The things I do on lazy Saturday nights…I’m definitely getting old.
A series of street lights were installed on 7th Street Harrisburg not too long ago (two rows of lights on each side of the street), and it got me thinking that it’d make for some interesting light trails. So, I setup a tripod in my back seat, plugged in my remote, and went for a ride.
It turns out my pictures from 7th Street (example above) were the least-interesting of the bunch. Frankly, one-color lights are kind of boring. I proceeded down to Second Street, where the road yielded a lot of bumpy trails…
…and also took a ride down Jonestown Road (below).
My ISO hovered around 400, and the exposures ranged from 2 to 8 seconds at f4.0. Next time, I’ll get a car wash, first!
Another Barcamp Harrisburg is in the books.
It’s hard to believe this year marks the fifth year I’ve organized the event, but as reflected in the attendance, it’s going stronger than ever. While we had roughly 235 signups, some folks inevitably don’t show and others are forced to cancel (as Ryan Duff accurately put it, “Life happens”). Saturday is asking a lot of people, but fortunately, there were late signups to fill-in and one or two (welcomed) gate crashers.
With Shawn Farner’s last-minute cancellation and Paul Benninghove’s exodus to North Carolina, I came to the realization that I’m probably the only one left to have attended every incarnation of the event. Granted, there were some in attendance from past years (yay Heather!), but looking back at BarCampHbg 2009, gone are the Daves and Dans, Roxbury is no longer rolling tape in the back of the room, and the late (great) Jersey Mike is not in the hallway applauding the community-building.
It’s definitely not all a downer, though. I’m proud of the fact that, in addition to York, Lancaster, and State College, we had attendees trek out from Maryland and New Jersey. The board filled up almost immediately, and I genuinely had more fun this year than last (The session were much more well-rounded than last year–and the one session with the audience editing a Google doc was nuts!). Granted, we didn’t have a “big name” like Chris Coyier (yes, I had folks year-round asking if he was coming back), but I did get to meet a presenter from Automattic and a book author that deserves my gratitude.
I’ve heard complaints that the topics are either “too basic” or “over my head”, but I always point out that it’s different every year, and that’s due to the diversity of the attendees from year-to-year. I enjoyed the networking (as always), and just tried to remind everyone that they vote with their feet.
I suspect that Harrisburg University and I will be coordinating plans for next year soon enough. If you’re reading this and attended, thanks for coming, and if you didn’t, I hope you can make it out in 2014!
I’m catching up on posts. Here’s the invitation, followed by the aftermath. The question is, was the X-Wing the present, or was it the box?
A person rather close to me just went through a breakup of sorts, and it got me revisiting my favorite breakup films.
Personally, I prefer “breakup” films to formulaic romances, since they’re usually more realistic, often drill further into the characteristics of relationships all of us relate to, and typically end on an optimistic note–one of moving on (a rite of passage we all need to learn at some point). No, I’m not a pessimist, and Empire is not my favorite Star Wars film.
You won’t find The Break Up (terrible, TERRIBLE film) or The Notebook (Kryptonite for any man, plus there’s no breakup–they both die!) on this list. Casablanca? That film transcends genres or silly lists such as mine, in my opinion. I should also mention that I consider Hitchcock’s Marnie as a one of the great romance films, so my opinion’s probably a more little skewed than most.
So, in no particular order, my top five:
As much as I appreciate Europe being Woody Allen’s muse, I really hope he revisits New York someday. This one has to be here.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Considering Michel Gondry’s done some of the most incredible, acid-trip-laden videos of all time (Go ahead, look up Kylie Minogue’s “Come Into My World” or the Chemical Brothers “Let Forever Be“), it’s no wonder his analysis into getting over a relationship’s on my list. The incredible low-budget-you-wouldn’t-realize-it’s-low budget special effects make this worth watching, but it’s Gondry’s investigation into that “erase button” we all think we want (but don’t, really) make this a classic. Oh, and best. Jim. Carrey. Film. Ever.
My high school friends turned me on this one to cheer me up after one of my biggest breakups. Being wanted back after you finally get over someone rings so true. It’s not surprise it’s semi-autobiographical of Jon Favreau.
500 Days of Summer
The last film of memory where I remember laughing out loud in the theater. I can’t blame any man for having a crush on Zooey Deschanel.
Harold and Maude
Worth seeing just for the fake suicide attempts. Why didn’t I think of trying to pick up elderly women at funerals?
Jon Cusack takes the adventure we all wish we’d do at some point or another–revisiting all of our past relationships in hopes of closure.
As a season ticket holder for the past three years, I’ve been given complimentary tickets to Orioles FanFest, the annual preseason rally held at the Baltimore Convention Center. I’d never bothered attending (as I’m allergic to long lines), but this year I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I have to confess the lure of season giveaway freebies was calling, plus I wanted to scout the children’s activities for my boys.
I received 10 am early entry tickets as a plan holder, but that certainly didn’t help with the line. My friend Terry and I were essentially directed to circumambulate the building twice before finding the entrance, and the lines stretched around the entire convention center. Little did I know at the time, but they apparently broke the attendance record with 18,500 showing up.
The giveaway line on the second floor was long and wrapped around several times, but fortunately, it moved relatively quickly (I can only imagine how crowded it was once FanFest officially opened to the public). I had hoped to score a Camden Yards tumbler from last season, but I knew that was unrealistic, given that only 10,000 were distributed at the game. At the end of the line were Frank Robinson statues and postseason score cards.
