Tagged: osx

Writing my first iPhone app – Day 2

I have to say so far I’m liking Swift a lot. It is a nice, straight forward language with some awesome feature like conditionals.

Ok so what I did today? (well yesterday, but whatever)

First of all I added some new views to my interface. I realized that i will need to record the user’s activity on the server so I will need some sort of identifier to them. Of course I could just use the device’s ID but its better to make them create an account and use their login name / user id as the identifier. Anyway, I needed to add a login view as the first responder of my app. For now I will just add a simple button to redirect the flow to the “play” view, will deal with the actual registration later. Also added a new view to my tab controller for editing the user profile / view activity. Here is how my storyboard looks like at the moment:

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 21.12.25

The code for my LoginViewController is really just a placeholder now

loginOverride just redirects the user to my tabController where the game code kicks off.

Made some good progress with the game itself as well. Actually pretty much the whole game logic is done. I did set up a fake API for getting the questions. Here is the not so interesting PHP code

Turns out implementing async requests in Swift is fairly simple. Just have to call NSURLConnection.sendAsynchronousRequest and parse the response. 

One thing I’ve learned about this and it is very important: never ever (EVER) try to update UI elements directly from the async request’s callback because it won’t take effect. It took me like half an hour to recognize that my code in fact works, but the UI elements are not updated. Clever people on stackoverflow told me that I should use dispatch_async to with dispatch_get_main_queue() to tell the main execution thread to update the UI.

As for rendering the question, it is pretty straight forward:

I want to allow the user 30 seconds to answer each question. I really hoped that the SDK has some sort of built in timer object, otherwise I should have implemented my own recursive async thing which I really didn’t want to do. Fortunately the SDK in fact has an NSTimer class so implementing the countdown was easy:

The only thing left to do is to hook up the answer buttons and check if the answer is correct. I simply added a tag to each button 0,1,2,3 and linked the touch up event to a new custom action:

Simples. If the clicked button’s tag equals to the one got from the (fake) API display a big green message, otherwise a red one. In the future the app will report the result to the server for logging purposes and of course to move the player on the global board but that is for the future.

Tomorrow I’m gonna start building the server side a little bit and try to make the registration / login view and hopefully add Facebook login too

Howto: Install OSX Lion under Windows 7 and VMware

So I decided to learn objective C, partly because it’s been a long time since I developed anything besides web apps and partly because I have a couple app ideas in my mind. Anyway, it turns out there is no option to code for the iPhone on Windows 7 (besides Visual Studio. Thanks, but no thanks) so I decided to install OSX Lion using VMware. I read a whole bunch of tutorials on how to do it and finally succeeded. Here is a simple step by step guide so you can try it yourself

What will you need?

  1. You need a bootable OSX Lion image. Not sure how to legally acquire it but here is a link for a torrent file
  2. VMWare Workstation. Now this is a paid software but a quick search on isohunt will help you out. I recommend getting the latest version (9.0) if you can
  3. VMWare hard drive files. You can download them from here (self-extracting exe)
  4. “Additional files”. Various tools

Ready? Let’s install!

  1. Install VMware workstation. Don’t run it just yet.
  2. From “Additional files” extract “macosx_guest_vmware_7.tar.gz” and run “windows.bat” as an Administrator. This will patch VMware workstation to enable you to run OSX
  3. Start the self-extracting “Mac OS X Lion VMware Files.exe” (point #3 in the “What will you need section”
  4. Start VMware workstation and click on “Open a Virtual Machine” and browse to the folder extracted in the previous step. Open “Mac OSX Lion/Mac OS X Lion.vmx”
  5. Click on “Edit virtual machine settings” and remove the CD / DVD drive
  6. Still in “Edit virtual machine settings” click “Add…” then “Hard Disk” then “Use an existing virtual disk and browse to the downloaded OSX Lion image (the big one)
  7. Click “Power on this virtual machine” to launch the virtual machine. If it asks you a random question (can’t remember what exactly was it) answer “I copied it”
  8. The installer should start in a couple of moments. Just follow the installation steps and you are ready to go

Couple of problems / tweaks

  1. The image by default will only work with 1024×768 resolution which can be really annoying. To solve this copy “darvin.iso” from your “Sysprobs Lion Files” to an usb drive and install it on your OSX system. After the install and the reboot you will be able to choose whatever resolution you want
  2. Sound doesn’t work. I’m still trying to figure out how to solve this
  3. I tried to install OSX on my work computer which has an AMD processor but it gave me errors. There are some tutorials around the web to solve that problem, but its time consuming so I just didn’t bother. Just google the exact error message and you will be able to solve it if you really want. The method described here works perfectly for my Intel i7 desktop and my Intel i5 laptop (I guess it should work on any Intel chipset systems)

Have fun