Staying up to date with iOS development world

There are a lot of resources to follow, browse and read when it comes to iOS development. I listen to podcasts, follow RSS feeds and Twitter discussions around iOS development but if you just want one good source, it’s iOS Dev Weekly, an email newsletter that curates all the most relevant stuff once a week. Recommended++.


Actually useful Caps Lock key

This post is deprecated. Go here for a good rabbit hole:

I hit the Escape key plenty of times a day. Vim, Irssi, cancelling dialogs… Reaching out to the top left corner can get quite annoying. An easy fix for this is mapping the otherwise almost useless Caps Lock key to work as Escape. This can be quite easily achieved by first mapping Caps Lock to Control and then mapping Control to act as Escape. Here’s how to do that in OS X 10.9:

Continue reading “Actually useful Caps Lock key”


Podcasts for the design-oriented iOS developer

I listen to a lot of podcasts. And when I say a lot, I mean I subscribe to about 20 podcasts and try hard to listen to every episode of them. Most of the podcasts I listen to are about Apple, iOS/Mac/web development or design. Or in the optimal case, all of the above. I thought it’d be useful for likeminded people to take a peek at the Apple/iOS-related ones.

Curiously I used to listen to a whole lot of 5by5 podcasts. Now there are a total of zero of them on my list; a couple of interesting podcasts have ended (Build & Analyze and Hypercritical), another one has moved network (The Talk Show).

By the way, Build & Analyze and Hypercritical have still episodes very much worth listening, in the (extremely unlikely) case you run out of podcasts to listen to.


So I ordered a Nexus 7 2

Yesterday I went an ordered a WiFi-only Nexus 7 2 1. Me, a guy who’s somewhat deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem! Also, me, who’s been pretty vocal about how dumb it is to buy a tablet without cellular connectivity. Yep. Here’s why:

  • I read a lot of books.
  • Most of the stuff I read is technical (contains source code), thus PDFs are the only viable format.
  • E-ink readers suck at PDFs, I need a good color display and a fluid reading experience.
  • My current 9.7” iPad is too heavy for comfortably reading books.
  • iPad mini has a perfect size and weight, but it’s screen makes my eyes bleed after using retina-only devices (iPhone, iPad, MBP).
  • Retina iPad mini’s won’t be here this year. (Or so I believe. If they really release a retina mini next month, awesome, then Nexus goes to my wife and I’ll just buy that for me, problem solved!)
  • Looking around the tablet space, I see iPads (ruled out above), Surfaces (also heavy and clunky) and the Android options.
  • If I’d go Android, it’d have to be vanilla, Samsung is not coming to my home.
  • Thus leaving me pretty much with just one choice: the new Nexus 7.

Regarding the WiFi-only choice, it’s simple:

  • Reading books while commuting requires no connectivity.
  • I already have two ways to get online while mobile; my iPhone and my iPad.
  • WiFi-only Nexus is way cheaper than the LTE one.

Nexus 7 came to retail stores yesterday here in Finland. The cheapest price for the 16-gig WiFi model I’ve seen is €269, substancially more than the $199 US price (granted that’s without any taxes while Fi-prices always include taxes). But still, seems a lot! I browsed around and found that Amazon UK sells the device for £179 plus a few pounds for delivery. I ended up paying a total of €220, almost a whopping 20% less than the RRP in Finland.

Now I wait for the device to arrive, should be here around next Friday. I’ll be sure to write up my experiences in the Android land shortly after that.

Related: worst product name in the history of mankind has to be the smartcover knockoff Amazon tried to upsell me. It’s called: drumroll please…

New Asus Google Nexus 7 FHD 2013 (ALL Model Versions, Android 4.3) BLACK Multi-Function SMART FOLIO Front & Back Case / Smart Cover / Typing & Viewing Stand / Premium SLIM Flip Case With Magnetic Sleep Sensor & Screen Protector Shield Guard & Nexus 7 FHD 2 2.0 II Tablet Black Stylus Pen Accessory Accessories Pack by InventCase®.

Tweeted that yesterday. Took three tweets.

  1. What a douche name! I know iPads nowadays are also named in a similar fashion, but it actually took me quite a many checks on various e-commerce sites to be sure I was looking at the new Nexus 7 2 2013 and not the old sucky one. 


On being an introvert

Chris Coyer of CSS Tricks fame wrote an excellent piece about being an introvert to the Pastry Box Project. I’ve never thought about things that way, but after reading that I instantly got an “Aha!” -moment. I have no problem interacting with people, but I also very rarely find myself in crowded places, such as a bar. I just rather spend time at home with my wife and cats, fooling around with computers, guitars and whatnot. It’s nice to see I’m not alone (no pun intended).


Lego Ferrari Formula 1

I’m a huge fan of Lego and this really hits the spot. (Also, this post is an excuse to test the Tumblr bookmarklet.)


