Sunday, November 13, 2011

Communication Helper v1.00.00 released!

Woo, finally!  I've been working on this for the last month and finally got it published.  I've opined several times on this blog already about my daughter's autism and the lack of good mobile software for Android to help us communication with her.  That said, I'm very excited about this release.  What it does is allow her to quickly navigate through a very large list of words to tell us what she wants or needs or to just strike up a conversation!  The app is here on the Android Market.  I'm really hoping to help those on the autism spectrum, with Aspergers syndrome or verbal aphasia.

Main screen

This is the main screen.  At the top is the current phrase that's being built.  The heart of the screen are the nodes that can be used to communicate.  Each node can lead to other nodes and also have a speech component.

Feelings screen

Here the user has selected "Feelings" from the main screen and chosen "Happy."  Because the "Happy" node has a speech component it adds itself to the current phrase being built at the top of the screen.

I am happy phrase

Starting back from the main screen, the user has selected "Me" then "I am."  The "I am" node holds other nodes but it also has a speech component so it too adds itself to the phrase creator.  Then the user hits "Happy" and has now built a complete phrase!

Phrases screen

Now the user has selected "Save Phrase" from the options menu on most any screen.  A dialog box pops up prefilled with the name of the phrase built from the current nodes ("I am Happy") and then allows you to save.  On the main screen you can hit the "Phrases" node and be brought to here.  Now you can much more easily reuse the same phrase!

Other Words screen

This is a look at the "Other Words" screen, where most of the miscellaneous words live.

Add Node screen

Add Node screen.  Here you can add your own nodes with custom pictures.  Please note:  If the user deletes the picture from his phone it will not show up in the node anymore!

Node Maintenance screen

Node Maintenance screen.  Here you can delete/hide nodes in the system on any screen.  Please note: Users cannot delete the nodes prefilled in the system, but you can hide them.  You can only delete nodes added by the user.

Settings screen

This is the settings screen.  Its sparse for now, but I have added one neat feature.  In order to add or maintain nodes, or delete phrases, one has to turn on "Edit Mode."  By default edit mode is on.  The reason this is there is to try to help prevent the user from accidently deleting, hiding, or adding nodes when they shouldn't.  For instance, my daughter is an evil genius and given time would fill the entire app full of nonsense nodes.  :)  A warning displays on every screen when edit mode is on to help remind you to turn it off if necessary.  However, the warning can be ignored also.

I want to also stress the flexibility I have with my apps.  If a feature is missing (or if there's a bug) please email me and we can discuss it!  I take great pride in my apps so the fewer bugs the better.  It's also very disappointing when someone purchases an app, sees a feature they expected missing, rates the app 1 star, and then cancels the purchase.  I've written whole apps on user suggestions so please just let me know how I can help!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Exciting new app nearing completion!

I haven't done an October wrapup post yet, but to sum up October: Awesome. OpeWare hit 5 sales per day for a total of 156!  Thanks everyone!

But, even bigger news is a project of mine that is nearing completion that is very special.  More news when it's released!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Couple small updates

Changed the "Percent Complete" input in Stitcher's Helper to accept and save decimal values.

The matron of Yarn Inventory mentioned a feature her friend would like to have:  A length/weight calculator.  Input the original weight/length of a ball of yarn, then input the current weight and it approximates the current length.

This works exceptionally well with the templates, as I can pre-fill the original weight and length.
Update: If you have an eagle eye you may have spotted the bug in the above screenshots. I fixed it! :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I don't do windows, though

My wife has a giant sewing table made by her Dad.  The surface of the table is a solid door with trim around that sits on custom cabinets on each side.  As you can see the sewing machine sits in a slot cut out of the center.  The machine is surrounded by a sort of apron thing which is also custom built and trimmed.  Her old machine was much smaller, so when she got this shiny, new machine the apron no longer fit.

I took a piece of cardboard and traced the new footprint of the larger machine.  My friend let me borrow his jigsaw for some reason, so I was then able to take the original apron and trim it larger so the new machine fit.  Sitting on a 3/4" piece of plywood and a 1/2" cookbook it sits flush with the table surface.

Pretty productive day for me.  Made dear wife super happy to have her sewing table functional again.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Update Omnibus!

Big changes! Let me show you them!

