Category Archives: BitTube Thoughts

General category for random Thoughts and Words from the Blog Author Hosting Goes Green, Carbon Neutral in Fact

While checking some details of my hosting package with I noticed that they are now a Carbon Neutral Hosting Provider, as a result this site is also now Carbon Neutral.

We’re so green! Carbon neutral, to be exact!

And YOU host with us! So YOU’RE green too! Q.E.D.

Green Web Hosting! This site hosted by DreamHost.

While this may not be ground breaking for some people (sorry macca your a hippy too now mate :D). Being Carbon Neutral is something I am striving for, and have been for some time. Even before finally getting round to watching An Inconvenient Truth recently.

The fact that I didn’t even have to do anything to take another step closer to the goal of Carbon Neutrality is fantastic. I have had no problems at all recommending DreamHost as a hosting provider in the past, this will certainly strengthen my support for them.

Thoughts on SWX, Flash and Hacking Code

Let me state first off that I haven’t yet had a chance to play with SWX yet. However I was at LFPUG when Aral gave his talk and announced his ‘new born baby’, and I have to say I sat with a broad smile and a warm feeling inside as Aral presented and finally demonstrated SWX. You see it really did seem to hark back to a more innocent by gone era from of flash. Back to when people saw a perceived problem and attacked it with the tools and techniques they had to hand.

Aral himself voiced his concern over the loss of ‘go at it’ attitude within flash development as it has evolved. In part due to the ‘rule of the rod’ attitude of insisting on Frameworks, Patterns, and Object Oriented development practices. It was truly refreshing to see a developer express sheer glee at returning to a hex editor to decipher the .SWF format with one single goal in mind.

Reading some of the responses to this project has also bought a smile to my face. This time not for particularly good reasons. Its plain to see there seems to be some issue with the ‘raw’ approach that Aral has taken to accomplish his goal. Some quotes that stick out for me revolve around the ‘Hacky’ nature of the solution Aral has produced. The use of onEnterFrame as a polling device, or the use of loadMovie as a transfer system. But why should this be a problem? Aren’t they there to be used?

The current ActionScript 2 standard is where it is now as a result of just such work arounds and hacks. Thank you very much. Dig deep enough into some of the ActionScript 2 classes and you will find not only hacks like this, but in some cases, what you might consider worse ones. In mx.Transitions package for example we find the OnEnterFrameBeacon a class that not only makes use of onEnterFrame, but also a MovieClip that is created to a ‘Magic Number’ based depth? There are I am sure any number of other examples.

Flash is where it is today to any number of early flash developers working with very limited action script and coming up with work arounds and hacks to get it to accomplish the myriads of solutions we are now fortunate enough to be able to develop now. Remember ‘jump movies’ or __proto__ or storing sine tables to do 3d? Before PaperVision. No amount of Java development sensibility is going to change that to quickly.

Even with all this wonderful ActionScript 2 Object Oriented (?) loveliness, developers every day are finding they have to go back to the oldskool to get there applications to work. Flash hacks still have a huge level of relevance today, for the simple reason people are still finding things they want to do in flash that they cant do any other way. Flash Lite, Accessibility and Localization are some pretty good starters that still require copious amounts of hacking at times.

Making More Partition Space for Windows In Boot Camp

I noticed this afternoon that the space I had alloted on my MacBook Pro for my Windows XP Boot Camp partition my not be large enough as time goes on. As a reslt I began looking at methods for Non Destructive Resizing of the partition, that doesn’t exist. Even in the recently release Boot Camp 1.2 update. So instead i began looking at alternative ways to free up some more space for Windows to do what ever it is Windows does with all that disk space. The following are my top links for information on freeing up disk space on Windows.

  1. How-to: Quickly Reduce Windows Installation Size
  2. Install ad Use LitePC ‘s XPLite

Thats pretty much it.

The result after carefully following the first links instructions followed by some tinkering with XPLite…. And extra 2Gigs of space in my Windows Boot Camp Partition. Result.

The book they dont want you to read?

Click here.

The location marked is not a desert or some otherworldly place as you might imagine. Its Ecuador on the edges of the Amazon. Apparently there is a lot of Oil in the Amazon. Ecuador is one of the locations mentioned in the book I am reading at the moment.

I had been meaning to pick up a book I had heard about recently. A few nights ago I finally got round to picking up a copy. I am only a little way in and already I fear it will leave me depressed at the prospect of finishing it. If even 1% of the information is true then the outlook for us all is rather bleak.

