Jan 16

One of the reasons why I decided to start actually blogging on my domain was to document my learning of the innards of my Mac and IPhone. Having had a Mac for a few years now I have used it for organising my music, photographs, e-mails etc. I have never tried to dig under the covers too far, mainly due to never having had to. Inspired by the desire to satisfy my geek tendencies I thought I should teach myself a little more about what is going on under the surface.

Therefore, despite the devastation it wreaks upon my Amazon recommendations list (“No I am not interested in buying any of those 150 books on IT! Where did you hide the literature I want to read? Oh well actually maybe I do want…”), I ordered myself a copy of Sams Teach Yourself iPhone Application Development.

Sams Teach Yourself iPhone Application Development Book Cover

Sams Teach Yourself iPhone Application Development

So today I sat down to read the book and start to see how the whole shebang works. As with the best types of these books it begins with a series of chapters to get you set-up correctly and give you a “led by the hand” walkthrough of the tools you are going to need, things to you need to set-up and things that are best left to worry about later because you haven’t a snowballs chance in hell of understanding that particular weirdness.

So far so good. I have my iPhone all set up for developing on. I have the XCode development environment and iPhone SDK installed. I’m feeling smug. Having done development in the Microsoft world, things are not too scary. I can see the analogies between the two worlds. You say pohtahtoh etc. Things are going ok.

Then I hit a brick wall.

I’m stuck.

I don’t know what to do.

The instructions tell me to do something but I can find no way to do it. The instructions have failed me. This is not some moral dilemma. The instructions are not asking me to betray some strongly held tenet of belief. They want me to do something simple and as far as I can see all the other kids are indeed doing it.

The book taunts me with its request. It wants me to press #. Yes it wants a hash. A US pound. A musical sharp symbol. That’s what it needs for me to continue and I’m failing it. I can’t do it. I have no idea how. This is 3rd year French all over again.

Now I’ve typed # many times. Damn it I play music, I’ve written a lot of C# code in my time. I’ve created a lot of temporary tables. I know how to press the hash key. Except it isn’t there. There is no hash anywhere on my Mac’s keyboard.

My Mac's Keyboard and not a # in sight

My Mac's Keyboard and not a # in sight

Now I don’t have a defective keyboard. It turns out that in their infinite wisdom Apple decided that those of receiving UK Macs would not need to worry about the #. We can have our £ sign on the 3 key where they put the # in the US. I mean why would we want it?

So after some mashing of keys I finally managed to get the hash to appear on screen.

You press the “Alt” key and 3 together and the hash appears.

Now this might perhaps have been more swiftly accomplished if they HAD PUT THE HASH ON THE KEY. They seemed to manage to put a Euro symbol € next to the @ above the 2 key quite happily. I should be careful though. I believe “Alt” and 5 opens the portal to Narnia and I’ve had enough snow for a while.

Jan 14

This is a truly wonderful piece of interview, where by wonderful I of course mean excruciatingly uncomfortable.

It’s not even worth the rant about Fox News.

Jan 14

I’m going to suggest that a little less time on equations might enhance the odds somewhat.

http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2010/01/et-equation-used-to-estimate-n.html

So much for “plenty more fish in the sea”…

Jan 13

Hello World indeed. Being a wordpress noob I’ll attempt none too much in this first post other than to get it up onto the site so that I have something to experiment with.

In the meantime here is a picture of Molly.

Molly

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