How to make your own iPod

Nearly 4 years ago, I built an ipod out of spare parts from ebay.  I wrote most of the tutorial on how to do so at that time, but I never got around to finishing it or publishing it.  As of yesterday, the tutorial can be seen for free online on Instructables.  It is a pretty easy build, and I learned quite a bit from it.  Good luck!

My thoughts on iOS 7

Despite all the hype, iOS 7 is not the cover-all solution for mobile os’s.  As an Apple developer, I got early beta access, and have been running it for nearly two months, up until last night.  If we were to examine it objectively, we would see that it meets all standards for a mobile operating system, and performs all of the standard functions with ease.  If we were to compare it with its predecessor, iOS 6, we see that it fails miserably in both performance and aesthetics.  With the completely revamped UI, it can be a bit of an eyesore for new users, especially when display elements do not show up when you tell them to.  All the fancy UI work comes at a severe cost for system performance, without much tangible gain.  Instead of continuing this paragraph, here are some pros and cons.


  • Addition of Control Panel.  This is incredibly convenient, and provides quick access to many commonly used features.
  • Improved Siri voice.  Siri’s voice got a lot more real.  It almost feels like you are talking to a real person at times.
  • Lock screen changes.  Now, when playing music, the lock screen shows the music controls without having to double tap the home button
  • Live Wallpapers.  While there are only two that currently work, this feature has potential to allow users to customize their phones to be like Androids.


  • Slow. Many features, such as Control Panel and Notification Center are slow to open, and very unresponsive.  The “frosted glass” look that they use for a variety of things, such as the lock screen, folder screen, and multitasking probably plays a big part in the slowdown, and does not look very good.
  • UI.  This sums up most of the issues I have with this OS.  It just sucks.  The new icons are attractive at first glance, but you will hate them as soon as you start using them.  Heck, I drew shit like this in paint in first grade, and they probably paid a guy a half a million dollars for that.
  • Siri crashes.  Siri underwent some major improvements, but now it crashes about 1/3 of the time.  Don’t know why it does that, but I don’t like it.
  • Did I mention it is slow?

So that is basically it.  The new features are really cool, but the cost of them makes upgrading downgrading not worth it.

How to remove a Steam game from Launchpad

Recently, I noticed that BioShock Infinite has been showing up in my Mac game library, even though it says the game only supports windows.  Just for kicks, I installed it, only to find an error saying “Missing Executable”.  I tried dragging the BioShock Infinite Launchpad icon to the Trash, then I tried holding it, only to find the standard “x” did not appear.  After some research, I found that you can simply remove it from the terminal.  Here are the instructions to do so:

  1. Open a new Terminal window
  2. cd to the Users Applications directory by typing “cd ~/Applications”
  3. List the contents of the folder by typing ls
  4. Determine the “*.app” that you wish to remove.  In this example I will use “BioShock”.
  5. Since  a “.app” is a directory in Mac OSX, we are going to use the “-rf” modifier to recursively force removal of the contents.  Type “rm -rf “BioShock””, and that should be it.

Other Launchpad Icons are located in misc. other Applications directories throughout the file system, and the approach is the same for them all.  Cd to the directory, list the available files, and rm the file.

Caution:  The rm command is very useful, but can be incredibly damaging to your file system. Use with caution.


I have been developing a couple of iPhone apps for the past few weeks, and one is turning out really well.  It is a GPS based app that alerts you of any nearby historical markers, and allows you to view information about that historical place/monument without ever having to type anything in.  I am making this app mainly for my dad, who has been looking for an app like this for years, but I will probably publish it to the app store as well.

Currently in Progress:

  • obtaining and processing a government database of the NRHP(National Register of Historic Places)
  • coding the App
  • figuring out a name for it.

If you have a suggestion for a name, email me at

TroopPress WordPress plugin

This wordpress plugin was made to allow troops to build wordpress websites, and have a clearly defined hierarchy of user roles.  Each role has its own permissions set, and (eventually) the permissions will be adjustable through the settings page.  Attached is an excel file with a list of the current permissions set.  There is no current release available, but there will be soon.  Current unreleased beta version is 0.2.4.