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Passbook is one of the newest features of the iPhone. What many people were offput by standards today is that we rely too much on disposable tickets, and the like, such as when you go to the airport for a boarding pass, or a movie ticket. Apple strove to solve that with a new application that is bundled with the newest update: Passbook.

Passbook offers everything you need, especially when a ticket, coupon, or gift card is needed. When you first open the application you are greeted by a sampling of applications that support Passbook, and its features. To begin, install the particular application you want to use. For example, we will be going with the Starbucks application to satiate our coffee needs every morning, as we have a gift card to spend.

Open up the freshly downloaded application, and get ready to be blown away. Like most applications, especially when it has to do with airlines, or coffee, you are almost always required to sign up for a respective account. Don’t worry, it is easy. All you will be asked is to fill out your email, a password, and other miscellaneous information to identify you when you lose your password or others.

Once you have finished signing up, you’re ready to roll. It will prompt you to enter a gift card that you already own, or begin a digital gift card. If you don’t have a gift card, you can start a digital gift card (or, as many may call it: a prepaid card), and pay for your coffee in a fast, and efficient way. Just tap on “Tap to Pay” when you are ready to pay, and tap again after you have paid. It’s really that easy.

The original article was posted by Michael Veksler on Quora

A very well known fact is that code is written once, but it is read many times. This means that a good developer, in any language, writes understandable code. Writing understandable code is not always easy, and takes practice. The difficult part, is that you read what you have just written and it makes perfect sense to you, but a year later you curse the idiot who wrote that code, without realizing it was you.

The best way to learn how to write readable code, is to collaborate with others. Other people will spot badly written code, faster than the author. There are plenty of open source projects, which you can start working on and learn from more experienced programmers.

Readability is a tricky thing, and involves several aspects:

  1. Never surprise the reader of your code, even if it will be you a year from now. For example, don’t call a function max() when sometimes it returns the minimum().
  2. Be consistent, and use the same conventions throughout your code. Not only the same naming conventions, and the same indentation, but also the same semantics. If, for example, most of your functions return a negative value for failure and a positive for success, then avoid writing functions that return false on failure.
  3. Write short functions, so that they fit your screen. I hate strict rules, since there are always exceptions, but from my experience you can almost always write functions short enough to fit your screen. Throughout my carrier I had only a few cases when writing short function was either impossible, or resulted in much worse code.
  4. Use descriptive names, unless this is one of those standard names, such as i or it in a loop. Don’t make the name too long, on one hand, but don’t make it cryptic on the other.
  5. Define function names by what they do, not by what they are used for or how they are implemented. If you name functions by what they do, then code will be much more readable, and much more reusable.
  6. Avoid global state as much as you can. Global variables, and sometimes attributes in an object, are difficult to reason about. It is difficult to understand why such global state changes, when it does, and requires a lot of debugging.
  7. As Donald Knuth wrote in one of his papers: “Early optimization is the root of all evil”. Meaning, write for readability first, optimize later.
  8. The opposite of the previous rule: if you have an alternative which has similar readability, but lower complexity, use it. Also, if you have a polynomial alternative to your exponential algorithm (when N > 10), you should use that.

Use standard library whenever it makes your code shorter; don’t implement everything yourself. External libraries are more problematic, and are both good and bad. With external libraries, such as boost, you can save a lot of work. You should really learn boost, with the added benefit that the c++ standard gets more and more form boost. The negative with boost is that it changes over time, and code that works today may break tomorrow. Also, if you try to combine a third-party library, which uses a specific version of boost, it may break with your current version of boost. This does not happen often, but it may.

Don’t blindly use C++ standard library without understanding what it does - learn it. You look at std::vector::push_back() documentation at it tells you that its complexity is O(1), amortized. What does that mean? How does it work? What are benefits and what are the costs? Same with std::map, and with std::unordered_map. Knowing the difference between these two maps, you’d know when to use each one of them.

Never call new or delete directly, use std::make_unique and [cost c++]std::make_shared[/code] instead. Try to implement usique_ptr, shared_ptr, weak_ptr yourself, in order to understand what they actually do. People do dumb things with these types, since they don’t understand what these pointers are.

Every time you look at a new class or function, in boost or in std, ask yourself “why is it done this way and not another?”. It will help you understand trade-offs in software development, and will help you use the right tool for your job. Don’t be afraid to peek into the source of boost and the std, and try to understand how it works. It will not be easy, at first, but you will learn a lot.

Know what complexity is, and how to calculate it. Avoid exponential and cubic complexity, unless you know your N is very low, and will always stay low.

