Well, it has been a good few quite weeks in the office thanks to Christmas and the New Year. With it being the 2nd Jan, it’s time to wish you all a happy new year and let you know I’ll be diving back in to programming today.
Although I stepped away from the blog for almost a couple of weeks, I still spent some time learning and practicing. Over the past week I have learned more about views, view controllers as well as other types of controllers such as table view controllers. I have also learned a bit more about storyboarding on Xcode and how you can create a prototype app with little to no coding.
Today, I’ll be diving back in to some iOS/Xcode things and later on this week, I’ll post a few more things from my study notes of CS106A.
What Else I am Learning
As well as learning Objective C, I have a few other projects on the go…
Arduino UNO Controlled Thermostat
A few weeks ago I decided it was time to update my heating system at home. Instead of buying a wireless thermostat I decided I could try build one. I opted to buy an Arduino UNO along with a few other bits and pieces such as a small display, temp sensor and other parts required to make it work. So far, I’ve managed to get the screen soldered to a header and also have it connected to the Arduino. I have also added some push buttons. At the moment the Arduino is able to track the current temperature and also switch off the heating when a certain temperature is reached. Although I don’t have the device connected to my heating at the moment, it still responds to the temperature. What I need next is a relay and a couple of wireless connections so that the temp can be sensed on the controller and send a signal to the relay to open and close when needed. My boiler has a 24V connector which simply needs opening and closing when you want the heating on and off.
This week I’ll be purchasing the remaining parts and will post a full update of what I get done, including the source code.
Raspberry Pi XBMC
When the Raspberry Pi launched earlier in 2012, I decided to buy one. I missed the first batch of 10,000 units but did get in to the second batch. Since it arrived, it has been sat in a drawer sadly. A couple of weeks back I decided that needed to change and managed to get it going. When I purchased the RPi, I also got a 16GB SD card to go with it. I was pointed in the direction of RaspBMC and quickly downloaded and installed XBMX on to the SD card. I then plugged it in to the RPi and connected that to my router and to my TV via a HDMI cable. The RPi booted up straight away and automatically ran a few updates and within 30 minutes or so, I had a media centre ready to play with on the TV. I was also informed of an XBMC remote for iOS devices, so grabbed one from the iTunes store and now have a free remote control for it.
What I like about it is that you can also use Air Play to some extent. Although it isn’t perfect, I can still stream YouTube videos from my iPad to the XBMC which in turn, play on the TV. Mirroring isn’t available and XMBC also crashes out when trying to link up iTunes movies, but overall it’s quite a decent experience.
I have to say that I have no films ripped yet, so right now I just rely on YouTube, iPlayer and a few other apps that I downloaded to XBMC.
In 2013, I might test the RPi and see what I can create with it rather than just using it as a media centre.
One present I got for Christmas was a small case for the RPi… my brother and sister-in-law made it for me in the office and I believe it is based on this design from Adafruit… the Pi Box although not 100% sure on that.
Getting my First iOS App Ready for Launch
In the first quarter of 2013, I want to get my first iOS app in to the iTunes store. I’m not sure just yet how realistic that is, but I’ll document what I do and what I create and when the app is released, I’ll post all the details.
Part of me wants to make something quick and simple. Apps like a torch or rotating camera based on the vibrating motor seem to take off when the first person creates them… but another part of me wants to go for something more quality and lasting. I might experiment with both. A torch is a simple app and might be a good way to learn the app submission process etc…
My goals for 2013 are to become better at programming and to have something in the app store that is doing well. Also I want to finish my thermostat project with the Arduino… hopefully I can finish that within a couple of weeks. As winter will come to an end soon the need for this project will get lesser… so I’d rather finish it now rather than later on in the year when it starts to get cold again.