First, one my the reasons I love using OSX: 16 applications open including 4 Xcode projects, Photoshop, Numbers, Evernote, Mindjet MindManager, and more without a hint of slowdown and still 1.3 GB free (4GB total on my MBP). It’s wide, because I use a 24″ display next to my built-in laptop display.
I’ve been doing a lot of work in Xcode lately, building an application for the iPhone. I officially joined the developer program this past weekend, making it possible to load applications into my phone for testing. I’ve got a few ideas for some applications that I haven’t seen done yet, so hopefully I can get something out there to fill the void.
I have to say, the more I work in Objective-C, the more I like it. Sure, I’m missing a few things like all my comfortable frameworks and such, but there are plenty of other ways to deal with things I’ve coming across. And since the NDA, sites like Stack Overflow have become a great resource for getting answers to issues I come across.
I’m still working on my other projects like MassTransit, this is just something to broaden my knowledge and have fun at the same time. Between developing on the iPhone, doing Java projects at work, and building open-source .NET frameworks at home — I’ve got plenty to keep me busy!
This past Thursday and Friday, the Tulsa TechFest was held at OSU Tulsa in Tulsa (could I write Tulsa one more time, I knew I could). Attendance was high and most of the sessions I attended were in rooms full of people. The day started off early Thursday morning, but that’s not the start of the story.
The night before, Dru and Rob came by the house for a little pre-conference warmup (and by warmup, I don’t mean this). Rob went through his presentation on continuous integration one last time while Dru and I worked through our presentation on messaging (and how to do it with MassTransit, of course). The night ended early for me, but Rob and Dru met up with Ben at the hotel and closed the bar (and by closed, I mean walked in at last call and got one beer).
The next morning we all met up and caught up on things since the last gathering. Since the last time we saw Ben, he’d been through a hurricane and granted the MVP Award from Microsoft. We then planned out our day of sessions based on the information currently available to us.
The speaker for the CSS talk was unable to attend, so the four of us convened an open-space session on CSS. The discussion in the fishbowl was good with a lot of interesting topics. Ben gave an on-screen demonstration of CSS from the ground up for those in the room that were new to it, providing context for the audience. CSS is extremely important considering it is the best (only?) way to layout and style websites consistently across browsers. I think everyone brought up how much of a turd IE 6 is when it comes to CSS compatibility.
After lunch, it was time for Dru and I to present our session on message-driven architecture (using MassTransit). You can see the first hour of the session on video here. The crowd really got into it, asked a lot of questions, and hopefully came away with an understanding of asynchronous application design and messaging.
After that session, we sat down with a guy that works for Sun and talked about enterprise application architecture. It was interesting comparing the mature open-source nature of Java to the budding open-source landspace in .NET. After the closing session and prize giveaway, there was a speakers dinner (Rib Crib, good stuff). Once we had eaten, we went to the hotel and did a little code sharing and Dru and Ben went through ASP.NET MVC some more. Then we went over to Dirty’s Tavern for some post-day fun. I was worn out, so I went back to my car and called it a night.
The next day was full of interesting stuff. A nice introduction to ASP.NET MVC by Ben, some extensive coverage of log4net by Dru, and I gave a presentation on iPhone development. Outside of the actual sessions there were a lot of great conversations about development and tools in general. We also recorded Ray Lewallen’s session on Behavior Driven Development, which can be viewed here.
My iPhone development session was purely introductory to show the tools and how they are used to build and deliver applications for the iPhone. The room was absolutely packed and hopefully everyone walked away with some good information. I know at least one guy did, he left two seconds after I said that building iPhone applications requires a Mac!
To wrap it up, the event was a huge success. There were a ton of people there, the vendor room was always alive with activity (likely due to Chris Koenig and his Rock Band setup giving some much needed ADHD relief between sessions). Chris also had a couple of great sessions on Silverlight and the new features in 2.0 that should really improve the use of Silverlight for Rich Internet Applications (RIAs).
In two weeks, the 2008 installment of Tulsa TechFest will be upon us. For two days, Tulsa is going to unleash an impressive array of sessions on all aspects of IT, security, and software development. As I review the broad list of presenters I can’t help but see conflicting sessions where I’m going to have to make some tough choices.
If you are going to be anywhere near the Tulsa area and can manage to slip away from work for a couple of days I highly recommend making an appearance. The breadth of learning opportunities at the unbelievable price ($2/day) make this an incredible way to learn some new skills and sharpen your existing ones.
I will be presenting in two sessions this year. The first session will be on building distributed application using MassTransit (co-hosted by Dru Sellers) and other open-source frameworks for .NET. This is doing to be a deep view on how to build loosely-coupled systems on top of a messaging service (in this case, MSMQ). Advanced topics include asynchronous messaging and sagas (long-lived transactions).
