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    Friday, May 13, 2011

    A New Era... (Again)

    Well, This will be my last post at this site...

    I'm moving on I'm afraid. Blogger has served me well, but its high time I moved to a more modern and functional system (for me.) In that respect, you can now find me:

    - http://samharman.com - (For all audio technology / professional items)

    - http://sammio2.tumblr.com - (For general musings, blogs, links, etc)

    - http://techrant.co.uk - (Where i'm currently blogging semi-professionally.)

    Please feel free to check out those sites, and bare with me as I (finally) start transferring, and updating, some of the best posts from this site...

    So long blogger, it's been fun!

    Wednesday, December 08, 2010

    Ads are off...

    Well, after a trial period of a couple of months, i've decided to turn the ads off! I kind of always knew this would happen, even with a comfortable ~40 daily visitors, i had earned.... wait for it..... 89 pence.

    This certainly isn't an amount to be taken likely, that is 89 penny sweets right there! Instead, I will be posting affilate links and suggestions occasionally. However, i will state now, that these links will ONLY be for products I highly recommend!

    That's all for now, But let me suggest you visit my professional blog / portfolio online to see my latest work. It's at http://samharman.com

    Many Thanks
    Sam

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    A New Era...

    Today, I have an announcement to make. I have created a new blog, with a custom domain, and my own hosting system. This new blog will also function as my professional e-portfolio documenting work I have done both in university and in the real world. So without further ado, you can find my new site at...


    If you visit you will see I have started porting some of the various posts over to the new site. This process will take a while, as the new site will be a lot more focused on audio technology and programming as these are the fields I am looking to work in when I leave university.

    The new blog is powered by wordpress and hosted on my own server. I have been with blogger for 3 years now, and it has served me well until this point. I can just get so much more customisation and flexibility with a wordpress system, especially run on my own hosting service.

    So what may become of this blog? You may well ask. Well I intend to keep the blog running, and nothing much will change, but the posts you see here will be more personal and less formal that those on my new site. You may have noticed that I have added some ads to the sidebar and main body of this blog, I'm getting a steady stream of about 300 unique visitors a month, so the ads are a way of partially funding my new site. If you'd rather not see them, then i'm open for discussion and will remove them again.

    I think that's all I really have to say at the moment, except I hope you do visit my new site, and let me know what you think! I'll update you all on how the final year at university is going in another post (suffice to say, i'm pretty damn busy!!)

    Once again, thanks for reading! Feel free to leave lots of lovely encouraging comments below the break!

    Wednesday, August 04, 2010

    How I use my iPhone

    I was inspired to write this by a recent post on TiPB, detailing how a student uses his iPhone on a day to day basis. This post is about how I use mine!

    It starts first thing in the morning (about 11:30 for a student), with the alarm rousing me from my morning slumber. Then begins the seemingly never ending cycle of hitting the sleep button, and being woken up, and hitting the sleep button, etc etc

    Once I finally decide to wake up, I check my emails for the day which is useful to find out about room changes or cancellations (in which case, back to bed!) I also check Facebook and Twitter in case... well I don't know why I check these actually, I just do! Then if I'm really bored, I'll check out the BBC site to see if anything amazing has happened overnight (it never has.)

    So, then I get up and do the usual boring (but necessary) tasks, like eat, wash, etc. I then open the single most important app on my iPhone for university: iStudiez Pro. This app is brilliant, it contains a digital copy of my timetable, for all lectures, seminars, and labs I have to attend. It contains any assignments I've been set, and deadlines I have to meet. It has results of my previous assignments or exams and lets me calculate averages at the tap of a button. In short, this app is central to my organisation as a student.

    iStudiez Pro also has excellent integration with the iPhones contacts, so I can send an email off to my lecturers right from the app. Which brings me onto the second most important use of the iPhone. Email. I have a constant stream of email to me wherever I am. I can be the first person to know the results of assignments, or when lectures have been canceled.

    Obviously, the iPhone is a phone, and of course I use it every day to text and call my girlfriend at university elsewhere. It also keeps me up to date with the weather forecast, and train times using the National Rail app (expensive but worth it!)

    Another app worth mentioning, which isn't part of my daily routine but has proven to be very useful indeed, is the Tesco clubcard app. Essentially a digital copy of your bar code which can be scanned at the checkout to collect points!

    Other apps used on a daily basis, but that are not worthy of more detail because their use is obvious are: Dropbox, Skype, MSN, Camera+, Allowance, and Maps.

    Anyway, that's just a bit of information about how I use my iPhone as a student at university. Thanks for reading, as always all comments and suggestions are welcomed!

    Saturday, July 31, 2010

    Minimalism

    This post is all about minimalism, and how I see things.