Big huge takeaways from Getting Things Done

I’ve been more or less doing this Getting Things Done1 thing for about 18 months now. I learned about it first from my friend Mikko and remember my initial feelings being very skeptic. Isn’t this a way too complicated system for simple geeks like us, isn’t this just a self-help system for really busy big company leaders?

Turns out that’s not the case. I also have plenty of projects to keep track of, both in my personal life and in my two simultaneous work lives.

I kept hearing about the system from Merlin Mann’s podcast and my curiosity rose. I have to admit at first it was the productivity porn aspect that got me interested, tinkering about what’s the best todo-list-app available. Ended up in OmniFocus, mostly because during the time I got it, it was the only serious tool with good syncing available between the Mac, iPhone and iPad clients. I’m not totally satisfied with the Mac client, but the 2.0 is just around the corner and it looks way better (both feature- and just plain lookswise).

So in the last 18 months I’ve also been trying to read the Getting Things Done book by David Allen. I’ve kind of got the grasp of the system by reading and hearing tidbits of information about GTD from here and there, but never got around reading the book. That changed lately, when Merlin Mann had a trilogy of five episodes talking about Getting Things Done (those episodes were 95, 96, 97, 98 and 99). Inspired by Merlin I picked up the book and started reading.

Boy is it ever a boring book! Filled with 10 year old business jargon, it really takes some imagination to get to the meat and potatoes, as Merlin would say. Nevertheless I managed to struggle through and I am glad I finally did. I thought I’d jot this blog post about the three key takeaways I got from the book.

The three key points in GTD (for me)

  1. If a task takes less than two minutes, do it immediately.
  2. A trusted system is really invaluable (but only if it’s reviewed regularly).
  3. To actually get anything done, it’s extremely important to define a “next actionable step”.

Let me open them up a bit.

If a task takes less than two minutes, do it immediately

A gamechanger. Instantly makes me feel a lot more productive and better about myself. Quick replies to emails are sent, dirty dishes get in the dishwasher, Photoshop layers are organized and properly named. When not done, these tiny things keep nagging even though you might not think so. They stack up.

A trusted system is invaluable

It feels great to dump stuff from my brain to a system (OmniFocus) that I know I’ll be constantly reviewing. To know that nothing will be forgotten feels amazing.

Define next actionable steps

Just as the next guy, I have certain goals in my life. For instance, I want to learn how to play the piano. Thanks to GTD I now know “Learn the piano” is not really a good task to have on my todo list, since it’s just daunting to have such juggernaut things as single tasks. It’s far more likely to happen if I make it a project and think of the first concrete step I can make. In this case, it could be “Google piano courses near where I live”.

So there you have it, the main three things I got out of the book. I guess I’d still recommend reading it, but I strongly suggest doing it in parallel while listening to the five Back to Work episodes.

  1. ©DavidCo, 2001. 


My Bookmarking Flow

I live and breathe in Google Reader. Sometimes (quite often) there arises a need to save a webpage for later, either because I don’t have the time to read it or I just want to save the page for referencing to later. Here’s how my process used to go with Google Reader:

  • Find an interesting article
  • Hit the star button to trigger IFTTT
  • IFTTT would then send the starred article to Instapaper so I could catch up later
  • Instapaper would post all articles sent to it to for more permanent storage.

Then when I consumed the saved pages:

  • I’d hit Instapaper ~weekly and process at least part of the queued pages
  • processing meaned “read and possibly move to a more persistent storage” such as local bookmark or re-add to with appropriate tags

Then referencing to a previously saved article went like this:

  • Start typing somewhat relevant words in Chrome’s Omnibox hoping to find the page from history
  • If not found in history, googling it.

Why googling when the article is always pushed to in the end? Because I find it far easier and way faster to just google the page, instead of opening a new tab and browsing to, (possibly) logging in, and then attempting to search my bookmark library there.

So now I’ve found a better solution for these certain kind of higher quality / more important (yet not so important they’d live in browser bookmark bar) to me bookmarks. In fact, the solution has been staring me in the eye for quite a while now, but I’ve discarded it as “just another read it later -service”.

But no, I realized Kippt is just suited for scratching this kind of itch. For example, as my day job as a web programmer I run across many handy JavaScript libraries and articles. Many of these I think I could use at some future project, so I created a Kippt list for JS stuff. Now please note, this list is not for dumping every possible JS related blog post, but only for high quality content I most probably would otherwise end up googling. And sometimes it’s not that straightforward to find the thing in mind (it was a great jQuery lightbox…name just slips my mind…let me google for jQuery ligh-holy hell! THREE MILLION RESULTS!?).

So, Kippt. For high quality web content. Also, it’s super pretty!

I’m anttti on Kippt.


Review of Every Calendar App on iOS

Cons: Does not show date in home screen icon. No, badge hacks do not count.

Sidenote: It’s crazy why the current date is displayed only in icon and lock screen. Why not at least in notification center?


iOS ’86

I only started using Macs in the System 7 era. But this is still very cool.