Particle Playground 1.0 released

I am so excited! Apple just approved Particle Playground and I set things up so that it will be available tomorrow (February 15th). There will be a 50%-off sale for the first two days. So it will cost 4.99$ for the first two days and 9.99$ after that.

You can read what I blogged about UIKit particle emitters in my recent posts or check it out in the Mac App Store.

I hope you enjoy PP as much as I enjoyed creating it and hopefully it soothes your pain as it did mine.

Particle Playground – a GUI for CAEmitterLayer and CAEmitterCell

While developing my last app I got the idea to add some sparkle to it. But since I’m not using cocos2d or some other framework I had to use the standard iOS classes CAEmitterLayer and CAEmitterCell to set-up my particle emitter. After a while I started to grow tired of the hassle of always tweaking the emitter the tiniest bit and then recompiling and running the app in the simulator.

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Using Spotlight as a calculator

I just stumbled upon a nice feature in Spotlight. You can input formulas into the Spotlight search bar and it short-circuits to Calculator and displays the result in the spotlight search results.

Use Spotlight as a calculator


It even supports log(x), ln(x), exp(x) and I guess a lot more functions I just didn’t think of when testing this for a bit.

Quite a handy feature I would say and one I have never seen before. But after googling for three seconds I found about a myriad posts about this. So I guess it’s yesteryears news. It still felt right to slap it up here. Maybe you didn’t know it either or maybe I will forget it again in a couple of months and this will be my reminder. 🙂

Tutorial on custom structs, convenience macros, storing structs and passing them around

Let’s say your app needs a custom struct. Maybe for upper/lower bounds of some values. Let’s also assume that you – like me – don’t like the thought of abusing NSSize or NSPoint just because ‘It fits the problem’. Yes, you could store your two values in both structs, but the names would be wrong and in general: doing it would be wrong.

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Mac App Development

I just picked up Mac App Development after quite a long time of inactivity and it is really fun! The learning curve is much steeper than with iPhone development because I simply am not that knowledgeable in the Mac universe as I am in the iPhone universe.

Finally I have something to write about that hasn’t been written about on ten other blogs (to my knowledge). So there will be more updates than there have been in the last couple of months… well actually in the last year.

So stay tuned! I already have some raw ideas floating around in my head that need to be put to paper.

Xcode cursor visibility on dark background (Midnight Theme)

UPDATE: Eric Goldberg created a nice github repo with a high-contrast cursor and short and sweet instructions for this. You can skip this post and check out his repo. Thanks Eric!

Or you can read on… 😉

I always liked dark themes in my IDEs, but with XCode I almost had to switch to a lighter theme because I just did not see my mouse cursor anymore in the main text editor. A major annoyance having to move the cursor around for a while to spot its location!

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