Archive for the ‘ Default ’ Category

Today on 08/08/08 I decided to throw the switch on a new version of my personal site. If the DNS changes have begun to propagate and you are reading this right now you are seeing the new site. This will mark the 4th major version of my site over the years since it was originally launched in 1997.

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Flex 3.0 and AIR 1.0 have been officially launched (see a ton of related links down below), so please join the Philadelphia Flash Platform Adobe User Group, the Philadelphia Flex User Group, and the Philadelphia ColdFusion User Group for a joint “can’t miss” meeting Monday, February 25th, 7PM at Independents Hall to celebrate the launch of Adobe Flex 3.0 and AIR 1.0!

Adobe’s RIA technologies enable you to rapidly build and deploy the most engaging applications across browsers and on the desktop. The local Philadelphia Adobe User Groups are hosting a special joint, live event to share exciting new information on Adobe’s platform tools and technologies for building RIAs. You’ll see an exclusive user group video presentation by Adobe Chief Software Architect, Kevin Lynch, hear some important product news, plus get your hands on some exclusive shwag and other giveaways.

Be part of the fun and excitement and join the rest of the Adobe developer community by participating in this very special event.

Food, beverages and cool prizes will be available for all attendees. We have got some great goodies for this event, and some awesome raffle prizes.

Super special thanks to Alex Hillman of Independents Hall for hooking us up with the meeting space at the last minute! Shout-outs to Alex’s partners at Indy Hall: Bart Mroz and Geoff DiMasi for their support and general coolness all around. šŸ˜‰

DATE: Monday, February 25
TIME: 7PM – whenever
LOCATION: Independents Hall

DIRECTIONS: 32 Strawberry Street, Philadelphia, PA

Park on the street if you’re lucky, otherwise there are several garages in the immediate area that you can easily use.

Make sure you arrive early for the Red Bull!

Here are some related links for the Flex 3.0 and AIR 1.0 releases:

Official Adobe Press Release: http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/200802/022508AdobeAIR.html

ADOBE AIR 1.0 LINKS

Get AIR 1.0: http://www.adobe.com/go/air

AIR 1.0 Runtime Install Page: http://get.adobe.com/air/

AIR Tools – Free SDK, EXtensions, etc. : http://www.adobe.com/products/air/tools/

AIR product page: http://www.adobe.com/products/air/

AIR – Getting Started: http://www.adobe.com/products/air/getstarted/

AIR for Flash Developers: http://www.adobe.com/products/air/develop/flash/

AIR for Flex Developers: http://www.adobe.com/products/air/develop/flex/

AIR for AJAX developers: http://www.adobe.com/products/air/develop/ajax/

AIR FAQ: http://www.adobe.com/products/air/faq/

AIR Marketplace: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/exchange/index.cfm?event=productHome&exc=24&loc=en_us

AIR Developer Center: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/air/

30 On AIR – great videos about “Why AIR/Flex/Flash”: http://www.30onair.com/

Aptana – Third Party IDE for AIR, JS, etc: http://www.aptana.com/air

ADOBE FLEX 3.0 LINKS

Get Flex 3.0: http://www.adobe.com/go/flex

FREE Flex 3.0 SDK: http://www.adobe.com/products/flex/downloads/?sdid=ZFCT

Flex Builder Free for Students! More info here: http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/200710/102407adobeflexedu.html

Download Flex Builder 3 Professional 60 Day Trial: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/entitlement/index.cfm?e=flex3email

Mike Potters post about the launch: http://weblogs.macromedia.com/flexteam/archives/2008/02/its_on_-_flex_3.cfm

A brand new site from Adobe focused on Open Source: http://opensource.adobe.com/

Flex.org Community Site – All things Flex: http://flex.org/

RIA – Rich Internet Applications: ttp://www.adobe.com/resources/business/rich_internet_apps/?promoid=BTMAX#

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Comments Off on Flex 3.0 and AIR 1.0 Launch Event Monday February 25 at Independents Hall in Philadelphia!

