AMITIAE - Sunday 28 May 2016

Updates to Yes|No and Shakespeare App

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


I tell my students the story sometimes of how I came to Thailand. After a couple of years studying in the USA, I decided to return to the UK to go back into the work force. This was a mistake as the economic climate at the time meant high unemployment. I was hired by a company because of computer experience (in the mid-1980s not many people used computers) and applied for jobs.

After one negative interview, I stood in the street outside and considered the future: should I carry on trying in the UK; or should I take up an offer to teach in Thailand. I took a coin from my pocket and tossed it in the air. That was almost 30 years ago. What I thought was to be a couple of years, has extended somewhat. That was really a random choice, but I kid myself the coin made the decision.

When apps first appeared for what became iOS, I tried several: it was new ground then and there were different ideas every day. It has settled down a bit now but with new APIs arriving, apps continue to evolve. One of the early arrivals on what was then an iPhone 3G was Yes|No Free. A simple decision-maker: start the app and the screen will open at either Yes (white) or No (black). Tap again and another decision is made.

This app has just been updated to version 2.2.0 and now supports WatchOS 2 (so that will be on my Apple Watch right away) and AdMob. Nice to see the early apps still have life.

Another app, I downloaded about the same time as Yes/No was a free app named (simply) Shakespeare. Unlike the new Ian McKellen backed Heuristic Shakespeare - The Tempest that contains a rich amount of additional materials to help understanding of the play, this is a simple app that has the texts of all the plays, plus Sonnets and other poems (and the Apocrypha - plays that Shakespeare may or may not have written).

I have the complete works of Shakespeare in my pocket. Although I can read the plays if I want on the small screen of the iPhone, the value is having access to texts for confirmation and as a source of great quotes.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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