Tag Archive: Work

longRoadSo far I’ve had 2 of 3 meetings that I need to have.  I have two colleagues that I initially wanted to discuss the idea. These conversations went well. One of my colleagues is technical and has been asking me when I’d go on my own for quite some time. The other is a business expert to help me understand the needs from a business point of view. It’s very easy to have an idea. It’s very difficult to codify it into something that people other than a few of us believe in.

Meeting two was with what I could define as ‘an angel.’ This is someone I utterly trust with our finances and wanted to outline our plan. It is obvious that we will need financial support if only to get this process started. We don’t need a lot, but more than the average person can handle. So this part is always stressful. I have one other person I need to discuss our finances with. Again. More stress.

This week I am collecting tangible research. This includes

  • Clarification of our vision statement.
  • Initial product timeline
  • Interview research data
  • A serious look into competition
    • (To test our mettle when we see how rocky that is)
    • To see how we can differentiate
  • Further refinement of our initial target audience

All-in-all it’s a daunting process.

My spouse asked me if there was a risk of Depression. I said I wasn’t so much slipping into depression as walking outside after a rainy day trying to carefully avoid puddles of potential depression and then dealing with getting the damp out of my shoe for a few hours when I accidentally trip into a puddle. I know that the road ahead is difficult and going to take some navigating and is going to have some hard pain along the way. Fortunately, her love and support has been the driving thing to keep me out of the puddles. Further she’s been the first one to notice when I’ve gotten a little wet and has been ready with a towel.

Obviously, once I have the first bit of planning done, then we pull the blanket off the drawings and turn to crowd funding to help us get rolling on this. We’re going to need help and faith. I don’t know what kind of a return we can offer. But we will assuredly be tracking every drop of support that we get.

People seem interested, we seem to have an original niche and approach. Now it’s just a question of time and making it happen. Before funds and support runs out.


Being Responsible

cabaretSo, despite today being a minor government holiday, “National ‘People who Ignore the fact that we have Veterans’ Subjugation Day” it was also the first day of the next step in my work career.

I always joke that creative types are never really un-employed. They just don’t have people paying for their talents at the moment. In software one can go from feast to famine fairly quickly. But honestly, in any field one can do the same.

Obviously, the income I’m best going to be able to generate is going to come from two sources. Unrealistically, it will come from becoming a Texas-Hold ’em overnight sensation and I will transform $2, 000 into $2,000,000 by the end of the week. Fortunately, schizophrenia is only in my family history; so I am able to more adeptly look at reality.

I am an Apple 3rd party engineer. It just so happens, the party has come to my house. So now it’s time to finally put up or shut up. I’ve been a member of Apple’s third party development program in one form or another for about 20 years. I have a tonne of history that includes operating system bugs in the Apple OS that date back to Mac OS 7.6.1 (Yes, kids there was an Apple OS before OS X) I do also have correspondence with Apple that goes back over 30 years due to an issue that I found in Apple DOS 3.2.

However, there are certain financial ducks (I fix an autocorrect that really didn’t help here) to get in a row. First was the responsibility of notifying the 2nd of my 3 primary creditors of my financial situation. Fortunately, I’d been paying insurance on my primary credit card against work termination. This insurance should cover my minimum payments and may forgive some of my debt.

I also filed for state assistance. Knowing that this lugubrious process is by design complicated and demoralizing. However; the important part is that I did it. So, I can admit… right now I have savings; they will dwindle; I am taking steps to take on contractual work, and will hopefully generate more income soon. Until then, I am not a moocher, but think I have earned the assistance that I have been contributing into in the event of this kind of a situation.

Finally, I have applied to get a full vendor’s license for Apolo Productions out of my home. I have had an EIN for Apolo for over a decade. I have just rarely needed to tap on it. But putting in the application I can start using these licenses again and update my “Lack of Corporate” headquarters with Apple to allow them to pay me if any apps I publish see fruition.

In the mean time my spouse is hopefully going to ramp up her Art business again through a few different points. Etsy for crafts. I hope at some point to display the mural she’s been working on. Not bad for someone with a Chronic Spine Injury.

My business plan is to create a few apps. Some that are free; but free only in as much as I don’t believe they warrant selling them. Anything I sell has to be for a reason. The core reason is that I feel in honestly fills a marketable niche and I want to think thru how the app is best monetized. People are very careful now-a-days with how they spend money on apps; even though they do it at an alarming rate. The trick is to have the right app with the right monetization.

Do it right; or don’t do it. The stuff to the side is meant to be for learning and thus for free.

Shorter posts but more frequent for a while. Please note… While I don’t get a lot of comments on the blog; both comments and sharing of these posts are appreciated. This feedback is a tangible connection as I make a lot of decisions.

