Tag Archives: flash

Where Do You Go for a Bit of Web Fun?

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When I was preparing to do a video on classic gaming, I wondered where I could send all of you to play high quality games. I then remembered a site that has tons of classic games, along with media fun. On Neave, you’ll find things to keep you entertained for days on end.

There are a tons of different things you can try out:

  • Flash Earth – Zoom into Earth using Satellite imagry from NASA, Google Earth, and more.
  • Planetarium – Gaze at stars through your browser using Flash imagry.
  • Games – Lose yourself playing games like Simon, Space Invaders, Tic-Tac-Toe and more.
  • Imagination – Play with wobbly lines, and create your own design.
  • Fractal – Recursive Math? Computer-generated art? Either way, they’re pretty.

You get the idea. Those are only some of what you’ll find over on Neave. The coolest part is that with the games and such, you can embed them on your own website. Paul Neave, you rule. I mean that sincerely.


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Does Flash Encoding Slow Down the Computer?

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Dimitri just sent me an email, saying that he’s really happy we inspired him to live stream. However, he’s having an issue that he isn’t sure what to do to fix it.

For some reason, my CPU load keeps going to 140% and up when I stream video and audio using the flash player. It doesn’t seem to be a Ustream problem, because I have the same issue streaming via BlogTV, and all the other broadcasting websites.

After surfing the net for solutions, I found that a lot of people share this problem. It seems to happen to those who try to stream using a MacBook (Pro). It also doesn’t matter if I try it via Safari or Firefox; the problem is always the same. The funny thing is that when I disable audio streaming, the CPU load gets cut in half. So… only video broadcasting will produce a 70% CPU load on the browser, while broadcasting both runs it up to 140% or higher.

I think I’ve heard you say that you also stream via a Mac system. Maybe there is a difference between using an iMac and a MacBook, or maybe you are using some other version of flash then the rest of us.Anyways, it has been driving me nuts for weeks, and I’m ready to throw in the towel. So you are basically the last straw. Does my problem seem familiar? If not, could you ask around to see if you can get some sort of answer concerning this issue?

You are right… I have the exact same problem. I am pretty much running at 100% on my Mac Mini, which is what powers the live video stream. It literally pushes my CPU to its limits. However, it’s been doing this pretty much daily for a year now, and it’s still running great.

When you’re using Flash to stream out video and especially audio, then yes.. your CPU is going to max itself out. The only way to decrease the load is to use better software to stream. Right now, all the services only offer better streaming software for Windows users. If you’re using a Mac, you’re pretty much stuck with what you have now. Hopefully soon, we’ll have something better we can use.

I will note that Adobe has just announced that they are about to release the newest version of Adobe Flash for Beta download. Adobe ‘Astro’ introduces new expressive features and visual performance improvements that allow interactive designers and developers to build the richest and most immersing Web experiences. These new capabilities also empower the community to extend Flash Player and to take creativity and interactivity to a new level.

Adobe Flash CS3 – Crash Course

Adobe Flash CS3 – ActionScript 3

FOXDA 6603 128MB MP3 Player w/ Direct CD Encoding, FM Tuner, Digital Voice Recorder & USB Storage

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Tips for Using Adobe Flash

Mushir sent in some excellent tips recently to help guide you through using Adobe Flash.

  • Learn the basics! If you learn the basics in Flash you will be able to finish stuff so much more faster. Try out all the tools and learn what they do. You may find a tool you never have used, but it could be a very useful tool.
  • Tutorials! There are several books that will teach you how to use Flash! There are also books made for specific things such as drawing or animation. If you don’t like to pay there are always tutorials on the internet that you can read. Sites such as Pixel2Life have hundreds of free Flash tutorials which you can read. If you like to learn visually you can search for video tutorials at YouTube.
  • Change the frame-rate! The frame-rate when you open a new document in Flash is 12. If you change it to lets say 20 your animation will run much faster and it will look much smoother. But then you will have to draw more images than you would have to if the frame-rate was 12. It is recommended by most Flash users to use the frame-rate 18 or higher.
  • Use layers! Making animations in Flash without layers is very hard. Have your background in the first layer. Then have your animation on a layer above the background layer. This way you wont have to draw a new background after every single frame.
  • Show your animation to other people and get response. There are many sites where you can publish your Flash animation for other people to watch it. You may get harsh comments the first time but keep trying. Always listen to what other people have to say. This will help you a lot. Remember you don’t always have to do what others say but try it out and see it looks better their way.

Buy USB Flash Drives

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Bowler4Ever is a long-time regular in our live community. He has previously sent in some excellent top five lists. Here is a new one from him… which should help you when buying your next USB Flash Drive.

  • Are you worried about durability of these drives? Don’t be! These drives are hard and sturdy, and they can even withstand small drops onto concrete or asphalt (been there, done that). Drops onto your wood floors from your desks are taken like cake by these tiny little tough sticks! Don’t worry, drop ’em and they’ll still work!
  • What are you using the drive for? If you’re simply storing very important documents for your workplace and nothing else, a 512mb stick will do just fine. For a Linux distro like Ubuntu, 1GB will work perfectly, as the Ubuntu distro is slightly under 700mb, the size of your typical CD. For a moderate amount of music or various installers, I recommend 2GB, as you never know how much music you’ll want to keep…ESPECIALLY if you’re trying to back up your iTunes library! For a large amount of music or home videos, 4GB is perfect, if not more than enough than you really need. 4GB is mainly for those who are complete media “junkies” and those who also compile installers on there as well.
  • Go for the indicator display on the drive. Sometimes files are bigger than you think, and flash dries can sometimes fill up pretty quick, so you’ll want to have a good peek at how much space you have left.
  • Go with brands that are well-known and trusted. If you know how to search for computer hardware/accessories, look for those drives that professionals know and trust or look at Consumer Reports. Always buy the best you can afford. (Remember, do your homework!!!!!)
  • Look at the specs for the drive! Remember, you buy it and open it, some places will just say “Oh well, you opened it! Not our fault!” NOTE: Some drives do NOT support USB 2.0, so make sure if you still have USB 1.1, you check to make sure it will work in USB 2.0! For Linux users: Some brands are allowing Linux installers, so look for the penguin on the back of the box!
  • Remember, whatever you do with the drive…keep it legal! These things were not made for illegal/pirating purposes. It’s foolish and dangerous!


