Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New App: Boggle Solver, and other news.

Boggle Solver in action!

Boggle Solver:

The other day I realized that I had not done much Android development recently, so I decided to make another app. Luckily, I found my code from a Freshman year project that solved Boggle. I noticed that there was only one other Boggle app on the Market, and it lacked the ability to solve for 5x5 Boggle boards, and was a little tedious to use, so I made my own: Boggle Solver.

To use Boggle Solver, input either 9, 16, or 25 characters and click solve. A list of word solutions will appear, and when you click on a word, it is highlighted on the shown board for easy reference.

All in all, this project was fairly simple. I was able to reuse tons of code and I didn't really have to learn much to do it. Download today!

Internship Complete:

I finished my internship over at Fishbowl a couple weeks ago. It was a great summer and I really learned a lot from working on such a huge piece of software. Half of my time was spent developing Surfboard for Pipeline, an iPad and iPhone app that syncs contacts to and from Pipeline, Fishbowls online CRM service. Learning to code in Objective-C was interesting, and sometimes frustrating. The other half of my internship was spent improving and fixing our main product. Learning the ins and outs of a million lines of code is really quite a task!  My internship culminated in me pressing the button that would release our latest version of the product, 12.7. It was great, and the people there are wonderful people as well.

Other News:

Other than that, I'm back in school, and am currently signed up for 3 Animation classes. One being the senior film project class. Many amazing animated shorts have been made in years past by the BYU Animation program (numerous Student Emmys and other awards), so I am really excited to be working on the latest film.

That's all for now. I hope to show much more of my endeavors during this school year than I did previously.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

New icons make all the difference

Today I updated Jumble Solver with the feature to switch between popular word lists, including SOWPODS, TWL, 2of12, and a Spanish word list.

Even better, I created a new icon that looks so much better. It's amazing how bad the original looked in comparison.

Here they are:

The old is on top, and the new are on the bottom. The transparent, rounded corners really make it look a lot more professional.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Jumble Solver Updated with Wildcard!

I've updated my android app Jumble Solver after a user commented that it couldn't do wildcard letters, such as a blank tile in Scrabble.

Took a couple hours overall, but it was easy enough to implement. To use, you just put '?' in for the blank tile, and it will solve it. Now my app is even better.

Try it out!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

2 Month update: Goal Reached!

After uploading my app, Jumble Solver, on the Android market, I made a goal to recoup my initial investment of $25 within 2 months. Today is the 2 month mark and I'm happy to say that I made my goal!

First, the ad revenue: In 2 months I've earned $22.16 from around 34 thousand impressions. My click through rate is above 1% and I'm real pleased with that.

The second income comes from selling an ad-free version of the app, which comes to about $5.

Since $22 + $5 is greater than $25, I've hit my goal! I'm real excited, and the future can only get me faster and faster revenue.

Overall, there are currently around 1300 active installs of Jumble Solver.

Amazon also interviewed me, I hope to hear back from them soon.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Giant Scorpion Attack!

Maya Final Project:

Here is my final Maya project. It's a huge scorpion attacking a city. It presumably escaped from a science facility where it was fitted with a laser to replace its stinger.
I had a lot of fun with this final project, and I learned a lot from it as well. Learning new skills is extremely fun. Click for full size. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Portal Lego and 1 month stats

Well, it's time to show the fruits of my efforts for the past few weeks. Today I will talk about 3 things: My android app, my recent Maya project, and my experience interviewing at Microsoft for a summer internship.

Jumble Solver Stats:

Last time I changed my goal to recoup my $25 developer fee loss from a year to 2 months.  It looks like that may be reachable, looking at recent numbers. Daily income was a little low after that blog post, so I was afraid I wouldn't make it, but I think I still have a chance.  It has been a month and I have 629 active installs of Jumble Solver. In addition, I also have sold a few copies of a "Jumble Solver Paid" edition that has no ads, for those who want it.
As far as ad revenue is concerned, I have been getting quite a bit of clicks, but it seems like the payout per click is pretty low recently. I hope this will improve. Looking at my income, including the app sells and ad revenue, it looks like I have $9.83 so far. So, 1 month in, and 1 month to my goal, I have about 40% of my $25 goal. Yeah, I'm a little behind. Oh well. Will I make it? stay tuned.

Also, I'm working on a new app, parents are going to love it.

Portal Lego Figure 3D render:

Last time I posted a castle. In comparison to this, that was pretty lame. What you see below is the final render for my second project in my Maya class. The project was to model a Lego figurine and render it in an environment. An accessory was also required. I chose to model Chell from the video game Portal 2 and a  companion cube. I invite you to use it for your computer desktop. I'm quite pleased with the results.

