Monthly Archives: May 2012

Dollar Shave Club – oh, it’s awesome.

This is a rather odd post. However I am so happy with an online service that I just had to help save you some cash if you’re interested.

If you’re male and you like to stay clean-shaven for most of the year (NHL playoffs a grey area depending on your favorite team) – Dollar Shave Club can save you potentially $20-40 a month. Adding up to several console titles, many extra trips to the bartender, a couple fine meals out, or even a Kindle Fire and a few subscriptions.

Gillette is the main offender to mankind. They come out with new and “better” razors all the time… sucking our bank accounts dry. It’s supposed to be the “elite” of shaving systems. Vibrating, special stripped, trimmer attachment, face cutting implements. Expensive. The blades are sharp on the first shave or two – and then quickly dull down to something you couldn’t cut whipped cream with. That steel they use just gives up the ghost so quickly. Blades after blades.

Now, I have a rather tough beard. I’m not trying to be macho – it’s rather a pain to be honest. I have to work and work and work to get anything even close to resembling a close shave. I just received my dollar shave club executive kit and after a week with the same head of blades… it seems like the blades are getting sharper!

I know that’s not possible, but compared to the Gillette stuff, it’s incredible. I get 3 shave heads a month after having also received the executive handle with first shipment. I thought to myself… how could that POSSIBLY last for a month until I get my next shipment? Well… these blades are really incredible.

Sign up today if you haven’t already.

  • Save yourself tons of money – honestly
  • Don’t worry about buying blades at the store anymore – they automatically ship to you each month
  • The blades are premium, sharp & last a long time

Flash vs HTML vs iOS

I honestly don’t know where Flash as a technology is going to be in a few years. Yes, we’ve seen the technology roadmap provided by Adobe, but I don’t honestly get the feeling that Flash is long for this world, which is sad.

I started out with Director and moved to Flash a million years ago. Building interface elements and widgets, moving into entire sites and then serious applications. The tools got better with time, the language when graduated to AS3 made a whole lot more sense to everyone, and things were humming along. And then change blew in from the side fills and now it seems that Flash is choking on it’s own vomit in the back of the van.

The one thing remaining cool in my quick take on e landscape is notion of author once and run on iOS and Android. So you’ve got AIR for Android doing it’s thing and some magic compiler doing it’s thing for iOS. You’re not authoring to the languages yourself which always left me feeling a little weird as a developer. Always releases behind without direct access to powerful features that you might need to subclass, etc.

I haven’t touched Flash in well over a year. I’ve been straight Objective-C, iOS, with a smattering of HTML/PHP/JavaScript. If you spend a little time with iOS and Objective-C, I think you pick it up quickly and love it. Personally I love Xcode. I’ve struggled with signing things in the past, but as a tool it’s freaking amazing.

Anyway, sorry to witness the decline of Flash. Happy I was part of it’s pinnacle.

iOS cross-fading images easily

If you find yourself in the need of providing an elegant slideshow with image crossfading, you have several paths that you can take.

I however found a very simple and elegant bit of code that provides this functionality. All you need is an NSTimer and a selector (example only here):

- (void)changeSlide
{
    slide++;
    if(slide > 6)//an array count perhaps
        slide = 1;
    //create the string as needed, example only
    NSString *theName = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"img_%d.png", slide];
    UIImage * toImage = [UIImage imageNamed:theName];
    [UIView transitionWithView:self.view
                      duration:1.75f
                       options:UIViewAnimationOptionTransitionCrossDissolve
                    animations:^{
                        self.photoViewer.image = toImage;
                    } completion:NULL];
}

With a single line of code you’re able to gracefully crossfade the current image with the new image. No need to create multiple UIImageViews, etc. Easy peasy and it works extremely well.

iOS: Launch the Music application from your app

Music Icon

In an iOS application I am working on I found the need to be able to launch Apple’s Music player application. After googling a lot and posting to a developer email list, I found no solutions. I was however pointed to a wiki that lists iPhone URL schemes [link]. This shows various ways to call up other applications on iOS devices. However the Music application isn’t listed there.

I took a shot in the dark and tried “music:” – and it works :)

NSString *stringURL = @"music:";
NSURL *url = [NSURL URLWithString:stringURL];
[[UIApplication sharedApplication] openURL:url];

So now you know too.