Monday, July 14, 2008

Following me

It's been quite a while since I've updated this blog. The two people who read it are probably not surprised by that. There are various reasons, but the main one is that I just don't generally spend much of my time writing, as there are other things that occupy it, like work, family, etc.

Anyway, I wanted to point out that I have however become a Twitter-er. I follow several people on Twitter, and post a couple updates a day on average. You can see the three most-recent ones on the sidebar of the webpage that goes with this blog.

So if you have any interest in what i might have to say, in small, bite-sized, 140-character increments, following me on Twitter is probably the best way at the moment. Having a native Twitter app for my iPhone (and having a faster 3G iPhone to use it on) will probably make me continue this trend for a while in the future. The main thing that keeps me involved there is that I now have a few friends/coworkers who are also on "The Twitter", so we end up sending tweets back-and-forth.

Anyway, if logging into twitter.com regularly or running one of the plethora of Twitter clients is not your thing, there's also an RSS feed that you can subscribe to from the Twitter website, either for a single person or for the set of all of the people you follow, so that might be a useful alternative.

And maybe, just maybe, I'll still occasionally find something to blog about here. For example, I've been wanting to post an entry about the color picker "plop-up" in the forthcoming Lightroom 2 (previewed in the available beta version) for a while. If so, I'll probably also link to it with a tweet.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

iPod nano Games ... or not

So, Apple released its new generation of iPod classic and iPod nano yesterday to much fanfare. I picked up a new nano today (actually, Melissa and I each got one: hers red and mine silver).

This evening, Melissa wanted me to load the games I had previously bought for my 5G iPod onto it. There are a couple nice ones like Bejeweled and Zuma, for example. This is when something I hadn't considered happened: There was nothing to be found under the Games tab in iTunes.

So, I went to the iTunes Store to see what was up. Did I have to buy the games again for the new device? Well, the note there says:

iPod Games are compatible with fifth generation iPods (with video) only. They cannot be played in iTunes or on the iPhone.

COMING SOON: Tetris, Ms. PAC-MAN and Sudoku will soon be compatible with iPod nano (video) and iPod classic.


Well, there you have it. For whatever reason, all those games I bought for my fifth generation iPod apparently aren't compatible, and there aren't even new versions available for the new iPods. This is a downer, especially for those of us considering upgrading our 5G iPod to an iPod classic (inso upgrading you'll lose the ability to play your games), but also for those who thought the new Nano would be cool as a tiny game-playing device as well as a music/video player.

Hopefully it's just a matter of time until most of the games are made available. Since the resolution is the same, and speculation is that the Nano and Classic use a modified version of the previous iPod software, not something based on the iPhone/iPod touch version of OS X, one wouldn't think it would be that hard. Also, hopefully I won't have to re-buy all of those games...

And while on the subject of iPod games, I just can't stop writing without mentioning how badly the iPhone (and ultimately the iPod touch, too) needs games. Pretty much all cell phones these days have games available, and unofficial things like Lights Off and even the web-based games like Bejeweled, Sudoku, and BattleFleet show that games are nice to have on the iPhone.

Still, without native gaming, we're left with non-smooth animations, a lack of sound effects, and limits on the types of interaction that are allowed (Bejeweled, for example, really wants to support tap-and-drag to swap jewels), and of course there's the desire to have games available when the web is not available or not practical to use (such as when playing a game with lots of graphics with only Edge available).

Of course, games on the iPhone will need to be at least somewhat different from games on the iPod, as the touchscreen interface really demands a different type of interaction than the scroll wheel. But again, hopefully we're just talking about a matter of time, since this just seems so obvious.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Travel -- mm, love travel!

I'm attending the C4 conference in Chicago this weekend. I figured that since it's in Chicago, and I live in the Minneapolis area, I'd drive over, because, you know, it's not really that far... Well, it's about 6-7 hours (which I knew going in), and I left late morning. Of course, doing the math, that meant that I would hit Chicago precisely during rush hour.

At one point, just as I got to the city, I had to go through the last of the toll collection points, and I hit one that was backed up. This is when things came to a crawl, and while I had made good time getting to the Chicago area (it had taken me just over 6 hours with a few quick stops for gas and food and coffee along the way), I actually happened to reset my trip odometer and found that it took me over 45 minutes to go 0.3 miles.

