Note: Thanks to everyone who emailed. Yes I have been gone a long time. Yes, I’m still alive and kicking. Check out what I’ve been up to below.
So the past month and a half I’ve immersed myself in developing a tool that didn’t exist yet. It’s weird, I’ve never done something quite so ambitious before in terms of software development, but here we are.
My tool, Juice, is a wine production database that does a lot of things, but does one thing particularly well: it allows data entry and wireless syncing via an iPhone or iPod touch. It also runs on a Mac natively, which makes me very happy. In fact, the whole thing makes me downright giddy. It’s flipping sweet.
Why is this so cool? Well for one my iPhone’s where all my notes go anyway. And when I’m done making them, wherever I happen to be, by the time I get back to my laptop I have to re-enter them all over again. Double data entry is not good times. This solves that problem. Plus it scales: I could have a whole cellar crew running around scanning barrels and inputing data and syncing it all back to my beautiful, sweet little Juice. Now all I need is a cellar crew. And a bunch of iPhones.
Anyway, before embarking on this journey, I looked around, hoping and praying there was something out there on the horizon that could do what I needed it to do (sync with iPhone, play well with a Mac). Nada. And all that nada out there? It’s really freaking expensive.
We’re talking 20K in some cases. Which is like, nuts.
So I rolled my own, and continue to do so. I’m only about 25% of the way done, but all the functionality is there. The iPhone sync. The ability to talk to web services (to interface with TankNet’s tank controller server, for instance) and various APIs (Google Maps, Google Charts, Evernote etc) is all there and I’m slowly adding all sorts of cool integration. Best of all, like my wife, Juice is also really pretty (marital romance for the win!).
I’ve been having a ball just plugging away. But I keep getting these pesky emails asking me what I’m up to, and why I’m not posting (Kidding! Thanks for the notes and the concern everyone!). So I thought I’d share.
Below is a demo of one of the core functions of Juice: to help me streamline my workflow. Gathering data is great and generating a pre-populated 702 form with the push of a button is nice too (both of which Juice will do) but neither get me excited. What gets me excited is a tool that saves me time, helps me do my work in style, and that is fun to use. I think this demo shows how Juice is doing all three.
Larger version here.
Later when I have time I’ll post a video of the CIMIS weather station integration (pretty charts!) and how ÂºBrix sample data are automatically spatially mapped using GPS coordinates grabbed from the Phone. It’s really, really cool.
And best of all its mine, all mine.