My Thoughts on Flash

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Flash versus HTML 5Adobe made the right move regarding Flash for mobile browsers.  When I first saw flash on mobile, I knew something was wrong.  It wasn’t fast.  It wasn’t… right.

Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores.

When I developed NoteSync in AIR, I had the option to port the code to AIR for mobile, but I didn’t.  I decided it needed to be written from scratch in Java for Android. It was the right choice.  You have to make a native app for mobile to provide the best user experience. When you develop in flash and package it for native, it just isn’t as fast.  My guess is in a year or two Adobe will stop continuing support for their native app packager. Continue reading

BYU MISM Graduation

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BYU MISM Graduation 2011 Three years ago I wondered when April 2011 was going to come.  This weekend I put on my cap, gown, and hood and joined 6000+ others at BYU’s 2011 commencement ceremony.  I received my Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and Master of Information Systems Management degrees at the same time.  Here’s a recap on my college career and why I chose this major.

How I Started

In 5th grade I did a report on computer programmers and knew this is what I wanted to do.  As I grew older I figured out how to make a web site for my Dad. He smiled wondering why anyone would ever use web sites.  When I had free time, I found myself making web sites and flash games which gave me the opportunity to learn how to program.  Ever since then I’ve had a passion for development and especially web development.

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Best iPhone and iPad Wifi Settings

Tonight we wanted to watch a show on our iPad 3 while we ate some dinner.  I opened the ABC app and started to stream our favorite show.  After 30 seconds the quality diminished then the show failed to load.  It was time to find out why.

In our apartment we have a Motorola SBG900, a cable modem, which also acts as a wireless router.  We also have a WRT160N Cisco wireless-n router.  I’ll refer to them as Motorola and Cisco from here on out.  When I would connect my iPad to the Motorola, the iPad would always pause at buffering movies.  When I pointed the iPad to the Cisco, the movies would stream just fine.  On the other hand, I noticed my iPhone 4 gets better speeds on the Motorola and can rarely connect to the Cisco router.

Using speedtest.net I was able to test speeds after trying nearly every option on both routers to determine the best settings.  Here are the results.

Cisco WRT160N
(Upgraded firmware to 3.0.3 from 3.0.2 which allowed iPhone to connect consistently)

iPad
Wireless-N only: 15.86 Mbps
Mixed B-G: 6.53 Mbps

iPhone
Wireless-N only: 4.42 Mbps
Mixed B-G: 11.33 Mbps

MacBook Pro
Wireless-N only: 15.86 Mbps
Mixed B-G: 7.94

Motorola SBG900
(Switched Security from WEP to WPA for enhanced security)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iPad
11b/11g Standard: 6.86 Mbps
11g Enhanced: 6.45 Mbps

iPhone
11b/11g Standard: 7.6 Mbps
11g Enhanced: 7.46 Mbps

MacBook Pro
11b/11g Standard: 5.35 Mbps
11g Enhanced: 5.45 Mbps

Conclusion
My best configuration is to have my iPad and my MacBook Pro connect to the Cisco router in wireless-n only setting.  Then have my iPhone connect to the Motorola router in 11b/11g Standard mode.  Even though the iPhone gets +4 Mbps connecting to the Cisco in Mixed B-G mode, the tradeoff on the bandwidth on my MacBook and iPad is simply not worth it.


Tribute to Steve

Quote

I found the original full text to the Think Different ad today via wikipedia.  I love the lines “How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?  Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?”

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Theme Change

Aside

It was time.  Today I changed my blog theme to WordPress’s Twenty Eleven.  I love the simplicity and the features.  My classic orange has been swapped for a subtle blue.   Now I have support for different post types, like aside and quote.  New custom menu’s allow me to easily change nav bar links pointing to custom urls like LinkedIn and to my portfolio category archive.  I updated my About Me page to be more current and swapped the photo.  Individual pages don’t have a sidebar allowing the viewer to focus on content. Overall I’m happy with it.