Next door to the giveaway room was a makeshift theater for the “Buckle Up Birds” DVD.
The downstairs had merchandise vendors, kids events, autograph sessions, facepainting, and contests. The main stage hosted Q&A sessions with Duquette and Showalter, but such sessions have never attract me. Duquette plays so close to the chest that no revelations are going to be spilled in a public forum. Every “answer” I heard only reminded me of what Crash Davis told Nuke LaLoosh on the bus in Bull Durham.
The Babe Ruth Museum did put this on display, which was kind of cool:
It’s the actual trophy and not a replica, and is the closest one has ever been able to get to it.
It was nice being around so many baseball fans in January, but I’m not sure FanFest’s offerings alone would make me come out again. What came next might, though.
Apparently, FanFest is the one day of the year in which you can tour the clubhouse and the dugout. I haven’t taken the official ballpark tour, but this isn’t part of it. I believe this has to do with the fact that the players’ personal items have been cleared out for the year. In any case, the self-guided tour takes you through the weight room, clubhouse, batting cages, and ends in the dugout. It definitely made the trip for me.
On Monday, I presented on my experience working with Adobe Edge Animate and how it compared with working in Flash. Here are some notes from my presentation:
For animation on the web, I summarized that, for the most part, there’s
Comparison to Flash
For the project I worked on, I ended up having to build a Flash fallback for an HTML5 Edge Animate animation (ironically, the reverse of what I was doing 8 years ago). Some of the key points:
I did a very non-scientific, simple animation of a red box easing to a point. I rebuilt the animation in JQuery, Edge, Flash, Greensock, and HTML5 Canvas. The results:
|HTML5 Canvas with no easing||2kb|
|Edge Animate||222 kb|
|Greensock with TweenMax||94 kb|
|JQuery 1.8.3 with Easing Plugin||102 kb|
Not surprisingly, there’s a big trade-off when using Edge Animate. In all fairness, the fact that it’s WYSIWYG-based made additional client edits easy, however, my end animation was 278 kb in Flash versus a whopping 850 kb in Edge Animate.
With Flash, I was able to simply embed an MP3 file. Edge Animate has no audio support, so I instead used the HTML5 <audio> tag and had to encode the audio as OGG, MP3, and WAV. Fortunately, the audio didn’t need to sync, but it was playing in advance of the animation loading, so I added a setInterval() to briefly delay playback. Had it required syncing, I’d probably have been forced to use a library like PopcornJS.
I didn’t really give it much consideration, but being that I was just using the <audio> tag, the stock audio, albeit trimmed, normalized, and faded, is on a web server and available for download to anyone that digs deep enough. The Flash version is embedded in a SWF and not easily accessible.
Unfortunately, because Edge Animate relies upon CSS3, it is not supported by IE8. Adobe’s workaround is to set a flag in publish preferences to prompt downloading Google Chrome Frame. This interruption in the experience isn’t ideal, hence the Flash fallback option.
I tried publishing Flash as a canvas element using the CS6′s built-in CreateJS, but the result still wouldn’t be visible in older versions of IE. I hoped I could use ExplorerCanvas to bridge this gap, but it doesn’t play nicely with CreateJS, and I came across some forum post by Grant Skinner (CreateJS’s creator) saying it wasn’t high on the priority list.
Being a good web designer, I used server-side Modernizr to detect for CSS3 support.
Playing Nice With Others
As of this writing, Edge Animate uses an older version of JQuery (1.7.1) and doesn’t rely on a CDN. I see this as a possible conflict, as a site hosting an Edge Animate animation may use a newer version of JQuery. Replacing the JQuery version isn’t an option in the IDE, and one has to sift through the minified project-name_edgePreload.js to find the reference.
Edge Animate has a nice publish static HTML option, which actually publishes <div> tags with ids, rather than dynamically adding them to a “stage” <div>. I found this helpful in determining the id naming conventions Edge Animate outputs. Unfortunately, CSS must be modified through the IDE, as the output is actually a series of JSON objects and not a CSS file.
Further Resources and Conclusion
Thanks for everyone who came out to the CPAUG meeting. It was nice seeing old students and meeting some new contacts.
I’ve seen a couple of end-of-the-year photo galleries and figured it’d be a good tradition to join in on, especially since I’ve shot thousands of photos since 2000 that never see the light of day (my photos from 2012 weigh in at just under 30GB).
Rather than try to choose the “best”, or most representative shots, though, I tried picking those photos that typically never get shared–the ones that languish on my phone or computer and never get seen by anyone in them. I also tried avoiding those shots that I’ve published on Facebook, Flickr, or Instagram, too.
Well, the flu wrecked my household over the holidays, so while my side of our card list should have received this card, I know Daphyn’s family was left out (sorry, I didn’t have the addresses!).
I actually considered not doing a card this year since I ran into the awkward situation where you send a card, someone doesn’t realize they’re still on their list, and they reciprocate after the holidays. Fortunately, so many folks apparently look forward to my card that I was compelled to keep the tradition going.
If any of my friends want on for next year, let me know!
Finally, after a server migration, a IP routing issue, and then a site malware cleanup, I’m finally seeing my blog again. In other news, on January 7th, I’ll be presenting my experience on a recent project using Adobe Edge Animate. I’ll inevitably compare it to Flash (since I had to use that, too). Details are at the CPAUG website.
I suppose I should enjoy it while I can, since the semester’s right around the corner.
About MeI'm a designer, developer, and teacher based in Harrisburg, Pa. I run Hauck Interactive, Inc.
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