All posts by Dave

Dave Williamson is a freelance developer with 10 years of industry experience in the production and deployment of RIA's and rich media website development. His work has been focused on the production and integration of Flash and Flash Platform based technologies since 1997, with a special interest in localisation and multilingual content presentation. Dave is also a frustrated surfer based in London UK and wants to live in Costa Rica. Pura Vida.

BitTube Goes Over the Air

Thats right, its all very last minute but I will be presenting a session at the upcoming Over the Air event in London this week.

My session is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Flash Video Nokia Masterclass – Dave Williamson (Adobe)Learn how to create live video applications with the most popular online video format on Nokia devices.

Over the Air is all sold out now, but you can find all the information about the event over at the Over the Air Blog

I look forward to catching up with you if you are there.

Nokia N95 Firmware Update to 21.0.016 and adds FlashLite 3 Support

As many people will have seen yesterday Nokia release a fairly major update to the N95 firmware. One of the major bonuses for flash developers is the inclusion of FlashLite 3 as standard onto the device, both as a standalone player and within the browser. For those using detection scripts the player version reported in the browser is:

PlayerVersion: FL 8,1,55,0

You can see a FlashLite version test movie here..

Related to this I found myself in the situation where the Nokia Software Updater would not allow me to install the new firm ware, my t-mobile branded phone was just such a device. A quick search and it seems that devices on certain service providers are locked from the update. However there are always round such restrictions. Below is how to modify your Nokia N95 product code so that it is unlocked for applying new firmware updates.

WARNING THIS PROCESS MAY BRICK YOUR PHONE, VOID YOUR WARRANTY AND ANY NUMBER OF OTHER TERRIBLE THINGS. DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ARE IN ANYWAY UNSURE OF THE CONSEQUENCES. I ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY NASTY THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO YOU, YOUR DEVICE OR ANY ACTION YOUR SERVICE PROVIDER TAKES AFTER FOLLOWING THESE LINKS AND INSTRUCTIONS

That said, I only had one minor hiccup in the whole process, and it seems I am not the only one to have experienced it. I for got to mention that to Mike on MSN 😀

Right with that out the way, on to the fun.

1. First off BACK UP YOUR DEVICE! make sure you have a back up of the memory card and also the device memory.
2. In order to install the new 21.0.016 firmware you will also want to make sure you have the following software.

* Download the latest version of Nokia PC Suite.
* Download the Nemesis Service Suite.

3. Next read this post, it provides a list of the available product codes for the N95.
4. Finally you should make sure you read this post, it covers how to update the product code on the N95.

As I began to progress through the steps outlined on changing the product code of my Nokia N95 mobile phone there were a couple of items where I was left to ‘take a leap of faith’.

  1. When installing Nemesis Service Suite I left the device connection as the default virtual USB device. And that seemed to be the right thing to do.
  2. When deciding on a new product code for the device I chose the one for EURO1 Plum, this appears to have worked fine for my location and device. I have a silver/grey Nokia N95 and am based in the UK.

Once the product code was updated on the mobile phone the Nokia Software Updater worked fine to allow me to upgrade to the latest 21.0.016 firmware.

Curse my slow blogging skills, beat to the post. 😀

Adobe CEO: We’re bringing Flash to the iPhone!

This just popped into my news reader from ZDNet.

Well, you really believe that Flash is synonymous with the internet and frankly, anybody who wants to browse the web and experience the web’s glory really needs Flash support. We were very excited about the announcement from Windows Mobile, adoption of Flash on their devices and the fact that we’ve shipped 0.5 billion devices now, non-PC devices. So we are also committed to bringing the Flash experience to the iPhone and we will work with Apple. We’ve evaluated the SDK, we can now start to develop the Flash player ourselves and we think it benefits our joint customers. So we want to work with Apple to bring that capability to the device.

If the mountain wont move to you..

Go Adobe!

Read the full ZDnet article here
Read the SeekingAlpha transcript here

Sneak Peak of WordPress 2.5 available for download

Anyone looking in the WordPress dashboard today will see the news that there is a sneak peak of the WordPress 2.5 Release Candidate 1 availible. From the dashboard comments this new version of WordPress will feature.