I just had to post this as I had been waiting and waiting to get a new desktop machine for some time. I’ve relied primarily on laptops for the last several years, but I’ve tried to cut back my travel time as much as possible to spend more time with my family. I’ve got another child due, (this time a girl!) in April, so I’ll be home even more for the next few months. Given that and other reasons, I felt it was time to invest in a nicer desktop machine to boost my productivity. It was even clearer to me since I am doing a ton of video related work lately, and the fact that Apple still hasn’t released a new MacBook Pro, plus I’ve already got a great brand new MacBook, and an older Powerbook for when I do need to travel, so the tower machine/Mac Pro was a no brainer decision. It just arrived Monday and I finished configuring it, installing apps and adding another 8GB of RAM today from OWC. It is by far the fastest, most solid computer I have ever owned, and I have quite a collection of them. It is one of the new Early 2008 Mac Pro towers. I ordered it the day they were announced, back in mid January, but it didn’t ship till this week because I custom configured it with the dual Quad Core 3.2 GHz Xeon processors (8 cores total) and an Nvidia 8800GT graphics card along with a number of other options. I can say that it was totally worth the wait, this thing just flies. I’ve got four 1TB Seagate drives ready to get popped in next for some additional storage which should speed it up even more. Lets just say I am quite pleased with the purchase.

So other than some community events related to local Philly events and our User Group meetings, and now this entry, I haven’t posted much at all since October of last year. I’ve just found myself utterly immersed in work, local community events and family time so the blog just hasn’t been a priority. I have been using twitter quite a bit – http://twitter.com/rhall/ if you want to follow me. I’m very excited to post about some of the projects I have been working on, and I’ll do so over the next few weeks as they all finish “baking”.

One project I can mention briefly that is still in somewhat stealth mode, but is now popping up everywhere is Redlasso – http://www.redlasso.com/ I’ll post more about it another time, just wanted to put up a link for now since its not open to the general public, but if you are interested in find out more, go to the site and sign up.

More to come soon…

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Ā 
A reminder that December 6th, this coming Thursday evening at 6pm at the North Bowl Lounge N’ Lanes The Philly Creative Guides Second Annual Mega Social will be taking place.

More info here:

http://www.phillycreativeguide.com/news/2007/11_november/event/index.htm

And if you use upcoming.org – the event detail is there as well:

http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/335308/

Join your compatriots in the Philly creative industry for an evening of socializing, networking and fun at Northern Liberties’ hot spot – North Bowl Lounge n’ Lanes. The cost? Once again, absolutely free with a donation to the Philadelphia Marine Corps Toys for Tots Campaign. In return you’ll enjoy complimentary food, drink specials, camaraderie and prizes. Last year was a blast, so don’t miss out on the Second Annual Creative Mega Social!

I wanted to point out that I am going to be there representing The Philadelphia Flash Platform Adobe User Group and Adobe, and will have over $5000 worth of goodies to be raffled away, including full boxed copies of the CS3 Web Suite, and Flex Build 2 with Charting Components, along with all the other raffle items the 7 other local Philadelphia based groups in attendance will be giving away.

So grab a toy or two to donate, come on out and put a smile on a childs face, all while having a great time and having a great chance at winning some cool prizes.

If you do plan on attending, please RSVP here:

http://www.phillycreativeguide.com/rsvp/

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I arrived in Chicago saturday morning after a quick flight from Philadelphia to O’Hare Airport. I grabbed a train from the airport to downtown and then hoofed it a few blocks on over to the Chicago Hilton and have been having a great time so far. I went to the final stop of the AIR Bus Tour here in Chicago saturday evening and had a great time – great sessions and food – nothing beats a real Chicago style hot dog! I tossed some photos from the stop up on Flickr here. It was fun to get to meet new faces and hang out. I was so rushed and running around at the AIR Bus tour stop in Philly doing user group manager “things” that it was hard to even catch all the sessions. I definitely got to to see a bit more here in Chicago, which is quite a cool city. This is my first time here and the lake and surrounding parts of the city are pretty interesting – wish I had more time for sightseeing. I’ll be sure to come back just to check it out at some point. Overall I’m pretty relaxed this year at MAX as I managed to squeak out a number of deadlines for clients just prior to departing. Also I am not speaking this year or doing any sessions or trying to bring crazy electronics with me through the airport security so its nice to be able to just take things in and attend all the great sessions and meetings that are taking place over the next few days. Managed to get in quite a few games of Halo 3 with Mike Chambers, Mike Downey and Ryan Stewart (who beat me severely in pretty much every game) last night and again tonight in their gargantuan hotel suite. The O’Reilly Ignite sessions going on during the reception this evening were pretty interesting and afterwards we had a great dinner for all the speakers and community leaders attending MAX and I got to sit down and eat and chat with Will Law and Phillip Kerman about some interesting Flash Media Server stuff. Actually David Zuckerman and a couple other folks from the Flex team were at our table, but I didn’t really get to talk to them much – sorry David! To give some props to David he has worked on some really cool features of Flex 3 (re-factoring, shortcuts, editing features, etc).

