Video Scrubbing in iTunes

For years, I’ve used college course websites to help supplement my learning. If you poke around, you’ll find a lot of sites with lecture notes, code samples, and assignments all posted online. You don’t need to enroll in the course, or even attend college, to benefit from these little nuggets of learning. Sometimes it beats bashing your head against a new topic, without any sort of plan.

iTunes U

My only real problem with this method has been lack of access to the lecture itself. iTunes U has been around for a while, with many schools offering access to videos and notes classroom lectures. Its been gaining steady traction, to the point where I’m pretty sure you could do an entire undergraduate degree online.

Read the rest of this entry »

Killing Your Apps in iOS

It all started with this

I was poking around an Apple Store when an elderly gentleman came in and complained that his iPhone was frozen. The screen was locked to a running application, and pressing the home button did nothing. I hung nearby, curious as to the official tech support procedure for this type of issue. This wasn’t a genius bar appointment, it was simply a sales associate helping someone who walked up to them at the front of the store.

Read the rest of this entry »

Games, Resolutions, and Multiple Monitors

I spend way too much time dealing with resolution oddities in games. Nothing is quite as maddening as when a game decides to launch at a ridiculously low resolution, in full screen. The side effects vary, but usually include either shoves every window I had open to my secondary monitor (shrinking them in the process), or just shrinking them to fit the new tiny resolution on the main monitor. Granted the screen resizing issues only happen on the first launch of the game (assuming you immediately set the resolution properly in game), but that’s no excuse for not fixing it. Plenty of games start just fine at your native resolution, and don’t screw with your windows.

Read the rest of this entry »

Strings in Java

At my first big programming job, we were building web applications using Servlets and EJBs. This is before Java web application frameworks had been invented, Servlets and EJBs were still in their infancy, and JSP were not even on the map. Everybody was feeling out how to use the technology properly, and a lot of mistakes were made along the way.

Read the rest of this entry »

Remote Access

Since high school, I’ve been dealing with the same old problem: How do I access my files when I’m not at my home computer? I started out with external storage; I used a 5.25″ floppy disk for a year, and quickly upgraded to a 3.5″ floppy. It held all of my documents and programming files, all meticulously organized. The disk itself has long since failed, but the files it contained are still with me to this day (though I’ve long since converted them to modern file formats). I moved to a laptop for some time as my primary machine, and backups were few and far between. I’ve only suffered data loss once: a RAID 0 crashed and 3 months of files were lost. I still rue that day, as I knew full well the RAID was failing, but I was too busy to run a backup and investigate further.

Read the rest of this entry »