Archive for October, 2007

NUMBER 28

October 16th, 2007

“Any Way You Slice It” my 28TH birthday present.

Today marks my 28TH year of life (happy birthday to me). With Gem’s little accident I don’t think we’re going to do anything too exciting, maybe go out to eat some hot curry and samosas from our new local Indian restaurant, make some Razzel Dazzel (peanut butter cornflake desert I love), and watch Ratatouille.More exciting though is my birthday present from Susan. About 2 weeks ago she approached me and asked if I’d want a quilt for my birthday. Of course I said “yes!” So I picked the pattern from a Denyse Schmidt book and together we picked out the fabric then Susan pieced it all together. It is amazing and one of the coolest gifts I have ever received. I love it, Susan. Thank you. To see more photos you should check out Susan’s blog.In other exciting news the local AIGA chapter is hosting Helvetica the movie tomorrow night. I’ve got a ticket but I’m still not sure with the whole wounded daughter if I’ll be making it to the showing. If anyone is going let me know. I’d prefer to not sit alone.

The Middle Toe

October 16th, 2007

Gem all bandaged up and me covered in puke and feeling sad she’ll have a short toe with no toe nail.

This past Sunday we (Susan, Gem, and I) went out to my parents house to eat with the family and celebrate my 28TH birthday (it’s today BTW). Long story short Gem was down stairs with all the cousins playing and got on grandma’s exercise equipment (rowing machine) and pinched off the tip of her middle toe. Our niece that was playing with Gem brought her up stairs and said she had pinched her toe so I proceeded to remove Gem’s tights thinking I’ll see a scratch or blood-blister, but instead I was horrified to see the tip of my daughter’s toe bone sticking out. From there it was off to the ERI’ve never had to go the ER before, and to my surprise it wasn’t quite like the TV show. I parked the car and when I came in I thought my daughter would be on a table and her toe being fixed, but instead they had my wife filling out forms and signing papers. I just kept thinking “my daughter’s toe has been cut off and is screaming non-stop could we fix her up then fill these out?”, but then we waited for about 20–30 minutes before anyone even took a look at her toe. By the time Gem finally got any kind of pain relief we had been in the ER for probably 2 or more hours. Anyway, the long and short of it is the plastic surgeon reattached the tip of her toe then cast her whole leg to about her mid thigh (the cast is to immobilize the toe while it tries to reattach). We finally got home about 11PM.I’m grateful we have insurance, but the whole time we were there I kept thinking about the Michael Moore movie Sicko and wondering if the system could be better (and more affordable). I think the only positive thing out of this was I finally got to drive the way I’ve always wanted to (like a bat out of hell). I’ll be sure to post an update when we find out more about poor Gem’s toe in 3 weeks when we get her cast off.

Actionscript 3: Redux

October 12th, 2007

Getting a handle on Flash with Actionscript 3 has not been an easy task to say the least. To accomplish the simplest of objectives is still pretty difficult, but I have learned quite a bit and am on my way to flash guruness again. So to aide any other poor soul out there who is trying to make the jump to AS3 here are a few helpful thoughts.

I recommend Flash CS3 Professional Advanced by Russell Chun. I bought a previous version of this book a couple years back to learn Flash and felt a little like a Flash newbie walking out of Barnes and Noble with it again, but with Actionscript 3 it’s seriously like starting all over with coding in Flash. This book has been great. I also picked up the Actionscript 3 Cookbook and it’s pretty good too, but to be noted the code in this book has been written from the standpoint that you’re using Flex (not flash) to author swfs (who does that?). It’s still been helpful but I was slightly disappointed it’s targeted more towards Flex users.

Since being introduced to tweening a couple years back it’s been a must have on every project. Unfortunately, the previous method of tweening (in AS2 I used LacoTweens) does not work in Actionscript 3 projects. Flash does have a built in tweener that can get ugly to use, but among my many google searches I stumbled across an Actionscript 3 tween engine. This site blog.greensock.com/tweenliteas3 has a Tweening engine that does everything the old lacoTweens would do, and the author wrote the engine with the objective of cutting the overall size of the exported swf file. It’s worth checking out. blog.greensock.com/tweenliteas3.

The biggest concern I have had with moving to Actionscript 3 was being able to use flash to fill the whole browser (often called full browser flash). Since this is the basis of almost all my flash sites figuring this out was essential. You’d think it’d be a piece of cake but not so. It took me several hours and looking for help on the intertubes proved to be very little help. The problem lies in the change that’s happened with the Stage in Actionscript 3. Gone are the good old days of using the Stage and the Stage properties to position movieclips (movie_mc._y=Stage.height-100). After a lot of tweaking and googling I’ve come up with an alternative and have uploaded a sample file that anyone who is interested can download and view the source code. I’ve made some notes in the code to help explain what’s going on. It’s not the prettiest but it’s just an example. Click here to download the source files and click here to see the file in action.

3. It Should Be More Like an 8

October 5th, 2007

Today I thought I’d sit down and start a new project in Flash, and rather than simply clicking on a new “Actionscript 1 & 2” project I see the “Actionscript 3” option and I decide this project is going to be done with Actionscript 3 (AS3)—Actionscript is the code behind everything Flash. Let me just say that the number 3 doesn’t even begin to describe how difficult the transition has been. From what I’ve observed so far AS3 is nothing like the previous versions. In fact to create a simple button requires a whole lot more code than before and most of the time I get crumby errors telling me how dumb I am. Oh, and did I mention that even though flash player will play all things actionscript (1,2,&3) when authoring in AS3 you can’t use older code (it’s like starting to learn flash all over again). I’d abandon it all together, but if I want to achieve flash nirvana I must be fluent in AS3. I guess you could say this is what separates the wolves from the pups.