Stitcher's Helper 1.3.00
  1. Added a percent complete field to the project.  If the user changes the state to "Completed" this will automatically be set to "100."  If the percent entered is greater than zero, it shows on the project list screen.
  2. Added the ability to import data exported from Bead Checklist, Floss Checklist, and Yarn Inventory!  Hit the menu button on your phone on a project screen, then select import.  This will show you a list of files to import from.  The file names correspond to the apps that exported them (All Yarns, Miyuki Beads, etc).  After selecting a file, another dialog will appear displaying every item in the file. Here you can select which items to include in your project.  This is a pretty exciting feature!  Please let me know if you have any problems/suggestions!
  3. Made the project item edit screen look a bit nicer by removing the clunky input labels.
  4. Minor change: on the project item edit screen, no longer display "0.0" by default for quantity and price.
Floss Checklist 1.9.00
  1. Export your floss into Stitcher's Helper!  Hit the menu button on the vendor or checklist screen to export then follow the steps above to import.
Bead Checklist 1.1.00
  1. Export your beads into Stitcher's Helper!  Hit the menu button on the vendor or checklist screen to export then follow the steps above to import.
Yarn Inventory 1.2.00
  1. Export your yarns into Stitcher's Helper!  Hit the menu button on the main screen and bring up the "Import/Export" screen.  From here you can import/export your yarn.  This also acts as a backup system.

As always, let me know if anything is broken!  Also never hesitate to email me a suggestion or feature request!  This entire import/export was a feature request from a user (Thanks Amanda!)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Floss Checklist 1.8.20 Released!

I finally got around to adding some of the Au ver a soie flosses:
  • Soie d' Alger
  • Soie de Paris
  • Soie Gobelins (goblin floss?!)
  • Soie Ovale
  • Soie Surfine
Despite finding several more lists, that's all I could find that had color names, and even some of the color names are missing there.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Out of town on business

No app work till Friday or Saturday as I'm away on business. But the plan when I return is:
1. Finally add the Au ver a soie floss to Floss Checklist. This has been a user suggestion for a long time and I've really dropped the ball.
2. Finish up the Stitcher's Helper import from FC, BC, and YI. I think this will be a hugely popular feature.

See ya Friday!

Monday, October 3, 2011

To Do

  1. CostCo
  2. Treadmill
  3. Add Carons Collection threads to Floss Checklist
  4. Fix Yarn Inventory crash issues
  5. Continue import/export into Stitcher's Helper enhancement
Treadmill...  Not liking the sound of that.

Update: Progress!
Update 2: Treadmill hahahaha

Friday, September 30, 2011

120 app sales in September!

So, wow guys.  I was very excited that in August OpeWare hit a little over 3 sales per day.  I never anticipated actually selling that much.  This was just a hobby/learning experience/wife helper thing originally.  Actually deploying and selling the apps was just a side benefit.  So when we hit 3 apps per day that was very exciting.

September however brought the release of Yarn Inventory based on a user suggestion (thanks again Molly!)  In addition...  somehow...  someway...  OpeWare has sold 4 apps per day in September!  Four!  120 may not be that astounding of a number but it just feels great.  I'm very thankful for every one of my users!  I especially love hearing your suggestions and success stories.  :)

So, what's coming in October?  Well, dunno really.  :)  I've been in touch with a user over the last few days and we've been discussing some serious ways for all of my apps to talk to each other.  For instance, exporting ones Floss Checklist floss lists into a Stitcher's Helper project or shopping list.  Same goes for Bead Checklist and Yarn Inventory.  Let's see, what else?  I'm meeting with an administrator for my counties special education system to see what the current setups look like for special ed. software.  I have an idea for what I'd like to do, certainly, but I don't want to write the wrong thing (sort of a big problem for programmers who don't know anything about the field they're writing for).  The phrase for this is, "The inmates running the asylum."  Also, making very baby steps in my droid game.  Still polishing out a few design issues but overall I think I've got a great idea for what I want to do.  Execution of the design in the simplest manner is the next step.  Did I mention my game is an RPG/simulation in a fantasy setting?  :)

So, again, thanks for another great month for OpeWare.  Hopefully October is as exciting as September!

Update: 121!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thanks to Garin of Monstrum Games

Spent a few emails back and forth over the last few days with Garin of Monstrum Games giving me some guidance about the structure of game design and such.  Very appreciative of a successful game designer/programmer spending time to help a first-timer out.  Hopefully once I get mine done and deployed then I can do the same for others!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yarn Inventory updated to 1.1.02

Added the Import/Export functionality!  Now you can export your yarn/template list and have a backup in case your phone dies or is replaced.  There are 2 options for exporting, but they both work the same way.  You can choose to simply export to your SD card, or export via email.  Exporting to your SD card simply puts the backup file on your SD card.  Export via email puts the backup file on your SD card and then opens an email interface so you can email it to yourself and never lose it!

If you ever need to import your data back, simply put the file on the root directory of your SD card and then tap the import button!