The book is Confessions Of An Economic Hitman.

While burning time before seeing “the Last King of Scotland”, a fantastically acted film, even if the subject was rather dark and horrific, I entered the book shop and figured I would ask the assistant to help me track the book down.

Helpfully he quickly went about entering the title into the computer.
“We don’t have that on our inventory, sorry”.
“Could you try just Hitman”? I offered.
“nope sorry, we don’t seem to have it, are you sure thats the title”?
I reiterated that I was sure and decided to meander the shelves ‘just to look see’. Sure enough 3 copies sat in the political section. Odd.

As I mentioned at the start, the book is really quite worrying. I imagine in the same way the film An Inconvenient Truth is (I haven’t seen it yet),certainly thought and conversation provoking like Loose Change.

I am not usually prone to believing in conspiracy, fact or theory, however on occasions information is presented that really leaves you only the choice to investigate a little yourself. Hence the map from Google.

Video iPods infected with Virus

I have just been browsing some Mac sites looking out for Product releases that may be coming up and stumbled on this gem. Video iPods were shipped infected with the (incorrectly named) RavMonE.exe virus/Spyware.

Obviously Apple were keen to highlight this would only affect windows iPod users. In there statement.

“We are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses”

oh they did also say

“and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it”

read the full info here.

Read about the virus here.

Apparently less than 1% of iPods were infected, even so that sounds like many millions of iPods to me.

There are so may conspiratorial ideas that could evolve around the idea of Apple ‘finding’ spyware on one of its portable devices, and that is happens to only affect windows users…..

Save the world through Optimization.

This morning I stumbled onto this link via the WordPress news site. I followed the post through to digg and found some interesting comments on Optimization which I hadn’t considered. As we continue to move towards a more prolific Mobile Web optimization becomes ever more important. Properly Optimized content saves money. It saves your clients money serving it up, as mentioned in the digg Comments. In addition because mobile web users’ often pay per kB that they download, optimizing your web development you save your users cash.

On an extended note it could be argued that every 1k you shave off your content is 2k less processing (1k on the server, 1k on the client), which is 2k less processing power and power consumption required on serving your content. We all know that saving energy means less impact on the environment and Green House Gases, which means global warming is slowed, and us humans can live on earth longer.

In summary, Optimize, you save the world when you do!

Do you use WordPress or MovableType?

Since MoveableType been made freely availible for personal use I thought I would try and find out what peoples feelings are on MovableType. Currently I am using WordPress, which operates absolutely fine, but, and I am sure I am not alone here. I like to play with new toys :D.

So if you are a MovableType user and you have any views on it please let me know. Even better if you have experience using WordPress and MovableType then which did you prefer, and why. What are the advantages, or disadvantages of each?

In the mean time, if the site goes down, you will know why 😀

OT Joke: Situational Awareness Scenario

You are driving in a car at a constant speed.

On your left side is a valley.
On your right side is a fire engine travelling at the same speed as you.

In front of you is a galloping pig which is the same size as your car and you cannot overtake it.
Behind you is a helicopter flying at ground level.

Both the giant pig and the helicopter are also travelling at the same speed as you.

What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?

Continue reading OT Joke: Situational Awareness Scenario

OT: A joke for friday

The following is an ‘actual’ question given on a University of Liverpool chemistry final exam.
The answer by one student was so “profound” that the professor shared it with colleagues via the Internet,.

Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s law that gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

Continue reading OT: A joke for friday

BitTube Has Moved!

This week my domain referral and Hosting have been updated, and barring the lack of ASP support on my new hosting provider everything seems to have gone very well. Initially I was caught on the hop as the transfer occurred faster than I expected, but last night I simply updated the redirects and I am all back in business.

Big thanks to DreamHost for the new home, and also to RedAppleHosting for the old home. The reason for the move was purely a want for some Ruby on Rails support, which is something I have wanted to look at for some time.

At the moment link for my Flash 8 image gallery will only show a mixed bunch of images rather than the sets. I need to learn a little PHP to find out how I do the equivalent of an ASP

< % Response.Write(Request.QueryString("xD")) %>

So if anyone has the answer, feel free to post a comment 😀

Its great but it’s not Web 2.0

A friend has just sent me a link to a sight. It’s unique in its simplicity. It offers its visitors the ability to freely express anything on there mind in a social networking environment. There is no fancy interface, yet it is entertaining, insightful and very very funny (in a childish school boy kind of way).

