Learning to Code. This might actually be fun!

I have now entered day 3 learning to code in Swift. As expected, there are quite a few parallels to PowerShell when it comes to the fundamentals. Loops, Data Types, variables, constants, it all works in much the same way.

I have been slugging through an iOS bootcamp, and have already made 4 apps, although very basic. In all of a few minutes, I was able to make a Magic 8-Ball App (which changes when you shake your phone!), and a very similar app that lets you roll two dice.

I also learned how to make a Lover Tester. It’s not as scientific as you might think…. And am now wading into the world of integrating API’s. It’s fast paced, but it’s working, I am starting to get into the brain of a developer. I’ve even started working through a series of math/programming challenges on a cool website I found in r/powershell over at https://projecteuler.net

I solved the first one in about 1 minute. Even I was shocked. And I did it without any googling! Seriously! Here’s all it took:

// Find the sum of all whole numbers that are divisible by 3 or 5, below 1000

var sum = 0

for number in 1..<1000 where number % 3 == 0 || number % 5 == 0 {
    sum += number


And it wrote back the correct answer of 233168

It’s very encouraging to make progress this quickly, and Swift is one of the easier languages I’ve attempted to learn. This one might stick.

Louis Cole is good. Learning Swift. What iOS App will I make

Louis Cole has posted a new video, this time it’s him playing a drum solo over a cool track. Louis Cole is an amazing drummer, on top of all the other things he is amazing at. So, everyone should check it out if they love good drummers.

I have started learning Swift, or Apple’s coding language, as well as XCode. I’ve been writing powershell scripts for some time, which has taught me quite a bit about fundamental coding skills. After watching the WWDC keynote, and all of the effort going into Swift, and Apple development, I’m taking the plunge. So far, I’m finding it to be remarkably intuitive, and I am building my way up by making Apps with slightly increasing features.

As I build my skillset with Swift, the big question remaining is, “What App do I make?”. I’m not sure I know the answer yet, but I have time to figure that out while I get comfortable with the language. It’ll probably be one of those things where now It’s on my mind, I’ll be more aware of things that I could make an app for. Kind of like when you start shopping for a new car, and suddenly you see that one model of car that you’re interested in everywhere you look.

This should be fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this takes me.

Also, I need to create a software company. And it needs a name. I’m leaning towards DogCat Software, but only time will tell.

Podcasts and Merlin Mann.

It’s Friday! Which usually means I get to listen to one of my favorite podcasts, “Do By Friday”! I began listening to this podcast simply because Merlin Mann was one of the hosts. It also feature Max Temkin and Alex Cox, the former having founded the game Cards Against Humanity, the latter an employee of the same company.

This podcast is an absolute gem, and while the basis of the podcast is that they have to agree on something that all three of them will do that week, the topics span just about everything, and they are hilarious.

Merlin had an incredible rant about Twitter’s reaction to the Mac Pro this week that was amazing. Merlin has an uncanny ability to get to the core of most any controversy, and he does so in an amazingly efficient and comedic manner in all cases. One of many reasons that Merlin is a personal hero of mine. So here is that clip:

It goes on, I’d probably recommend subscribing to and listening to it anyways, this week’s episode was pretty amazing.

Merlin is one of the funniest people on the internet, and he’d probably hate to hear someone say that. I think he’s a genius, and because we are both former musicians who fell into the tech world, we have a lot in common. I would especially recommend his original podcast, You Look Nice Today. I will go back and listen through old episodes of that podcast on a fairly regular basis. And it’s been like 12 years since it was first recorded.

I swear this is the last time I write about the Mac Pro

At this point it probably seems like beating a dead horse, but this thing with the Pro Display Stand for $999 - well it’s not going away from the looks of things. And rightly so. Apple got it wrong this time, and there’s really no way around it. The Internet has been fruitful:

I read an article on Macworld’s site that made an excellent point (link) about the new Mac Pro. From the article:

“Instead, we have a monument to everything people think Apple is: overpriced luxury sold to people who don’t know better. And maybe they’re right. Apple is basically telling aspiring artists and developers that they can’t afford the best Macs and probably never will. That’s a tough pill to swallow.”

It’s true, Apple enabled the average person to become a “Pro” at an accessible price. You can learn to code on an iPad, you can make a hit single on Garage Band, or a pretty decent Movie with iMovie, even on the lowest end Mac. Once you get your toes wet, you get better, and you need more horsepower. Having that better machine available is a natural progression, and Apple has it, but the prices are climbing at a rate that is way out of proportion with the market. Apple has always been more expensive, but this is getting ridiculous.

I’ve been involved in Pro Audio in the past, and I do understand the need for a machine like the Mac Pro. The Avid machine they showed, with I forget how many channels of audio in Pro Tools, running DSP on every channel was insane. There are recording studios who will take advantage of this, and will be accepting of the price tag. I also fully understand that movie houses will jump on these machines in a heartbeat.

But they should have levels for these towers. They always did in the past. If you go back to the Power Mac G4 - a tower near and dear to my heart - They had a lower end model for $1500. This was in 1999, but inflation really doesn’t apply to tech. The PC Industry is the only evidence of that you need. There were then step up models at 2500 and 3500. The gain in performance and capacity was relatively in line with the price increase (still seemed a little pricey, but not totally out of control). This trend stayed pretty constant through every Pro Tower that Apple released - the G5, The Intel Mac Pro’s, even the Trash Can was fairly accessible at the base level.

But now, you can’t even sniff a Mac Tower as a home professional. It’s 6 Grand just to get the tower, with kind of poor specs for the price tag. I have to hope that they come to their senses and drop the price significantly for this machine before it’s release this Fall. I also know that they won’t. But remember the first iPhone? It was seemingly insanely expensive, and only a few short months later dropped in price by a 3rd. I’ll keep that in my back pocket, maybe they’ll come back to earth on this.

James Holzhauer ruined Jeopardy!

If you follow Jeopardy!, or the news recently, you surely saw the articles and buzz around James’ 33 episode run as champion, which earned him 2.4 million dollars. Falling all of 58 grand short of the all time record, set by Ken Jennings in 74 episodes.

James is a professional sports gambler, and maybe one of the best trivia players ever. This combo meant he answered almost every question correctly, which is impressive already… But it was the way he would quietly and calmly go all in on a daily double, or wager huge sums of money with seemingly no hesitation, that made him fun to watch. He would drop a wager of 12 grand on a question, and answer it immediately as if he knew the answer one word into the question. He was unflappable.

He was finally defeated, and truthfully, he only lost because someone else got both daily doubles in double jeopardy, and took advantage of one of them. By the end of the game, James was out of commission. Even if he had gone all in, he wouldn’t have been able to make up the gap. It was amazing to watch, and it might be the last time the show sees a contestant at his level.

One thing that happened during his run that was interesting, was the teacher’s tournament. And that is when it sank in. These “normal” contestants would wager $3,000 dollars, and they would do so as if it was a gamble. They didn’t realize America was already used to seeing a guy throw around 10’s of thousands of dollars every night for weeks before. It was nearly unwatchable in comparison.

The only hope we have now is that someone caught on, and this run changes the way the game is played. The only problem, is that it’s going to require a type of person that just isn’t all that common. Either way, I’m glad I got to witness it, and hopefully the next tournament of champions delivers.

via reddit /u/maximompower

via reddit /u/maximompower