how to get started with Git/GitHub version control system on Mac OS

This is a basic introduction to the GitHub install process for Mac developers, who are interested in trying Git or need help setting up Git vcs for the first time.

Version control is one of the most important, but one of the most challenging areas in the software development process. I’d liken the experience to dental work, sometimes scary, maybe painful at times, but absolutely necessary for good health and longevity.

So, after not so pleasant experiences with: no versioning at all, versioning via IM, run-ins with SVN and others, I’m glad to finally be able to put GitHub to use to see how well it works for me and people I’m coding with.

While googling for GitHub and Mac, I was pointed to a great resource. It’s a video by the GitHub people recorded at Yahoo! Developer Network a few years back, entitled “Git, GitHub and Social Coding” Continue reading “how to get started with Git/GitHub version control system on Mac OS”

Initial Thoughts About the iPad’s Target Market

During Apple’s media event today, there was discussion around the new device and who’d use it.

I can see some appeal for use in the medical field, although medical apps or device connections were not covered at all today. With a large screen, it’s better at charts, photos, graphics (x-rays) than an iPhone ever could be. See also Upcoming Apple Tablet is Generating Significant Hype — Will it affect Healthcare? on MedPage Today.

What about home use? The iPad was designed for games, iBooks, movies, etc. So, the home user is in the sweet spot of the iPad’s target user.

iPad vs Kindle. With a $499 entry level iPad, the prices are close enough to make potential Kindle purchasers consider an iPad. Current prices are $259 for the 6″ Kindle and $489 for the 9.7″ Kindle DX (a match for the iPad screen size). I think the answer pretty clear here; the iPad wins. For me its as simple as “Color” vs “Black and White” TV.

Business Users? The iPad makes a great presentation device thanks to Continue reading “Initial Thoughts About the iPad’s Target Market”

the problem with iChat…my face

I can see myself.

There it is. Right up there—first sentence. That’s the biggest reason for the lack of use of iChat videoconferencing (in the workplace, at least). At home its a big hit with the kids. They eat it up. Especially in Leopard, with the addition of cool “Effects” that let you distort your image like a Picasso or have a dynamic background using a poor man’s green screen. There are also developers creating add-on effects for it.

Back to the work issue. I think iChat would be a great tool at work. Especially with increased telecommuting, increasing numbers of permanently remote users, and for groups who need to collaborate, it can be a valuable tool. All of the new MacBook and MacBookPro laptops in our group have the video capability built-in. I can count on one hand the number of times it has been used.

I was wondering why we use it so little, then it hit me. I don’t want to see my ugly mug on screen and if others feel the way I do, that explains it. Its not that I or any of my friends and co-workers look particularly unappealing (People have told me I look a little like Andre Agassi and Uncle Fester, so go figure).

Nobody, wants to see themselves on screen. When you’re speaking to someone, you don’t see yourself. When I’m talking to someone, in my head I look like _______________ (fill-in the name of some Hollywood mega-star), but on iChat, its not that guy.

So rest assured, there is a solution, in Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), but it is not enabled by default. From Apple.com:

Hide Local Video
Remove the picture-in-picture view from your iChat video conference if you prefer not seeing yourself in the chat. Just select Hide Local Video from the Video menu.

Link: http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/300.html#ichat

So, the challenge for me now is to fix this on every machine in my group. Which I will attempt to do next week. I promise to report back if the use of iChat video increases.

First native iPhone game released

MacRumors reports that the first native iPhone game has been released for the iPhone. Its a puzzle game called Lights Off.

First the good news:
It’s an exciting anouncement because the developers created it without much help from Apple. Apple has not provided developers with an SDK (software development kit). This means anyone who wants to make a third party program, has to more work to do to get a game or other program to work with the iPhone interface, etc.

Now the bad news:
I haven’t played or downloaded it myself because it takes hacking the iPhone and installing some extra pieces of software to get it to work. On top of that there is a risk that the iPhone could be permanently damaged by doing this. Here’s their disclaimer text “Disclaimer: Lights Off is provided on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. If your iPhone breaks, don’t cry on our shoulders.”

But this is still exciting news because it indicates that additional software for iPhones, (other than web-based via Safari) is on the horizon.

Prediction:
I expect Apple will do one of two things in the next month or so, release an iPhone patch that makes the game not run, or give in to developers and release an official SDK.