Long Overdue and Happy New Year

I’m long overdue for an entry and will do it quickly over morning coffee a cappuccino that I have grown fond of at a local spot in Brooklyn dubbed Crespella.

For starters Happy New Year to all and wishing the very best to everyone who sees my blog.

Several thoughts my launch app for Apple mobile devices, a currency converter and tip calculator I released in October dubbed Tips Across The Waters is alive and well in the Apple store for .99. I have made several modifications to the app and am planning the first update release this month. If you haven’t already, thank you for buying. On its release you will get an update notification in your App Store icon and the update is free. Stay tuned for news on that.

Though this blog is ideally about my software ventures, in addition to this muse I am also a musician and frequent contributor to the new muisc community ImprovFriday. Along with fellow host Paul Muller I’m part of a podcast series for the community. We are on the edge of posting our first episode for the new year which will be a feature on the work of microtonal/polytempic composer/musician Peter Thoegersen. We are in final production stages and should have the episode out this month. The show is accessible in iTunes or on Podomatic at http://improvfridayradio.podomatic.com. Mor news on that release soon.

On a sad note regarding that community, composer, synthesist, new music pioneer Richard Lainhart passed away on December 30, 2011. Richard was based in New York and a major voice in the experimental and new music scene here and was a contributing member to ImproFriday. This news was so sad and shocking when I learned of it last weekend as I knew Richard, worked with him producing a live webcast for Goodbye Blue Monday in Brooklyn and heard him perform several times over the last year. His passing is a tremendous loss to the local and Internet music world. ImprovFriday’s regular weekend recorded music event is inviting member musicians to post work this weekend in Richard’s memory. Visit the community this weekend at ImprovFriday.

On the music front as well I have begun some recent work with composer/trombonist/synthesis artist Paul Bailey. As with many musicians around the world that I have collaborated with the last few years, it’s all made possible by an open source software called NinJam which is just amazing. Paul and I recorded live via NinJam 3,000 miles a part earlier this week. I’m planning to post some of that session on this weekends ImprovFriday as well as on Soundcloud.

Among several resolutions for 2012 I’m trying to promote more artists I’m associated with around the world. Please visit the worlds of Daryl Shawn, Chris Blais, Rainer Straschill, Steven Moyes, Jeffrey Duke, Catherine Todd and by all means as his flame is now burned out but his spirit lives on please get to know the work of Richard Lainhart.

Memory from New Years Eve fireworks in Brooklyn…

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Writing Data and So Is I

Spent a lot of time last couple days working on my next app which is going to have a focus for diabetics. I have a personal interest in that in my family, designed the app initially for that need and am in process of making it for public consumption.

Writing or saving user data on the iOS mobile devices is in theory not difficult but for me in the programming it has been challenging though I think I’m seeing the light in the technical. Once this is acquired it will be very useful if not necessary in many apps to come. I didn’t deal with it perse in Tips Across the Waters , only temporary arrays holding data. On a future update there will be a use however.

I’m using picker wheels again on the new app and issues in refreshing those objects with the saved data has been partially the challenge. I may rethink the use of them in the interface but I find them very useful in this particular case.

Speaking of Tips though I’m about to shift gears and do three updates to the current version that i should release in next week or so. One will include conversion updates and the other two came from buyer suggestions and thanks very much to those folks for the suggestions.

Am image from errands today Shadows, metal, rubber and air. Taking a break to go play some fiddle…

My Journey to Mobile Apps Development, part 1

Get Tips Across the Waters in the Apple storeWith a new app out and the start of a new venture I decided that I would do a blog to tell my story of how ‘Tips Across the Waters’ and hopefully many more came to begin.

I have a background of many hats including musician, photographer, video editor/maker, Information Technology professional of many years, hacker with a range of languages and web designer/coder so adding mobile apps development feels a good fit. I say hacker at range of languages, I came to computers late but ironically paralleling a relocation to New York in the early 90’s just about the time the corporate sector began to think about computer networks in their offices. I came to NY with a number years of experience in television production from my years in Arkansas. While trying to continue that in some way here in New York I fell in to initially admin assist and then help desk roles which led to various IT related over the years. Off and on during this period I would pick up a language and try to learn a bit hoping to find a door to crossover from the help desk/support world which never seemed to happen.

As my kids were growing up Apple computers came in to my world more and more, then the iPods arrived, then the Touch and then the holy grail the iPhone. I began to hear about the mini-programs through my son who said to me about a year ago, ‘dad you ought to learn the programming language to make apps’ and having delved in to BASIC, then C, then C++, then Java some, then some stuff based in the Unix/Linux world I was curious what was being used. We both thought C#. The search soon led to ‘objective c’ which I learned that I already had some foundation for, that it was essentially a custom C with classes.

So I began self teaching myself in the fall of 2010, initially with a couple of books, Head FIrst iPhone Development and then the Big Nerd Rand iPhone book, doing examples and plugging in some of my own ideas to see what would happen, then I started to google more and find examples and tutorials and by spring of this year I began to ‘get it’ to a degree.

Coming back from a school trip with my daughter I had a breakthrough in understanding and began to mull over some concepts I had thought of when I began this journey, meaning ideas that I thought might turn in to a good app and one of these was a tip calculator something I often felt a need for on a personal level.

I began playing with ideas and some structure, put together an initial interface in Information Builder and thus ‘Tips Across the Waters’ began to be created though then it was unnamed and quite a bit more simplistic. I’m going to break this entry for now and continue with the rest of the story as said in the next entry, stay tuned…

Tips Across the Waters released!

Wood and Wire Ware is a new mobile apps development company that I founded during 2011. My first iOS application, a lifestyle app titled Tips Across the Waters is officially out, released yesterday October 27, 2011.

Tips Across the Waters is a combination tip calculator and currency converter, offering integration of the two or can be used independently.

Tips Across the Waters home screen

Tips Across the Waters features include…

– Low light visibility friendly screen
– Rotatable views (portrait/landscape)
– 10/15/20 percent as well as your choice of tip amount entry
– Currency conversion among 11 currencies

Find out more and purchase via iTunes.

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