Wheels Spring 2012 Edition

The first digital edition of Wheels for the Mind has finally arrived and is available for download from the iTunes App Store.  A couple of important things to remember:
  • This is an iPad only edition.
  • The app is a 391MB download.
  • An internet connection is required for some parts of the app such as the crossword & all interactive links such as URLs.
Take the time to explore all of the interactive & multimedia elements such as scrolling text boxes, embedded videos, swipe picture slide shows, portrait & landscape layouts & many more.
We hope you enjoy this special edition.

CreateWorld 2012 – Call for Presenters

CreateWorld is our 3 day performance, presentation, and professional development event, specifically for academic and technical staff who work in the digital arts disciplines.

The conference features a wide range of academic and technical presenters from the tertiary education and industry sectors, and includes several keynotes, panel sessions, hypotheticals, hands-on technical workshops, and regular presentation sessions.

We are seeking presenters from a wide range of disciplines for presentations, performance pieces and workshops. Presenters will be financially supported to attend the conference.

Continue reading “CreateWorld 2012 – Call for Presenters”

X World 2012 Presentations Available

X World 2012 was held in July and was another first rate event attend by over 140 University IT and technical staff from Australia, New Zealand, USA and the wider Pacific.

Copies of the presentations and relevant links to further information are now available on the web site. Our thanks to the presenters who gave their time and effort to present and for making copies of their presentations available.

/dev/world/2012 Registrations Now Open

Building on the success of X World and CreateWorld, /dev/world/ is the AUC’s conference program for students and staff in AUC member Universities who have an interest in developing for Apple platforms. /dev/world/2012 will be held at the Rydges Bell City, Melbourne on 25 – 26 September with pre-conference workshops on 24 September.

Continue reading “/dev/world/2012 Registrations Now Open”

App UI Usability

Alex Motyka, Univeristy of Sydney

When Apple announced the iPhone they turned everything we knew about the mobile user experience on it’s head. The iPhone and it’s radical gesture based touch screen user interface was considered 5 years ahead of it’s time and it lead to most radical shake up of smartphone industry ever. But did they get it all right? Many of the emerging standards in mobile user interface design and user experience/interaction are considered by some as almost self evident and natural but are they really? This talk will go through common and emerging UI/UX conventions and highlight what works and doesn’t work for the average user based on the findings of numerous usability studies performed by Neilson Norman Group.

The talk is intended for anyone interested in making usable native apps and/or mobile web apps that won’t confuse users. Participants will be taken through examples of apps and mobile web apps that work well and don’t work well. Areas covered will include button design and icons, gesture based navigation, task-flows, list design, forms and much more. The talk will have examples of web and iOS UI/UX design with a few Android examples thrown in for good measure.

This talk only requires a basic level of mobile and iOS programming knowledge.

Finding the “Unsuck” Button: Design Patterns, Testing, Refactoring, and Coding Like You Know What You’re Doing

Justin Marrington, University of Queensland

Track: Tools & Tech; Audience: Intermediate

This presentation intends to introduce – by example – journeyman and intermediate iOS developers to the techniques popular to the software industry at large for moving from decent code to great code. It’s a crash course in software design patterns, in unit and acceptance testing, in behaviour-driven development, in refactoring (and how and when to do it).

Each portion of the talk will be tightly focused about a practical example (rather than trying to describe the whole field), to introduce people to what’s possible, and point them to where to dig deeper. Where appropriate, we’ll introduce third-party tools (such as the Freddy framework for iOS-based BDD), and discuss alternatives.

Interfacing iOS devices with the Arduino Microcontroller

Aneesha Bakharia, Queensland University of Technology

Electronics is fun and with the simple and versatile open hardware Arduino microcontroller, anybody can create impressive devices. This presentation will provide an overview of interfacing and controlling the Arduino from an iOS device.

Topics covered will include an introduction to the Arduino platform, using the Redpark serial cable to connect to external sensors, logging and plotting sensor measurements and controlling an Arduino with a iPad (multi-touch interface and accelerometer). A range of other connection options including XBee radio networks and MIDI will also be covered.

Adventures in the Objective-C Runtime

Matthew Robinson, Curtin University of Technology

Track: Tools & Tech; Audience: Intermediate

The Objective-C language is dynamic, many decisions are deferred from compile and link time to runtime. The dynamic nature of the language is implemented by the Objective-C runtime, which acts as a kind of operating system. Typically, you don’t need to interact with the runtime directly…

…but what can the runtime do for us if we choose to be atypical.

Categories are generally the first dynamic feature of the language that programmers new to Objective-C discover and this is where we will start. To understand how categories work we will look at message sending and method swizzling. From here we’ll be able to look at other features of the runtime.

In order to understand what the runtime is doing we will need the ability to inspect what it is doing internally, for this we will take a quick detour into DTrace profiling. We will also take a quick look at benchmarking to see if (and by how much) the dynamic nature of the language slows it down.

Messing around in the runtime has the potential to cause havoc, however, the runtime can be used to solve problems in novel and powerful ways. We will close by looking at some examples of using the runtime. Key Value Observing and Core Data are obvious examples from the Cocoa frameworks.