I’m interested in a lot of different things.
So many in fact that my last blog, which I ran for a number of years, became cluttered with many different topics.
I tried to clean it up, I really did. The biggest problem it had was the proliferation of categories. Upon trying to put some sanity back into the categories, I discovered that it had been a bad idea to include the category name in the post URL.
It was a lost cause.
So, I’ve decided to start again, but this time I’ll keep it focused.
Over the last few years, the software industry has begun a transformation that was started by Steve Jobs with the introduction of the Apple iPhone, a portable computing platform disguised as something familiar: a mobile phone.
For more than 20 years, Microsoft’s Windows had ruled the roost. Challengers had come and gone (I’ve still got my Amiga 1200), but none had been able to make a significant dent in Microsoft’s desktop monopoly. Software had to be Windows compatible or it was destined to live and die in a niche market.
Then Apple introduced the App Store for it’s iPhone. For the first time a full-featured and powerful computing platform had reached the mainstream which didn’t run a Microsoft Operating System, and what’s more, it didn’t matter that it wasn’t compatible.
Apple has gone from strength to strength, bolstered by average consumers who’ve discovered that they can carry all the computing equipment they need in their pocket, leaving their old desktop computers to gather dust. Google, inspired by fear of Apple controlling the browser, followed in their footsteps with Android, which has been even more successful.
As a software developer, this is where my interest lies. Over the last year or so I’ve learned to use a development tool called Shiva3D by StoneTrip. From a single source project, Shiva is capable of producing an executable for each of many different computing platforms, including all the important mobile ones such as iOS and Android.
I’ve already released my first app called Solar Explorer. It’s a solar system simulator with texture mapped models of 30 moons and planets, based on the latest probe images I’ve been able to get hold of. So far I’ve released it for Android only, but I’ve exported versions that run just as well on Windows and Linux based PCs. The Android version is available as a free, ad supported version, and a paid version with no ads and high definition textures that look good on tablets such as the Motorla Xoom.
That’s what this blog is about: My apps, what I learn while developing them, and anything of interest that affects my work.