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Looking forward to SecondConf

I'm very much looking forward to attending the first instance of SecondConf in a few weeks, a self-proclaimed "three-day, Chicago-style, single-track conference". While it's obvious that SecondConf is inspired by, and meaning to continue in the tradition of, the now-defunct C4 conference, I'm looking forward to it on its own merits.

C4 was a pivotal institution for me, as I attended the first iteration in 2006 and, two weeks later, quit my job and struck out on my own. This was largely inspired by the people I met at C4, now-friends who were a lot like me and doing what I wanted to do -- work on their own. While I can't praise Wolf enough for assembling such an awesome slate of sessions, the most value for me came from the self-selecting attendee list for C4. I went back for three more years as a way to see and hang out with some of the best Cocoa developers in the world.

The reasons I'm going to SecondConf are threefold: first, this continued face-to-face interaction with many from the Apple development arena; second, to support this nascent conference; and third, because I just plain like going to Chicago in the fall to hang out with Cocoa devs. Old habits die hard, I guess!

Much like Wolf, I still have hesitations about Apple's direction. You may have noticed the conspicuous absence of my own iPhone and iPad apps in the App Store. While I do work on a lot of iOS projects with clients, I choose to stay in the technology space out of a desire to improve my Cocoa programming capabilities most of all and not out of any love for Apple's policies on the actual commercial side of the App Store. So while I fully understand the reasons for the demise of C4, I was ready to accept it as a passing thing. I'm ready to give SecondConf a chance, however, in the same space and see what it's got for us.

Are you going to SecondConf? Leave a comment if you'd like and maybe we can meet up! See you in Chicago!

Autumn miscellany

There have been a number of things I've been mulling over posting about recently, but none have quite percolated up to a full post yet, so I'll instead post about a number of goings-on of note to me, my apps, and some other current work. Read on for a dose of Code Sorcery Workshop updates!

iPhone work

I've recently completed work with the local Portland powerhouse Small Society on two different iPhone apps. Check out the two most recent projects listed on their site -- one for a large coffee retailer and one for a nationwide car-sharing company. I've really enjoyed working with the Small Society team on these projects!

Regarding my own iPhone apps, I'm still in a wait-and-see mode, much like a number of solo developers. Mostly it's an issue of the difficulty of solo developers being able to sustain revenue in a market that's currently driven downwards in price. I may post more on it in the future, but in the meantime, feel free to weigh in on whether you'd like to see iPhone apps to complement my current Mac offerings.

C4[3] conference

The weekend before last I was lucky enough to once again attend C4, the independent Mac & iPhone developer conference. I've now been to all four, and the first one nearly three years ago was the major impetus for me striking out on my own and making Code Sorcery Workshop my full-time job. Once again, I had a great time learning, meeting new people (and meeting in person people I already knew online), and seeing a bit of Chicago. C4 can't be beat!

Welcome back, Ma.gnolia -- err, Gnolia!

The innovative social bookmarking service Ma.gnolia has been relaunched after their major incident earlier this year, and has been rebranded as Gnolia. This service will once again work with Pukka, just as before. Welcome back and best of luck!

Meerkat beta

Lastly, I've just released a public beta of the next release of Meerkat. The headline feature will be much more robust automatic reconnection of tunnels, adding to the existing support for reconnect due to sleep, wake, and network change. If this is a feature you've been waiting for (and it sounds like quite a few folks have been), go ahead and check it out. Just be sure to backup your data first, as this is a testing release!

That's all from the home office for now. Thanks for reading!

C4[2] this weekend in Chicago

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For the third year in a row, I'm headed to Chicago this weekend for the C4 Mac indie developer conference. C4 has been a great way to meet new folks, learn about the state of the independent Mac software industry, and get recharged for the coming year.

If you're headed to C4 this weekend, be sure to try to find me if we've never met. I love meeting new people -- and especially Mac developers!

C4 videos now available!

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Jonathan "Wolf" Rentzsch has begun posting free videos of last August's C4 indie Mac developer conference in Chicago. I was fortunate enough to attend this conference, as well as the first C4 in 2006, and I'm very happy to see these online, let alone available for free!

C4 was a big motivator in me striking out on my own and having these videos available free to the community is a huge boon to the Mac platform. Wolf says it best:

[O]nline videos like TED and Google Tech Talks have really driven home how great frictionless sharing of high-quality presentations can be. So spread these videos far and wide, all these are great speakers talking about subjects dear to their heart.

Hear hear! Enjoy these videos and spread the word!

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