All posts by Rob Fahrni

About Rob Fahrni

Husband / Father / Developer

On Jony Ive’s Departure

Ben Thompson[Stratechery]: “Again, though, I think Ive is in part a cautionary tale: he did his best work under Jobs, while the last few years have been more fraught from a design perspective; if Ive was not entirely up to the task of being the ultimate arbiter of all things Apple, who can be?”

That captures it for me. It always felt like after Steve Jobs passing Ive was free to do what he wanted. The checks and balances provided by Steve Jobs were gone. The obsession with thin and light was more pronounced than ever which lead to gluing components into the computer body making Apple designs less repair friendly.

Maybe that wasn’t Ive that decided to go thinner and lighter at the expense of all else? I have no idea, I’m just spitballing here. But Ive does get the credit and blame for all designs in the post Jobs era.

Brutally Honest

A wonderful bouquet of flowers.Becky Hansmeyer: “My code sucks. It just does. I’m inexperienced, I’ve had no mentors or code reviews (by choice—I’ve had offers from many great people!), and there are fundamental concepts of programming that I only have a tenuous grasp of, at best. Despite my best efforts, I’ve utterly failed at using the MVC model. My views are all up in my model’s business, I probably have delegates where I don’t need them, or, on the flip side, other weird hacky ways of communicating between view controllers (like via viewWillDisappear and unwind segues, and all sorts of odd places) where I should have just used a delegate.”

You know what, Becky. My code sucks too. I’ve been doing this professionally for 30-years and my code is still crap. I work really hard at honing my craft. Continually learning is the key to longevity in this business so just keep plugin away.

Becky here’s something to keep in mind. You’ve shipped a successful product. Nobody cares what your code looks like. You shipped! In the end that’s all that matters.

Remember this: the only bad code is code that never ships.

Rob’s 2019 Summer Blockbuster Must See List

I’m ashamed it’s taken me this long to not only post my movie list but to blog in general.

I hope you enjoy my 2019 list, presented without commentary.

Captain Marvel March 8
Us March 22
Pet Sematary April 5
Hellboy April 12
Avengers: Endgame April 26
Tolkein May 10
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum May 16
Brightburn May 24
Ad Astra May 24
Godzilla: King of the Monsters May 31
Dark Phoenix June 7
The Dead Don’t Die June 14
Toy Story 4 June 21
Spider Man: Far from Home July 5
Stuber July 12
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood July 26
Artemis Fowl August 9
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark August 9
It: Chapter Two September 6

It seems that Blockbuster Season is sooner and sooner in the year, every year. This year we get a lot of great films that drop in March. I believe the true opening to the Blockbuster Season is May.

Of particular interest this year are Hellboy (which I have seen), Avengers: Endgame, John Wick, Stuber and It. I will definitely catch Captain Marvel if I can manage it before it leaves theaters, it may already be gone, and I’d love to see Us and Pet Sematary when they’re available to stream.

See you at the movies.

Consider iPhone 7

I’ve been meaning to write about this for quite a while. When Apple shipped the amazing iPhone X Apple enthusiasts couldn’t wait to have them. Those enthusiasts are the kinds of folks some would refer to as fanboys. I think they just love to have the latest greatest device they can get their hands on. Maybe that does make you a fanboy? I don’t know. It does mean these folks either have a lot of disposable income or, like a meth addict, are willing to do anything to get the latest device.

I love Apple products but don’t feel the need to purchase the latest greatest device on the market. As Apple enthusiasts go I’m a failure in that regard. I own a 2015 MacBook Pro, an iPhone 7, an iPad Mini (first generation), and an Apple Watch (first generation.) On the Ticci Scale I’d rate an Inferior, or worse. That brings me to the purpose of this post.

If you’ve always wanted an iPhone but the prices seem ridiculously high to you consider getting an older model. Yes, an older model. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are wonderful devices. I’m still using my iPhone 7 everyday and I don’t see upgrading for quite a while. Apple focused on performance and stability with the release of iOS 12 and it shows. The OS is really fast and fluid, even on older devices. I purchased an iPhone 5s for testing purposes and it performs really well on iOS 12. The OS is the important part of the equation and iOS 12 is an exceptional OS.

