Simple Multiplication Flash Cards

Simple Multiplication Flash Cards

UPDATE: A premium version of Simple Flash Cards has been submitted to the App Store for Approval.  The premium version allows you to switch between addition and multiplication, and allows you to drill specific numbers (0 through 15).

Mea Culpa

Mea Culpa

I just submitted a bug fix for Cheap Gas! Version 2.0, Version 2.01.

The bug fix corrects a memory leak on refreshes that was causing the app to lock up erratically after a refresh.

Sorry for the inconvenience… and hopefully Apple will have this approved and out the door quickly.

Resizing a UITableView’s tableHeaderView

Resizing a UITableView’s tableHeaderView

For many who use UITableView, unless you’re doing something like a Contacts application, the tableHeaderView (and related, tableFooterView) are rarely used.

What’s even more perplexing (at least when at first experienced), is that these elements are not repainted when a [UITableView reloadData] is issued; you have to manually issue field / image resets yourself.

Sometimes – like when handling a variable amount of data in the header, say for user status messages – you even have to adjust the size of the tableHeaderView in order to accomodate a growing / shrinking amount of real estate.

Here’s the trick:

CGRect headerFrame           = self.profile.tableHeaderView.frame;
headerFrame.size.height      = self.myStatus.frame.size.height + offset;
self.header.frame            = headerFrame;
self.profile.tableHeaderView = self.header;

First, grab the current header frame.  Then, adjust the size of the frame (in my example, I’m adjusting the height only).  Then, reset the tableHeaderView with the view again.

This is important – the size will not be adjusted until the tableHeaderView (or tableFooterView) variable is reset.

That’s it.

Hope this helps some of you struggling with this not-so-well documented problem.

Updates Submitted to Apple for Cheap Gas! and Cheap Gas! Plus

Updates Submitted to Apple for Cheap Gas! and Cheap Gas! Plus

Updates have been submitted this afternoon for both Cheap Gas! and Cheap Gas! Plus to the Applie iTunes App Store for approval.

Both versions have changes for improved location services and improved checking for being under Airport Mode.

Sorry for the delay – have been busy, busy, busy.

iPhone Email Attachments – Revisited

iPhone Email Attachments – Revisited

My solution for sending messages via email on the iPhone – detailed here – works for every mail client… except Gmail.

Gmail simply will not let you see embedded images.  Period.

Since this kinda crap really grates on my nerves, I started digging a little deeper.  Plus, I really think there should be a 100% universal way to attach stuff to email messages from the iPhone… and I’m not the only one.  My embedded images solution is workable, but is not wholly satisfying – because it is not a 100% solution.

So, like I usually do when trying to sniff out how a particular piece of web software works without having access to the source, I see what is being sent “over the wire.”  And since I knew that iPhoto on the iPhone WAS able to send an attachment, I sent myself a picture… and then checked the raw message source to see how Apple was doing it.

I sent myself a picture, with no accompanying text, and this is what the “interesting” pieces looked like:

Content-Type: multipart/mixed;
X-Mailer: iPhone Mail (5H11)
Mime-Version: 1.0 (iPhone Mail 5H11)
Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 12:13:43 -0400

Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Content-Disposition: inline;
Content-Type: image/jpeg;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

Notice the Content-Type of “multipart/mixed.”  No real surprise there… just that when you send a message using the Email client launched by an iPhone application, this is almost always “multipart/alternative”.  First “hmmm.”

Secondly, when I used my methodology of using embeded images (<img src=”data:image/png;base64[my data here in base64]”>), this gets cobbled out as

Content-Type: text/html;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

by the Apple Email Client.  By contrast, Apple creates it’s image attachments by doing the following:

Content-Disposition: inline;
Content-Type: image/jpeg;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

So – why not just do the same thing?


I don’t know what MIME boundaries (the “Apple-Mail-1-782786827” above) Apple is using to segregate its constituent email pieces (text, html, images, attachments) ahead of time – and they are generated dynamically by the email client when putting together it’s messages.


If I knew what the boundary tag was, I could fake out the client, create my own inline image, and boogey on down.

