more on in app billing

I mentioned before that test purchases seem to be broken on the Google play store. However I’m now not so sure that is the case.

I have an app in Alpha ( a signed release version – but old and out of date).

And I was using a debug build the other day when having all the problems. But actually I think the issue was using my developer account on my device. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that is the approach for the test purchases [android.test.purchased] etc.

However that was giving me all the crashes. When I switched my device account to a registered test account from my Alpha channel it does appear to work. (I changed it in both the google app and on the play store as those two don’t seem to keep in step automatically).

I didn’t work this out until I restructured my app to print all debug info to the screen in preparation for having to debug the purchase process on a signed release version. As recommended the SO post I linked to in the last post.


So now I am not sure if the account change fixed the issue or the Play Store update in the last couple of days fixed it.

But either way in app test billing is now back in action.  Yay.


In app purchases – Gott im fooking himmel! jaysus! FFS!!

Are they trying to send us mad?

Is it some sort of test?

Its not enough that the demo app is the biggest load of convoluted shite ever, and the docs are self referential out of date poopy, once you disentangle all that caca the fooking apps store is not working today. Merde. FOR REAL!


Here is a useful link

Its not the app store, its the lastest release of the device play store, that will not accept the test purchase skus (“android.test.purchased” etc).

Looks like I picked the wrong weekend to become an app store miyonnair.

If I ever meet Finsky they will get a boot up the arse. (unless they are bigger than me of course, or of the fairer sex, or a nice person etc). Or it could be Mr An.b.Nano’s fault I guess…

(Caused by: java.lang.NullPointerException: Attempt to read from field 'long' on a null object reference)

I mean it’s not like I ever made a mistake. ever.

I’ll be writing more about this monetization (even though that’s not a real word right?) malarkey as it seems its a right bastard on Android.

For the moment it seems the test skus are out of action so the only alternative is to test with real skus on a signed released version on the alpha channel. (awe fucking some – that should speed up the debuggering no end, my last release was pending for about 8 hours).

I hope you are doing something more productive or enjoyable this sunny Sunday…

I’m off for a bike ride whilst my bread is proving.


[Update I’m not so sure this is broken actually]

young and talented Android Developer

Just saw an advert for the above. Yep I know that sort of ageism is not allowed in many places, seems OK here in Switzerland though. But that’s not the point of this post…

The advert mentioned the interview process – telephone screening, remote technical test, final stage interview. Of course none of us grumpy old farts are going to put up with that shit, hence the need for some young sucker willing to piss away hours and hours, on some glorified fizzbum bollocks. In fact they will need a few in order to have a choice of who to progress to the next hurdle.

It reminded me of BP, where a line manager was bragging about their bomb proof developer recruitment process. I think it was 5 stages before you met a human, including on-line tech tests, a weekends worth of case study and some other nonsense. All the people I worked with at BP were great, but none of us had gone through that process, and most of us would have passed straight on to the next role if they had tried.

I did one of these remote development projects years ago in C++ (I was desperate), they offered me the role, then tried to knock 20% off the agreed rate (but not that desperate!). I hope whoever took the role shafted them back.

Do these people really think the best developers have the time or the inclination for this shit? Do they not realise the best folks are busy?, either learning, contributing to open source, developing for themselves, friends and family etc etc, or maybe you know, relaxing and recharging.

Or are they actually not looking for the best, but just someone who is malleable enough to put up with the day to day shit they are going to be fed in that role?

I think they should be more specific:

  • required: warm body required, must be young, naive, exploitable
  • nice to have: some clue about development

As a contractor its pretty simple. If you do ok on the first day you can come back the next day. At the end of the first week, if you haven’t messed up too much come back the next one and for the rest of the contract. Simples. And paid.

What’s the most convoluted, dysfunctional recruitment process you have seen? (and did you do it?)


Bum fluff

My main phone for the last wee while has been a WileyFox.

Maybe you have heard of them? They are a plucky British start-up looking to change the world one rebadged generic Chinese handset at a time.

Actually they are reasonable phones at very reasonable prices.

The thing that drew me to them initially was CyanogenOS, but that is another post.

Anyway one of the issues with the WF is that the USB slot is more deeply recessed than normal.

This means some cables don’t fit in properly. I have in fact shaved some of mine to get a decent fit:

Anyway recently with all the debuggering around I have been doing the cable connection seemed to deteriorate pretty rapidly. I assumed it was all the plugging in and out and shaved a few more tenths of a mil off the lead. To no avail – still a crappy connection and becoming almost impossible to recharge or debug. bugger indeed.

WF have a pretty good warranty and I was weighing up sending it back for repairs (it has other issues too), but at the price it is barely worth it.

Anyway I just thought I might have a ratch around in the phone socket with a mini screwdriver to see if there was anything in there causing a problem.

FUCKING HELL – where did all this fluff come from???

