Learning Swift andSwiftUI

This is a great time to get started learning Swift and SwiftUI. The language and tools have matured to a very usable state, and there are some excellent learning resources out there.

I’ve been learning Swift and SwiftUI for a bit now and I’m getting fairly proficient. During this journey I’ve taken several online courses and bought quite a few books. Most of these were very well done and I’m glad to have supported their creators in some small way. But a few really stand out.

Big bonus for the 2021 Holiday season, these folks are all having Black Friday or Holiday sales. See each site for details.

Hacking with Swift is a website by Paul Hudson that teaches Swift and SwiftUI. His free course 100 Days of SwiftUI is excellent. If you like his style (and his dogs!), he also has some paid options that are very much worth the money – several books and an excellent online membership called Hacking with Swift+ (https://www.hackingwithswift.com/plus) Paul keeps creating new lessons and updating old ones and I subscribe so that I can have access to all of it. (Plus I like supporting Paul’s fine work!)

The books that have really made a difference for my deeper understanding of Swift and SwiftUI are all written by Daniel Steinberg at Dim Sum Thinking (https://dimsumthinking.com). I first met Daniel some years ago at a technical conference where he gave a short talk. I was immediately impressed with his teaching style and the way he brings to life the underlying structure and logic of the programming language and related libraries and tools. His books and lectures go beyond simple “how-to” to teach how things work and why. You can find his brilliant books, including a full bundle of them, and his videos and other work at https://editorscut.com, and he sells his books as eBooks at Gumroadhttps://editorscut.gumroad.com

If you are coming from a Design Background, or if you are like me and are very much NOT a designer, then you’ll get a lot of value from the courses at Design+Code – https://designcode.io. Meng and Stephanie are great instructors! Their courses are first-rate, and you can get started for free. I especially love the visual, hands-on teaching method. Also, if you join there are design tools and other extras.

There are so many other wonderful books and courses out there, you can simply poke around and find something to your liking. I feel guilty not listing all those that I know. But the most important thing is to start. Pick a course, free or paid, and get rolling. Try to do a little every day and you’ll make quick progress. And don’t forget to have fun!

Quickly send directions to your Tesla

I frequently look up things on my iPhone or iPad. If I then decide to drive there, it’s easiest to send the location to the Tesla for the in-car navigation instead of looking it up all over again when I get in the car.

It’s done, simply:

From the location in Apple Maps, touch the “Share” icon

Lookup the Location, and select “Share”

Select the Tesla app to share with your in-car navigation…

select the Tesla app to share with your car

You will get a brief “Sending” status while the destination is sent to the Tesla app, and then on to the car…

Brief “Sending” status while the destination is sent to the car

And then a status indicating that the destination was successfully sent to the car!

Destination successfully Sent

it’s a little thing, but quite nice.

Now if Tesla could just do better support for music libraries, and Apple CarPlay, and …

Feast!

at the inclusion camp event hosted by Fenixia Foundation at Punta de Gloria Resort, there was a traditional Philippine feast for the volunteers, staff, and families…

Before:

… and after:

Clarity on Facebook…

"Just a reminder that every Facebook privacy scandal you’ve heard about for the past seven years — Cambridge Analytica, passwords stored in plain text, that thing where they were demanding email account passwords, using two-factor phone numbers for user account lookup, the private data sent to Facebook by developers using the company’s SDK, and so on; I could do this all day — was committed while the company was already promising the FTC to not violate users’ privacy."

From https://pxlnv.com/linklog/facebook-ftc-privacy-agreement/

Speak Up

I think of this as my personal theme for 2019: Speak Up.

It applies to so many things, including writing more here and on the Square Peg Foundation website.

But it also applies in daily life. In work life. In personal connections with friends and family. In public interactions with strangers and neighbors.

By speaking up we also learn. Especially when writing. Because writing makes you consider not just your words, but your ideas, and how they fit together. But also in public speaking, because it’s another format where you are trying to get across ideas clearly, and striving for that clarity also refines your ideas.

In all of this, I hope to continue to take the sage advice of a fine young man, gone too young, Malcolm Feix, who said: “Show Up & Be Kind.

All of us let too much slide. We don’t say enough — don’t do enough. We can step in and take a stand, lend a hand, or even just ask a question that illuminates a problem. We can provide relief to someone bearing a burden, or simply let a person know that they are heard. Sometimes all we need to do is hold space for someone as they grieve, or as they vent their frustration.

We can also do much through our own behavior. People, especially kids, learn from our example. They see and understand, more than we credit. But part of the behavior that we should model is to speak up, with kindness, more often.

Speak Up isn’t about talking. Sometimes it’s about listening. Sometimes it’s about doing. It’s always about striving to be better.

A Visionary

Technology has changed our world so much in the last 100 years that it’s a bit of a cliché to say it. My grandparents grew up in Bodie, California, where three generations of Dolans, McDonnells and Bells lived for several decades. People who visit the mining ghost town of Bodie, a California State Park, today will see a glimpse of the difficult conditions in that beautiful and desolate place. My family were mechanics, miners, engineers, and assayers. Most of them worked on the technology of mining.

A few years ago, my grandmother gave me her dad’s Trautwine Engineering manual. Leafing through this little tome, you get a feeling for the level of engineering and technology of the day. It’s signed inside by my great-grandfather, “Harry F. Dolan, Bodie, CA. Green Creek Power Plant, Feb. 1., 1913.”

