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@Iconfactory Gets Spooky!

October 12th, 2016

Rob Fahrni


If you’ve read my weblog, or follow me on Twitter, you know my affection for The Iconfactory. They’re the creators of Twitterrific, my favorite Twitter client, amongst other great Mac and iOS Software.

If you don’t know they’re also the creators of many of the icons and emoji you use on a daily basis. Things like Twitter emoji and Facebook emoji. Yes, you too can have The Iconfactory create you a custom set of emoji, icons, or even design and build an entire iOS or Mac App for you.

With the release of iOS 10 The Iconfactory has been cranking out Sticker Packs! With Halloween fast approaching it was perfect timing to release a bunch of spooky, not to mention fun, sticker packs.

I’m not sure if the Hack-O-Lantern, Ravenswood, or Boneheadz are my favorite. I’ve been driving my wife nuts with custom built Jack-O-Lanters from the Hack-O-Lantern pack. They’re a great deal of fun!

Oh, one more thing. These packs also include really great wallpapers! Make sure you scroll to the bottom of the sticker pack and tap on the pack name in the bottom left corner for added fun!

Work Note: Crash at Startup loading libswiftCore.dylib

October 11th, 2016

Rob Fahrni

Future self. If you run into this error when trying to run a build.

dyld: Library not loaded: @rpath/libswiftCore.dylib

Do a Project > Clean, then rebuild. Worked this time around.


October 11th, 2016

Rob Fahrni

A wonderful bouquet of flowers.iMore: “At this point, though, it’s time to forget working it out. Mistakes were clearly made on both sides, and there may be no way for the real truth to ever be known, or for everyone to win. But there’s a way to stop anyone else from losing further: Fix it, unilaterally, because you’re Apple, and you can.”

I was going to write about this, but Rene Ritchie capture my feelings perfectly. Mistakes were made on both side.

It would be nice for Apple to forgive and forget.

Visio Love

October 9th, 2016

Rob Fahrni

John Marshall: “Back in the days of Visio 3.0, Visio was the first non Microsoft company to fully implement VBA, including the macro recorder. So, it should just be a matter of a few lines of VBA code.”

John is a long time Visio MVP and all around good guy.

Visio + VBA make for a powerful pairing. You can create all kinds of interesting stuff. John published a nice little hunk of VBA for populating a Master’s Prompt text from its Description text.

It’s worth noting that VBA is 23-years old as of this writing, it was introduced in 1993. It’s a mature, solid, technology. I loved working with it.

Battersea Power Station

October 2nd, 2016

Rob Fahrni

Battersea Power Station

London Evening Standard: “Apple will occupy the top six floors inside the former boiler house around a huge central atrium. There will also be three floors of shops, 253 apartments around a “garden square in the sky”, a 2,000-seater auditorium and cinemas in a scheme designed by London architects Wilkinson Eyre.”

If you know me you know I love seeing companies move into an area to refurbish an iconic building. I wish more companies would do stuff like this instead of buying a piece of land and putting up a new building.

I have a thing about downtown Fresno and Detroit. I’ve witnessed some great moves in downtown Fresno thanks to the leadership behind Bitwise Industries. They have big ambitions and I’m hopeful they’ll pull a rabbit out of the hat. I’ve heard Detroit’s once glorious downtown is making a comeback.

I’m more interested in this project than the new spaceship, if you can believe that.

Apple Watch in the Hospitality Industry

October 2nd, 2016

Rob Fahrni

Eater: “When Meyer’s 30-year-old Union Square Cafe reopens in Manhattan next month, every floor manager and sommelier will be wearing an Apple Watch. And when a VIP walks through the front door, someone orders a bottle of wine, a new table is seated, a guest waits too long to order her or his drink, or a menu item runs out, every manager will get an alert via the tiny computer attached to their wrist.”

This is pretty nifty. One thing I notice when I’m moving about, doing something physical, I may miss taps. It’s rare, but it does happen on occasion.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this.

Binge-worthy TV shows

October 1st, 2016

Rob Fahrni

Scripting News: “Shows I loved and highly recommend”

Dave has a pretty big list of shows he’s binge watched. I will definitely be adding many of these to my list.

Here are a few I’ve really enjoyed missing from his list.

  • The Walking Dead
  • Fear The Walking Dead
  • True Detective – Season one is very good
  • Longmire – I’m only into early season four.
  • Stranger Things – So very good

That’s all I can think of for now, I may add some more later.

The Omni Group and The App Store

September 30th, 2016

Rob Fahrni

The Omni Group: “The app is now a free download. When you first run the app, you’re asked whether you’d like to start a trial or purchase a license. But before you purchase anything, we also explain that discounted pricing is available to existing Mac App Store customers. If you check for discounts, validating your previous install, we either offer you discounted upgrade pricing (50% off) or—for recent purchasers—a completely free upgrade to the new version.”