Apple Internship

Apple Offer - The OfferApple decided to offer me an internship this summer. I’m headed to Cupertino (San Jose), California from May 24 – Aug 20. I will be doing software development for them, more specifically Java, J2EE development for their retail point of sale division. I was interviewed a total of 5 times, once on campus, two phone interviews, and two iChat video interviews. It was quite a process.

When the official offer came, it felt like I was opening my first iPod. The 3-fold pristine white offer with the Apple logo was exactly what you would expect from Apple.

Apple has an incredible company culture.  A fellow BYU MISM alumni stated “One year at Apple is like three years at any other company.” I’m interested to see first-hand what Apple’s internal processes are like.

Kellie will continue to work at KSL as a morning show producer and will be in California with me for 15 of the 90 days.  It will be tough not seeing her every day, but she will be coming out to visit almost every other weekend.

Working in Silicon Valley has always been on my to-do list, I can’t wait to see what it is like.

NoteSync with Google Docs Desktop

NoteSync with Google docsNoteSync with Google docs Desktop Beta has been released today!  NoteSync lets you take notes fast and sync them with your Google docs account. Keyboard shortcuts like CTR-L put your cursor in the search bar to easily search for notes or create a new note. Automatic syncing happens every minute or when you feel like it by pressing the sync button. Offline mode fully supported.

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Rocketship – Industrial Design

Rocketship Industrial Design

Rocketship Industrial Design

I developed Rocketship‘s new web site from scratch using php and wordpress. Rockership is an industrial design studio located in the heart of Provo, UT.  Rocketship has designed Provo Craft’s Cricut, Philip’s GoLite Blu, and the Jet Boil.  With Beth Robertson’s designs, I was able to launch a clean new version of their site in December 2008.  Rocketship wanted many custom features.

Special Features:

  • Dynamic Projects
  • Flex Slideshow & Thumbnail Slider with AJAX Integration
  • SEO Friendly w/AJAX
  • Custom Skinned WordPress Engine for Their News Section
  • BaseCamp Login Integration
  • PayPal Integration for Client Payments
  • Social Media Sharing

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Aspire – Poster & T-Shirt Creator

Aspire - Product Designer

Aspire - Product Designer

Aspire has revolutionized the way youth sporting pictures are taken.  Providing a green screen allows the players and the parents to design their own posters, shirts, and even trading cards.  At Rain I was the primary Flex developer for Aspire’s product designer.  The designer allows users to design custom posters, shirts, trading cards, team pictures, blankets, and other products.

After being in beta since July 2008, we released the major release of Aspire in September, 2009.

Aspire’s business model is unique.  Aspire does a photo shoot, uploads the green screen photos, autogenerates all products for each player, and then sends the player an email letting them know their account is ready.  The user can then login and customize their own products.

Aspire was featured in an Adobe Max Keynote by RainInteractive ‘s Andrew Howlett (32 min). Keynote: http://bit.ly/BAmiI

Trading cards are a top seller! Nowhere else on the planet can one design and order a trading card this way! We greatly appreciate the awesome tool you have created.” – Chris from Aspire

aspirePosterPreview

Aspire - Poster Designer

Calculating Image Resolutions in Flex

ImageWellWithPhoto

Photo Scaled 200% inside ImageWell. 50 dpi.

Custom book builders are great rich internet applications that we’ve made at Rain. One core component of custom book builders is allowing users to upload their own photos. The most common user error is uploading and using a photo that cannot be printed at a high quality print resolution. It is our job to let the user know if the image he or she has selected for a particular ImageWell (a rectangle where a photo can be placed) can be printed.

Basics of printing

Printers print according to dpi (dots per inch). Say a 1200 px x 1800 px image is printed onto a 4″ x 6″ sheet of paper. The dpi would then be:

  • width: 1200 px / 4 inches = 300 dpi
  • height: 1800 px / 6 inches = 300 dpi

Print resolutions can vary anywhere from 150 dpi (low/medium quality) to 300 dpi (high quality) and up.

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