    Western society today is in a lot of trouble, global recessions, housing market crashes, etc etc. I think the sole reason for this is the commercialised world that we live in. You are taught from an early age, that you must do well at school, to get a good job which pays well, so you can have lots of money, and buy lots of nice and expensive things. This idea is forced into our minds throughout our childhood and continues through into our adulthood. 

    The items we desire change, from newer and bigger toys as children, to newer and more expensive luxurious cars as we get older. But the idea is exactly the same, the more stuff we have the happier we will be. 

    But the thing is, it's not true! 

    It just leads to us buying more and more stuff, which leads us to want a bigger house to put this stuff in, so we borrow money to afford the house, and now we have the house, we need more stuff to fill it up, so we use credit cards to borrow yet more money to pay for stuff which makes us happier, right? Wrong. Pretty soon, it starts to spiral out of control and you can't afford to pay off the debt.  Oh, and don't forget all those subscription services like Sky TV, Mobile contracts, Super fast broadband, that you need to pay for monthly, to actually USE some of that stuff you've brought. So now we owe incredible amounts of money, but it's okay, because we're happy remember.


    It's not all about the money either, we then have a large house which needs heating, which uses resources and harms the planet. We have a large luxurious and uneconomical car that uses far too much petrol.

    Minimalism means surviving on just what you need, and it's a journey i've only just embarked upon. I used to be wound up in the world of buy, earn, buy more. Those who know me, will know how many gadgets I used to buy, and own. Many of them I still own, and use regularly. But I won't be buying any more, unless i NEED them, and I am also giving away those that I don't need. It's a long process, and I doubt I'll ever really get my possessions down to the bare minimum, but i'll enjoy trying, and reap the benefits in the process.

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    Multiview App

    Hello Dear Readers,

    As you may know, I have opted to take the iPhone programming route with my dissertation project. Today I have been working on my iPhone Programming, and just have a small app to share with you all. This is a simple application that switches between two views and has buttons with pop-up messages. I have added a flip animation between the two views to make it look better. You can see the basic app in the video below.

    video

    This app was made following instructions and guidance from the brilliant 'Beginning iPhone 3 Development' textbook by Dave Mark and Jeff LaMarche. Now obviously this app was made purely to teach myself and bears no practical purpose.

    I did cover various new things when developing this app today though, including multiple views, animation, UI Alerts, toolbars, etc... So my next step is to combine this with my previous 'Hello World' app to get textbox functionality within different views!

    Many Thanks for reading!

    As always, all comments and/or help is very much appreciated!!

    Sam

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    iPhone Programming

    So, I've started working on my dissertation. Yes, I know i don't even start my final year of university for another 2 months (or something), but i've decided to give it a go anyway. Now, when I started university as an eager fresher on my first day I was excited to be learning all about Music Technology. This excitement continued right up until the moment the words "C++ Programming" appeared on the projector.

    Ask any first year student at Bournemouth University studying Music & Audio Technology and they will tell you that programming is the bane of their life. And I felt the same, we all did! Anyway, the end of term rolled around and our first assignment was set. That was when something strange started to happen, We all tentatively started work (Well, I say all... I mean those who didn't leave it till the night before!! You know who you are!! :-) ) and we coded, and googled, and coded, and googled, and daniwebbed, and coded some more, and suddenly I realised that I was actually enjoying myself quite a lot! Turned out that I got a 1st in that programming assignment.

    Roll on to the present day, and my head is now full of classes, objects, inheritance, buffers, loops, heap/stack/and pile errors, memory management, garbage collector and all kinds of other programming jargon. And guess what? I've decided to do a programming based dissertation...

    Except, it's not just your standard C++ VST Program (which are hard enough), No. I've decided I want to teach myself an entirely new language, on an entirely different platform. As the title of this post would suggest, it's Apples iPhone! And that is why i'm sitting here attempting to start my dissertation.

    So far, progress has been made. I have followed instructions and explored enough to create a typical 'Hello World' app. And then used my limitless creativity, to expand the functionality to a 'Goodbye World' app. I know, Brilliant isn't it?

    My Very Brilliant Hello World App
    Well that's the stage i'm at right now. I have 2 areas to cover for this dissertation; iPhone programming, and core audio. Neither of which I have any knowledge about and both of which i believe use different programming languages, C++ for the core audio, and Objective-C for the iPhone.

    Well, I have quite a task ahead of me, so expect to see posts of this nature on the blog for the next year or so. It seems that i'm destined to be an audio programmer, and if I can program for Apple devices then so much the better. I think there is a lot of potential in the iPhone / iPad devices in terms of audio that has yet to be realised.

    Anyway, It would appear that i'm rambling now. So to all those non-computery folk I apologise for a very geeky blog post, and to those that are interested: Thank you for reading, and please feel free to leave any comments you may have.