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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

My Day Job: iPhone App Development

Haven’t posted in almost two weeks. So what have I been up to?

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time on the iPhone SDK Dev forum. I’ve found the information on that forum to be useful when I ran into problems, and now I am giving back by answering people’s questions. Oh yeah, I never mentioned that I am an iPhone app developer here, huh?

During the day, I work as a computer programmer. Originally, we worked on this platform for mobile phones called BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless), a technology developed by Qualcomm that’s primarily used by Verizon. We have done work for a wide range of phones from the very old Kyocera kx1, to the thin flip phones like Motorola RAZR, to the ones that emphasizes MP3 player functionalities like LG vx8500 (Chocolate), and the ones that have full QWERTY keyboards like LG vx9900 (EnV) and LG vx10000 (Voyager).

That was good for a few years but now the focus is on smart phones like Blackberry and the iPhone. There’s still BREW stuff to be done, but since they are launching new handsets slower and slower now (partly due to the bad economy), we are not getting as many projects now. So what do we do? We start learning the new stuff. That’s how I started learning the iPhone SDK.

And it helped. What I’ve been working on lately are all iPhone apps. I am not going to discuss what they are, since they are for clients and they are not out on the market yet. But at least it’s skill that’s not entirely worthless in this economy.

So yeah, been focusing more on that side, and haven’t blogged here as much. As for the puppetry stuff, I’ve still been watching the Taiwanese puppet shows. A new series has come out recently. It’s not bad, but I won’t judge until I see more than the current two episodes. Will write about that one later. Also, I signed up for a TV puppetry workshop that will take place in September. It’s taught by muppeteer Michael Earl and I am definitely looking forward to that. This hack is going to get some real training at last. Yay.

And speaking of Taiwan, I’ve been watching news about the Typhoon Morakot. (For those of you not familiar with typhoons, they are exactly the same thing as hurricanes. They just have a different name in south / east asia.) The typhoon brought record amount of rain and caused mud slides in the mountain areas. The typhoon has already caused a few hundred deaths. There has been touching stories of fire fighters, police officers, and soldiers doing all they can to rescue people. And there are many sad stories of lives lost and many beautiful stories of survivors helping each other out. But the news about the ignorance and ineptitude of high government officials are quite frustrating to hear. Many of them lack real skills and experiences, and are in way over their head and many lives could’ve been saved if these official responded better. It’s sad, but that’s who people elected.

I talk in tangents, don’t I?

Anyway, back to iPhone apps. For my readers that are iPhone users, if there’s an idea for an app that you’ve been dreaming about and it doesn’t exist in the app store yet, feel free to contact me via email or DM me on Twitter. Who knows, we just might be able to make it happen!


  1. August 19th, 2009 | 2:39 pm

    Kelvin, I have several ideas for iPhone apps, and pursuing these ideas is on my to-do list for next year, but who knows? Maybe something could happen sooner. My ideas are all related to writing, as you might have guessed. Good luck with your puppeteer workshop! That sounds like fun.

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  2. August 20th, 2009 | 3:03 am

    Cool. Let me know whenever you want to have a little chat about it. :-)

  3. August 23rd, 2009 | 3:21 pm

    Those photos are amazing, and somewhat heartbreaking. I’m sorry to hear about the Typhoon. I had heard a little bit about it, but not much, since I’ve been on a self-imposed news blackout for the last month or so. We’ve also found that our government does not respond well to these situations. It’s when you find out what communities are really made of.

  4. August 24th, 2009 | 7:11 pm

    Taiwanese people are actually very used to Typhoons because a few of them would hit Taiwan every single year. I was very used to them too since that’s what happens every summer. I’ve even walked in those storms where it doesn’t matter whether you are carrying an umbrella or not. I do not live in the mountains, though, so mud slides don’t really affect me. (Floods do happen though. Our house had been hit twice.) Why does this one cause such disasters? It’s because it moves quite slowly, and all these years of not doing a proper job of natural environment preservation has come back to bite. Mud slides and floods didn’t use to happen this often. And that is why the focus has changed in recent years from the wind to the rain.

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