David Flatley

Archive for December, 2007

Socom Map Packs Working on My PS3

by on Dec.30, 2007, under Electric Mayhem, Nonsense

A little update on my favorite pass-time. I was FINALLY able to get the Socom Combined Assault Map Packs working with my PlayStation 3. You’d think that the big hard drive would someday prove useful to somebody, but in the meantime, I was able to get these stupid map packs working ONLY on my iPod. Purchased, downloaded, installed and at long last, they’re working.

There are hoards of other people with PS3′s that bought the map packs and later found out they couldn’t play them. Hopefully, this will prove useful to you. For Sony to build the PS3 and not enable backward compatibility….argh!!! What are you people taking lessons from Microsoft now?

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What would you like to see in Attest 2.0?

by on Dec.28, 2007, under Actual RIA info, Adobe Flex

I’ve had some very cool feedback on Attest 1.0, and got some great ideas from other developers on how to improve on Attest 2.0 for the Adobe Flex 3 Developer Certification Exam when that comes along eventually. I’m compiling a list of features that I personally would like to see, but if you’ve used Attest and have some feedback, fill me in! I want to hear any ideas that would make Attest kick some butt!

Attest - Adobe Flex Certification Practice Exam

Some ideas that I had, as well as ideas from other developers using Attest are:

  • Learning Mode:
    • Should allow user to choose amount of questions for custom tests. This way the user may only have 10 mins to spare, but could still create a custom test (5-10 questions for example)
    • Ability to check the answer during viewing of the questions for learning mode only. Instant feedback would be nice.
  • Test Mode:
    • Same ability to choose custom number of questions and time for each test, as well as the premade tests.
    • Possibly view the results per question as stated above, rather than go to a different results page.

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Center Registration Point – Another Recipe for the Flex CookBook

by on Dec.27, 2007, under Actual RIA info, Adobe Flex

Here’s a little recipe for scaling an image from a center registration point. Flash always allowed you to bounce the registration point wherever you wanted, but Flex expects it on the top left. If you want to resize an image from the center evenly, with a horizontal slider for example, you’ll like this one.

First the MXML. This layout is simple, it basically just has the small script with a function to accept a SilderEvent when the user changes the value of the horizontal slider. This function then uses the static functions (calcX() and calcY()) in the ImageResizer class to calculate the new math and tell your image how to resize properly from the center.

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The Dave Flatley Medical Plan – cost $0 per month

by on Dec.19, 2007, under Intense Nonsense

It’s my intention to post more about my gripes, after all, that is partly the reason I started this blog in parallel with my company blog where I have to write more professionally. It’s quite possible I might offend a few folks and lose some popularity myself, maybe I’ll gain popularity for calling it as I see it, I don’t know? But if I end up tossing my company in the toidy bowl for my personal views than so be it, I didn’t start my company purely for profit after all.

I can hear Jacob Marley yelling at ole’ Ebenezer

Ebenezer: But it was only that you were an honest man of business!
Jacob Marley: BUSINESS? Mankind was my business! Their common welfare was my business!

And who wants to go out like Jacob? Not me! So let me state for the record that there will be more griping here and in general, if I find a business that likes to dish out slaps in the face for Christmas, I’m going to feel free to share my experience with you all. Maybe you’ve had similar experiences and would care to share? Maybe you work for these companies and would like my address so you can send your security task force over to inject me with arsenic via a 007-style umbrella? I have to give fair warning, I’m quite adept at the drunken monkey style of Kung Fu. wakaaaaa!!!!

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Programmatic Button Skins in Flex 3

by on Dec.17, 2007, under Actual RIA info, Adobe Flex

The Flex CookBook recipe call prompted me to pull together some more generic, but useful code samples, so I figured I’d post them here and keep my fingers crossed that a recipe or two slip into the book unnoticed :)

I’ll explain a little recipe I use for programmatic skinning on buttons in particular on some projects. If you need fast, extendable, easy on the bandwidth buttons then this one is highly useful. To start off, I picked buttons because they’re the most generic examples of how to use programmatic skin, and probably the most likely target for clean, simple skins. In the future, I’ll post more skins for other components.

Complete source files:

Programmatic Button Skins – source files

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PS3 not kind to PS2 games

by on Dec.13, 2007, under Intense Nonsense

My favorite game in the world….Socom Combined Assault. I’ve been hooked on the Socom series for years now. And although I said I wouldn’t fall into the PS3 trap until the prices went way down, I ended up getting one a while back.

So Zipper just released 2 map packs (with some of my old favorites from older Socom’s) and I bought and tried to download them. AFTER purchasing them I keep getting an error that says I can’t install them, there’s no hard drive. Heh, there’s a pretty big hard drive there, can’t ya find it?? Ya pos!!

