As an elementary school teacher Terry Findlay was excited by the release of the Apple II computer and convinced the administration at the school where he taught to purchase one. He was convinced, even back then, that computers would have a tremendous impact on education. It was the promise of individualizing instruction that excited him more than anything. He took the Apple II home and started playing around with it. Soon he was typing in Apple Basic code from magazines. It was all pretty simple but he was hooked! He bought a TI-99 and began to teach himself enough Basic to begin writing his own programs.
“My first educational program was written in Apple Basic and was called Times Table Tutor. It was quite popular with the students and staff,” commented Findlay. “From there I got into HyperCard and created a bunch of educational stacks. I also used FileMaker to create report card templates.”
All along, he was looking for a way to create software with the ease of HyperCard but with the power of “real” programming languages. Along came Xojo!
“Xojo was exactly what I was looking for. It allowed me to create interfaces with drag and drop simplicity while offering a powerful language to add functionality,” added Findlay. “Happily, I found that my experience with previous languages made the transition relatively painless and I have been working with the software throughout its growth.”
The first app Findlay built was called The Fontz. It was intended to allow users to quickly pick appropriate fonts for specific purposes. You could create groups in The Fontz according to your own criteria. He has continued to improve on The Fontz over the years and eventually named it Font Sleuth, which is now for sale in the Mac App Store.
“As Xojo developed over time, things have become better and better from a developer’s perspective,” continued Findlay. “The ability to compile Cocoa apps was a huge leap forward. One app that I developed with an early version and have continued to develop as a Cocoa app with Xojo is GlucoAide. I am diabetic and I was looking for a simple way to track blood glucose meter data. To that end, I created GlucoAide. Eventually I added features to track other information, such as weight, medical team contact information and medications.”
GlucoAide is for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics who test their blood glucose levels with a meter. With GlucoAide you can track your meter readings in either mmol/L or mg/dL. Data entry has been designed to be quick and easy. And, because GlucoAide is not restricted to any proprietary brand of meter it can be used regardless of any type of meter you have. Results can be graphed by separate test time intervals and as daily average over any span of days. Users can select which days to graph and print the results out to share with health professionals. Data can also be printed in table form for sharing with health professionals or saved in PDF format.
The program allows people with diabetes to keep food and exercise logs along with a handy journal. GlucoAide can store links to diabetes related resources such as websites, documents, folders, email addresses, etc. Diabetes team contact information and medication information can be stored as well.
GlucoAide is currently for sale in the Mac App Store.