If I were to purchase a new iPhone today I’d pickup an iPhone Xr. The starting price is not as offensive as the price of the Xs, I prefer the aluminum body over glass, and I like being able to choose a color. Yellow sounds nice.

Bottom Line

If you want a new iPhone but don’t want to spend a lot of money consider purchasing an iPhone 7 or iPhone 8. The pricing is pretty good and you’ll have a great phone for the next two to four years.

MODEL PRICE
iPhone 7 $449
iPhone 8 $599
iPhone Xr $749
iPhone Xs $999
Note

As I’m writing this Apple is offering a great deal on the iPhone Xr if you trade in your existing phone. Of course that comes with an *. If you get the full trade in value on your existing phone you can get the iPhone Xr for $449. That’s a wonderful deal.

As for me the best value I could get for my iPhone 7 is $250. That drops the price of an Xr to $500 for me. Not bad at all.

Why Curmudgeon Cafe?

I’ve setup a Mastodon instance called Curmudgeon Cafe. Why? Well, after creating a Mastodon account and learning more about it I really wanted to have my own instance, that’s why. It’s no big deal and was really easy to do using Masto.host. For five Euros a month I get a managed Mastodon instance and it was painless to setup. Now folks can find me @fahrni@curmudgeon.cafe on Mastodon.

The name Curmudgeon Cafe grew out of many conversations over the years with some old friends. I believe Christopher Hawkins once said we should have a Curmudgeon Conference and I know there have been many conversations between some of my old blogging friends about camping together — something we’ve never managed to pull off.

As a result my friends and I now have a Mastodon instance for us to play with.

If you’re interested in Mastodon please start off reading about it at Join Mastodon. It’s basically a federation of servers that behaves a lot like Twitter. In fact it’s so open and well defined Twitter could exist there as an instance among many instances.

Imagine that?

Joaquin Phoenix as Joker

SyFy Wire: “This week, after months of rumors and whispers, we finally got confirmation that Oscar-nominee and Golden Globe winner Joaquin Phoenix (The Master, Walk the Line) will star as The Joker in an dark origin story film for the character not connected to anything in the DC Extended Universe. Now, Phoenix is finally speaking about taking the role and what we can expect from the project.”

If you’ve seen Joaquin Phoenix in You Were Never Really Here you’ve seen his potential as the Joker. If you haven’t seen the film I recommend you see it. He’s wonderful.

I’m looking forward to this Joker origin story. Hopefully we get to see the Clown Prince of Crime in full regalia.

From my Notes

This set of questions is from November 13, 2015 regarding Xcode for iPad. They still hold true today.

  • Who is it for?
  • What would the experience be like?
  • How would debugging work?
  • Would you have a mouse?
  • How would you debug for other OS versions?
  • Would it be iOS only?
  • What about Mac?
  • Would it be Swift only?
  • Would it introduce a new framework?
  • Split screen debugging?
  • What about iPhone?
  • iPad Pro only?

Thoughts on Swift

A wonderful bouquet of flowers.I was just reading a Slack channel I’m a part of and someone was asking if it’s difficult to add Swift to an Objective-C project. It’s not. Basically you should add a bridging header to your project so you can call your Objective-C code from Swift then do a full nullability audit on any code you’d like to call from Swift. That’s it in a nutshell as far as I can remember.

Another thing to keep in mind as you start writing Swift. Just start writing code. It doesn’t matter if it’s “swifty” or not. I’m an old C/C++ developer and people probably think my Objective-C and Swift look like an old C/C++ developer wrote it. Sure, there are nice things in the language you’ll learn to take advantage of but, to get started, just write code.

Evergreen ODB

Brent Simmons: “And: different syncing systems might need different properties, and I don’t really want to create an uber-schema which is the union of all of these. (And I don’t want to create a Feed protocol, because Set is then impossible.)”

I too am working on an RSS reader for Mac and iOS but I’ve chosen to make what Brent refers to as an uber-schema. We’ll see how it works. I think it’s going to be fine but I’m really curious to watch what Brent’s ODB turns into.

His idea of a more document centric storage mechanism is probably going to be really nice for an RSS reader. It doesn’t need to keep data around forever and requires a very small amount of data to work well.

There are, of course, document — NoSQL — databases readily available. The first one that comes to mind is CouchBase Lite.