Switching from iPhone to Windows Phone 8

– taterboy | December 30th, 2012

Filed under: iPhone, Reviews

Most cell phones reviews are done by analyzing hardware specs, running a few applications and speculating how the device’s features are evidence of the legendary iPhone killer. Very rarely are reviews done by someone actually switching from their preferred handset to the new device that is the object of their scrutiny.

This is more than a review, it’s a journey, a story if you will, about what it really means to switch from the iPhone to a new Windows 8 Phone.

Why Windows Phone?
In researching this decision, I found similar statements to, “If something is working well for you, then why switch?” To be honest, I feel the same way. I love my iPhone and have been an iPhone user since version 1; having every intention of upgrading to the new iPhone 5. So this post isn’t about any Microsoft vs Apple fanboy business.
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HTML5 Canvas scrolling in Win8 and IE10

– taterboy | October 28th, 2012

Filed under: Games, Tips

This week Microsoft released Windows 8, it’s *13th Operating system, and with it the 10th version of Internet Explorer. Win8 promises to be an OS that works and looks the same across multiple devices. So you might be surprised when you try to interact with your HTML5 site/app/game in IE 10 on a tablet. Moving your finger around the page does not register, scrolling or dragging horizontally actually moves the browser window or creates a new tab; depending on the direction.



Luckily there’s a simple fix, when preparing your HTML5 web app for IE10 on tablet, remember to add the “-ms-touch-action” css property to the Canvas tag and set the value to “none”.

<canvas id="html5-canvas" style="-ms-touch-action:none;"></canvas>

This property lets IE10 know that the Canvas app is not static content, allowing all those gestures to be picked up by the app or game.

Learn more about -ms-touch-actions, as well as other IE css tags.

As a side note, I’ve been very impressed with the speed and snappiness of Windows 8 on a tablet. It screams and is super responsive to touch.

Disclaimer: This Article was written while the author was employed by Microsoft.

*History of Windows.

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How Mobile Technology Can Create Smarter Homes

– taterboy | January 10th, 2012

Filed under: Games, General Info, iPhone, Video

According to CNET, there were about 1.2 billion mobile broadband subscriptions in 2011, mobile computing is quickly becoming the primary computing platform. As a developer, mobile is an exciting place to be and the technology and landscape is changing every day. So what do we make of products like Google TV?

With so many companies trying to shoehorn every possible online service onto a tiny screen, do we really need to think about a technology that is stuck in one place, where people spend very little time these days? Web TV came and went in the 90s, with little success at bringing web services to the sofa; but, is cramming everything into a mobile device the right way to go either?
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Cutting the Cord to Cable TV

– taterboy | December 9th, 2011

Filed under: General Info, Tips, Video

The internet is like a massive well, brimming with video entertainment, but can it provide enough quality programming to replace your current cable provider?

Many have already cut the cord with their telephone company, opting instead for an internet based service that has put a few extra dollars in their pocket every month. With the average cable bill at around $75 per month, the prospect of doing the same with your cable company has the potential of even greater monthly savings. Online video services, such as Hulu and Netflix, are currently offering free and low cost, legal alternatives for viewing some of the most popular cable and network shows begging the question, “Why am I still paying for Cable?”

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AS3-101: Game Development Part 3

– taterboy | October 2nd, 2011

Filed under: ActionScript 3, Flash, Flash AS2 to AS3, Flex, Games, Tutorials

This tutorial is the third part in a series on game development with AS3. We will pick up where we left of in the last tutorial which can be found here: ActionScript 3 101 : Game Development part 2

In the previous tutorial we made a MovieClip of a ball move back and forth by pressing the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard. We accomplished this through the use of a variables, functions and events. In this tutorial we will continue to modify our existing code by adding a couple new functions and create something that will begin to resemble an actual game.

The Swap:
The first thing we need to do and swap out the ball artwork with a spaceship graphic. The graphic included with the source is the same dimensions as the ball, which was 72 x 72 pixels. You can use the one in the source code below ( just copy it into your project and delete the ball) or build your own.




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Master Code Hinting in Flash Builder and Flash CS5

– taterboy | September 28th, 2011

Filed under: ActionScript 3, Flash, Flex, Tips, Video

Ever need a class, but can’t remember if it is in the flash, mx or spark package, even drilling down further, was it in data, net or utils? There are so many classes in so many locations there is no way to remember them all or the properties and methods associated with them.

