I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve had no time to write anything here – but I can’t let this exciting event go without mention:
Yes: It’s already time for FFK11 – beyond tellerrand. I’m checked in for my flight tomorrow and all set for a week of learning, meeting up with friends old and new and having fun in Cologne!
The second conference of the year from Marc Thiele and Sascha Wolter, after the excellent one-day “beyond tellerrand – mobile” back in February, promises to be an exciting mix of Flash and other technologies in addition to a good healthy dash of design-related themes.
I’m attending two workshops – “Natural User Interface Design” with Prof. Wolfgang Henseler on Tuesday and “How-To Multi Touch” with Meiko Schimmelpfennig on Friday – both of which sound like they’re going to be not only really topical for me but also very interesting. I’ll be putting what I learn to use straight away and look forward to reporting back about programming for the Microsoft Surface platform after Friday’s workshop.
The conference part itself is going to be a nice varied affair. Here’s what I have on my session list at present:
The Dawn of a New Era: Flash Builder and Flex SDK 4.5 – Deepa Subramaniam: Because it’s always good to be up-to-date with the old platform
Improved Technology – Joa Ebert: Because I live in the hope that I will one day understand everything Joa says
Integrating Flash and HTML5 – Mike Chambers: Because this is an important theme and I’m keen to see if some of the hurdles associated with the plethora of video formats are being addressed.
P2P on the local network – Peter Elst: Because I know he’s been playing with some good stuff here and my friend Peter never disappoints
Beyond GUI – Wolfgang Henseler: To see more after the workshop…
Into the molehill – An inside view – Malte Beyer: Because I’ve been too busy lately to even look at molehill…
The game is on! – Michel Wacker: To see what it is he’s been tweeting about lately!
Don’t Hate the Player – Lee Brimelow: Because there’s bound to be something interesting going on here…
Keeping in Real – David Lenaerts: Because I’m a firm believer in being inspired by nature and this looks like it’ll be an interesting session.
Exploring the Kinect OR Walking on Robotlegs: Because I simply can’t decide between fun and finally learning what the fuss is about with Robotlegs.
Fillings for Rectangles – Brendan Dawes: Because I do like his work. Basta.
It’s going to be a fun week and I’m looking forward to it. If you’re going to be there and see me, come and say hi
After a few aborted attempts, I finally managed to import the contents of my old b2evolution-based blog into this new one yesterday evening.
The answer turned out to be as simple as other sites had suggested: Save the RSS feed of my old blog in a file and import it via the RSS importer built into WordPress. My initial attempts had failed as I had simply clicked the “reader” link in Safari and then saved the source of the displayed page. Importing that simply won’t work as Safari seems to mess things up.
So, here’s how it goes:
(ps: please check the word of warning below…)
- open up your b2evolution-based blog
- right-click on the RSS 2.0 link displayed by your skin – this is normally on the sidebar somewhere – and save the linked file on your local machine:
- in WordPress Admin, Tools, Import from the left.hand menu:
- choose RSS:
- …and select the file you’ve just downloaded before clicking “Upload file and import”
The import may take a while but you’ll soon see a list of “Importing post… done” messages and all should be good! If the import doesn’t bring in all posts from your old blog then you can check what’s been imported and remove these from the downloaded feed file before importing again.
A word of warning:
As those of you who follow me in Twitter (and were already following me last night) noticed, my WordPress blog using the TweetButton plug-in AND I had not switched OFF this plug-in before importing. The plug-in caused a tweet to be posted for every single post imported!
OK, mostly… I did get a new mention though – for something I wrote probably a year ago Once more, my apologies for spamming your timelines last night. I couldn’t even apologise yesterday because the large number of Tweets put me over my daily quota!
So. End-result all good. My old blog entries are now here and there’s no need for me to send site/blog visitors to my old blog. All that’s left now is for me to create some .htaccess rules to ensure that inbound links to my old blog are redirected here – don’t forget this when you import an old blog!
posted by robert | filed under general
2010 may have been the year of the Tiger for most, but for me it was a Dragon year…
Yes, a year with lots of activity, and a significant amount of ink added to my left arm. The Dragon is important to me as an addition to the Koi from last year (my right arm) and has certainly played a major role in my year – 3 sittings and a total of around 20 hours so far and he’s not yet finished! One more decent sitting with Shane next spring and he’ll be finished. Shane’s attention to detail means that his work takes time – but looks amazing.
