It seems like everyone has a blog these days. Heck, even Tim Berners-Lee, father of the WWW, finally got one. So how do I one-up that? Well, I can’t, but I now have two blogs.
Since CodeTree is an ongoing project, I created a blog specifically for content updates. This way, I’m not boring people who might actually read this one, plus, I thought it’d be cool to get user feedback on the project’s updates.
After attending the FlashCoders meeting tonight I was exposed to a really good link at Sys-Con that describes the current state of the Flash Platform. I’ve become a bit upset at Macromedia (or should I say Adobe) because I feel they’ve left designers-turned-developers like me in the cold. I’m slowly migrating from AS1.0 to AS2.0, and it’s a painful process thanks to the lack of documentation (fortunately, the jump to AS3.o looks to be easier). I just looked at the latest Macromedia Press Flash 8 books and am disappointed that they only scratch the surface of class creation. Furthermore, the Flash IDE is leagues behind the ease of use that Java users receive with Eclipse.
Design patterns are nothing new; we’ve been solving the same problems for at least 25 years now. Unfortunately, some of the best books are written for other languages (Blame my laziness for not converting the code over from C++ or Java). Ask any developer what resources to use for learning AS2.0, and everyone points to Moock’s book. It’s become the definitive guide, but it’s unfortunate that no other examples of design patterns in Flash exist on paper.
I was recently referred a teaching job for Flash but turned it down because of the hours (I’m not a morning person unless you count all-nighters) and the fact that I wouldn’t know where to begin teaching Flash. Could I instruct others on using the timeline when I myself am refraining from it? Is it practical to create graphics in the IDE or to just use the drawing API? Fortunately, Adobe is moving in the right direction by following Macromedia’s footsteps and gathering user input, but I’m still waiting for the dust to settle.
During my trip out west I stopped in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale to visit Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wrightâ€™s home and fellowship in the desert.
After visiting Fallingwater (a pic I took of Fallingwater), I was expecting the foundation to prohibit photographs, but was surprised to find that they allowed us to shoot away.
I pretty much shot completely with a wide angle lens throughout the trip so that I could capture the complete landscape. It wasnâ€™t until I saw the pictures I took of Taliesin West that I realized just how much distortion the lens creates. Photoshopâ€™s Lens Correction Filter (filters>distort>lens correction) became my new best friend.
Corrected Version. Notice the pool is much more of its actual triangular shape.
After hours of driving through complete darkness in Utah, we stayed next to the Grand Canyon National Park and I took this picture during the sunrise. I’ll admit that it’s actually a composite of two different photographs I took as I was metering. It’s amazing how fast the sun rises–and how many tourists are there to photograph it so early.
It was nice to get out of coding and back into photography, but I realized that my camera is now pretty obsolete at 5 MP. I vignette most of my photos, which based on the last Photoshop tutorial DVD I watched, might be a bad thing.
Overall I must say that I felt it was pretty worthless taking so many pictures. The scale and beauty of nature simply can’t be replicated in a photograph. I almost felt like cheating by using a composite, but one has to get over the limitations of a camera, and it’s really nothing different than changing the exposure of a RAW file.
My favorite stop is still Zion National Park, which I think blows away the Grand Canyon. I didn’t come away with many shots that I liked, but I placed a few more pictures of my trip on Flickr.
Made it to Death Valley and Zion National Park. The picture’s from Bryce Canyon. Tomorrow: Grand Canyon, Sedona, Taliesin West in Scottsdale, and hopefully London Bridge. More picks to come. Currently in Arizona, where unlike the casinos in Vegas, wireless runs free 🙂
Well, it looks like Iâ€™m going to be MIA on this blog for a few days. Iâ€™m currently at the Tropicana casino in Las Vegas for the week, and like any good casino that doesnâ€™t want guests staying in their rooms, they donâ€™t offer wireless. Instead, I have to pay some fee and trek down by the pool to get on the Web. Iâ€™m here for the parks anyway (Death Valley, Sedona, Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon), but I might pop on if I find a hot spot in Phoenix. Boy, this might actually be a vacation.
I have to plug this guy. Philip Wheeler has been sitting outside nearly every day for a year now as a living, breathing, art piece (He took off a few days to help in Hurricane Katrina’s wake). I took a photo of him last summer and posted it on Beyond Second here.
I guess this is what happens when you get tired of your job and need a change.
He’s actually a really nice guy, and last I heard my friend Cam had been getting into intense games of Go and Chess with him.
Iâ€™m just impressed at the fact that he chose to make such an avant-garde statement in Harrisburg. His Web site really needs to allow comments, but you can check out his project at HumanBeingOnline.net.
So, I’m done with school, and since I work from home I’m fortunate enough to not have to travel through the city amidst this transit strike.
But I go anyway.
I blame Christmas and my need to do some last-minute shopping. I also figured I should get a taste of the city’s current state to empathize with my wife and every other commuter. While I don’t know where I was during the Great Blackout (probably in Mechanicsburg), I can say where I was for this moment in history. Furthermore, I can say that the car traffic was ridiculous and the volume of pedestrians made it seem like the Times Square crowd had consumed the whole island.
It was a nice walk, though. I covered a good 80+ blocks. I stopped in at the first Barnes and Noble on 18th and 5th Ave. (I’ve been wondering why this book chain has such a monopoly on the Big Apple–the fact that it started here answers my question). The place is pretty old; unlike any Barnes and Noble you’d find in the burbs. Fluorescent lights straight out of Joe Versus the Volcano, Filthy ceiling tiles stained with age, trancelike floor patterns that creak of use, and USED BOOKS–that’s right, used books that an employee told me is not unique to this flagship store.
I'm a creative technologist at Hauck Interactive, Inc. and an adjunct instructor at HACC. I live in Harrisburg, Pa. with my wife and three boys. I enjoy good coffee, Trappist beers, Orioles baseball, and good design.