Never Donate Via SMS

January 8th, 2013

Recently I donated to the Shelter charity via SMS, after doing this I keep on getting phone calls from 02076197597, after doing some research it appears the phone calls are from a company called Listen (www.listenuk.org) and they do this spam phone calling for various well known charities like Unicef and NSPCC, this also means that these charities are wasting donated money employing this company. My advice is never SMS donations to any company as they might just use a spam company like Listen.

Apple needs more innovation

January 1st, 2013

Early last year Apple’s share price was over $644 a share making it the worlds most valuable company, since then the share price has fallen 24% in the last 3 months and looks like it might continue without something happening. I imagine the death of the founder and visionary Steve Jobs caused uncertainty in future products and slightly disappointing release of the iPhone 5 could have caused the shares to fall. Recently they released the iPad mini and the great looking iMac, but I don’t think these are innovative enough to increase sales as much as necessary for shares to increase back to the highs of last year. Another factor that could have effected the share price was that Apples competitors are now producing products that match and in some cases surpass Apples, for example the Google Nexus 7. I imagine Apple are trying very hard to think of the next big thing that will put them clearly back on top.

Delphi Blog

December 5th, 2012

I have created a new blog called Delphi Bar, this relates just to Delphi software development. The intention is to use this blog to publish useful code and information on the Delphi programming language.

iPhone 5 possible price

August 31st, 2012

I was reading an article published in The Times regarding the new 4G network and it mentioned that phones that are 4G enabled are most likely going to be 50% more expensive than the same phone without 4G. Could this mean that the new iPhone is around £750? If so will they produce a non-4G version which will retail for the same amount as the 4s does now? I also hope they get the 4G right unlike with the current iPad (version 3) which is 4G, but only available in the states. I am looking forward to the new iPhone 5, but I do hope they do not overprice it.

PLSQL replacement for IIF

January 17th, 2012

Currently I am using a Oracle database and have been writing queries and can across a problem the other day, I wanted to use a IIF statement which I have used in other SQL based databases like Sybase Advantage. However PLSQL does not support IIF statements, but the workaround I found was to use the DECODE function instead, for example:

Decode(:param1, -1, dothis, dothat)

Not sure how fast this executes compared with IIF, but the query executed very fast.

Google Chrome vs IE

December 17th, 2011

Recently I have found that IE has been running slowly on my home XP PC and also on my work Windows 7 PC. The version of IE I am running on both is IE8, I’m not sure whether one of the updates has caused this problem, but it has now forced me to use Google’s Chrome, which after using it for a few weeks I think is a lot better. It seems a strange tactic for MS to slow down IE8 so much that it ever runs slowly on a quad core PC with 4GB of ram. Anyway I would recommend using Chrome over IE8 mainly because it runs so much faster and has some nice features with a simple easy to use interface.

iOS 5 retain and release gone!

September 9th, 2011

With the next release of iOS development of apps has changed and there is no need to use retain or release, the new ARC (Automatic Reference Counting) memory management takes care of it all. This will reduce crashes and memory leaks and saving time in the development process. At compile time it understands the objects and releases the objects when it knows  they are no longer required, this is very similar to other development languages. This does however mean a lot of work to get existing apps to run, but new apps will be quicker and more reliable when developing.

iPhone 5 – Will it be 3D?

July 26th, 2011

The new Apple iPhone 5 is planned to be launched on 13th September (I’ve read) and there is a lot of articles and comments on the NET about what new features it will have. I think to keep up with Apple’s competitors it needs to have some nice new features and cannot rely on just it’s a bit quicker and the camera has more megapixels. So what could Apple do to make the new iPhone WOW the public? One thought is that the phone could be 3D, this would not be new to mobile phones because the HTC Evo 3D phone currently is a glasses-free 3D phone, but if Apple could include this it would at least compete with HTC.  

iPhone application development with Delphi Prism

June 10th, 2011

I have just watch a very interesting video (Link) which demostrates how to develop iPhone/iPad applications using Delphi Prism. The video is a overview of how to develop a simple application, it uses xCodes interface builder for the xib files. I am interested in how this will work with xCode 4, seeing as the interface builder is integrated into the main IDE.

