Archive for June 2006

Off to RailsConf!

21 June 2006 | 0

I fly out to Chi-town tomorrow for RailsConf! Woot!

I guess there are supposed to be somewhere around 550 people there — not bad for the first year! (And of those 550, I get to be number 222 — yes!)

I can’t believe I’ll have gone to two web development conferences within a week of each other. I’m a lucky guy — thanks, MRM!

Live from Flashbelt 2006, Day 1

14 June 2006 | 0

Well, here I am at Flashbelt 2006 in Minneapolis. It’s a very groovy conference focusing on Flash (and, increasingly this year, Flex). The event is three days long, and today started out with a keynote by Adobe employee David Mendels. He gave a bunch of details about the direction Flash is going, including a really cool project codenamed Apollo, which is a way of creating standalone, cross-platform desktop applications that are based on Flash (but can also display HTML and PDF content).

After the keynote, the first presentation I saw was about Flex 2 by Mark Anders. Most of it was stuff I already knew, but it was good to see how they’re integrating with Eclipse for Flex Builder. It’s gonna be Windows-only at launch, which really blows, but the SDK is already available, and that is cross-platform. I may need to check that out in the near future.

I’m currently sitting in a presentation by two individuals from Athletics. The presentation is called The Flash Divide, and it’s supposed to be about how to bridge the gap between developers and designers, but right now they’re just presenting their work. More to come…

Hardware… sometimes you got it, sometimes you don’t

9 June 2006 | 0

Put simply:

Nintendo got it. Apple don’t.

I got to try two new toys today: The MacBook and the DS Lite. I stopped off at the Apple store today on my way home from work, mostly since I hadn’t had a chance to see the MacBooks up close yet. And, let me just say, I was not impressed. Previously, I had been drooling over the black MacBook, and was even considering getting one, but now that I’ve looked at it, I’m reconsidering. The new keyboard doesn’t bother me — it’s a bit weird, true, but it’s not uncomfortable. But it really isn’t that attractive. The black plastic looks cheap — the ThinkPad I’m writing this on right now is of a much higher quality. Maybe if they had gone glossy with it, like the white MacBooks and the iPods, it would be a different story. But the matte black just doesn’t work. My other big complaint is the screen. Why, oh why, did they go glossy. The colors may be brighter, but at the expense that the screen reflects everything. It’s bad both functionally and aesthetically; it really does serve to cheapen the perceived quality of the machine from me, and makes it feel just like every other PC laptop out there. I don’t know what Apple is thinking, but I hope they don’t continue this trend.

Nintendo on the other hand is doing awesome. The DS Lite is simply amazing. I’m getting one the first chance I have. The case is simple beautiful — I read a comment by someone today that it looks as if it had been designed by Jonathan Ive, and it really does. It feels like Apple hardware. And, as icing on the cake, I got to try it for the first time while playing the New Super Mario Bros. There’s nothing like feeling like you’re 7 again to give you the warm fuzzies about a device.

An insight…

7 June 2006 | 0

The United States is the Internet Explorer of countries.

Animator vs. Animation

5 June 2006 | 0

I know that I’ve personified Flash before, but nothing like this guy.

End of May Recap

1 June 2006 | 0

What’s new since last we chatted?

…Been doing a lot of freelance… I guess that’s not really new. Oh, but I am working on two sites in Rails right now, and I love it. It’s freaking amazing how productive I am with it, mostly because the environment is so well thought out (Ruby is a damn fine language, too). One site is for a personal project, and the other site is for a buddy of mine, Peter. I can’t talk too much about either right now, but I think Peter’s should still launch some time this year… mine may be quite a bit later than that.

…Saw X-Men 3 — and I was entertained. Obviously operates in a totally different universe than the canonical timeline, but it was still really enjoyable. Not as good as either 1 or 2, but still a good summer action flick with some characters I really dig.

…Weather’s been really hot up here. Almost Florida-like, actually. God I hate summer.

…I’m in a really bad mood at the moment — trying to prevent that from corrupting all the good things that have been going on lately.

…Saw Imogen Heap the Tuesday before last. Super, super fun show. I highly recommend her, as well as the Varsity Theater now. It’s a really nice venue I hadn’t been to before — very atmostpheric (if not a tad too non-air-conditioned), and decent sound. Also, it’s right next to the Loring Pasta Bar, which is the ultimate first date restaurant.

…Got my student reviews/evaluations back the other day. They had some very nice things to say, and, all in all, it was very positive. They want me to give them a bit more (or a lot more) detailed information in grading their projects. I promise I’ll work on that… wait… what is that smell? Do I sense another Rails app in the works? (Yeah, like I need another project…

…Taught Cristina and Juan Antonio some HTML and CSS goodness — they are super, super awesome people, by the way…

…Why are there no good, small, inexpensive, color, touch screen LCDs? Is that so much to ask for? (Apparently yes)

…I also promise to put some more art up too… but for now, you can watch my adventures into creating artificial fire (ah, the magic of Photoshop and a Wacom tablet).