Missing Facebook

I left Facebook in mid-October (I disabled my account so I guess I haven’t totally left). I’ve been just fine without it for months now and perfectly content. So why suddenly do I miss it just now? Currently on my last college winter break, I’m separate from the people I’m usually around the most and I simply want to know what/how they’re doing. Sure I could email them and ask, but that takes some effort! Reducing human interaction to a simple login and a few clicks is one of the reasons I decided to leave Facebook in the first place. The idea that I could get such satisfaction from reading a status – even from someone I don’t know that well – is disturbing from a more human perspective.

Other aspects I’ve noticed is that some of my friends’ faces start to blur in memory, I simply cannot remember what some people look like. I’m also not one to take pictures at events so I don’t have photos of them lying around. The question becomes how to I remedy all this? In time I found the answer was to just wait until you can see them again. Facebook can provide those nice gaps between seeing people, but it’s nothing in comparison to greeting them in person and having a face to face conversation, just like the old times.

What’s New in FiveTimer 1.2

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(cool, the title rhymes) So there’s a lot less that I had hoped would be in this version as described in this post, but significant enough to push a version+0.1 release. Here goes:

  • New icon – yeah the old one was not so great, I think this one is at least a little better.
  • Support for iOS 6 – iOS 6 changed a lot of things under the hood, even without some of the added features this was very important.
  • New screen resolutions, iPad compatible – I never got complaints or requests for this but it’s been something I’ve been wanting to do.
  • New Feature: Minimal Mode – I’m very excited about this. The idea behind this mode is that you should only focus on the current solve on hand, there have been countless times where I have the intention of doing an average but because I get a bad start I just keep deleting and resetting. Now you can hide the controls and just do solves, if you mess up or are curious what your average is, you can always bring the controls back up.
  • Support dropped for iOS 3.2 – i.e. dropped support for 1st generation iPod touches and iPhones.
  • Bug Fixes – The standard deviation that was written in emails was for the entire session not that set of times. The start or stop button would not properly bind on first install. iOS6 bug fixes, it just really changed things.

The best part is FiveTimer is still just 99¢ in the iOS App Store. I have plenty of ideas for 1.3, including one more mode, 15 second countdown, and a few more. As always if there’s a feature you want to see send me a message here. Enjoy.

FiveTimer 1.1, Features and Notes

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My iOS cube timer was released on the Apple App store the other day and I’m excited to see what people think of the new features. A lot of them are ones people requested directly.

  • Random state 2×2 scrambles.
    • This is embarrassing, the update notes of FiveTimer 1.0.6 featured “sub-optimal 2×2 scrambles” this was more or less false. I knew that sub-optimal scrambles were 11 moves in length, what I didn’t get was how those 11 moves were picked. The scrambler in FiveTimer uses random moves, and still does for 3×3-5×5 scrambles. The randomness and length of moves are often sufficient for those sizes, but for the 2×2 especially 11 in length are not. I knew I needed to change this in 1.1 and it now uses a random state generator, so it generates a random state and generates the moves to get to it.
  • Hold to Start option added.
    • Maybe this should’ve been in the initial release, having used a lot of online timers that just use a tap of the spacebar to start and stop I didn’t think it was as important. There were enough requests for me to add it in 1.1 as an option that you can toggle.
  • Auto Dim option added.
    • This was just as requested as “Hold to Start” there is now an option to prevent the device from going to sleep at all times.
  • Stop button occupies entire screen.
    • Not sure why I didn’t do this the first time either, it’s a very obvious addition. You can now tap anywhere on the screen to stop the timer.
  • 3×3 scrambles fit on 3 lines consistently, Startup image added, Better timing display function, Back end optimizations.
    • These are aesthetic changes and the result of code refactoring. The coder I was eight months ago was a little more impatient and sloppy which I’m sure is what I’ll say about myself today in another eight months or so.

I’m already thinking about features for 1.2 and will be taking requests for them too so if you have anything you want to see in an iOS timer send them my way here. (I’ll definitely be changing the icon, the more I look at it the more awkward it looks.) For people who have already purchased the app the update is free otherwise FiveTimer is still just 99¢ in the Apple App Store so check it out!