Core Fruition

WWDC 2012 Photo Walk Sponsored by 500px

[Updated] As of this morning our little photo walk has a sponsor! Huge thanks to the guys over at 500px for helping out! If you don’t have an account on 500px go sign up now, it’s easily the best photo sharing site on the Internet.

As part of their sponsorship 500px is going to upgrade one participant’s account to Plus and another participant’s account to Awesome. Ash from 500px will be in attendance handing out some swag as well. After the event 500px will be collecting the best photos and featuring them on their blog. When uploading your photos from the walk to 500px just tag them with the tag WWDC-photowalk so the editors can find them easily.

A couple more links for you guys: You can follow 500px on Twitter here: @500px, and you can see my 500px account here: MrRooni on 500px.

tl;dr version:

What: A photo walk during WWDC, sponsored by 500px.

When: Wednesday, June 13th from 6:30 – ?

Who: You, me, and all our friends.

Why: Because making photos is fun and doing it with a bunch of people has to be fun too, right?

Where: From the Powell Street BART to the Ferry Building and then on to points TBD.

RSVP: Not required, but it’d be nice to hear that you’re coming. Send me a message on Twitter or an email to michael at this domain.

The Long Winded Version

During WWDC we have an awesome opportunity to get together with other photo geeks and make some great photos of one of the coolest cities in the world. As such, I figured it would be cool to organize a photo walk. We’ll meet up on the street at the Powell Street BART at 6:30 on Wednesday, June 13th. There are usually a good number of street performers around so it should make for a great location to wait while everyone shows up. Shortly thereafter we’ll head down Market Street towards the Ferry Building and then see where the winds take us.

Sunset is at 8:33PM and between San Francisco Bay and the Oakland Bay Bridge we should be able to make some great photos (if we decide to stay out that long).

There’s no need to RSVP, but it’d be great to know if you’re coming so please send me a message on Twitter or an email to michael at this domain.

You Should Subscribe to iOS Dev Weekly

My good friend Dave Verwer has taken it upon himself to keep the iOS development community informed of the latest and greatest happenings, one weekly newsletter at a time.

Each newsletter is concise, easily digestible, and always contains at least one link that I want to read. If you’re not already subscribed you should head over to, put your email address in the box, and click Subscribe.

Dash Over to the App Store for a Fast Doc Viewer

A few days ago I started using Dash to view developer documentation. I was immediately blown away by how insanely fast it was. It has quickly become my go-to app for searching and reading documentation. Today I found myself wishing it had better Xcode integration so I checked if the Dash developers had included a system service.

Success! Now I can simply highlight something in Xcode, hit control+command+L and have it brought it up in Dash.

If you haven’t gotten Dash yet, go get it, it’s awesome.

By the way, did you see what I did with the title there? Pretty clever, huh?

Getting More Out of the Xcode Product Menu

While working on MoneyWell tonight I used a key modifier in Xcode that I’m not sure everyone knows exists, but should. If you hold down the Option key on your keyboard while clicking on the Product menu you’ll see many of the menu items now show ellipses.

One of the benefits of the Option modifier is that you get to specify additional inputs to the action you choose. With the Run menu item, for instance, you can specify arguments passed at launch and environment variables.

A picture of the Xcode run product sheet showing extra options.

WWDC Attendee Guide

Last year was my first time attending WWDC and I can easily say that it was one of the most enjoyable weeks of my life. My geek squee didn’t shut off from the moment I left SYR until about 3 months after I returned.

I’ve been meaning to put together an attendee guide since I got back, so I figured what better time than two days before I leave for WWDC again this year.

  1. Pack jeans, t-shirts, and hoodies/sweatshirts/long sleeve shirts. San Francisco is not warm. It was typically between 50º and 65º the entire week last year.

  2. Stand in line for the keynote. I had a great time standing in line with people I had only known online and who have become good friends.

  3. Meet people. Many of us geeks are shy and that’s OK, but do yourself a favor and try to break out of your comfort zone and say hi to someone you don’t know. Easy conversation starters include, “Where are you from?”, “What have you worked on?”, and “Wanna see my Steve Jobs tattoo?”

  4. Find a group to hang out with. I had a really great group of folks that I  stuck with for most of the conference last year and it made it a much more enjoyable experience. Go to parties with them, sit with them in sessions, but don’t be exclusive. Remember to say hi to other folks too.

  5. Go to the sessions. Plan ahead of time by looking at the session list and see which ones interest you and try to hit all of them. There is some amazing information presented in these sessions so soak it all up. The videos that are made available after the fact are great, but only cover about 50% of what you will get by actually sitting through it.

  6. When you sit down in each session plug your laptop into a power strip and plug your iPhone into your laptop. Yes, even if it doesn’t need it. With the amount of tweeting and texting you will be doing you will be testing the limits of your iPhone battery every single day. NEVER waste an opportunity to charge it.

  7. Stay hydrated. Drink lots of lots of water to help keep your energy up. If you do this one simple thing you will not tire out the entire week.

