playswithfire

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You Are Not Ruthless Enough

In the course of my work I see a lot of code. Sample projects, full applications, frameworks, and proofs-of-concept have all crossed my desk at one time or another. In the labs at WWDC I see various bits of code which are giving developers trouble. The source of the project doesn’t seem to matter much; the problem is the same.

Smaller Computers

My turn for hardware refresh at work came up a little while ago and I requested an 11” MacBook Air. My current personal laptop is a 13” MacBook Pro and I was curious if I could survive on something as small as the 11” Air.

Thanksgiving in New England

It’s been a while since I visited my parents in Connecticut, so this year I made the trip to see them at the old homestead. The house and the town have some family history and I’m always reminded of it when I return home.

New Clothes.

One of the reasons I haven’t blogged that much is the fact that WordPress is just so frustrating to use. I recently learned about Octopress from a few different sources and decided I’d give it a try.

I was able to also bring over an archive of an earlier version of the blog from around 2004 and import those entries as well. Take a look at the blog archives to see what my earlier writing was like.

Enjoy!

Thanks, Steve

When Steve stepped down as CEO, I wrote to let him know what effect he and his company had on a ten year old kid:

Steve,

When I was in the fourth grade my parents bought an Apple ][+ when 48K was a lot of RAM and disk drives were uncommon. I discovered in that computer a world which I could play in, learn in, and experiment in. I was ten years old and I’d found something incredible in the machine you’d helped create.

My parents kept a book - in each grade, I’d write what I wanted to be when I grew up and many years I had the usual astronaut dreams. When I was in the sixth grade and having learned to program a bit, I wrote that I wanted to work at Apple.

I played and worked with computers of one sort or another for the next twenty years. I learned to program the Macintosh and NeXT machines when I was in college. I studied computer science. I contracted and wrote software to help people do things with computers in a better way than they could do those things without computers.

I watched as Apple bought NeXT and you turned a beleaguered company once again into something which inspired dreams. Twenty years after that first Apple ][, I started working at Apple. I’ve been here for ten years.

I’m proud to have been a part of Apple’s resurgence working first on Mac OS X and then on iOS. There are times every day when the giddy ten year old in me is amazed at his good fortune in helping to create products that people want to use rather than have to use.

Your leadership enabled me to live a childhood dream, but even more than that it’s taught me how to reach for something more; to improve myself and everything around me and to follow what I passionately believe in. I hope that something I’ve worked on in my time here will help inspire another ten year old to experiment and ask “What if…?”

It’s completely inadequate, but it’s the only thing I can say:

Thank you.

.chris

Those of us working at Apple have inherited a dream. It’s a dream we already believed in, but now it’s completely ours to realize.

Watch us.

Prep

It’s that time of year again; crunch time for WWDC preparations.

It’s the time of year which reminds me how much I enjoy teaching, and how much work teaching effectively really is.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been wrestling with everything from Xcode and my demo through Keynote not launching for no apparent reason. Murphy doesn’t just look over your shoulder while you’re on stage presenting a demo, sometimes he’s there for the entire process leading up to the big day.

It’s totally worth it, though. I have such a great time at WWDC that I always make a point of presenting every year.

Ev

When we lived in a rented house in a different neighborhood in Mountain View, we had fantastic neighbors on each side of us.

On the north side was an older man named Ev. He grew beautiful roses in his front yard. He would stand on the other side of the fence and talk about gardening with Kat, or he would tell us stories about the huge oak tree in his back yard, and stories about the neighborhood and how it developed.

He was always pleased to see you and always had something interesting to talk about. He knew a lot about the different neighborhoods in Mountain View. When we told him we we had bought a house and where we were moving, he mentioned that he’d known a lady who lived “over that way.” In fact, whenever he talked about a neighborhood in Mountain View he knew a lady “over that way.”

When he was well enough, he would fire up his old pickup truck and run an errand. I always imagined he was visiting a lady friend in another neighborhood.

While we were excited to have bought a house, we were heartbroken to be leaving behind such wonderful people like Ev. We always said he should come by and see Katherine’s roses. We had heard from friends that he’d been receiving home care for a little while. He went into the hospital last week. He passed away on Sunday.

He never got to come and see Kat’s roses and tell us more about our neighborhood and which lady he knew “over our way.” Somehow life got away from us and we never got around to having him visit. We’re both upset about having not made the time to see him.

It’s easy to leave something and imagine that it will always be the way you left it; your hometown, a school, a neighborhood, a person. Time has a way of reminding you otherwise.

Some Plans

I know everyone’s just dying to catch up on what I had for lunch or what the contractor is doing right now. If you want that, you should pop on over to my Twitter feed.

I’m working on a few programming posts which I’m hoping to have up in the next few weeks - maybe one a week or so.

I’m also tinkering around with trying to customize the look of the the website a bit more. Never having done any Wordpress hacking, I’m liable to really screw things up. If something goes south, please bear with me.

Buddy, With Rice

The dog eats his dinner in about a minute and forty-five seconds (yes, we’ve timed it). Sometimes, he doesn’t get it all.

BOQ, Round 2

Just me and the dog again, this time through Monday morning.

This morning went well - he didn’t wake me up ‘til 7:30. The five laps around the block were pretty cold on the bike, though.