« February 2004 | Main | April 2004 »

March 29, 2004

Off Topic Personal: It's a Girl!

This Saturday, I gave birth to a beautiful eight-pound baby girl after five short (but intense) hours of labor. We barely made it to the hospital in time--the baby was born twenty minutes after we got there. As hoped for, I managed a completely natural birth (no medications at all).

The baby and I are doing very well!

I'll be taking it easy for a while--maternity leave for all of April.

March 25, 2004

Jonathan Kaye offers free presentation with Breeze

If you're interested in building simulators with Flash, I encourage you to contact Jonathan about his Introduction to Programming Equipment Simulators in Flash (a Breeze Live presentation).

And if you don't already have a copy, check out his book: Flash MX for Interactive Simulation. It's one of the best Flash books in print, in my opinion.

Introduction to Programming Equipment Simulators in Flash

Flash is an excellent platform for developing simulators that replicate the
functionality of equipment, allowing workers to learn and practice
operational skills in a safe way. Once a device has more than a few
buttons, though, the complexity of programming it in a maintainable way
becomes challenging. Jonathan Kaye, co-author of the book "Flash MX for
Interactive Simulation: How to Construct and Use Device Simulations,"
(www.FlashSim.com) is leading an Internet-based talk/discussion on software
best practices for building medium to complex device simulators. This
session is geared to intermediate or advanced Flash developers (as well as
other developers with a background in OOP), and introduces the fundamentals
of UML statecharts for describing and coding process and user interface
behavior, in Flash MX 2004.

The session is divided into two parts. The first part, approximately 1 hour,
introduces the concepts in the context of building an analog/digital watch.
For those interested in seeing hands-on application, the second part,
approximately 1 hour, applies the concepts in building a traffic light
system (for example, http://www.FlashSim.com/trafficWorld.html), and shows
how to use the free simulation construction tools provided on FlashSim.

Jonathan will conduct the session using Macromedia Breeze Live
(http://www.macromedia.com/breeze/) during the month of April. Each session
will have only 3-4 simultaneous connections, so it is encouraged that groups
of interested developers at the same site share a connection to allow groups
in other sites to participate.

Jonathan is in the process of scheduling the sessions to be appropriate to
developers around the world. Please contact Jonathan at info@FlashSim.com
to let him know of your interest and any suggested dates and times (with
time zones, please!), before he completes the scheduling.

March 24, 2004

Presentation Notes Online

Presentatin Notes for FlashForward SF 2004: Visualizing Science With Flash

March 23, 2004

Inbox wiped out

Yikes! My email inbox is completely wiped out...all gone. I'm still looking into what caused it, and if it's possible to recover messages. I usually back up my email, but unfortunately was just about to do so and have lost a large batch of messages to this.

If you've sent me an email recently or if you're waiting for a response from me, please resend.


March 19, 2004

Pen and Paper

For me, pushing a pen around on paper, helps me organize my thoughts. Especially when I'm working with pseudo-code and straight out algorithm design. The action of writing things down by hand, has a way of making things clear that just doesn't happen for me on a monitor. Perhaps it's the directness of hand-eye interaction when writing.

How much time do you spend with a pen and paper? Do you use it for visual design or code design?

March 17, 2004

Terradotta MathML/Flash

Brandon Lee, of terradotta.com, has been working on a nice MathML wysiwyg in Flash. Take a look at what he's accomplished so far. Very impressive.

Be sure to scroll down the page to the demo version's link.

Update: Brandon is the manager for this project, not the coder. Sorry for any confusion.

March 16, 2004

Planetoid newly discovered

Sedna, a planet-like body found in most distant orbit around our sun yet discovered. Lots of info on the press-release.

March 15, 2004

Changing registration point of movie clip in MX04?

I've been working in FlashMX 2004, and just got stuck on something in the authoring environment. Where is that interface, for changing the location of the registration point of a movie clip?! A quick point in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

Personal--still waiting


It's been brought to my attention that some folks might be a bit curious about how I'm doing these days.

Well, I haven't popped yet :-)

Everything is going very well, including nice low blood pressure--even with the excitement of our imminent new arrival and the work load and deadlines I'm currently facing.

March 11, 2004

April Vacation

In April, I'll be going on a month-long vacation. Mike Walth will be looking after the whole site while I'm gone. Mike's been an essential part of GalaxyGoo for years.

March 09, 2004

blog-comment spam's cousin?

I've been noticing a new trend on our forums lately, and it seems closely related to blog-comment spam: fake registration on our forums listing questionable Home pages in profile. Is this some attempt to get search engine ranking, like with comment spam?

Registration for our forums is moderated, so the trend got my attention. Anyone else running into this?

March 08, 2004

Phidgets, Teleo, and Flash...Oh My!

Way back in December, Marcos Weskamp posted about his success with using Flash to communicate with Phidgets. After that post, I put Phidgets at the top of my very short Christmas wishlist. A set showed up under the tree for me.

Still haven't had time to do much with them, yet. Reviving my rusty visual basic skills keeps sitting at the bottom of my to-do list. If only wish lists and to-do lists could synch up a little better :-)

At last week's Flash Forward, the folks at Making Things showed off a similar product, but theirs has a Flash API ready to go. I asked if it was possible to use phidget hardware with their software: no luck. Still it looks like a lot of fun.

Apparently, some of the heavy hitters of the Flash Universe are indeed having fun with the Making Things product Teleo.

Flash MathML Resources

We're setting up an online Flash MathML Lab.

What kind of resources would you like to see there?

Back in the office after Flash Forward

Flash Forward was a whirlwind. I can hardly believe it has come and gone, and that I now face deadlines.

Lunch on Wednesday was great, with about 20 of us. It's lots of fun to get a bunch of Flash Developers together. The best part of the whole conference was meeting people, and running into folks that I'd met in the past.

My presentation went alright, although I rushed through it a bit. Very good questions were asked though, and I even managed to get a few laughs. Kymberlee was wonderful, and made sure that I had a stool for my session. There's a picture of me giving my presentation on Vera's site.

It was a little odd to have my Question and Answer session first thing the next morning, but I had fun with it.
Look for a link to my presentation notes soon.