2009-02-26

MobileCampBoston2 announcement



To Whom It May Concern:

It would be a great pleasure if you would join me at MobileCampBoston2.

When:
Saturday, March 21, 2009
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
(Registration starts at 8:30 AM)

Where:
MIT
Building E51 (Tang Center)
70 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

Sign up on the MobileCamp web site. I'll be there, participating and presenting agile development for mobile apps or a study on mobile app marketing.

Love,
Richard

2009-02-23

Upgrade unlocked iPhone to 2.2.1

Let's upgrade the unlocked iPhone from firmware 2.2 to 2.2.1.

Inventory and backup
Install AptBackup. Run it and tap Backup. Wow, that was easy.

Upgrade firmware
In iTunes, on your device's Summary tab, in the Version section, click Update. I previously let iTunes download firmware 2.2.1, but I didn't install it. iTunes attempts to make its own backup of your contacts, calendar, and so on, but then complains that it can't--this is a consequence of your having previously jailbreaked the iPhone. Wait a few minutes while iTunes installs firmware 2.1. iTunes reports that it's done, and the phone reboots. iTunes notices the iPhone and reports that an incompatible SIM is installed. Time to jailbreak and unlock

Jailbreak and unlock
I download QuickPwn 2.2.5 and the two bootloader files from iPhone Hacks. I install and run QuickPwn. I play nice, following the instruction, and the iPhone is back up and running in a few more minutes.

Restore Cydia apps
In Cydia, install AptBackup. Run it and tap Restore. Wow, that was easy.

2009-02-19

Google Mobile Sync rocks

Google Mobile Sync rocks! Say goodbye to Nemus Sync and iTunes/Google contacts sync. The only drawback is that you are limited to five Google Calendars.

Follow these links for all the details:

2009-02-16

Why there should be a "release backlog"

Mike Cohn writes that there should not be a release backlog. He has impeccable timing, given my recent post defining the term Release Backlog .

I disagree with Mike. Release Backlog is a useful tool for my teams. I won't argue with Mike point by point because Mike's context is different from mine. He suggests that the context of his argument is "all projects that are not being done as fixed-scope contracts". My teams operate in exactly that context--fixed scope contracts--and in this context, Release Backlog is a useful tool.

In the world of fixed scope contracts, Product Backlog is inadequate. The product's lifespan surpasses the lifespan of the project defined by the contract. The set of requirements for the contract is a subset of all possible product requirements. We need a way to partition contract requirements from all possible product requirements, and we need a way to gauge whether we have completed the contract requirements. Thus is born our Release Backlog, distinct from the Product Backlog. Useful synonyms for Release Backlog might be Contract Backlog or Project Backlog.

At the beginning of the contract, we define our user stories and put them in our Release Backlog. We do some up front estimating and get a rough feel for when we might be done. We review the Release Backlog with our product owner (the customer or a proxy) and prioritize its items. At the beginning of each sprint, we pull Release Backlog items into the Sprint Backlog. In general, we use Release Backlog the way other teams use Product Backlog. We gauge our velocity across multiple sprints, and we get a good idea of when we'll be done with the requirements of the contract.

Release Backlog is very useful for keeping focused on getting the project done. Despite best efforts, no one knows ahead of time what they really want or when the project will really be done. As the project progresses, we and the product owner refine our vision with new or changed user stories. Some of these user stories make there way into the Release Backlog as updated contract requirements, and others land in Product Backlog as good ideas that are not intended for this project.

Here's an example. Late in a project, the Product Owner discovers that he has seven requirements that weren't accounted for in the original contract. After some discussion with the Scrum Master, he agrees that only five of the new requirements are applicable to the current project. He puts those five new requirements in Release Backlog and the other two in Product Backlog, and he reprioritizes the Release Backlog. The Team estimates the size of the new requirements. Given the Team's known velocity and the amount of work left in the Release Backlog, the Team predicts a new done date. The Product Owner and Scrum Master discuss again: should we keep the redefined Release Backlog and accept the later done date, or should we keep the original done date and prune lower value items from the Release Backlog? This is an easy conversation to have with a Release Backlog, and nearly impossible without it.

Release Backlog isn't for everyone. It is not discussed in much of the Scrum literature, perhaps for good reason. In the context of fixed scope contracts, though, Release Backlog is a useful tool that can help the Product Owner and the Team get the right stuff done at the right time.

2009-02-09

Release backlog

Two team members asked, "What does 'release backlog' mean?" I drew this Venn diagram, and they both understood:



Everything: The universe contains all possible product requirements. Most of them will not be included in our product.

Product backlog: The product backlog contains the subset of all possible product requirements that we agree could be included in our software product. Most of them will be included in the product, but we do not necessarily know when.

Release backlog: We organize our software development work into distinct product releases, and we partition the product backlog a release backlog for each release. The release backlog is the subset of product requirements that we will deliver in a given release.

Sprint backlog: We organize our work into multiple sprints, and we partition the release backlog into a sprint backlog for each sprint. The sprint backlog is the subset of release requirements that we will deliver at the end of a given sprint.

2009-02-03

Upgrade unlocked iPhone to 2.2

It's time to upgrade the unlocked iPhone from firmware 2.1 to 2.2. I have waited long enough to be confident that firmware 2.2 and the pwnage tools are stable. I want the over-the-air Podcast downloader and Google StreetView.

Inventory and backup
Upgrading and jailbreaking to firmware 2.2 does not remove anything authorized from your iPhone. All you have to do is make a list of Cydia app's to reinstall after the jailbreak. Here is my list of favorite Cydia apps:
  • Flashlight
  • SwirlyMMS
  • Mobile Terminal
  • Cycorder
  • TuneWiki
  • StumblerPlus
  • MyBattery
  • iLocalis
  • PdaNet
In addition, I like these other Cydia packages:
  • OpenSSH
  • RapTones Vol 1
  • rsync
  • Safari Addon Plugins
Upgrade firmware
I previously let iTunes download firmware 2.2, but I didn't install it. With firmware 2.2.1 available, I have to trick iTunes into installing the older firmware 2.2. In iTunes, in your device's Summary section, in the Version section, shift-click the Update. (Thanks to The "Break it Down" Blog for the clue.) Select your 2.2 firmware file--mine is at C:\Documents and Settings\kasper\Application Data\Apple Computer\iTunes\iPhone Software UpdatesiPhone1,1_2.2_5G77_Restore.ipsw. During the upgrade, the iPhone reboots, displaying a Steve Jobs saying something in Russian. After a few minutes, the iPhone reboots. iTunes notices the iPhone and reports that an incompatible SIM is installed. Time to jailbreak and unlock

Jailbreak and unlock
I download QuickPwn 2.2 and the two bootloader files from iPhone Hacks. I install and run QuickPwn. I play nice, following the instruction, and the iPhone is back up and running in a few more minutes.

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