I think it’s fair to say that iOS devices are relatively popular today. There are currently over 1,500,000 apps available for download in the AppStore, yet I still often find myself frustrated that something I’m looking for simply doesn’t exist. Worse still, there is sometimes an app out there, but it’s either rubbish or prohibitively expensive.
With all this in mind, I decided it was time for me to start creating my own apps.
First Things First
Clearly, I was going to need a Mac. My career in the IT industry had kept me stuck to PC’s and though I’d been wanting a Mac for years, I could never justify one. On the other hand, I already had a pair of nice monitors and in spite of how nice the Apple displays are, it didn’t seem prudent to splash out on an iMac with a second monitor – especially since I also had a lack of available desk space!
I have this linked via a Dual-DVI 4-Port KVM switch so that I can use my laptop (via its docking station), my desktop PC, and the Mac all with a single keyboard, mouse, speakers, USB peripherals and my pair of 24″ monitors. Sure, these monitors aren’t quite as nice as the Apple displays, but they do the job, and the whole setup has cost less than half of what I’d have had to spend for the equivalent iMac setup!
(Re)Learning to Program
As someone who’s spent most of their career having to write code of various kinds, from C and assembler when I first started out, to Jython more recently, I quite like the challenge of learning a new programming language. Having said that, I like to learn it properly from the ground up, so that I understand it better as I progress. Over the years, I’ve been in positions where I’ve had to learn a new language far too quickly (usually via Professor Google!) which has often led to me never fully mastering it.
I’ve been starting out with Programming in Objective-C by Stephen G. Kochan, and whilst it’s covering some fairly basic ground in the early chapters, it’s proving to be a great way to get to grips with the Xcode development environment and to get familiar with the Objective-C-specific constructs. Sure, there are sections which I can skip as I progress, but it’s useful (not to mention fun!) to start back at the basics.
Yesterday, I impressed myself by getting my first Objective-C “Hello, World!” app running on the Mac command line! [If this means nothing to you, check out this Wikipedia article!] OK, so a template did the writing for me – all I had to do was to click the default, and compile it, but I was chuffed nonetheless!
Today, I moved onto object-oriented programming and created my first Objective-C class. None of this is groundbreaking stuff, but I’m enjoying myself and learning some good, solid fundamentals along the way. I expect to be getting into more interesting stuff by the end of the week.
Watch this space…!