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In essence the talk was about Speech Timer 2 and some technical lessons that I learned during the project. Back in 2008, about the same time when the iPhone SDK became official, I was doing Toastmasters. Shown here is an example device that the timekeeper can use – he looks at a stopwatch and holds up these signals to show the speaker changes in the time mark. Active development of Speech Timer mainly goes from 2008 to around 2011 and after which I’ve refocused my efforts to other applications.
However mid-2013 there’s a renewed interest to Speech Timer, sparked by a guy who wanted to build hardware that interfaces with it.
But 2013 is also the year when iOS 7 was announced and with it, a significant shift in the user interface style. Those who are unfamiliar to the arts may see that iOS 7 is simply about being “flat” – some may even say it’s a plain rip-off of Windows Phone 7 or Android. However by the time iOS 7 is around, the masses already understand how to use touch screens, making skeuomorphism obsolete.
At first glance you can see that the 3D effects have been removed except for the volume control. In the iOS 6 to iOS 7 transition, Evernote removed their faux notebook metaphor in favor of a sleek dashboard interface. Following the skeuomorphic paradigm of the original iPhone OS up to iOS 6, Speech Timer was designed to mimic a physical stopwatch with colored LED indicators. Likewise the speech types list has been updated to provide more space to the content and remove unnecessary clutter. However I haven’t figured out what is Speech Timer’s tint color yet – what will be the identifying color of the app that will be displayed prominently for textual buttons as well as the app icon’s primary color.
Speech Timer supports iOS and OS X from a single code base – there is one Xcode project and two primary build targets for each platform. A few custom views are shared between the two platforms, using conditional compilation statements to separate out platform-specific code (among which, switching between UIView and NSView as their superclass).
Auto layout is even more useful on the Mac where resizable windows and various monitor configurations demands flexibility on view placements. When you need to provide some starter data for a Core Data library-style application, normally you’ll check whether the persistent store file exists just before you configure the persistent store coordinator.
However checking the existence of the store file does little good if the Core Data stack is associated with an iCloud store.
Because of this, you’ll just need to accept the fact that you’ll need to de-duplicate the data store each time you open it. In order to find the presentation screen on the Mac, you’ll simply need to find the largest screen – in physical dimensions, not in pixels. Disclaimer: The opinions here are my own and do not represent any of my current, past, or even future employers. Thousands of students are using Learnhive to master concepts and get ahead in school with our FREE content. One of the best things I saw at South by Southwest wasn’t a movie but a speech—the keynote address delivered by the director Joe Swanberg. Richard Brody began writing for The New Yorker in 1999, and has contributed articles about the directors Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, and Samuel Fuller.
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As I spent last weekend and practically the week following it to prepare for the talk, I had to skimp on this blog for a while – sorry about that. Topic ranges from iOS 7’s post-skeuomorphic paradigm to iCloud handling and a trivia about finding the presentation screen on a mac.
Toastmasters is an international franchise of public speaking clubs with goals to improve it’s members communications and presentation skills. It’s a classic case of the “scratch-my-own-itch” approach, hoping that the solution can help others as well. Hence Speech Timer integrates both the stopwatch and time signals into one device, reducing the number of equipment needed to bring to the meet-up and improving the performance of the timekeeper by preventing forgetfulness to signal the speaker.
Moreover I’ve moved jobs and couldn’t find another suitable Toastmasters club near my new office; having left the community makes it more difficult for me to serve the niche and improve the application.
This means applications that aren’t updated to follow suit will quickly look obsolete and unmarketable. But those who are more involved may see the finer points of the transition: it’s about evolution of touch screens and high-resolution mobile displays and how people interact with them.

Hence iOS 7’s design approach is about making content first and foremost – hide or remove unnecessary clutter around the user’s display of data and dedicate as much space as possible to the content.
I selected Evernote as an example because they try really hard to optimize for every platform that they support.
By now users have “grown up” and no longer require the fake notebook UI to know how to use it. Just compare the navigation buttons’ tint and the application icon’s background colors – they don’t match at present.
Some of these controller classes share common code that are factored into “logic” classes and at runtime their instances are exclusively owned by their respective controller classes. If it didn’t exist then it’s safe to create the initial pre-populated data without fear of data duplication. There could be a pre-existing data store in the cloud and there is no way to check that – at least without blocking the application. You’ll also need to run the data seeding logic for each new iCloud account that your application encounter on a new device. You can then safely assume that this new “screen” is the one that the audience sees – either an overhead projector, a monitor, or even Apple TV connected to a large television screen. One big item is UIKit dynamics – something that sets iOS 7 apps apart from competing mobile platforms.