  8. Charge your laptop and iPhone over night every night. It gives you a good jump on the day.

  9. Use the labs. The labs are basically free DTS incidents where you get to sit face-to-face with the Apple engineers that wrote the code that you are using to create amazing things. Ask them to help you work out an issue that you’ve hit. If you haven’t already done so, start a list of WWDC Lab Questions so that you’re prepared. If you aren’t working on anything or don’t have questions of your own, see if a friend (or a new friend) would mind if you tag along to their lab session. You will learn something.

  10. . Eat the free lunch. I had heard horror stories about the lunches at WWDC, but to be perfectly honest they were pretty good. Sit with folks you don’t know, strike up a conversation, and enjoy the free food. Even if you think the meal sucks, chances are the conversation won’t.

  11. . Go to the bars and go to the parties. Do not go back to your hotel room for more than 15 minutes after the conference ends for the day. Get changed (if needed), take a few minutes to stretch out on the bed and relax, then get your sneakers on and get back out the door. (see #3 above). Even if you are not normally a barfly or even if you don’t drink at all, get out there with a Pepsi in your hand and talk to people.

  12. . Do not get hammered every night. Enjoy the company with a drink or two, but don’t get blitzed. You want to be on your game for the full day of sessions the next day and you don’t want to waste a day puking and avoiding solid foods.

  13. . Use Twitter. Do a standing search for the #wwdc hashtag and get to the good parties and bars.

  14. . Nervous about talking to some of the famous folks in the Mac and iPhone programming world? Buy them a drink and don’t be shy about it. I have yet to see anyone decline free booze at WWDC.

  15. . Bring and handout business cards. Or anything that has your name and info on it. Something that helps me remember who you are. Yes, say what you want about handing out pieces of dead trees and I will no doubt agree with you, but to be perfectly honest the only people that I really remember from WWDC last year are the people with whom I exchanged business cards. When you get back to your hotel for the evening make a note on the cards you received to help you remember something about the person.

  16. . Email the people that you met when you arrive back home. When I got back to SYR I sent out a mass email to everyone whose email address I had acquired just to say “hi” and tell them that I had a great time meeting them. I’ve also emailed this same group a few times during the year just to drop them a line and let them know what I’m working on. It’s a good way to keep in touch.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but these are the things that really stick out to me from last year. Enjoy and I hope to see you there!

365Cocoa - Day 12: Custom Drawing

As I have neglected to post the second in my series on Cocoa drawing I’d like to point you to 365Cocoa for their next few posts starting with the one linked below. It sounds like they are going to go down the path I intended (and will probably do it better than I could have). Enjoy!

365Cocoa – Day 12: Custom drawing.

The Awesomeness That Is Bodega

Let’s get one thing out of the way first thing: I’m a big fan of Bodega and have been since I heard about it firsthand from the guys at during WWDC 2009.

Bodega is a free Mac application that helps you discover and download Mac applications. It is built in the spirit of great software sites like MacUpdate, but takes the experience and puts a great looking Cocoa wrapper around it. Make no mistake, this project is a big undertaking with a lot of moving parts and a lot of coordination between those parts. Yet with steady progress and determination these guys are really crafting something cool.

The impetus for this particular blog post is to gush about what I think is Bodega’s killer feature: keeping track of and installing updates for the applications installed on your computer. I really like Andy Matuschack’s Sparkle framework, but one of the necessary evils of that framework is that it doesn’t notify you that there is an update for a particular app until you run that app. When I launch an application it is done with the intention of performing a task immediately, but if there’s an update for that particular app I am yanked out of my workflow to deal with the question of updating the app first. Yes, I can continue to work, but in the back of my mind I’m thinking about how I don’t have the latest version of the software that I am currently using, and it bugs me.

Enter Bodega. Once every few weeks I will launch Bodega and click on the Applications section in its sidebar which presents me with a list of all the software currently installed on my system*. The killer feature is that Bodega scans all of the Sparkle feeds in these apps and will tell me if there’s an update for any of them. With two clicks (one to download and one to install) I can download and install any of the updates that I want. This simple process greatly reduces the chance that the next time I launch an app I will be presented with the option to download and install an update, Bodega has already taken care of it for me.

If you haven’t downloaded Bodega yet I highly recommend that you do and take it for a spin. If you’re a developer and you haven’t submitted your software to Bodega, I highly recommend that you do that too.

Downloading and installing updates (Stolen shamelessly from the Bodega website)
  • Bodega is opt-in for developers, so if a developer hasn’t submitted their software to the Bodega site it won’t know about that software on your computer.


Indie+Relief Banner

For those that may not have heard, Justin Williams has organized a great effort to provide financial relief to the people of Haiti. Set to take place throughout the day on January 20th, all the proceeds from the sale of participating software will be donated to Haiti. We here at No Thirst Software are participating with sales of MoneyWell and Debt Quencher. For a full list of participating software please check out the Indie+Relief website.

It’s a great cause and I know that I will be checking the list for software that’s on my “to buy” list. I suggest that you do the same.