See for your self.



404 :D

It’s been some months now since the Adobe Macromedia merger. Yet every morning it brings a smile to my face that there is still a little bit of the old company around. Not just the domain itself, but also the fact that it seems to have survived the Adobe re-branding broom. Let’s hear it for the mxna, because I am sure it will be gone all too soon.


Adobe Live at Olympia

Last night I attended the Adobe Live at Olympia last night, there was a great deal of discussion aligned with the title of the event ‘The future of the Internet as an Applications Platform’. Conversations and Ideas flowed as freely as the free beer that was kindly provided. There was some focus on the buzzwords of AJAX, FLEX, DRM, the openness of the open source data and syndication, synchronised web and of course Web 2.0

I walked away wondering if the old adage that content is king may be lost to delivery method is king. There are undoubtedly some great ideas and opinions of where the future of internet applications is going to take us. Will we ever get rid of the browser?

But more than anything I was left feeling……..



OT: Shameless Plug — Simon George’s new Documentaries

If you have any interest in the film Goodfellas or are maybe even a Movie Buff that is hungry for more pub facts about the God Father. Then a surfing buddy of mine, Mr Simon George, has just finished work on 2 documentaries that will be shown as part of Channel 4’s ‘Mob Week’ this week in the UK.

The Real Goodfella‘ is on Monday 24th April @ 11.05pm, Channel 4

The Real Goodfella‘ is an unflinching portrait of Henry Hill, the real life inspiration for Martin Scorsese’s ‘Goodfellas’. Henry spent 25 years of his life in the Mafia and the last 25 years running for his life after betraying his Mafia friends.

The Godfather and the Mob‘, is on Tuesday 25th April @ 11.05pm, Channel 4

The Godfather and the Mob‘ is the untold story of the real life Mafia’s involvement in the making of Coppola’s ‘The Godfather’. After initially opposing the film and launching a campaign of violence and intimidation against Paramount Pictures, the Mafia embraced the film and even demanded starring roles.

I had the pleasure to grab coffee with Simon in the week and he provided a classic quote.

‘Yeah, the last 6 months have been really intense. Its really not as Rock n Roll as its sounds hanging out in bars all night in deepest Nebraska with Mafiosos’

Of course not Simon. Course not.

The Real Goodfella produced and directed by Simon George

The Godfather and the Mob produced and directed by Simon George

Windows Live Mail Beta Invites

Today I was the proud recipient of an invite to the Windows Live Mail ‘Beta’. The email described the features of the new Hotmail application and very good it sounds too. Although one thought came to mind as i read, re-read and then scoured the source code.

As a ‘beta’ tester i have already become concerned as to the quality of the application. You see the big ‘join now’ ‘link’ was not live.

As yet i am unsure if this is a sneaky way by Microsoft to weed out all the FireFox users before they get to the application, or if the content stripping of Hotmail got a bit over zealous.

But it occurred to me, if you are going to start a beta program. You might want to test the invites work :p

No Invite

Patenting Flash Production

Following these posts elsewhere in the blogosphere.

avrians place
Information Week

It would appear that some of the earliest flash and generator work myself and some of my colleges were involved in back in the earliest days of flash has broken one of the most ludicrous patent awards I have heard of.

Neil Balthaser has been awarded a Patent relating to the online production of RIA�s using RIA�s over a remote connection.

I find this incredible given the number of flash applications that were around at that time that must have existed to be listed as prior art that would have shown quite obviously that there was not a single original idea, process or product related to the Balthather FX/ProFX site.

In the UK there is the MoonFruit platform for a start that was live before the Pro FX site for a start, not least the fact that Macromedias own Generator product offered exactly the engine of such automated production online.

So here for your delectation is �Casper� an application born in 1998/1999 some time originally utilising flash 3/4 and generator and then more recently updated through flash 5 and Flash MX. In the future I fully intend to bring the code base kicking and screaming into Flash AS2/3 and re-introduce the capabilities to �export� or ‘produce’ rich media presentations from it.

For those of you who where also around producing this form of �RIA� back in the day, I highly recommend you dig out and dust off your old FLA�s and report those productions over at as prior art.

Where this patent leaves future development of similar concepts in relation to Flex, server based MTasc/swfMill Ajax or any other form and or mixture of technology(ies) you can think of remains to be seen.

Boy am I cross.