Saturday, February 24, 2018

Steve Jobs on life

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.“— Steve Jobs

Today, Steve Jobs (1955-2011) would have celebrated his 63rd birthday.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Black Monday was the Big Bang

On February 11, 1993 NeXT announced they would no longer make and sell their sleek black computers the NeXTcube and related family of "pizza box" workstations known as NeXTstation. Three hundred people were fired and the company reformed around a software strategy based on pitching their operating system and object-oriented software developer tools known collectively as NeXTSTEP, for various  hardware platforms including PA-RISC, SPARC, and Intel x86.  In addition to providing their OS on other hardware platforms, the company worked with partners including Sun and Microsoft to layer their developer tools on other platforms including OpenStep for Solaris and OpenStep for Windows (sometimes known as "Yellow Box").

Known by the community of NeXT enthusiasts wryly as "Black Monday" this transition led to some amusing footnotes in the history of computing. One Wall Street firm, AIG Trading, didn't pick up the advanced (but probably very subtle) hints offered by NeXT and proceeded with plans to build a trading desk with over 20 seats of custom built cabinets designed to hold and show off the attractive NeXTstation computers complete with 21-inch NeXT displays only to have the hardware program cancelled before they were ready to take delivery.  

image of NeXT Cube computer
NeXT Cube computer
One colleague went to the NeXT "fire sale" of stuff from the highly automated factory and bought all the molds for the NeXT logo embossed plugs to use as chocolate molds. 

Alex Cone of CodeFab and (co-author with Jesse Tayler of the recently published book Beyond Agile) decided the best way to ride out the transition to other platforms would be on the fastest original NeXT hardware he could find. The excellent cross-platform development tools made it possible to build on a NeXTcube and deliver on any of the other supported platforms. He scrambled to find a NeXTcube with a turbo motherboard and a NeXTdimension card and spent a small fortune on RAM to max it out for best performance. (He still has this and other NeXT related collector's items).

This difficult transition for NeXT from hardware vendor to cross-platform operating system and developer tools vendor wasn't exactly a raging market success, but it almost certainly extended the life of the company long enough to get the attention of Apple. 

This could be considered an important (but not the only) Big Bang of the information systems and computing multiverse. It sparked a rebirth of creative energy in a community of programmers who stayed with the platform and went on to lead teams that built Mac OS X and the iPhone at Apple and many of the major products for Apple platforms at other companies. Key ideas employed by NeXTSTEP and Objective C in the late 1980s were considered quirky at the time but have come to be ubiquitous and remain the beating heart of the macOS and iOS platforms. 

On 20 December of 1996, NeXT acquired Apple for a negative $400 million, and performed a brain-trust transplant over the subsequent months in which key NeXT personnel including Steve Jobs led the effort to breathe a new technology life and relevance back into the beloved Apple brand and corporate culture. The operating system and object-oriented development tools from NeXT live on today in the foundations of modern macOS, iOS, tvOS, watchOS, Xcode, and Cocoa

Monday, January 1, 2018

EyeSpy shown in Chick Fil A commercial on New Years Day 2018

Random cool thing of the day: Chick Fil A is running a commercial today (New Years Day, 2018) which shows EyeSpy!

One of the EyeSpy Developers, Arlan Titchbourne, noticed it while watching a game on television. 

If you have a Mac, running macOS Sierra (10.12) or macOS High Sierra (10.13) you can download EyeSpy on the Mac App Store for free. 

EyeSpy for macOS is an all-new implementation of the classic "cartoon eyes" which watch your mouse cursor on your iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro and other Apple Mac computers. 

It's silly. It's fun. It's free. 

Additional characters are available via In-App Purchase within the EyeSpy app. Some are free, some are available for $0.99 to help support the continued development of the toy. 

illumineX builds custom software for enterprise, government, and venture capital funded start-up businesses. Contact illumineX CEO Gary W. Longsine to discuss your project and see if we can help your team build app and cloud systems with machine learning, gamification, social media integration, and more.


EyeSpy App Icon showing the EyeSpy Guy logo and the illumineX iX logo
EyeSpy for macOS is a free download on Mac App Store

Thursday, December 28, 2017

All Nippon Incident Embarasses Everyone

"Today a weary random traveler and a super model with a Twitter handle made you and by association me, and our entire industry look like an under-practiced clown car act."

See why everyone in our industry deserves to be fired.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Connect with illumineX on LinkedIn

image of blogger and illumineX logos on black background
Connect with illumineX on LinkedIn

Are you a freelance developer specializing in mobile iOS or Android programming? Do you love Cocoa/Swift, or Java? 

Are you looking for unique opportunities and challenges? 

Follow illumineX on LinkedIn and connect with illumineX CEO Gary W. Longsine on LinkedIn, too. 

We'd like to get to know you. Start a conversation, today!


Monday, October 30, 2017

illumineX Announce email list

illumineX is conducting our first email campaign—ever in the history of our company—to our customers. We want to let you know that we are migrating our software products to the Mac App Store, beginning with the popular games from our GamePaX series, HextriX, BabelBloX, HoppiX, and RuniX

Some aspects of our first-ever email campaign seem (to us) a bit unusual, so we thought we should take a moment to let you know a little about what we're doing, and why. 

All of the people on our email list provided their email address when they purchased one of our products. However, our current email list has a few special characteristics: 
  • This is the first time that we have attempted to contact our customers. In 19 years of operation, we have never sent an email to our list, previously.
  • We have acquired a few companies & products over the years (including Softchaos and Freshly Squeezed Software), so customers may not recognize our brand.
  • Some of those products have been discontinued.
  • We don’t have “opt-out” information for all of our customers (it appears for some products our customers were not asked for their email preference).
  • Our customer list spans a period of 19 years.
Once we get through the first announcement our email list will be pretty clean, since we are giving people the opportunity to opt out.

We have included a link to our Email Policy at the bottom of the email we are sending. You may review it, here:

If you receive an email from "illumineX Announce" and you don't wish to receive future announcements, please click the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of the email.

We intend to contact our customer typically less than once a month, and probably no more than 4 or 5 times per years, to announce product updates, new products, and sale pricing on the App Store.

Thank you!

image of illumineX logo with GamePaX announcement text
illumineX Announce email header

Thursday, October 26, 2017

As many as 5% of iOS apps still not ready for iOS 11

A month into the #iOS 11 update, our surveys show the typical #iPhone user has seen from 1% to 5% of their apps become unavailable (because the app hasn't been updated for iOS 11). Just prior to the release of iOS 11, about 10% of apps were not ready. Users with large numbers of apps on their phones (more than 100 third-party apps) seem to see a higher rate of abandoned apps. Presumably users with fewer apps are generally using only the most popular apps, which are more likely to be updated.  There are exceptions. Some abandoned apps are products of big name brands, including media companies, Fortune 500, Universities, and governments. What's going on, here? We have some guesses, based on issues we've seen over the years.  Organizations may not yet be committed to carrying their app forward for several reasons: 1. Not satisfied with the market reach or ROI;  3. project at risk due to creaky codebase & a pile of urgent backlog feature requests; 4. app created as an experiment with unclear goals; 5. app not reaching other business goals (viral marketing). Contact illumineX today.

We'd like to talk to you about possibilities for the future of your app, including a deeper look at viral marketing, community building, gamification, and the business model.

image showing illumineX game icons and slogan
Contact illumineX today: