A new product…

I thought I would use this blog to document how I come up with a new product or a new release.  Of course, I’ll be keeping most of these posts private until the product ships – I’m not exactly crazy about giving people a roadmap to follow in order to compete with me.

This product is a simple one.  Really simple.  Usually not worth the trouble of taking it from gray matter and putting it into software.  However, with iPhones being so easy to program, it’s really not a whole lot of work to get even those simple little ideas pushed out.

When I was in 9th grade, a friend and I would try to beat each other at memorizing the numerous digits of π.  He managed to stay a few digits ahead of me, no matter what I did, so one day I surprised him by blurting out 15 digits of e.  After another constant or two (√2 and log 2), we soon got distracted with other things.

Years later, at a party in college, a math major recited 10 or 12 digits of π in order to impress a fellow student.  A better setup I could not have asked for.  I looked over and rattled off 8 or 10 more digits.  I asked him if he thought those were the other digits to get to 20 decimal digits.  He laughed and thought I was kidding.  I said, “hey, I’ll write it down, you check it out tomorrow.”  I wrote.  I also wrote down e to 20 digits.  He never told me whether I was right or not.  Everyone within earshot that night seemed mightily impressed.

Over the years, I’ve run into people who have impressed me and others with their memorization skills.  What I have to remind myself, is just how few days it took for me to memorize each constant – all it really required was the discipline to work on it each day for a few days.  Easy:  One or two digits in the morning, one or two additional numbers in the evening.

The real question is, can a simple software app be written to help with this memorization task?  How best to accomplish this?

My first thought, as I create a new software project file, is to rely on a simultaneous quizzing/training process, with feedback to encourage and engage.  More on this as I figure it out.

As with any product, a name can make or break it.  I like finding a name I can get attached to early on, keeping the door open to a possible renaming down the road.  Given that the name I pick could be the final one, I usually spend a bit of time on it – otherwise, I could make my life easier and pick a random code name and get on with programming.  But nooooooo…  As of right now, I am leaning towards one of the following:

  • NumMemorize
  • Numemorize
  • Numorize
  • NumMemorizer

For now, I am using the letters nmzr as the base name for my C sources.

That’s about it for now.  I’ve got an app to write.  It happens to be my first iPhone app intended for a wide release.

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