Now, even though this does seem like a serious roadblock, it may not be a total loss, because it presents both

  • (a) a possible direction to look (fake out a boundary, unlikely though it may be) and
  • (b) it presents another solution path (go down to the socket level and code my own SMTP alternative, so that I can create the MIME code directly to send out my attachments).

(a) looks to be a total non-starter, as it looks like the boundary is made – in part – of a timer component, and there is no way to guess how long someone will keep the message open before sending to reliably fake this out each and every time.  (b) will absolutely work – provided you are motivated to write this dude.  Looks like a commercial opportunity for a Cocoa Touch class, and I may yet do this.

A final and as yet unspoken work around would be to know how Apple preps an image in their email client before sending, so that it’s knows to wrap the image up as an inline attachment.  Unfortunately, I don’t know of anywhere I can look to see how they compose their messages (no view source – dang!).

All in all, this has stimulated me to investigate some additional paths for a problem that I thought I had a reasonable solution for – and for many, I do and did.

Onward and upward.

Objective-C and HTTP Basic Authentication

Objective-C and HTTP Basic Authentication

For all the really nice stuff Objective-C lets you do on the iPhone, there are many, many holes left for very common tasks.

One of those tasks is Base64 encoding.

Base64 encoding is used to convert binary data into text that can be transmitted using HTTP (like, say, for embedding images in email) or for somewhat obfuscating user ids and passwords to be sent “in the clear” over HTTP (like for Basic Authentication).

Without much further ado, I present one of a gagillion implementations of Base64 encoding in C:


int encode(unsigned s_len, char *src, unsigned d_len, char *dst)
unsigned triad;

for (triad = 0; triad < s_len; triad += 3)
unsigned long int sr;
unsigned byte;

for (byte = 0; (byte<3)&&(triad+byte<s_len); ++byte)
sr <<= 8;
sr |= (*(src+triad+byte) & 0xff);

sr <<= (6-((8*byte)%6))%6; /*shift left to next 6bit alignment*/

if (d_len < 4) return 1; /* error - dest too short */

*(dst+0) = *(dst+1) = *(dst+2) = *(dst+3) = '=';
case 3:
*(dst+3) = base64[sr&0x3f];
sr >>= 6;
case 2:
*(dst+2) = base64[sr&0x3f];
sr >>= 6;
case 1:
*(dst+1) = base64[sr&0x3f];
sr >>= 6;
*(dst+0) = base64[sr&0x3f];
dst += 4; d_len -= 4;

return 0;


And here is how one may transmit a user id and password (using NSURLConnection) to establish a connection using Basic Authentication:

myApp.loginString    = (NSMutableString*)[[NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults] stringForKey:kloginKey];
myApp.passwordString = (NSMutableString*)[[NSUserDefaults standardUserDefaults] stringForKey:kpasswordKey];

NSMutableString *dataStr = (NSMutableString*)[@"" stringByAppendingFormat:@"%@:%@", myApp.loginString, myApp.passwordString];

NSData *encodeData = [dataStr dataUsingEncoding:NSUTF8StringEncoding];
char encodeArray[512];

memset(encodeArray, '\0', sizeof(encodeArray));

// Base64 Encode username and password
encode([encodeData length], (char *)[encodeData bytes], sizeof(encodeArray), encodeArray);

dataStr = [NSString stringWithCString:encodeArray length:strlen(encodeArray)];
myApp.authenticationString = [@"" stringByAppendingFormat:@"Basic %@", dataStr];

// Create asynchronous request
NSMutableURLRequest * theRequest=(NSMutableURLRequest*)[NSMutableURLRequest requestWithURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@""] cachePolicy:NSURLRequestUseProtocolCachePolicy timeoutInterval:60.0];
[theRequest addValue:myApp.authenticationString forHTTPHeaderField:@"Authorization"];

NSURLConnection * theConnection=[[NSURLConnection alloc] initWithRequest:theRequest delegate:self];

[UIApplication sharedApplication].networkActivityIndicatorVisible = YES;
if (theConnection) {
receivedData = [[NSMutableData data] retain];
else {
[myApp addTextToLog:@"Could not connect to the network" withCaption:@"MyApp"];

Hopefully, this will help people get cracking that were having a hard time getting a handle on the fact that Objective-C is really C – albeit with funky class extensions.