Cinemagraphs – Clever animated GIFs

May 21st, 2011

Have recently come across a blog about some clever animated GIFs the creators call Cinemagraphs, these images are good quality photos with a portion that is animated. The article goes into how they are created, with each one taking from 3-4 hours to produce. I think they look great and when I get some time will try to produce one of my own.Here is the link

iWeb Font Problem Solved

April 14th, 2011

Recently I have been using Apples iWeb application to produce a small web site. At first I thought the application worked well and found it easy to use with its WYSIWYG interface. However when I published the site locally and viewed it in Safari it was all over the place, the fonts were the wrong size, type and even colour and the position of some of the paragraphs were incorrect. I tried moving the paragraphs around, only having 1 font type per paragraph, but when one area was fixed another broke. I finally found the solution to the problem, before publishing the site and viewing it in Safari, simply go to the ‘Safari’ menu item and select ‘Empty Cache’.

iPhone 5 mid summer release

April 4th, 2011

Just read an article about the iPhone might be released mid summer 2011, apparently it will have a 8 megapixel camera, which is being supplied by Sony. Have not heard is there will be a camera flash, but it will also most likely have the A5 chip.

Xcode 4 released

March 24th, 2011

I have recently been on an xcode course and we used version 3, I found that compared to Delphi and Visual Studio, xcode was behind the times by quite some way. To do interface design you had to use interface designer which is a separate application, so you have to keep remembering to save the interface. Also unlike Delphi there is no background complication so errors in code are not reported until you manually compile the application. The code completion is weak and no way as good as Delphi.

However, while on the course xcode 4 was release and we got to have a quick look, Apple has made a massive leap forward with the IDE and now the interface builder is part of xcode, also the compiler is new, this means background compilation is possible so errors are reported instantly and the code completion works much better.

I am looking forward to moving onto xcode 4 when I get a moment, it looks much better and now is up to date with Delphi and Visual Studio.

SQL Query – How to group by a memo field

February 26th, 2011

This week I was writing some SQL queries for a Sybase Advantage database and came across a problem of grouping a memo field. At first I thought the way around this was to SubString() the field with a large limit, I noticed that this worked OK with a range of 1-1000 but caused problems with a range of 1-1500. The best solution I found was to convert the memo to a varchar, here is the snippet of SQL.

Convert(MemoField, SQL_VARCHAR) as ConvertedMemo

This then allows you to group by that field and the query still ran very fast.

How to use triggers to keep a table history

February 21st, 2011

I have recently written an article on how to use triggers in a Sybase Advantage database to keep a history of inserts, updates and deletes. The example in the article includes how to store the user who makes the change, this is useful when trying to keep a trail of changes made to a table.

Top Free Software

January 20th, 2011

I have just published an article Top Free Software, this contains my top favorite freeware software applications. These include software for developers and regular PC users.

Dropbox Review – Online backup solution

January 19th, 2011

Dropbox is an online file storage, sync and sharing service, which I have now been using for 3 months. I use this service for backing up certain documents and sharing work related files between my work PC, laptop and home PC. I have found it very useful when writing documents at work and then finishing then documents at home without having to copy the file onto a memory stick. It is also useful for backing up important documents, but is not really a solution for backing up photos because the free capacity is 2GB, it is possible to purchase more capacity at a subscription cost. Overall this is a service I thought I would not use that much, but after 3 months I find myself using it all the time and would recommend it.

Word Lens – Now thats clever

December 23rd, 2010

Iphone smallI’ve just downloaded an app for my iPhone which is very clever. When the iPhone came out I thought of ideas for great apps, one of them was to be able to point your phone at foreign words like signs and for the phone to translate the sign with the words translated. It would work like how you would see the sign if you knew the language, like looking at foreign words through some magic english translator glasses. I thought to write an app like this would be almost impossible, but there is now an app called ‘Word Lens’ which does this. Currently it only translates from English to Spainish and vise-versa, but I can imagine it would be great if it could work if you visited places like China or Japan.

Apple and leaks do not go together.

December 22nd, 2010

Apple has recently removed the Wikileaks app from its app store. Clearly it was OK at some point to pass Apple’s strict guidelines, however according to the developer of the app there are 2 reasons why Apple has removed the app from iTunes. The first reason states “Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way will be rejected”. And the second is “Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users”. How can an app like Wikileaks get through the guidelines to start with then Apple later decide the remove it. The second guideline regarding the legality of apps and regions, I would like to know how and if Apple manage to block apps from regions, for example encryption is outlawed in certain countries, but searching on the app store I can find many apps that advertise encryption. I think it might be a case of following other companies, but Apple need to look at their guidelines and the apps they allow to sell (which they make money from), which in my view from the outside do not conform to these guidelines.

HTML5 page on RicRac site

December 6th, 2010

I have now published the first HTML 5 page on the RicRac web site. The page I amended to HTML 5 is the page on how to report software bugs and errors. This page now contains the following HTML 5 elements.

  • Header – Tag used to define an introduction to the document.
  • Nav – Tag for defining a navigation section of a document.
  • Article – Defines external content, this is content that could be independent from the rest of the document.  
  • Footer – Contains document information like the author, date it was written, copyright and contact information.

I hope that adding these tags will improve the search engine ranking of the page.