iOS Development: Let the journey begin

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It’s only been 4 weeks since I’ve bought my first ever Apple product. We now have SIX in our household and my ISP has just informed me that I’m now downloading over 40GB per month (and should really pay more). I have to admit: iPad, iPod Touch and Apple TV have forever changed our lives for the better.

So much so that last week I went out and bought myself a Mac Book Pro for one simple reason: I want to write iOS Apps. For those of you who don’t know it’s the stuff you can download and run on your iPhone and iPads. Should have jumped on this project a year ago when I had a hunch that this could potentially be super cool.

Getting my teeth into this will be a challenge beyond belief, and I thought it would be a nice idea to jot down my progress here. I’ve done this with the WP Guru site where I write down notes so I can remember a few weeks later (I have a short attention span you know…). I shall call this category iOS Dev Diary.

Let me start by telling you all about what I want to do and why I’m doing it.


I always wanted to take things apart, especially the stuff that was most fascinating to me. The earliest encounter I remember was the one with my tape deck in the late seventies. It was a rather old machine my parents had given me to “play with” I guess, and one afternoon I just had to take it apart and look inside. It was fascinating, and I think it was the first time that the feeling of “being out of my depth” was introduced into my life – at the age of 4 or 5.

Wanting to go deeper must be in my genes as I always wanted to do this with everything I laid my hands on. Taking pictures wasn’t enough, I needed to develop and enlarge them. Playing computer games was not enough, I wanted to write them, just like I wanted to write detevtive stories, make movies and direct theatre shows. It was always about internalising it for me. That’s why I started working in film and TV: I loved it, and I wanted to be more than The Viewer. I wanted to create this stuff.

So here we go again with friggin iPhone apps.

Ever since I finally got my hands on the long overdue Commodore C64 in the very early eighties I liked hacking code. Trouble was I’ve never formally learnt this or read up on it o it became a rather tedious and frustrating experience. There was always something “else” that I had to do: for example, Basic wasn’t good enough… you had to be able to write “machine code” for the really cool software to show what the hardware can do.

Along came the web, and HTML was my next mission, and in fact this site here is the continuation of those early beginnings – has been on the web since it was a Compuserve Page in 1996 and didn’t have a domain.

Pathetic attempts at trying to grasp Java and JavaScript followed, again realising that HTML itself wasn’t enough and that there was “more” that made the cool sites cool. Years of soul searching and a TV career followed, always knowing that I was ahead of the general public with my web ideas, yet leaps behind what could be considered cutting edge technology. I didn’t take it serious enough – and now look where we are.

When PHP and MySQL became the next big thing I stumbled across WordPress and couldn’t get enough: finally I had found the web development tool that would take the pain out of creating and maintaining great websites. I loved it so much that over the last two years I’ve been expanding my brain into areas I didn’t even know existed: I have learnt PHP with MySQL, studied WordPress until the doctor comes, in fact I now have two fairly successful plugins on the WordPress Repository.

Creating so many websites meant I needed to get my hands on bulk hosting so I invested into my own web server so on top of all this I had to get acquainted with Linux Server Administration, Domain Control and Apache. This didn’t happen overnight of course, but I think I can safely say that I’ve undertaken a rather steep personal learning programme over the last couple of years, courtesy of the O’Reilly Collection and countless websites found via my good friend Google.

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