Weeknotes 2014-51

Finished my last class for the year, just in time before the holidays. Can’t believe I actually finished CS50x – Harvard’s Introduction to Computer Science, it was quite challenging and time consuming, but I did it. I submitted my final project mere days before the looming deadline, and can’t wait to get my certificate.

We’re leaving London tomorrow, will only be back for a few days in Jan, and then off to California!

The new year will bring new challenges, and it will probably be some time before I work on another course. I have more practical things to learn now :-)

Nevertheless, here’s a video of my final project, an iOS 8 today widget, written in Swift: Dinner Tonight provides quick and easy access to daily dinner recipe suggestions based on the Epicurious.com RSS feed, with an option to toggle between the latest recipe and a random recipe. It was fun to try and learn Swift, and I think I got a good understanding while writing the app. A tutorial on Xebia.com helped me get started, as well as several tutorials on Raywenderlich.com Have a look:

Weeknotes 2014-49

  • For CS50, I implemented the Spellchecker, once I got into it, not too hard
  • And also this week, I used php, mySQL, CSS, and of course HTML to create a Stock portfolio site, with options to register new users, look up stock quotes, and buy and sell stock (virtually, of course).
  • And I started reading Give and Take by Adam Grant

Weeknotes 2014-43

  • The new iMac with Retina 5K display is awesome: “The tl;dr version is: if you can afford it, buy it.”
  • For CS50x I get to implement a spellchecker, not sure when to find the time
  • Reading Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow “Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.”

 

Weeknotes 2014-42

Weeknotes 2014-41

  • Bunch of fantastic updates for Adobe CC, including mobile apps that feel just magic – use an iPhone camera to capture a color palette, brush, or vector shape from real life? Check. Adobe ColorAdobe Shape and Adobe Brush do that for you. And Adobe Draw on the iPad has those and lots of other elements available via the cloud to use for drawings. All that functionality seamlessly extends to the desktop as well via Creative Cloud. CC was never about just “renting” Software – it’s about what you can do if there’s dedicated services available to tie all the creative work together. This is where innovation is now – not in the next feature for Photoshop on the desktop. “Today we start this new era of creative connectivity”. Worth watching the Adobe Max Keynote if you’ve got 2 hours…

Weeknotes 2014-40

whodunit

  • For CS, looking at Forensics this week, particularly as it relates to images. Wrote a program to reveal the hidden message in the image, one to resize a bmp image, and another to recover deleted photos from a CF Card.
  • Ten Personal Solutions to Global Warming
    • The car you drive: The most important personal climate decision.
    • Make your house more air tight.
    • Buy and USE a programmable thermostat.
    • Eat less meat.
    • and the list goes on.
  • Cooler Smarter Interactive Web Tool
  • Enrolled in yet another course: Behavioural Economics. Right up my alley: “How can we get people to save more money, eat healthy foods and engage in healthy behaviours, and more generally make better choices?” 
  • I’m sure, eventually all the pieces will fit together again – programming, sustainability, psychology…
  • App Previews on the iOS App Store are a big deal for developers.
  • And this one I need to remember when the time comes – how to get your site or product known – and ideally make it an overnight success

Weeknotes 2014-39

  • Anna’s Sketchnotes are awesome
  • I learned how Systems Theory and Design Thinking are related to Sustainability in Practice, and discovered some related websites:
    • http://theconsensusproject.com – 97% of scientists agree that climate change is indeed happening and that it is man made.
    • http://grist.org – “Grist is a source of intelligent, irreverent environmental news and commentary that’s been around since 1999, when the internet was made of rubber bands. We cover climate, energy, food, cities, politics, business, green living, and the occasional adorable baby animal. Each day, we use our Clarity-o-Meter to point our readers to the news that matters most, and to translate wonky issues into stories that make sense.”
Screenshot of the very plain looking tip calculator...
My first Swift app is a Tip Calculator

 

Breakout programmed in C
I coded this little gem of a game
  • Oh, and not least, I finished pset4 in CS50x, creating my first game in C: Breakout (and received maximum points – they didn’t grade for visual quality ;-). Not that anyone needs another incarnation of this, but every journey starts with a first step…

And even though this is a year old, it is still awesome to watch, a ‘before and after VFX’ reel from the Great Gatsby. Watching the film, it didn’t feel VFX heavy, but it certainly was!

Weeknotes 2014-38

I have decided to take up again the habit of writing weeknotes about what was important to me each week, particularly what I learned over the week.

Weeknotes 2014-37

My week of researching Product Management / Product definition, prioritization, planning and roadmap tools… I notice I am taking the “Novice approach”, doing deep research and reading about techniques where an Expert would have an intuitive understanding of how to solve problems through years of practice. Anyway.

Final Prototype

I have to say this class was really great and I learned a lot – from the lectures, from doing the actual design work, and from the community. I truly enjoyed the experience!

Design Brief: Change

My Point of View:
 People would like to make healthy choices when cooking and eating, but only if the process is quick, easy, and tailored to their specific preferences.

Mockup of the prototype with different screens

My Prototype App helps people to cook a healthy dinner every day by delivering a daily recipe with ingredient (shopping) list and directions. They can set their preferences for calories and preparation times, add specific dietary requirements, and optionally save the nutrition info to MyFitnessPal should they want to track their calorie intake. (Design Brief: Change) Continue reading Final Prototype