A customizable dashboard, multi-file upload, built-in galleries, one-click plugin upgrades, tag management, built-in Gravatars, full text feeds, and faster load times

If you are interested in giving the release candidate a test run, probably in a test environment I would think at this stage, You can download WordPress 2.5 here.

Microsoft has licensed Flash Lite 3 and Reader LE for future Windows Mobile based devices

More exciting news on the future of FlashLite 3 proliferation. Bill Perry has a great explanation of how the news that Microsoft has licensed Flash Lite 3 and Reader LE for future Windows Mobile based devices will affect FlashLite 3 content developers.

Read the Full Press Release here

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.4 and Camera Raw 4.4 updates

[[** UPDATE **]]
Currently the Lightroom 1.4 update has been recalled after bugs were discovered all links to the Lightroom 1.4 update are redirected to the older 1.31 update for now. As per the comments from Adobe, you should avoid installing the Lightroom 1.4 update until a newer 1.41 update is availible that fixes these bugs Thanks for bringing this to my attention in the comments.
[[** UPDATE **]]

The Lightroom team have posted an announcement that Lightroom and Camera Raw have both been updated. According to the post the update wont filter through the Adobe Update system until next week, so if you want to get the update early you can find them on the adobe site and download them manually.

download Lightroom 1.4 Update for Macintosh
download Lightroom 1.4 Update for Windows
download Camera Raw 4.4 Update for Macintosh
download Camera Raw 4.4 Update for Windows

The full post detailing the changes in the updates to Lightroom and Camera Raw are here

How to create a portable, cross platform encrypted drive using TrueCrypt

I posted a few days ago regarding the release of the new Macintosh OS X version of TrueCrypt. For those that don’t know, TrueCrypt is a free, open source application that enables you to create an encrypted files that, using the TrueCrypt application, can be mounted as a drive on a host machine. The exciting thing is that this new version of TrueCrypt makes it possible to create a cross platform encrypted volumes! This post is a step by step instruction on how to create a portable, cross platform, encrypted volume that will allow you to carry your data securely and access it on any Windows, Mac and I assume Linux based computers.

Before we get into the main instruction, I want to highlight some points.

  1. [[** UPDATE **]]
    See this comment Sorry I was wrong, thank you for clearing this up
    [[** UPDATE **]]
    Currently the Mac version of TrueCrypt does NOT support hidden volumes, so if you need data to be available on Windows, Mac and Linux, you will have to forgo hidden encrypted volume functionality for the time being. Remember hidden TrueCrypt volumes you have previously created will NOT work on Macintosh computers.
  2. Currently the Mac version of TrueCrypt only seems to support the FAT file system. This is actually pretty logical . There is no native support for NTFS on Macintosh computers yet. If you already have a Windows based NTFS formatted encrypted volume, you may want to set up a new encrypted volume and format it to FAT so that you can mount the volume on multiple operating systems.
  3. Remember you will need to download the latest version of TrueCrypt

Below the fold is the full step by step instruction on how to create a free, portable, cross platform encrypted drive using TrueCrypt. The encrypted volume you create should allow you to move a secure encrypted file across windows, macintosh and linux computers. As long as you have the TrueCrypt application with you on something like a USB drive or TrueCrypt is pre-installed on your target computer you should be able to mount your encrypted file as a standard drive.

So off we go!!

Continue reading How to create a portable, cross platform encrypted drive using TrueCrypt

Free, Portable, Cross Platform Encryption Solution with TrueCrypt 5

True Crypt 5a was released on a few weeks ago on February the 12th, one of the major new features is the release of a Mac OS X version of this free encryption application. A quick test confirms that creating a TrueCrypt 5 encrypted volume as a FAT32 formated volume using the new OS X 10.5 Leopard release of produces an encrypted file that can be mounted and used on a Windows XP machine that also has the new version of true crypt installed or availible.

Personally I find this new version wonderful. My previous cross platform encryption solution was to use bcrypt a command line application availible for both Windows and Mac OS X, however this was really only useful for file encryption. Alternatively I could use an encrypted drive image in OS X, But then this was no use if i needed the files on my Windows machine.

True crypt 5 allows a user to set up an encrypted volume that can be mounted as a drive, in the same way as an OS X drive image, only now of course its cross platform, and if you run truecrypt in traveler mode, its portable too! Bonus!

