Thursday, April 26, 2012

I've decided on laumoda as a company name.  I'm surprised at how easy it is to set up the digital part of a company.  Here's what I've used in case anyone else is looking to do the same:

  • I bought the domain name ( from  It was one of the lower priced sites, plus a lot of other sites have built-in interfaces with GoDaddy (such as setting up Google Apps).
  • I'm hosting the site on Amazon Web Services.  It's free for a year, and then about $5 - $10 month depending on what I'm using (space, bandwidth etc).
  • I set up email using Google Apps.  Because I went with GoDaddy, I didn't even need to edit the MX records myself; it was just a couple clicks.  If I'm using the email addresses, I just sign into gmail with the account, and then it's the same as using gmail.
  • I built the website using hype.  I was looking at cloud-based html5 content creators, but they all charged between $5 - $10 / month if you wanted to remove their logo from your site.  I'd be okay with a free site with the logo (e.g. this blog has a blogger logo) for a personal site, but its looks decidedly unprofessional for a business site.  Hype is an installed software app that was $40.  One limitation of Hype is that it only does fixed-dimensions (so you have to define components in pixels, as opposed to say 100% width).  I was trying to figure out the optimal width, fortunately there's cool sites like this one that have a lot of data. 
  • I built the favicon (that's the little icon that appears in the browser tab) using a free website (just google, there's a lot).  .jpg in, .ico out.
That was it!  

Monday, April 23, 2012

I'm trying to choose a name for my company.  I have four criteria, in order of priority:
  • .com is available
  • if you google the name, you'll likely find my company (which rules out names such as "digital solutions" with 294,000,000 search results)
  • there's minimal confusion on how to spell the name once it's seen (which rules out things like "" or "")
  • it has a meaning behind it.
To find names that fit my criteria, I was following the example of kijiji, which is swahili for "meeting place". The finalists are all words from esperanto, which as a language works particularly well with criteria #3.

I'm running a survey to see how the name fares; I'm more influenced by the survey if the name is generally disliked (the first selection of names all polled very poorly; based on that I came up with different names).  If you'd like to vote, go ahead!

I'm nearly done with the wobbly table app.  It was working great on the iPhone, but when I tested it on the iPad none of the text showed up.  I finally figured out it's because I used a font that's only available in iOS5 but not iOS4 (I've upgraded the OS on my iPhone but not the iPad, cause I want a device running both for testing, and this a great example of why).  I wish there was some sort of error message if the font isn't available, instead of just showing blank text.  Anyways I changed to a font that's available in both iOS4 & 5 and that fixed that problem.  Except I caused some other problem with all the changes I made trying to troubleshoot, which I now have to find and fix.

It was a almost winter again today, although the forecasted snowstorm did not materialize.  Call off the army!  But it was a good day for spaghetti and meatballs, with a caesar salad.  Mmm good.

I had physio again today for my foot (which I hurt at hockey almost three months ago).  I now have an ankle brace, and with it I can run without pain (yay!)  So I'll be good for Ultimate in three weeks when the spring seasons start up.  My ankle doesn't bother me at hockey, I think because the skate boot has the same effect as an ankle brace. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I forgot to mention, our hockey team (the Rockets) won our division!  We're champions of Thursday D2 Men's 30+ hockey!  The summer season starts today, but we also get to continue the winter season in the facility championships next weekend.  (They should come up with a more exciting name than "facility championships"). There's four D league teams from the various nights that play at York, and we're all in a playoff to go onto the regional playoffs.  Every team plays each other, so next week we'll have our regular summer season game on Thursday, then the facility championship games which includes one game on Friday evening, two on Saturday, and then Sunday if we are in the top two teams.  Five games in four days!  I'll be in good shape after that.

Well I figured out the math for my app.  The iPhone accelerometer provides the acceleration along the x-, y- and z-axis.  If the iPhone is laying flat, the x- and y- values are 0, and the z- value is 1 (because gravity is pushing down with a force of 1).  If the iPhone is static but tilted in various directions, the accelerometer returns the appropriate x- y- and z- co-ordinates.  I use the following formula to figure out the angle of the iPhone's plane relative to a world frame:

radians = atanf(z/sqrtf(pow(x, 2) + pow(y, 2)))

The next step is applying a low-pass filter to the readings, there's a lot of noise that I need to average out.

Yesterday MC and Robin dropped by before dinner, they were out taking Corben (their 4-week-old) for a short walk.  They looked really rested for new parents.  Corben is very cute, with a full head of hair.  We chatted for a few minutes, it was good to see them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm on to my next app, this one is to figure out how to use the accelerometer.  The previous one (which was about InApp purchases) is with Lloyd and his kids for testing.

This new app is to measure how to fix tables that aren't balanced.  In theory, I should be able to get the position of the iPhone in both the balanced and unbalanced states.  Next theoretical step is to get the angle of difference between those two planes.  Then, based on how far apart the legs are, I can figure out how much to raise a leg (ie, how thick do you need to fold the coaster to fix the table?)

I've got to the point where I've captured the two table positions.  The next step is the math part.  If I have it figured correctly, I'm trying to covert the iPhone's accelerometer coordinate system to Euler angles.  I think.  This is one of the few times in my life I've had to put my math degree to use.

This evening is our last Tuesday Ultimate game.  It's at 11pm, so the team's going out before the game for dinner.  I'm still out with my ankle / foot injury.  We're heading to Bar Vespa, beside Brazen Head.

On Sunday Heather and I went to the new Scottish pub on Gerrard near Jones (McGuggan's).  We had tried their food a couple times, and it's been pretty good, except almost all of it is deep-fried, or a salad.  There's no real in-between choices.  On Sundays, however, we figured they'd have a roast beef special (it must be a law for pubs).  It was really enjoyable, the yorkshire pudding was one of the better ones I've had.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I just spent a couple hours trying to figure out why my app wasn't working, and it turns out Apple's test AppStore is down.

The main purpose in this app is to learn how to use InApp purchases.  (The majority of revenue from apps in the AppStore is now from InApp purchases, as opposed to the purchase price.  InApp purchases are things you buy when you're using the app, like virtual water for virtual plants).

In any case, it was working fine yesterday.  Today I refactored some of the code, and then couldn't get it to work.  Two hours later finally found the forum where a bunch of other people are having the same problem.  At the very least, my app now has much better error handling in place.


There's yet another new pub opening up near us, on Queen St E in between Carlaw and Boston (just west of WAYLA).  It's in the old store that Heather and I used to call the WD40 store.  The old place had a huge amount of retail space, that seemed to be mostly occupied by cans of WD40.  Anyways, there's a liquor license application in the window, for An Sibin Pub.  From a little googling, I think these are the same people who got stuck when The Real Jerk held on to their lease.  The WD40 location is a nice size for a pub.  We're still waiting for a bar to call our "local" -- maybe this will be it!


Yay, it looks like Apple has fixed the problem with the sandbox store, so back to coding I go