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May 2016

Got the Surface to Connect with my MacMini -- Xamarin

So to be able to do IOS development with Visual Studio, my IDE of choice, I had to get my Surface to connect to the MacMini.

Things I like about the Surface over the MacBook:

OneNote – I log all my JHU CTY work with OneNote.  I could have found another solution but…

Form Factor.  I can tuck my Surface just about anywhere and have access to it. The MacBook is bulkier and you have to open it.  Both did work on the exercise well.

Touch Screen.  Biggest win for the surface.

I suspect the Mac On the Cloud would work, but it is a bit easier with the Mac Mini.

Not going with a Mac at this time

The killer was that One Note does not work well with the Mac.

I do have a MacMini and I could do something really interesting -- Mac In the Cloud.  So either should be available for finishing up a iPhone or Mac program.

So I returned the MacBook -- by the way, since I wasn't sure I went to BestBuy and tried out OpenBox Macs.  That meant that my initial investment was low, and they weren't really hurt by the experiment.

I did end up with a new computer -- Surface Book 4. 

I am willing to part with a Surface Book 3. 

I returned the Mac Book Pro

But brought home a MacBook - this one is about the size of my Surface 3.  Below are the specs.

The MacBook Pro had an old style hard drive and was just too heavy for me to manage.  This should be better, and if not, it's going back.

  Model Name: MacBook

  Model Identifier: MacBook8,1

  Processor Name: Intel Core M

  Processor Speed: 1.2 GHz

  Number of Processors: 1

  Total Number of Cores: 2

  L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB

  L3 Cache: 4 MB

  Memory: 8 GB



Building an App is Building an App

Haven't gotten far, but all three platforms have the same "stuff".

Ways to draw the app on a computer and ways to write code to make stuff work.  App Inventor, Visual Studio, and XCode, all have a graphical interface that allows the user to draw the user interface and then you write code to make things work.

If you want to do stuff that's already done on the web -- you HTML5 and JavaScript.  Data is stored on the web and you use API's to get the data.

Most of your mobile apps are just interfaces into a web app or server.  Even the games.

Here's the rub and why people aren't developing for the Windows platform.  When I worked on the mobile app most people used Macs.  That's because they can develop for both Mac and Java at the same time.  Most people who develop on the Windows platform don't get Unix (actually I do).

And this is putting a bunch of stuff together -- I've been to a ton of workshops by Microsoft where we developed for the Windows Phone.  I've been to a IBM workshop where they showed us how to develop on Unix using their databases.  That's my first Android experience.  And I've started just playing with Apple.

The Windows Phone is the easiest user interface to master, it looks like Apple is second and then Android.  However, a developer can develop Android on any machine.  To do Windows Phone or iPhone, they are limited to an OS  and hardware.

So why buy another  set of developer machines for something that only has a limited market share?

And that's the answer.

Learning Swift -> It's a just a programming language

So I've gone through the language and like more languages it has the important things:

variables, types and how to assignment them



methods and functions




Now not all languages have everything, but a good programmer can implement what they want out of the language.

Yes, this stuff all has difference syntax.  No problem, keep a cheat sheet around.

The thing about programming -- and why I couldn't get hired as a contract programmer because they want someone who can do something on day 2 -- is that programming is programming, and it doesn't matter the language.  While I can't do something on day 2, I certainly will by the end of the week, and I would probably be as productive in week 2, maybe week 3.


Xcode Playground

The tutorial I'm using:

Is an Swift playground.  Apparently playgrounds are interpreted and have their own mark down language.  You can actually write code in Swift, and see it execute as you go.

Not a bad idea.  Apparently Apple means some people to use a playground to mock up and create projects....


Learning Swift

First, I've had this conversation with other programmers.  The more programming languages you've worked in, the easier the next one is.

Which is rather shocking to find out that a friend who followed me in computer science at Southern Mississippi didn't have the same experience as I did.  Also, it's apparently an unique experience which is why most employers don't get me.

I learned BASIC and FORTRAN in high school.  Special program -- outreach by Jackson State (FYI - I am NOT from Mississippi, just spent 2 years of high school and undergraduate there).  At Southern Miss, I did FORTRAN in introductory, then Assembly, then COBOL, and then Programming Languages, where we did at least three programs in each major type of language.

I played a lot with APL, and friends and I were working on an IDE for APL, written in APL as a side project.

As required classes, we had to write an Assembler and a Compiler.

As a professional, I've done work in COBOL, Pascal, Assembly, C#, Java, PHP and have written apps for both Windows Phone and Android.

I've taught Pascal, Visual Basic, and Java and C#.  So yeah, programming languages are just programming languages.  In fact, a lot of the time, I have to have a Window open with basic commands.  I was known to start writing in Visual Basic when we were in Java.  Hey, it make the kids pay attention :-)  Played with Python too, and outlined a course for kids in it.

So Swift is just another programming language with it's own flavor, and it doesn't look like that big of deal.  Just started delving into it.  By yeah, Alfred, I think it is doable.

And Xcode isn't a bad IDE, I like that the tutorial I found was written by Apple and is a playground.


Dark Side progress :-)

I've been installing the tools I teach with.  Microsoft Office products, Scratch, setting up bookmarks etc.  So far, the only thing I don't like is that everything is backwards.  I'm also not sure I like the trackpad.

Oh, and I have the memory coming for the MacMini.  Oddly enough, it's a mid 2010 machine.  I'm short of surprised it's that old.

I have Java and Eclipse installed, and able to write and run a small program.  So I'm basically using what I'm familiar with.

It's not bad.  Though I still can't work with it on an exercise bike (I do that with my Surface tablets all the time).  Too big and bulky.

I may have an Apple problem

Which reminds me, I need to check on my MacMini memory.  I've had a MacMini 2 for a while, however, I have decided that for development I need a portable device.

So I went to the Apple site and the chat convinced me I needed a Mac Book Pro.  Of course, I have to touch something before I buy so I want to one of the local stores.  The salesman taught me a cute trick, which makes the Mac work like the Windows Key -- command space bar.

He also suggested I increase the memory on the Mac Mini.

Anyway, I ended up buying a MacBook Pro at Best Buy.  Older model.  It's heavy after messing with the Surfaces, that's for sure.   It isn't going on any trips anytime soon.

I've got xcode loaded on it.  I'm still trying to figure out how my student made a website with it, but that's my first exploration.  Also need to figure out how to do Java with it, but that's not pressing since I don't have any students enrolled in Java.

FYI: I discovered my blog posts are hitting Facebook automatically so I'll be posting the messing posts over the next few days.  Or not.

I’m shut down because of a serious problem creating a .NET Website

I created a pretty website, I really like for the American Beagle Relief Network, I’ve got it up on Azure as

However, GoDaddy has donated web hosting space, and I am trying to move it to which is a currently a straight html/css website.  It is a PLEX website.

Here’s the error I get when I load the website to GoDaddy.



I’ve tried creating an empty website and it get the same error.

This was created with Visual Studio 2015, as a website and I’ve deleted any of the login requirements.

I’d appreciate any help.