Why Im not excited about multitasking!

Multitasking iOS OSX Windows Android
Multitasking iOS OSX Windows Android




Why Im not excited about multitasking!  On iOS, OS X, Windows or any other platform, multitasking simply is not a good fit for humans.

The reason is that while these operating systems might multitask and quite efficiently at times, humans and human brains more specifically, cannot multitask.

Let’s take the typical working day. Let’s say that you finish eating lunch at home and get back in the car to drive to your office. On the way to work you remember that you have to pick up some groceries on your way back home.

[toDoArray addObject:@”groceries”];

A few minutes later a call comes in and you are asked to email some information to a client.

[toDoArray addObject:@”emailSales”];

Now you realize you do not have that client’s email, but a friend of yours does have it. You decide to call that friend and ask him for the information so you move over your phone application.  You get the client’s email but along with that information comes an invitation to a social gathering later on that night.  Now you must switch over to your calendar app and add that reminder. You probably want to add a reminder to notify your spouse as well.

[toDoArray addObject:@”socialGatheringAtPedros”];

[toDoArray addObject:@”notifyWife”];

After all these distractions you finally open up your email client in order to send the information. If you’re lucky you have managed to reach your office without crashing.  Don’t cry victory yet, you still have to park your car.

You open up your email client just to realize you have five new email messages.  Two of these require urgent attention.  You are lucky enough to have the information needed by one of these two emails, however you must open up What’s App and search through many chats in order to retrieve information for the last email.

[toDoArray addObject:@”findDataForLastUrgentEmail”];

As luck would have it the information was not in your What’s App application but you are sure it’s either in your Twitter client or Facebook.  You search both these applications without any success and as soon as you are about to tap on Google+, a “Running with Friends” game notification pops up on your screen and you accidentally tap on it and you’re taken to the App Store for an in app purchase.  Now you realize you have about three updates pending for applications. You tap on “Update All” and realize you do not have Internet connectivity at the moment.

[toDoArray addObject:@”updateApps”];

So your phone is multitasking quite well, it has Twitter, Facebook, What’s App, Calendar, App Store and  a few other applications running at the same time.

You on the other hand right now are probably parked on top of your boss’ car, are fired, are getting insulting messages from your spouse because you did not notify her on time, your friend is upset because you did not RSVP, the kids are mad because you did not pick up the groceries, and you have lost one of the most important sales of your career.

[self didReceiveMemoryWarningAndABunchOfOtherRuntimeWarningsAsWel];

[toDoArray dealloc];

[self dealloc];


Apple’s iOS7 and the future of development

Sure iOS7 brings a lot of technological advances. But more importantly, it sets a new precedent in the Software Development industry. Here are a reasons:

1). An Elite development team. Many people complain about Apple shutting out developers by not opening up. It’s funny because their code is open, you just have to be willing to pay. Where disgruntled programmers see disappointment, I see a company filtering an elite team of outsourced developers to keep pushing the envelope where only the savviest survive.

2). An evermore demanding market niche. I downloaded ios7 on Monday like most devs. The first thing I noticed was Skype crashing and Testflight failing to install. Only a few days later, Skype’s community forums are flooded with complaints pressing for the company to update their app to iOS7. This may not seem like much, after all it’s just a beta, right? Why did all those devs update ahead of time anyway! Don’t forget this group of devs is growing everyday and at the end of the day their pressure is real! Many people are also paying the $99 dev fee just to have access to the betas. So everyday Apple’s niche market is growing in size and influential pressure. I can’t wait for iOSX! They’ll be releasing pre-pre-alpha candidates!

3). Indies are dying! Apple doesn’t really want indies. The days of making a simple game that scored you millions is over. Apple had a hand in this of course. They deliberately raised AppStore standards. WWDC is an expensive event and all these factors combine so that Apple can have, as mentioned before, an elite team of 24/7 developers that pose no company liability as employees but are at the same time manageable via quality controls they define and who are filtered to result in incorporated LLCs which are, unlike their freelance counterparts, accountable 🙂

iOS Indie Developer/Programmer Evolution

Make a decision
Where to go from here?

These are just random thoughts on what I believe are the pros and cons of coding an app vs a game.  The reason why I am writing this is actually because I find myself in the same predicament.  I’ve been coding crap for the past 3 years and I believe its time to make something “significant”.

