Kinect – the next step in HCI

With Microsofts launch of the highly anticipated Kinect interface comes much excitement from the development world occupied by us….well let’s be honest, geeks. But hey, Geeks are the new jocks in todays tech driven world. We make shit happen. Don’t believe me? Within 3 hours of the Kinect being sold it had been hacked and here’s just a few of the initial results. Already I can see LOTS of possibilities.

As soon as I’m back from LA I’m going to be opening up one of these babies and experimenting with it myself.

By the way, this is my first trip to California and for the life of me I cannot figure out why everyone doesn’t live here. The streets are palm tree lined. It’s clean, friendly (at least compared to London), it’s 26 degrees C in November, sunny, beautiful and the beaches and the mountains are less than an hour away. Time to relocate I think.

Adobe sponsored Poker Tournament – PokerCoder 8

PokerCoder 8 is running on the evening of Tuesday 13th July. If you’re a developer or designer who uses Adobe products professionally and you’d like a go at poker for free, then get along to the PokerCoder site and read up on the event and then register but do it quick as places go really fast for this event.

Adobe lay on the drink and the prizes. There’s no entry fee and the only thing you’ll pay for all night is your food if you want some. The games are not played for money and the dealers are used to beginners and give tutorial help during the evening. It’s a great opportunity to learn poker with no risk and surrounded by friends and colleagues. It’s also a great opportunity to meet you peers, potential employers or potential employees (and you’ll get the chance to see how they operate under pressure).

HTML5 vs Flash: The Real Question

I read an article on Gizmodo which intelligently and articulately analyzed the claim that HTML5 was a Flash killer. They quoted many research sources and spoke of many real world industry imperatives, ultimately leading to a very honest and pragmatic conclusion. I was very impressed to read such a cogent comparison and analysis and I firmly recommend that if you are a Flash developer who’s worried about your future, you have a read of this and put your mind at rest.

But for me, Ny Quil crystalised the triviality of the threat to Flash in one question : “The real question is this: will HTML5 make it easier or harder for me to get porn?”

London Flash Developers and Designers official Adobe user group

I  have mentioned the LFDD user group before but the London Flash Developer and Designer user group is now officially an Adobe recognised and supported user group. It is also recognised and supported by Friends of Ed so as well as speakers, question time and personal presentation opportunities, it a;so benefits from all the things the official Adobe and FoE recognition brings, including book and software prizes to be won.

The group is dedicated to beginners and intermediates, as there are already 2 advanced user groups in London for Flash and Flex. But what does that mean? Who should go to the group? Well, broadly speaking, if you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the following then this is the group for you:

  • You want to learn Flash development or design.
  • You want to progress from actionscript 2 to actionscript 3.
  • You want to move from procedural coding to Object Oriented coding.
  • You want to learn about UML and pattern based coding.
  • You want to learn more of the sexy concept and design techniques made possible by products like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.
  • You want to learn about video encoding and delivery techniques.
  • You want to learn about games programming and design in Flash.
  • You want to learn how to deliver your projects using best practices and good process.
  • You want an introduction to doing 3D in Flash.
  • You want to know about audio in Flash and Soundbooth.
  • You want to speak to industry experts about your work, career choices and the latest technology.
  • You want to share your latest work and ideas with a group of fellow enthusiasts.
  • You want to get into mobile development.
  • You want to get real live industry feedback on what technologies and work are being used and done out there.
  • You want more…:)

The group meets once a month (the penultimate Thursday of every month) at the South Bank University’s Keyworth Center on the 1st floor. There is just now an Adobe user group official site for it ( Everyone is welcome no matter what your background of expertise. It’s a very open and friendly group and if you have knowledge to share then it always welcomed.

If there are topics you’d like to see covered then please let us know as we have the expertise and the connections with Adobe to make it happen. we’ll also be giving away Adobe software from time to time and Friends of Ed have generously donated any amount of excellent books to give out as prizes (or if you’re willing to read them and write a review of the book for the user group site)

New London Flash User Group…sort of

I’m a reasonably regular attendee of many of the community events and user groups. I believe firmly that the uniquely strong community spirit that exists in the Flash world is one of it’s great strengths. I know I would never have been as successful a Flash Platform developer as I am without the selfless help and advise I received over the years from countless friends and colleagues.
And that spirit is contagious. I now give back to the community myself through things like going on to forums and answering as many questions as I have time for, attending user groups and running community events like This all helps raise the general level of expertise within the industry and is good for all of us.
I recently discovered a London Flash user group based in South Bank University run by a very nice guy called David Wright: The London Flash Developers and Designers user group. It’s a stone’s throw from Elephant and Castle tube station. It has around 350 signed up members – though obviously not all of them turn up 😉 and it’s actually been around for quite a long time. Continue reading

Why the timeline is NOT evil

It seems that recently people, good people, are coming out of the woodwork to point out that they might not always like to deliver their Flash Platform solutions as OO solutions. I hear the collective gasp of horror and revilement from the community of Actionscript developers who have spent years refining their coding and OO methodologies to a point where they can code in Java with little effort. I myself am one of those coders. However, I am forever using the term ‘Pragmatic’ when I speak to staff and peers alike. Look at the big picture. Not everyone wants a solution that takes 2 months to deliver because you have to develop redundant, reusable, unit tested OO code. Many clients want throw away solutions and have no likelihood of code reuse. The problem is that we’ve become enamored with the idea of perfecting and using only code. Anyone who speaks of the timeline does so with contempt and some even call for it’s removal altogether, suggesting that it is the province of antiquated, knuckle dragging wanna-be coders. Not like us ‘real’ coders. Continue reading

Flash and Flex Developer Magazine – now FREE

Finally, a magazine for the intermediate and advanced developer, and now it’s free! Well ok, actually the back issues are starting to be released free as the next issue comes out. But that’s pretty good! The content is excellent. The Logic Bureau is one of the technical advisors to the magazine. Take a look at the content synopsis on the cover or any issue and you’ll definitely find something more advanced that you wanted to learn. I’m not even going to list the topics, there are so many. Go to the site an have a look.
Continue reading