Wil Shipley talk from WWDC 2005

I don’t believe I ever linked this before…

Wil Shipley spoke to some students in 2005 and told them, in no uncertain terms, why it was better to be an independent Mac developer than it was to be virtually anything else (an independent Windows developer or any iteration of Working For The Man).

Read on, download the slides and the MP3 at the end to go along with them

Thinking about iPhone 2.0

In the next week, we’re going to see what Apple has on offer from WWDC. Everyone is expecting some news about the new iPhone models because, with the exception of a minor memory storage upgrade, the iPhone will have been on sale for 1 year without any changes and Apple likes to upgrade their devices every 9 months – 1 year. So it’s not a bad speculation. What are we likely to see in terms of hardware? Faster wireless is for one thing. It’s a little early for solar-panel displays but we could reasonably see the camera gaining a hardware ‘button’ and a small camera mounted on the front of the device for video conferencing.

We’re also going to see the new iPhone operating system. The big news there is obviously the Application Store. Why do I want it? So I can play a couple of casual games while I’m not in a good network region. So I can read my RSS feeds while mobile without the clunkiness of the online readers. So I can twitter by only sending my data and receiving others twitter data rather than having to receive the text and graphics from pockettweets. It would be nice to be able to receive MMS messages and also to be able to forward the odd SMS but, to be honest, there are a lot more easy wins in this respect. Double-tap to zoom in a mail message for the idiots who keep sending me 800-pixel wide images as their email signature?

waffle writes some speculation about the 3G iPhone

“Loading freeze-dried sites from bookmarklets using the current iPhone software takes almost as long as loading the site itself, which suggests an efficiency problem in the browser and rendering software, not the network hardware.”

Except that the bookmarklets on your home screen are just bookmarks – they’re not freeze dried copies of the web sites themselves. The renderer in MobileSafari over EDGE is quick enough to outpace the slower renderers on faster 3G networks so I think we can reasonably expect that if the EDGE limits are removed, we shall get much faster data and therefore faster rendering.

Lots to think about and only a week to go.

Right people for the right job

Today I’m alone.

Back in March I suggested to some senior managers that if they were desperate to get developers for the new projects which were coming in, they could do no better than the three guys working for me. It would debilitate my team in the short term but we’d not lose any knowhow from the corporation and if they were quick, we’d get a good handover from them. The senior managers jumped at the chance and I find myself today, on my own, still attempting to deliver to an archaic SLA.

All three guys in my team were developers – used to writing code and getting results. What they were not is support people. They weren’t prepared for listening to complaints all day nor were they willing to sacrifice their sleep for a smoothly running system. The begrudged the duties that come with being on-call. Their skills were therefore being wasted as support is, for many, a dead-end role. When the opportunity for development jobs came up, they ran at them and due to the current market, they got them. One escapee, Steve the Biscuit is now working for an up and coming web design firm in Belfast.

It’s a shame though because the guys in this team were really smart and now they’ve all gone to pastures greener.

It behooves me to demand that you hire the right person for the job. Don’t hire a developer when you need a technical support engineer. Don’t hire a technical support engineer when you really need someone to man a phone. To do otherwise will breed resentment in the individual and dissatisfaction within your team.

Whoosh, what a day…

I’m talking to a film company who are producing a film with the same name and similar content to my first book though I’m 99% sure it’s independent development. We just need to figure out what happens when we start producing similar material for similar genres under the same name. I first published “The 23rd Letter” in 1996 so I’m not worried about a unreleased film. But still, I’d rather not be having this conversation (particularly as it involves lawyers).

I was off work today and I’m off until Tuesday – and looking after all the kids until then as well. I’m currently doing my Cocoa homework with my brother – we’re going to be code gurus, honest.

Police arrest 15 year old for saying “cult”

A teenager is facing prosecution for using the word “cult” to describe the Church of Scientology.

The unnamed 15-year-old was served the summons by City of London police when he took part in a peaceful demonstration opposite the London headquarters of the controversial religion.

The teenager refused to back down, quoting a 1984 high court ruling from Mr Justice Latey, in which he described the Church of Scientology as a “cult” which was “corrupt, sinister and dangerous“.

The City of London police came under fire two years ago when it emerged that more than 20 officers, ranging from constable to chief superintendent, had accepted gifts worth thousands of pounds from the Church of Scientology.

This is absolutely outrageous.

I mean, have you read L. Ron Hubbard?

The theory that someone could base a religion off it is as preposterous as someone basing a religion off the life and times of an itinerant carpenter.

Oh. Right. Good point.

The Alchemist

From the BBC

Paulo Coelho’s best-selling novel The Alchemist is to be brought to the big screen, it has been announced.

Producer Harvey Weinstein confirmed at the Cannes Film Festival that The Matrix star Laurence Fishburne would star in, direct and produce the film.

The Weinstein Company will also co-produce the adaptation.

Coelho’s 1988 novel tells of a Spanish shepherd boy who travels to Africa in search of his dream and meets the alchemist along the way.

The Alchemist is one of my favourite stories. I’m not sure how I feel about a film adaptation but if it gets more people reading the book, then it’s a win.