This is a significant breakthrough. The App Business is a tough nut to crack, especially with millions of competitors in the store. Couple that with the lack of trials and it’s very difficult to keep a business afloat. The Omni Group happens to be a longtime developer of Mac Apps so they know what’s at stake. They create beautifully designed and engineered software at a fair price for Mac and iOS. They’re one of the best in the business.

Until now only really big companies have been able to provide what could be seen as a trial. Microsoft and Adobe are so large they setup subscriptions for their software, think Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud. While Omni is definitely one of the big players in the Mac and iOS market they’re still a very small company. With this move it finally appears that Apple is relaxing their stance on trials a bit. For productivity software having the ability to use a trial that creates meaningful output and becomes a read-only viewer after a period of time is huge. This will give folks the time to create some drawings, kick the tires, and decide if they really want to purchase OmniGraffle. Brilliant!

Future macOS Frameworks

September 26th, 2016

Rob Fahrni

Duct Tape, fixer of all things!I stumbled upon an interesting conversation between some well know Apple Ecosystem Developers this morning discussing, maybe lamenting, the lack of UIKit on macOS. I’m afraid I may have pushed these fellas to take their conversation private, I am sorry if that was the case.

Here’s the tweet that started the conversation:

I’m not known in any development communities. I’m what you’d call a nobody. But I’m a nobody with years of experience that has seen changes to my development ecosystem.

Having experienced a dramatic shift in Windows Development technologies I have opinions about what I would expect to see from Apple. These opinions and $10.00 should be enough to buy you any item on a Starbucks drink menu. Take if for what it is. An opinion of a nobody.

What I Expect

Given Apple’s love and focus on Swift I fully expect Apple to put their effort into moving their frameworks to focus on Swift while continuing to allow App developers to use Objective-C with anything new. I’ve written about the idea of Swift only Frameworks. I believe we will eventually arrive there. For now we have excellent UIKit support for three different devices; iOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Odd man out would be macOS. It doesn’t make sense, at least to me, for Apple to spend time back porting or adapting UIKit to the Mac. Their bread and butter is their  iOS based trio of the phone, watch, and cable like device. Since iPhone accounts for around 60% of revenue it makes sense for the iOS Platform to be their primary focus. That begs the question, will the Mac ever receive the attention we’d like it to receive? Probably not.

In the end I’d expect Apple to push iOS forward while keeping the Mac as a primary development system for iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS developers with the latter receiving very little attention from a new Frameworks perspective.

A Brief History of Windows Development

Like I said above, I’m opinionated and I’ve been around the block a few times. I know Apple isn’t Microsoft and people tend to hate those comparisons. But I do see similarities between the Microsoft of the 90’s and the Apple of today. That’s a discussion for another time.

The discussions around Frameworks reminds me of Microsoft’s transition to .Net and C# as an easier way for developers to create Windows Apps. Apple is making such a big push with Swift a new framework targeting Swift developers feels like a natural progression.

It’s taken over 15-years to really push app development into a .Net world. I suppose some could argue it took less than 10 and I wouldn’t fight that. The point is Microsoft managed to push an entire development community to a new technology while allow old technologies to continue to not only function but grow. Look at the Microsoft Office Apps and Adobe Photoshop among others. They continue to be very relevant today and continue to add new features while the Windows API receives much less attention than does .Net and C#.

Ultimately the point is I know Apple could choose to push toward a Swift only framework and allow legacy Objective-C/Cocoa apps to continue to grow and thrive. Microsoft is a prime example of how a company could pull it off.

I think it’s kind of nice being a new developer to Apple’s platforms. I don’t have 20+ years of baggage like I do with Windows. It’s been so much easier to move from Objective-C to Swift because of it. Well, that and being most familiar with C++ made the transition to Swift feel more natural to me.

Whatever Apple has in store for us, be it the growth of Cocoa, a new Swift centered framework, or a Swift only framework, I’m ready for it and welcome it.

macOS Sierra and my MacBook Pro

September 25th, 2016

Rob Fahrni

I recall listening to a podcast I really love a few months back and one of the hosts described his late 2011 as unusable. That statement is completely hyperbolic. I’m writing this post on my late 2011 15in MacBook Pro and it runs just fine.

If you’re an Indie dev and looking for a MacBook Pro laptop to get started I’d recommend considering a late 2011 15in MacBook Pro. When you get it add some additional RAM to it and pickup a nice big SSD for it. It’ll server you well, just like mine continues to serve me.

macOS Sierra