At first I thought, I’ll code a bunch of apps and even though they might not be Top Pick apps, they will be enough.  Even if they only make about $5-$10 a month,  I may be reaping $100 a month which sounds cool.  I even got into the whole iAds thing and thought it could improve my revenue to perhaps $200 a month.  So I read some docs, took some online course (which were much better than the docs btw) and I was ready to code.  This is basically how I coded in my personal evolution as an iOS programmer:

iOS Programmer Evolution
Stages of Evolution

At first you will code anything!  My “Code Anything” stage consisted of an app I wanted to make for my wife.  As a guy, Im very absent minded when it comes to remembering birthdays and important things in a relationship.  One of them is simply being spontaneous and surprising your loved one with an occasional flirt or memoir of your time together.  So I made an app (iLuvMe) which would take  15 memoirs and present them to the user as he/she tapped on the screen.  At first the app made the user jump through hoops.  Currently it is development to make it easier to use and I added the email functionality for users who have trouble using it.  As I learned later, this should have been the first feature added to any app…Contact Customer Support.

My “Borrow Code” stage was basically taking an existing online tutorial code and modifying it to make an app for tracking imports in the company I work for (Shipment iTrack).  I did it because it actually fulfilled a need in my job but I didn’t learn how to design an app, I just learned how to understand or interpret code.  This is very dangerous because it makes you believe you understand concepts that you actually don’t, such as Delegates & Protocols.   It was around this time that I also made my next app (SalesToGo) which basically borrowed the sample app from CorePlot and modified it to my needs.

Then my “Lo Quality Original” stage consisted in creating an original app with a web service to back it up.  The app worked, works, but its uglier than sin and I took no consideration as for UX.  The app (iGlobe) is an app intended to be a playable online world wide game where you rack up points based on the places you visit and people you meet.  It basically rewards you for being social.  But building an app from the ground up teaches you to think about how to design code, it teaches you to really understand design patterns and code structure.  This is where I learned most of my current knowledge on programming; both coding and planning.

I then decided to go back and upgrade my old apps during my “Improve Existing Apps” stage.  This is when I added Customer Support buttons and some UX features on my old apps.  However, I ended up with some spaghetti.  This is why I began to see where I could reuse code and extract it into a class for making web connections and fetching JSON for example.  This helped me understand how to structure code.  I incidentally also learned how to read reference documentation by using 3rd party SDKs like Facebook, Bump, AppiRater, CorePlot and TestFlight.

At this point I was kinda bored of apps and ran into Cocos2d.  I guess that having bought a book made me more aware of my investment so I decided to really stick with it.  I read the book and learned quite a bit about Cocos2d and decided to start with a game.  I started with an “Opportunity Game”.  You can make original games or remakes of traditional games as an ongoing plan, but you can also take advantage of a worldwide situation and make a game out of it.  This has the added advantage that the world is aware of that global situation and it serves as a nice piggyback ride for marketing the game.  So I was 2 months into my game when I realized I had to outsource my graphic design.  It dawned on me that you have to see this as a business or it will fail somewhere in the code design, graphical appeal or marketing plan.

Finally, I reached a fork in the road.  Should I work on a game or an app.  So I came up with something like this:

Decision Time
Game Large Market Must be Good
App Quicker to Market Must be Original

A game has a larger potential market.  Why?  Because anybody can be interested in a game.  Angry Birds is fun for young and old.  But if you create an app, its harder to come up with something for everyone.  It will most probably end up being for a niche market.  I also believe a game is easier to market.  It is more subjective to like or dislike a game, whereas an app has to be VERY appealing to be liked by a user.  However, the game must indeed be good!  This means, it must really be good and it is expected to have certain things such as GameCenter, many levels, powerups etc.

On the other hand, an app can be made quicker and still be good.  What I mean is, you can have very little functionality in the app and have it be very effective at what it does.  However, to be successful, it has to be original because not only are there tons of apps that can already do many things but again, apps are very subjective.  Thus the app must really do something original or it will be overlooked for another.

So it was Decision Time.  I realized I needed a partner.  It just so happened I met someone at the Apple Dev Talk in Austin on January 2012 and I began working with him on a game.  This was going to be a full fledged game.  We designed it on paper first; Intro, levels, scoring, power-ups, social media integration etc.  We started working on it since February and it has been falling apart since.  He didn’t have enough time as he is a new Dad (which I totally respect because my son is 3 years old).  I did manage to outsource the graphic design and keep my work plan.  The timeline has been stretched as the art proved to take longer than expected.

