I successfully finished an online tutorial. I had several serious problems, but all of them were my fault – typos. Here’s the result. I took screen grabs of the iPhone Simulator as I took the steps. In step one above left I have a text box at top, directions in the middle (“Enter your name above”), and a “Display” button below. In Step 2, when I “tapped” the text box using the mouse, the keyboard automatically slid up from the bottom. I typed in my name and clicked on the Display button. Step three shows the result: the middle text changed to “Hello Steve!” Continue reading
I entered huge amount of coding when I followed the steps in chapter 8 of the Dummies book. After each time I entered the code for that step, I carefully checked the code. After finishing chapter 9, I compiled the code and it generated 20 errors. It wasn’t simply the amount of code to enter in, but switching back and forth from the header file and the main file that makes it hard to double-check. (These projects generate a lot of pages, and you need to enter the code in the right page and after the right code, usually a header page and a main page.) When you jump around like that, it makes it harder to check your code at a later point. Continue reading
I received the book, iPhone Application Development for Dummies by Neal Gordstein a couple of days ago. I’m nearly halfway through it now. Unlike the Beginning iPhone Development book, it doesn’t have a lot of applications to make (it goes over just one so far). However, it has a LOT of explanations for how things work under the hood, so that is this book’s strength. The author does expect you to have some experience with programming.
Would this book have been a better book to start with? I don’t know. Remember that I already have several docs under my belt – the Beginning book above and the online Apple docs, so all that knowledge is only helping me as I read later works. It is extremely focused on learning what’s under the hood. I think that if I had not had the experience with Beginning, then the explanations in for Dummies would have made less sense than it did. The abstract line drawings would not be as clear as they could be for someone who has not had C or C++ programming experience. Continue reading
I’ve been spending a lot of time reading through Apple’s online PDF documents. The Beginning iPhone Development book seems to cover the areas I’ll need to know to create my app. However, I’ll still need to customize it for my use. That means I’ll need to learn the underlying programming code, which is Objective-C. This information is among Apple’s online PDF documents. I’m not ready to buy any more books at present. Continue reading
I went over the Beginning iPhone Development book, chapter 3, underlining and generally marking up the book. I carefully noted each step with a circled digit in the margin. Where it referred to steps to take in the previous chapter, I noted the page numbers of that chapter in the margin in the appropriate place. This will help me later when I actually do the coding on the Mac. Continue reading
I finished reading the Mobile Human Interface Guide. It was a valuable read because it clarified my project. It went over the specific ways Apple wants us to use its buttons and other design elements. As it went over each element and how they were designed to be used, it opened up many feature possibilities for my book. Here are a few lessons I picked up. Continue reading
I followed chapter 2 of Beginning iPhone Development. In only a few steps I was able to complete the Hello World! assignment. I did not create the app’s icon because I don’t have any image editing program installed, like Windows does for Paint. There might be one, but I could not find it. Continue reading
I bought a new APC power strip at the local Staples and replaced the old one. On the upgrades screen I unchecked all the upgrades except for the Mac OS upgrade (449MB) to save time (took about 15 minutes), and clicked to restart. When the restart was finished, a window displayed the iPhone files I downloaded earlier. I clicked on the file that installs the iPhone SDK and Xcode. A screen welcomed me and said it would download both files. Hoorah!
The next screen was a puzzle. It was titled “Software License Agreement” and was completely blank. When I clicked on Continue a notice rolled down like an old-time window shade saying that I had to click on Agree or Disagree. Luckily, it presented both buttons right there, so I clicked on Agree. I wonder what I had agreed to? (I had also clicked on Save, but nothing outward happened.) Continue reading
I took a quick look at the screen early this morning only to find it blank again, and a notice from the LG monitor that there was no connection. I pushed the start button in back and the Mac booted up. Was this supposed to be a restart or did something go wrong? Not sure. I also wasn’t sure if the downloads were successful. Will there be a notice if a download is successful? Once again I had to scurry to figure out how to get to the downloads section again. If I remember correctly, Safari had a link for Upgrades. I can’t check now … once again the monitor says there is no connection and the Mac is dead.
Why would the Mac require a reboot just because there was no Internet connection? Ergo, it must be the power strip. I’ll be checking that after I get back from work. I remember the Apple Store salesman’s words, “You won’t have any problems with the Mac.” Well, not with the Mac itself …
I now have the Mac on a cleared-away spot on a desk. I unplugged the PC’s Ethernet cable from the modem, then ran the new 15’ cable from there to the Mac and turned on the Mac. The Mini could not detect a working modem. Eventually the Assistant told me to turn off the modem and turn it on again. That did the trick. Continue reading
I now have it in my head that a book with “Beginning” in its title does not mean “Starting out as a complete novice.” It simply means the start of something. Often, books with this word in its title assume the reader has prior knowledge in something else, whether C++, Cocoa, or Basket Weaving 101. From the appropriate foundation mentioned in the book, you can THEN “begin” this new phase in your learning experience.
So it’s very important that you read the book reviews on Amazon.com before buying a how-to book on programming. Go ahead and read the 5-star reviews. Even better, read the 2-star reviews, for that’s where you’ll find the disgruntled customers complaining that they thought the title meant it was for absolute novices. I bought Beginning iPhone Development knowing it wasn’t for novices. (I’m saving it for later.) Reading the 2-star reviews can give you clues as to which books they thought were better for novices. Then look up those books and read their reviews to see if the book is right for you.
Sunday (Father’s Day)
This morning I still had not received an answer to my question, so I went to http://discussions.apple.com/ and created an Apple ID and posted the question there.
That same morning, I received this wisdom:
“It is not uncommon for PS2->USB adapters not to work with any particular model of Mac. Your options are to 1) try another brand of adapter or 2) try a KVM switch that handles both PS2 and USB or 3) get a usb keyboard or bluetooth wireless. (A wired usb keyboard is likely to be less troublesome than the bluetooth at this time.) You can find a Logitech usb keyboard (PC) at Walmart (for example) for about $12 US.” Thank you very much for the helpful answer!
I picked up a USB Kensington keyboard for under $20 at Office Depot. I plugged it in and the Mac had trouble. It asked me to click on the keys right next to the Shift keys. Once I did so, the Mac had no problems. I still had no Internet hookup at this time (Ethernet cable was too short to reach!). Continue reading
Bought my Apple Mini today at the Apple Store in South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California, with my Dad. We were told to wait in line, for the store was full. Another longer line was filled with people who had reserved the new iPhone and were waiting to pick it up.
I picked up the Mac Mini with 1GB and Apple Care. We went down to the Borders and picked up a copy of Beginning iPhone Development by Dave Mark and Jaff LaMarche. I expected to use the PC monitor, mouse and keyboard I already have. The keyboard and mouse has been in use for the old Sony Vaio, which I had replaced a few weeks earlier for an HP Pavilion, which turned out to be a zillions times faster in booting up my programs. Okay, maybe only a zillion times. Continue reading
I wanted to see if I can get my Christian books published in a new venue – the iPhone and iPod touch platforms. I’ve had only a couple of years of web programming in PHP and MySQL. Is that enough to start building iPhone apps? I’ve also never used a Mac belfore – iPhone apps can’t be built on the PC, I’ve heard. On this blog I’ll share in detail my joys and frustrations as I tackle this new sphere of labor.