I am really looking forward to the keynotes, bird of a feather sessions and sneak peeks. There is going to be some amazing stuff shown and announced over the next few days. If you thought the barrage of applications and info from the CS3 suite of apps, AIR, Flex, etc. has been fast and furious, well its still not slowing down – we are going to see some pretty-frigging-cool stuff very soon. šŸ™‚ It also been really fun getting to see and catch up with friends and acquaintances I have made over the years that I often don’t get to see except at conferences – got to see Matt Voerman for the first time in almost 3 years! Looking forward to bumping into more folks and meeting new ones as well. I’m also eager to attend some of the partner sessions now that I am an official Adobe Solution Partner.

Also not to diminish the news or importance, but my wife and I are pleased to announce that we are expecting our second child! Owen our first child is 16 months old and he is amazing, and now he will have a little baby sister or brother in about 7 months this coming April. My wife Melissa and I are both very excited about having another child. I am not quite as nervous this time around having been through it once and I can’t wait to meet our new baby in April. šŸ˜‰

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The winners of the Adobe AIR Derby Contest have been announced and are listed in an article posted to Adobe’s latest revision of its Developer Connection site here: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/air/articles/air_derby_winners.html. I was really excited to be asked to be one of the judges for the contest, along with Grant Skinner, Andre Charland and Chafic Kazoun – some really outstanding developers. It was quite an honor and privilege to help judge the entries. There were some pretty tough decisions in judging the entries but it was exciting to see all the amazingly cool stuff people are working on out there with AIR and get to play with each of the entries first hand. It was little intimidating to know that we were responsible for awarding such huge prizes Adobe put together: $100,000 in travel vouchers and the amazing dream developer systems, not to mention the squishy ball! I am hoping that in addition to the highlighted winners, that some of the other entries will get highlighted or showcased in some fashion down the road. If you are at Adobe MAX in Chicago this week, I think they will be talking more about the contest and winners in one of the keynotes and demoing the apps, but I’m not 100% sure – guess we will find out tomorrow morning. Which by the way if you are at MAX and recognize me, please stop me and say hi as I always enjoy getting to meet new people. Special thanks to Mike Chambers and Alisa Popolizio of Adobe for making the experience and process of judging the entries go so smoothly.

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Prior to today there had been a handful of unofficial ways to create AIR apps directly from Flash CS3: Guy Watson had put together a nice JSFL solution, which Grant Skinner and his team then built upon. Now there is an official release from Adobe to add in support for creating, testing and packaging up AIR applications right from within Adobe Flash CS3 Professional. It actually adds two “commands” for working with AIR, including an “AIR 1.0” publishing profile. It makes the process dead simple. For those of you out there who haven’t had much time, or have felt a bit intimidated by Flex or even just the Eclipse environment, you should definitely download this and start playing, it is too easy now not to build AIR applications.

Grab the extension/patcher for Flash CS3 Professional from here: http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/AIR:Flash_CS3_Professional_Update

Documentation on its usage, etc. is also on the page with links towards the bottom.

For me this comes just in time to share with our user group members (Philadelphia Flash Platform Adobe User Group) – perfect timing actually as the Adobe On AIR Bus Tour will be rolling into Philadelphia on Wednesday, so this gives us a bit extra to talk about. Also, our “Hot AIR” contest is still open until midnight tomorrow night – more details here: Hot AIR Contest Details and here: We Need Your AIR apps for Hot AIR Contest in Philadelphia!

