Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why Apple's Developer ID Freaks Me Out

I've been considering life on the other side of the iOS/Mac platform for awhile, but receiving the mail on the Developer ID program might have been the straw.

I've happily adhered to the AppStore requirements in the past. Accepting it as a necessary requirement for access to a nice marketing and distribution channel for independent apps. The rub now is here "Apple wants to help you steer clear of malware EVEN WHEN YOU DOWNLOAD APPLICATIONS FROM PLACES OTHER THAN THE MAC APP STORE". (source:

I would image the user experience would be similar to that of a browser warning: "WARNING: this site may harm your computer". No one clicks through those warnings unless they are illiterate or stupid. However, in the case of OS X, this type of warning could potentially create a barrier of entry for completely legitimate software composed by an independent developer who choose not to use the AppStore distribution method.

I completely recognize the arbitrary and hypocritical line I am personally drawing here, as I have done quite a bit of iOS development in the past 4 or 5 years, but this literally flies in the face of 30+ years of personal computing hacking. Are developers literally going to get warned about their own unsigned software under development, or worse will my PC become like my iPhone, where I can't even run unsigned software (assuming the device is not jailbroken). What's next? We remove "interpreted" software, again like iOS? Is Apple out to kill Ruby, Python, Javascript or even BASH?

I admit it. iOS was slippery slop and we are sliding. I'm not sure the quote, but here is a crappy paraphrase: "How long will they strip away our freedoms? As long as we let them."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

RE: Startup Accelerators

We are respectfully dropping out of the application process. As I found the request for a coding entrance exam both insulting and irrelevant.

Nothing stands between and entrepreneur and a successful enterprise other than his own follies. Therefore, I'm finding it more and more concerning that accelerator programs are inserting themselves as the educational institutions of entrepreneurism.

The obvious analogy I'm drawing is between accelerators and higher education institutions such as universities. Both promise hard assets such as access to knowledgeable individuals, invaluable network creation, and tool set for a promising career. They also both promise soft assets such as "the time of your life". There are, however, many negative sides to higher education.

I primarily want to focus on the fact they create a barriers to entry that may be difficult for some individuals to overcome. These people maybe incredibly intelligent, creative, or energetic to fault. They may not test well or function in a class room environment. Sadly, such individuals may be disregarded via standardized testing or traditional grading methodologies.

It is exactly these people who are changing the world through entrepreneurism. Call them "the dreamers", "the crazy ones", whatever, but they are the ones who invent the future.

I find it absolutely reprehensible there is a trend of startup accelerators seeking to streamline the process of validated entrepreneurism through the use of standardized testing, essays, applications and other admissions processes parallel to systems that have already failed the exact individuals who need affirmation, funding, and mentorship.

Furthermore, I believe metrics collected via standardized means will do nothing to ensure successful a startup, and hence a strong investment portfolio. Building a great business is an art; building great software is an art. If you are going to invest in art you have to love the art, the artist, or both. Investors and mentors for startups have to be as visionary as the entrepreneurs themselves.

Thank you very much for considering our application. I wish you the best of luck in finding meaningful products and driven visionaries.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Travis Dunn's Sinterklaas iPhone Poem (2010)

alloc malloc release free
NSAsshole retaincount plz
interface builder, worse than fulsome
programmatic brain rape corpus callosum
make no mistake: you are mistaken
that memory space was never taken
multi-threading staph infection
objective c threw a pointer erection
for you

Saturday, November 12, 2011

How to Make Something Interesting with Bob

The Bob application I wrote for OS X in 2006-ish was approved by Apple to be sold in the AppStore. It has a couple bugs here and there, but I thought I'd follow a lean startup mentality and just throw it out there and see if it gets traction. If enough people enjoy it, I'll be more than happy to fix the bugs.

Although the app can be downloaded and starts working as soon as you press the "Start" button. It's probably not super intuitive to make something interesting with it if you haven't been around the MIDI block more than a few times. I thought I would share a brief tutorial on how I made this with NI's Absynth and Bob.

