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Looking for a iOS mentor as well as what is the best plan for developing in 32 and 64 bit

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Hello Adam,


I really enjoy your show!


You don't skimp on information and

I appreciate how thorough you are!


I recently became a developer so that I can create an iphone app.

I came up with the idea at first and decided to take the leap.


I have been studying objective-c and I am 'sloooowly' understanding

but it is still difficult to wrap my head around this.


I have a background in visual effects, so I am use to planning as much

as possible before even starting the actual work, plus I am a visual person.


I am taking the same approach with this idea because I feel that programming

is all over the place which feels like organized chaos if you ask me.


I listened to your show recently about app development and as much

as I would love to hire someone to help me with my idea:

1) I dont have the money to do so

2) I want to learn programming so as to maybe do this as a career job


So I was wondering how I could go about finding someone to be a mentor

and help me understand what I am doing. I also want to trust that they

won't give my idea away to others too. Is there a site of iOS mentors like

a phone book? :D


Your thoughts on this, as well as anyone else, are greatly appreciated.


Finally, I was wondering how to approach developing my app now that

we have to have a 32 and 64 bit version.


Thanks in advance!

Ahart III


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use the "Stanford iPhone" class on iTunesU to keep you focused on learning. do NOT try to do it all in one go. use it like you would a class. schedule classroom time where you watch the video, take notes and be there like a normal student. remember your questions as these are covered because other people will ask them for you. it's like trippy mind reading.

it should take you about 12 weeks to make through. do all the homework even though you a) won't get help 2) will not get a grade c) have anyone look at it. okay your friends will see it. they will help you stay focused.

depending on the type of APP you are making one of the frameworks may be a better way to go for the short term. PhoneGap or Titanium come to mind. you can get really far without knowing any objective-C. personally, I hate, hate, hate objC. I'd rather tear my eyes out than work with this code. which is why a framework helps. I don't have to write that kind of code. sometimes you have no choice but to work there. oh well. stick with the class. it will help.

an app like ConvertBot is a trivial to write using a framework or a game engine. you will get hung up on the art. that's usually a bigger problem compared to programming. when I was making interactive CD-ROMs (geez, almost 20 years ago now) I would spend more time in Illustrator and Photoshop than I did in my development tools.

Edited by johnfoster

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Nice post, John!

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mentor voice:

the one problem I have with learning technical things like programming, physical fabrication using specific tools like a mill or lathe, or design tools 3D or CAD is that I have to have a reason to learn it. I have a NEED that requires that particular skill. it's usually what I need at the end that will drive what I need to learn. for example: "rotating 3D text with light rays coming from behind" makes the list of what I need to learn. or "the hard drive was going to cost $3500 to replace. wow. a new bare hard drive is only $89. let's start there."


it's like a trip to a hardware store. you usually go there because you need a part to fix or make something. very rarely to you go "just to look." over time you find that one store is better compared to another but not as good as that one for certain items. eventually you will walk into the place going to a particular part of the store without asking where that something is located. you'll know what it is you need before you get there. and that's what learning tech skills is like.


without context it's very hard to learn just to learn. why would you ever make a double linked list? do data lookups from a remote server? check and send a form then update the result. or figure out pattern matching. it all seems so pointless.


while programming for a living I found things that I would write again and again. eventually I got tired of doing that and made a library that contained all that. I had prefs, file IO, a flat & fast database, and even an installer. all these things were things that I needed, wrote over time and shared with my team who improved the functions as needed. because of my extensive library one day I wrote an "entire" in a few hours for a client but then sat on the solution for 3 weeks. why? I wanted to get paid 5 figures for the job but I didn't want to make it seem like it was easy. the client was ecstatic that we delivered in such a short time and added, "I can't believe how cheap it was from you!" d'oh.


when I was learning Eagle (an electronics CAD program) my goal was a board I needed fab'd. it took 10 days to get it right. and the next time I did the layout in a few hours. for my last project I was uploading the files to the maker 30 minutes after I started.


I think learning might actually be hindered when it has no goal. history is a good example. math is another. it is the age old question: when am I EVER going to use this? and it is a very good question indeed. I do NOT use so much of my formal training. but my art, design, drawing and shop classes continue to pay over and over and over again.

Edited by johnfoster

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one thing I remember in my early part of my development career was caring about a complex known as "the betters". it was that endless discussion about what was better a 6502 or a Z80 or a 8088 or a 6809. CISC vs RISC. what language was more robust between C or Pascal or Forth or just write everything in Assembler.

in the end it didn't matter. it never mattered and it still doesn't matter. get over it.

the question posed about 32 or 64 bit is one of those doesn't matter things. it's so far from the real problem that even mentioning it should be a concern. why do you care. stop caring about that. here's why it doesn't.

back in the day Apple made all the developers switch from 16 bit compatible code to 32 bit. it was a campaign called "Get 32-bit Clean". we, the developers were told that changes were coming in the memory model. be ready or else. but there was no hardware that supported the new modes. we needed to stop using this and this and don't do this in the future. the thing was Think C didn't compile 32 bit binaries at the time. and all of the code my company had written was using that compiler. we had one product that used a Pascal framework called MacApp which turned out to make our job trivial. when the new version shipped we loaded it, made a revision of the code calling it 3.3 or something and compiled it fixing the 12 or so errors until it built without flags. simple.

but Think C…

Symantec had bought Think. we were happy for our friends. but it really made the lead time for new versions and bug fixes grew long. they, Symantec, were no longer willing to drop a build when they thought it was ready. and beta testing a compiler is mad. you can't and don't want to do that when you are running a development company. it must have been 4-6 months after Apple shipped the Mac II before the new 32-bit Think C was ready. and then it was a dotOhfuckthisDoesNOTwork kind of build. I remember it being another month or two before we had something from them that made a version we could ship.

what I did was tell people, "it's not us. it's our compiler. when it's working we will have a new version." half the Mac development community was in same boat.

we took that time to make a new version adding features so we could charge for the upgrade. by the time we had a working compiler we had a new 2. and just in time. our sales had fallen because of customer perception that we were behind and not worth the wait. it was far from the truth but we lived through it. the new version had 23 new features. one of them was "32-bit clean". 11 months of work for 2 words and one number.

the point is, don't fret about the stuff that your compiler will do for you. yes, you will have to change some of your code but I doubt it will be hard. the compiler will tell you what it doesn't like making half the battle automated.

what you should care about is the bigger picture. will you company survive while you are making a 64 bit version. if the OS handles a 32bit binary then don't think about rushing into the fire. just fix it as you get the time to fix it. when you eventually release that code you'll just line item the feature because it's not a feature. you won't get press coverage over a compiler update.

features are your bigger worry. what are you working on that will make you money? square pictures? dude, that's so 3 years ago. but it's trivial. so make that happen otherwise you won't have it. stealing address book data? at least encrypt in on the way out. or figure out that thing that will get you all the market share. that's worth fretting sleep over.

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