Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

DFUG : Interview w. PV3D' s Ralph Hauwert and Mike Chambers

Mike Chambers have posted an interview following the DFUG / Adobe AIR User meeting in Aarhus.
I'm attending Ralph's course on PV3D next month in London, and this interview just even makes me more happy to have signed up already.

Check out Ralph's blogpost on it (linking to the video of the interview):


Nu kan man tjene penge på at blogge.
Umiddelbart får jeg feks. 50 DKK for dette indlæg.

Check det ud:

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Adobe AIR : AIR/MTV challenge

Adobe and MTV are hosting a contest to find the coolest apps built using Adobe AIR and the MTV Assets.

I definitely wanna join, but I still need to:
- find a cool project to do.
- find some other people interested to join with.
- convince my company that its valuable to join such a competition enough so they will allow me to stop overworking myself on projects with customers 16 hours a day...

Check it out:

Sunday, November 18, 2007

CouchTycoon : Social Investment Network

CouchTycoon is the "Friends n Family Venture Network". Participants can directly invest in start-ups starting at approximately $ 4 and they can trade their shares theyve bought once. So startups get financed and quoted in real values and at their very first steps they do. To invest and trade shares of startups you must convert your dollars to "CouchChips" first, as they call their own currency. To submit a project is as easy as writing an e-mail or blogging. Describe your project like you would do in an e-mail to one of your friends. Your post will appear on the "Going to Beef Island" site as well as in the "Going to Beef Island Feed" which you see below. This way community members can easily be updated when new suggestions are published.

Check it out:

MAC vs. PC : My New Toys

Last Friday my Logitech keyboard broke down again, but this time never to return from the promised land for keyboards.
Having scavenged the various internet-stores, I decided to purchase a set of the new Apple wireless keyboard and its co-worker: The Mighty Mouse Wireless.
The design (and quality) of these guys are extraordinary good and absolutely second to none !

They are Bluetooth enabled so I figured I might have a bit of a hassle when attempting to connect the stuff to a Windows XP Pro, especially because the package and manual mentions nothing of being Windows compatible and actually even states MAC OS and an Apple PC as technical requirements.
Nevertheless, connecting the Keyboard was completely straightforward and soon the I could use the awesome Apple keyboard to focus on installing the Mouse, this would however prove to be more of a challenge.
Initially the mouse was easily recognized by Windows, but off course it would not accept to be paired without a passkey which I suppose is not necessary on a MAC since it does not mention a passkey in the installation procedure description in the manual.
However, after at short browsing on the web, I soon learned that the passkey is "0000 " (the obvious choice next to the omnipresent "1234" - I suppose) and after having given the Windows Bluetooth device installation routine this: it required a reboot in order to operate correctly. Which i eventually did as it didn't function immediately after installation and hence making my HomePC (the centerpiece of the apartment) even more attractive than it already was (My customized Shuttle PC from many years ago when shuttles became high fashion).
There is absolutely NO PROBLEM using these cool Apple accessories with a Windows PC and the mouse even supports left and rightclick with its seemingly single button, but it actually recognizes which side of it I have clicked on.... nice job from Apple :)

I must admit that this experience have made me more inclined to explore the possible switch to a MAC which is now made feasible by the drastic improvement made in the virtualization software making it possible to use the Windows Applications on which my work is so dependent.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Archive : Decreased memorial skills as an early warning of negative stress

If a co-worker suddenly appears to have a decrease in memorial skills its often at sign that something is occupying their mind, however sometimes for no apparent reason they may start to display this as well and it can be an early warning that a negative stress situation is emerging.

Standing alone this is far from a clear indication that negative stress is building up, but it can be an early warning... and together with other signs it can be a pretty clear indication.

Archive : The early signs of negative stress

In case you didn't know, negative stress can be handled effectively if caught early.
Many organizations have a stress policy which includes information about stress and how to recognize it if happens to one of your co-workers or yourself.
However, if you happen to work in a place with no such thing, but still run the risk of negative stress you might want to know what the early signs of negative stress look and feels like.

The organization I work for don't have a declared stress policy, nevertheless are the lower strategic- and tactical-management pretty good at adjusting the work load in recognition of e.g. a tough haul up towards a deadline, so we are pretty well off in comparison to many other places.

