Archive for September, 2004

You might have seen the Pokia site before that everyone was blogging about a month or so ago, the one that highlights crazy handsets for cell phones. I thought it was pretty darn funny, but I thought I could improve upon the idea by using a heavy-duty handset. Yes, that right, the images in this post are of a typical payphone style handset that I rigged up for my Nokia 6600. Yes, this has probably been the dumbest thing I have done or posted about in a while, but the looks I got from my wife while soldering it up were classic. Of all the crazy computer related stuff I have done, for whatever reason this one made my wife laugh the most. The only thing sillier than actually making or using this thing in public, is asking your wife to photograph you using it so you can post the resulting photos on your website. I actually made it several weeks ago, but didn’t have the courage to ask her to snap a shot of me until tonight after a beer or two. So, there you have it. Enjoy!

Alright, so it does look like somebody beat me to it and has already made and placed a couple variations of this theme on ebay – check it out here and here. I really enjoyed the claim on one of site auctions that casually mentions, “It’s so strong that you can use it in self defense.” They are right, you could probably do some serious damage with one of these things if you could get it whipping around fast enough.

UPDATE: This site has some nice models available including heavy duty payphone style models. My personal favorite – A bluetooth Pokia instructional article.

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Thanks to Mike Chambers and the rest of generous folks at Macromedia on the Flash Team for the very cool package that FedEx dropped off today. I took a quick snapshot of the contents with my Nokia 6600. Here is a quick breakdown of the goodies:

  • The Timbuk2 Laptop Messenger Bag with the Macromedia Flash MX 2004 logo embroidered on it is sweet! I have already emptied out my old-not-hip-at-all-businessman-standard-issue-Samsonite laptop bag and got it ready for holding old cables and small gadgets laying around my office, as this new bag is taking over daily duties. A very cool gift indeed!
  • Two boxes of the inaugural series of Flash MX 2004 Collectible Cards – series 01 Components. I opened them up and besides being quite instructional, they smell great! I used to do a ton of pre-press work, and I still have an afinnity for the smell of a nice, heavy stock with a fresh coating of ink, like it just came off the Heidelberg. Sniff, sniff – ahhh…
  • A cool booklet about web based video and Flash – I swear I saw an online version of this at one point with that cool page-turn effect that Natzke originally came up with – but I can’t find the link anywhere.
  • A very cool t-shirt with the Flash logo on the back and the word “TWEENER” on the front with a tween arrow on the front. This t-shirt compliments the gotoAndPlay t-shirt that Macromedia gave out to all attendees at FlashForward 2004 in NY earlier this year.
  • Finally, a nice printed article about the significance of the Ellipsis – Flash MX 2004 7.2 update – that came out earlier this year.
  • So, thanks again to Mike and the rest of the team – you rock!

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    Tonight Macromedia has unleashed Central 1.5 on all of us Flash developers. This release has some really compelling new features such as: file IO on local system, remote file upload and download, AOL IM framework integration, AS 2.0, Flash 7 Player integration. Best of all brand new licensing models that are much more attractive and flexible. I already have some ideas for clients that previously I didn’t even consider because of the initial licensing, now they are all going right into the proposals. Christian Cantrell has a great summary article up in the DevNet about what Central 1.5 is, what it means, and why you should care. In addition, the Central DevNet area has several other good articles up that you should take a look at.
    So what are you waiting for, head on over and grab the latest Central Client and also check out the Central SDK, and the AOL IM SDK both available for download now. Did I mention there is some really tight integration into the Flash MX 2004 IDE now? Some cool wizards make the process of starting a project, developing it and deploying it much simpler than before, so make sure you have updated to 7.2 Ellipsis. Very cool indeed. I’m sure I’ll have more posts about Central 1.5 over the coming weeks. One last thing, make sure to check out Ted Patrick’s cool article deconstructing some of the new feartures like the FileReference class in Central 1.5, which he used for his Icon Builder Central 1.5 apps.

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    Cool news: on Thursday, September 9th, the Jane Pauley Show on NBC will be demonstrating a project that features a Flash based user interface that I worked on, to control a very unique device. The demonstration is of an Intellifit system – which I posted about previously in late 2003 and more recently here. The system is one of several highlighted pieces of advanced technology and gadgets on Jane’s episode airing this Thursday, entitled: Fall Into the Future. You can actually see a very quick video blip of one of the Flash based touchscreens UI’s and the device itself in action, in the current quicktime promo video on her website for Thursdays show. (The screen and device are quickly shown in the bumper right after Jane says, “Todays show is about new stuff.” – If you blink youll miss it.)

    I am looking forward to seeing the whole episode and other gadgets shown. If you are able to tune in – get those TIVOS ready – watch closely and you just might see an MX 2004 datagrid, and other standard Halo skinned components in action if they demonstrate some of the admin features of the touchscreen interface. Actually, this is not the first time that this project and the good old datagrid component have been featured on on the boob tube – if you watch this video from an ABC News affiliate in Memphis, TN from a few months back – you can also catch a few glimpses of the system in action, including the interface, with a brief shot or two of our good friend the datagrid.

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    I ran across tonight while checking out one of my favorite gadget sites Gizmodo. I was really impressed and inspired with Jin-Yo Mok’s interactive art piece – playMusicBox. His use of Flash for his journal, videos, and the prototyping of his project and an interactive online version is very cool. In addition to the project itself, I really liked the online presence and presentation on his site – very clean and functional. According to his journal he collaborated with Gicheol Lee of Firstborn Multimedia in NY and t.y.p.o.r.g.a.n.i.s.m., on the Flash work.

    I was reading Jin-Yo’s journal about developing the project and saw that he used XML sockets in a Flash app to connect and communicate with a Lantronix CoBox Micro Device Server. With some programming in PicBasic along with some hardware he wired up on a prototyping breadboard, he was able to allow a user to interact with the Flash app to control an array of LEDs – almost like a Flash based Lite-Brite. Of course this was only the beginning, the project gets much deeper and interesting – definitely take a look at the project site and see the rest of the project. The project is also currently featured at the Whitney Artport

    I love stuff like this that combines physical interactivity with computers in a new and interesting way. This is the kind of stuff that is inspiring to me, blending art, creativity and technology.

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