In addition if you happen to have a Linux box, or maybe one of the shiny new Nokia Internet Tablets you ‘should’ also be able to run TrueCrypt 5 on those as well, TrueCrypt has supported Linux for a while I believe.

You can Download TrueCrypt here.

Google Gears for mobile & Nokia Silverlight Support

First up is the announcement yesterday from Google thats Google Gears is making a move onto Mobile devices.

Initially available for Internet Explorer Mobile on Windows Mobile 5 and 6 devices, mobile web app developers have already started integrating Gears for mobile into their online services.

also

if you’re not a Windows Mobile user, stay tuned — we’re working to roll out Google Gears for other platforms with capable web browsers, including Android.

you can find out more at the Google Gears on Mobile Devices developer site.

Separately, today came news from Nokia that they are to add support for Silverlight on S60 and Series 40 devices on Symbian OS and Nokia Internet tablets.

This is an important relationship on so many levels. Working with Nokia means we are easily able to reach a huge number of mobile users, including customers of all S60 licensees. This is a significant step in gaining broad acceptance for Silverlight and ensuring it is platform agnostic. This is critical since we want to make sure developers and designers don’t have to constantly recreate the wheel and build different versions of applications and services for multiple operating systems, browsers and platforms

said S. Somasegar, Senior Vice President of Microsoft’s Developer Division.

Exciting times ahead 😀

credit where its due:

New Fring Version 3.3, Now with Flash Presence Widget.

This evening I received an email from the mobile change service Fring announcing the new version is availible. As well as great new file swapping, Yahoo and AIM support and a host of other improvements, there was news of a new Flash based widget for websites that would allow people to contact you from your website while you are on the move with the Fring Mobile Client.

Get more from your handset with fring’s new flash fringME! widget and stay connected with your internet communities while on the go! With the fringME! widget placed on your website or blog (i.e. myspace page), your web visitors can fring you at anytime, enabling you to stay connected even when you’re away from your PC.

With fringME!, your online buddies will now be able to:

  • chat with you from fringME! on the web direct to fring on your mobile – even if they don’t have fring
  • see where you are. You can choose for fringME! to show your location via Google Maps using your GPS-enabled phone
  • view your online presence status – and see if you’re online, offline or in a call

Download the new Fring version 3.3 for mobile chat

Creating a scrolling text component in Adobe FlashLite 1.1

Recently I have been heavily involved in an on going FlashLite 1.1 based project. Some thing I know my development peers have been extremely jealous of as they bang their heads against the hellish development processes of Flex, Air, ActionScript 3 and Flash 9, not!

One of the most enjoyable features of FlashLite 1.1 is its (lack of) ability to measure the height, width or any metric of text once it is displayed on the screen of your shiny new Nokia N95. This makes efficient text scrolling a particular joy to produce. To this end I have produced a simple example of a fairly flexible scrolling text component for FlashLite 1.1.

Below is a comprehensive (hopefully) tutorial describing how to create such a component.

Continue reading Creating a scrolling text component in Adobe FlashLite 1.1

Nokia N830 WiMAX Tablet Leaked

Another week and another Nokia device makes its way onto the information super highway, this time courtesy of a BestBuy sales flyer. The rumor mill has begun speculating whether the black internet tablet pictured is the new Nokia N830 the WiMax equipped version of the N810 internet tablet. The N810 you will recall is the Linux based internet tablet that comes pre-installed with the Adobe® Flash® 9 player to support video and audio streaming, among other things :D, you can see the specs of the N810 here.

Credit where its due:
Into Mobile
Internet Tablet Talk
Tablet Blog

Flash Lite 3 Update

I have still getting people sending me the IMEI numbers asking me to send them the Adobe FlashLite 3 player. For those that missed the announcement FlashLite 3 is freely availible as a Developer Edition on Symbian based mobile devices. The release notes on the Adobe Labs site explain that the player has only been tested on the Nokia N95.

So why you waiting? download FlashLite 3 for N95 Already 😀

I hope that clears up the confusion.