He used a splitter cable so the presentation can be captured in high quality and another camera that looked at me presenting the material. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You should be responsible for your own actions – I will not assume any liability for investment, career, business, or even relationship advices you find here. Your California Privacy Rights The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. In addition, these sites or services, including their content and links, may be constantly changing. These are lessons I learned the hard way and hopefully you can save time by reading these and learning from my experience. At one time I served as the executive committee (ex-co) of Barclays Capital Toastmasters club; an intra-office club in my then-dayjob company. However when I was timekeeper, at times I forgot to look at the stopwatch and signal the time – especially if the speech was good. Having a Mac app was another goal of the project since there were a number of wishes to for a Mac version of Speech Timer, primarily for classroom situations. It’s also about dynamism: being better than what real-world objects can do (or in other words beyond skeuomorphism).
This is a rather unorthodox approach for software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, which Evernote is one since they charge a subscription to use their app.
As with iOS 7’s “content-first” approach, the new home screen “dashboard” provides more space to display the user’s content – an overview of the notes he has stored in Evernote. Moreover iCloud also need to function while being off-line and hence more than one device may have a persistent store that will eventually be synchronized to the same iCloud store. I’ve outlined these and a few other techniques in an earlier article on seeding iCloud data store.
Just think of it, some Macs may not even have built-in monitors – like the Mac Mini and Mac Pro. Its form was autobiographical: Swanberg, whose career started at SXSW when the festival showed his first feature, “Kissing on the Mouth,” in 2005, took the audience through his work, film by film and stage by stage, making specific and revealing references to what his movies cost to make, how he got the money, how much money he made from them, and, over all, what he has done in order to make a living from movies while, at the same time, pursuing his art with the sense of freedom that he considers essential. Browsing and interaction on any other website, including websites which have a link to our site, is subject to that website's terms and policies. Being an ex-co means that I help organize meet-ups and often had to me more than just a speaker in those meet-ups.
They also were unattractive and probably why PDAs and Smartphones hasn’t taken much ground for the first 20 years or so of its life. Furthermore the textual buttons are now colored purple – the same color as the application’s major icon color. Usually SaaS businesses are pretty complacent to only provide web-based access to their app.
Not having to emulate a notebook also provides more space to display the “Evernote green” branding more prominently. Likewise the buttons are flushed to the edges of the screen with only hairline separators between them. Whereas on the top left is the display window, intended to be shown in an overhead projector. But like it or not the original iPhone re-popularized skeuomorphism in computer interfaces – the combination of touch-screen, high-resolution display (of the time), and direct manipulation paradigm uses skeuomorphism to bridge the gap between the digital and physical world.
If “mandatory” weren’t a word to make any vigorous-minded artist kick, I’d say that it should be mandatory viewing for everyone in film school and even anyone who is contemplating applying.
Of course, there are many things that film school is good for—it’s a place and a chance to spend four years thinking about movies, watching movies, and practicing making movies. It’s also a place to meet other people with a similar passion, people at a similar age and stage of life who are likely to become one’s first, and perhaps crucial and enduring, collaborators.

It turns out that even these film-school experiences are encapsulated in Swanberg’s keynote. That doesn’t mean that he has made the very best single movie of the times (though several of his films are high on my list for the past decade) but that his ideas about filmmaking are the most powerful, influential, transformative, and exemplary ones of the times. Even though he’s not an academic or a critic, Swanberg is the crucial film theorist of the new century. His ideas are embodied and discernible in his movies, but his speech at SXSW last week joins the lucidity of his experience with the visionary force of a manifesto. From the start of his career, Swanberg has pursued a distinctive aesthetic world of his own invention.
Though the basic idea of “Kissing on the Mouth,” a tale of young couples dissolving and forming (which he made at twenty-three, with virtually no crew and with his friends as actors), isn’t amazingly original, the filmmaker’s approach rings, immediately, with his stylistic distinctiveness.
