The Sound of Silence

Hey folks!  I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m still alive and kicking.  2018 has started off busy and chaotic.

I’ve been on-site with a client for nearly three weeks since the first of the year with a project, that while fun, has been challenging.  It involves big touch screens, credit card terminals, talking to three serial devices over USB, and calling into a Windows DLL.  This is the second major project with this client.  The first one required using Xojo for iOS with an integrated barcode scanner.

My son is a senior in high school (and all that entails) and co-captain of the FIRST robotics team.  I spent a good chunk of my limited free time writing their scouting application not only for desktop (Mac and Win) but for iOS as well (using Xojo of course).  Nothing like doing a big(ish) project for free.  Oh yeah, I’m nominally the programming mentor though I’ve had to step back some (since being out of town so much).

If you want to learn more about FIRST robotics and the challenge for 2018 go look at https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/game-and-season  I can’t say enough good things about FIRST and what it’s teaching these kids.  I believe the future is bright when I see what these kids accomplish (mostly) by themselves.  For what it’s worth my son received a really nice scholarship to a good university because of his FIRST robotics involvement.

To add into this mix BKeeney Software has been shorthanded for a variety of reasons.  My workload tripled a few weeks ago and we’re actively looking for a new Xojo developer.  As if I needed more things to do.  🙂

Mostly because of senior year commitments only one staff member is going to XDC in Denver.  This saddens me, a lot, since I haven’t missed an XDC since 2004 (I think).  It also means it’s unlikely that we’ll make it to the MBS conference in Munich this Fall.

I’m looking forward to some much needed time off.  I hoping that once things settle down and a new developer (or two) is on board I can get back to writing more.  2018 is going to be a big year for Xojo with so many things coming on board (the new web framework, interops, 64-bit debugging FINALLY working in Windows, and Android to name a few).

6 thoughts on “The Sound of Silence

    • You open the serial port and you start talking to them. They act as standard serial devices. Each one, of course, has its own comms protocol as defined by the manufacturer. One device dispenses cards and it has a fairly generic comms protocol: send command, get ACK back, send command, get ACK back and so until you get the sequence you need. Another is a bill collector and that’s ‘fun’ because you have to poll it and it will tell you what the last 5 events were and if you don’t want the bill accepted you have to return false from your app – that app is using a protocol called ccTalk which is used by a lot of bill and coin collectors.

      If you have any additional questions you can always email me direct.

  1. If you miss so many conferences, may you should make your own?
    Pick the week and the destination you want and we’ll try to come to you.

    Even if you make it in an unusual place like Kansas, Alaska or the Bermudas 🙂

    • Well, like you, Christian, I’d much rather hold a conference in a place I’d like to visit. Kansas is a nice place to live but it’s not a destination city (though we have plenty of things to do). Who knows what will happen once the kid gets out of college – we might get another RV and travel the country and hold Xojo mini-events every so often.

      • Pick whatever place you’d love to see.
        We often thought about doing a conference in Spain, e.g. on Mallorca or Gran Canaria islands. Flying there doesn’t really cost more than flying to London or Berlin…
        And some day I may just buy an around the world ticket and make a series of events around the globe.

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