Nokia N96 Specifications leaked by German Webmasters

Last week it looks like the German webmasters of Nokia’s website managed to post the specifications for their latest update in the N series line of phones, the N96. This week I had the chance to lay my hands on the 8gig edition of the N95 and was impressed enough that it was going to be my new device. I think I may wait a little now 😀 .

The specs say the N96 will ship with FlashLite 3 built into the browser.

Unlike the 8 gig N95 you also get your microSD memory card expansion back and 16 Gig of internal memory and DVB-H video support as well!

The full specs of the leaked device and even a photo can be found over on the NokiaBlog

Using Compact Data Formats in FlashLite 1.1

Recently I have been involved in some FlashLite 1.1 development that requires a certain level of online data interaction. With memory being at a premium on Mobile devices I have been spending many a spare moment looking at efficient data transfer methods.

Stepping back into FlashLite 1.1 (flash 4/5) scripting has been a nostalgic experience. The halcyon days of ActionScript 0/1 were where I broke my teeth, so to speak, on flash. It has been an eye opener also to return to using Perl as well in order to format data efficiently for consumption in my simple FlashLite 1.1 applications.

In these days of XML, SOAP, SQL, and huge component frameworks, it has been nice to go back the the “demo days” of flash and try and eak every byte out of my data format. Remember of course, no XML or SWX support in FlashLite 1.1.

So what have i been playing with? How about a Live London Tube Status FlashLite 1.1 application?

Continue reading Using Compact Data Formats in FlashLite 1.1

eBook Review of Mobile Web Design by Cameron Moll

After stumbling upon Cameron Moll’s Blog and site, which is pretty much focused on mobile web design and development, I downloaded his eBook, “Mobile Web Design“. Now that I have finished reading the book I thought I would provide a review. Book reviewing is not something that I have done before, but I hope the review shows that Cameron’s work certainly warrants it.

Continue reading eBook Review of Mobile Web Design by Cameron Moll

9 reasons the iPhone Sucks!

Macca has posted a nice concise list of reasons the iPhone sucks. Personally I don’t have one of the devices, I don’t see the need when I can get an iPod Touch to do development testing on, its cheaper, and I wont be tied in for 18 months. At any rate here are my reasons for not buying “This years must have gadget”.

  1. 2 mega pixel camera with no video. Nokia N95 has a 5 mega pixel camera and full screen video recording and tv out playback. Result.
  2. No 3g internet connection. Nokia N95 once again comes up trumps in this department with 3G and HSDP access. Result.
  3. No decent Data package, 18 month contract. N95 on T-mobile with web & walk max. 10 gb data voip and 3g. Result

Macca’s list is longer. See 9 reasons iPhone Sucks.

Result.

Flash on the Beach 07 Presentation Files

FOTB 07. What can I say. Incredible. First off let me say a very big thank you to John Davey. John did a great job, I can only guess the amount of organization involved in Flash on the beach, the speaker list and session line up were brilliant, and the shwag was top draw, both for attendees and speakers. It was a pleasure and an honor to have the chance to be involved in a presenting capacity. Thank you for inviting me John.

At the event I presented a session that discussed the issues of Localisation, and to a lesser extent my new love, Mobilisation. This was my first time presenting at a larger event like this. Certainly I was nervous, and I am sure that there were tell tale cracks in my voice a few times as I went through my slides. As I got in to the flow of the presentation I think I settled in a little.

I did have a slight issue with timing, which meant I rushed the last few slides, unfortunately, as a result I had to drop one of the examples. It also meant that I missed the opportunity to ask questions of the people that attended if they had any. So my apologies there.

Any way below is the link to my speakers notes, and also the examples from my session on Localisation.

Flash on the Beach 07 Localisation Presentation Files

On a related note I have uploaded to Flickr a few of the images my little lomo camera captured of the event. You can see them over on my Flickr stream

Apple Introduces the iPhone Dev Center

This morning I received an email from Apple letting me know I could now log into the iPhone Dev Center

The iPhone Dev Center will provide quote.

  • iPhone Reference Library
    Access documentation, guides, and release notes on developing web applications and content for iPhone.
  • Web Development Guidelines
    Get the latest development techniques on mobile browser-based user experience design and development.
  • Sample Code
    Learn techniques for interactive and standards-based design on iPhone
  • iPhone Tech Talk Videos
    Hear from iPhone experts on interface design and processes in optimizing web applications and content.
  • Safari Compatibility
    Download Safari 3 Public Beta and design your web application to create the optimal iPhone user experience
  • Web App Submission
    Once your app is ready, submit it for possible listing in the Apple web apps library.

