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End of the Blog August 28, 2007

Posted by deltawing in Computer Science, Internet.
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Well, it’s the end of this blog. I’ve moved to www.j7labs.com

No furthur updates will be made here.

What does a degree at University mean? August 15, 2007

Posted by deltawing in Uncategorized.
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Not much. At Uni all they will teach you are the basic must-knows of whatever you are studying. If you want a quality career you really need to learn things outside of class by yourself.

Even if you’re doing medicine, you really should be reading medical journals and keeping abreast with the latest developments. If you’re doing Computer Science, you should perhaps broaden your interests to include Multimedia Technologies.

So, University is just the beginning. The real learning happens outside of class. It really doesn’t matter how little or how much you do outside of class – but the thing is that you have the initiative and do something – anything. It could be starting a million dollar website, or just coding crappy things.

Glossy Person Icons for You (REMOVED) August 15, 2007

Posted by deltawing in Adobe, Graphics, Icons, Internet, Photoshop, Web 2.0.
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post removed

Calendar Icons For Blogs or Websites (REMOVED) August 12, 2007

Posted by deltawing in Graphics, Icons, Photoshop, Web 2.0.
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2 calendar icons available in PSD format

Created in Photoshop, suitable for your blog or website. Yeah, 2 isn’t many! But I’ll be trying my best to get more icons out in the future.

Why I don’t like modding games August 7, 2007

Posted by deltawing in Games.
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I’m not being game specific but my experience is with Unreal Tournament 2004

1. Locked in by proprietary scripts such as UnrealScript

2. Spend way too long finding “work-arounds” to do what you really want. I’ve been known to be a masochist but, gee, not like this :)

3. Lack of that feeling of achievement that I’ve actually made something. Seriously, I’d rather make a crappy Flash game from scratch ;)

4. Don’t learn as much, as I would if I coded my own engine/game. E.g. maths, physics, industry standard coding practices.

5. I feel like I’m learning something that will be obsolete in 6 months

6. Feel like a hacker

7. Have to spend ages figuring out how to do something exactly the way I want it but after 10 hours realize it’s not possible, after searching through incomplete documentation. (I think I mentioned that already in point 2)

My Pathetic Excuse for a Computer August 3, 2007

Posted by deltawing in Computer Science.
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I think from now on I need a weekly “bitch session” just to release my frustrations :D

Let’s see what I have for a computer …

1.6 ghz CELERON
256mb of RAM
Integrated video card

and these are the software I need to use (most of the time I need more than 1 app open)

3dsmax 9
Photoshop CS3
Flash CS3
Dreamweaver CS3
UnrealTournament 2004 (for testing UnrealScript)
Visual C++ Express 2005
Eclipse

Did I mention this was a laptop? And when I pick it up I can hear loose bolts inside. Arghhh. I can almost hear the CPU screaming “no!!! i can’t do this anymore!!”.

And it doesn’t help that my last attempt at a job (a waiter), ended up with me being let go in 3 days. Apparently I had no experience and they wanted experienced and quick waiters. So really…having no job doesn’t help me in getting a new Core 2 Duo.

Of course…I could always go to the university to use the computers in the library. Although they are currently having a chronic virus infestation problem which means the computers their run just as slow as my laptop. It’s also nice that whenever I plug my USB stick into any of the computers in the library, a virus automatically gets uploaded onto my stick.

I suppose I could use the family desktop (which is a 1.6ghz P4 with 512mb ram) , jury-rigged with a new video card, which is actually considered low end, but still better than the one that came with the computer. Great, only if I had access to it :D

Well, it’s time to start looking for a job again.

Flash is Great August 3, 2007

Posted by deltawing in Adobe, AJAX, Flash.
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Flash is quite a wonder, and I think it’s unfair to say that Flash sucks ;). It’s the way in which you use Flash that determines whether it destroys the usability on your website. For example, using Flash for navigation destroys a screen reader’s ability to help vision impaired users. That is bad. Or, introduction screens, which are a waste of user bandwidth and time.
However, Flash is great. There are just some things that should only be done in Flash. The first thing that comes to my mind is animations and cartoons. You wouldn’t want to animate a entire cartoon using Javascript and an imaginary Javascript Animation Framework (TM). Imagine going head.rotate(45), leg.slide_forward(30) for a couple of years and finally you have your animated series – totally written in Javascript. And XHTML/CSS compliant :D. If you want to see some Flash animations go to http://www.newgrounds.com. The amount of talent there is staggering.

You may also want to use Flash for games, or to deploy educational programs e.g. teaching students physics in an visual and interactive way. You can code a physics engine in Flash and deploy that to other Flash game developers. After all, Actionscript 3.0 has even better Object Oriented support, allowing large project to be built and managed more efficiently. Finally, Flash video/vector animation banners maybe inject some uniqueness into the increasingly homogeneous world of Web 2.0 :)

And who says Flash won’t improve. It is already an incredibly versatile product, more likely than not Adobe will work hard to improve its accessibility features ;)

Cya

The Awesomeness of Photoshop :) August 3, 2007

Posted by deltawing in Uncategorized.
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For the last few years all I’ve known was Flash and Fireworks. Sure, I loved Flash a lot, and still do. And Fireworks was a nice program for quickly exporting web graphics.

Although I took a class on Photoshop at University last semester, I can’t say it was very interesting to me, because it focused on photo-editing (alright, fair enough it’s called Photoshop after all). However, what I really wanted to do was to make Web 2.0 icons and other cool professional effects that always seemed out of reach to me in Flash or Fireworks.

Well, I’ve just taken a video tutorial on how to make Web buttons and it’s taught me more than I’ve learnt in an entire semester at University. Woah. :D

Here’s a tip: Video tutorials are so much easier to follow than books (and sometimes even real life instruction!). People might call you lazy, but in the end of the day it’s still a more efficient tool to learn new concepts. And unlike in a classroom of 30 people, you don’t need to wait for the teacher to finish speaking and/or finish answering somebody else’s question before coming to you.

Anyway, it’s great fun learning Photoshop with video tutes.

PHP image resizer/rounder August 2, 2007

Posted by deltawing in PHP.
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Need to resize an image or round the corners, but can’t be bothered opening Photoshop?

The PHP resizer rounder aka “PictureMagic” is uploaded at

www.j7labs.com/picturemagic.html

I’m unsatisfied with the quality of the rounded corners – there appears to be blurring. Oh well, I’ve spent way to long trying to hunt down the problem so I’m going to give it a break. It might be something to do with PHP’s imagecolorallocate(image resource, R, G, B) function, which is still a little confusing to me >.<

I’d also like to add checkboxes that allows you to add frames/borders/watermarks etc. Hopefully I’ll soon get the free time to do it.

Free Vector Graphics for your Flash project July 28, 2007

Posted by deltawing in Flash, Games.
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Here are some free vector graphics for your Flash project, including shiny orbs, shiny buttons, design elements, weapons (!), aircraft and others.

www.j7labs.com/vectors.html

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