Archive for March, 2010

Calculating PI

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

In honor of PI day, I thought I would recall a story of my wayward youth.  =P

In middle school (at JDMS), I was becoming decently proficient at everything BASIC.  (Apple II, TRS-80 and DOS 3.3)  One of my math teachers mentioned to me that you could approximate PI by filling one quarter of a circle with an ever increasing number of rectangles of smaller and smaller widths.  And so I wrote a program to do just that.  Spent weeks running and rerunning it with different numbers of slices (and different methods of calculating the heights) and comparing the outputs to official known good values.  (and charting my accuracy)

I don’t remember exactly how accurate I finally got before they told me to stop running multi-day processes on the lab computers…  But suffice it to say: I was VERY nerdy.  =P

Ad Revenue for A Small Free WebOS App

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

When I first considered submitting an app (Where’s My Car?) for the Palm Pre / Palm Pixi, I was somewhat turned off by the $50 app submission fee  (even for free apps).  This is a hobby for me, and I don’t really like the idea of paying money to give my work away for free.

So I looked into putting an ad on my app to potentially recoup the submission fee, but I was unable to find any meaningful data regarding how long it would take, which left me on the fence as to whether or not it was worth the hassle.  Of course, this lack of public data is not that unexpected, as most companies doing this for profit would consider this a trade secret, but it was still disappointing.  So I justified to myself paying it as the cost of an experiment with a civil benefit:  Hopefully by publishing these numbers I can help either encourage or discourage future hobby developers as to whether or not it’s worth it to them to submit their own hobby apps.

Anyway, here are the numbers from ~24 hours after release: (AdMob is the advertiser)

  • Downloads: 7687
  • Ad Requests: 11,491
  • Ad Impressions: 11,456
  • Fill Rate: 99.70%
  • Click Through Rate (CTR): 3.26%
  • Estimated Revenue Per Thousand Impressions (eCPM): $1.11
  • Total Revenue: $12.68

I will post updates to this entry as I pass other timeline milestones.  (one week and one month, at least)  I’m very curious as to if this will be a sustained daily trend, will grow, or if this is a one-day newness peak that will drop off a cliff tomorrow.  :)

BTW, I strongly encourage other hobby developers to publish their numbers as well.  (or even share with me privately or anonymously)  I would love to compare against a larger data set.

Daily total download counts: (recorded here because I don’t yet know how detailed Palm’s monthly reports are) 3/10/2010:7687, 3/11/2010:10242, 3/12/2010:11196, 3/13/2010:12057, 3/14/2010:13013, 3/15/2010:14019, 3/16/2010:14783, 3/17/2010:15422, 3/18/2010:15961, 3/19/2010:16786, 3/20/2010:18310, 3/21/2010:19843, 3/22/2010:20988, 3/23/2010:21729, 3/24/2010:22323, 3/25/2010:22848, 3/26/2010:23390, 3/27/2010:23783, 3/28/2010:24264, 3/29/2o1o:24776, 3/30/2010:25179, 3/31/2010:26339, 4/1/2010:26902, 4/2/2010:27249, 4/4/2010:27890, 4/6/2010:28501, 4/7/2010:28896, 4/8/2010:29300, 4/9/2010:31018, 4/11/2010:32683, 4/12/2010:33536, 4/13/2010:34230, 4/17/2010:36201, 4/26/2010:40149

Downloads for Public Radio: 3/27/2010:2904, 3/28/2010:6109, 3/29/2010:8514, 3/30/2010:10250, 3/31/2010:10641, 4/1/2010:11017, 4/2/2010:11321, 4/4/2010:11871, 4/6/2010:12309, 4/7/2010:12602, 4/8/2010:12872, 4/9/2010:14108, 4/11/2010:15511, 4/12/2010:16154, 4/13/2010:16655, 4/17/2010:18245, 4/26/2010:21467

UPDATE: Version 1.3.0 is live as of 3/19/2010.


Well, it’ll probably eventually make enough to cover the submission fee, but not likely to be a real revenue generator.  :P

Where’s My Car? for Palm Pre/Pixi

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

I’ve submitted my first WebOS application to their App Store!

Where’s My Car? helps you find your car in a crowded parking lot. When you leave your car, simply open the application. (It will automatically get your current GPS location) Leave the application open, and when you’re done doing whatever it is you have to do, click “Take Me To It!” An arrow will show up (as well as a distance measurement). Simply walk in the direction of the arrow, and you’ll be quickly guided back to your car! BTW, I originally wrote this app as a present for my wife. :) I’ve decided to place it on the App Store as a FREE app because I don’t see why the other apps that do the same thing charge $5 for such a simple feature. Let me know if you like it! :)

UPDATE: It has been approved/published!  To download, open the App Catalog.  Search for “car”.  Click the coins icon in the lower-right to show only FREE apps, and “Where’s My Car?” should be the first in the list!  :)

UPDATE 2: Click here to download:  Where’s My Car?

Screenshots after the break…


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