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Archive for November, 2006

Changing the Size of Your Parallels Hard Drive

My MacBook Pro finally arrived late last week and I'm loving every minute. One of the first things I installed was Parallels since I have a lot of XP-only apps -- and so I have that fall-back option in the event things get hairy while acclimate to OS X.

I initially assigned a 10GB expanding drive for Parallels/XP, but today I found that after I got my apps installed I was in need of more space. So following Parallels recommendation, I went into their ImageTool application and allotted an additional 10GB. However, XP didn't recognize the new space because it was treating it as a new unformatted partition.

So I searched around and found that others were having this issue, and you had to use a third-party application to change the original partition size. Various Google searches turned up that many people were using PartitionMagic, but it is almost $80 and I didn't feel like spending any money to get it to work.

Eventually I came across a free app called GParted, the Gnome Partition Editor. It's a great program and works as promised, but what I really loved about it was that it has a bootable cd version called LiveCD. In fact, they even have a USB thumb-drive version as well called LiveUSB.

So if you are trying to change the size of your Parallels hard drive, don't spring for PartitionMagic, instead make sure you setup Parallels to boot from a CD and then use LiveCD.

Fail Harder

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/-xffQBxfKJg" height="350" width="425" /]
"Wieden + Kennedy 12, an experimental advertising school run by Portland ad agency W+K, is responsible for buying out all available clear push pins on the west coast of the US. Over 100,000 thumbtacks were used over 351 hours to create a wall mural that spells out Fail Harder, a message that underlines the importance of failure during the creative process."

Since moving to Portland I've been to the W+K offices a few times, and every time I notice something new. I can't wait to check this out on my next visit.

If you are unfamiliar with Wieden+Kennedy, just think about every cool Nike ad you've seen on TV. They were involved. And the WK12? It's their highly selective internship program where you pay them for the right to work on their projects. I'm told it's like having 5-8 years of industry experience by the time you leave the 2 year program.

Where is the Universal Binary Debug Player?

A few days ago I noticed a post by Emmy Huang of Adobe's Flash Player Team fame stating the release of Flash Player 9.0.28. While it's great to see the player being updated regularly, I was still wondering where all of the debug players have been lately.

For instance, there is still no debug player for Intel Macs. And, there is no way to install the PPC debug player -- the installer won't let you. This leaves a huge void for developers on the Intel Mac platform.

Well, Emmy was great enough to respond to my comment on her blog, and provided some reasoning and insight as to where the debug players are:

Where is the Universal Binary debug or standalone player?
We haven't released the UB debug or standalone players yet. Since it is a new component and there aren't tools that currently ship with these players it is on a slightly different release schedule. I'll post when they do become available, and most likely they will also be made available on the support downloads page for developers.

Where are the debug players for the 9.0.28.0 release?
Historically, the debug and standalone players only shipped with the tool. But, with our dot and security releases we don't always have a full tool update -- instead we have been providing player "updaters" through the Flash Player support downloads page. There are updated 9.0.28.0 debug players to address the security vulnerability.

Adobe Flash Lite 2.1 Now Free

Adobe has announced that Flash Lite 2.1 is available for free to developers starting now. End-users (consumers) will be able to download the player for free sometime in December. Supported platforms include BREW (generally Verizon phones), Symbian, and Windows Mobile 5.

The final BREW version is available for download today, while the Windows Mobile 5 and Symbian versions will be found on Adobe Labs in December.

The license looks to be similar to that of the full-blown player, where developers cannot distribute the player but can provide a link for users to download on their own. My hope is that they allow phone manufacturers to install it during production -- this would really increase the installed base, so I'm sure Adobe is planning on it.
While back when I first received it I installed Flash Player 7 for Windows Mobile on my Palm Treo 700w. It actually runs really smoothly and is quite fast considering the hardware restrictions. The best part about having the full-blown player on my phone is that I can create apps that use the camera/video camera. Combine this with the EVDO (DSL-speed) internet connection, and you could have one cool app (think flickr, FMS/Red-5). Hope this is still possible with Flash Lite.

Looking forward to seeing what additional features Flash Lite 2.1 brings to the table, but I'm really looking forward to writing some apps and being able to distribute to almost anyone's phone.

Blank Screen TV Ad

Kudos to Ikea for being willing to put out a television ad without any real moving images. It is certainly different... and brilliant. Everyone knows Ikea doesn't always make the most sturdy furniture, but they do usually have good style at great prices. And that is the exact message they get across -- the low prices.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/r7XQafxKiZE" height="350" width="425" /]

SWFMacMouseWheel: Another SWFObject Add-on

It's a mouthful to say, but SWFMacMouseWheel continues the trend of creating easy to implement and useful add-ons for Geoff Stearn's SWFObject.

This one makes it quite easy to add mouse wheel support in Flash for Mac OS X (and Windows). More details and code can be found here:

http://blog.pixelbreaker.com/2006/11/08/flash/swfmacmousewheel/

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