Flash – Swinefighter.com http://www.swinefighter.com Gaming at its very best. Sun, 21 May 2017 18:05:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Android And Flash – Can’t We Just Be Friends? http://www.swinefighter.com/android-and-flash-cant-we-just-be-friends/ http://www.swinefighter.com/android-and-flash-cant-we-just-be-friends/#respond Fri, 22 May 2015 04:12:09 +0000 http://www.swinefighter.com/?p=12 I never really expected to be somebody that you would call a tablet geek. I frankly thought that apples were probably going to be a waste of time and that the PC was still want to be king for a period of time. I think I was alone here, as there were quite a few experts that said the same thing.

I never really thought that I would be a tablet owner, but then I received one for Christmas from a friend of mine and I immediately took to it.

I can say that I am a gadget guy, and obviously the fact that I started with a high-end tablet like the Asus Transformer Infinity, meant that I would either sink or swim right away. There would be no opportunity for me to complain about the technology, or the lack of hardware …

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I never really expected to be somebody that you would call a tablet geek. I frankly thought that apples were probably going to be a waste of time and that the PC was still want to be king for a period of time. I think I was alone here, as there were quite a few experts that said the same thing.

I never really thought that I would be a tablet owner, but then I received one for Christmas from a friend of mine and I immediately took to it.

I can say that I am a gadget guy, and obviously the fact that I started with a high-end tablet like the Asus Transformer Infinity, meant that I would either sink or swim right away. There would be no opportunity for me to complain about the technology, or the lack of hardware power, because really this is one of the best tablets you can buy right now. What’s more, the fact that you can use a keyboard is a huge plus for me. I will say that the keyboard itself is a bit of a piece of junk, but it does provide battery life and actually makes this a usable device. Very usable, in fact; I use it for reading books and when I’m cooking in order to read recipes, as well as to play a lot of the games that are available. I certainly won’t be talking about the IPad, of course, but that’s because I never really had any time for Apple products because I feel as if they are a lot of hype and mostly junk.

flash-androidBut Android is actually a phenomenal ecosystem as far as programmers are concerned. As a user, I’ve always been very impressed with the fact that most Android software is actually either cheap or free. Those are two characteristics that make the platform very attractive for almost anyone. So it really was a surprise for me that Adobe stopped supporting Android when it comes to Flash. I understand that they already have a number of platforms that they are dealing with, but I would imagine that Windows probably takes the lion’s share of resources that they have right now. There certainly are no lack of updates to the Windows platform, as evidenced by the fact that every time I turn on my PC, I am automatically told that there is a new update. It seems like there’s a new update every couple weeks, if not days. I really wonder just how many holes and garbage are in the new Flash program, because it seems like they just can’t stop patching it.

But to stop updating Flash for Android really makes no sense. I don’t think you have to be a crystal ball reader in order to figure out that Android is probably going to be a competitor to Windows very soon. In fact, I know a lot of people who simply will not bother buying PCs anymore simply because they just don’t feel the need to. The software has fallen behind hardware so much that if you have a PC from 2007, you are probably still okay.

This all means that Adobe is probably just not thinking about the future. I had to side load a version of Flash onto my tablet (it’s Jelly Bean), and it works fine, so it made me realize that it’s not as if this plug-in does not work anymore. It feels to me more like Adobe just got lazy and decided that they did not want to support this platform anymore. Unfortunately, so many major outlets are using this in order to broadcast video and other things. I wish that they would wake up because it all seems very nonsensical.

At this point, I’m starting to realize exactly why Apple has avoided adding Flash to any of their extremely popular products. Yes, it is quite obvious that they have a competitor in QuickTime (although not much of a competitor if you ask me), but just dealing with Adobe’s hierarchy must be a huge bitch.

That’s a real shame, because this company used to be something important. Now it’s just collecting royalties on software that really haven’t had any new features for the past five years.

Lame.

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Flash – The Origin http://www.swinefighter.com/flash-the-origin/ http://www.swinefighter.com/flash-the-origin/#respond Tue, 12 May 2015 12:34:39 +0000 http://www.swinefighter.com/?p=6

(I’m not always a huge proponent of looking back, especially when it comes to computer programs and platforms, but this is an interesting classic article from Computer Shopper touting the “great strides” of the original Macromedia Flash. Here we are, some 15 years later, and it’s still kicking. Something you really can’t say about many languages of the tech bubble era…)

Increasingly, the most attractive way to publish your multimedia is via the Internet or a corporate intranet. It saves the cost of burning and distributing CDs; it lets you update the product on a continuous basis; and you can be sure of an audience as large as you want–global, if necessary. Because plain HTML delivers static content, however, developers are always on the lookout for “active Web” tools that paint motion and sound–in a word, multimedia–onto the Web.

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(I’m not always a huge proponent of looking back, especially when it comes to computer programs and platforms, but this is an interesting classic article from Computer Shopper touting the “great strides” of the original Macromedia Flash. Here we are, some 15 years later, and it’s still kicking. Something you really can’t say about many languages of the tech bubble era…)

Increasingly, the most attractive way to publish your multimedia is via the Internet or a corporate intranet. It saves the cost of burning and distributing CDs; it lets you update the product on a continuous basis; and you can be sure of an audience as large as you want–global, if necessary. Because plain HTML delivers static content, however, developers are always on the lookout for “active Web” tools that paint motion and sound–in a word, multimedia–onto the Web.