A quick tip I use often is typing “new”, then tapping the space bar. If code hints are working, the code hint window will appear listing all the possible classes. Typing the first and even second letter of the class name will filter the list, once you select the class you are looking for, that class will automatically be imported at the top of the file, if it’s needed.

This works almost anywhere and on any class, even static. I use it when I don’t feel like typing out long class names like StageDisplayState or TextFieldAutoSize. Type “new [space] stag” then click on the correct class. Boom!, it’s imported and completely typed out for you.

For a quick reference to which properties and methods are available in the class, remove the word “new” from before the class name that was just selected, then type a “.” right after the class name. This produces another code hint menu listing the public properties and methods.

Code hinting will also import classes automatically when a colon is added after a variable name, but just typing “new” and a space, is indeed the fastest.

Just remember to remove the new [Class] you just used to trigger the code hint window, if you forget, the compiler will let you know.



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Illustrating In Illustrator 101 part 4 of 5

– taterboy | July 25th, 2011

Filed under: Design, Digital Art, Illustrator, Tutorials

Artists through the ages have pushed the limits and innovated new mediums to communicate to the world. Color has always played a huge roll of how art was received. In this chapter in the Illustrating with Illustrator series, we will discuss color and the different ways to apply color to our work.

Color Schemes:
Color schemes are two or more colors that are used to identify a message or reinforce a brand. A color scheme normally consists of at least a primary and secondary color. Not to be confused with a painter’s primary colors red, yellow and blue, a primary color is the dominant color in the color scheme and can be any color.

There are many methods to developing strong color schemes, from collecting paint chips at the local hardware store to using applications such as Adobe Kuler. Most of the time we are given a brand identity that contains a complete color scheme or becomes a starting point for developing a new one. Illustrator’s Color Panel is a great tool to create limitless combinations of hue and saturation providing the perfect mood and tone of our message.


Colors From Our Past:

more color ideas @ http://dynamicgraphics.com/.

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Pyramix: New and Noteworthy According to iTunes

– taterboy | June 7th, 2011

Filed under: Design, Games, iPhone, Reviews

We are pleased that our latest application, Pyramix, was listed in the New and Noteworthy section of the iTunes Store for iPad word games.



In the last couple months we have released 7 of our own iPhone, iPad and Android applications. Here’s the rundown.
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AS3-101: Game Development part 2

– taterboy | June 1st, 2011

Filed under: ActionScript 101, ActionScript 3, Flash, Flash AS2 to AS3, Flex, Games, Tutorials

This tutorial is part 2 of the ActionScript 3 101 : Game Development series. For part 1, go to ActionScript 3 101 : Game Development part 1

In part 2, we will continue animating a ball on stage, but this time we will setup keyboard controls so that a user can control the animation of the ball’s x property.

Before we move into the keyboard event listener, we should structure our code to be more organized and flexible. The top of the actionScript is where I like to put all my variables and things that configure how the game runs. As a general rule, any values that are used more than once or could change should be stored as a variable. Notice the left and right bounds for the ball ( 20 and 455) are used more than once, we should change them to a variable to make our code more flexible. Later in this series, we will move some of these variables from the top of the code to an external xml file, this will make your game very tweak-able without republishing from Flash. The secret to flexible code is lots and lots of variables.

New Variables:

?View Code ACTIONSCRIPT
var boundsLeft:Number = 20;
var boundsRight:Number = 455;
var maxSpeed:Number = 10;

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AS3-101: Game Development part 1

– taterboy | April 21st, 2011

Filed under: ActionScript 101, ActionScript 3, Flash, Flash AS2 to AS3, Games, Tutorials

This series has been taught to a few students over the last couple years with the intention of making it into a video tutorial series, but due to the lack of time and fear that it will never happen otherwise, we are going to have to do this old-school.

The series was originally taught in Flex / Flash Builder, but with so many Flash AS2 developers still learning AS3, this is a great program for new and old developers who want to develop Flash games using actionScript 3. This tutorial series will be focused on the Flash IDE, if you want a Flash Builder version of this series, please request it in the comments below.

Getting Started:
The foundation of any game is providing a way for users to control elements on the screen. At our game’s core is these 4 lines of code.

?View Code ACTIONSCRIPT
// 1B
function frameHandler(ev:Event):void{
	ball.x += 10;
}
 
// 1A
addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, frameHandler);

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