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List of Categories : Commentary * Database * Singapore * Technology * Travel *

Mon 28 Jun 2010

What's on our iPad Simulator

Category : Technology

This is a project we're resurrecting on the iPad simulator :

It's a General Insurance System (for motor, cargo, fire, etc). It was developed, pre-Mac OS X, using 4th Dimension on OS 9 and cross-compiled for Windows, back in the days when we weren't allowed to use Macs in corporations, but of course we persevered.

The company we built it for had to shut down in the wake of September 11 - its US parent was already struggling, I think, with long-tail claims and 9/11 pushed it over the edge - and so the system was orphaned. But I've always felt it was a great system and even now, almost 10 years later, I don't think any other system in use in Singapore has come close to matching it - in power, flexibility, completeness, accuracy and simplicity in use. So it's an idea I hadn't given up on. This is my unfinished business - to see it in use again and pitting it against the competition.

So, all the things we've been building - MySQL & PostgreSQL installers, database access frameworks, Luca, and now Liya - were really meant to set us up for another crack at doing this kind of work again, but with modern-day, Internet-centric, untethered mobile devices.

The iPad isn't here in Singapore for another couple of weeks. But we managed to borrow one yesterday to test our database frameworks against. Theoretically, they should work, if they work with the iPhone. But I wouldn't believe until I see it for myself. They worked, and ran pretty fast, too.

Now, my favourite segment in the Steve Jobs' D8 interview was when he talked about how the things he love about selling to the consumer space were exactly the things he hated about the enterprise market :

But I love doing enterprise-level work - for the complexity, for the scale, and OK for the "messiness", and there are so many moving parts that the solution can get to be quite intricate. And so, there's a challenge there to your craft that you have to push it to the limit. But, unlike Apple, I haven't yet found a way to make an end-run past the "orifices".

Posted at 8:38PM SGT | permalink


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