Rick iOS & macOS & Hardware Developer I make things. Sometimes, I’ll talk about it here.

My Gorram Frakking Blog


I took day trip out to Cardiff, Wales, where a lot of Doctor Who is filmed. Wales is beautiful, and I can't wait to go back. I saw the area where Torchwood Headquarters is, and enjoyed the Doctor Who Experience (which is surprisingly awesome). I also got it into my head that I wanted to see Amy’s duck pond.

Validating a Self-Signed SSL Certificate in iOS and OS X Against a Changing Host Name

We developed a device with which we communicate securely over SSL using a self-signed certificate. The device gets a dynamically-assigned IP address, and that is communicated to the iOS app via other means. By default, NSURLConnection tries to validate the SSL certificate against the hostname, but it was impossible for us to create a wildcard cert that would match.

Cheap Chinese Reflow Oven

I bought the T962A desktop reflow oven many months ago, and finally got around to using it. I ended up scorching boards and parts, so I decided to measure the actual temperatures reached on a few of the curves.

2012 vs 2008

The 2012 elections are over, thankfully. Here's a comparison of how the country voted using more representative visualizations, and comparing the results to 2008.

These maps come from Mark Newman, Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan.

Purple Electoral Map (click to enlarge):

Purple Cartogram (click to enlarge):

Recording iOS Device Screen Video

I've been working on a piece of hardware that communicates with an iOS app. It has a display, and using it takes up some space. I made a little demo video of it last night (not yet for public consumption), trying to fit the iPhone, hardware, and associated hardware all in the frame. The result was a video in which the iPhone's screen was hard to see.

I was thinking it would be nice to use picture-in-picture to provide a closeup of my device's display, and the iPhone's screen, but I only have two cameras. It occurred to me that the iPhone supports displaying its screen on an external display, maybe there was a way to record that. A little Googling turned up the answer.

Thanks to this article by Sylvain Gauchet, I learned about the Reflection OS X app ($15 as of this writing). This is one of those delightful apps that does exactly what you need it to do, without breaking the bank (actually, I would've paid triple the price for it).

Reflection turns your Mac (or PC) into an AirPlay target. Your iPhone 4S, iPad 2, or iPad 3 can send their screen output to the Mac. Reflection gives you the option to record the video. It works incredibly well, and it's wireless (no need for the Apple video output cabling).

I was even able to use iChat desktop sharing to demo Reflection to a friend.

Go check out Reflection today. You can try it free for 10 minutes (and only 10 minutes; not 10 minutes each time you launch). But it's only $15.