The second session will be an introduction to iPhone development. I’m not a seasoned expert here, but I’m impressed with the platform provided by Apple (Xcode) free of charge for building applications for Mac OS X and the iPhone. This introduction will cover the tools and application structure for building iPhone applications in Objective-C.
If you happen to see me there, feel free to stop me and say hello.
Wow, today is going to be a long one. Last night, I went to see EOTO play. EOTO is a spin-off of the now defunct String Cheese Incident. It was a solid 2-hour techno show, but not the hard house or trance that I’ve heard so much about. It was more trip-hop or something like that, very cool stuff. The drummer played for two hours straight without a break — pretty wild.
The MacBook Pro continues to evolve. Post Fusion install I’ve gotten all my development tools installed, including Resharper, TestDriven.NET, TortoiseSVN, and NAnt. So far everything seems to be working great. I’ve yet to install PowerShell (so I can have my NIX command-line goodness for the Windows box). I pulled down the trunk of Castle and got it to build as well. I had to create the Test & Test2 databases on my local instance of SQL Server 2005 in order for all the tests to complete.
It looks like I’ll be giving a presentation on MonoRail at the TulsaTechFest 2007. It will be an introduction to building a web site using MonoRail and Brail. MonoRail is part of the Castle Project and provides a MVC (model-view-controller) framework within ASP.NET. MVC is a solid pattern for building web applications that is a significant improvement over the page-based WebForms model. MonoRail embraces web standards allows applications to be built based on controller logic and helps facilitate the separation of concerns. It’s good stuff, I can’t wait ot talk about it.
Did I mention that I’m old and staying out until 2 AM at a live show is painful the next day? Where is the Tylenol again? Strange that I can stay up until 3 AM playing with a new computer and not feel fried the next day but this was… different.
Oh yeah, Peggle Extreme is part of the pre-order package for TeamFortress2 on Steam. I highly recommend it as a fun diversion! Speaking of TF2, I’m all set for the beta that starts on Monday. I can’t wait to play the game, I hope for some cool in-game video recording (with FRAPS or otherwise) next week. I wonder if voice-chat is built into the game? Things I don’t know — they are plentiful today it seems.
So yesterday was fun as Apple rolled out a series of new products. I was really surprised that unlike previous events, the product was not available in the Apple store the day of announcement. They used to always have product available at the stores when announced, that just doesn’t taste right. The day the iMac 2007 was announced, there were several setup in the store when I got there after work. It sounds to me like some last minute software/hardware/delivery issues spoiled some of the thunder.
And speaking of thunder, how about that $200 iPhone price drop? The last remaining 4GB models at the local Apple store were flying off the shelves as people picked up a second unit for a spouse, kid, friend, whatever. A great deal on a great product, congratulations to those who got them. Even $399 is a sweet deal and will likely expand the installed base of people using the iPhone. If you think about it, remember the Motorola RAZR when it first came out? $399, no discounts on Cingular. Within a few months it was down to $199 and now you get them for $69. Price reductions are a fact of life — rather than whine about the $200 “fan-boy” tax, just enjoy the phone. Not that I wouldn’t mind an iTunes store credit or something as a thank you for helping launch/beta-test their product!
As for the new products, unless you live in a hole, you’ve seen them already. The iPod Classic is the old classic iPod with a bigger drive (are we still using moving parts in portable devices?), the iPod Nano got short and fat and video support, the shuffle got some new colors, and the big news was of course the iPod Touch. An iPhone without the phone and e-mail support. It also doesn’t have Google Maps, Weather, Stocks, or a Camera. But it does have WiFi.
Both the Touch and the iPhone are getting the iTunes Mobile Music Store. Now you can drunk-buy songs while out and about. Very cool. No word on whether or not you can download them over EDGE yet or only WiFi, I guess we’ll see. Take that Verizon/Sprint with your phone-only $2 a song crap ass stupid music store of suckage. And as for the Zune, well, at least you’ve got “The Social.”
Oh, and since none of the product was actually in the store last night, I spent a couple of hours with the very helpful Tulsa Apple store staff and the MacBook Pro. The applications are so familiar, so friendly and so easy to use it just makes it harder and harder to wait for Leopard. My only concern at this point is waiting for a just-out-of-the-oven version of OS X compared to a known, updated version that has seen a lot of user testing. I don’t want to have the “Vista” experience all over again with a fresh operating system, but I also don’t want to pay a $129 buy-it-now tax to upgrade to Leopard when it’s all said and done.