This is Zach's personal blog. If you're looking for his movies, please click here. Otherwise, have fun!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Don't blink.

Hey, I'm in the New York Times! Too bad it's too late to do anything about it.

Tears on the keyboard, click click click.

I can't tell you just how disappointed I am that the iPhone is once again a closed system; that Apple saw fit to encrypt its firmware so that all the third-party applications that have popped up are no longer installable. As the author of one of the more popular pieces of said software, I have a dog in this fight, sure. I'll admit it was incredibly satisfying to know that hundreds of people were using and enjoying my Books application. People were sending me thanks left and right, some even sent donations. It was an amazing feeling and could make me all Sally Field on my good days.

More than that, programming on the iPhone was fun. The Cocoa API is just wonderful to hack in. And I may be the only person outside Cupertino who has gotten a UIWebView to work, and damn it, that's important to me. As I've said before, many people have told me they bought an iPhone only after they discovered my software was available. Now, what do they do, Apple?

We can wait and see what the Dev Team comes up with, I suppose. But I'm not optimistic.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Color me impressed.

Well, Amazon MP3 is a big winner as far as I'm concerned. I just downloaded Feist's "1234" for 89 cents, DRM-free. It's only available with DRM in the iTunes store (and for ten cents more), and as a reviewer pointed out, oh the irony--this is the music from the new iPod nano ads. Ha!

I also bought the long version of "Call Me" by Blondie, which isn't even available as a single download on iTunes. That made me HAPPY! (Yes, I admit I feel guilty too, Blondie being the very definition of a guilty pleasure.)

The Amazon mp3s are encoded at 256k (variable bit rate), which still doesn't sound as good as a 256k AAC file, in my opinion. But frankly, the price differential (99 cents for Amazon, versus $1.29 for iTunes Plus) makes the difference. And of course, if it's a choice between DRM and non-DRM, it's a no-brainer.

(I'll still buy full iTunes Plus albums, rather than the Amazon version, though, as the price tends to be the same in that case.)

Long ago I decided that what's good for Apple is good for me. So I'm hoping that NBC/Universal and Apple will work out their differences, and the songs on Amazon will also be available on iTunes Plus. And here's looking forward to the day when all digital music is DRM-free. It's comin'. It's comin'.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The party is almost over.

I was thinking the same thing as Daring Fireball...
... if you have the urge to hack around on your iPhone, you might as well do so now, as I strongly suspect that this week’s imminent iPhone software update is going to render inoperable the existing ways of hacking/jailbreaking the iPhone. Notice how no one’s yet figured out how to install or modify the software on the iPod Touch? Whatever Apple’s doing on the Touch in this regard, I expect them to begin doing on the iPhone this week. (I’d love to be proven wrong.)

So would I, dude, so would I. But we won't be.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Ah, the perils of users.

Here's the problem with non-commercial software, kids. I don't want to implement what everyone is asking for--PDF support in PDF is a horrible format for eBooks--there's no way to reflow the text, since you're basically looking at a picture. I don't want that reading experience for myself. But a lot of people do.

So? What to do about it?

I'm thinking about a tip jar, with a certain amount of money required for me to begin work on PDF support. If I'm gonna do something I don't want to do, I better get paid for it. That seems fair, doesn't it? What do you think?

The number of people using is pretty impressive. And if someone doesn't want to pay me, maybe they'll be motivated to code it themselves.