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Xyxoz
May 5, 2009, 04:21 PM
Hello there!

I've been interested in programming for quite a while. Although I'm not very experienced, I'm not a complete beginner either. I find the concept of the Appstore and application programming therefore fascinating, so I'm considering if I should start learning in that field. I don't know how extensive the process would be though, so I'm looking for advice.

I'll tell you a bit about my basic programming experience. Some of you would probably consider this a very simple task, and it wasn't technically hard - it was all logic based. Recently I've made a Sudoku bruteforce (+ a bit logic) solver in vb.net and an object based Mastermind game with a simple computer guessing algorithm. I'm pretty sure I can make anything logic based, but of course that's not what it's entirely about.

Vb.net doesn't seem like a very complex language at this level, so I was wondering - how'd the complexity of the iPhone programming language match vb.net in applications like the ones I've made? Would it be a big task to get to a decent level of iPhone programming?
I don't have much difficulty learning with the right information available, but I need to know what I'm jumping into before I do so.

Otherwise; any good advice for someone with this consideration? :)

Thanks in advance!



xsmasher
May 5, 2009, 06:57 PM
It sounds like it's not your first programming language, so it shouldn't be too bad. How hard was it to learn vb.net? Maybe this will only be half as hard.

The only complications will be (1) you'll be learning two languages, C and Objective C (2) you'll have to learn more about object-oriented programming.

Once you get the concepts (variables, functions, objects, etc.) you're home free. A language is a language is a language.

Xyxoz
May 6, 2009, 03:38 PM
It sounds like it's not your first programming language, so it shouldn't be too bad. How hard was it to learn vb.net? Maybe this will only be half as hard.

The only complications will be (1) you'll be learning two languages, C and Objective C (2) you'll have to learn more about object-oriented programming.

Once you get the concepts (variables, functions, objects, etc.) you're home free. A language is a language is a language.

Ok, thanks.
Well, vb.net was not hard at all seeing I'd programmed in VB6 before, but that doesn't count. For VB6 I just read 1/3 of some guide and learned the rest from experience. So no, it wasn't that hard to learn.

I just realized you have to use Mac OS X to get the iPhone SDK running? Can't you install it on a normal PC on another partition?

BlackWolf
May 6, 2009, 03:52 PM
Ok, thanks.
Well, vb.net was not hard at all seeing I'd programmed in VB6 before, but that doesn't count. For VB6 I just read 1/3 of some guide and learned the rest from experience. So no, it wasn't that hard to learn.

I just realized you have to use Mac OS X to get the iPhone SDK running? Can't you install it on a normal PC on another partition?

no you cannot, except you install Mac OS X on your PC which is possible, but afaik it doesn't work soooo well.

you should buy a mac if you REALLY want to get into iphone programming.
for testing, maybe you can get mac os x running on vmware or something? but that would still require you to purchase mac os x

yellow
May 6, 2009, 04:02 PM
no you cannot, except you install Mac OS X on your PC which is possible, but afaik it doesn't work soooo well.

you should buy a mac if you REALLY want to get into iphone programming.
for testing, maybe you can get mac os x running on vmware or something? but that would still require you to purchase mac os x

It's against the Software License Agreement to run Mac OS X on anything other than Apple branded hardware. So no to a VM and unadvised on vanilla PC hardware.

Xyxoz
May 6, 2009, 04:03 PM
no you cannot, except you install Mac OS X on your PC which is possible, but afaik it doesn't work soooo well.

you should buy a mac if you REALLY want to get into iphone programming.
for testing, maybe you can get mac os x running on vmware or something? but that would still require you to purchase mac os x

Well, I'd like to explore iPhone programming, but buying an entire Mac just for that purpose seems a bit overkill. If I were to buy one it'd have to be a Macbook, and they're pretty expensive. I don't even have THE vision of a bestseller program that'd earn my money back - in the beginning I'd just play around and eventually make small useful applications.
To get enough motivation to spend a lot on a Mac would require a vision of some kind ;)

Seems like there's no alternative, then?

yellow
May 6, 2009, 04:06 PM
Rather ingeniously devious way to up one's hardware sales, ya? ;)

Xyxoz
May 6, 2009, 04:12 PM
Rather ingeniously devious way to up one's hardware sales, ya? ;)

Ah well, they kinda deserve it vs. the monopoly of Microsoft.

xsmasher
May 6, 2009, 07:08 PM
Well, I'd like to explore iPhone programming, but buying an entire Mac just for that purpose seems a bit overkill. If I were to buy one it'd have to be a Macbook, and they're pretty expensive. I don't even have THE vision of a bestseller program that'd earn my money back - in the beginning I'd just play around and eventually make small useful applications.
To get enough motivation to spend a lot on a Mac would require a vision of some kind ;)

Seems like there's no alternative, then?