So here I am, with a game that is 2 months before its projected launch and Im 50% through the game.  Everyday getting new ideas in my head.  Some ideas tell me to go back to real-need apps from situations I encounter day to day.  Others tell me to focus on 1 or 2 of the old apps and push through to make them the cornerstone of my iOS development.  And yet others say, finish the game you started or make more “Opportunity Games”.

So why am I posting this?  Because 140 characters is too limited! 🙂  Do you find yourself in the same situation?  This is not a programming specific problem.  This is a decision like any other.  You know you have to do something, anything!  Just don’t stand still or you’ll sink!

Anyway, I thought my experience could help anybody at least to recognize where they are in their iOS indie dev evolution.  iOS dev world is great, but as with anything, you gotta put your back into it and prioritize.

Apple Foxconn Labor

Much was commented this week about Apple’s China factories where American’s favorite phone and tablet computers are made.

Being from a developing country myself, I was surprised to see such a big deal made about this “differing” labor practice in such countries when compared to Developed Countries’ practices.

First, because when you compare absolute numbers instead of relative (%), statistics can scare or impress anyone. Take the $1.78 hourly wage and the board figure of $17 a month for example:

$1.78/hr x 40hrs a week x 4 weeks comes to about = $284.8/mo income.

$17 for room for what pretty much looked like my dorm room at University of Tampa, a private university.

$0.70/meal x 90 meals a month = $63/mo for board.

This leaves $204 = 72% of disposable income. My wife has about 50% disposable income (after room and board) and she is the Marketing Director for a private company in Honduras!

When you add to this the fact that this kind of job is a temp job where these Chinese teens will remain for about 3 years to save up as well as gain experience and then move on to bigger and better things, the picture clears up considerably. It’s the equivalent of a job at McDonalds or Burger King! Who in America working at McD’s can tout 72% disposable income!?

Second, because thats how many of American’s consumer products get made: Walmart clothing from the Caribbean & Central America, Dunkin Donuts sugar from Asia, Starbucks Coffee from South America etc. the list goes on and on.

I’m not suggesting there is no room for improvement, but it’s no reason for alarm. If you want to be alarmed, check out factories in countries like Malaysia or Honduras where big companies with solid Social Responsibility Programs like Apple don’t go near!

Facebook: Worldwide Genetic Experiment

Facebook Genetic Experiment
Facebook Genetic Experiment

What does the biggest social network share with the most global science field?

Does the most complex web software have anything to do with one of the most complex fields in human nature?

Is Facebook the world’s largest human genetic experiment?

What do you get when you mount a huge amount of human relational information onto the largest, most accessible data depot in the world?  Ill tell you what you get…the biggest artificial intelligence in the world (since we are not sure about the universe’s size or the possibility of coexisting multiverse’s).

Lets think about what Facebook contains.  On a personal level, it contains:

  1. Your name, face and personal likes and dislikes.
  2. Your family’s names, faces and personal preferences as well.
  3. Your friends’ names, appearance and their preferences.

If you consider that each one of those persons is capable, not only of posting information but also verifying each other’s information and even reproducing in order to create more and more “persons”…You have the biggest genetic tree in the world.  This genetic tree doesn’t only have names, but each name has preferences and dislikes, images and moments, work and private information.

Think how much that information is worth to pharmaceutical companies?  Facebook may be worth more for the information it contains in its data centers than for its advertising revenue!  If Facebook’s highly desirable IPO was poised to skyrocket before, get ready to factor this into it.


How much more input do we receive nowadays about, let’s say, how to properly raise a child?  How to properly treat a cold?  What’s the best way to motivate your employees?

Back in the day, we only got input from 2 or 3 close friends and our parents or siblings.  Today we get true, honest advice from 200 friends on at least one topic.  Sometimes, depending on how your Facebook account is setup (I don’t allow others to see or post on my posts if they are not strictly my friends – but some people do), we can get 100’s if not 1000’s of comments about a topic.

