How to stand out as a freelance web developer

As an ex-freelancer I know how hard it can be to stand out from the crowd. Dave Berzack, a freelance web developer, created this music video about web development. There’s not much else I can add to this… Just watch the video. Great work, Dave! 😉 Tweet This! Share this on Facebook Digg this! Share […]

Getting Started with Flash and Arduino

In this post, I will show how to setup your development environment and started developing Flash projects that integrate with the Arduino electronic platform. So, what is Arduino? From the website: Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in […]

The Problem with Google Wave: User Experience

Google Wave is no more. For those who remember the sound of the jaws of the tech mainstream dropping when Google showed the demo at Google I/O, that may come as a shock. For those who tried to use it, it’s probably less of a shock. I kind of liked ReadWriteWeb’s take:

Why did Wave fail? Maybe because if you don’t call it an “email-killer” (and you shouldn’t) then you’d have to call it a “product, platform and protocol for distributed, real time, app-augmented collaboration.” That’s daunting and proved accessible to too few people.

To say that people don’t get collaboration or that Wave was ahead of its time is a cop out. Wave IS an awesome product. Real-time collaboration IS changing how the world works together. On the Flash side that is one of the reason I’m so excited about Collaboration Services; real-time collaboration is fantastic.

But this was a case of Google’s user experience coming to bite them. Some people love the minimalistic experience of Gmail. And it worked a few years ago when it was first introduced, but the iPhone has shown how critical a great user experience is to user adoption. And frankly, Google’s user experience hasn’t changed much since the Gmail days and the applications are starting to feel dated. That’s not a big issue when you’re doing something as straight forward as email, but when you’re trying to completely change how people communicate, you need to provide a user experience that abstracts the technology and just makes it easy. Have we seen that done before?


Exactly. Wave was a great technology showcase but it was not a great product. Google had the chance to fundamentally change communication on the web but they didn’t have the design chops to put it in a package that was useful to people and instantly easy for them to dive into. You can’t do an 80 minute demo for something that’s this big of a shift in thinking.

Hopefully Google takes this to heart and realizes that technology isn’t good enough. When you’re being revolutionary you have to design a user experience that makes the technology feel second nature.

Charting with Flex and PHP

One of the things that I’ve found to be a bit of a pain is structuring data correctly so it’s easy to chart. Luckily there are some things you can do within the charting framework in Flex to make that a bit easier as well as some things you can do with the Zend Framework to send data in a way that’s easier to chart. I cover the basics in a new post on the Adobe Developer Center.

Flerry 1.2.0 released!

I’m proud to announce Flerry 1.2.0, which brings following new features and changes: Java discovery process has been completely rewritten. Now it looks into default location on given operating system: Windows – c:\Windows\System32\javaw.exe (starting from version 6 this is the default Java location) Mac – /usr/bin/java if that doesn’t exist it checks /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/Current/Commands/java Linux – […]

Livecycle@MAX 2010 – Pick of the Week!

What can I say? There are so many quality Livecycle ES sessions at MAX this year that it makes it hard to pick a new candidate each week to highlight. Nevertheless, after much investigation, here is the one I want to promote.

Advanced Dynamic Form Design

Join author J.P. Terry for a hands-on lab covering advanced form design techniques and his latest tips and tricks. For instance, you’ll learn how to add an auto-completion feature to a PDF form that provides relevant suggestions as the user types into the form. See other advanced techniques that make form completion much easier and more accurate. The techniques will be taught within the context of the Institutional Investor case study from Terry’s book “Paperless: Real-World Solutions with Adobe Technology.”

Tracks: Design, Develop
Audience: Web Designer, Web Developer, Application Developer
Skill Level: Advanced
Speaker: J.P. Terry
Product: LiveCycle ES
Monday, October, 25th, 12:45 pm – 2:15 pm
Tuesday, October, 26th, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Note that this is an advanced level session. I want to attend this myself and get the tips right from J.P. Just to let you know who he is, J.P. Terry is the CEO of SmartDoc Technologies, a leading consulting firm in the field of intelligent document solutions with offices in NY, NJ, and Beijing, China. SmartDoc specializes in LiveCycle and has developed paperless solutions for Fidelity Investments, Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup. J.P. often writes and speaks about dynamic PDF and is the author of “Creating Dynamic Forms with Adobe LiveCycle Designer” (Adobe Press, 2007) and “Paperless: Real-World Solutions with Adobe Technology” (Adobe Press, 2010). Prior to SmartDoc Technologies, J.P. founded BrandWizard Technologies, a division of Omnicom (OMC), and was the CEO of BrandWizard from 2000 until 2005.

Remember, Livecycle@MAX also sold out early last year. Register now if you are going so you don’t have to wait another year. I’m going to be there the whole week.
See you!

Sending Multibyte Numbers from ActionScript to Arduino

If you follow me on twitter, then you have probably noticed that I have been learning about Flash, physical computing and electronics lately. I started out working with Phidgets, and have recently begun working with the Arduino (Ill write up Flash / Arduino getting started tutorial shortly). I am currently working on a project where […]

Details Of The JohnnyA MediaTemple Hack

Update: MediaTemple directed me to another blog post with additional details. This highlights another problem with this incident. The information has been spread all over the place. While this blog post does give some good details, it still does not provide cleanup instructions. It simply says that all malicious files have been removed. I’m sorry […]