Monthly Archives: April 2011

Toddler Timeout now on the Amazon Appstore

Toddler Timeout is now available on the Amazon Appstore store.

For those who have asked, I’m working on the iPhone version. There’s a bunch of stuff you have to do to get yourself into iTunes. I’ve finally got testing hardware, and am waiting to get access to the device to test. Then there is getting approved, which frankly, I have no idea when it will happen. But I am working on it.

Toddler Timeout

My first full fledged mobile app is now on the Android Market.

It’s called “Toddler Timeout!” and it’s got real world uses. If you do the whole timeout thing on your kids, this is a timer for doing that when you’re on the go. That’s right, discipline for your child ANYWHERE!

My plan is to release it on the Android Market first, use the easy to publish nature of the Android Market to iterate over all of the bone head bugs I’ve left in it. I’ve also submitted it to the Amazon App Store too. It’s awaiting approval.

Then once I’ve stabilized it, I’ll get it on to submit it to the BlackBerry and IOS stores.

A couple technical things about it:

  • It uses Flex
  • The timer is a Flex MX PieChart
  • I minimally performance tuned it

Expect a few blogs posts around it soon.

Go give it a shot. Toddler Timeout!

Motorola MOTODEV App Summits – South American Leg

A few weeks back I announced that Adobe would be participating in Motorola’s MOTODEV tour featuring the XOOM and ATRIX. Mark Doherty and I will be talking at multiple events with Motorola.

I’m pleased to tell you we have confirmation on dates for the South American (and Central American) leg of the MOTODEV tour.

Beijing, China – April 26 (Mark)
Shanghai, China – April 29 (Mark)
Sao Paulo, Brazil – May 16 (Terry)
Buenos Aires, Argentina – May 19 (Terry)
Mexico City, Mexico* – May 23

Can’t wait.

Building Mobile Apps for Multiple Devices with Flex at 360|Flex

It looks like I never got a description into the good folks at 360|Flex about my session. Sorry about that.

Building Mobile Apps for Multiple Devices with Flex

Building apps for multiple devices isn’t just as simple as redoing your existing apps in Flex Hero, and running Export Release Build in Flash Builder. Getting applications to work on multiple screen takes thought and work in:

  • Design
  • Coding
  • Configuration
  • Packaging

 

The session will cover topics including:

  • Application DPI
  • Mobile Design
  • Simulating various Screens
  • MXMLC
  • Command line packaging
  • ANT
  • Publishing for multiple stores
  • and more

 

It’s a high level exploration of these issues, and will touch on content that is addressed deeper in other 360|Flex projects.

It’s time has also been changed from the paper schedule. It will take place:
Monday at 10:50 AM in Salon C.

Motorola MOTODEV App Summits Tour!

I’m pleased to announce that Adobe is participating in Motorola’s MOTODEV App Summits. The App summits are designed to bring developers up to speed in developing Android Apps for Honeycomb, specifically focused on the XOOM with Honeycomb OS, as well as for smartphones like the ATRIX.

I’m also pleased to announce that Mark Doherty and I will be giving sessions on AIR for Android development at these events.

Berlin, Germany – April 11 (Mark)
London, UK – April 15 (Mark)
Beijing, China – April 26 (Mark)
Shanghai, China – April 29 (Mark)
Seoul, Korea* – May 2
Sao Paulo, Brazil* (Terry)
Buenos Aires, Argentina* (Terry)
Mexico City, Mexico* – May 25

If you’re near any of these cities and eager to get your Honeycomb on, or just to check out the cool stuff Motorola’s got going on, please come on down. Register at the MOTODEV App Summit website.

Angry Old Technologist

The Angry Old Technologist (AOT) has been around forever. They built the system that you are trying to change. They’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know about programming, hot shot. In short, you’re trying to change things, they’re yelling at you to get off their lawn.

Now, that’s not to say anyone with more then a few years of experience is a senior citizen. Nor that all criticism from people that share characteristics with this group.

Unlike last week’s character, the Angry Young Technologist (AYT), I don’t have experience being the AOT. At least I think I don’t. I’m fairly sure I’ve never been the one saying we absolutely shouldn’t change something. I may have argued against a particular change, or implementation, but not generalized change. Therefore, my thoughts here are more conjecture and inference than actual experience. Anyone who sees themselves in this description is welcome to set the record straight on anything I get wrong.

Scenario:
I was once at a conference where there was a Q&A with representatives from Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, and, of course Adobe. Someone got up and started talking about the current pace of change, and how every year all of us were coming out with more tools and technology. And he got angrier and angrier as he spoke, until he blurted out:

Why do you guys keep forcing me to learn new stuff?

And therein lies the key problem of the Angry Old Technologist: progress forces change; change forces them to learn; and they don’t want to.

Now, back when I was an AYT I never understood this. How can you hate to learn more things? As I get older, while I don’t resent learning new things, I can understand why you might.

I’m lucky, part of my job is to keep learning new things. Not all jobs build into them the need to learn new things. Most don’t. When you’re younger and have less responsibility, it’s not a huge deal, you can just spend your free time learning new things. As you get older, other concerns come in, like family, kids, housing, health care, retirement funds, school districts, PTAs ARRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH.

All that stuff, some of which people refer to as your real life, destroys your free time. When you’re young, and passionate about technology, that free time is where you spend long hours focusing and mastering new things. When you get older and attached, you don’t have that time. Learning goes from something you love to do and you can easily do because you have copious free time, to something you have to make time to do.

And that’s if you’re passionate about what you do. If not, you start as a young person having to spend time to play catchup. By the time your free time is gone, the idea of learning new things terrifies you because you don’t know when you’re going to do it, and you never know the worth as all technology has an expiration date.

Where does the anger come from? What do you get when you combine no time, with years of responsibility, the pressure to constantly learn new things, some of which may be “dead” before you even implement them, and fear of what happens when you fail? You get rage, pure and simple.

There is bad news here for the guy from the conference, and for all of the other AOTs: There is no stopping the change. We technology companies might impact, alter, or nudge the waves of changes. But ultimately we don’t control them; they are caused by too many disparate sources to be controlled, even if we wanted to.

So what do you do when you’re face to face with an AOT?

  • Well they’re irrational, so you should ignore them. Didn’t you read my book?
  • Learn from their knowledge of the current environment.
  • Engage them and try to bring them onboard without patronizing them.

So what do you do when you’re face to face with an AOT… in the mirror?

  • Accept that the future cannot be stopped.
  • Accept that it’s okay you can’t grasp every new piece of technology.
  • Be part of the change, which will eventually replace what exists now, instead of opposing it.
  • But mostly stop being so angry.

So what do you do when you’re face to face with an AOT and they’re your employee?

 

  • Build-in continuing education and skunkworks into employee goals.

 

This is a tough group, and they are some of the most resistant to change. They’re also tough because a lot of them end up in management. So avoid, if you can, defer if you can’t, and give them opportunities to save face along the way.