Simon Wolf's Writings

Sometimes random, occasionally focused, rarely proof-read

Jan 2, 2015

I generally try to avoid setting New Year's resolutions because I'm terrible at keeping to them and because it seems stupid to wait until a particular date before you implement a change in your life. However January 1 is a handy start date if you want to set yourself an annual challenge and that's what I've done this year.

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Oct 27, 2014

Now that Xcode 6.1 and OS X Server 4 have been released I decided that it was time to see if I could get my Bots to code sign a client's Mac application with a Developer ID certificate (the application is a business to business one and distributed outside of the Mac App Store). Below are the steps I took. Please note that this is not a complete guide including screenshots and detailed explanations but rather a quick list of what I did to get things working.

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Sep 23, 2014

Xcode 6 includes some Bots changes which might take you by surprise so here are a few notes which might help you adjust.

  1. The web interface is now a read-only status board. Previously you could create and edit bots and losing this functionality means that you now have to use Xcode for Bot management. (Radar 18391689)
  2. When you create a Bot it is automatically configured to use the current branch you are using (previously you could specify the branch). This would be okay except that Apple don't make it obvious so I have filed a bug report asking for the Bot configuration sheets to include this information. (Radar 18391750 which is a duplicate of 13896178).

More damaging for me than either of these was that a script I ran as a post-Archive build step was now failing when it tried to push a new Git tag up to GitHub.

It initially complained that the Git user details were missing (despite the Git config file containing them) so I set the and globally on the server.

However that still didn't fix things so I've ended up not running the script as a post-Archive scheme action but rather invoke it from the Bot itself as an After Integration step. The advantage to this is that I can set the script to run only after a successful build. The disadvantage is that I have to remember to add this step each time I create a Bot.

Because pushing a tag to a remote repository should probably work this issue has a Radar number of 18423254.

I’m @sgaw on Twitter, @sw on and you can also email me at simon at this domain.

Aug 31, 2014

avTag was finally released back at the start of May after a development period that spanned something like three years. Since then I've released a couple of minor version to fix some bugs as well as adding a few features which I originally felt should have been in the initial release. In fact this weekend has been spent adding some more of those features to what will become version 1.2.

'Originally' is highlighted for one very simple reason. The features I'm adding now didn't stop version 1.0 from working. It might have been annoying that they weren't included but they didn't make avTag unusable and that leads me into the biggest thing I learnt whilst creating and releasing my first personally commercial app...

Built the absolute minimum you can get away with and then ship it.

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Jun 24, 2014

Important: I'm not a doctor, have no medical or sports training or expertise and the information in this post has been mainly been gleaned from the internet. DO NOT follow any advice in this post blindly. You should seek medical advice or the advice of a sports specialist yourself.

One of the main reasons I have started doing indoor rowing is to lose weight. Ignoring fads, crash diets, etc. I'm adhering to the core concept that to lose weight you need to expend more calories than you consume each day. This can be done be eating differently, exercising or doing both. This isn't rocket science. If you don't change what you eat but you start exercising you'll expend more calories than you did before and either lose weight or, if you are still consuming more calories than you are expending, at least slow down your weight gain. Similarly, if you eat less or change your diet then you will either lose weight or at least slow down any weight gain.

On the eating side I'm trying to eat smaller portions, eat better foods (fewer processed and more fruit and veg) and cut down on snacking. I'm kind of keeping a food diary and doing some calorie counting too but this isn't the focus of this blog post. Instead I want to focus on exercise and, more specifically, effective exercise.

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Jun 23, 2014

If you're a long-time visitor you'll probably know about my attempts to get fit and lose weight by cycling. Back in May I felt I was finally making a bit of progress and then my knee became incredibly painful and stayed that way for three weeks. Even when it felt generally better it was still painful to cycle and I worried that I was causing it more damage. It was time to try something new.

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Jun 2, 2014

This weekend I had a bit of a catch-up scanning session (I try to be paperless and you can read a few notes about it from a podcast episode I recorded in my 'Getting Organised' post) and inevitably encountered my scanning Achilles heel... booklets. This time there were three insurance policy booklets, one credit card information guide and one instruction manual. In the past I tended to cut them in half and then scan it all in so that I'd have all of the pages in the proper order. This time I decided to do something slightly more high-tech...

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May 27, 2014

When I released avTag I also signed up to Apple's iTunes Affiliate Program (US Link | UK Link). It's a simple way to earn money when people buy iTunes items (music, films, iBooks, apps, etc.) via links you have supplied. After signing up all you need to do is append your affiliate program token to the end of an item's URL. David Smith has a more detailed write-up which is worth reading.

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May 23, 2014

Now that avTag 1.0 is finally available in the App Store work has started on version 1.1. Amongst the new features and usability improvements the user interface is being tweaked and polished. I wanted to share some of the changes being implemented and explain why they have been made.

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May 20, 2014

At the start of December I was struggling to get through the final push I needed to do to get avTag finished off and into the App Store and in my mind I kept hearing Drew McCormack's words:

"Here is the one rule you need to go indie: You must do something on your project everyday, no matter how little."

When I tweeted about it Denis Hennessy got in touch to tell me about his app, Goal Streaks.

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