Archive for November, 2005

Dev Center Update – Synchronized Flash Video

A common question I heard during my Flash Video sessions at the 2005 MAX conferences around the world was how you could leverage cue points in Flash 8 to both trigger events and provide ‘jump points’. If you’ve got similar questions, check out Dan Carr’s new Developer Center tutorial on synchronizing Flash 8 graphics with a talking head/spokesperson FLV video. If you’re having trouble getting started with cue points and synchronization in your FLV projects- this should help kick things off well.

Gtalkr – Flash UI for Google Talk

Gtalkr appears to be a cool third-party Flash/browser-based front-end for the Google Talk instant messaging service, letting you get to your IM network and messages from any Flash-enabled browser, anywhere. I’ll admit I haven’t used it in extreme depth yet, but it looks really nicely done so far and covers all the Google Talk features I need. If you’ve been using Gtalkr as an IM client alternative, post a comment and let me know your thoughts!

The Gtalkr URL:
http://www.gtalkr.com/
The Gtalkr weblog:
http://gtalkr.wordpress.com/
Om Malik reviews Gtalkr:
http://gigaom.com/2005/11/29/gtalkr-web-based-gtalk-client/

Flash – making the skies safer

Great story in the Sydney Morning Herald on Studio developer Richard Turner-Jones’ RIA project for his employer, Airservices Australia- Flying Around- an interactive application developed and provided to help pilots down under get familiar with the incredibly busy airspace around Sydney, helping cut down the number of accidents and incidents for all. Built entirely in Flash, the application (and Richard) took home a MAX award from Anaheim this year, and is one amazing RIA. Check it out!

Also- if this piques your interest in how a project like this gets tackled, you may want to get into Richard’s session this coming March at the Sydney WebDU conference (the conference formerly known as MXDU)- he’ll be breaking down the Flying Around project, which should be a very interesting – if not eye-opening – presentation.

Congrats on all the attention lately, Richard! Well deserved, I say.

Edge Newsletter on Labs

The new edition of the Edge newsletter is out, and it’s got a good focus on Macromedia Labs this month (cool video testimonial on the landing page, too!). My article ‘Welcome to Macromedia Labs’ is one of the features (you may have already caught it on the Developer Center, however), along with Steven Wolkoff’s intro to Flash Media Server 2 (formerly known as Flash Communications Server, or FlashCom to the l33t), some FLV goodies from Tom Green’s new book, among other good articles. Check it out!

MAX Hong Kong- It’s a wrap!

And what a great conference this one was, too. Fantastic sessions and speakers throughout, stellar after-hours entertainment, and one breathtaking skyline to take in while exploring the nether-regions of the city. I presented my CSS box model session today, and for a change actually talked slow enough for the interpreter to keep up (although for the most part, the audience didn’t require interpretation), and streamlined the slides enough to the point that I actually finished my session on time (if you’ve seen me demo live before, you know I have the habit of running long with lots of ‘oh yeah- did you know you can do this?’ moments)… ;-)

After the sessions closed down I did some quick shopping for family gifts, then met up with a bunch of the other presenters to board a big diesel boat and motor across Victoria Harbor to a wonderful seafood restaurant on Lamma island. Yet another amazing dinner of local cuisine- the food here has been impeccable throughout.

The boat ride back offered us all a spectacular view of the Hong Kong skyline- with everyone up on the front of the prow with me shooting pictures like crazy from our unobstructed water-bound point of view. But alas, now it’s time for packing up for the flight back tomorrow.

My sincere thanks to the MM Hong Kong staff for putting on one of the most enjoyable conferences I’ve been to in some time – Ida, Carol, Sunny and Mavis (among many, many others) kept everything fixed, figured, and running like clockwork. Kudos to all involved with planning and running the event and my regards to all the new developers I’ve met this time out- you can bet I’ll be back at MAX Greater China again next year if you’ll have me… ;-)

MAX Hong Kong – Day 2 kicks off

I’ll be speaking at MAX Hong Kong from 9:40 – 10:40am today on the CSS Box Model- both theory and tactical uses, and dissecting some common-but-tricky layout paradigms on the spot. Given the amount of questions I fielded at yesterday afternoon’s session on Flash Video, I’m really looking forward to seeing what challenges the local developers have had with both CSS in general, and Dreamweaver’s handling of it specifically. Although I’m mostly a code-mode kind of guy, it’s been great giving these sessions and diving back into Dreamweaver’s nether regions again. I must admit, the unified CSS panel in DW8 has become rather indispensible for quick iteration of designs without flipping back and forth between my CSS and XHTML pages.

Christian Cantrell and I did more gadget shopping around the Kowloon district yesterday afternoon, and I did a pretty good job resisting random new toys (came really close to getting a Sony M1 hybrid still/video camera at an UNBELIEVABLE price, but the only one left was the weathered display model- darn). Christian picked up not one but two new watches (bringing his total G-Shock count to around 7!), and almost went with me on a group buy of those M1s – again, foiled by the lack of stock behind the counter.

