1. The UK Computer Museum – Fund Raising

    March 6, 2011 by accidentalfish

    Its not often I stray off topic here (the topic vaguely being my apps, iOS devices and Apple in general) but I wanted to draw attention to the UK Computer Museum.

    They’re on a fund raising drive at the moment and, I think, are worthy of your / my / our support. You can read about them and the fund raising here.


  2. Still here!

    February 16, 2011 by accidentalfish

    Sorry about the silence, as I’ve mentioned before I’ve been moving house and that has taken most of my time. Mission now mostly accomplished (including having broadband again, phew) and I’ve been able to get back to Mocking Pad development. v1.2 is coming on nicely, I’ve got the project template gallery I’ve mentioned before up and running and though its a little rough right now I’m already pretty sure this is going to be a big time saver for building wireframes.

    I’m still aiming for an early March submission to the App Store but this update is more complex than those to date and I won’t release it till I think its genuinely ready.

    Oh and unless you want to be deluged by spam I recommend not mentioning you’re moving house on your blog. Wow. Spam  central. Even worse than mentioning the MacBook Air on twitter. Thankfully my spam filter caught most of them.


  3. Making the Modern World

    January 15, 2011 by accidentalfish

    I spent the afternoon in the London Science Museum looking at the Making the Modern World exhibition they have on at the moment. Really fascinating with lots of iconic inventions. Including an Apple I which I seriously geeked out over. If you pop upstairs they also have a computer history section where you can find things like a PDP-8 and Charles Babbage Differential Engine.

    It’s well worth a visit and I’ve attached some photos below. Apologies for the low quality but I only had my phone with me.


  4. iPad or iPhone?

    January 12, 2011 by accidentalfish

    Someone asked me the other day why my paid app releases are all for the iPad, particularly as the number of potential customers on iPhone dwarfs the number on iPad.

    The answer is pretty simple and twofold:

    1) I use my iPad a lot and love it to bits. That makes it hard for me to resist developing for.

    2) The apps I’ve wanted to create recently have been better suited to the iPad.

    Its difficult to see how Mocking Pad would work at all on an iPhone as it would be just too fiddly – although I do have plans to release a viewer at some point as it strikes me that it would be kinda neat to be able to say to a client “download this free app for your iPhone and I’ll email you over the wireframes”.

    Padd Trek could definitely be made to work on the iPhone with some cunning redesign of the UI (it would be easy to do it very badly, I hope doing it well isn’t beyond the wit of me!) and I’ve written it with that in mind but I prefer to game on my iPad and so iPad came first.

    The minute I have an idea I want to pursue that is best suited to iPhone I’ll be onto it.


  5. Technical Posts

    January 3, 2011 by accidentalfish

    I’ve been pondering for a while whether to do any technical posts about iOS here but have decided against it.

    I was swaying towards no on the basis that this blog is really about Accidental Fish and it’s products but listening to Marco Arment talk about the subject on the excellent Build & Analyze podcast (episode 4) has firmed this up for me.

    That said I do have some iOS code to share shortly (starting with a single finger circular gesture recogniser) that I’ll briefly blog about but mostly just to share a link to GitHub.

    I realise it’s been quiet around here this last week or two, not due to the holidays, but mostly due to me running to get two releases ready for the App Store. Nearly done and hopefully the first one will be sent up tomorrow or Wednesday depending on how the final testing goes.

    Update: you can find the code here.


  6. Happy Christmas

    December 23, 2010 by accidentalfish

    I’d like to quickly take this opportunity to wish everybody a happy Christmas. I hope you all have a great time celebrating with your families and friends.

    I’m still on track for submitting v1.1 of Mocking Pad for review early in the New Year and also have a new iPad release on the way which might be of interest if you’re a fan of old, and I mean really old, video games.


  7. The Fear

    November 3, 2010 by accidentalfish

    Over the years I’ve read many books on entrepreneurship, both about software itself but also more generally, and one thing that is often talked about but I’ve never quite connected with is the fear that surrounds launching a new product and the need to move past it and not become gripped in a cycle of procrastination disguising itself as perfectionism. You gotta ship!

    After all I figured – I’ve been there and done that. I’ve delivered many products over the years in a variety of markets and models. Some shrink wrap, some enterprise, and both public facing and internal websites. I’ve had my share of successes and flops and while I’ve certainly worried and always been determined to deliver a good job and felt great when we’ve made our users happy and bad when I’ve felt like we’ve let them down I’ve never come close to paralysis, and I’ve certainly never felt any fear.

    Rationalising this, I told myself, these were delivered on behalf of someone else: usually my employer. There’s a plural involved. And I wasn’t in the direct line of fire if the product went wrong or was badly received. Sure if its bug-ridden software I’d feel the pain of trying to fix it under pressure or maybe even lose my job but no customer was likely to tell me to my face: your software sucks.

    I also thought about the open source and free software I’ve released. Things like Photo Drive and the Activate Your Glutes website. If people had been unhappy about them then sure I wouldn’t have felt great about that, I wanted to do a good job and make something useful and if I could fix the problems I would, but heck, ultimately they’re free, things I’ve given away with no real obligation: they work for me and if they don’t work for you then just throw them away. All it will have cost you is a little time.

    However now Mocking Pad’s release is imminent, it will be submitted to Apple in the next few days, I finally understand The Fear. I’ve invested a lot of time in Mocking Pad. A lot of me. And now I’m about to ask customers directly, for the first time, to give me money for it. To say to people hey I think this is worth $10 of your hard earned cash.

    And you know something?

    Thats scary.

    I mean lets get realistic about this.

    Maybe no one will even notice it, it will be ignored and sink without trace. Ouch.

    Some people will see the product but judge it to be poor before buying it.

    Other people will buy the product and it won’t quite do what they want.

    And some people will buy the product and hate it.

    But maybe, just maybe, some people will buy the product and love it. Maybe most people. They’ll find it useful. It will help them out. They’ll become fans and talk about it and tell people about it and they’ll buy it too.

    And it turns out that thats how you conquer The Fear. Better still thats how you use it. You use the fear to drive you to do your best job but, like Schrödinger’s cat, you won’t know how your products going to do until you open the box and release it. And if you’re anything like me you need to know if the cats alive or dead.


  8. Prehistoric Wireframes

    October 21, 2010 by accidentalfish

    I mentioned in a previous post that I’d recently found some old, verging on the prehistoric, wireframes that I produced about 20 years ago. I think it was 1988 but I could very easily be wrong about that.

    In most peoples folders of “treasured memories” they have photos of old girlfriends, intimate letters and postcards, or photos of places they visited. I have wireframes. Explains a lot!

    Anyway not wanting to lose them I have some scans which I’ve uploaded and thought they might be interesting to share with fellow wireframers:

    Wireframe 1 Wireframe 2

    Wireframe 3 Wireframe 4

    The wireframes resulted in the game MouseTrek. At the time I think I was using some form of 80386SX PC and TurboC 1.5 was my weapon of choice. Fun times!

    I’d love to see old wireframes others have created, if you have something you’d be happy to share please drop a link in the comments or send them to me and I’ll post them here.