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December, 2007:

Project Euler

I came across Project Euler this evening via this post.

Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve. Although mathematics will help you arrive at elegant and efficient methods, the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems.

The motivation for starting Project Euler, and its continuation, is to provide a platform for the inquiring mind to delve into unfamiliar areas and learn new concepts in a fun and recreational context.

I thought this would be a good way to get my hands dirty with Xcode and ObjC.

I’ve just completed the first problem (Add all the natural numbers below 1000 that are multiples of 3 or 5), which has elevated my Genius level to the dizzy heights of 1! :)

Whilst some of them are pretty simple mathematic manipulation type problems, some of them are proper head scratchers!

I’m quite tempted to post my solutions to them here somewhere so I can get some code feedback – i’m probably making a right mess when it could be done in a much simpler fashion!

More iPhone chatter…

I caught this post on the BBC News site, which pretty much echoes (almost exactly :) ) my comments a few weeks back.

Some of the comments make interesting reading, people are so quick to jump on the ‘hate it ‘cos it’s a brand’ bandwagon. I really wonder how long it will take before people are as hateful to Apple as they are to Microsoft….

Free Trac and SVN hosting

I’ve been getting really pissed off trying to install Trac to my Dreamhost shared server, to the extent that i’m contemplating moving hosts.

In the interim, DevJaVu have just started to offer free Personal accounts that include integrate Trac and SVN.
All you need to do is sign up using the referal code johnny5. I don’t know how long that code is valid for so get on it.

VMWare Fusion and network bridging

** UPDATED MARCH 12 2010:  I just posted my solution to this problem here **

I’ve had VMWare Fusion running an image of my work laptop, on my Macbook, for nearly three weeks now. I’ve had no problems at all, running over both NAT and via network bridge.

Until this week.

Now, when I try to use the image over network bridge I get the error “The network bridge on device /dev/vmnet0 is not running”. It still works over NAT but i’m perplexed as to where this problem has come from. No software updates, no network config changes, nothing that I can think would affect this at all.

I started to wonder if it was something to do with being assigned a bridged DHCP on my home lan (10.0.0.X), suspending and being brought up on the work lan under a different subnet completely. Maybe something was going majorly wrong with the bridge device.

I couldn’t/can’t find anything logged anywhere other than the error message above in the vmware.log within the VM image folder.

Running the following command restarts all the vmnet related services:

/Library/Application\ Support/VMWare\ Fusion/boot.sh –restart

You’ll need to sudo that command.

I haven’t found anything on the VMWare community forums to indicate that this has been bugged for fix in a later release so i’m still not entirely sure of the cause…

Quick iPhone wish list

With rumours of a pre-Christmas firmware update to 1.1.3, here’s my wish list. I’d probably forgo the Jailbreak for these – currently I only really use the MobileScrobbler app from the iPhone dev scene but i’m finding that it keeps logging me out and doesn’t cache track plays. Everything else seems to pretty much be fluff (i.e Pirate-photo-app, eBooks and Games) or unstable (Summerboard kept rebooting for me and broke access to photos).
I’m going to get my dev head on and see if I can come up with something useful, just as soon as I find the time – i’m currently pretty busy with work and university studies.

My top 11: (more…)

Quicksilver roadmap at the end

In an earlier post, I mentioned how i’d been an admirer of the Quicksilver application and its workflow. Having finally picked up a Mac for full time use (work & play), it was I think the 2nd application I installed. It’s definately a great productivity tool. I’m not keen on the way OS X has all of it’s apps in one folder – I hate scrolling using a track pad, even with Apples two finger “gesture” method – and the Stacks feature of OS X Leopard doesn’t cut it for me.

So, with all that, I was gutted to read today that it is almost certainly in it’s final state – certainly from the developers POV according to this interview on Lifehacker.
Hopefully there is a community out there that will pick up the Open Source project and take it on.
I’m still looking for a decent Dictionary plug-in that works with Leopard…

Reasons to Jailbreak #1

My foray into the world of jailbroken iPhones was due to one very simple app – MobileScrobbler.

It simply hooks into the iPod functionalit and submits the Artist, Track and Album information to my Last.FM profile. Having been an avid, subscribing scrobbler for nigh on three years now, I can’t bear to listen to anything that doesn’t get posted to my profile. I’m very OCD about it; no CDs in the car (my HU has a ‘Made for iPod’ interface), no radio, no net streaming (except for the last.fm client).
It’s therefore been a bit of a struggle moving away from my iPod to _just_ the iPhone. (more…)

Jailbreaking a UK iPhone

This was compiled from the conceited software write up and also iphoneatlas’ write up (I had a nervy 15 minutes of nothing whilst it was stuck in restore mode – cue much Googling!!).

I thought i’d write this up as I couldn’t find anything specific to say that the o2 iPhone could / has been broken. So here is my quick guide. The jailbreak operation took about two hours, including downloading both 1.1.1 and 1.1.2 firmwares and the aforementioned 15 minutes of shakiness – mostly due to having to Google a lot, just for my own sanity! Fixing the Edge and VVM settings was another 30 minutes.

Usual disclaimers apply, if you brick it that’s your too bad. On with the show. (more…)

Shortcuts and Quicksilver

I’ve always preferred to use the keyboard more than the mouse so i’ve been intrigued by QuickSilver for a long time. It was almost a weekly subject on the LifeHacker RSS feed for a while earlier this year. Being a Mac only app, I was pretty jealous, but was fine with the CTRL + R shortcut to bring up the Run box in Windows…

I’ve been using QuickSilver for a couple of weeks now and haven’t really scratched the surface of it. I only use it to open apps quickly (Terminal, Eclipse, Textmate) and haven’t gotten around to seeing what the right hand box can offer just yet. It certainly beats having a massive Dock or trawling through the Applications folder.

On another but related note, what’s the deal with Firefox (Mac), Safari and webpage check boxes?
I’m used to being able to tab down a web form and submitting without having to use the mouse at all. However on my Mac, neither browser will tab to the checkbox. It’s so much quick to tab to it and hit space than to muck about with the mouse/trackpad.

Is this just a config thing or is it really by design? To me, it seems a bit of a usability issue. Of course i’m no expert on that subject really.

Laptop consolidation

Continuing my “Switch To Mac” project, i’ve been trying to work out how far I can go in replacing my work laptop with my own Macbook.
Now, my work laptop is a real bone of contention. It’s a piece of crap Dell Latitude D600. In the past 9 months, the HD has gone three times, a memory module has bust and it has had to be re-imaged by the internal IS&T team 4 times in total. Each time it is re-imaged is two days of almost 100% downtime.
Unfortunately this re-imaging can’t be done myself as our VPN solution requires a specific AD tied RSA token and without AD domain admin style access I can’t generate a new token and assign it to my account.
I was checking out the ‘Black Friday’ sale that Apple ran for the UK yesterday (30th November) as i’d decided to pick up a license for iWork ’08 whilst it was on sale, when I saw VMWare Fusion on there also at a discounted rate. (more…)