I just kept scraping and scraping and more and more balls of fluff kept falling out. In the end I think I have nearly enough for a new mattress for the dog! Or to keep my belly button fully loaded for the next decade or so…

So there you go… if your cable connection is getting a bit kippery, try cleaning out the socket on the phone. probably best with a toothpick or cocktail stick as opposed to the highly conductive metal screwdriver I used but hey, live life on the edge right? This tip might work on iDevices too so there you go – multi-platform.

you’re welcome


ps. I might have exaggerated the fluff pic. a little.

Should I get into software development?

Or the more recent: should I encourage my son/daughter into software development? (That’s how old I am now, at least they are not asking about grand kids…yet)

I love software development, the real software development, you know where one develops software for people to do useful stuff with. As opposed to the process obsessed, back covering, glacial progress, busy work that passes for ‘software development’ in big companies.

But I see my chosen career ravaged by outsourcing, offshoring and shit management. When I worked in finance I always thought the IT department was a useless money pit. When I worked in IT in big companies (all of the many I worked in, not just some) I discovered that IT was a useless money pit.

The misplaced guilt of being primarily a cost centre, and the obsession to cut visible costs at the expense of less visible benefits leads to complete dysfunction.

When I started out we used to build stuff, use it, change it, repeat repeat. As I sat next to the users I felt their pain, this was motivation enough to not fuck up too often. And not fuck around too much.

In my recent roles the dev team was away from the user (thousands of miles often) they fucked up and fucked around to the maximum allowed in the SLA (Service level agreement). There were project managers, dev leads, scrum masters, SME’s and a hundred and one other pain filters to isolate the devs from the users.

Whilst this eases the pressure on devs it also removes them from the most interesting and rewarding parts of the role. They don’t learn what the users do day to day, they don’t see how they use their tools. And once the dev team is removed, they may as well be outsourced and offshored to some cheap as chips place. There is rarely a space for ‘understanding customer needs’ in an IT review.

When I see IBM cutting experienced staff, and BA/RBS/etc/etc offshoring critical activities, widespread abuse of US H-1B visas, I know IT is going down the toilet. Big consultancies have got retarded IT management locked into a destructive cost cutting, quality cutting, performance destroying spiral.

So no I would not advise anyone to go into any part of IT, but especially not development – unless you live in a low cost country maybe. Or if you believe you can program the next big thing.

what do you think?

ciao mes amis


So, I’ve been doing android development for over 20 minutes now, I have read the first 3 pages of Android development for dumbarses, watched a couple of youtube vids, and I feel I am entitled to my choice of job in my new chosen field.

Having experienced a few decades of the limitless IT fuckwittery of some of the largest companies in the world I thought I should look at the start-up market.

I don’t mind if they don’t have bean bags, or babyfoot, or even table tennis but they must NOT have the following:

  • A name that is a bastardisation of a normal word by removing an e, or other vowel.
  • A name that replaces a c with a K and then tries to trademark it (who the fuck trademarks common spelling mistakes?)
  • A name that is an unpronounceable symbol, Prince got away with it, IT start-ups? not so much.
  • A name that sounds ridiculous in a Yorkshire accent (ie English). Like the ford Ka (pronounced kah, as in kak (which means shit by the way), and definitely not kar or car, how those southerners might mispronounce it. If someone managed to come up with a name that sounded shit in an Irish accent that would be unacceptable too, impressive, but unacceptable.
  • Any other name that is just a crap mispelling
  • they must not want to do agile or scrum, unless they can explain why those approaches are appropriate in their specific case, have signed up to the agile manifesto and have a qualified scrum master.
  • they must not have a scrum master…
  • a non business based on a nonsense idea to save the world one dog poo bag at a time.
  • Angel investors or vulture crapitalists
  • boundless enthusiasm (this is great for puppies – crap for effective work)
  • A desire to set the new world alight by having everyone come to an office and work in a Dickensian northern mill style, perhaps without the wooden clogs and fingerless mitts.
  • An exit strategy already in place, or which involves being bought by goog, fb or MS, or god forbid, aapl.

My new employer, partners, or client perhaps, should have:

  • A business idea that actually makes sense and is plausible
  • A business plan that actually adds up
  • A rapidly approaching or already passed breakeven point.
  • A work approach suitable for the work to be done. I want to concentrate hard for long periods of time. Don’t disturb me to contribute to the biccy kittie.
  • the same grumpy, cynical, battle scarred mentality as me.
  • a life outside work. Do I want to work 70 hours a week? fuck that shit. Can I do useful work for 70 hours a week? can anyone, really?

Other than that I’m pretty flexible 😉

It seems this is the dead wrong place to look for the job I am after:


Here is a direct quote, honest:

‘technology to help people work more flexibly’ and then later ‘you must be based in London’.  Like wowzers soooo flexible, that tech you want me to work on must be fan-fookin-tastic!

Ideally I think I just want a little posse of grown-ups where we can bounce ideas off each other and gee each other up a bit now and then. Maybe we can build that here.

ciao amigos