Category Archives: Technology

Any and all things tech related

Win 7 and OSX Color Profiles on a Macbook Pro…


















So yes, I broke down and installed Win 7 on my MacBook Pro. I’m not happy about it, but considering what I need for AS3 development this seems to be the cheapest alternative.  Hard to believe, right?  Well, here’s the skinny.  On OSX I was looking for a program similar to Flash Develop, which is free and open source, but PC only.  I’ve started a project in it and really want to finish it based on that IDE.  As for mac, a copy of Adobe’s Flash Builder would run me about 600 dollars for a license.  Not really what I was willing to pay.   There were a few other alternatives like Haxe and FDT, but those were not working with my pre-existing code base (at least not easily) so I was left floundering.

Realizing that I could easily bootcamp, I just needed a copy of windows and I could get back to my previous setup.  Looking at current OEM prices, I found a cheap copy of Win 7 for under a hundred dollars online (it is also nice to have a friend at M$).  After the install and some wrestling with Bootcamp, I’m back to my old dev environment again.  Word to the wise, use your original factory Mac OSX cd’s that came with your mac to bootcamp.  DO NOT try and be a smarty pants like me, and download the latest bootcamp software as an alternative.  NOT a good idea.  You can always update the boot camp software through apple software update anyway, so find those system discs!!!  The process after that was smooth sailing.

My only problem so far has been the small crap that comes with putting windows on a mac.  Like the keyboard and mouse.   Still getting used to that as I do switch back and forth from time to time.  The most recent hurdle I had to overcome though was getting my display to look correct on my laptop screen, as everything is very blown out and hard to read.  What I didn’t realize was that in OSX and now Windows, you can share icc color profile’s back and forth!  Here’s the article I dug up.  Pretty snazzy.  Now if I could just remember to NOT press APPLE + C to copy things….sheesh…

iPhone 4

Finally broke down and bought an iPhone…and the new 4 version no less! So far I’m truly impressed with the screen and the overall quality of the device. The antennae problem is definitely real…although you can certainly get any other phone to do the same thing, including the 3G and 3GS versions of the iPhone. I would argue that the design of the 4 doesn’t really help that issue, seeing as how the metal band on the outside edge is the antennae. I’m willing to bet that apple releases an S version later, correcting that issue. Typing on any iPhone still leaves something to be desired although as I write this too you on it, the experience definitely gets faster and better with time. Pro tip: use landscape mode. My hands grip the phone better and allow my oversized thumbs some freedom. Now if we could just fix that reception issue while I type this way…but who am I kidding. I could never possibly get EVERYTHING I want in a mobile handset. I’d like to post up a challenge to the internets however…design me a device that has it all! I’ll accept written descriptions in the form of comments. Go!

Flash and Xbox 360 controller input

I found this noteworthy during work this week so I thought I might pass along the information.  Working in games and rapidly prototyping them on a PC using Flash has always brought up the difficulty of user input, which is mostly left to the keyboard and mouse.  As a game designer, it’s really necessary sometimes to use a joystick for input when testing certain types of games.

Not too long ago, Microsoft has added support for plugging in an Xbox 360 controller into your windows enabled PC.  With a few mouse clicks, the drivers are automatically downloaded and installed.  Viola, a gamepad that works on your PC as well as your console.  But what about using it for Flash to control flash enabled games?  This has always been a problem and still continues to be a pain.  However, some smart joe has cooked up some code that allows you to use your 360 controller to it’s fullest potential in the Flash IDE.  Behold, I give you Simon Joslin’s 360 gamepad server!  This gem of software development allows for full control of all parts of the joystick in either the Flash IDE or in AS3.  He even included a sample .fla file in order to show you the commands to call in your flash scripts and to test that his work actually works!  It requires three simple things and a C# app that runs in the background.  Not too shabby.  Here’s to Simon for his work, and we are all anxiously awaiting support for using this gem while running standalone .swf’s!  That can’t come soon enough.

