Monthly Archives: March 2015

Work Note: Conditional Breakpoints in Xcode

If you’ve been developing for any period of time you’ll understand that the debugger is your friend. This tip is probably not new to a lot of folks, but I thought I’d share for anyone new to Xcode, Cocoa, and Objective-C development.

The Conditional Breakpoint

We’ve all set breakpoints in Xcode while debugging, but did you know you can set conditional breakpoints? Let’s say you’re processing a large quantity of data and you say to yourself “Man, I wish I could break right here when the value of this string is ‘labs'” Guess what, you can. Two easy steps

Step #1: Right click (Command-Click) on the breakpoint and select Edit Breakpoint…

Edit Breakpoint in Xcode

Step #2: In the popover type “(BOOL)[documentName isEqualToString:@”labs”]” into the Condition field.

Xcode Breakpoint Condition
That’s all you need to do! In this case the breakpoint will be skipped until documentName is “labs.”

My TV Favorites

I am addicted to a few television programs, three to be exact.

AMC’s The Walking Dead

I have been a dedicated fan since day one. Haven’t missed an episode and until a mishap with our DVR I had every episode recorded. The last two seasons are locked on the DVR. I don’t know why I keep them, I just do. I need to buy them from Amazon so I can watch from our Fire TV whenever I feel like it. 

A couple years back AMC and Dish Network had a little spat. Ask my wife how bummed I was about that. I bought the season on XBox Live, watched the first episode, and the AMC/Dish spat was reaolved so I could go back to watching without the need for the XBox.

My favorite season to date is season two, on the farm. Dale is still one of my favorite characters. He brought a sense of humanity to a mad, mad, world. They could use that humanity in season five. Our beloved group has become feral, unable to live in a civilized setting (with good reason, of course.)

Longmire

I think deep down inside I’d love to live a rugged life. Walt Longmire reminds me of my grandfather; J.R. Johnson, tough as nails, but fair and forgiving. The kind of man that would do anything for his friends and family. Couple his sensibilities with the dangerous beauty of Wyoming and I’m sold. 

It looks like forward thinking Netflix has picked up season four. Fantastic!

Penny Dreadful

The commercials were enough to prompt me to become a Showtime subscriber last spring. This show is chock full of powerful actors that don’t disappoint. It manages to bring together every horror story ever told in a new, cohesive, way. And that was just season one!

Season two starts soon. Not soon enough for this guy given the season finale of The Walking Dead airs tonight.

I’m Looking forward to some great summer television.

Used Apples

That Watch looks great on your wrist.9to5Mac: “Lee is a server at a restaurant. He considers himself a trendy guy and is looking for something that will look great while he’s working and when he’s out with friends. He’s interested in the Apple Watch collection and has narrowed his choices to these favorites:”

I love Apple. I feel I have to get that out of the way because I’m not happy seeing these personas, if they’re real (they may not be.) It’s obvious whoever created the Lee persona doesn’t have a clue how much a server at a restaurant makes. Lee may have great tastes, but his tastes outweigh his salary. Maybe Apple will have its own financing?

Here’s a guy that most likely makes less than $1000.00 a month and an Apple employee is going to encourage him to purchase the most expensive version of Apple Watch? This feels irresponsible.

I’m not sure how Apple Retail employees are trained. Maybe they’re taught to upsell every product in the store? “Hey, Bob, I think that 6 Plus looks swell in your gigantic man hands.” It could happen, right?

I’d love to hear from someone in Apple Retail. Does Apple train you to upsell the entire product line, or is this unique to the Watch?

Ted Johnson’s Visio Recollections

The original Visio, four shapes, logo and application icon.Ted Johnson’s Visio Corporation Info: “In just over two years, we had started a company, built a team, raised two rounds of venture funding, designed, built, tested, documented, and taken-to-market the last highly-successful commercial desktop application.”

Great backstory on the inspiration for, and the creation of, Visio 1.0. Two years is all it took to create the first release.

Definitely software’s golden age.

Team vs. Tools

objc.io [Brent Simmons]: It almost doesn’t matter what the details are — how we’re organized, what we use for source control management, and so on — because a great culture makes for a happy team that will figure out how to work together. And Omni has done a great job with that.”

Omni is one of the class acts in all of software. They’ve created a culture of greatness. If you didn’t know Omni has been doing Cocoa since before it was Cocoa. They started off writing code for NeXT boxes long ago. Their suite of productivity tools for Mac and iOS are unmatched. 

If you have the opportunity go listen to The Record #6 – Tim Woods (hosted by Chris Parrish and Brent Simmons, listen to the entire series, it’s really great.) This episode will give you a bit of Omni history. 

It’s all about the team in the end, not the tools.

Rich Athletes

The Baltimore Sun: “Despite Smith’s stated desire to remain with the Ravens, the team is just $4.639 million under the salary cap and couldn’t match what he’ll make as a free agent. In addition to the 49ers, Smith has been linked to several teams, including the Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs.”

I don’t understand rich people. This probably explains why I’m not filthy rich. Here we have a mega wealthy athlete, making millions of dollars annually to play a game, and he’s balking at the idea of $4 million a year. Wow, that’s a crap ton of money. If he really wanted to stay in Baltimore he would renegotiate his contract and accept less money, right?

“I’d like to stay in Baltimore” is code for this team better find a way to pay me what I want, or I’m bouncing, he doesn’t really want to stay, or he would.

Crossy Road

Polygon: “Once you realize you don’t have to hunt whales, and you can make money in this way, then hopefully people will give it a shot, and we’ll get lots of cool stuff on the app store,” he says.”

These guys made $10 million in 90 days, and they did it without using the scummy formula used by a lot of popular games today. They made a fun to play game that included In-App Purchase, but you didn’t have to buy stuff to get ahead, you could buy characters because you wanted them. That’s it.

I hope we see more and more apps move toward this model.

Disrupting Movie Theatres

NPR: So the streaming service plans to release the film in theaters and online at the same time, an emerging strategy in the industry. But some major theater chains are not playing along: AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Carmike have refused to screen it.”

It looks like Netflix is making a full out assault on a couple fronts; Cable and Movie Theatres. 

The theatres better get their act together or they’ll be declaring bankruptcy. Forward thinking movie theatres, like Alamo Drafthouse, won’t be afraid to welcome ideas like this.

A $349 Watch? You’re Rich.

Tech Crunch: “And that is the target market of the Apple Watch. Not “rich people” (though there’s a model specially for them), not “tech geeks” and not “Apple fanatics.” It’s people who want more time, and that is a very large target.”

Face it. If you can spend $349.00 on a watch, you are rich.