Today I saw HP's Z1 all-in-one workstation. A number of people on youtube and twitter are taking issue with the fact HP said "The first 27" all-in-one" but they're missing the most important part of the claim to give themselves an excuse to bash HP, and bring into light that Apple has a 27" all-in-one and has done for a long while.

I'm not usually one to rush to HP's defences but the part they're missing is "workstation". HP said "The first 27" all-in-one workstation".

Without that simple word, HP would be outright lying. We all know HP have copied Apple in the past, more recently with the HP Envy and, to some extent, they're doing it again here with regard to the website's page layout and the way the videos are presented and directed.

But they're not lying.

The 27" iMac, while very powerful, is not a workstation. The HP Z1 has the equivalent of a Mac Pro inside a case that is a similar (though, not as elegant or attractive) form factor as the iMac. It also has the ability to be opened very easily and has a mostly tool-less design that allows fast and easy swapping of the components. However, going off on a tangent here, I suspect that HP will require custom, HP branded components that will fit inside the Z1. And they'll likely charge a lot more than if you bought the same component for a 'normal' system.


I'm going to call it, right now, at 23:00 on Sunday 19th February 2012: Right now would be the perfect time for Apple to discontinue the Mac Pro and announce the iMac Pro.

Think about it. Apple have been neglecting the Mac Pro for some time now, with product refreshes being just that - refreshes. Nothing ground-breakingly new. They've already discontinued the Xserve.

Removing the Mac Pro from their product lineup would mark the point where Apple leaves the server market (their current server offerings are Mac Pro's which, ask any 'server guy' don't really fit in those racks), but it's becoming increasingly clear that the server market isn't Apple's target audience, and I don't think they want to be there anymore.

I'm not going to make any assumptions on how Apple would create a mythical iMac Pro, but seeing the Z1 makes me think it can be done. Apple took existing consumer desktop computers and created an iMac. Why wouldn't they be able to take existing workstation computers and create something just as attractive? I mean, if I told you before the Macbook Air came about that you could have a 13" laptop with a Core i7 CPU and have it still be thinner than any other laptop, would you have believed me?

I'm not saying any kind of iMac Pro would be as customisable as the Z1, I mean, this is still Apple. Even the Mac Pro is only 'so' customisable. But still, an iMac with a desktop class GPU just screams "desire" to me. Also, there's the small stumbling block of the price. I can't imagine it would be very competitively priced. Again, this is Apple.

So there you have it. I respect HP for doing this. They'll lead the way for more, better all-in-one workstations. Let's all remember that Apple is almost never the first to enter a market. They see what others do first, wait for them to fail and do it better themselves.

In short, don't.

Today, the company I work for had two of it's clients apps rejected because they stated within the app that a portion of the profits made will be donated to charity.

Apple's App Store Review Guidelines (requires a developer account login) state the two following points:

21. Charities and contributions
21.1 Apps that include the ability to make donations to recognized charitable organizations must be free
21.2 The collection of donations must be done via a web site in Safari or an SMS

The first point prevents any app that makes donations to charity from being a paid app. Even if the application doesn't provide an actual means of donating as a feature, the act of donating profits from the sale price counts as an ability to make a donation.

Why would Apple do this, you ask? Are Apple evil? Do they hate charity? No, at least, I don't think so.

There are some people out there who (for whatever reason) don't like to or just don't want to donate to charity. Apple is protecting their right to choose to donate to a given charity while also protecting the rights of people who do want to donate (nothing stops them from donating outside of Apple, for instance). Maybe these people don't agree with the charity's ideals or maybe they have some other reason. However, just because someone doesn't want to donate to a charity doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to use your app. The choice of using your app and making a donation shouldn't be mutually exclusive, and I agree with that.

There is also the question of legal liability - however, I can't think of a case where that would apply without it also applying to Apple paying developers who don't make charitable donations... so it seems less likely that this is a reason.

The solution, obviously, is to comply with the guidelines and make the app free while providing a website or SMS based donation feature. However, most companies simply remove the copy that says the profits will be donated - which allows them past the app store approval, but puts them in my "you're a shady company and I don't like you" book...

A quick tip:

If you're developing an iChat service plugin with IMServicePlugin and friends, don't forget to run this from the command line after you install the plugin:

killall imagent

It appears that in order to actually get your plugin to load, imagent needs to be restarted, and restarting iChat itself isn't quite enough. It doesn't look like you need admin privileges to kill imagent so 'sudo' isn't necessary. This also makes it easy to do as part of your build process - just add it to a script that runs after your build.

If you don't do this after you install new service plugins, iChat will see your plugin (and list it in its services list) but won't actually load the plugin itself.

Since I've posted the JSTokenField project, I might as well post about my other open source pride and joy, JSCoreTextHyperlinkView.

The project includes an example of how to use the core text view. It's pretty simple - create the view with a 0 height frame, set the attributes, set its text, and then ask it for it's size so that the height is just correct. It will calculate based on the constraining width, and any padding that you set.

There is also a Twitter specific subclass that enables @usernames and #hashtags to be linkified.

Settable Attributes:

  • textAlignment
  • textColor
  • linkColor
  • highlightedLinkColor
  • fontName
  • fontSize
  • paddingTop
  • paddingLeft
  • backgroundImage
  • bgImageTopStretchCap
  • bgImageLeftStretchCap

To use CoreTextHyperlinkView in your apps:

  • Copy The contents of the AutoHyperlinks folder, and the files JSCoreTextView.h & .m and, if you want Twitter username and hashtag support, copy JSTwitterCoreTextView.h & .m too.
  • Link against the CoreText framework.

I've just made my latest iOS open source project available: JSTokenField


It does it's best to mimic the recipient field in Mail on the iPhone. Tokens will size themselves to fit their titles, rearrange themselves to fit on a line, expand the field as more tokens are added. You can select individual tokens to remove them without having to delete all the ones in front of it. And finally it supports adding entires from the address book.

A token has a title and a represented object. The represented object is simply an 'id' so it can be anything you like. Generally I use a string to hold the number, email address, etc.