For those of you who are totally in the dark about the event – please visit the following links and come on out on August 22nd (this Wednesday) at 6:30pm to the Franklin Institute for an awesome FREE event.

Pertinent Links:

The event is FREE but you must register here: http://www.eventsadobe.com/adobeonair/user_info.asp

Event Summary:

Topic: Adobe Integrated Runtime – AIR (Previously code-enamed “Apollo”)

Description: AIR is a cross-platform runtime that allows web developers to leverage their existing web development skills (such as Flash, Flex, HTML and JavaScript/AJAX) to build and deploy web applications and content to the desktop. Currently in public beta, it has a rich set of features, with support for building both HTML, Javascript, Flex/Flash and Acrobat/PDF based applications.

FREE Food, beer, RedBull, cool prizes, give-aways and swag, software, and access to Adobe experts! Plus there will be some Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wiis setup for your gaming pleasures. šŸ˜‰

There is still time to submit an entry for the Hot AIR competition! Get your code together by noon this Tuesday, the 21st at midnight and get a chance to win some rockin’ prizes and demo your AIR app in front of the crowd.

This will also be a GREAT networking opportunity at a very cool venue – we have over 200+ local developers and interested parties registered to attend – come on out and make some new friends.

Bring your laptop and any code (html/flash/Flex) you want to get running as an AIR app and stop by the Q&A table for assistance from experts.

Event Date:
Wednesday, August 22

Event Time:
Doors open at 6:30pm

Event Location:
Fels Planetarium in the Franklin Institute Science Museum
222 North 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
lat 39.957846, lon -75.17247

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Comments Off on Adobe AIR Update for Flash CS3 Up on labs.adobe.com

I’m sitting in my hotel room in San Jose, CA for Adobe Community Summit week, watching all the RSS feeds, blog posts, twitters, etc. about a ton of exciting news coming from Adobe this evening, not even sure where to start, but here goes:

First off several betas just hit labs.adobe.com: Flex 3 beta , Flash Player 9 Update 3 , and Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) B1 M4 (aka Adobe Apollo), Adobe AIR Extension for Dreamweaver. There is a lot more to it than just the betas. There is a huge AIR developer derby going on with unbelievable prizes for the best AIR applications developers can come up with. I’m super excited about the AIR Bus Tour as it is making a stop in Philadelphia at the Fels Planetarium in the Franklin Institute – a very cool venue indeed, don’t miss out on a date in your city, make sure to register! The bus tour will be interesting to follow with live video and data feeds as the AIR Evangelists hit 18 cities across the county in three legs over the next few months in a custom AIR tour bus.

The Flash Player 9 Update 3 beta has some great new enhancements including an API for hardware accelerated fullscreen playback, multi-core support for improved rendering speed on machines with multiple CPU core’s, enhancements to the On2 video decoder for better performance and quality and several other items, Tinic Uro has some more detailed info on this as well as Emmy Huang. Ted Patrick dishes the dirt on all things Flex, including info about Flex 3 Nightly builds and the public Flex 3 bugbase, there are new videos about Flex 3 and the AIR Bus Tour on http://video.onflex.org/, just too much cool stuff.

I’ll post up some more links later tonight on this stuff, but right now I’m a little jetlagged from the trip out here today, and need to get some rest for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow also marks the kickoff of Apples WWDC conference – hoping to hear some official words on Flash support for the iPhone – the latest commercial clearly shows Flash content functioning in the iPhone Safari browser, but there havent been any official announcements yet from Apple or Adobe – no one wants to feel the wrath of Steve and spill the beans before he does, but it is looking like its pretty much a shoe-in that the iPhone will have a full featured Flash player when it ships.

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Comments Off on Adobe AIR Bus Tour Coming to Philadelphia and More

Just a quick reminder that tomorrow May 31st at 6:30pm will be the next Philadelphia Flash Platform Adobe User Group meeting.

You do not want to miss this meeting, thanks to Comcast Interactive Media, we are giving away 4 iPods, and courtesy of Adobe, a copy of one of the Adobe CS3 Premium Software bundles (your choice if you win), along with some other goodies! Comcast Interactive Media is also sponsoring the event and providing pizza/salad/sodas so you wont go hungry.