Find out more at the iPhone Dev Center.

FlashLite Helper Classes for Download. Pt 2. NetworkBroadcaster

Following on from the simple BatteryBroadcaster class posted last week I have put together a second helper class for FlashLite, again built in ActionScript 2, so it should work for any FlashLite 2 or FlashLite 3 project. The NetworkBroadcaster class centralises all network and signal related events, and broadcasts any changes to listeners on 2 separate intervals. One for general signal levels, the other for “other” network status events, for example changes in network generation support.
Continue reading FlashLite Helper Classes for Download. Pt 2. NetworkBroadcaster

British Airways Ban Surfboards

I have just read over at magicseaweed.com that as of November 6th this year British airways have decided they will no longer carry certain sporting equipment for their passengers.

Most worrying for my self, and I imagine a number of friends will be the inclusion of surf boards on the list of banned equipment.

Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Due to the large size and handling complexities, some sporting equipment cannot be accommodated through the airport baggage system or within the aircraft hold. Therefore we no longer accept the following equipment at check-in as part of your sporting equipment allowance.

  • hang gliders
  • windsurfing boards and sails
  • surfboards
  • kayaks or canoes
  • pole vaults
  • javelins

Any surfer will tell you carrying boards is a difficult and worrying process at best. The wait at any airport collection waiting to see if your pride and joy made the journey in one piece is never a nice one. However, surfing in great waves on your own equipment is the best feeling you will have.

The flip side is that if you decide to buy boards at your destination to use, you may well get so attached to them you want to bring them back, something I have done myself.

It is worrying to think that if other airlines were to follow British Airways lead then neither of these choices would be an option. In some cases that may mean waves just are not available. Without a way to transport equipment they might simply be off limits.

If you want to voice your concerns over this, head on over to the British Airways contact form and let them know.

Link to British Airways Contact Form

via: magicseaweed.com and British Airways Information

The Adobe sponsored London Poker Tournament, registration open!

Sean McSharry contacted me last night to let me know about this event that he has organised with Adobe. I am only to pleased to pass the information on to the rest of you :D.

The Adobe sponsored London Poker Tournament is now open for registration(www.pokercoder.com). The event is completely FREE and will take place on the 1st November at 7pm at the Grosvenor Victoria casino in Warren Street.

Adobe are providing the food, drink and prizes. This event is open only to those who use Adobe products professionally and places are strictly limited, so register asap.

Don’t worry if you’ve never played before as the casino are laying on training for 20-30 minutes from the dealers at your table. Don’t worry, there will be lots of beginners.

For those of you who already play and want to improve your game, Andy Hood will be running a some slightly more advanced training during the same training time and you can ask him for advise and tips.

Check out the www.pokercoder.com site. A little more information can be found at Sean Mcsharry’s site www.flashcoder.net but just for reference a couple of quick reminders:

  1. The event is free but you must be a professional user of Adobe software
  2. Adobe are providing the drink, food and prizes
  3. There will be training for all the beginners attending (don’t worry, you won’t be alone)
  4. Places are strictly limited so register asap
  5. 7pm – the event starts promptly with introductions and explanations and an opportunity to ask any questions
  6. 7:30pm – You will take your seats and get 20-30 minutes training with either the dealers or from Andy Hood, depending on your experience
  7. 8pm – let the game commence and may the best man/woman win.

If you have any further questions, contact the organiser at.

sean at flashcoder dot net .

FlashLite 2 Helper Classes for Download. Pt 1. BatteryBroadcaster

I have been sorting through some of my old code, commenting up some bits and generally refreshing the grey matter on some of the things I have been working on. I thought I would put some of the helper classes I use out into the wild. First up is a simple class that I used for monitoring battery status of mobile phones or other mobile devices in FlashLite 2, or FlashLite 3, I would think (not tested yet) .

Flash Lite Battery Broadcaster

Continue reading FlashLite 2 Helper Classes for Download. Pt 1. BatteryBroadcaster