All posts by Administrator

Time on your hands?

I can just imagine the situation. Its the run up to Christmas, the clients are all starting to leave for there holidays, but you still have to be in the office to cover any ‘unexpected’ requests that come through at the last minute.

Your sat at your work station, you have your sketchbook in front of you, your pencil in your mit, but nothing is making the journey down from the left side of your brain to turn those ‘really exciting’ briefs turn into your next portfolio piece…

Continue reading Time on your hands?

PortableApps.com launches

While I am waiting to pick up a decent Lappy to work from I have been making use of my PSP as possibly the most expensive 1Gb USB Drive Available. This has allowed me a temporary backup drive for my development work and also the client work i have been involved in.

Also it has provided a nice method for me to take some core applications with me where ever I go. These include, image viewers, code editors, email, ftp, and document viewers.

Now most of these applications can be found in one handy place instead of requiring visits to a number of places scattered all over the net.

check them out here

Drives, Partitions, Archives and Data Recovery

Over the few weeks since returning from Costa Rica I had played a dangerous game. This game is similar in its mechanic to Russian roulette, the main difference being that rather than my life being on the line. It was a huge amount of un-backed up data, spanning a time period of some 9 or so years i would guess. Recently week i turned on my system to discover this was the night my hard drive was ‘carrying the live round’ so to speak.

Continue reading Drives, Partitions, Archives and Data Recovery

Flash 8 setTimeout Example

Over on theflashblog.com they have very simple example of an undocumented function in Flash 8. The setTimeout() function seems to be a nice succinct replacement for the rather cumbersome (IMHO) setInterval().

How this setTimeout() operates in comparison to setInterval() remains to be seen, information regarding return types if there are any. Also the function by all accounts seems to be a global, which may be a little problematic for those creating components or classes.

See the full example here.

SHA-1 Broken

In this week New Scientist there was an article describing the down fall of the SHA-1 to a non-brute force attack.

Bruce Schneier was quoted in the article and also has a couple of posts that go into some more detail.
Cryptanalysis of MD5 and SHA: Time for a New Standard
SHA-1 is Broken
Cryptanalysis of SHA-1

While it seems there is no immediate threat to general internet security, it is clear that the systems used in today’s digital signature systems are failing. As Moore’s Law continues un-abated the limitations that have now been show make it clear. Where gonna need a bigger hash.

Nice Flash 8 Bitmap Technique

There is a nice post on Quasimondo that talks about using the Flash 8 BitmapData class as a tool to minimise the file size over head of using external transparent image assets.

To view the full post it can be found Here

I had been considering the uses of the BitmapData class in a related manner. Basically I wanted a method of watermarking external image assets and then removing the watermark when displayed in flash.

Continue reading Nice Flash 8 Bitmap Technique

Flash Lite Devices

I haven’t previously looked at Flash Lite development. I must confess i have been a little blinkered by the new features in flash 8, as a result the idea of ‘down grading’ my scripting to what appears to be a mish mash of flash 4 and flash 5 ActionScript 1 did not really appeal.

However, i have been keeping a little eye on the uptake and it does seem that its time to start adding Flash Lite to the quiver of my skills. Especially when the devices you get to work on are as cool as these little beauties.

Continue reading Flash Lite Devices

New Flash Components Mailing list

Lots of changes going on over at FlashGen.com (haha, oldskool URLS Rock). There is a new look and feel for a start, really nice cool blue Skin, liking it a lot.

In addition to that there is another basic tutorial on Flex2/AS3 components here

And also Mike has started a mailing list for all you coders out there that want to share your experience/woes in with developing components in Flash, Flex and ActionScript.

The post is here

And the list is here

The Really Real World

Ok Now i am bcak in the really real world, my boardies are in the wash and will soon be packed away, or framed.

So while i’ve been enjoying myself whats been going on??

  1. Favorite Flash Got an Update, so i have to change my link
  2. Flash gen puts out a nice AS 3 example class, and suffers some nasty down time thanks to Eclipse
  3. Coke launches this kick ass sitem5.icoke
  4. ‘The Freelance Coders Handbook’ is released onto the web 😉 here
  5. And i get to look forward to rejoining the masses in Office Life. Without my boardies

Life, as they say, goes on.
😀

Flash 8 Photo gallery AS

The photo gallery I produced in flash 8 is a simple experiment in flash AS 2 classes, inheritance and event modelling. The current gallery loads its information from an XML file, this XML file is currently rather large as it contains extraneous information intended for other presentation files.

The XML parsing is handled using the AS 2 XPath API Classes.

[as]import mx.xpath.XPathAPI;[/as]

This implementation uses only the flash 8 filters really but the plan is to actually hop, skip, and jump the future development straight into the AS3 frame work and class structure.

The code below is the AS classes that control the presentation as it currently stands, please excuse the lack of commenting these files are provided ‘As Is’.

the example presentation can be seen here

Continue reading Flash 8 Photo gallery AS

Images of Costa Rica pt.1

There are some things that hold a beauty that is so natural, innate and simple that once you encounter them you know it will affect you for all time.

