Over time I’ve read many articles and comments about Mac’s vs. PC’s. The articles are mostly bias to one or the other and the comments are mostly the opposite. In the world of computers today, it is very difficult for someone to make an educated decision as to what platform is best for their use. There are so many factors to take part in the decision making process and in my opinion searching online for an answer makes things even more confusing for the average consumer. For the most part, a lot of people have their mind made up. Those who love Apple and their products will buy a Mac and those who have been raised on Windows will purchase a PC.
This article is not to persuade anyone that Mac is better then PC / Windows. This article is meant to educate and help people make up their own mind about what to purchase.
So lets first analyze the phrase, “Mac vs. PC” what does that even mean anymore?
Well, back in the day it used to mean a great deal when OS X (The operating system that runs on Mac’s) used to run on PowerPC’s which use a completely different architecture from Intel or AMD processors found in PC’s.
Today; MacBooks, iMac’s, Mac Mini’s, etc… all run on Intel Dual Core, i5, i7, etc… processors. You could go as far as stating that a Mac is a PC. Apple will never come out and say this, but yes, the Mac operating system runs on hardware that you could purchase to build a PC that will run Windows.
So what makes a Mac so different? Here’s the thing you have to remember when comparing a Mac to a PC. PC’s can be built using a variety of motherboards, processors, memory, video cards, hard drives, optical drives, etc…
What does this mean?
Without getting to technical, an operating system such as Windows, OS X, Linux, etc… is nothing but a bunch of code that was written and compiled to operate and recognize computer hardware.
Why does this matter?
Well, you could go anywhere online and start ordering parts to build yourself a computer and be pretty much guaranteed that you can install Windows on it after you’ve put it all together. Have you ever wondered why? When Microsoft Windows was written and compiled, it was done so that it would be compatible with almost any type of cpu, motherboard, video card, etc… you could throw at it. That’s great you think, Windows is compatible with anything which makes it easy to pick the parts you want for the computer you want to build. This is actually a bad think when you think in terms of optimization.
Because Windows is so very much compatible with so many different hardware combinations, it is very difficult to have an optimized operating system specific to certain hardware. On the other hand, there are many different distributions of Linux, Gentoo comes to mind that allow you to download the source code to the operating system and compile it to be optimized for the computer it is being installed on. This is no easy task.
Mac’s on the other hand, use very specific combinations of hardware which the operating system ( OS X ) is built around to have maximum optimization and utilization of the hardware being used.
So in short here are the 2 things you need to remember:
- OS X, the operating system that runs on Mac’s is optimized for the hardware that Mac’s are numberswiki.com
built with. Leaving less for compatibility and more for optimization.
- Windows, the operating system that runs on almost every computer is optimized to run on almost any combination of hardware leaving less for optimization and more for compatibility.
Swipe Lock, released today by Empoc, LLC is a new app for Mac OS X 10.6 and later that allows you to lock and unlock your Mac in a similar way to the way you lock your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
You can grab a copy of Swipe Lock at http://swipelock.empoc.com
From there you can download the Demo of Swipe Lock as well as purchase the full version for only $4.99.
Swipe Lock, is not just a screen locking app but also allows you set various options. For instance, you can set which widgets you want to show on your screen when its locked, such as; a clock widget, an airport signal strength meter, a battery meter and a button to put your Mac to sleep.
You can also choose from various pre-made themes that change the look and feel of your locked screen as well as set your own image as a background image. What’s also cool is that for those of us with multiple monitors, you can choose which monitor the lock screen should be displayed on.
Further options include setting custom lock and unlock sounds. Setting passwords, automatic startup on login, and many more. Give Swipe Lock a try. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
Core Data iOS Essentials is quite possibly the best book I’ve read so far on Core Data. Core Data can be a tricky thing to master especially if you’re so used to using SQLite. The author, B.M. Harwani does a wonderful job at taking your through the world of Core Data as it related to iOS development. The book starts off by giving you a brief history of the Enterprise Object Framework (EOF) and Core Data followed by an entire chapter devoted to understanding Core Data. This books leaves very little to be desired with topics covering what Core Data is and how it works, how to build full featured data=driven applications for iOS devices, searching with Core Data, displaying your data, etc…
The book assumes some knowledge of iOS programming and encourages some tinkering with Core Data. If you don’t know what Core Data is and why you should use it in your application and you are needing to build an app that needs to store data in some format then this books is for you. If you have a need to store data, then you have a need to use Core Data and this book will teach you what you need to know to use it efficiently and successfully.
