Cool Flash site for a cool gadget

The new LeapFrog Fly Pentop computer is one cool gadget, which is targeted for teens, but will probably appeal to gadget geeks.

The site is done in Flash and has some interesting use of the medium, like transferring the pen to the user, let the user enter date and time and the character in the video uses it, and simulate the actual pen usage…etc.


Things go wrong at the right time

You know how it goes, everything is working fine before the presentation, and things start to fall apart during the show…

Sho Kuwamoto of Macromedia was demonstrating how easy it is to build an application in Flex Builder 2 yesterday at MAX, and things started to fall apart, but ended up fine.

Something similar happened to me recently at the Flash in TO gathering, when I was showing Flash Lite mobile development. By the way, I started using Flash 8 many months ago, it has never crashed on me, not even the early alphas.

At the gathering before my presentation, I set up all the applications, files and folders – everything’s ready to go. When it was my turn, I plugged my laptop into the projector and it detected a resolution change, my desktop was resized automatically, and I began the presentation.

When I brought Flash 8 to the front, because of the workspace was originally set for 1920×1200 and it’s now much smaller, things needed to be adjusted within the IDE. To my surprise, dragging the vertical divider bar did nothing, quitting the application did nothing – Flash simply stopped responding. So I forced quit the application, restarted it – same thing. Tried a third time, no luck. Someone suggested it was time for a reboot, that solved the mysterious crash, and the presentation went along fine.

Afterwards, I checked my graphics driver and other possible culprits, and found nothing was out of the ordinary; they were all the latest versions. It has something to do with leaving Flash running in the background, plugging the laptop into the projector, and (automatically) switching the screen resolution. Or it could be because I normally connect to an LCD screen through the DVI port, but the projector uses the analog VGA port…

This shows that things will go wrong at the time that you definitely don’t want it to happen. But that’s life, next time I’ll remember not to leave applications running while plugging the laptop into the projector.


ActionScript 3.0 & the Rebel Alliance

My journey along the prototype chain as a Rebel Alliance leader back in the Flash 5/MX days, using cool hacking techniques with my friend __proto__, made things like associating a movieclip with a class possible back then.

It’s been a long time since those hacks were needed – now with ActionScript 3.0, I have mixed feelings seeing my old friend being removed.

On one hand, I haven’t done anything with this friend for years; on the other hand, it’s been a great adventure exploring the deep dark secrets along the chain – an impossible task without this trusted friend.

Of course, these are all silly memories from an old guy who still enjoys adventures. But this time, it’s about other more exciting things, like: getting things done quicker without reinventing the wheel, using GUI for building applications (so almost anyone can do it, haha), and getting results fast. What has the world come to… 8-P

So, the Flex 2 product line is now in alpha, with Flex Framework 2, Flex Builder 2, Flash Player 8.5, ActionScript 3.0, among others new experiments that were just announced by Macromedia.

This journey is getting interesting again, even though we barely just started with Flash 8 and all its new cool features.

Oh, one more thing… Flex Builder 2 is available to everyone today for testing, see you later Sparkle… 😎


Good old Director book still holding up

It’s funny to see Darrel Plant‘s book – Shockwave! (published in 1996, which I contributed a few pages), is still useful and is used to prop up an Apple server.

The three pages (300-302) that I wrote for the gallery section was about a simple object-oriented game called Bouncing Miaws (kitten sound-alike bugs). Oh those good old Director days…


Flex 2 FAQ

Macromedia posted a new FAQ for the next generation of the Flex product line.

In this FAQ, besides information on Flex 2, it answers some questions on Flash Player 8.5 and ActionScript 3.0.

Interesting time ahead…