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Chumby Widget

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Recently, I showed off my new Chumby. It’s truly addictive, and the live community has had a blast being able to send messages to Chuck the Chumby. I have a user named Rotozip who created a Widget that allows them to do that. I didn’t remember the username RotoZip, until he reminded me he is the person who created the “iAlertYou”. It’s a program that I featured in my “Top 100 Mac Apps” list. It’s an equivalent to a car alarm, only for your laptop.

This is Chumby the personal internet player. Since getting this device for Christmas I have been working on a couple of widgets for it. You can see them running on my virtual Chumby above. One of the widgets is a Blockbuster widget which will display the movies you have in your queue waiting to be mailed out. The other widget is a Chris.Pirillo.com widget that allows users in his chat room to send messages to the Chumby. This device is really cool and quite fun to develop for. You can get to know what Chumby is all about and get your own at www.chumby.com.

By hanging out into our chat room, you can become a regular voiced user. Once you are a voiced user, you can add comments to the Chumby, as well!

If you are a Flash Programmer and have ideas for Chumby, or any other applications I might be able to share with others, send an email to me at [email protected]


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Become a Browser Music DJ in a Flash!

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Have you always secretly yearned to be a DJ? Here’s your chance! Check out how you can become a great DJ by using your browser. Check out Wicket dancing! He’s loving this! He’s an aspiring DJ, and is all into Mixing.

Most Web Browsers support Flash these days, so you’re in luck. Just head over to Tony B and you can be a DJ as well! As soon as everything loads, you can start changing how everything sounds. You can change the melody itself, adjust the bass, and even the drums. Once you have your mix to your liking, simply save it out on the virtual “floppy” disk… then share it with your friends!

There’s nothing to register for, and it’s completely free. Hey, if Wicket can do it so can you!


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Creating Flash Files for Free

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Flash isn’t just a super hero. It’s also a program that helps you create rich media experiences, while having small output file sizes.

Since its introduction in 1996, Flash technology has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages; several software products, systems, and devices are able to create or display Flash. Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, various web-page components, to integrate video into web pages, and more recently, to develop rich Internet applications.

Adobe Flash Player (formerly known as Macromedia Flash Player) is probably the most widely recognized Flash program. It’s an excellent program, for sure. However, you’re going to pay quite a chunk of money for it.

There is also a lesser-known… but in my opinion, better… program called Swish. Now with support for components, a content library and assets, a new effects browser, in place text editing, video/image/sound effects as well as an improved interface, script editor, drawing tools and internal player. The drawback, of course, is that it costs around $150.00.

Why pay this much for a program to create simple Flash files? If you’re an average user, or need to create simple things, why not use a completely free program? Enter Powerbullet Presenter. Powerbullet Presenter is a small, simple and free program for creating presentations in the Flash format. You don’t need any experience to create slick animated presentations by simply typing, clicking and dragging. Most commonly-used operations are available with a button click or two, and there are handy keyboard shortcuts for most operations. For instance, using the up and down arrow keys – in conjunction with the Control and Shift key – dynamically increases or decreases the font size, giving you instant feedback.

Why pay hundreds of dollars for a program when you can get an excellent alternative for free? Check out the Powerbullet Presenter before you create your next Flash project.

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What is Adobe Air?

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http://live.pirillo.com/ – A few of my friends joined me on Skype last night to discuss some of today’s hot Tech topics. This video covers the release of the second beta of Adobe Air.

Four of my friends joined me for this discussion: Kat, SC_Thor, Wirelesspacket, and last but certainly not least… Datalore.

In this video, we discussed the newest beta release of Adobe Air. Adobe Integrated Runtime is a cross-OS runtime environment for building Rich Internet Applications, using Flash, Flex, HTML and Ajax, that can be deployed as a desktop application.

Users interact with AIR applications in the same way that they interact with native desktop applications. The runtime is installed once on the user’s computer, and then AIR applications are installed and run just like any other desktop application.

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Formats Available: MPEG4 Video (.mp4) Flash Video (.flv) MP3 Audio (.mp3)

PhotoBlocker: Traffic Camera Shield

So, the PhotoBlocker spray makes your license plate unreadable to traffic cameras. To the naked eye, it looks completely normal – reflecting only the camera’s flash and rendering your license plate unreadable. Not to say that I speed all that often… but I’m picking up a can or two for safe measure.

A majority of red light & speed cameras utilize a strong flash to photograph the license plate on your car. Once sprayed on your license plate, PhotoBlocker’s special formula produces a high-powered gloss that reflects the flash back towards the camera. This overexposes the image of your license plate, rendering the picture unreadable. With PhotoBlocker, your license plate is invisible to traffic cameras yet completely legible to the naked eye.

This isn’t just for the person who already has everything, it’s for everybody. “As seen on TV,” but not on any traffic camera.