I’ve really enjoyed the section on Implementing UITableViewDataSources protocol methods. This section walks you through the basics of setting up a UITableView and using it with Core Data to display your data within your iOS app. The code examples are easy to follow and appear to be very accurate.
If you are planning on developing an app that needs to store data or are currently working on an app with data storage needs then please consider giving Core Data a try, together with the Core Data iOS Essentials book from Packt Publishing you should be able to build a pretty solid app.
Have you purchased this book? What do you think about it? Is there anything you think that this book lacks that should have been added? I’d like to hear your comments
I’ve recently been able to read another book entitled Cocoa and Objective-C Cookbook. I must say, I am really starting to enjoy the Cookbook series from Packt Publishing. The Cookbook series provide you with quick and simple solutions to common tasks and issues. I particularly enjoyed this book since I am actively developing apps for Max OS X using Cocoa and Objective-C. There are many great books out there that teach you the fundamentals and there are plenty available that also teach you some of the more advanced programming skills. These books are great but are not very useful for everyday reference. Books such as the ones I just mentioned are often within the 500 page range and make it difficult for you to reference back to certain materials.
With the Cocoa and Objective-C Cookbook I found it very easy to refer to some of the simple every day tasks. It also does a very good job at taking you beyond just the basics and introduces you to some of the more advanced topics, such as, Core Animation, Pinch and Swipe, Keychain API, MySQL, SQLite and a few advanced debugging techniques and tools.
Cocoa and Objective-C Cookbook is written in a straightforward easy-to-follow format and provides a selection of the most important tasks and problems with well organized instructions for solving problems efficiently. With right at 200 pages packed full of helpful hints, tutorials and code samples, I find that this is not a book that will stay on my book shelf collecting dust.
It’s a little difficult to explain who this book might be for, you may think, “I already know everything”, well, that may be true but its the little things that we forget. For instance, I know how to use NSTableView very well but when I started developing my application I totally forgot how to set the datasource. Well, with this book in hand, I was able to quickly find a page with an easy to follow example that got me up and running fast.
There are also a few things I didn’t know how to do, for example, I’ve never before used any of the pinch and swipe features. This book has a whole chapter that is devoted to Handling Events and explains the pinch and swipe very well. All in all, if you are a developer using Cocoa and Objective-C, you should own this book.
Have you purchased this book? What do you think about it? Is there anything you think that this book lacks that should have been added? I’d like to hear your comments
I’m sure many of you have seen the recent E3 event either from a live feed or if you were lucky enough, you were there. I really enjoyed Nintendo’s conference and am really excited about the new Wii that will be coming out. The one thing I think that the conference lacked is the amount of information and visuals about the new console. It seems that the conference was centered mostly around the new controller which in my opinion is great but should not have been the highlight of the new console. Being curious like I am, I started looking around for more information on the console.
Nintendo actually has all of the technical specs as well as an image of the new console on their site. The image below is what I am guessing the new console will look like, according to the image on Nintendo’s own site.
A lot of people are wondering if the Wii U is just a new controller that will work with the old console but that is untrue based on the above image as well as the tech specs I’ve listed below. These have been copied and pasted from Nintendo’s website.
- Launches: 2012
- Size: Approximately 1.8 inches tall, 6.8 inches wide and 10.5 inches long.
- New Controller: The new controller incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 touch screen and traditional button controls, including two analog Circle Pads. This combination removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. The rechargeable controller includes a Power button, Home button, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons. It includes a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble feature, camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, a sensor strip and a stylus.