The conference speakers were treated to a dinner yesterday evening that was mind-blowingly fantastic… a 13-course(!!) meal of traditional Chinese dishes that spanned the gamut of regional cuisines with nimble ease. It was so tasty and filling that I’ll be skipping breakfast this morning, thank you very much. ;-) Ben Forta regaled us with stories of yonder days (ah, the early Allaire days really sound like a ton of fun), and everyone seemed to have a blast. Graeme Bull warned me that the air quality wasn’t the best for running, so I’ll have to let him know he was on the mark- went for a jog along the harbor this morning despite his advice and it was much like being back in Hollywood again. (cough)
One thing’s for certain, though- the Hong Kong city lights across the harbor are truly spectacular at night. Lasers, light displays- it’s truly a spectacle you’ll want to check out if you have the opportunity. Amazing. Pictures can be perused here, of course- at least the ones that turned out.

There’s several great sessions I’m going to drop in on later today- particularly Justin Everett-Church’s dissection of his award-winning NYC traffic app, and Paul Lamonby’s session on Flash Lite game development. This evening we’ll be taking a boat out to a traditional Chinese seafood dinner, so I’m prepping up for some photography as well. Should be a blast. But for now- off to the conference floor.

See ya next post…

MAX Greater China: Getting Started

The last day seems like a blur now- we left Korea yesterday morning quite early to get over to Hong Kong (the Kowloon side of the harbor), and I’m now sitting with Christian Cantrell and Flex kung-foo master Steven Webster in the MAX Greater China keynote session. MAX Korea was a fantastic conference, I was really blown away with the passion and enthusiasm of the local Korean developers- my only regret is that I only had 48 hours or so in the country before moving on to Hong Kong.

Now Hong Kong- wow, what a city. Although Seoul appeared to be very spread out with a lot of open space to be found, Hong Kong is (even to this San Francisco native) massive, with a truly daunting skyline. However, it was almost eerie how things fell in place once we checked into the hotel. Christian, being a watch afficionado, was really hoping to find a few stores that carried the Casio G-Shock watches- and not only did he find some G-Shocks, but an entire store devoted to G-Shocks right across the street from the hotel.

Now myself- I’m a video and iPod/PSP freak, and had been complaining about the lack of good sleeves/cases for my iPod video (with the larger display, I can fit most existing iPod cases – but without a full view of the screen). Whaddaya know- right next to the G-Shock store was an electronics outlet with not only some hot-off-the-production-line iPod video cases (we both picked one up), but one of the most coveted white PSPs.

We’re walking back into the hotel and jetlag was starting to take it’s effects- Christian noted that a snack would be great. And as soon as we rounded the corner- there was the hotel restaurant with a complementary table full of CRAZY COOL dessert foods.

As I was downing a slice of cheesecake while perusing G-Shock catalogs and playing with my new iPod case, I had the feeling that MAX Hong Kong was going to be a good one, given the luck we’d been having. Well- either that or I just ran out of luck and should be looking carefully before crossing the street.

So- that brings us back to today, where through my coffee-induced haze I’m now watching Tom Hale demo the Yahoo! Maps API on the main stage, and while scanning the audience and seeing all the faces and the excitement they’re conveying I can’t wait to get to my sessions (“Flash Video and Dreamweaver” today, and ‘Layout with the CSS Box Model’ tomorrow).

Yep- this is definitely gonna be a great show. Keep posted.

MAX Korea: Morning Key-Notes

After a long day of flights/connections, I’m finally here in Seoul for MAX Korea 2005! Downed a few cups of coffee, then caught the opening address by Macromedia’s Won Jin Lee. Peter Goldie followed up on stage with a preso the Flash Platform- I’m catching up on offline work/preso edits and this ‘blog posting with John Dowdell and Bill Perry on the left side of the room- although I don’t have an active network connection right now I’ll keep adding to this post through the keynote until I can get it submitted to Movable Type.

Continue reading…

Kevin Lynch @ Spark Amsterdam – Live Webcast

Just got wind of this and wanted to pass it along- you can catch Kevin Lynch’s Thursday keynote at SPARK (http://www.sparkeurope.com/), Europe’s premier Flash event in Amsterdam. I sure wish I could be in two places at once- but this sure helps!

The details:

When – Thursday, November 17th @ 7pm CET (Central European time)
Wherehttp://spark.fabchannel.com (includes time zone info)
What – Live keynote broadcast by Fabchannel.com. The SPARK REMIX party (right after) and other show sessions will be posted as well.

Fabchannel.com is one of the biggest online concert archives in the world. During this event they’ll also be launching their new website using Flash 8 and Flash Media Server 2.

Out to MAX Korea/MAX Greater China

I’m flying out this weekend for the MAX events in both Seoul and Hong Kong next week- presenting on designing with the CSS box model in Seoul, and giving 3 presos on:

– CSS (same preso as in Seoul)
– Flash Video and Dreamweaver
(the same presentation I gave in Anaheim last month)
– Dreamweaver Tips and Tricks
(a grab-bag of DW 8 tricks from myself, Greg Rewis, and DW guru Angela Buraglia- author of the ‘Dreamweaver Killer TIps’ book series)

If you’re in the area and headed to either of these shows, please make sure to flag me down and say hello while I’m in towb- it’ll be my first time speaking for Macromedia in Asia so I’m really interested in meeting the local developers! I expect to be ‘blogging from the conferences of course, so expect some updates and pictures from overseas when I post next. More in a few days- gotta charge up the PSP, pack, and prep up for some marathon gaming sessions during that 14-hour flight… ;-)