Here I am reading and reading on what kind of a hack I have to implement to install these damn things on my PS3. What? Is Sony taking backwards compatibility lessons from Microsoft? ARGHhhh!!! It also says all sales are final and no refunds? Oh no you dit-int!!! I’ll find a way to install these maps or I’m going to be slightly miffed on the phone with tech Sony tech support.

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Adobe AIR Beta 3 – descriptor file porting

by on Dec.13, 2007, under Adobe AIR

I ported AirSpace today from AIR Beta 2 to Beta 3 and overall it wasn’t that bad. Heh! First off, I originally used Rich Tretola’s UpdateManager class for AirSpace’s updates before, and it looks like he updated his entry for Beta 3 already. Wish I knew this before I upgraded mine :P Oh well, it’s done now. If you want a cool way to update your apps, that one works like a charm.

Nothing massive changed, its all pretty easy, but rather than chase all the new stuff down, I figured I’d post in case someone else runs into issues.

The first issue I had, was to remove references to Shell.shell and replace with nativeWindow inside the ActionScript. At least that’s one thing the new compiler was griping about and is now fixed. Referencing the application descriptor file from within the code had a few minor changes. The first thing I did after installing Beta 3 for AIR and Flex 3, was just create a new AIR project for AirSpace. That way, I had a new descriptor file to play with and seemed easier than chasing down any artifacts in the old one.

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Microsoft released Office 2007 Service Pack

by on Dec.11, 2007, under Nonsense

I guess you can figure out where I get most of my news from. ZDNet posted this today:

First Office 2007, SharePoint 2007 service packs ready for download by ZDNet‘s Mary Jo Foley — Microsoft has released the first service pack (SPs) for Office 2007 and SharePoint Server 2007 — a calendar quarter ahead of schedule. So what’s coming in the first Office System 2007 SP update and how is it being rolled out? Read on.

Quick, run, go! Get it before something bad happens. Mary Jo Foley wrote on ZDNet that

There don’t seem to be any huge, show-stopper bugs that Microsoft is addressing in either of the new service packs.

but this is likely because if they did fix any gaping holes, there would leave less for them to do in the future. For a while, it’s been widely believed that Microsoft patched any existing holes by cramming the QuickTime player into them and holding the patch together with gum and popsicle sticks.

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An Update on Flex Hourly Rates, and then some

by on Dec.11, 2007, under Adobe Flex

Sean the Flash Guy posted a few days ago about the charts on HotGigs.com showing currently hourly rates for Flex Developers. When he posted it originally, the rates were between $60-80 in just a matter of a few days however, the rates went through the roof :)

I’m thinking some peeps jumped on there and set HotGigs.com straight. If so, bravo! Here’s what they’re showing at the day of this post:

Flex Hourly Rates - Dec 07

That’s a big change in a few days. Is this thing accurate? We’ve all been burned by outsourcing at one point or another I’m sure, but here’s a little contrast for ya. Here’s a site devoted to indentured serv….er…I mean outsourcing, oDesk.com. That link takes you to a Flex job that pays a hefty $16.33/hr. For a bonus, I think they slap you across the mouth when you’re done. That’s just one of their jobs, and I’ve seen others while surfing. There are a ton of grossly underpaid job postings, and with our powerful economy, I’m thinking they’ll have a hard time finding someone will to work for a slap in the mouth. Alright, that was sarcastic.

I’m more familiar with Indeed.com and their graphs, which are supposedly actually reflected by current job posting trends (searches by keywords in job postings). Here’s one for example for a search of adobe flex, adobe flash.

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Gave PXL Designs a new face today, and UltraShock.com too?

by on Dec.10, 2007, under PXL Info

It’s brighter than before. I have to admit, I got tired of the old black and gray, overdone “Flash” look. I originally banged the old site out quickly when PXL first started, and I guess I was just still caught up in the old “Ultra Shock.com” look with the metal, the overkill. By the way, what happened to UltraShock.com? Says version 2 is coming, but what did you people do with V1 in the meantime? Did you drop it or something? If it’s broken, give me a call, I’ll toss a little Flex in there for you.

I still remember the good old days when they had the Flash robot chat and we’d “research” new Flash techniques for hours at work by making the little bots run around and write profanities at others in the room. All just for plops and giggles of course.

So the new PXL Designs is cleaner and will make you feel like you’re bathing in sunlight, and just itching to buy yourself a brand new rich internet app. Well that’s the hope. But seriously, having the old site completely done in Flex isn’t cool for the search engines. Not that I wasn’t aware of that, but with the speed of developing in Flex, it was the preferred method for the first version. I have to admit, the Adobe Partner logo looks better on white too :D

There y’ar now. How’s that?

PXL Designs new SEO friendly face lift

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