Welcome to Cactus Man Software. Please check back frequently for updates.
Simple Scrum Poker was the first Android app I ever made. Truth be told, I just made it as a proof of concept to get myself familiar with the development environment; I never expected anybody to actually use it! But strangely enough, you actually did
download it. And used it. And left me great feedback. Now when you search for "Scrum" in Android Market, Simple Scrum Poker is one of the first apps that comes up, and I just wanted to say thank you to everybody who has used it, and help me improve my products!
If you work in a shop that uses Scrum and you haven't checked out SSP yet, give it a shot!
Hi everybody, we just rolled out a new version of Sunrise Sunset, and more importantly, Sunrise Sunset Premium. I'm pretty happy with the extra features we added in Premium. The basic app will still do the same thing: namely calculate your sunrise and sunset times and tell you how long you have left until the sun rises or sets. However, on top of that, we added the Time Calculator (note: I'm better at writing code than coming up with cool names... at least I hope I am). The time calculator allows you to specify a date and/or location, and will spit out all the information available in Nerd Mode in the base app.
Want to know what time the sun will be rising in Portland, Oregon? You can do it! Want to know when it will get dark on your birthday? You can do that too! Check out the app at the Android Market, and try this new feature yourself!
Hey everybody, sorry for the long delay between posts. Things have been super busy for me lately, and all the spare time I've had has been poured into our new app, Sunrise Sunset. Check it out on Android Market at:
Or on Amazon at:
This was actually a really fun project to work on! One of the coolest -- or scariest, depending on your point of view -- is the phone's ability to detect your location via GPS. With Sunrise Sunset, all that's needed to calculate when the sun will rise or set is your current location in terms of latitude and longitude, and the day of the year. From there, we do a whole bunch of calculations behind the scenes, and ultimately wind up with a formula to determine what time it will be when the sun is a certain angle above or below the horizon. For example, the sun is considered "set" when it's 0.83 degrees below the horizon. The reason for this is because the sun is so huge that even at it's distance from the earth, its disc still takes up a fraction of a degree in the sky.
I hope to be coming out with some new features soon, possibly including a premium version. As always, any questions or comments, please let me know!
As the old saying goes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. You can find plenty of examples of this in software. Developers will use a design pattern or methodology because it's what they were taught is the Right Thing To Do, even if it doesn't really make sense. For example, making things generic is great, but it only works if the application is truly generic. If you have to shoehorn in different bits of code for each subset of your "generic" template, it's probably best to scrap it altogether.
Here's that code I said I'd post yesterday. Check it out at github at https://github.com/cactusmansoftware/MultiClipboard
I'll try to post just an exe or installer sometime later.
Since I've been wrestling with getting everything posted all night, I'll leave the description up to the readme file:
Welcome to MultiClipboard.
Ok, that was a pretty cheesy intro, but I couldn't really think of anything else to say. Anyway, this is an application I came up with to solve a problem I was having in my regular job. I often found myself having to copy/paste a few strings many different times, and it was a huge waste of time to have to re-copy each string everytime. So I created MultiClipboard as a way to map up to 10 strings to each of the number keys across the top of your keyboard (NOT the keys on the numpad. Yes, there's a difference, or at least your operating system thinks there is!).
To use MultiClipboard, you can just run one of the exes under the bin/Debug or bin/Release folders. The app will start out as a notify icon in your system tray as I meant for it to be as unobtrusive as possible. By default, whatever is currently in your Clipboard will be mapped to the 1 key. To switch between keys, use Ctrl + <number>. So for example, let's say you load up MultiClipboard with 'abcd' currently in your clipboard. To store another string mapped to your 2 key, you would press Ctrl+2, select your text (say, 'efgh') and do Ctrl+C like normal. Now 'abcd' is mapped to 1, and 'efgh' is mapped to 2. To paste, just do Ctrl+V (at this point in our example, 'efgh' would be pasted).
Right clicking on the notify icon in the system tray will bring up the options to Exit or Save. Save will create an xml file in the same directory as the exe that stores the data currently mapped to your keys.
By double clicking on the notify icon, the GUI portion of the app will open. Here, you'll be able to see all of the strings that have been mapped to your number keys. You can switch between them here with the radio buttons; this will have the same effect as doing a Ctrl+<number>. Finally, there is a lock button near each field. By clicking on this button, a number will be "locked" or "unlocked." If a number is locked, the text in it will not be overwritten, either by editing in the GUI or by copying. Use this option if there is a string you use regularly that you want to make sure doesn't get lost.
Other than that, I hope you find this app useful.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I don't normally work in .NET, so please don't kill me if there are any really terrible coding practices in there :)
Things I'm bad at include regularly posting here. I'm trying to get better at that, I swear! In any event, I've been working on a Windows app that I've found to be very helpful in my everyday work life. The idea is to map each of the number keys on the top of your keyboard to its own "clipboard," so you can copy up to 10 different strings of text at once, and then paste them at will. Just have a few more finishing touches to put on it, then I'll be releasing it. Stay tuned!
One of the things I really admire in a software company is the ability to say "no" to customer demands. This is not to say, of course, that a good software company shouldn't listen to its customers. Rather, I think it's admirable to be able to turn down the immediate gratification of a sale in order to stay true to making a product you really believe in. Endless customization for clients with varying needs usually leads to a diluted product that's less effective for everybody. I'm not the world's biggest Apple fan, but I think this is something they really do a great job of. "Hey, we've got this highly polished product that we think is great. You can take it or leave it."
Nothing particularly useful here, just a collection of thoughts.
A few hours after I wrote this, I saw a link to this article on slashdot.org.
It's true, I really do. As a developer, my goal is to make the best software I possible can. In order to do that, it's vitally important to understand the subject matter, and to understand what your users are likely to want. In the case of our app Simple Scrum Poker, I could do that pretty easily. The app was designed to use during story pointing meetings at my regular job, so I've got a pretty good idea of what it should do. That said, as a small team, it's obviously impossible for us to guess what thousands of people will expect an app to do. Since we want to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, that's a problem. Luckily, the solution is simple -- if there's something you think an app should (or shouldn't) do, just tell us!
Recently, a user posted feedback on Simple Scrum Poker stating that he should be able to hide and then show a card by clicking on it rather than having to physically turn the phone around. In my mind, physically turning the phone around was the thing to do; after all, that's what I did with the deck of cards that predated the app. But it turns out that hiding a card by clicking on it then having it jump b
ack into view is actually a much cooler way of going about things, so we did it! You can check it out by following the link below:
So now we've got an app that I actually like quite a lot better, and it's all possible thanks to user feedback. So thanks, and keep the comments coming!
If you've ever taken a programming or comp sci course, you probably started off by creating a program whose only function was to print or display some version of the text "Hello World." I've been writing code for quite some time now, but this is my first attempt at creating a public presence for myself and my work. As such, I feel it's appropriate to take the Hello World approach and just try to jump in and learn on the fly. Personally, I've always found the creative element of software development to be a lot harder than the technical part; coming up with something people really want to use is more difficult than building it. So that's part of the goal with Cactus Man Software -- we want to create cool apps and software the people want to use. But we're going to need your help! As a potential user your feedback and opinions are absolutely vital to any projects we undertake. Is it possible to make "good" software that doesn't reflect what an audience needs or wants? I don't think so. I'll be posting more thoughts on this, and other things shortly, but for now welcome to Cactus Man Software, and thanks for your time!