Archive for June, 2003

I’m happy to announce that an article I wrote on the topics of using Flash and PHP together, along with AMFPHP to allow PHP based remoting, has just been published in the Macromedia DevNet Center.
The direct link to the article is: http://www.macromedia.com/devnet/mx/flash/articles/amfphp.html
I’ll be posting some related info and extra goodies here on my blog that relate to the article over the next few days. Please let me know what you think…send your comments my way, love to get some feedback on things.
There are also several other new articles in the DevNet, so take a minute to drop by and check it out. Special thanks to Craig Goodman the Managing Editor Macromedia DevNet and Support and John Cowen of the AMFPHP project.

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I wanted to automatically ping the Macromedia MXNA blog aggregator whenever I update my blog entries so I hacked together this little PHP script tonight. You can either include it in your own PHP file and then evaluate the boolean variable $mxna_ping for true or false (true being a good ping, false being a bad ping.) or you can call it directly and add ?readable=true and you’ll see a human readable output. If you also pass debug=true you will see the full result passed back from the mxna server, with some line numbering I added on for debugging purposes. Make sure to read the comments and edit the $ping_id value to reflect your assigned ping ID that you received from the MXNA site otherwise it wont work. The source is commented so dig in.Props to Mike Chambers and Christian Cantrell for their help in my debugging. 🙂

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I do a lot of work with PHP to drive Flash MX content and normally I do all my PHP editing with BBEDIT on my Mac, or using emacs or pico in an ssh terminal session. So I spend a lot of time debugging and viewing things in a browser till I get all the kinks worked out. Well I just downloaded and tried out the evaluation version of Zend’s PHP Studio 2.6.2 for Mac OS X and I am blown away with how well it works. Real breakpoints, watching code being generated, project viewer, manager, remote debugging, PHP function list, syntax, etc., tons of very cool features for working with PHP. I am so glad this thing is availble for Mac OS X now. I would whip out my wallet right now and purchase a full copy, but I actually found out about it because I was going to Zends site to buy a copy of thier Zend Encoder for protecting and ecnrypting your PHP files so you can distribute them to clients. It has a side benefit of increasing the speed at which they are executed once compiled. There is a free plugin for Apache called the Zend Optimizer which works with PHP to allow the encoded content to be executed on your clients, or your web server. I’ll have to post up a review on it after I am finished with the project I am purchasing the Zend Encoder for, but do yourself a favor and check out the Zend Studio if you do any sort of PHP development work.

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Well, it looks like all the leaked info from the other night was for real alright. All the good stuff came out today, the G5’s, Panther, Safari 1.0, and a cool little firewire webcam, the iSight that works with Apples new enhanced iChat AV which Apple claims is, “Video conferencing for the rest of us.” Well I am hoping that this spurs the market and demand for Flash Communications Server video and audio content, as hopefully the more folks who have decent webcams, the more folks who will see the value in Flashcom. I sure hope so.

So what do you think Steve has saved for MacWorld?

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Well this is quite interesting. Apparently an accidental update to the Apple Store this evening (or perhaps an over eager update with Akamai which hosts many of Apples website images) mistakenly let loose some details about upcoming new Apple desktop models. Many folks saw the temporary goof up this evening, including well known mac developer Andrew Welch of Ambrosia software fame. Take a gander at the screenshot he posted this evening at his own forum and make note of the wording under the Step 1 section (taken with their own Snapz Pro X screenshot software). Some quite interesting specs were contained in that .gif file. In case you cant see it, here are the specs that were temporarily listed:

  • 1.6Ghz, 1.8GHz or Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5 processors
  • Up to 1GHz processor bus
  • Up to 8GB of DDR SDRAM
  • Fast Serial ATA hard drives
  • AGP 8X Pro graphics options from NVIDIA or ATI
  • Three PCI or PCI-X expansion slots
  • Three USB 2.0 ports
  • One FireWire 800, two FireWire 400 ports
  • Bluetooth & Airport Extreme ready
  • Optical and analog audio in and out
  • So a couple of things could have happened here: a real accidental posting of info, or perhaps a hack of Akamai or Apples servers. If it was the latter it was quite a nicely timed hack, if it was the first scenario, you can be sure that someone is getting “Steved” right now. Looks like the Hulk might not be the only one fuming mad and hopping around destroying things tomorrow. 🙂 We shall soon see….