Thanks for listening. Thanks more for talking.

puttingittogetherTo believe that I wasn’t going to experience any emotional gullies would be absolutely fool-hearty.  I know I’m going to have moments of absolutely doubt over the next period of  my life. My amazing spouse thinks that this is the vector in my life where I need to stop pairing myself up with Mega-Corporations and truly embrace what I love. Our largest roadblock to that has finally lifted. A full-time corporation with more than 50 employees would be required to provide medical insurance to my otherwise ‘difficulty-to-insure’ spouse. Assuming I can get logged into healthcare.gov that is no longer an issue.

Of course there is the 0 income question initially.

Hopefully,with good planning, some federal aid, and the ilk; I can keep it together until I have enough to get more funding for what I have. Which is the main crux.

What do I have?

Honestly, a lot of combined talents and neurosis combined with many good ideas and deeper insight that is a huge terrifying ball of risk! Such fun!!!! I have a tonne of software projects that were either explorations into learning a software concept, or a simple idea with little growth potential. I have a lot of fragments that look like they should be assemble-able into something very impressive. And the spark of some ideas that seem like “game-changers”.

To the average person… A lot of well meaning ideas, no substance, and too many dreams. Not a long range investable.

BUT! I see all these things. In the past few years, I’ve learned why these components don’t fit together, how they could fit together, and most importantly the tools to organize them, use them, and most importantly organize me and others.

It’s to take each thing at a time. Know what it is, what it isn’t where it fits and here it doesn’t. See it for its benefits and its distractions. To take time and investment very seriously.

The idea is solid. The slate is clean. The net has been pulled. I have to leap.

Updated: I’ve bolded what I got right, and struck thru the wrong. I think this may be the best I’ve ever done on one of these.

I have to admit, as a niche Apple 3rd party engineer, I hate these days. It’s not that I’m not excited for the technologies, believe me; I am. But so is everyone else now. Over the last 2-4 weeks I have been asked by no less than 50 people what is being released. Actually, to be more exact, people ask me if “Product X” will be released.

A couple of reminders. I do not not have I ever worked for Apple. <sarcasm degree=”mild”>So, of course; I am utterly privy to their product release schedule.</sarcasm> Okay, it’s true. As a niche developer who’s devoted my career to one company’s products; I do make business analysis part of my job. But, personally, I’ve gotta feel sorry for the guys who do that for a job like Ken Ray and Andy Ihnatko. They must get grilled by the minute coming into one of these.

But of course; yes, I have my predictions of what will occur today.

But first, I do remind everyone to take a breath and consult this BRILLIANT chart of the Anatomy of Apple Rumors.

It’s pretty damned obvious we’ll be seeing iOS 5.0 and Mac OS 10.7.2. I do not believe that the former will be available today. Going by the rumor and leaks board (as I will not confirm my knowledge as a developer under NDA) The last beta seed of iOS 5.0 was released on the 30th of August. Beta seed 7 came a very short time after beta seed 6 and dealt with iCloud adjustments. There was also a seed of 10.7.2 and iTunes. At this time; I do not believe developers have been given the go ahead to submit app updates against iOS 5.0. This process takes 1-2 weeks. Usually quicker pre-release. But the idea of Apple releasing an OS without the Apps really checked solidly against the release version for bugs and crashes seems RISKY. So: Expect a solid release date for iOS 5.0 of 1-3 weeks from now.
10.7.2 may release today; but I sense that the rapid iCloud updates suggest there may be a little bump or two that needs to be ironed out. And if they are seeing these bumps with thousands of developers; they know they aren’t ready for millions of non-developers. iCloud is the future for Apple and it has to above all else not be another Mobile Me.

On the topic of iCloud; it touches everything. So expect updates to Mac OS, iOS, iLife, iWork (Mac and iOS), AppleTV, and anything else that Apple touches with storage.

Ah the question I have been asked for months. Literally.
The rumours are split over two devices: the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5.
Again, strictly off the rumours boards I don’t see an iPhone 5 coming at this time.
I realize that it’s been 16 months since the last major phone release. I realise that the Holiday buying season is about to kick off (or did that start in May, I lose track)
Honestly, unless Apple has achieved an entirely new standard in leak control (which is possible) there’s not a lot to hang the iPhone 5 off of at this point. Also; this kind of a change is more likely to cannibalise some of their potential holiday sales. With the current war on the middle class; people want better for cheaper. And new iPhone models ‘appear’ cheaper by having more power and doodads for the same price. So, an iPhone 5 will have great power, but still be a tier above netting a huge holiday influx. Especially with toys like cheap Androids and the Amazon Kindle Fire being sold at a loss.
I’m going to agree with the following rumors:
iPhone 4 at 8GB for less than the current models. A surprising amount less
iPhone 3GS base model for free with a contract. And I can see all the advertising, “You can get an Apple iPhone for FREE*” (With that huge asterisk over the word Free because a contract is always necessary”

The iPhone 4S. (S is for Speed) New chip (A5, dual core?), slightly better cameras (maybe), and better antennas. Not a whole lot new. The other concern with the iPhone 5 now is that people have learnt to wait 2-3 months on a NEW model. And that doesn’t appeal to the true Christmas, “BUY NOW NOW NOW!” spirit.
I also do not believe the iPhone4S will come in multi-carrier flavor. Too much of a board and phone redesign. Expect that in the 5.

