Tom Insam

A guide to writing iPhone applications in Python. Seems to apply to the jailbreak SDK rather than the real one (though this isn’t very clear) and is undated (I hate it when people don’t put dates on things) so I have no idea if it’s still relevant. But nevertheless.

A chat with TumblrBot

A chat with TumblrBot. Not that I’m finding it very clever. Ideally it would understand image urls and post image entries. Pity.

On scaling

The key feature of “scalability” that most people care about is actually the ability of a system to efficiently convert money to increased capacity

Almost any small web service could have $10,000 thrown at it and get faster. A new server. More memory! A better load balancer. But you won’t see ten times the benefit if you throw $100,000 at it. What would you get? Lots more memory? You’ll just bottleneck somewhere else. Ten more servers? Your database won’t take the increased load. Maybe it’s the salary of another developer. But that won’t get you a x10 speedup either.

It's the iPhone 3G

I guess I may as well write down my few thoughts on this iPhone thing.

On O2’s offer to existing customers

To thank you for being an iPhone fan, we’re offering you an early upgrade to the brand new version when it launches on 11th July 2008. You won’t have to wait until the end of your existing contract, all you’ll need to do is agree to a new 18-month minimum term contract

Is that an additional 18 months on top of my contract now, or merely a reset of the run to 18 months from now? Because if it’s the latter, I want mine now.

An aside. When trying to tell O2 where I live, I get the exciting error [House Number must be numeric]. Um. No. Because mine isn’t. Idiots.

Interestingly, the page about the iPhone upgrade makes mention of O2’s «new iPhone Pay & Go SIM cards». Hmmm, interesting. Though if I can get me an iPhone 3G cheaply I’ll probably end up just jailbreaking it instead. Or if the iPhone 3G isn’t jailbreakable, and you can’t buy old ones any more, I wonder if it’ll have disgusting amounts of resale value…

On 3G

Let’s (almost) gloss over the actual ‘3G’ feature here. The standard Steve approach was used - ‘3G simply isn’t necessary, EDGE is fine!’. Until the iPhone has 3G, at which point it’s ‘Look how much better 3G is!’. I have the iPhone 1, and I find EDGE just fine. My total web page download time is already faster than it was on the 3G phone I used to have, because my web browser doesn’t take 20 seconds to load. 3G will be nice. But meh.

On Pricing

Gruber has a bit on the new pricing structure, and this is the interesting bit for me. What I read here is that ‘subverting the old phone industry business model’ didn’t work. So they’ll do the same thing everyone else does instead and just sell subsidised phones through carriers. So much for changing the world. But this implies that they’ll do the other thing everyone else does, and sell unlocked versions of their phones for more money. If they’re no longer getting a cut of the carrier revenues, why would they care any more?

Oh, and Gizmodo relays the interesting point that, sans monthy revenue to book against the iPhone, Apple may start charging for feature upgrades on SOX grounds. Except that the Apple TV gets free upgrades. The ongoing revenue thing is just an accounting ‘profit from this thing is amortized over 18 months’ device, no?