September 18, 2014

OS X Caching Server Does Not Support the iOS 8 Update

With the release of iOS 8, yesterday was an eventful day in the iOS universe. I thought it'd be an interesting experiement at work to set up a Caching Server (part of OS X Server), particularly to see if it would work for the iOS 8 update. At some point yesterday, Apple provided the quick answer to that question in a support doc. The Caching service of OS X Server doesn't cache the iOS 8 update....


July 11, 2014

Programmatically Reading and Converting Database Sizes With Exchange 2013 Powershell

For quite a while I've had automated PowerShell scripts that monitor our Exchange database sizes. I set this up so we could see weekly/monthly/annual growth patterns for different departments in the company. We weren't really concerned about running out of space on the backend servers, but it would be good to have a rouch idea of the trajectory. And more data is always better, right? To start,...


June 7, 2014

How I Track Which WWDC Videos I've Watched

It's that time of year again, when Apple developers around the world get back home from WWDC (or are still at home and well-rested, like me) and start trying to soak up all they can from the session videos. I always have intentions of watching ALL THE VIDEOS, but inevitably I just catch the ones that are pertinent to what I'm doing. If you write iOS and Mac apps for a living, though, you probably...


June 1, 2014

Tools of the Trade - 2014 Edition

I've been running a side business for a little over a year now. The term "running" might be a stretch, because I released an app in June of 2012 and have just been issuing updates since then. Don't get me wrong - I haven't been just resting on my laurels. I try to stay up to date, and this means I have been building up an arsenal of tools. After being inspired by people like Justin...


January 26, 2014

Updates for Easy Grade

Last week I shipped an update to Easy Grade Free, my EZ Grader app in the iOS App Store. The actual changes in the app are minor (a new “iOS 7” icon and a slight color change, and a removal of the periodic nagging to rate the app. The bigger news might be that I have removed the paid version of the app from the App Store. Easy Grade’s original icon was great, but it was far too detailed to...


May 1, 2013

Countly, Raspberry Pi, and Servos, Oh My!

TL;DR - I got a Raspberry Pi to do cool things when people use my iOS app. Watch the video below. I can't even remember where I heard about Countly, but I signed up for my beta account with them on Oct 10, 2012, and probably shipped my app using their service shortly after that. One particularly cool feature (this isn't unique to Countly) is that I can track "events" that occur in my...


January 25, 2013


I received a phone call 2 years ago in the middle of the night from our youth pastor. You know you're about to hear some bad news when your phone rings that late (or early, if you're like me and wake up at 5:15). I sleepily answered the call, and Matt proceeded to tell me that our friend was at the gym that night with his fiance, and he passed out, and had now passed on. He was 28 years old. I...


December 31, 2012

Books I Read in 2012

Last year, 2011, my goal was to read on average a book a month. In 2012, I didn't really set a goal, other than to just continue reading. It's been fun and educational. Here's the list. • Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins • Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things...


August 24, 2012

Easy Grade - An EZ Grader for your iPhone

There I was, one evening, helping my wife grade papers. I only do the multiple choice questions and the strict short-answer ones. I needed to calculate grades to put on the top of the papers, and I needed a way to quickly calculate this number. Being the geek that I am, I made a quick Numbers spreadsheet (which is a simple, useful skill for anyone to learn, whether it be Numbers of Excel). I...


July 25, 2012

We Built a Shed

Over the July 4th week, and then some, Nikole and I both had our parents down to help us build a 16x12 shed in our backyard. The goal was to add some much-needed storage to this house, provide us with some workshop-like space, and to have good family time. Overall, I think it was a success. I shot a timelapse video from inside the house through the window. I don't think my old MacBook Pro, or any...


June 27, 2012

One Mand Band at Boston Common

I gave this guy a dollar. Probably should've given him $5. (video shot on June 19th, 2011) Note: Sorry for the Vertical Video Syndrome


June 25, 2012

Advice on Learning

Joe Conway (Big Nerd Ranch): I ask mentors how to solve problems, but only after I’ve tried every solution I can think of. Exhausting my knowledge before asking a question serves two purposes: I don’t waste their time with frivolous or ambiguous questions and I now know all of the wrong ways to solve the problem. Knowing all of the wrong ways to solve a problem is just as important as...


June 15, 2012

Calendar App Design

Over the past year or so, I've slowly been developing a calendar app for work that pulls data from an Exchange calendar and displays a custom view of that calendar. We have mounted more than 20 iPads outside of conference rooms so that when someone wants to know what that room's upcoming schedule is, they can simply tap around on the iPad and see all of the events. At this point, I have most of...


June 10, 2012

WWDC 2012 Wishlist/Predictions

I've come a long way this past year in developing my skills as an iOS developer. I've released one app to the App Store that I did as a contract job, and I've got another one ready to go but I'm waiting on an icon to be designed. I've also built a calendaring app at work to view shared Exchange calendars for our conference rooms. Anyway, I digress. Tomorrow, the fine folks at Apple will stand on...


February 15, 2012

[NSDateFormatter _regenerateFormatter] Leak

I have been writing an app at work for some time now that shows an Exchange Calendar's events for specified conference rooms. I use a handful of NSDateFormatters to pull this off. The app refreshes the onscreen events every 10 minutes, and when it does so, it calls a few functions that calculate various times, like the beginning and end of the week and converting NSDate objects to custom...


January 28, 2012

You Can Learn Anything (Video Link)

Learning is one of the mantras of my life, and I've talked about it on this blog before here and here. You can learn anything if you really want to. Today I came across this short video, which continues the theme. LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.