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    Recent Events Summarized

    Posted on June 19, 2003 by:
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    Things have been extremely busy for me lately, as a result I haven’t had time to post with much regularity recently. So this post will serve as a quick summary/rundown on the most interesting recent events and items.

  • On June 7th, I participated in and gave a presentation at the Art Institute of Philadelphia for students and folks involved in the Art Institutes MultiMedia Club. View the flyer/poster here. This was a really cool event, an all day Flash and design related seminar geared towards the AI students to help them utilize their skills and interests in the marketplace once they graduate. There were some really good presentations by Johnathan Kaye, Saul Rosenbaum, Dave Metcalf, and Todd Coulson. (Sorry Dave couldnt find your URL-Write me!) All great guys from the Philadelphia area who I have met recently from local meetings and user group events. Thanks to Anthony Profeta for the invitation to speak. I met Anthony last year at the Pocket PC Summit in Philadelphia when he won a free copy of Flash Enabled during Phillip Torrones presentation. I’ll certainly be up for doing this again, it was a lot of fun and a good turnout. I also still need to post a review of Johnthan Kayes book which he graciously provide me a copy of at the last MMUG meeting where he presented, so expect more about this soon.
  • Yesterday, I attended a venture capital conference in Wilmington, Delware called Early Stage East to help pitch a company I work with mCom Financial Solutions and was the Chief Software Architect. We were there exhibiting and meeting VC’s and investors. It was quite interesting to see all the various companies and the ideas out there looking for funding, and also to see the interest in VC’s and other investor types picking up steam. I think its a really great thing to see successes and interest come out of these events, as they are really what drives the economy. Senator Tom Carper was there for the kickoff breakfast and gave some fascinating insight into how the success of new businesses and entrepeneurs really helps the entire economy by creating jobs and opportunities. I was impressed with many of the exhibitors and speakers there, but of course I was mostly concerned with making sure mCom looked good.
  • Been trying to find time to finish up half a dozen or so pet projects, Text to speech, currency stuff, etc. working on some articles and papers for publications to come out soon. 🙂 I am also working to try and put some things together with Laszlo so I can post up a review of my experiences with their software and technology. I had written up a blog entry about what I envisioned or hoped Macromedias Royale might turn out to be, and some interesting comments and info have been posted there by some folks from Laszlo and others in the community, including Marc Canter. The comments have some good meat to them and Laszlos demos are really promising.
  • Flash Player for Sony Ericsson P800 phone. I found out about it from a post by Ian Chia on Flash: The Future’s blog which I am going to have to check out for sure. The Flash Lite or Flash for NTT DoCoMo stuff is really interesting, mobile stuff is a great direction for Flash to head in. Having a player for the Sony Ericcson is j ust another step forward and a new market for us developers. I just wish some of the devices and stuff that Japan and other markets in Asia have, which are way ahead of us in the states, would trickle in a little faster for us.
  • Been looking for places to have a wedding and deciding a million things related to that. Too much to do in this area…I think its time to elope! My fiancees aunt has organzied an engagement party for us and my folks and brother are flying up to Philly to attend, this is the first time the two families have really met..should be quite fun. 🙂
  • Apple’s WWDC 2003 is coming soon and Panther is being introduced. If the perfomance and stability gains are anything like what we saw when OS X went to Jaguar we are in for a real treat. I’m also excited about any new hardware and plans that might come out of this event. Theres also the support for 3GPP in Quicktime 6.3 which has a whole track devoted to it at the WWDC. Im interested to see how Flash Lite for DoCoMo and support for 3GPP overlap or compliment each other.
  • Macworld Expo is coming up July 14th-18th in New York, which I am going to try and hit…but before that…
  • FlashForward 2003 in New York will be just a few days prior from July 9th-11th. These are always a blast. I might not be attending for the entire duration, but I will be there at the very least for the Author Book signing/meet and greet at 5pm in the New Yorker hotel on the first day of FlashForward (Wednesday the 9th). New Riders a great publisher is sponsoring and putting this on like they do ever year. Free beer and food and snacks and you get to meet authors and chat and get books signed. Its a nice way to end the first day of the show. I’m looking forward to chatting and seeing folks I haven’t seen since last year, and to meet new folks.
  • More posts to come as time permits…

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