What I… (June 2015)

Welcome to the 3rd instalment of “What I…” for June 2015 – again a little late this time. I blame having to dog-sit my girlfriend’s mom’s dog “Lucky” ;)

… Did

Dog Lucky

Dogsitting.
Lucky is with us every now and then, but having him here day and night for an entire week is a completely different experience.
For example, getting up at 5.45 sharp to take him out for a walk is something else compared to my typical routine.

ScreenFloat Update (click)
After successfully (and finally) releasing Glimpses, I’m able to move on to the next app that needs updating – ScreenFloat.
I have a couple of nice things planned. That will take some time, though, as I need to restructure some parts of the app, for example the storage of screenshots.
I don’t have an ETA yet and haven’t even started coding yet, I’m very much still in the planning stages and code-reviewing.

New App for Mac (and possibly iOS)
Another reason I haven’t started coding on the ScreenFloat update yet is that I’ve started working on a completely new app this month.
I like working on side-projects, it tends to restore my energies. Sometimes, working on an app that you’ve been working on for quite some time can become unexciting. At times, you want to do something else.
So projects I work on on the side are a good way to get my head out of what I should be working on and ‘reboot’ so I can return to, in this case, ScreenFloat with fully recharged batteries and a fresh eye at things.
Regarding the new app itself, it’s too soon to share anything about it, other than that progress is going quite well. I’ve been working on a custom UI for it and it has been taking a lot of time. It still is ;)

… Didn’t Do That I Had Planned

Post about ESSAudioWaveView
In my Mac app Glimpses, that turns your photos and music into stunning still motion videos, I use a piece of custom UI called ESSAudioWaveView, and it allows the user to select a portion of a song to be selected and used for the video.
I had planned to post about it this month but time wasn’t on my side.
It’s on my list, and perhaps I can do it in July. It will be a multi-part series.

Start coding work on ScreenFloat
Having gotten distracted with the new app I wrote about above, I didn’t get as much work done on ScreenFloat as I had hoped and wanted.
On the other hand, having updated Yoink to version 3, Transloader for iOS with a Today Widget and Action Extension, and Glimpses 2.0 in the last couple of months, I just needed some time to get away from my existing apps and do something else for a while.
A new app is always good therapy ;) 

… Downloaded

Gestimer Icon

Gestimer (click)
Developed by fellow Austrian Martin Nguyen, this Mac app sits in your menu bar and lets you quickly create short-time reminders (for example, take the dog for a walk in 30 minutes).
It has a great UI and I suggest you go check it out :)

LEGO Jurassic World Icon

LEGO Jurassic World (click)
As soon as it was announced, I knew I had to get it. And I wasn’t disappointed.
I played LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Indiana Jones and they were just plain fun and entertainment, with a unique style of humor.
The only thing that, “uhm, urr, staggers me” (inside joke here) is their use of in-movie-audio for dialogs. I often have a hard time understanding what is being said – perhaps they should have play-tested this a little longer and adjust the audio levels here.
Anyway, I’m at the beginning of the second movie now, ‘The Lost World’, and can’t wait to play again.

… Read

Link: The Process Behind Putting Firewatch On Stage At E3 (click)
Written by the Campo Santo team who are responsible for the game Firewatch which will be released some time in the future (in case you don’t know, the well-known Mac software company Panic, Inc. acts like a sort-of-publisher for the game), this blog post gives a look at what goes into a E3 demo. A very interesting read.

Link: An Oral History Of Deus Ex (click)
Fifteen years ago, Deus Ex was released. The girls and guys of Gamasutra sat down with the project director, lead programmer, composer and lead writer of the game, trying to “shed some light on how this seminal game was developed”.

Link: Postmortem: Blizzard’s Diablo II (click)
Also fifteen years ago, Diablo II was released – one of my (if not the) all-time favorite games I ever played. This is a post-mortem of Diablo II, written a couple of months after Diablo II was released, back in the year 2000.

We Don't Need Roads Book Cover

Book: We Don’t Need Roads – The Making of the Back To The Future Trilogy (click)
As the title says, a book about the making of the Back To The Future movie trilogy. Based on interviews with the people who made the movies, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, Christopher Lloyd and countless others.
The cover looks great. I guess the way they figured, if you’re going to make a book cover, you better do it with some style!

… Listened To

Der Übercast Episode 32 (click)
A german podcast (alternatively with video). In this episode, the guest is Thorsten Lemke, the legendary developer responsible for Graphic Converter.

… Watched

WWDC Sessions (click)
Of course, as always with WWDC, there’s plenty of new stuff and with Apple posting the sessions as videos online, it’s very easy to get caught up with everything that’s coming.
My favorite sessions are:
– Session 102; Platforms Sate of the Union
– Session 506; Editing Movies in AVFoundation
– Sessions 603 and 607, 604, 606, 608; (What’s New in Metal, SpriteKit, SceneKit, GameplayKit) – Even though I don’t work on games right now, these sessions are always some of the first I watch
– Session 225; What’s New in NSCollectionView
– Sessions 704 and 715; What’s New in CloudKit and CloudKit Tips and Tricks

Images

Jurassic World (click)
What Jurassic Park sequels have taught me is to go into these movies with very, very, very low expectations. So I did. And what happened? I actually found it enjoyable.
Please do not read on if you haven’t seen the movie yet but plan to, there might be spoilers from here on.
Spoilers to come…
Still to come…
One more for good measure…

Here we go:
Forget the ‘love story’ – it’s totally inconsequential and unnecessary.
Forget the ‘brother story’ – it’s completely tacked-on.
Forget the characters – they’re totally underdeveloped.
Forget the ‘dinosaurs as weapons for the army story’ – sucks.
Forget the ’training Velociraptors like dogs’ thing – sucks big time.

With all that, I still found it to be enjoyable and entertaining. I can’t exactly put my fingers on it, but it’s got some good action, suspense and dinosaurs.
Perhaps it’s enjoyable to me because it’s the first ‘Jurassic’ movie I’ve seen in the cinema.

Dil Dhadakne Do Movie Cover

Dil Dhadakne Do (click)
A very funny comedy about a dysfunctional Punjabi family on a cruise trip.
My girlfriend wanted to see it and she was not disappointed – and neither was I. She loved the songs and dance numbers.

… Ate

Lemon Curd Berry TrifleLemon Curd Berry Trifle

… Went to See

IMG 9986Carnuntum, an archaeological site near Vienna, Austria