The Droid Groceries saga so far…

August 7, 2012

Warning, this post gets kinda geeky and technical in places. ūüôā

I shared with you guys a few details about my first few forays into iPhone programming with NS Basic App Studio. It looks like I never told you about my favorite iPhone ‘app’ that I made myself: a simple grocery list program that I use all the time. There are other to-do lists and grocery story management apps available for free, but I love this one because it’s streamlined to exactly what I need – it’s easy to add new things to the list, and to mark them off when I’m shopping.

A few months back, I got a Droid LG Eclypse from work, to replace the ancient Blackberry I was issued years and years ago. NSBasic App Studio is supposed to work with all versions of Droid as well, so I was excited to get the Grocery app working on the Eclypse. This didn’t turn out to be so easy. The screen is slightly smaller, and I really wanted to be able to use the slide-out keyboard when typing into the list, which means showing the screen in landscape view. So I played around with a few different layouts, and thought I had a version that would work great in portrait view. Here’s what it looked like in Chrome on my desktop: Read the rest of this entry »

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Programming break – vidlist for Palm

January 19, 2012

So, I’ve made some headway on my programming to-do list,¬†and thought I’d share some more details about it – I’ll try not to get too deeply into the techy stuff, since this isn’t a programming blog, and describe a bit of what it’s like to write a program for an old-school Palm handheld.

So, at my windows computer, I start the NS Basic for Palm¬†developer program. I’ve found this to be a great line of products, giving me a lot of freedom to make programs that do what I want them to, for many kinds of machines, without having to get deeper than I like into the guts of what’s going on inside the machine. Though the programming languages for the different NS Basic products are different, they’re all pretty close to the Visual Basic and VBscript that I use in my day job.

Inside NS Basic, the first job is using the graphical form designer to figure out the interface layout – where the entry fields, labels, buttons, list boxes, popup list triggers, and other things go on the palmpilot screen. With vidlist, I was originally thinking of having a really tall listbox on the left that only went a little over halfway across the screen, but quickly figured out that with the kinds of things I was going to need to store in it, it would be better to have the list wider than it is tall. (You can page through palm lists using the little arrow icons, but can’t page or scroll them side to side.)

Read the rest of this entry »


An NS Basic List App

August 20, 2011

Well, I’ve been doing a bit more NS Basic App Studio work lately, and I like my newest program – it’s a very simple to-do list that I can use for grocery shopping or that sort of thing.

There are lots of grocery store apps in the app store, but that’s the problem; there’s too many to really look through, and most of them seem to be way too complicated, with built-in lists of possibly groceries or what have you. I didn’t even need all the bells and whistles of the Palm to-do program when I used that for groceries. All I really wanted was this: Read the rest of this entry »


What have I been working on lately?

May 23, 2011

I thought I’d bring all of you up to speed on a few things.

  • The ‘Request for dedicated readers’ that I answered at critters.org is going fairly well – I’m up to around page 125 out of 184, so more or less on track for finishing by the end of the month. I’m liking the story so far, and hopefully I’ll have some helpful feedback to share with the author.
  • New smartphone apps! I’ve been learning some good tricks with NS Basic App Studio, and have completed little apps for date calculator, (figuring the difference in days between two dates or the date result of offsetting an input date by a particular number,) and a data collection front end that feeds into a web application back end. I’ll post some screen captures in a few days if I remember.
  • The Straight Dope Message Board short fiction contest went well, though I didn’t win in the voting. But I really like my story, which actually took the character of Lisa from Chatterboxes, which is fundamentally a speculative contemporary sci-fi book, and put her into an urban fantasy scenario, learning sorcery from a teacher who isn’t quite what she expected.
  • I’m a little behind on my goal of submitting a story a week this month – I’ve done two, and I want to make a few more revisions to the Landing based on my critique tracking results before sending it out again.
  • I’ve nearly finished the second out of three fandom chapter updates I wanted to make in May – this one is ‘Children of the Molecule’, my Roswell/Doctor Who crossover, which is finally drawing towards an end.
  • And I’ve written a new scene for ‘The Long Way Home’, with Naveli getting Ereyu as a pet ferret.
It actually looks somewhat impressive when I type it out in a list like that.

My project tracking programs

March 10, 2011

I enjoy finding writing software to do things that are relatively personal – organizing my music or video libraries, for instance, or to help me move writing files back and forth on my Alphasmart. The first time I participated in NaNoEdMo I spent a lot of editing time on my little Tungsten Palm PDA, so that I could work on the bus, because this was before netbooks came out. And so I wrote my first version of ProjectTracker for that little PDA, with NS Basic for Palm.

Read the rest of this entry »


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