Thursday, 20 August 2009

Mac OS X Snow Leopard and iPhone App Development

I've just installed a copy of OSX Snow Leopard onto my MacBook Pro and its running fantastically, it has also free'd up 6GB of hard disk space over Leopard, I assume mainly due to the fact that Snow Leopard doesn't have to support legacy code for PowerPC like Leopard does. The UI doesn't seem to have changed a massive amount though as most of the changes are under the hood with new technologies such as OpenCL and Grand Central Dispatch.

The reason I'm posting is because for the last 4-6 weeks I have been try to teach myself Objective-C 2.0 using this book

Objective-C 2.0 by Steve Kochan

Its actually a really good book and so far has carried over a lot of the information I have learnt from the OU about the Java language and expanded on Objective C specific details. I'm only a few hundred pages deep so far but I am thoroughly enjoying it and getting a chance to test out code in the X-Code IDE. The book is geared predominantly at the languages and not the graphical side of OSX in the form of Cocoa, for that I will need another book which I will buy in due course.

My ultimate goal is to do some iPhone development and my first project is going to be an application to post blogs and photo's onto blogger. It is going to take some time as I am having to fit all this around my studies but if it goes well it may be something I will try and pursue for the computing project M450 with the OU (if they let me that is). It will also allow me to keep programming whilst I'm studying courses which are more theory and less coding based such as M256 and other level 3 courses.

Apparently it is good to learn a new programming language every year! I'll guess i'll find out whether this is true or not in the not too distant future!

Friday, 7 August 2009

M257 Exam Results and a new MacBook Pro 13" Mid 2009

The result paper came through today for this exam and I scored 95% OCAS score and 80% in the exam giving me a Pass 2 which I'm a little disappointed with. It is a good score but I thought that I had done enough to get that extra few percent for the Distinction I wanted for this course.

In different news I managed to buy a new MacBook Pro 13" with a huge discount thanks to apples Higher Education and Back to School offers. The HE discount is available for Open university students!!! Just phone up and explain your an OU student and you want to take advantage of the HE discounts and they will apply them, this gives you 14% off the price. The back to school promotion running until the end of september gives you an iPod touch for free (after rebate from apple) which you can then sell on to bring the price of the mac computer down even more.

In my case this has meant the £899 13" After 14% discount is around £772.00 with a further £145 off after I sell the ipod touch, which isn't bad at all, factor in the sale of my old laptop and a few other bits and its costing me next to nothing! I definitely recommend taking advantage of the offer if your an OU student and interested in buying a Mac.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

M253 Milestone 1 result

I received the result for Milestone 1, which was 55% and my tutors comments said a pass was good for this course due to the nature of the type of team response that are submitted. To be honest I'll take a pass on this course, it's difficult to control your grade in this type of course and it seriously eats up the time. For 10 points I spend more time on it than the 30 point M256!