Late 2015 Conferences Update

Quick note about speaking plans for late 2015:


I’ll be speaking at CocoaConfs Boston (Sep. 18-9) and San Jose (Nov. 6-7). Boston is going to be a one-track conference, since CocoaConf had such good results with that in Yosemite. I’ll be bringing my App Extensions class and Video Killed the Rolex Star, which is all about the media APIs that are (and aren’t) on Apple Watch.

Chris Adamson in Game Show

Early Bird for Boston ends Friday (July 31), so get on it if you want to go.

watchos-2-simulator-install-failThis watch talk will get a thorough update from its Columbus version, once I get code working. In Columbus, it was nigh-impossible to get apps running on the watchOS 2.0 simulator, and I gave up in favor of getting across a higher-level talk about the general approach of doing your heavy lifting on the iPhone with AV Foundation and Core Audio, and then moving the results over to the watch. That’ll still be very much the point in the revised talk, but I’ll feel a lot better once I have some working code to show the nitty-gritty.

It doesn’t help that the watchOS 2.0 docs are so conflicted that Dave Koziol of Arbormoon Software and I had a conversation afterwards about just what the proper technique is for moving files between the phone and watch: shared group container or the Watch Connectivity framework. The only way I’ll feel it’s settled is to get one or the other working.

At any rate, the existing version of this session is available at Slideshare.

Book update

I suppose I’ll end up doing my work on this talk at the last minute again, because I’ll be spending the next 6-8 weeks crunching on an iOS 9 update to the Prags iOS SDK book. After spending a year working full-time in Swift, and in light of the Swift 2.0 changes, the next version of the book will rework the first few chapters to provide a more thorough guide to the Swift language and the practices around it that have evolved over the last year. Code reviews at Rev are pretty rigorous — hopefully that will pay off and help me steer readers in the right direction.

The new version of the book hasn’t been officially announced yet, but I am working on it, and I’ve been talking with the Prags about plans to keep this introductory iOS text more consistently up-to-date, rather than the every-three-years ground-up rewrites that it’s undergone between Bill, Janie, and me. It’ll mean smaller updates more frequently, but that’ll be more appealing than a book on the shelf that’s written to the SDK of 18 months ago.

An Animated Session

Everyone who doesn’t like anime or PC visual novels can stop reading here. Thanks for reading this far!

The other thing with my presentations is that I want to get away from the wall-of-bullet-points that I’ve tended to do a lot of. Those are fine for reading on Slideshare, and I’m always careful to speak to the audience right off the top of my head rather than just reading my slides aloud, but I’ve been itching to figure out a different approach. I know that Daniel Steinberg in his keynotes uses a lot of pictures and single words (I think he sticks to that “no more than five words on a slide” rule), and vigorously rehearses his stuff.

I have another outside outlet where I’m taking a completely different approach to public speaking, with an eye to eventually reconcile it with my technical stuff. In May, I did my first panel at an anime convention, Anime Central, where I did a talk called “Rumbling Hearts to Total Eclipse: The Age of âge”. Janie was in attendance and tweeted a photo, with me rocking the Muv-Luv cosplay:

The story behind the talk is actually kind of fascinating. I started digging into the history of the visual novels and anime produced by âge after a rewatch of Rumbling Hearts, one of my favorite anime, last year. I found that in its original visual novel form, it was followed by a sequel called Muv-Luv that is famous/infamous for switching in mid-story from a silly romantic comedy to a deadly-serious sci-fi military story. It’s better than it sounds. In fact, when sorted by user ratings on, the final chapter (Muv-Luv Alternative) is the higest-ranked visual novel in history.

When I started, almost none of this stuff was available in English. We had the Rumbling Hearts anime in English on DVD and streaming, but no translation of the visual novel. There’s only a fan translation of the Muv-Luv visual novel, which basically requires pirating the game, and it’s never been adapted as an anime. There was a spinoff anime called Total Eclipse on Crunchyroll, but that’s it. So, after pitching a talk on the history of this stuff to Anime Central, I spent much of the last year digging up additional anime that had never gotten official English versions, researching lore on the Muv-Luv Wikia, and discovering stories on how an official release of the game died with the epic collapse of tripartite talks between fan translators, a US company, and the Japanese licensors.

Then I did my slides with the “no walls of bullet points” rule. I ended up with nearly 500 slides. More than would fit in my alloted hour (especially when the preceding session ran over time), so I went back afterwards and recorded the whole thing at home as a 100-minute video presentation:

In the meantime, the ground is moving beneath my feet. Total Eclipse got a Blu-Ray release, and then in June, âge shocked us by showing up at Anime Expo in LA with plans to launch a Kickstarter to do an official English release of Muv-Luv.

Suddenly, the topic of my obscure little snipe hunt is front page news in anime land. And in the meantime, I’m collaborating with other fans around the globe to get the word out before the Kickstarter launches. A couple of them are doing a podcast, while I’m getting out on the convention trail. I got approved yesterday to do a completely-overhauled version of the talk at Anime Weekend Atlanta, and I’ll be submitting to Youmacon in Detroit once their CFP opens. And the context is totally different: where I had been doing a talk about something nobody had heard of, now the atmosphere is “OK, I’m aware this thing exists, now tell me why I should care.”

Good challenge to have. And when I’m done, I’m going to see what I can take from this very different sort of experience and bring back to my technical talks. Probably not the cosplay though, but you never know… I originally wanted to do my Revenge of the 80s talk (about the ancient techniques of cut/copy/paste and undo/redo) at CocoaConf in my old jeans jacket from back then, but found I’d donated it to Goodwill, and am probably 30 pounds too heavy for it anyways.

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