Archive for July, 2002

Updates have been sparse lately as I have been catching up from traveling, emails and also working with my very good friend Scott Baust on an exciting project. Scott and I have been working on refining and preparing the dynamic Text To Speech to Flash software I originally worked on with Mike Chambers, so that we can offer it to the public. We hope to have some announcements very soon including a FAQ, pricing, and how you can implement this soluton on your site, etc. In the meantime, take a look at what Scott has implemented into his html based site (LinuxDig.com) where the entries from his blog can also be read back to you dynamically. Currently they are served back simply as MP3’s since his sites focus is not specifically about Flash. We also wanted to offer a solution that can serve Flash and HTML users/developers in the broadest possible manner. Part of the new solution is a very fast caching mechanism. Now as long as any request has been made at least once, it will then be served up almost instantaneously on repeat requests. We are working to line things up so that we can offer this as a service and not just software for those of you who would prefer not to get your hand dirty with code. Stay tuned for more information.

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Robert M. Hall Who? Ooops!

Posted on July 20, 2002 by:
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Sad to announce, but due to an unfortunate production mishap, my bio, name and credit information was accidentally left out of the first printing of the recently released Flash MX Bible. I contributed a chapter on Pocket PC’s and working with Flash, specifically an introduction for folks wanting to get their feet wet with Flash and Pocket PC’s, but I am not credited anywhere in the book. Make sure to go ahead and snap up some copies now, as they are sure to be collectors editions. 🙂 The second printing should fix this errata and put in place my proper bio info, contact information, etc. The book is still a wealth of information and great work about Flash MX, even if it is sans my info, so check it out.

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Lisa DelGado, reporter for Wired, who attended the FlashForward conference has written an article covering Macromedia’s new Flash Communication Server MX. She has a lot of interesting quotes and thoughts from folks who were at the conference. Lisa makes reference to parts of Robert Reinhardt’s (lead co-author of the Flash MX Bible) session at FlashForward where he discussed and demonstrated the new product and its use.

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Happy to announce that an article of mine was published today by InformIT (http://www.informit.com/) entitled The Tip of the Flash MX Iceberg which covers how to integrate a webcam feed into your Flash site. The article actually needs some updating as I wrote it about a month or two ago, and at the time their was no public announcement about the Flash Communication Server MX which I alluded to in the article. It was actually finally announced and released last week during FlashForward, so expect an addendum or follow up article to cover that in more depth in the next update. I wish I could have covered it in the original article, but thats how these things work sometimes with release dates and publishing deadlines. One thing to note, the great example of the power of the Flash Communication Server MX, is the Dream Domain by Randommeda that I reference in the article, well they actually won the Technical Merit category, congratulations! Lots of things can happen in a few weeks time. Let me know what you think about the article and if it’s helpful, or anything you might like to see covered in the follow up.

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MacWorld Coverage

Posted on July 18, 2002 by:
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Updates have been sparse as I just got back from FlashForward 2002 this past weekend and only had a day or so to catch up on things before turning around and heading back to New York for MacWorld. Ill be posting some updates and coverage later tonight. Hang in there!

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I still have a bunch of info to post about FlashForward, but a really good friend of mine who runs the site Linuxdig.com just posted a very interesting article about VMWare. The article goes into more depth and a sample install and issues, but VMWare basically allows you to run concurrently, multiple operating systems on one host PC. I thought it would be of interest to folks who are short on physical machines and want to experiment with running servers like Cold Fusion MX for Linux while still having an authoring environment for Flash MX on something like Win XP on the same box and running at the same time. This could be very useful for testing and configuring services for those on a budget or for folks who just love to tinker.

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Flash MX Bible

Posted on July 15, 2002 by:
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Starting Monday July 15th, the long awaited Flash MX Bible from Robert Reinhardt and Snow Dowd will be available. I finally met Robert in person at FlashForward and he is a really friendly, generous guy. From what I know of the book it should be a hit. I actually contributed a small chapter covering a beginners intro to Flash workflow on the Pocket PC, resources, general info. I also touched on how to get Flash content onto Pocket PC’s and the options available to you. I specifically covered some options for Mac users since they are often left out in the cold. The Flash MX Bible is huge weighing in over 1300 pages, so it should have something for everyone.

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I just finished posting all my photos from FlashForward. You can post comments and view them here. I unfortunately lost about 10 photos due to a defective compact flash card…grrr… I just picked up a Canon Elph Powershot 220, and apparently it is the camera of choice of Flash users. I counted at least 15 people at FlashForward who own them or recently purchased one. Phillip Torrone has also made his photos from the conference available.

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Flash Enabled Has A Posse

Posted on July 14, 2002 by:
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If you were at FlashForward you might have seen the limited edtion stickers and posters I put together of all the authors of Flash Enabled and even a few devices. We handed them out at the New Riders authors book signing. They ended up all over the place and throughout New York. The sticker concept is based on Shepard Fairey’s infamous Andre the Giant Has a Posse sticker social phenomenon experiment which is described and explained on his site and in his manifesto available at OBEYGIANT. Shepard has been doing some really great stuff for some time now and I am a big fan. I still have my frst Andre sticker I found and peeled off a pole in Miami, Florida back around 1990. I have seen them across the country in every city I have ever visited. I also have a weird Kevin Baconish relation to Andre, my grandfather built part of his house near Rockingham, North Carolina many years before his death. Anyway, I thought by turning the phenomenon back around on itself it would be interesting, so props to Shepard Fairey are in full effect. If you weren’t at the conference, check the stickers out here. Warning, its a 620k .swf file, but that is so you can feel free to right click and zoom in to print out your own high quality copies of your favorite author. In fact, Phillip Torrone (#12 if your collecting) is running a contest where he is giving away an HP Pocket PC if you print them out and do something crazy with them. Take a look at http://www.flashenabled.com/ for more info on this wacky contest.

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I made it back from New York Saturday afternoon and have been trying to catch up on some sleep and emails, almost done both, so expect some updates Sunday. I have lots of items to cover, photos to post, people to thank, articles to write. I had a great time in New York and met a lot of very cool folks. More to come soon…

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