Power Hungry Devices

Its funny how capitalism leads to consumerism and that it turn, in a free democratic society, is fueled by our “NEED” for more and more services.  What this translates to is the fact that we want more and more “things” which we request from our technology.  So everyday we come up with things we want our phone to do for us.  First, the beeper simply sent us text messages for us to get to a landline and call.  Then it allowed us to answer text messages.  Soon after came the cellular phone and we didn’t have to go to a landline, we could simply call on the mobile phone.  But then we realized we had too many friends and so we asked for speed dial.  Then we realized it would be good to keep certain info of those contacts on the device so we got Address Books for quick and easy access.  As computers matured, we got more computer like functionality such as calculators, cameras and other such features on our mobiles.  Once the internet came of age, we demanded internet service on the phones which as the internet itself evolved, that internet-like functionality of mobile phones has gotten more complex.  Yet we are still disappointed by the fact that our battery now lasts half as much as it did back then, when mobile phones were nothing more than a couple of “stringless” cans!

I just came across this article; http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/27/apple-iphone-4s-battery-life-suck-less/ where users are complaining about battery life on the latest iPhone 4S.  The funny thing is that the very technology which has made us impatient and insatiable with response-time to our user requests, the internet and its related technologies such as computers, is the one responsible for our disappointment in how that technology behaves.

Yet the answer does not lie in that industry, for the infamous portable energy problem has affected so many other industries that have been unable to find a better solution for it.  Moreover, the portable energy problem is what shaped humanity as we know it today.  Think about it, since the nomads roamed the earth, their whole purpose in life was to follow a moving source of energy, food!  They decided to settle down and start building a more stable homestead but they soon learned that home had to be near some sort of energy depot, which is why most main cities are built near rivers or ports.  So we settled for quite some time and were happy having done so.  Nowadays we find ourselves roaming again but this time we want to take our energy sources with us instead of following them around.

It has been quite some time since so many other industries have tried to solve this problem:

1) Airplanes need weightless and endless fuel to travel longer without the weight of the fuel itself to bog them down.

2) Space travel is limited because such a powerful fuel source contained in a small enough space is non-existent or non-portable.

3) Solar power can sure be harnessed but not stored in any one container enough to power houses reasonably.

4) Our own bodies still need to eat 2 to 3 times a day if not more.

5) And now our phones which prove to become evermore complex, need the lightest and longest lasting energy source.


Can the mobile communications industry be the drop that will spill the idea jar on how to solve this problem?

My Cover Letter for a Job Application at Apple: You will be missed Steve

I believe the best Cover Letter I can write is based on my love for Apple.  I can’t tell you I have ever sat in line for days waiting for a product launch because I don’t have the luxury of living in the US and our “quasi-Apple” stores in Honduras suck to say the least.  However, I can say 3 things with great pride:


First, that I have been an Apple fan since the Apple IIe, simply because that’s around the time I was born and have recollection.  We used to spend summers in San Francisco at my uncle’s house.  He worked for United Airlines and had a simple house but not without his Apple computer.  My fondest memories of summers in San Fran were programming those cheesy loops used to make hearts and faces on the screen by printing out characters in a certain order; and the other, playing Where in the World is Carmen San Diego!  God I loved that game.


Second, that i have been shunned for being an Apple user and I enjoyed it.  Although I used my first Apple at my uncle’s house in the 80’s, I didn’t buy my own first Apple MacBook Pro until 2000, just before entering my MBA program.  As a business school, it was all about pragmatism, and compatibility issues and out dated versions of software were all but damning because everyone made fun of me.  A professor joked about me having paid a Coke’s worth for “that ugly thing” as he put it and still gotten change in return.  He joked about how its resale value was zero and how Apple would die just like betamax, since it was one of the case studies we worked on.  I remember how in reviewing that case study we were told how when 2 competing technologies tried to dominate the market, the winner was the one that was able to surround itself with accessories which made it indispensable.  And 10 years later Steve Jobs went ahead and did just that!  Id like to meet that professor again and show him my shiny new 2011 MBA, a market breakthrough product, not a follower.