There are a variety of ways to create active Web content, most of which involve plug-ins. The ruling plug-in is Macromedia’s Shockwave, which has quickly become a standard for multimedia playback on the Web. Like other multimedia formats, Shockwave’s player is distributed free for download.

As might be expected, Macromedia Director movies can be easily “shocked”; in fact, Director is one of the major products used to create Shockwave presentations. Unfortunately, Director 5 cannot save files in Shockwave format. Instead, you’ll need to visit the Macromedia Web site and download Afterburner for Director, which compresses your movie and saves it in Shockwave format. Director 6, which will have been released by press time, will include lots of new Shockwave features. Instead of adding Shockwave via a separate app, version 6 will let you play and test Shockwave movies from within Director, and you’ll get the advantage of Shockwave’s smaller file size in all Director productions. Best of all, this new version will support streaming Shockwave, so surfers will no longer have to suffer through a 500K Shockwave download before viewing it.

macrom-flashFlash, another new active Web tool from Macromedia, is beginning to get a lot of attention. Formerly called FutureSplash Animator, Flash is a vector-drawing program that creates compact, interactive animations using its own plug-in. Flash has been used extensively on the Web on many high-profile sites (Microsoft uses Flash on MSN at www.msn.com) due in part to the simple authoring environment it provides. You can download a 30-day trial version of Flash, complete with tutorials and examples, at www.macromedia.com or buy it from Macromedia for $249 list.

Progressive Networks (www.realaudio.com) has long been a pioneer in this field with its RealAudio suite of applications. Now, the company has upped the stakes by releasing RealVideo as well–a real-time, streaming video player that lets you view full-motion video over the Internet, even at 28.8Kbps. The basic RealPlayer (which plays both video and audio-only broadcasts) is free to download; an enhanced version, which costs $29.95, features improved quality, a scanning feature similar to that on car radios, and preset “channel” buttons.

Hot on RealVideo’s heels, both VDO Live Video Player and Vivo Active Player (www.vivo.com) let you view live as well as on-demand streaming video. You can download either of these programs–as a Netscape plug-in or ActiveX Control–free from their respective Web sites.

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Flash Love – Nostalgia Time http://www.swinefighter.com/flash-love-nostalgia-time/ http://www.swinefighter.com/flash-love-nostalgia-time/#respond Sun, 10 May 2015 21:42:58 +0000 http://www.swinefighter.com/?p=10

I’ve always had a soft spot for Macromedia Flash. As one of the first members of the press to review the original version of the product, then called FutureSplash Animator 1.0, I feel as if I’ve watched it grow up.

Back in its infancy, when it was developed and marketed by a small company called FutureWave Software Inc., I thought it was more than just a cute kid. This wasn’t just another animated GIF maker: It was a cel-based tool that created streaming animations for the Web and multimedia, and it was fairly full-featured for such a young product.

Several months later, at the January 1997 Macworld Expo, I was searching for the FutureWave booth. I found it – finally – hidden away in the budget booth section of San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Twenty-four hours later, it was gone, and so was FutureWave.

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I’ve always had a soft spot for Macromedia Flash. As one of the first members of the press to review the original version of the product, then called FutureSplash Animator 1.0, I feel as if I’ve watched it grow up.

Back in its infancy, when it was developed and marketed by a small company called FutureWave Software Inc., I thought it was more than just a cute kid. This wasn’t just another animated GIF maker: It was a cel-based tool that created streaming animations for the Web and multimedia, and it was fairly full-featured for such a young product.

Several months later, at the January 1997 Macworld Expo, I was searching for the FutureWave booth. I found it – finally – hidden away in the budget booth section of San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Twenty-four hours later, it was gone, and so was FutureWave. The company’s executives reappeared in the giant Macromedia Inc. booth, which was heavy with large signs trumpeting its latest product – something called Flash.

You could say the program was moving up in the world, but I feared for its safety.

I’ve seen too many companies snap up young products and then either spoil them with more features than they can handle, give them only limited attention (anyone remember Macromedia’s xRes?) or completely neglect them (Macromedia’s Deck, or Quark’s mTropolis). Would Macromedia be able to give FutureSplash – er, Flash – the attention it needed to develop into a mature product? At the same time, I knew that FutureWave didn’t have the resources to get its promising product in front of the buying public, while Macromedia could, if it wanted to.

In time, I was relieved to discover that my fears were unfounded. Macromedia has made all the right moves with its acquisition of Flash. It didn’t clutter it with lots of useless or unfocused features. Instead, it released a new version  that made the product better – with sound support, better color features and a clearer focus. But more important, Macromedia put some sorely needed money behind the product – and got it noticed.

Since Flash 2 was introduced, the number of Flash-enhanced Web sites has grown dramatically. Macromedia, which uses Flash prominently on its own Web site, led the way, showing by example what Flash could bring to a static site. Corporate and entertainment sites followed in adopting it. By adding Flash to the Shockwave family of dynamic media plug-ins, Macromedia also gave it some key brand recognition (although Shockwave’s many variations confuse some users who still associate it with just Director). Macromedia’s partnership with RealNetworks Inc. to create RealFlash was yet another wise and successful move.

So when I recently learned of the forthcoming Flash 3.0 and Macromedia’s plans to make the Flash file format an open standard, I felt something close to pride. I had my misgivings at first, but I have to say that Flash’s new parents have raised it well.

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