However, in lack of a declared stress policy I will try to address the issue in a number of posts and attempt to give some quick and dirty (and easily implementable) advice for how to handle an emerging stress situation for either yourself or the team you work in.

Initially its important to recognize the fact that your co-workers most often will notice the changes towards a negative stress situation before yourself, so I will start with the symptoms for how you can recognize it in others and then move into the ones only you yourself (and perhaps your close relations) can know about.

PS. Please comment on this topic and please let me know if there are certain topics your would like to see covered.

Archive : 10 tips for networkers

Are you the type of guy that sees networking as a sort of competition and do you count the number of business-cards at the end of the a busy networking-day, then this article is for you...

Read it and weep:

Archive : What the Wall Street Journal thinks about Cubicles

If you thinking about rethinking the office-layout, there is a interesting shoutout from the Wall Street Journal about major Silicon Companies trading the cubicle for more open and flexible office-layouts.

Check it out:

Archive : IT pros get more for soft skills

A report by Foote Partners shows that employers are paying higher premiums for noncertified tech skills such as enterprise applications, e-commerce, and process management than for verified skills.

Check it out:

Archive : Know the full names of your co-workers

Know the full names of your co-workers, even if you work distributed and you may never have seen the person it helps in the communication if you know their name.
Salespeople have known this for ages and they do this consistently because it works in creating increased attention and trust between the two participants in a dialog.

Archive: Challenging Telework Myths

Here is a very useful piece of arguments for why teleworking can be made a success...

Check it out:

Adobe Flex : Dynamically loading classes at runtime

Loading classes dynamically is a powerful and very useful technique.
Using the SWFLoader in the controls package makes doing this straightforward ...

var libraryLoader:SWFLoader = new SWFLoader();
libraryLoader.source = "Library.swf";

if( libraryLoader.loaderContext.applicationDomain.hasDefinition( "Foo" ) )
var FooClass:Class = libraryLoader.loaderContext.applicationDomain.getDefinition( "Foo" ) as Class;
var fooInstance:* = new FooClass();

An interesting aspect with this technique is the theoretical ability to have several classes with an equal fully qualified name in the same application instance as long as they are loaded from different applicationdomains. I cant foresee what eventually will happen in the case of a casting collision, but I intend to find out as soon as I have 15 minutes to spend.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Graphics : Seam carving tool freely available

If you have not been caught in an underwater cave for the last 2 months, you have for sure been excited about the prospects of seam carving pioneered by the bit-wizards: Mr. Shai Avidan and Mr. Ariel Shamir.

However, now the technique is made freely available thanks to the guys at RSIZR... Check it out:

PV3D : New showreel 2007

There has just been released a new showreel for Papervision 3D...
Words cannot describe it, so I'm just gonna leave a link for you folks to follow and see for youself...

Adobe Flex : Shortcutting to LiveDocs

Mike Potter from the Flex Developer Marketing Team implemented a redirect on that gives easy access to Flex Package Documentation.
Just type[fullpackagename|fullclassname] into your browser and it will redirect you to the official Adobe LiveDocs page for that package.

For example, will take you to the mx.controls package documentation and will take you to the Alert class in the Controls package.

Thanks to Mike Potter for doing this simple addition to the website...
If you want to know more about how or why, you can read his blog-entry about it.

Check it out:

WebORB : Passing headers from the Client to the Server

Passing custom headers from the client to the server is made very easy using RemoteObjects and WebORB for .NET.

1. Initially during the construction of the RemoteObject in the client-code, we add an eventlistener for the Invoke event on the RemoteObject:

this.service.addEventListener( InvokeEvent.INVOKE, ServiceDelegateCallManager.handleInvoke );

2. In the handler we add the header:

public static function handleInvoke( event:InvokeEvent ) : void
var message:AbstractMessage = event.message as AbstractMessage;
message.headers.MBUserID = User.current.userId;

3. On the server its really easy to retrieve the custom headers side by side with the default Flex DataServices headers. In the respective method called on the server we are now able to retrieve the added header with a mere 3 lines of code:

using Weborb; // to import ORBConstants
using Weborb.Util; // to import ThreadContext

Hashtable props = ThreadContext.getProperties();
Hashtable headers = (Hashtable)props[ ORBConstants.REQUEST_HEASDERS ];
String mbUserID = (String)headers[ "MBUserID" ]

Thanks to Mark Pillar from MidnightCoders for providing the insight in WebORB to do this.
If you are interested in reading more about Flex and .NET security, please check out Mark's article on - its and excellent primer on this topic (

Flash Platform : Now the add campaigns start rolling

Having seen the amount of momentum currently wthin the community, Adobe is now responding with a massive Flash Platform campaign.
This is the first (of what I presume will be many) ad-apps for the Flash Platform.