- Other Controls: Up to four Wii Remote™ (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers can be connected at once. The new console supports all Wii™ controllers and input devices, including the Nunchuk™ controller, Classic Controller™, Classic Controller Pro™ and Wii Balance Board™.
- Media: A single self-loading media bay will play 12-centimeter proprietary high-density optical discs for the new console, as well as 12-centimeter Wii optical discs.
- Video Output: Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, component, S-video and composite.
- Audio Output: Uses AV Multi Out connector. Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI.
- Storage: The console will have internal flash memory, as well as the option to expand its memory using either an SD memory card or an external USB hard disk drive.
- CPU: IBM Power®-based multi-core microprocessor.
- Other: Four USB 2.0 connector slots are included. The new console is backward compatible with Wii games and Wii accessories.
All in all the tech specs appear vague at best. Video up to 1080p is supported but it doesn’t specify what type of graphics adapter the new Wii will be using. All we know about the CPU so far is that it will be a Power-based multi-core processor from IBM. I’m thrilled that they are finally giving us 1080p. Gaming on the Wii will finally be in HD like the rest of the competition.
The only game they have listed with pictures is Super Mario Bros Mii, which I’m not sure will be an actual release based on the E3 conference. It would be a fun game to play and it would be great if they decide to release it. If anyone has any more information about upcoming games, feel free to comment. Here are some images of the game:
All in all, this looks like a winner and I think that Nintendo has once again done a tremendous job designing a great console and being innovative. I will probably be one of those people pre-ordering the new Wii because that’s just how I am when new things come out. I’m a tech geek at heart…
What do you guys think about the new Wii? Pre-Order or not? Ideas? I’d like to hear from you…
I’ve been doing quite a few book reviews lately and I will soon be adding 2 more. I am waiting for 2 books to arrive in the mail one of them is Core Data iOS Essentials and the other is Cocoa and Objective-C Cookbook. As soon as I get them in and get a chance to read through them, I will be adding reviews for each of the books. They are both published by Packt. I’m really excited about the Core Data iOS Essentials book and I’m sure it will be a great reference as core data seems to be such an integral part these days. I’m sure that the Cocoa and Objective-C Cookbook will be a great reference as well.
So be on the look out for these 2 reviews within the next few weeks. Until then you can get a sneak peek at the publishers site by going to the links below.
If anyone has had a chance to read either of these, I’d like to hear from you and let me know what you thought about them. How about reading in general, do you guys prefer to read e-books or traditional paperback. As for myself I prefer reading paperback books, it just feels more natural then having to stare at a monitor for hours and hours. I don’t know about you guys but staring at a monitor all day does not sit well with my eyes at all.
I wanted to share another great book with everyone. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of development using PHP with the CakePHP framework. What is CakePHP? CakePHP is an Open Source web application framework for producing web applications. It is written in PHP, modeled after the concepts of Ruby on Rails, and distributed under the MIT license. CakePHP provides an extensible architecture for developing, maintaining, and deploying web applications. There are plenty of tutorials available on the web for beginners that wish to utilize all that the CakePHP framework has to offer but if you want more in-depth knowledge and would like to begin developing more sophisticated applications then CakePHP 1.3 Application Development Cookbook is the right book for you.
Inside the Cookbook you will find a straightforward and easy to follow format, a selection of the most important tasks and problems, carefully organized instructions for solving the problem efficiently, clear explanations of what you did, and shows you how to apply the solution to other situations.
What this book doesn’t seem to cover is everything required to get you started. If you are looking for step by step tutorials starting you off with a “Hello World” example then this book is not for you. I suggest you get familiar with CakePHP before you get started with CakePHP 1.3 Application Development Cookbook. This book seems to be more centered around expanding your knowledge of the CakePHP framework. The book is very well written and contains over 60 great recipes for developing, maintaining, and deploying web applications.
If you are already familiar with the PHP language and CakePHP and want to build upon your knowledge to create more sophisticated web applications then I urge you to give this book a try. If nothing else it would be great to add to your reference collection. Below you will find a link to purchase this book on Amazon as well as a link to preview the 1st chapter of CakePHP 1.3 Application Development Cookbook.