If you have the right hardware, and more time than money, you can create a "hackintosh" PC that runs OSX. Or you can buy a mac mini for $599, plug it into your network, and use vnc or logmein.com to log into to remotely for work. I suggest the mac mini, though; it's more certain to work right on the first try.

MacToddB
May 6, 2009, 08:39 PM
I suggest the mac mini, though; it's more certain to work right on the first try.

I happened to have a Mac mini, which serves as my media center PC, so it's got added value. Rip your music and movies to the hard drive and serve them up like a jukebox with Front Row. You can get a refurb at the Apple store for the low $400's so it's not worth hacking an x86.

yellow
May 7, 2009, 08:08 AM
I must echo the other's sentiment that the Mac Mini might be the best route to take. It's certainly the cheapest route, particularly if you look for refurbs from Apple. And quite frankly, developing for the iPhone helps if you have a feel for how the OS looks and feels.

xsmasher
May 7, 2009, 11:38 AM
I happened to have a Mac mini, which serves as my media center PC, so it's got added value. Rip your music and movies to the hard drive and serve them up like a jukebox with Front Row. You can get a refurb at the Apple store for the low $400's so it's not worth hacking an x86.

If you buy used or refurb, MAKE SURE it has an intel processors. An old powerpc model won't work.

MacToddB
May 7, 2009, 12:16 PM
If you buy used or refurb, MAKE SURE it has an intel processors. An old powerpc model won't work.

Good advice. That's why I mentioned the Apple store. They only sell Intel. They had a Mac mini for around $419, but it appears to be sold out, understandably.

Xyxoz
May 8, 2009, 06:57 AM
Thanks for the advice, people.

Well, the reason why I'd choose to buy a Macbook would be that I'll need a laptop for university in 1-2 years. I'm about to finish what you'd probably call technical college (step before university), and the laptop I currently have(normal Dell PC) is lent by them. I have an option to buy it, but it's got so horrible specifications that it wouldn't be worth $100.
So I was thinking I might as well buy a Macbook for studying, but it might be better to just buy a Mac Mini as you suggested and wait till I'm studying for the laptop.

MacToddB
May 8, 2009, 07:13 AM
Thanks for the advice, people.

Well, the reason why I'd choose to buy a Macbook would be that I'll need a laptop for university in 1-2 years. I'm about to finish what you'd probably call technical college (step before university), and the laptop I currently have(normal Dell PC) is lent by them. I have an option to buy it, but it's got so horrible specifications that it wouldn't be worth $100.
So I was thinking I might as well buy a Macbook for studying, but it might be better to just buy a Mac Mini as you suggested and wait till I'm studying for the laptop.

If you can swing it, a laptop can help you be more productive.

You might want to wait a month for Apple's WWDC to see if they announce anything new (and buy that, or the price of the old stuff will go down). The MacBook Air is available for $999 (refurb) on Apple's store, or the same price (new) after $200 rebate at MacMall. You can leverage your school discount at store.apple.com, but not on refurbs. BTW, looks like the refurb Mac mini is back in stock... $419.

Links:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB138LL/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB003LL/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/campaigns/education_pricing?mco=NDY3ODE5Nw

http://www.macmall.com/macmall/families/macbook%5Fair/

Xyxoz
May 8, 2009, 07:37 AM
If you can swing it, a laptop can help you be more productive.

You might want to wait a month for Apple's WWDC to see if they announce anything new (and buy that, or the price of the old stuff will go down). The MacBook Air is available for $999 (refurb) on Apple's store, or the same price (new) after $200 rebate at MacMall. You can leverage your school discount at store.apple.com, but not on refurbs. BTW, looks like the refurb Mac mini is back in stock... $419.

Links:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB138LL/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB003LL/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/campaigns/education_pricing?mco=NDY3ODE5Nw

http://www.macmall.com/macmall/families/macbook%5Fair/

Hmm, education benefits seem unavailable for me, seeing I'm from Denmark.

Thanks for the links, though - worth considering. I'll also be sure take a look after their WWDC.

NickFalk
May 8, 2009, 07:59 AM
If you need a laptop for Uni in 1-2 years, then get a laptop in 1-2 years. ;) (Seriously though there will be plenty of technological updates by then).

If you choose to get a mini now, you'll be able to sell it and get some money to use against that new laptop anyway and in the meantime you've probably struck rich making the next gazillion-copies-selling iPhone app. (It's an investment). :)