Dear Apple

Apple

A few days ago, while reading the rather reactionary articles on Seeking Alpha to the most recent Apple earnings call, I made the following list of things I think Apple should consider doing. Now, to be clear, Apple is doing great, and I am long on Apple. But at the same time, their product line could certainly use some updates and expansion. After posting this list on Seeking Alpha, someone suggested I should make it into a blog post. So…. here is a copy of my post, take it as you will.

Dear Apple, please consider the following ideas to increase your business and please your stock holders:

  1. The Swift Cloud – Would be a cloud infrastructure for web-based Swift apps. Swift is an amazing, binary compilable, web capable language with huge developer uptake. It’s now open source. You need to build a cloud to host Swift web apps and market it to new startups and existing businesses developing new web-based capabilities. Binary web apps, as compared to the current Rails or Django frameworks, could be huge for efficiency and code security. The Swift Cloud would basically become an iTunes App Store for the web. Additionally, by offering “in app” (online purchasing) payment processing you could take this to the next level. This would be the implementation of Steve’s original vision for the iPhone, but with a much better revenue stream. This would allow you to compete directly with Amazon Web Services (AWS) without having to compete with them on price, as it’s hard to compete on price with a company who is committed to never make any money.

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Tanky Pod and Quadcopter for FPV Racing

5-Inch Tanky Quadcopter

Update: for latest info about this project check out my wife’s Instagram page.

It’s been a while since my last post, for various reasons, but now I am ready to share some info about my latest project. I love building and flying FPV multirotors. By now I have quite the collection. But there is one thing I noticed over time. Every time I set out to build a new multirotor, I need to buy a whole set of electronics for it. This means purchasing another flight controller, radio receiver, bluetooth module, video transmitter, camera, onscreen display (OSD), voltage regulator, and then soldering it all together. That’s roughly $200 worth of electronics and a few hours of soldering it all together and making it look nice.

I wanted to figure out a better way to build more different multirotors without wasting money and effort rebuilding the flight control and FPV electronics every time. This is how Tanky Pod was born!

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Show Server Stats in the Today Sidebar with Today-Scripts and Glimpse

Glimpse in Action

Glimpse is a super simple server vital starts service written in bash. There are many much more involved services out there, such as collectd for instance. However, I needed something really simple to show very basic server stats in the today widget on OSX using Today-Scripts, so I made glimpse.

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Lock WordPress Login Page with wpLock

Ok, LOCK might be too strong of a word. This little script will NOT make your WordPress installation more secure in any meaningful way. However, it will stop those brute force attacks against your login page, thus decreasing the server load. I wrote this little script a few days ago after noticing unusual server load on my web server, and after analyzing server logs, I found that there where close to 30 different bots trying to brute force their way into the WordPress installation. There are many plugins that will lock the login page out after several incorrect logins, but that still means that the bot will connect to the server and cause it to do work, like running PHP, looking up stuff in the Database, etc. Times that by 30 and you have a lot of parasitic load on your server.

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Living Off the Grid Under the Sun

Star House

In March of 2014 we (me, my wife, and our little dog) moved from San Diego to a little house in Yucca Valley, close to Joshua Tree National Park. It’s a very unique and picturesque area in the High Desert of California. The house itself is also unique, it is completely off the grid. It has no hookups for water, gas, or electricity. The water is delivered to us on a truck every 6 weeks or so, about 2,500 gallons of it. The kitchen and water heater run on propane, which we purchase roughly once a year, and it’s also delivered on a truck. And the electricity comes from the sun.

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NPR Morning Edition as a Podcast

NPR Morning Edition

I currently live in the California High Desert, in the area close to Joshua Tree. It’s a beautiful and out of the way place with stunning landscapes and a definite lack of cell towers and internet in general. I am also a big fan of NPR’s Morning Edition. Yes, it is a little too liberal for my taste, but unlike most news outlets, they are honest about trying to remain neutral, and try hard to deliver relevant content.

The problem with Morning Edition is that it’s only available on the web or through the phone app which does not allow you to download stories. It’s also available on the radio, I suppose, but that’s so 1990s :). To address this issue I made the NPRme bash script to scrape the NPR webpage and make a RSS formatted podcast just for me.

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Color Themes in Swift on iOS

5 Simplifi Themes

While working on my most recent iOS project in Swift, the Simplifi To-Do App (yes, I know, the market is oversaturated, but I couldn’t find a to-do app I liked, so I had to make my own) I stumbled over an interesting, if not seemingly very simple, problem: how to implement theme support in my app. To my amazement, I couldn’t find any blog posts or tutorials describing the best ways to do this. Basically what I was shooting for was the ability to switch between different color themes on the fly, and have the App remember and load the user selected theme when it starts up. In this blog post I’ll talk about the method I came up with.

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HyperJump - A Quicker Way to CD

HyperJump in Action

This spring I was working with a startup that wanted to use CentOS as their main development platform. Though this wasn’t my role exactly, as it is with startups, you pitch in where you can. So I also became the defacto server admin. Problem was, I am used to the Debian derivatives of Linux, so CentOS was a bit of a switch for me, especially in their default directory structure. Not a big deal, but working over a high latency connection, autocompletion wasn’t working so well. To avoid the headache of remembering new directory structure, and in general to speed up directory navigation, I decided to make a little BASH script to bookmark all the directories I commonly use on a system. Thus, HyperJump was borne.

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Mounty for OSX

Mounty in Action Asking for Password

A few years ago I was looking for a way to automatically mount a server share on my MacBook when I was connected to my home WiFi. In fact I had several shares at home and at my office, that I used on regular basis, and I didn’t want to always have to manually reconnect to them. After some research, I found a tool in the AppStore that claimed to do just this, but I wanted something that could work in CLI and could be scriptable. Thus Mounty was borne.

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Foldy Quad 2.0

Foldy Top View Small, foldable, super fast, and capable of good and stable video footage. Those were the design requirements for Foldy 2.0 FPV Drone.

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Simplifi App

To kick off my Blog I might as well talk about my latest project, the Simplifi App. While learning Swift to update my iOS skills, I decided to also scratch an itch that was bugging me for a long time, and write my own simple and fast project management app.

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Welcome to the Blog

Every once in a while, after finishing a new project, I feel the need to say a few words about it. Sometimes it’s a new Github project, sometimes a new RC Drone, or just a quick bash script.

I used to post things on Facebook, or comment on Github, or post on Tumblr, but that’s a terrible way to organize things. So, finally I broke down and created this Blog ;) It’s a statically generated page using Hugo.

On this blog you will find my personal thoughts and projects on subjects such as iOS development, RC drone building, server setup, etc. Some of it will actually be just notes I make for myself for future reference. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me and let me know.

Enjoy!

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