And if that doesn’t float your boat, there’s always the great fall back JoytoKey that I”ve been using for a long time now.  Program your flash app as usual with keystrokes from the keyboard…run this simple exe file called JoyToKey and map all those keys to the buttons and viola, you have your joystick working properly (for the most part) in flash!

Lifestream Update for the week of June 22nd

blog (feed #1)
Published Climatron
9:07am via
blog (feed #1)
Published Godfather II
9:20am via
blog (feed #1)
Published Glass Sculpture
9:26am via
twitter (feed #10)
web-0-sphere…sucking…life…away…blah!!!! [#]
7:28am via Twitter
facebook (feed #7)
Mike oh howdy DO!!! I’m on the blog-o-web-o-matic-a-tron!
7:38am via Facebook Status
blog (feed #1)
8:19am via
picasa (feed #2)
9:23am via Picasa Web Albums
blog (feed #1)
10:05am via
twitter (feed #10)
Testing and a WP to twitter plugin from ye olde blog…lets see how this works [#]
10:09am via Twitter
twitter (feed #10)
@sklathill my brother is hooked on this, might be worth your time because of all the sports radio [#]
9:35pm via Twitter
pandora (feed #5)
10:33pm via Pandora
blog (feed #1)
10:55pm via
twitter (feed #10)
Facebook -> Lifestream = not simple [#]
10:55pm via Twitter

Testing and Twitter Posts from ye olde blog…

Trying to link up my updates that I will do from my blog back onto twitter using a URL shortening service called and a Word Press plugin called WP to Twitter. Should prove interesting as I’m not sure what to expect. I’m already trying to get a different plugin called Lifefeed to work as a trackback of all the social sites onto this here bloggy thingy I’ve started. Basically the idea is this is supposed to be my digital hub…nay, my digital universe on the head of a pin so to speak. Wishful thinking I’m sure, but we’ll see how it goes. In the spirit of Bustin’ Ghosts “cause it makes me feel so good!” and ye olde dinosaur adventure book-to-movie bastardizations, I loudly quip “Hold on to your butts…”

Php, blog security, widgets, plugins and a whole lot more…

It’s been an exciting day for me in the world of web development (that being my world), so I thought I would share some of my experiences to those who are less tech savvy and code shy. My experience with PHP has been light, but after installing wordpress without a hitch and then looking into tweaking this theme I have chosen for this blog I found myself knee deep in Php scripts. The good news is, it’s not that daunting! I have the basics down with html and action script, so most of this comes naturally, and granted i’m not doing much but tweaking a few lines here or there with concerns to column widths and of course the occasional commenting out of features I don’t want, but all in all it’s been fairly easy to grasp the fundamentals of editing my blog and how it looks.

Glenn Song has always been good about the details, and he clued me into blog security just today. After doing a bit of research myself it seems like the best thing to do is to stay on top of your blog and keep your widgets up to date! That needs an automated process for sure, but of course, hackers will always be finding new ways to abuse nice blogs so who knows. I did run a few scripts here and there for checking the security of the word press setup and so far everything seems fairly straightforward and I don’t have any HUGE gaping security holes just yet. I went to this nice site here called and found a test you could do. It didn’t seem to work after following the initial instructions (install and activate widget) but it did work after dropping a simple .txt file into my wordpress directory with the only line it needs. After that, all was tested well and it came back with only 3 different concerns. I’ve patched most of the problems but the only thing that has me baffled is the version checker. It says that the Word Press version information from the about file is exposed and that could help hackers take advantage. Well SURE it could, but that would only apply to outdated information if you aren’t paying attention, right? And the whole point is to make sure you are using the latest version so that doesn’t happen, as I have already found out that using older versions of software can lead to bad things. Oh yeah, that’s another good story, one that involves work. Maybe I’ll post about that sometime….

I’ll sum up this post with two other things, I’m still looking for some good mobile plugins to install and use so mobile folks (including myself) can view and use the site…the other would be a widget or plugin that I could use to update this darn thing through email while on the go. I know word press is supposed to allow that by default but it ain’t workin’ and I’m not in the mood to fix it. Also, I installed the Xbox 360 gamer tag widget so I can brag about my gamer score…which still needs some work 😛