Its supercool...
Oh... remember to turn on sound and the HD !

Check it out:

Flash Player : Mac Player FileUpload Complete event not thrown

I have been raving a long time about the missing Complete event in Mac players, it appears that it is caused by a zero-length response is returned to the client.

Its been there a very long time as I remember having troubles with it during the Flex 1.5 days developing for the Macromedia Central runtime.

A quick and dirty hack on the server is to write something (can be anything) back into the response stream. Clients will ignore the payload and only look for the HTTP status header but the Complete event will be thrown on all players... :-)

is it not an option to modify the servercode, you can make up for the missing event by listening for the progress event and in the handler comparing the amount of processed bytes with the total amount of bytes.

Adobe Flex : Access Framework Sources during debugging

It’s very useful to have Flex framework source available in your workspace, so you can easily search it, and so that Flex framework source files can be opened with Ctrl-Shift-F. (They can be opened with Ctrl-Shift-T even if the files aren’t in the workspace.)

Here’s how:
1. In your workspace, create a new project: right click in the navigator, pick New > Project…
2. In the wizard dialog that appears, under General, pick the plain “Project” choice and press the “Next” button.
3. Enter a name for the project. I use “Flex Source”. Leave “default location” checked, and press the “Finish” button.
4. After the project is created, right-click on the top level of the project and pick New > Folder.
5. Don’t fill in the Folder name, but instead click the “Advanced” button, check the “Link to folder in file system” checkbox, and enter the path to the “mx” folder underneath the framework source. On my system it’s in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Flex Builder 3\sdks\3.0.0\frameworks\source\mx. This should auto-fill the folder name field, and it’s fine to accept the default. Press the “Finish” button.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Adobe Flex : Moxie T-shirts

You can now order your own un-official Moxie T-shirt so you can wear your "puppy with pride".

It's a whopping 28$ per unit excl. shipping and handling so I very much doubt that I will see too many of them walking around the streets of Copenhagen.

Check it out:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

DFUG : AIR User Group Meeting in Aarhus

Last Thursday I had the great opportunity to attend a couple of hours of free-stepping by the two AIR evangelists, Mike Chambers and Lee Brimelow (both from Adobe).

Making Aarhus one of their 6 European stops on the AIR User Group tour of Europe it was a great opportunity for me as a true Copenhaniac to revisit the wonderful capital of Jutland (The danish mainland)(Copenhagen is our nation's true capital featuring our Parliament as well as the notoriously expensive amusement park Tivoli and the (for most tourists surprisingly small) Little Mermaid).


The setting was LynFabrikken, a media collective featuring just about everything the nearly human developers heart may desire. I had brought my GF for the trip so we started getting some sushi at a nearby SushiBar and bringing it to the venue. Everybody else was drinking beer and eating pizza so we kinda didn't fit into any of the arch-types present, but neither did the fact that she was a female so I suppose we were the odd couple of the crowd (I counted 3 female specimens out of the apr. 120 attendees).

Mike Chambers started presenting General Adobe... I shall not elaborate on this, you will know already for sure.

Lee Brimelow continued after the break where most people used the opportunity to refresh themselves from the DFUG-sponsored bar and to catch up among their network. Nice ambiance altogether.
Going through the general description of AIR, Lee entertained everybody with his informal and self-deprecating style for which he is known.
Seeing that he actually used to evangelize for WPF instead of Adobe's Flash Platform I couldn't keep my question bottled up about where he saw the eventual standoff between Flash and WPF taking place and on what grounds.
He refused such a thing would happen due to the completely different characteristics of the two platforms.
He used the opportunity to make sure that everyone was aware of the fact that Silverlight and Microsoft is great for creating applications, but they sucked at creating experiences. So if you want to create a boring CRUD oriented data-management application in a controlled environment its fine to use WPF, but if you want to create an experience or even just to wrap tedious work processes for users in a compelling UI, the the Flash Platform would be your obvious choice... Not mentioning that its SO unlikely that Silverlight will ever get the same penetration as the Flash player but leaving this unsaid and yet there was none among the audience that wasn't aware of this fact. Unfortunately he managed (once again) to avoid answering and explaining concretely his drastic change from evangelizing one thing to evangelizing the opposition... some day I hope to get him to explain in details this transition of epic proportions.

