I spent about a year or so learning about Objective-C, Cocoa Touch, XCode and various other iOS development tools, and got to the point where I could build a pretty rudimentary home-made app.
Currently, this is on hold while I learn a bit more about Ruby and Rails (so I can build web services that make a mobile app make sense), and AppleScript (so I can make my computer do more of my work while I watch things automatically whizz around the screen while I drink coffee.)
On one hand, its a blog about the idea that you don't need to put a microchip in your head to have computers take over your brain. On the other, its a mini-project to teach myself Ruby on Rails around (which I'm finding much more interesting than PHP.)
Since Google Reader shut down, I got to thinking about what my ideal RSS reader would look like. (In short, instead of looking like an email client, I want something that is more like the idea Douglas Adams talked about when he described a video recorder as something that watched TV for you — I want an RSS reader that will read my feeds for me.)
Anyway, as a result of that, I started building my own RSS reader (using Ruby/Rails.) Whether it will ever get anywhere near what my ideal RSS reader would look like is anyone's guess at the moment — right now, its sitting alongside MyElectronicBrain as a mini-project to teach myself about deploying an active Rails app that does something more than a blogging/CMS platform, with some natural language processing stuff thrown in for good measure.
In 2012, I built a tool for tracking volumes of mentions of particular keywords on Twitter, minute-by-minute (or even second-by-second.) It needs to be brought up to date since Twitter's API changes, but this is something I'm planning on integrating with the news reader too.
A couple of years ago, I got hold of Final Cut Pro and put together a short video to 'present' my team at work to the rest of the company (a kind of 'who we are, what we're about, some stuff we have done' thing.) As a result, I've been bitten by the bug — its pretty incredible to think that with a few hundred pounds, you could have enough equipment to shoot high definition video and make a professional-grade video edit. Anyway, I've done a few little bits and pieces with this at work — nothing that I'd call 'serious' though — and I'm on the lookout for excuses to pull this out and start some more ambitious video projects.
I've been playing around with music recording & production technology for years, mainly held back by my inability to write a song that I'd want to listen to myself. But having moved from a computer-based system in the 1990s to a more modular, computer-free setup in the 2000s, I'm now back to a computer-based setup, running Logic/Mainstage from a Macbook Pro. Still getting to grips with exactly what I can do (and how to go about doing what I think I can do) — mainly with hooking up a MIDI foot pedal controller and a guitar to do all sorts of effects controlling/looping/sequencer controlling sort of stuff. Fortunately, this isn't something that I work alone at - although 'the band' tends to operate in fits and starts as we all have various time commitments/family pressures now that we're supposed to be 'grown ups'…