Project Lifetimes

Project Lifetimes

Usually when one discusses project lifetimes, it is almost always in the context of describing the time and events between when a project is conceived, when it is delivered, and all that stuff that happens between those two fenceposts.

But project delivery is just the beginning of a project’s lifetime.

By a far sight.

My longest lived project, gauged by years in production and useful life, was eighteen years (an MS-DOS based electrical estimation project that was retired in 2007). My current “dean” of active software projects, running in pretty much the same form I completed it, is an engineering design product called SAND that I developed for the Bank of America (and now actively maintained by HP) – in continuous production since 1998.

In short, software projects can have surprisingly long lifetimes.

That’s why when I hear designers and developers say that they’re doing something because it’s expedient and that they will go back later and “do it the right way”, I cringe. Because practical experience tells me we usually never get a chance to “redo something the right way” once a project gets out into the wild.

Some developers – quite wrongly – expect their responsibilities and obligations on projects to end the moment their contractual obligations free them to move on the next thing.

A great many software projects would have happier endings if developers took their responsibility and obligation in products with all the gravitas that would normally go along with birthing something that could have a potential lifetime in decades.

Most of us consider our spans of administrative control to cover only that period from one paycheck to the next.

And our software is all the worse for it.

This isn’t a paean to Work as Life – only a lament that as developers we often don’t envision that our creations will have lives that far outrun our ability to dream.

Decoding Long Long Integer Values in Objective-C

Decoding Long Long Integer Values in Objective-C

In the interest of saving someone else some grief, here’s how to decode long long (64-bit) integers in Objective-C:

long long veryLong = 0;

[[NSScanner scannerWithString:@"100001621738699"] scanLongLong:&veryLong];

NSLog(@"Checking '100001621738699': %qi", veryLong);

One usually runs into long longs when dealing with Facebook Ids. I’ve written on this before, here.

Happy Coding.

Slow [Blogging] Start to the New Year

Slow [Blogging] Start to the New Year

I feel like a hamster on a treadwheel here at the beginning of 2011. Lots of activity, but my forward progress – at least, some days – leaves a lot to be desired.

Especially with regard to this blog.

Family and Work have kept me at bay these opening days of the year, but by gum I will be doing a post on how to get to your Facebook Fan Page’s Insights via Facebook Graph in the next few days, come hell or high water.

Or something.

Any way. What was I saying?

David J. Hinson’s Logorrhea – 2010 in Review

David J. Hinson’s Logorrhea – 2010 in Review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 47,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.


In 2010, there were 75 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 374 posts. There were 7 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1mb.

The busiest day of the year was March 15th with 255 views. The most popular post that day was Objective-C and HTTP Basic Authentication.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for a rock, nsdateformatter, uifont underline, iphone sdk recommend subclass uibutton inurl:apple, and iphone template.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Objective-C and HTTP Basic Authentication March 2009
8 comments and 1 Like on,


Simple Formatting in a Cocoa Touch Text Edit Field (UITextField) December 2008


iPhone Email Attachments – Revisited March 2009
3 comments and 1 Like on,


Underline Text on the iPhone November 2009
8 comments and 1 Like on,


Pet Rock iPhone App – Now For Sale in iTunes! January 2009