What else will motivate people to those 3GS, 4, and maybe new 4S?

The death of the iPod Classic. People don’t need 120G of music on their phone immediately. Especially if they can genius from the cloud. (Ignoring the fact that the Cloud is in direct opposition to the Providers throttling over usage) Now I’ve never been a huge iPod nut, so beyond that. Will there be shake up on the rest of the iPod line? Dunno (Actually, don’t really care 😉

iPod Touch… Honestly… I think that will just sort of sit until the next major update.

Other New Stuff:
Sprint – Yes, already. Blazingly obvious
T-Mobile, USA – No (Sound the cloister bells on this company)

There’s been a lot of talk about the Siri Assistant thingie. Voice to text. A continual dream. If Apple releases that with iOS 5.0 this month that will cause a little eden backlash (which Apple really doesn’t put a lot into). The Siri will obviously need an API for devs. But, Apple as the advance on that. So will they release Apps with a competitive edge that devs don’t have access to immediately? Seems suspect; but they’ve done it before. It could also be the reason that there hasn’t been a “use this version for submittal” yet.

Updated: I’m going to take half credit here. Siri is being released with iOS 5 only for the iPhone 4S as a beta. Further it is only listed as available (at the current time) for Native OS apps. So theoretically, iWork apps and the like won’t have Siri on their next release. The problem occurs when Apple sells an app that someone may compete with that has access to proprietary services or APIs that are otherwise unavailable.

Rentals, Movies, Music, Media…
A little of this a little of that.

Something long overdue for the international folks.

The future:
I think the things you want to see: iPhone5 (iOS 5.1 or 5.5; will not support the 3GS), iPad3, Apple TV 3, etc
January. In competition with CES; “Like they do.”


  • OS/Software
  • iOS 5.0 – solid release date 1-3 weeks
  • MacOS 10.7.2 – solid release date 1 week, maybe today
  • iCloudwith whatever OS hits first(End of October)
  • Siri – 30% with a chance of iOS delay (Beta, see comments above)
  • Apple TV update(Expect by the end of Oct)
  • iWork, iLife(Expect by the mid of Nov)
  • Hardware
    • iPhone 3GS – free
    • iPhone 4 – 8G model
    • iPhone 4S – 16G, 32G, (new)64G model (How they pack it in will be a surprise)
  • Other
    • Sprint to carry iPhone
    • Movie, App, Music thingeeCards?
    • Something nifty internationally

    The last word: I am wrong more than I am right on these things. Apple has a history for pulling products at not merely the 11th hour but at 12:02 with a five minute delay in the presentation. I know many of my fellow third party developers really wanted to see C.B. at WWDC and still do. Apple is also very good at keeping certain things under DEEP wraps. So I fully will be happy to be entirely wrong on my predictions.

    Check back in a day or so when I grade myself.

    My 2 year Anniversary

    Two years ago to the day was my last official day working for Microsoft. This is a bit of a complicated statement unto itself. As that day was about 2 months after I was officially laid off. At least laid off in the Microsoft manner.

    I haven’t commented much on the entire Mac-Guy at Microsoft experiences. I especially haven’t commented about the layoff. For today not only marks the 2 yr anniversery of my officialy termination. But it also marks the end of the 2 yr terms in the serverance package.

    This was an amazing severence package. Sadly, however, it forbade me to comment about the company, speak in any way against the company, or paint it in a bad light. Further, it prevented me from working with or talking in any professional quantity with anyone or any software that might be in competition with any of the core products I was or could be working on.

    This included but was not limited to: iWork (Keynote, Pages, Numbers), Open Office, Mail.app, iChat, Adium, iCal, BeeJive, trn. This of course included the team members or divisions working on them.

    It is a vaguely liberating feeling. While I’m not going to directly address these issues or topics in this post. (This is more a meta post while) I am still very busy on my current project for my current company (both of which I absolutely adore); I would like to add two comments about Microsoft Office vs. iWork which I will elabourate on in the future:

    Excel vs. Numbers: There is no competition. Excel wins. If you’re using a program for a spreadsheet; you’re already up a level from the basic consumer. Excel has more power, extensibility, and surprising features than anything else. I will admit; I have had my hands inside Excel. The code is SCARY. I truly appreciate the term “Ghost in the Machine” after seeing how Excel is… “pieced” together.

    Power Point vs. Keynote: I am 100% sold on Keynote. Keynote’s organization and OS integration makes putting together complex and compelling presentations far easier than Power Point. Perhaps my lack of continual ‘Power User’ status for presentation making is what keeps me more in the Keynote camp but I’ve yet to really find compelling features of PPT over Keynote that give me a reason not to select Keynote’s smoother interface.

    That’s all for now. (Tip of the iceberg)

    More after I get my current project out of dev and into beta.