And third, that I love Apple products, am a fan-boy, love converting people, believe our products are a work of Art and would buy my milk from Apple if you had a Milk Division.  I can appreciate the customer attention to detail Apple has.  Its not really customer service because a service almost implies something that is paid for and in return, because of the commitment acquired by the employee, he provides that service.  I live in a country where even franchise-trained personnel doesn’t provide good customer service.  This is my life 360 days of the year.  Then all of a sudden I go to Miami and rush to an Apple Store, not always for a product, just for the experience.  I love walking into a place and have someone walk up to me and genuinely ask me if there is anything they can help me with.  Even if I didn’t have anything in mind before I walked in, I think of something, anything, just for the “feeling of satisfaction” I get when they solve a problem for me or recommend something that ends up making my life easier or what not.  That truly is priceless.


I love converting people because when I pick up my old iPhone 4 and show it to someone, I take off the banged up protective case in order to show the brand-new product still intact.  I remember I used to buy Ford trucks and people would ask me why I preferred them over Chevy.  My answer always came back: “Because of the quality of sound the door makes when you close it”.  It just tells you its a quality truck.  The same thing happens when you hold an iPhone or iPad or Mac or accessory…it just feels good.  I can feel the quality and appreciate the workmanship that went into creating that “device”.  Yet its not just a device, and I can tell because when I sell an old model to get a new one, the buyer gets his iPhone with the original plastic cover sticker still on the front and back, or white sheet of paper that comes with a macbook pro.  I do it because I want that new Apple user to become a fan boy by having the same experience I did when I got it new!


You know what, even if I never get a job at Apple, I would just like Steve Jobs to get this cover letter.  It would be enough satisfaction for me to know that he received this letter as a compliment and a big Thank You for how you have affected the life of this one customer and how grandly I think of Apple and its people.

Social Media Underwater…

I love technology…and I love scuba diving…But have you ever thought about how unlucky underwater creatures are?  Or will be?

Certain dogs already have special collars that tweet or post their location to Facebook.  Im sure that eventually social media/web technology will evolve to include such animals into real world social gaming.  Many believe web technologies can soon connect humans to many kind of animals in air or on land…How unlucky are their underwater counterparts who simply could not, due to the fact that they live in an electrically conducive medium which automatically discards the possibility of them having electronics?

Then again, some electronics such as beacons (radio transmitters) are already used for biological studies which track these animal’s movements.  But those devices are quite expensive so even though they exist, the liquid medium simply makes it that much more expensive/difficult to bring these animals into our electronically interconnected web.

Furthermore, even if the electronic-device-underwater barrier were broken by cheaper devices or somehow incorporating these devices into the animal’s body, transmitting the internet’s signal underwater would be an even greater hurdle.  We humans simply don’t live in the ocean therefore it would be impractical to create “underwater hotspots” as cell towers, satellites and other re-transmitting devices do on land.  On land and in the air, birds, horses, elephants or geckos could perfectly take advantage of our existing infrastructure as a gateway into our internet.  But in the deep blue…?

I guess the best option would be to set up underwater terminals for tweeting or posting to Facebook where sea creatures could swim up to in order to interact with the rest of us.  That way we could jointly solve the water-proof electronics issue as well as the transmission issue.  The only thing left is to find out what whales, sharks, crabs, fish and seahorses would actually tweet about?  Find out here:


If you’re a coder youll notice by the title of my post that I am! 🙂

Just DropBox-ed my 337MB folder and have some time to kill while it syncs…Unfortunately I took the leap while at my in-laws, who have a slow 2MB connection. This is precisely what this post is about…what is your tech footprint. What I mean is; although I might find myself waiting on a slow connection at the moment, I know better, have better and can do better, but I know im not the cream of the crop. So where do we really stand in today’s tech-life?

Ever stop to think, “Man, Ive really come a long way from when I first booted my Commodore 128 back in the 80’s! I wonder how much I know in comparison to my friends, schoolmates, coworkers or better yet, some guy in France or Japan or India or Brasil. I mean, what things do I do on my day to day life and how do I compare and more importantly, what can I learn from others?”

Quick background check: Studied Biochem, always fiddled with computers, program in asp, php, mysql, iOS, set up LAN networks, have an i4 and a mba-macbook air (plus I have an MBA from Incae-Business School).

