Last week Kosta and I attended an unconference related to business, startups and also some things unrelated to the above. We’ve been to several interesting lectures and activities and in general had a lot of fun. The last one was about starting business without much money.
The lecturer, who also teaches at the university where the event took place, told how not every business should be built in the “start up” way, i.e. venture money, immediate multinational presence etc. He proposed several alternatives on “starting down” and then growing up as needed:
- Start to work on the business while on the day job.
- Make the office in your home instead of in an expensive “start-up” location
- Use Skype instead of phone/cell
- Team with your friend or family instead of hiring an external CEO on a high salary
- Use (cheap, if possible) freelancer instead of hiring employees
While he was listing it we were folding our fingers for each “check”. I checked all five:
- I worked on Apparent Software (on ImageFramer) for three years while on my day job before I decided to switch to full-time. Kosta is still part-time in Apparent Software.
- My home is my office and no changes are planned. Well, about once a week Kosta’s home is our office.
- We use Skype In and Skype Out to connect to customers all over the world.
- Kosta is my friend of about 15 years and this adds a lot to the fun and to the trust.
- We’ve successfully used freelancers for graphics, web development, video production, and even programming.
Of course, these advices are not rocket science and the fact that I followed them is just because the financials of the business required finding affordable solutions. Still, it was both amusing and reassuring. I feel we’re on the right track.
Stay tuned to some exciting news in May.
All the best,
Do you use DMG to distribute your software for download?
Do you create it using a script, by creating a template DMG and then replacing its content upon release?
If you do, which I fully endorse, and you’ve created your template in Finder on Snow Leopard, read below.
In the last couple of days before the ininitial release of Cashculator to the public I’ve been struggling with the DMG creating process. I thought I’d already mastered it. After all, I’ve been already doing it with ImageFramer. So I prepared my template, copied the .DS_Store file from it (I used this process with ImageFramer) and script handled it all fine for me. I look at the final opened DMG and I see the following image (which is what I indended it to be):
I send it to the server and let my partner Kosta check it on his machine. He’s using Leopard and not the Snowy kind. He send me back the following image, which is far from what I thought it to be:
Not good. So I tried this way and that way. I even moved to another system, where I first create the DMG and use the DMG itself as the template, without exracting .DS_Store first. Nothing helped on Leopard.
So we met and he brought the Leopard machine with him. I open the DMG, press Cmd-J and see that Finder thinks there’s no backgrond image and icon sizes are different.
After some research I came to the conclusion that DMGs created on Snow Leopard don’t show the same at all on Leopard. Frightened, I also tested my ImageFramer releases, which also sport a new background since the release of Snow Leopard. To my shock, it was also totally wrong on Leopard. That’s not how I wanted to convey the first impression of ImageFramer to potential customers.
The solution, of course, was to create the DMG on Leopard and use it as template instead. I ran the new template through my scripts and reopened the final DMG on Leopard to check. It was fine. Finally.
Today I did the same with ImageFramer‘s DMG. For some reason, the one from Leopard showed without background on my Snow Leopard machine. I only added the background again and saved the DMG. It worked fine on Leopard too.
That’s it. So, if you use a similar technique for creating DMG, check them on Leopard and on Snow Leopard before shipping to avoid later embarrassment.
So I’m back from NSConference.
Wow, it was a much exciting experience for me, for several reasons. I’ve entered the Mac development arena about 3 years ago but I’ve never been to any developer conference. WWDC is too far and expensive for me. So when Scotty first announced about it I thought it’d be nice to get there. Fortunately, it worked out.
First I’d like to thank Scotty an Tim because I was probably one the most problematic of their visitors. I came to UK with my wife, so we couldn’t stay in the regular accommodations and I’ve continuously bothered them both about my issues with it and the banquet. They were both very helpful and kind with me.
The developer “crowd” was very interesting, coming from different countries. I’ve talked to people from Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and of course UK. There were people from other countries such as Finland, Spain, France. There were quite a bunch of iPhone developers and also people who wanted to become full-time Cocoa developers coming from other areas, such as Java or Ruby consulting.
The sessions were all well selected and on high level. The speakers were of the highest quality both knowing and entertaining. Matt Gemmell ’s talk about custom controls was helpful as I have created a couple custom controls myself for ImageFramer 3. Fraser ’s talk about integrating with Apple’s photo programs was also just what I needed since ImageFramer is a program for photographers as well and I don’t have any integration at this time.
Some other talks that I liked are Mike Lee’s Pimp my app sessions, which was both entertaining and helpful. I like these business and user experience related stuff and Mike’s a great speaker. After the conference I caught him for several questions and he was glad to discuss things.
Marcus Zarra talked about Core Data, Spotlight and Quicklook integration. He’s a good speaker and makes it all look really simple.
F-Script session was very interesting. Although I’ve looked at F-Script myself beforehand, Philippe Mougin excited the audience with its abilities and I sure learned quite a few things myself.
All other sessions were helpful and entertaining as well.
The night after the conference, laying in bed I couldn’t fall asleep and ideas floated into my mind how to make ImageFramer 3 better. The new knowledge and enthusiasm all fused into one and I’ve had quite a few helpful ideas. Yes, nerdy, I know, but sometimes good ideas about programming come at this time.
Huge thanks to Scotty, Tim and other people involved. I now wait for NSConference ‘10.
The only thing that I didn’t like were these British water taps. How in the world am I supposed to wash my hands this way? We’re in 21 century and it’s a new building. Can’t put the mixing faucets, for crying out loud!? I know, it’s the same in London and it’s some British thing but someone, please explain why it’s this way and how to use it effectively.
(the photo above is from my hotel room in London)
I you just happen to want to see some of my photographs from the UK trip, take a look at: London and Oxford set on flickr. There might be more later as well.