Microsoft on-site interview:

This last weekend, I went to Redmond to interview with Microsoft for a summer internship position. It was quite an experience. All expenses paid, and 3 hour+ long interviews in a row. I think I did alright. I interviewed for a position as an SDET (Software Developer Engineer in Test) in the Internet Explorer team. Me being a Chrome user, it was a little weird explaining why I choose to use Chrome instead of Chrome, but other than that, I think they were happy with me. 

That's all that has happened recently. Later.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hello Maya, welcome to my castle

Yes....the rope bridge is supported by invisible rope.
I recently started learning to use Maya, a popular 3D modeling program. This is my first real experience with 3D modeling, and I'm pretty excited.

I am currently enrolled in a beginning level class in the animation program at BYU. Our first task was to construct a castle. I was soon proficient with the skills I would need to finish it.

My castle is a quaint pair of towers set on a tall hill connected by a rope bridge. I like it. More to come as my skills improve!

Objects in render are steeper than they appear.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

1 week later, and 100 downloads to boot!

It's been a week since my app was published, and I'm quite excited about the results.

I've seen a few app developers blog about their downloads, and I like that, so I'll be doing that as well.

For starters, I'll mention that during the week, I've updated version 1.0 to 1.1, 1.2, and finally 1.3. Each release seemed to boost usage a bit, so my usage data looks a little bumpy. Also, I use Admob for ads in my app.


I was quite happy today. I now have 100 active installs whereas on the 15th, I only had 2. The growth seems pretty linear, and that is likely because an anagram solver is pretty boring, most people aren't looking for one. Nevertheless, I'm happy. 100 people use my app and no one has complained about it yet.

Revenue and Ad impressions:

Ad revenue for my app seems to be very volatile. One day I get 4 cents, and another I get over $1.50. I'm guessing that this will get more predictable as more people use my app. I was also quite surprised that so little clicks get you so much money.

My goal that I set was to make back within the year the $25 I payed to be allowed to publish on the Android Market . With $3 in my first week, I'm feeling pretty confident that I can reach that goal. Seeing that, I'm changing my goal to be 2 months. By March 15th, 2012 I hope to have recouped my initial investment.

It's only going to get more exciting from here on out everyone!

Monday, January 23, 2012

My first Andoid App, Jumble Solver.

A week ago I published my first Android app. It is called Jumble Solver, check it out.  This app solves anagrams (also known as Jumbles in the newspapers)

This app originated from my father showing me his FreeMat program that solved Jumbles. I don't know why my father took an interest in the newspaper game, but I tried to improve his hobby program. I quickly became frustrated with FreeMat, and in my frustration, I simply programmed it up in Java. Everything went a lot smoother, and the program was complete very quickly. I then had a crazy idea: "Why don't I try to get this on my phone?" It took a while getting the SDK and everything set up, but converting it to an Android app proved to be relatively simple. While simple, it was really exciting at the same time. When my app was running on my phone, I experienced that same joy that you feel when you make your first program on a home computer. It was like being young again! (well, younger.)

And so, after returning to school, I finally had the idea to publish the app and see where it goes.

I payed the $25 to publish Android apps, figured out how to add ads, and on January 15, 2012, I published my app.

It's been great, and since I've published it, I've released versions 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3. Each version expanded the functionality of my app. In the beginning, the app would only return the answers that use all of the letters entered in, but now, the app allows for words made from a subset of the input characters. Various sorting methods are now select able, as well as other customization.

The implementation of the algorithm is pretty fast, solving for all words that can be constructed from 10 letters within a second from a dictionary of over 172,000 words.

To be honest, this program is pretty simple, but I saw a need. Every other similar program on the market either didn't work completely or needed a web service to solve.

I hope you will continue to follow my posts and see where I go from here. I plan to continue to improve on this app and develop other apps as well. Maybe I'll even make a couple dollars in ad money, who knows.

Hello, my name is Javid Pack....

...and I am I pretty normal guy. I seem to have missed the blogging boom by a few years, but I decided to post on this blog for the sake of....relieving boredom. Also, it helps me think that my efforts are of use.

I am currently pursuing a BS in Computer Science with an Animation Emphasis at Brigham Young University.  I should graduate next year, so I'm a junior. I am seeking an internship for this summer, so if anyone happens by this blog and has connections, let me know. (I really don't think anyone will see this blog, but just in case, "Hi")

This blog for now is meant to be an outlet for all my professional endeavors, my creative endeavors, and my inventive endeavors.  Maybe I'll include some personal items, but not for now.

Stick around and watch.