I knew that registration was from 6 to 7 (mostly), so this is when I started to get a bit nervous. Things were pretty slow going all the way into the center of the city where the conference hotel is, but it turned out that as I got out of my car and looked at the time, it was 6:58. I checked in before going to the registration desk, so I ultimately was only about 10 minutes late, but for a while I was worried it would be worse.

I should probably also mention, that I just flew back from our 2-week vacation in France on the day before this (it was a long day -- basically a 31 hour day since there's a 7-hour difference, and we were flying with the rotation of the Earth). But at least I got a full night's sleep before the drive. Still, a 7.5 hour drive the day after an 8-hour flight: not highly recommended.

The first evening of C4 was pretty interesting. I'll hopefully blog about that in a little while (although, one might notice that the last time I blogged was over 8 months ago, so we'll see how well that idea works...).

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

iPhone

Well, Apple finally did it. Looks like a great device. It will be my next cell phone (I just took back the KRZR I had been messing with for a few weeks and went back to my "old" Treo 700 until the iPhone is available). Yes, I know that means I have to switch from Sprint to AT&T (aka Cingular), that the speed of my data access will go down to EDGE speeds, etc., but frankly, I don't care. I've been waiting for a phone with a killer UI like this for a while now (I've been becoming increasingly disappointed in the Treo and in what Palm is doing and looks like they will be doing with it).

Now if they would just come to their senses and make it into a development platform rather than just an isolated device. And I'm not talking about a closed only-our-friends platform like they seem to be doing with iPod games. I'm talking about a document-it-and-provide-tools-in-Xcode platform like they have with the Mac.

If they really want to compete with the Windows Mobiles, Palm Treos, and Blackberries of the world, this seems like an important next step. Now, I don't expect that they'll be fully ready to completely open up development for the iPhone the day it's first released. I expect (well, at least hope) this is something that would incrementally be exposed over time.

So, Apple, start by giving us the ability to at least write widgets with icons that can be accessed from the main menus on the iPhone. And we can go from there.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Apple WWDC Dead Technology Day

I'll be going to Apple's WWDC (WorldWide Developers' Conference) in a couple weeks. I didn't go last year since it was mostly a Tiger rehash (except for that Intel bombshell they dropped on the first day), but this time I'm looking forward to hearing about all of the new stuff coming to a computer near me in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

One thing that I've always thought would be fun at WWDC would be to get people to coordinate their wardrobes for one day of the conference and wear T-shirts from various dead technologies that Apple has come out with in the past, advocated, and since abandoned.

Now, I have to admit, when I was at Apple, I worked on OpenDoc, one of those same dead technologies, so I don't personally escape unscathed.

Unfortunately (actually, fortunately) this idea has recently become a bit disingenuous, as Apple's recent track record for not killing technologies has been downright stellar. However, for those of us with a number of dead technology T-shirts from the less-happy days, I still think it's an idea with some potential, so...

I hereby declare that Thrusday, August 10 will be Dead Technology Day at this year's WWDC.

There, since so many people read my blog, I'm sure this will catch fire.

Monday, June 19, 2006

PhotoshopNews visits... our house

I know it's been a little while (okay, more than a little while) since I've posted here. As you might guess, I've been heads-down working on various things in Lightroom all year (by the way, Beta 3 has recently been released on the Mac).

Still, the article Jeff Schewe wrote at PhotoshopNews is pertinent enough to Melissa and me that I thought I should come out of my blogging coma for a minute to post about it. In it, Jeff visits the Adobe Minnesota office that we work in as well as our house.

A Visit to the Adobe Lightroom Engineers

Monday, January 09, 2006

Adobe Lightroom is now available

I haven't posted to this blog in quite a while. One of the reasons for this is that I'm generally not very good at frequent posting. The other, even bigger problem of late has been that I've been really busy for the last month or so working on our project at Adobe. Today we released the first public beta version of that project, Lightroom.

So far the reception has been fairly favorable, it seems. We'll be watching the feedback and continuing to work toward the final release over the coming months. Hopefully I'll have more time to post to my blog on occasion now that the push for the first public release has been completed...