Shortly after the conclusion the American guys left to catch the train to Cologne (The location for the meeting next day) and I ended up having a very interesting talk with Andreas Hollström from Adobe Nordic about the interdepartmental processes on Flex development projects, a dialog that took its offset in the Thermo review and soon moved into general process optimization... interesting stuff :-)

The GF and I soon had to split to catch our train back to Copenhagen, so we had to leave the free bar unravished, but I promised to come back soon and take care of that.
I had to limit myself to one beer during my chat with Andreas as I had to launch an early public Beta of our newly developed project for Elsparefonden: "Min Bolig | Det intelligente hjem".

The deployment went fine as did the train ride. My GF not coming from Denmark and not being technically inclined, actually enjoyed the trip and I am considering to bring her to more of this sort of thing as it always lights up the room with a beautiful girl, and it almost NEVER seems to bother geeks and other nice folks to be in the presence of a good looking female (but then again, who would dislike that).

Adobe Flex : Zoom|Pan Interface Guide

I have been trying to mess around with the FIG for Zoom|Pan from Adobe, but unfortunately it has been very closely tied with the ImageViewer custom component and trying to making it to work generally for Containers or UIComponents has proven to be more of an effort than I have can afford on the current project. I have therefore been forced to abandon using the FIG and just write it in the good-old-fashioned style.

Why they have tied it so closely to Bitmap viewing beats me, so I think I will have to go with PV3D next time I need this (I still need to be more clever about PV3D before such an effort can be handled in a sustainable fashion).

PV3D : Course in London

Im so excited that there is scheduled a course for PV3D developers in Europe. Having been jealous about the two courses (San Fransisco and New York) on the NorthAmerican continent for a while, I'm pretty excited about the scheduled course in London in medio December featurering Ralph Hauwert (One of the original guys doing the PV3D engine).

Being a bit more pricey than its two NorthAmerican counterparts, I hear many people complaining... but hey, face it... the course is still priced at the equivalence of what you can make in a single day after the course on your newly acquired set of skills.

Check it out:

PV3D : Majority Desk

Developed by Eddie Herrmann and Dan McWeeney for demo jam at SAP TechEd, Majority Desk is a 3D desktop controlled by two Nintendo wiimotes.

It’s a very interesting project running on Adobe AIR with Papervision3D on the rendering and the excellent WiiFlash on the controls.

PV3D : PaperVision 3D - my initial thoughts

If you have not yet checked it out, its about time that you do it. Some people have called it the biggest revolution since the Flash Player, and to be honest I am inclined to agree.

There are generally two major ways of using 3D in modern websites. You can use it as true 3D to create advanced navigation or presentation of objects and concepts... and you can use it create engaging UI based on existing UI principles.

The first option have been around for a while thanks to a plethora of 3rd party plugins, the second one is the UI revolution that is happening right now.
Websites are in increasing numbers adding 3D effects to existing UI structures in order to create engaging experiences. PaperVision is not providing anything completely new (people such as Ely Greenfield has produced the FlashBook a long time ago), but is merely the next natural step in a long sequence of non-revolutionary yet evolutionary developments.

PV3D is merely a VERY well-designed ActionScript API making it feasible for any Flash/Flex developer to create 3D enabled UI's. The ease with which a developer can get started developing this is actually the true revolution as all the nice UI's web-developers have been dreaming of developing since the emergence of desktop processed 3D is now made possible (and on an existing platform - namely the Flash Player 9 and its AS 3.0 runtime).

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Adobe Flex : Flex Interface Guide

Adobe has released a website that delivers a guide for how to developer user interfaces in Adobe Flex applications.

Initially it contains samples and components for the following aspects of interface development:
- Callouts
- Paged Lists
- Pam/Zoom

These sort of aspects have previously been addressed by others as user interface patterns, however Adobe calls it guides but it essentially is the same and its a very welcome initiative to standardize the development of experience-oriented applications.

Check it out:

Event : Flex Camp Boston on the 7th of December 2007

If you have the opportunity, Bentley University looks like a nice place to be for a Flex Developer on the 7th of December... :-)

Check it out:

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