More importantly you do not want to miss our speaker for this event:
Arpit Mathur: Lead Software Engineer for Comcast Interactive Media
Arpit will be discussing Flex/Flash Large Scale Applications, we might even be able to talk him into showing off his DiggGraphr, Digg Flash API contest entry which has made it into the top 10 Finalists: http://digg.com/contest

More info about the event can be found here: http://www.pfpaug.org/

If you plan on attending, please RSVP by dropping us a note via this link: http://www.impossibilities.com/contact.php

Event Summary:

Speaker:
Arpit Mathur – Lead Software Engineer for Comcast Interactive Media

Topic:
Flex/Flash Large Scale Applications

Date/Time:
Thursday May 31st – 6:30pm-9:30pm

Location:

Comcast Interactive Media Headquarters in Center City
1500 Market Street – Philadelphia, PA 19102
Google Map: http://tinyurl.com/2o5v4w

Hope to see you there! If all goes according to plan, we will also be announcing some additional Flex resources for the Philadelphia and surrounding areas!

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UPDATED: April 16, 2007
See the update below for more information, but the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Video Workshop is now available online!

In all the excitement of the CS3 launch event yesterday (March 27th), there was a bit of info that I didn’t see covered anywhere. From what I understand, all copies of the individual point products and the various bundle suites will include a special DVD. This DVD is the “Adobe Video Workshop“. It’s a pretty unique set of training and overview videos covering the gamut of CS3 products as presented by various members of the designer and developer community. There are also many member’s of the Adobe staff that have contributed to the contents. I am pretty excited about this myself, as I was fortunate enough to be asked to contribute three videos to the project:

This was the first time I had worked on recording a product training video; it turned out to be a challenging and fun project to work on. The individuals I worked with at Lynda.com and Adobe were extremely helpful in getting things done and putting the polish on the final product. I just saw the final versions of the videos I did back in December for the first time today, and I’m really quite pleased with how they turned out. The editing that the Lynda.com staff did is just tremendous. I haven’t seen the entire range of videos, but from what I understand the full version has a great interface and player mechanism to highlight the biographies and info about each of the video authors and allow you to navigate around through the various products and videos. I’m eagerly awaiting my copy to see it in its entirety. I’ll see if its possible for me to post a small snippet of the intro from one of my videos here. Otherwise, make sure to check it out when you get your various CS3 products when they start shipping. All of the videos should end up online, when I know for sure, and where that may be, (or if Im just imagining things) I’ll update this entry (updated – see below).

In the meantime, there are plenty of great videos online for CS3 products already at Lynda.com, including some fantastic videos about Apollo that Mike Chambers put together, and they are FREE! I also found out that there are several big CS3 packages coming soon from Lynda.com:

  • Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training
  • Flash CS3 Essential Training
  • Illustrator CS3 Essential Training
  • InDesign CS3 Essential Training
  • Fireworks CS3 Essential Training
  • Photoshop CS3 One-on-One

From what I understand there are even more in the pipeline.

I want to give a special thanks to Tanya Staples of Lynda.com, Jen deHaan, Carol Linburn, Tim Wohlberg , Kathy Charneco, Sonja Brix, Fabian Padge, and Bill Perry of Adobe.com for the opportunity and assistance in working on the videos. Thanks guys!

One other quick-tip for any aspiring video-training authors – do yourself a favor and pick up a USB noise-cancelling headset. I can’t recommend highly enough the Plantronics .Audio 550 headset it drowns out all background noise including whirring hard drives and other ambient noise you might find around your computer.


The Adobe Creative Suite 3 Video Workshop is now live and available online! Jump directly to it here: http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/video_workshop/ or read more about it here: http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/video_workshop/about.html

It launched earlier today with over 200 videos. Tons of great content. You can find the three videos I contributed in the Device Central CS3 section or jump directly to them from the following links:

If you are considering purchasing any of the new Adobe CS3 products it should be really helpful. I highly recommend at least a quick look through the topics, products and new features the videos cover.

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