Once you have been privileged enough to see and experience even some of the hidden wonder, you are left wondering if there is anything more that can make you as happy as the moment you become aware of what it is you have been allowed to share.

Pura Vida.

A variety of Photos from Costa Rica are after the split. In addition I have produced a Flash 8 photo gallery of these images and some additional photos from Costa Rica. The Flash 8 Photo Gallery can be seen here

Continue reading Images of Costa Rica pt.1

Coffee and Oreo

Travelling across 6 time zones straight into a Monday morning is not fun…. Scratch that it hurts like hell, before i had even got out of bed this morning it felt like i was already carrying the same back pack that over the last 14..18.. Too many hours had been holding the subject of my latest work.

This work has been 2 full weeks in the making, and at times it has quite literally almost killed me.

I call it, “Coffee and Oreos without Boardies”

Thank you.

Coffee and Oreos without Boardies

Maps In Flash at Yahoo, wOOt.

Yahoo have a Beta version of there new Maps application. It’s all built in flash which you have to commend them on. Although I do think they may be a little late, hasn’t it all been done before??

Is it me or do maps seem to have become the new ‘Killa App’ of the web? I mean how many maps do we need, its like the evolution of the web seems to have been something along the line of this…

Newsgroups
Email
Websites
Web news groups
Web email
Mobile email (sms?)
Mobile Websites
Web based Maps
Maps in cars (GPS)
Maps on Phones (GPS)
Web Maps with javaScript (AJAX?? c’mon Call a spade a spade guys :p)
Web Map with Flash

What next?? Can I get Video walkthroughs on my phone, of course this would be live and broadcast to google video..

IMHO

Fire Fox 1.5 RC 1 Announced

The Release Candidate of the Fire Fox Browser has been announced over at Mozilla.Org. It has a host of new features, allot of them aimed at improved accessibility.

Here is a spoiler list of the new features from the site.

  • Automated update to streamline product upgrades. Notification of an update is more prominent, and updates to Firefox may now be half a megabyte or smaller. Updating extensions has also improved.
  • Faster browser navigation with improvements to back and forward button performance.
  • Drag and drop reordering for browser tabs.
  • Improvements to popup blocking.
  • Clear Private Data feature provides an easy way to quickly remove personal data through a menu item or keyboard shortcut.
  • Answers.com is added to the search engine list.
  • Improvements to product usability including descriptive error pages, redesigned options menu, RSS discovery, and “Safe Mode” experience.
  • Better accessibility including support for DHTML accessibility and assistive technologies such as the Window-Eyes 5.5 beta screen reader for Microsoft Windows. Screen readers read aloud all available information in applications and documents or show the information on a Braille display, enabling blind and visually impaired users to use equivalent software functionality as their sighted peers.
  • Report a broken Web site wizard to report Web sites that are not working in Firefox.
  • Better support for Mac OS X (10.2 and greater) including profile migration from Safari and Mac Internet Explorer.
  • New support for Web Standards including SVG, CSS 2 and CSS 3, and JavaScript 1.6.
  • Many security enhancements.
  • List of notable bug fixes since Firefox 1.5 Beta 2

AS3.0 Snippets

This Snippet allows you to embed fonts into a Flash AS3.0 Package. The original code was posted here .

[as]package
{

import flash.util.describeType;
import flash.display.MovieClip;
import flash.display.TextField;
import flash.text.TextFormat;
import flash.text.AntiAliasType;

public class Test extends MovieClip
{

// be sure this is pointing to a ttf font in your hardrive
[Embed(source=”C:\WINDOWS\Fonts\somefont.ttf”, fontFamily=”foo”)]
public var bar:String;

public function Test()
{

var format:TextFormat= new TextFormat();
format.font= “foo”;
format.color= 0xFFFFFF;
format.size= 130;

var label:TextField= new TextField();
label.embedFonts= true;
label.autoSize= TextFieldAutoSize.LEFT;
label.antiAliasType= AntiAliasType.ADVANCED;
label.defaultTextFormat= format;
label.text= “Hello World!”;
addChild(label);
}
}
}[/as]

Flash 8 Development

The Fist thing was to transfer my early light site (bittube.com) into Flash 8. The site was originally produced using 90% code with a few classes and obviously the Bitmaps.
Using the new Bitmap capabilities in Flash 8 and some of the filters i was able to drop the processing requirements of the site and also the file size. Not to mention that now the whole Shebang is Code generated, with the exception of the loaded bitmaps of course.

bittube.com Flash 8 version

The next job was to provide a photo gallery that would show the loaded background images from the site in a more user friendly format, (thanks to Sean for the prompt). Again the whole lot is Code generated, so nice and small on the file size and driven by XML, so easy to update.

Flash 8 Photo Gallery

Once I have tidied up the source i will post the classes.