Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Getting set up for iOS development

So it begins.  I've become an iOS developer.  My wife and I ran over to the new Apple Store in the Fashion Place mall and picked up this beautiful laptop a little more than a week ago.  We got a great deal on it and also go a free printer (with mail-in rebate).  When we opened the box, I was slightly bummed to discover that Snow Leopard was installed on our new Macbook Pro instead of Apple's latest OS, Lion.  This was easily remedied by downloading and installing Lion from the Mac App Store.  The installation took a few minutes, but was fast and easy.

Aside on Lion:  I'm not going to offer a full review of Lion or anything like that.  I'll leave the reviews to people more skilled at offering technical reviews on products such as an OS.  But, I will say that I love Lion.  It has all that awesome eye candy that Apple is known for in every aspect of the new OS.  The features that I am most excited about however are the gestures that you can use to navigate through Lion.  I was never a big fan of track-pads or other pointing devices besides the mouse, but with the gesture support in Lion, a track-pad or magic mouse can do wonders for your productivity.  The notion of "spaces" or virtual desktops has been around for a long time and Lion makes them so accessible that it's difficult not to use them to your advantage.  Mission control is very much more useful than previous iterations of expose.  Lion is a polished OS that breaks traditional molds of operating systems.  You can touch your way through your computer like never before.  I'm excited to see where the next version of Mac OSX goes.

Now on to matters of hardware:  I've had an iMac sitting at home since the first aluminum iMacs came out in August of 2007.  That iMac has served me very well.  It got me through computer science at the University of Utah.  I've started a slideshow production business using nothing but my iMac and a printer/scanner.  I've had a hard-drive failure.  I've successfully performed open-heart surgery and installed a new 1.5 TB hard drive into it.  I've pushed my iMac to the max and it has responded admirably.  It has done everything that I've asked it to do and more.  It is now more than 4 years old and it is still a slick, fast, responsive machine that has many more years of life in it.  But sadly, life changes and situations call for new hardware.  My iMac cannot be as portable as I would like it to be.  I've been married to my beautiful wife for just over a year now and we have made many lofty goals in lots of areas of our lives including in the financial world.  With the availability of public transportation, it no longer make sense for me to commute anywhere via my own vehicle.  Enter the need for mobility.  I now have 45 minutes of public transportation to look forward to every morning and another 45 in the evening.  With this 1.5 hours a day potentially wasting away, I've convinced my wife to buy me a Macbook so that I can develop iOS apps during my commute.  It's a base model 13" Macbook Pro with 4GB ram and a 2.3 GHz i5 processor.  Someday, I'll write a post about my decision making process before we went with this model, but not today.  This arrangement has been wonderful so far!  I love the new Macbook and am loving iOS development; in fact, I am well on my way to finishing my first app for the App Store!

In my next post, I'll chronicle my first few days learning to program for the iOS and let you all in on some of the plans that I have for the future.  Until then, reach for the Clouds!

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