Sometimes it’s useful to save a little memory by storing data as bits rather than bytes. After all, if you’re storing a boolean then using a whole byte is rather wasteful. In any event, sometime you might want to inspect individual bits when working on your program. If you’ve ever needed to do this then this code will help. Continue reading “Snippet of Code #3 – Dumping Bits”
A little while ago my sister approached me with an idea which requires a Facebook app. I’ve never written a Facebook app before, so I stocked up on books, read a little, and got stuck in.
What a complete waste of time. It seems that the Facebook development system is a little fluid. Nothing I learned worked, and the books would have been more useful if I had used them as substitute loo roll. Continue reading “Snippet of code #2 – Developing Facebook Apps”
One of the people I work with (an excellent fellow, I might add) was grumbling about how he could gather information about the mounted disks on a computer. He was mucking around with ‘df’ in the command line, and giving serious thought to the business of parsing the result into his program.
I discovered NetNewsWire soon after I started using Mac OS X, and it changed the way that I use the internet. Before NetNewsWire I didn’t really know much more about RSS than what it stood for. Before NetNewsWire I aimlessly clicked around the dozens of websites that interested me, mostly just checking to see if they had anything new to offer. What a waste of time. RSS changes all that. With RSS the updates come to you – there’s no need to check for updates because they’ll all be delivered to you, in one location, when they happen. And NetNewsWire on the Mac was the best, so when it came out for the iPhone I was delighted – and paid up immediately.
Bad move. It is easily the buggiest piece of software that I’ve used on the iPhone – an application which tarnishes the NetNewsWire brand. It frequently fails to update the status of its feeds correctly, so that I can’t see which stories I’ve read and which ones I haven’t. The refresh button doesn’t fix the situation – so the only solution is a restart of the app. Despite this, I stayed loyal to NetNewsWire. But now, and just after NetNewsWire was sold to Black Pixel, I’ve decided that enough is enough. I’ve decided to try Reeder.
At first glance, Reeder does the same thing that NetNewsWire does – it syncs RSS feeds with Google Reader, and makes them available for reading on your iOS device. At second glance, Reeder does a whole lot more. It’s more configurable. It has an Instapaper like reading view although, unlike Instapaper, you do need an internet connection to use it. If you want the whole page, Safari style, you can have that too – the downside being that you need to be prepared to wait for the whole page to load, images and all. The muted theme, black on grey, is very restful; far easier on the eyes than the stark black on white (with the occasional bright blue highlight) of NetNewsWire. The icing on the cake is that it seems to be faster and it hasn’t crashed either, well – not yet anyway.
I haven’t had Reeder for long. These are first impressions. But so far I like it alot, and I consider it to be money very well spent. When my iPad arrives I’ll doubtless be buying a copy of the iPad version.
As for my Mac, that still has NetNewsWire on it – but I notice that Reeder is available for Mac OS too. I suspect that I might abandon NetNewsWire altogether soon, but I will keep an eye on its development and I hope that Black Pixel can turn it around.