However, I apologize, but I cannot field any support emails asking how to put the file on your particular SD card.  There are many phones and many more phone software setups so I can't possibly know how it works in your case.  Usually though you simply plug your phone into your computer via USB and then access your SD card via the removable storage your phone should expose to Windows.  No promises though, that's just how my and my wife's phone works.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yarn Inventory updated to 1.1.01

  • Now saving the sorting, grouping, filtering, and need/owned toggle buttons between sessions.
  • Autocomplete now takes the preloaded templates into account.
  • Displaying a small summary of the current sorting, grouping, and filtering options above the list.
  • Text inputs on the edit yarn/template screen now capitalize the first letter of each word (or sentence for notes).
  • Updated the screenshots to be more precise. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Picture Communication Helper app update

The plan was to write a fabric inventory app next.  Then after that I'd finish up my Picture Communication Helper app.  However, I may be writing PCH first.  I have a meeting coming up with an administrator for my counties special ed. department to see what the existing software looks like.

I'm writing this app for two reasons really.  One is the labor of love aspect.  My step-daughter is moderately to severely on the autistic spectrum and with that mostly non-verbal.  Communication around here is difficult.  Most of the time things are ok, but when communication breaks down things go south quickly.  Two is the maddening prices for software in this area.  Companies charge thousands of dollars for their software.  Don't get me wrong, business is business and all, but it just feels wrong.  60 days worth of therapy for our daughter might come out to something like $80,000 as it is.  If I can provide an app for $3-5 that helps even a handful of special needs parents/guardians/etc then I'll consider this a huge win.

More details soon. Maybe. I'm not a very good blogger. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yarn Inventory 1.1.00 Released

Found a few post release fixes and some features I intentionally held out.  Here's the changelog:

  • Updated preloaded templates (Thanks Molly!)
  • Changed the theme because of an Android bug, the auto complete text boxes were white text on white background.  I didn't want to do this, but I couldn't see anyway around it.  This has been a known bug in the Android framework since 2010 but it's not been fixed.
  • Now displaying "Manufacturer, Line" for a yarn list line (if that info is available).
  • Removed "Weight:" prefix.  Still displaying the weight.
  • Alphabetized the preloaded and user defined template lists.
  • Now included the fiber field in the filtering.
  • Fixed yarn list crash.
  • Removed "Weight:" from yarn line list.
  • Added autocomplete functionality.  However, I forgot to also pull autocomplete data from the preloaded template data.  Will do that in the next bug fix release.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Yarn Inventory Released!

Yarn Inventory has been released!  This app allows you to inventory and keep track of yarns you own and/or need as well as templates to allow for much easier data entry.  Fill out and save a template, open the template as a basis for a yarn entry, then simply fill out the color and you're done!  You can then use this method over and over again for all your yarn in a particular line!  It keeps track of yarn you own and need, so viewing just the yarn you need acts as a "shopping list."

Some background information: I've been working on this for 3 or 4 weeks, but after 2 days of awful football (UGA and Falcons) I finally got a version cranked out that I feel comfortable with deploying.  It's still missing a few features, but all of the key features are there.

Get Yarn Inventory on the Android Market

This app was a suggestion from a user.  Thanks Molly!  What it does is simplifies yarn inventory and data entry.  This is the main screen with the menu up:

At the top are 2 toggle buttons.  If "Yarn I Own" is on, then the list will only show yarn I've input that my quantity owned is greater than 0.  "Yarn I Need" is similar except it acts on the quantity needed.  You can see in each like it displays the color, weight and manufacturer, however only the color field is required.

The menu helps you organize this view, and also let's you add your yarn and yarn templates.  If you select "Add Yarn" you'll see this dialog:

This screen allows you to select from 1 of 3 templates to begin your yarn entry.
  1. Empty - A completely blank template.
  2. User Templates - These are templates you have added.
  3. Preloaded Templates - These are templates added by the very nice person who suggested I write this app in the first place, Molly.  She updates these from time to time with all of the info from a particular yarn type.  After she's updated the list then I drop it into the application and redeploy it.
If a preloaded template was selected, this is what you'd see:

With the exception for the top field, color, all of this information was automatically filled out.  After you've saved, you'll see this new yarn on your main screen (assuming it's not filtered out)!

I mentioned a few features were missing in this release.  As of now, these are features that are 100% going into the app soon.
  • I want the sorting, grouping, and filtering options to be saved between sessions.
  • While you can add new user-defined templates, there's is currently no functionality to change or remove them.  This is probably the first thing I'll get working.
  • On the edit yarn/template screen, the following fields will be autocomplete fields based on what has already been entered into the user-defined templates, preloaded templates, and yarn entered:
    • color
    • manufacturer
    • line
    • weight
    • fiber
    • needle rec.
    • hook rec.
    • gauge
  • I also plan a needle/hook inventory screen to keep track of those.
So that's it for now, please let me know if I need to add any features or simply let me know what you think.  As always, if you have any suggestions email me at!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bead Checklist Released!