Have you developed any web apps using CakePHP? Have you read this book? What do you think about CakePHP? Would love to hear from my readers. Have a great weekend everyone.
I’ve recently had the pleasure of reading Flash: Game Development by Example by Emanuele Feronato, published by Packt Publishing. This book is fantastic, no matter if you’ve never developed a game before or you’ve made a start but want to refine your skills and build complete, successful projects. Everything is very well structured which makes it easy to move a long at a fast pace. During the course of the book you will get to build 9 classic games with each game introducing new game development skills, techniques, and concepts. By the time you finish the book you will have built 10 complete games and have the skills you need to design and build your own game ideas.
In only 330 pages you will build games with AI, levels, shooting at moving targets, puzzles, scoring systems, time limits, and more. You’ll learn to build games in the style of Concentration, Minesweeper, Connect Four, Snake, Tetris, Astro-PANIC!, Bejeweled, Puzzle Bobble, and BallBalance.
What I like most about Game Development by Example is that the book not only walks you through the process of building these fun games but also does a very good job at explaining how everything works. If you’ve ever wanted to build your own game or are just curious how games are built then you should definitely give this book a try. Check out the link below.
I’ve recently had the opportunity to have a good read by Pablo Ruiz. The book is titled, Cocos2d for iPhone 0.99. Cocos2d for iPhone 0.99 is a complete Beginner’s Guide that will walk you through the steps that are necessary to begin development with Cocos2d using Xcode all the way to writing a simple iPhone game using the cocos2d engine.
The book is very well structured and each chapter seems to build well on the chapter before it. Just as promised, the book teaches you by doing rather then boring you to death with countless paragraphs of reading and explains what is necessary for you to understand in order to properly use cocos2d to build a 2D game for the iPhone / iPod Touch and iPad.
In my opinion, I think that they should have decided to go with box2d instead of chipmunk when covering the Physics section of building a game since box2d seems to be more commonly used, again this is my opinion and I’m sure they had a reason for deciding to go with Chipmunk. Also, remember that this is a beginners guide and in my opinion only scratches the surface of what cocos2d is capable of as well as what the various physics engines can do.
Honestly, I would recommend this book to anyone starting out with game development, especially if you have no prior experience using Xcode and objective-c. This book does not teach you any Objective-C development and it does not go into memory management, etc… If you want to develop a simple game then going through this book will be worth your time but if you want to develop a more complex game you will need to know C, Objective-C and make sure you have a good grasp on memory management with regards to all of the iDevices.
All in all great book and well worth the price and will make a great addition to your collection. Click the following link below for more information and purchase options:
Today I want to tell you all about a great new app developed by Andreas Loew, who is also the developer of Texture Packer, an essential development tool if you are using cocos2d and want to optimize memory usage. The app I will talk about today is another great development tool named Physics Editor.
Physics Editor is a very useful tool for anyone using Cocos2d and Box2d. It takes all of the difficult work out defining vertexes for box2d bodies. The tool makes it so easy in fact that you can import any shape with transparency and Physics Editor automatically detects all the vertexes for you and stores them in a plist file that you can later add to your project.
Physics Editor makes it easy to place all of your box2d body information into a single plist file including information for multiple box2d bodies. You can add other useful information to your bodies besides the vertexes, you can also specify properties such as; PTM-RATIO, Anchor Point, Density, Restitution, Friction, Is Sensor, etc…
This app really does take a lot of the time you would spend figuring out all of the vertexes and writing code for all of your box2d bodies’ properties. Best of all you can save your project to later make quick and easy changes to the properties of your bodies by simply editing a single file. Physics Editor also includes some easy to understand examples that show you how to use the exported plist file with your box2d project. Apart from box2d, Physics Editor also supports chipmunk and you can also create your own custom export profile since Physics Editor is all template based.
All in all I consider Physics Editor to be a must have tool for anyone that spends any amount of time developing with box2d, you will not regret purchasing this software and will most likely be sending a thank you message to Andreas for all of his hard work and dedication to make our lives easier.
You can download Physics Editor from here.