the instructions below. It uses cURL to download the files so it’ll work on Macintosh and Linux systems.


iPhone App Preview – colorshare

Coming soon to the web and the iPhone, a very quick and very easy way to prototype color schemes and share them online. ‘colorshare’ is currently in testing, but it should soon be available on the iOS App Store as a free download.

Meanwhile, the future home of the application on the web is online already, with features (beyond a placeholder) coming soon.

Install Xcode 4 on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

Macintosh and iOS developers upgrading to Lion are in for a slice of annoyance, courtesy of Xcode 4.

Xcode was one of the first programs I installed after the Lion upgrade, but after downloading the massive (4GB+) setup file for the second time – direct from the Mac App store – I was met with an error informing me that Xcode was not compatible with Lion.

But I downloaded it straight from the Mac App Store, where all of the latest software is available, right?

Well yeah, that is correct, kinda. Unfortunately it seems that anyone who shelled out for Xcode 4 on Snow Leopard is being directed to the old version. There is a new version available on the Mac App Store, but if you’re reinstalling from your purchase history then you’re downloading the wrong thing, man.

So don’t download Xcode from your purchase history! Head over to this page and grab Xcode 4.1 instead.

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion DOES Ship With X11

And I’ve got the eyes to prove it. There seems to be some concern online that Lion ‘ships’ (can we even say that any more?) without X11. Well, one of the first things I’ve checked out on my retail copy of Lion is X11, which is present as ever.

Open a Terminal window, type ‘xeyes’ at the prompt and you’ll see X11 staring right back at you.

This installed by default on my MacBook Pro, but if you find it missing from your installation you can install it from the ‘Packages’ folder on the Lion install USB key/DMG.

Install Java for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

Like many people out there living on the Macintosh, I’ve spent the best part of this evening backing up, installing and downloading files, all to upgrade my machines to the latest and greatest from Cupertino, CA – OS X Lion. I’ve got a pretty epic Evernote listing all the software I need to reload, but one absentee from the default install is the Java platform. As a Java dev, this is one of the first points I’ve looked to address.

Installing Java on OS X Lion is actually really easy, but for some reason starting the process is not very obvious.

Java is installed by the Software Update program, however to launch the process you’ll need to open a Terminal window and type:

$ java

Software Update will take it from there. Seems so odd, the pairing of Terminal and Software Update, probably the least and most friendly parts of the Mac OS.