Learn data-structures and algorithms, and know them. Many people think that it is simply a wasted time, since all data-structures are implemented in standard libraries, but this is not as simple as that. By understanding data-structures, you’d find it easier to pick the right library. Also, believe it or now, after 25 years since I learned data-structures, I still use this knowledge. Half a year ago I had to implemented a hash table, since I needed fast serialization capability which the available libraries did not provide. Now I am writing some sort of interval-btree, since using std::map, for the same purpose, turned up to be very very slow, and the performance bottleneck of my code.

Notice that you can’t just find interval-btree on Wikipedia, or stack-overflow. The closest thing you can find is Interval tree, but it has some performance drawbacks. So how can you implement an interval-btree, unless you know what a btree is and what an interval-tree is? I strongly suggest, again, that you learn and remember data-structures.

These are the most important things, which will make you a better programmer. The other things will follow.

One of the most recent additions to the iPhone is the Photo Editor, directly in the iPhone. Added in the update that came from Apple over the summer, this new photo editor brings efficiency, and simplicity to photo editing, right in your phone. If you have a photo that you just took a moment ago of you with your friends, and you want to edit some features before posting it on a social networking site, it becomes simpler with this new addition, right in the Photos Application.

Open up the Photos application, and tap on a picture you would like to edit. Once your picture comes up, tap in the top right on the button named “Edit.” A user interface that deals with editing will show up, and you are ready to rock and roll. First off, many times we take pictures at weird angles, we take them sideways, upside down, to the right, to the left, and our phone doesn’t recognize them. In the bottom left, you will see an arrow that is pointing counter clockwise; this is the button that you want to press if you want to flip your picture around to the correct orientation. Keep in mind that this flips counter clockwise, and it doesn’t matter if you pass the orientation that you wanted. Just keep flipping!

Next up is the simple enhance tool. Sometimes colors get drowned out if we don’t have the right lighting in our pictures, and makes the photo look dull, and dreary. You don’t want your colors to look dull and dreary while you are celebrating your trip to New York and seeing Times Square! Tapping on the button that looks similar to a magic wand, your picture will begin to look brighter and fuller. With the tap of a button, the iPhone detects what points in the picture is, as we said earlier, “dull, and dreary” and enhances those colors to their predicted colors, if the light was in the correct intensity. However, if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the enhance tool, if your picture is not handled well by the phone, you are able to tap on the wand again, and remove your auto enhance.

In the rare case of red eye in your picture, the new photo editor has a solution. Moreover, a one-tap solution. With a simple tap on the red eye correction tool, between the crop tool, and the auto-enhance tool, you bring up a screen where you are now able to tap anywhere on your photo where red eye exists, and remove it. As simple as that. Remember when you had to do crazy dragging, selection, and odd stunts to remove red eye? Not any more.

As part of our Java Tutorial series, listed here are all the files you need in order to create a java socket message application.

  1. Java Server Tutorial
  2. Java Client Tutorial
  3. readme - Java Socket Messaging Information
  4. Java Socket Tutorial Download

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the hartmann software group advantage
A successful career as a software developer or other IT professional requires a solid understanding of software development processes, design patterns, enterprise application architectures, web services, security, networking and much more. The progression from novice to expert can be a daunting endeavor; this is especially true when traversing the learning curve without expert guidance. A common experience is that too much time and money is wasted on a career plan or application due to misinformation.

The Hartmann Software Group understands these issues and addresses them and others during any training engagement. Although no IT educational institution can guarantee career or application development success, HSG can get you closer to your goals at a far faster rate than self paced learning and, arguably, than the competition. Here are the reasons why we are so successful at teaching:

  • Learn from the experts.
    1. We have provided software development and other IT related training to many major corporations in Germany since 2002.
    2. Our educators have years of consulting and training experience; moreover, we require each trainer to have cross-discipline expertise i.e. be Java and .NET experts so that you get a broad understanding of how industry wide experts work and think.
  • Discover tips and tricks about Cisco programming
  • Get your questions answered by easy to follow, organized Cisco experts
  • Get up to speed with vital Cisco programming tools
  • Save on travel expenses by learning right from your desk or home office. Enroll in an online instructor led class. Nearly all of our classes are offered in this way.
  • Prepare to hit the ground running for a new job or a new position
  • See the big picture and have the instructor fill in the gaps
  • We teach with sophisticated learning tools and provide excellent supporting course material
  • Books and course material are provided in advance
  • Get a book of your choice from the HSG Store as a gift from us when you register for a class
  • Gain a lot of practical skills in a short amount of time
  • We teach what we know…software
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