Whether it’s filming conversations in tight yet agile close-ups that veer toward a sort of impressionism, desynchronizing dialogue with action, intercutting different spheres of action in a kind of psychological collage, or mixing documentary-style audio interviews onto the soundtrack as an ongoing counterpoint to the action, Swanberg appears free of cinematic conventions of naturalistic representation—even as he films something like daily life, his own and that of his collaborators, frankly and intimately. He films improvisationally, letting action and dialogue develop from the film’s situations. Looking unstintingly at the romantic and erotic lives and desires of college students and recent graduates, he depicts sex and bodies explicitly but not pruriently, and he casts himself in the role of the artist who does the audio interviews, integrating the terms and subjects of his artistry into the work itself. Above all, starting with his first film, Swanberg told a story derived from the life he was living at the time that he was living it, and the originality of his artistic methods are a matter of the conditions of the filming—and of his way of life—rather than the product of preconceptions. Just as his movies are notable for their unity of personal experience and artistic creation, of his working methods and his aesthetic ideas, his idea of filmmaking can’t be dissociated from its financial and social terms. Swanberg’s importance as a filmmaker is to demonstrate that originality in direction is secondary to originality in production—that a rethinking of the material conditions of making films is, for an independent filmmaker, a more decisive break with the styles and modes of the industry at large than is a particular focus on one’s own artistic intentions. Discovering original ways to make do with the means at hand is, for a creative artist, itself a hallmark of art.
Swanberg’s aesthetic freedom and spontaneity, as he details in his remarks, arise from his confrontation with the need to make a living at filmmaking, with the difficulty of finding money to make films. His drastic and decisive reconfiguration of the practical and organizational conditions of movie-making has been the key cinematic discovery of the past decade. He explained that “Kissing on the Mouth” cost three thousand dollars to make—and, because the DVD market was still thriving, he was able to sell it to a small distributor and, with no theatrical release but the purchases of six hundred copies both by Netflix and Barnes and Noble, he was able to turn a small profit. Nonetheless, despite its SXSW premiere, the film was rejected from all the other festivals to which Swanberg applied. His response was “just to want to make another movie” and the next one, “LOL,” an even more aesthetically daring work, played at SXSW and also sold for DVD rights. He met a producer there who helped him make his next film, “Hannah Takes the Stairs,” on a much larger budget—sixty thousand dollars. He rented an apartment, got his actors together, and had them live together for a month, building the personal relationships and sparking the creative ferment that gave rise to that film’s imaginative power.
Around that time, he met the filmmaker Adam Wingard, from Birmingham, Alabama, who asked him to play a role in a four-segment feature, telling him that his segment would be shot in one day. Swanberg admits to taking the role in part to learn from Wingard (who would later become one of his cinematographers) how to film so rapidly.
So when Swanberg’s income stream was drying up, he got an idea that was simultaneously financial and artistic: I had to make a lot of movies, because one of them was not going to support me, but maybe seven of them would support me. And also because I was so high on the idea that you could make work that fast, because I make improvised movies, and a lot of the spirit of these movies is attempting to capture moments in people’s lives.
A month is a long time to keep someone in their head and keep a performer self-conscious and committed to a role.
If we could condense this window down to four or five or six days, we really could just live the movie in a way that, I was finding, was getting really interesting performances out of the actors and, for me as a filmmaker, was really keeping me on my toes, keeping me sharp and focussed. And what’s crazy about that is, from the moment I set foot in film school, the one thing I heard over and over is, don’t pay for your own movies, don’t do it, don’t finance your own stuff, get other people to pay for it, and just get paid to make it. Swanberg’s goal, he says, isn’t great wealth but artistic independence—the ability to be able to go on making films as he sees fit, while also making a living. But, of course, there’s a twist, and it’s the one thing that he doesn’t mention: the element of imagination, of inspiration. Rather than imagining specific stories for films that required some more distant and complex organization, that required travel, specific actors, settings, effects, or crowds, Swanberg has made movies that relate clearly to the specific circumstances of his own life—but his discovery of drama within those circumstances has been nothing less than prodigious. Everyone has lots of stories; lives proliferate stories, as is proven by most of our conversations. Whatever we tell our friends and relatives and colleagues, whatever we think about our relationships and our work, is a virtual screenplay that, in a thoughtful telling, would fill out a feature film with ease.
Swanberg is a prolific filmmaker because he recognizes and extracts the drama from what’s nearest at hand.
His keynote speech is a perfect example: speaking extemporaneously, he delivers his words with an almost shockingly plain sincerity, distilling thrills, highs and lows, psychological strategizing and practical action, from the potentially dry terms of the financial conditions of his filmmaking. His speech about the making of his first seventeen feature films also contains the stuff of dozens more. Everyone has stories, everyone has a life; but finding the art in it is the one thing that can’t be taught.

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