So what do i do, what do i prefer and then I am open to suggestions:

LAPTOP – mba: I got my first mac in 1999, MBP g4. MS Compatibility was so-so back then and all the cool apps were available for mac in outdated versions. Got my mba in 2009 after years of PC-dependence and im finally able to sleep at night. To be honest, PC has caught up and they are pretty close to being the same now but I love calling 1800 MY APPLE and being able to talk to someone 🙂

Mobile – iPhone4: Its a toss up these days, what between Android and iOS. Notice thats where I draw the line because I consider RIM to be lagging considerable and Windows, well, they havent done much with their platform. I guess I have an iPhone because I happened to have an mba and I decided to program for them because of the AppStore appeal. Back before I had macs, from 1980-1999, i started programming in ASP because i already had Windows and could host the website on my own server for testing whereas setting up a linux box required a bit more knowledge. I dropped out of web programming right before PHP became huge. Otherwise I might have stayed with PCs and Id be on ASP.Net and programming for windows mobile OS.

Connection Speed – 2-4MB: In Honduras, cable companies sell 2MB. Most places with free wifi, which arent many, have 1MB or less 😦 I have 2MB at home and 4MB at the office but my parents have a 10MB connection from ATT UVerse and I love visiting 🙂 On my mobile, I barely get 500K, Claro, the iPhone carrier, Sucks. But i use a prepaid SIM chip from the other carriers to sometimes surf at faster speeds (meaning 2MB).

Other Tech Hardware: I drive a company issue Isuzu Dmax pickup. I have no real passion for cars. I dont wear a watch, i think theyre useless. I have a BB because my wife and best friend have one…no other reason. I havent gotten an iPad yet cause im waiting for mac book airs to fuse with an iPad-like device. Otherwise I much appreciate the power of an A4 processor with full keyboard and the ability to run certain apps like MS Office which i need for work, Xcode, Dreamweaver and a few others.

Day-2-Day Software: Ive dumped Outlook/Entourage altogether. I hate their slow boot-up speeds, not to mention how they freeze up my machine syncing or archiving. I love gmail so i now forward my company’s domain email to my gmail. I love having everything on the cloud. So i tried Google Docs. I love having them on the cloud but hate remembering to use the online version. So you can understand why I loved DropBox…plus there is an i4 version that i use cause i love going to a bank and being asked for my ID where i just launch DropBox and show em my cloud ID 🙂

I use twitter (hootsuite and twitter on iOS and Twitter on Mac) and facebook (app for iOS and web interface on Safari). No other social network. Had foursquare for about 4 months and stopped using it, its no fun in Honduras and dangerous due to kindappings. Decided to come up with a social-networking-gamelike-iOS app that can be fun all over the world. Ill let u know when its ready 🙂 I use twitter to inform myself and facebook to inform others of what i think is important.  I use skype on my i4 and whats app to chat with BB users.

I still use powerpoint for my presentations at work because my directors like papers to look at and write on. I wish they’d agree to getting iPads so i could present digitally and save trees. Im big on conserving natural resources. I have solar panels and a solar water heater at home.

WaitingOn: I THINK I would love to have them come up with a device that could be small enough to carry as a credit card and have it project an on-air screen and keyboard. But I think they are having trouble getting the photons of light form a projector to stop at an equal distance for that to even be a prototype. Because I believe everyone will agree with me when i say i love the power of smartphones and tablets, but hate lugging them around.

I would love to be able to code for iOS on the web like many other cloud IDEs.  I go crazy at night when i wake up with a coding idea or a possible solution to a coding problem im caught up in and having to wait til i get to the office wherever my coding computer is at.

One of the most important things im waiting on is for one of my apps to get noticed so I can make some serious money and possibly start a US tech company.

Social Media: One of the greatest contributions from technology to humanity

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA WILL BRIDGE THE RICH-POOR DIVIDE: Well I think Haiti is the perfect example of that! It raised over $21 million dollars and more importantly it raised awareness! This awareness came in the form of jobs for Haitians affected by the quake. Tech companies created jobs for them in tech-camps. I believe social media will raise awareness of what really goes on in developing countries of those in developed countries. It’ll take power away from corrupt politicians and the tradtional media companies they manipulate (CNN and Fox; La Prensa and Tiempo…) and put it in the hands of large social action groups who will expose the truth to american people, Canadian people, german people etc…, who will in turn act directly to bring aid to those who need it directly. Probably via priate enterprise the likes of Google, Microsoft, Digicel, who will think twice before betraying their clients’ trust which means profits for them because of customer loyalty (unlike govnts who only think about customer loyalty once every 4 years)