Step 1: Open Absynth

Step 2: File -> Audio and Midi Settings

Step 3: MIDI -> Inputs -> set Absynth 5 Virtual Input Status to "ON"

Step 4: Open Bob

Step 5: Midi Destinations should have Absynth available.

Step 6: Press "Start"

These steps are more or less the same for most MIDI software. Also if you have an external routing box to external synths that should be listed in the drop downs as well.

Have fun!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I've been kicking around a new idea in my mind that complaining may be an evolutionary development as the catalyst for progress. Let's face it, all humans are natural complainers.

Complaining is the pivot point where self awareness becomes a creative thought process.

"I'm uncomfortable." -> "Why am I uncomfortable?" -> "What could be done to make me more comfortable?" -> . . . -> Innovation.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Who's on deck?

European bathroom stalls are commonly small closets. Tiny rooms with actual walls running floor to ceiling. The ultimate in defecation privacy. However, on such a forward thinking continent they have also considered water conservation, and instead of delivering the Cosby kids to the pool you end up plopping them with the force of gravity to a porcelain deck over looking the pool.

You haven't realized it yet, but toilet water is AMAZING. Not only does it at least help deter streak-age (a plague ridiculously wide spread), but it also prevents air from flirting with fumes. Let's face it, without toilet water, in Europe your basically sitting in a tiny air tight room huffing freshly baked brown loaf.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Do you remember the scene in Fellowship of the Ring when Frodo Baggins and the other Hobbits narrowly escape the riders in black and go to the inn to meet Gandalf? I'm pretty sure the inn had a sign that looked something like this:

Unfortunately, I moved to Amsterdam and not Middle Earth, and this is not a sign for an inn, but instead a sign above a fraternity. A fraternity immediately next door to Jen and I's new apartment. In fact we share a wall.

The text on the sign says "tHierNumaals" which was translated to me as "something to do with the after life". I'm fairly certain this translation is incorrect and should actually be translated to "something to do with after hours", or more specifically "screaming old style drinking songs so far beyond after hours it's freaking morning". When the yelling and singing gets to loud, people give up and just spill out into the street to continue. This happens every night. Monday, Tuesday, whenever, it doesn't matter, everyday is a good day for partying like it's 1560.

Finally, two nights ago at 4am Jen and I decided it was a good time to say something. We threw on some baggy sweatshirts and sweatpants and headed outside. It was raining. Once we were at the door of the fraternity I could smell the beer through the wood. There was a giant "lion biting a metal ring" style knocker I was pretty pumped to use. We could hear some yelling behind the door. I knocked a few times, and the door opened. . .

Quick side note: statistically speaking the Dutch are growing faster than the rest of humankind. I've felt particularly small being here. After all, I'm not a large guy. Once Jen arrived, who is even smaller than I, I've gone so far as to start kicking around the idea we could possibly be midgets. However, on this particular rainy night, standing under that stupid sign in our baggy clothes, knocking on that huge wood door that smelled of beer with a huge lion's face, it was obvious. . .we are Hobbits.

Once the door opened there stood a huge Dutch guy dressed in, kid you not, onesies button-up pajamas. He was holding a pitcher of beer like a it was a pint. The pitcher pint made me even more aware of my Hobbit sized Hobbit-ness. As I glanced around the room I realized virtually everyone was in vertical striped onesies with footies. It was not an apartment at all. Everything was wood, and there was a full bar along one of the walls and a long bench along the other.

I figured this was a good time to start in with some Dutch, "Goede avond," (Good evening). I suddenly became self conscious thinking, "what a stupid thing to say," it was, in fact 4am. So, I started again in English, getting right the point. "You guys need to keep it down." I continued for about minute before the guy even realized I was speaking a foreign language. Then, He and his brothers started in with a gaggle of slurring profanity mixed with invitations to drink and inquiries of our nationality. Luckily, out of now where came a slightly less drunk, normally dressed gentleman who politely explained everyone was really drunk, and it was pointless for us to ask them to keep it down, but he would try to remind everyone. He was right, after all who can reason with a small army of beer soggy pajama wearing giants.