I started learning to program when I was about ten years old. For a long time I used quite an old, archaic language exclusively. This language has more than its fair share of quirks, and even now, fifteen years later, I feel as though I’m only just getting a good handle on it. One of the main reasons for this is its age. It’s been around for quite some time, and that brings with it a reassuring stability and maturity. However, it also brings legacy and cruft, which means it can take many years of experience to gain a full understanding of it. In addition to age, there are several other factors which contribute to its general eccentricity.
Stephen Coyle Posts
I started learning to program in January 2016. Prior to that, I had a rough idea of some required concepts and things like basic terminal scripts, but I’d never written an actual program. I had made a few stabs at learning before, but these attempts usually ended somewhere during the first few tutorials. Now that I’ve actually stuck at it, I thought it would be good to reflect on the past year, and examine what was different this time. This is something that will be useful to me going forward, but might also be helpful to someone in the position I was in a year ago.
A few months ago, I discussed situations where Bluetooth audio latency can be a problem for users. In short, for media playback it seems to be a mostly-solved problem1, but it’s not great for realtime feedback. The Bluetooth devices I tested last time had roughly 3x the latency of a wired connection (~80ms vs ~230ms). For realtime sounds like keyboard clicks, VoiceOver prompts and game sound effects, whose entire point is to be concurrent with visuals, this really detracts from the user experience. As before, I also have a personal interest in this issue. My app Tapt relies on low audio latency; it involves tapping the rhythm of a song, and high audio latency makes it a much less pleasant experience. My hope was AirPods would be the first sign that this issue was beginning to improve.
Tapt has been updated to v1.5! The biggest change this brings is that the game now gives you access to all level packs for free. There’s now no need to…
Another video to distract from the craziness that is 2016. This time with footage I filmed in Donegal at points over the last year, and never did anything with.
Filmed near Tübingen in Germany, last August. I hadn’t used the footage for anything, but it felt like a good time to make a relaxing video.
[Update: I’ve written another article where I put AirPods through the same test. It’s here.]
There’s been a lot of talk of wireless earphones lately, mostly due to the removal of the headphone port on the iPhone 7. I love wireless earphones, and for the most part I think their pros outweigh the cons significantly. However, they have one particular problem that really needs to be fixed.
Hyperbolizer is my new app for iOS 10. It’s a silly, fun idea. It has a standalone app, but the main focus is its iMessage app, which allows you to type…
Earlier this summer I was appointed as the first Ulster Youth Choir Composer-In-Residence. As my first task, I was commissioned to compose a piece for their summer concert, As Dreams Are Made On, which was centred around Shakespearean text and themes. I chose to set Shakespeare’s sonnet number 43. I named the piece Darkly Bright, both because I really love that phrase, and because I feel it has personal relevance to the harmonic language of the piece. Above is a video of the piece’s premiere, in Down Cathedral on 30 July. Read More Darkly Bright