A little over 50 years later, we would be taking men to the moon, and using everyday technology that would have been fantasy in my great-grandfather’s day. I was a small child and marveled, as all kids did then, at the space program and the astronauts.

But nobody around me in my childhood knew what was going on, not too far away, in an area that would become known as Silicon Valley. A small group of researchers were working on computers and thinking about what might be possible with them someday. Their ideas continue to directly shape computing and communications technology today. They built a system demonstrating their ideas, and on December 9th, 1968, fifty years ago today, they demonstrated the system in what has become known as The Mother of All Demos.

In the late ‘60’s, there were plenty of visionaries talking about what computers and technology would do in the future. Some of them had pretty good ideas, and some of them were right about what might happen. But Doug Englebart and his colleagues built something and showed us.

The demonstration of the system was itself a wonder of the time. The computers were down in Menlo Park at SRI (Stanford Research Institute), and a half-dozen people were working to keep the demonstration working. There are times when Engelbart pauses the demonstration to describe what’s happening and some detail about how it’s working, and we know now that he was stalling for time while his team re-establish the connection to the computers, or otherwise fix some problem while Engelbart filled time.

It is worth taking a moment to think about what computer technology was like and what it meant to create this system and demonstrate it before a live audience. This was five years before Bob Metcalf invented Ethernet, and six years before Robert Kahn and Vint Cerf released the original spec for TCP/IP, the foundation technology that today we call the internet.

The system that Doug Englebart demonstrated in 1968 started as an advanced computing project funded by ARPA, the Advanced Research Projects Agency. The ideas presented would become the basis for new ways of interacting with computers.

The original video of the Mother of All Demos has been assembled into a set of three videos, about 30 minutes each, by the Doug Engelbart Institute. They are viewable on YouTube:

Part 1:

[https://youtu.be/M5PgQS3ZBWA]

Part 2:

[https://youtu.be/hXdYbmQAWSM]

Part 3:

[https://youtu.be/FCiBUawCawo]

For more information about Doug Engelbart, and the Mother of All Demos, the Doug Engelbart Institute is a fantastic resource.

[http://www.dougengelbart.org/content/view/209/448/]

If you are interested in more about the history of Silicon Valley and modern computing, I recommend Fire in the Valley, by Michael Swaine and Paul Freiberger. They recently released an updated Third Edition. It’s my favorite history of Silicon Valley and computing.

[https://pragprog.com/book/fsfire/fire-in-the-valley]

On Passwords

I find I’m repeating myself, but it is important.

Use a Password Manager – I recommend 1Password.

It will make your online life simpler and easier, and you get better security, too.

It makes your life easier, because you will have your passwords with you whether you are on your computer, or your phone, or a tablet. It will make your life simpler by remembering your passwords automatically and filling them in for you whenever and wherever you need.

The improved security is largely a function of this simplicity and ease-of-use. Because it’s easy and simple, you will use 1Password to create good strong passwords automatically for you — passwords that are far more complex than anything you would ever make up, let alone try to type. They also have great features like Family Plans and sharing passwords in your family or team.

The only downside is getting started. It’s not that hard, but there are some ways of thinking about things that seem at first a bit odd and maybe even confusing.

That’s why I’m happy to hear that the folks at The Sweet Setup have created a course on 1Password. These are people who do really great courses on how to use some of my favorite apps, and they are one of my trusted sites for reviews. (They are not paying me for this endorsement, and I don’t think they even know me)

Their course will also be on sale for a special low price of $23 for the first few days.

So pick up a copy of 1Password, if you haven’t already. And [See Below!] for a link to the new course over at The Sweet Setup, or go there now and sign up for their newsletter so that you get notified directly of this and other course releases and articles. They also have posted an article describing the course.

Here’s the Link to the new course on 1Password:

https://thesweetsetup.com/1password/

Oh, and there’s this! From The Sweet Setup:

BONUS: We have partnered with the folks at 1Password to offer you an extended, 90-day free trial of 1Password for Families (a $9.98 value). After you purchase the course, you’ll get a special link from us to use in order to sign up for 1Password with your extended trial.

Yet another reason to try the course, and 1Password!

Hosting Conversations

For almost a year now, Joell and I have been hosting a series of events at our home to explore important ideas in a group conversation setting. We call it Salon. It’s been a great experience and we intend to do more of these events in the coming months.

But we’re also experimenting with something new: hosting arts events as a spark to the conversation.

Our friends Llysa Holland and Andrew Litzky run a theater program in Seattle called theater simple. For 27 years they’ve been producing wonderful theatrical experiences — over 1100 performances on three continents. (Including work with Make A Wish foundation producing fantasy experiences for the Make A Wish kids.)

One of their recent productions caught our eye. The Fever is solo play by Wallace Shawn. (My Dinner with Andre’ as co-writer and actor; and a long list of credits as playwright and actor, from All That Jazz and Taxi to Toy Story and The Princess Bride)

In the theater simple production, Llysa Holland plays the lead, an American sick with fever in a hotel in an unnamed small country in the middle of a revolution.

My hope is that this is the beginning of a series of events in our home where we use theater, music, and other arts as a catalyst for meaningful conversation. Please join us.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/joell-and-darius-dunlap-present-the-fever-by-wallace-shawn-tickets-40153324675