Well, I had several requests to add Mill Hill beads to the Floss Checklist.  As a programmer, I'm a stickler for wording and meaning.  As such, I had a hard time adding a bead list to an app designated for floss and thread.  So, I created the Bead Checklist app.  It's very similar to Floss Checklist and has the same easy to use interface.

If anyone can find me some more bead company lists I'd be happy to add them.  Just hope the bead lists conform to the same color code/color categorization system that Mill Hill uses.  Otherwise I might have to get creative.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Thanks again!

Thanks again to everyone who's purchased my apps!  July was a great month in that we almost hit 3 sales per day!

Very exciting :)

What's new from July?  Added some new floss types to Floss Checklist.  Also added a Canvas Size Calculator.

I've also begun work on my 3rd app.  This one is geared more towards people with special needs.  I'm writing it to help my autistic daughter communicate with us through pictures and simple words.  I'll have more info later.  I may be 1 or 2 weeks from release yet unless I hit a really solid period of uninterrupted development.

Anyway, thanks again everyone!  Remember:  Keep those feature suggestion emails coming!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Opeware <3s TX (and of course Canada)!

The most sales by state is far and away TX.  Not counting USA, the majority of Opeware's patrons are from Canada.

Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No coding tonight :(

My office has no A/C this evening. 87 degrees and rising... stupid Georgia.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Back from vacation!

Went to Asheville, NC with the wife for a much needed vacation.  Back now and will update the apps again very soon!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Took a few days off

Played a bunch of Terraria.  Super fun game.

Anyway, I should get back on both projects today.  I have some things I need to add to both.  Priority:

  • Floss Checklist - shopping list, maybe more floss companies and lists?
  • Stitcher's Helper - stitch count calculator, shopping list screen improvements
  • Need to add an about page to both apps
As always, if there are any issues let me know!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Floss Checklist released!

It lacks a bit of polish, but the core functionality is there.

Floss Checklist

Current features:
  • Full DMC floss list
  • Floss list separated by group name (117, 317W, etc)
  • Ability to see color code, color name for each
  • Can toggle a button that denotes one needs to buy a certain floss
  • Can increment or decrement the number of floss owned.
 Upcoming features:
  • More floss lists
  • A shopping list screen that compiles all the threads one has marked "Need to buy"
  • Projects page

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Possible new app tonight!

One of my Stitcher's Helper patrons suggested a great idea for a new app, so I'm hoping to get a version on the market tonight.  Will announce what it is when I post it!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Version 1.2 uploaded!

Features added in this update:

  • One can now add generic shopping list items without having to tie them to a project.  Do this via the shopping list screen, menu.  Fields include: description, quantity, unit, price, store, notes.
  • Long pressing a generic shopping list item deletes it.
  • Added store and notes fields to project items.
  • Project deletion added (with confirmation message).
  • Added Equilateral Triangle calculator
  • Added Mitered Border calculator
  • Added Squared Border calculator
Coming soon:

  • More calculators!
  • More tutorials!
  • Feature requests?  Guess I'd have to get some before I can add them :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

2 Tutorials Added!

On the right portion of this blog I put a box where I'm adding the tutorials I've made for Stitcher's Helper.  Hope they help. :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Version 1.1 uploaded!

I should probably not have made it version 1.* since it's still in beta, but...

Anyway, 2 people have bought it! 1 is my mom, though. :)

New in version 1.1:

  • If the project screen can't find an image associated with a project, a placeholder will show up in the gallery.
  • Added a cancel button to the calculator add to project dialog.
  • Shopping list implemented!
    • For a project item to show up in the shopping list, the following must be true:
      • The project is exists on must be set to "In Progress"
      • The project item must be set to "Include on Shopping List"
    • Long touching an item on the shopping list will remove it from the list by setting it's include checkbox to false.

Also, if you have calculator suggestions send them to me! I'd be happy to add them. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011


Just released Stitcher's Helper beta! Very excited about it:

Stitcher's Helper - Android Market link

Features include:
  • Calculators for various types of common activities
  • Project creation and tracking
  • Add images to projects
  • Add calculators to projects which can be edited later
  • Add generic project items to projects
Coming soon:

  • Shopping list page that will pull from the project items
  • Add generic item to the shopping list
  • Sketch images on the phone and add them to projects
  • More calculators!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Development news!

Development on Sticher's Helper is going very well. Would like to thank my wife for her great suggestions and encouragement through the process. Maybe just a few more weeks until we release!