So, what else has happened? 2010 was the year:
I produced and released my first iPhone game, TIcTacTomato, to the Apple App Store after committing myself to learn Objective C correctly and attending my friend Aral’s excellent course. I’d started using the Flash CS5 beta with an aim to creating iPhone Apps with it (reuse skills – why not?!) but moved away from that due to the lack of native support and, in my opinion, sub-optimal workflow. Learning Objective C properly was one of the best things I did in 2010.
On the iOS side, I’m currently working on a further iPhone project in addition to another iPhone/iPad App to be released in the first quarter of 2011 – assuming I have enough time to complete it within the time. More news soon!
The new website and blog design, launched in late 2010, are the direct result of my attendance of an excellent studio photography course given by my friend Barbara Hess from Bern – whom I also have to thank for the excellent portrait from that day which has formed the base of the new design (yes, you can blame her). Once I’ve found some space for a small studio you can expect to see some photography work from me here too…
Was that it?
No. I decided, after 18 years of living in Switzerland, to move back to the UK.
This is a big change – and by far the biggest change of the last year for me. Changing from Actionscript to Objective C, no matter how tricky, is not a patch on moving back to your own country after living abroad for so long. Switzerland is also not an easy country to leave for the UK. Switzerland “works” and it’s very easy to take things for granted over there. The UK, and London in particular, is pretty much broken and is taking some getting used to. The time was right for me though, and I’m back.
If you want to know what hard work is drive a large transit van from London down to Zurich, spend a week clearing out a third floor apartment with no lift, loading everything you own into the van and then drive back the following weekend. It took me a couple of weeks to recover from that one and I really couldn’t have done it without the help of my lovely Girlfriend, Daša, and then my eldest Son, Alexander, and two of his friends who arrived just in time on the Saturday morning of our return to the UK to help with the final heavy items – those we gave up trying to carry down at midnight the night before!
How about 2011? Any plans?
Lots of plans, lots of ideas and some projects already under way or due to start soon. All will become clear over time but rest assured: It’s not all digital. I’m going to take some time to put some of my more analog ideas into practice and there’ll be some offline work featured on this blog and my site over the course of the next year.
2011 is the year of the (white) Rabbit. Who knows where it’ll take me?
Yesterday I received my new MOO minicards and can now check off the last item on my “rebranding” checklist:
Over the last weeks, ever since I was lucky enough to have my portrait taken by the lovely and talented Barbara Hess, I have been reworking my website, blog, business cards and avatars and membership pages all over the net. I liked the portrait that she took so much that I built the whole new look upon it! Thank you Barbara!! (if you want to see the portrait I then took of her, take a look at it here on her Flickr profile…)
If you’re looking at the site from an iPad or iPhone, you’ll notice that the only real difference is that the left margin is removed from the display. Otherwise the content is the same and originates from the same source code.
So here it is: the new blog to match the new site. I’m still working on importing all of the posts from my old blog into this one (not so easy but I’l figure it out) so this is the first and only post in my blog for now.
To read any of the posts in my old blog, click here…
Meanwhile, welcome to the new blog – I hope you’ll find interesting and entertaining posts here over time! Pop back and see me every so often.
posted by robert | filed under general
Thanks to the wonders of Twitter, and a tweet from @yuccatree, I found this wonderful video clip from 1964. The clip, filmed the year before I was born, shows Arthur C Clarke predicting a future which would have seemed incredible, even preposterous, for most people then. His predictions have, however, come true in many ways – 1:32 into the film and things get spooky.
Watch and enjoy:
Anybody care to predict what the World will be like 50 years from now?
Sorry about the sensationalist title but, yes, this is what the BP Oil Spill currently drifting in the Gulf of Mexico would look like if it was laid over London, effectively covering an area from Norfolk down to Brighton and across west to Swansea and Northampton in the North:
Kind of puts the sheer size of the catastrophe in perspective, doesn’t it?
Take a look at IfItWasMyHome.com, the source of this image. You can move the spill to any location thanks to the clever code within the site and the use of Google Maps.
It’s a shame we can’t just REmove the spill…
posted by robert | filed under general
Here’s an interesting little video by ITO on Vimeo:
Kind of makes you think. Putting aside for one moment the fact that so much disruption was caused to people’s lives during the recent flight cancellations and delays, the airspace during the flight ban looks much more peaceful than it does normally!
When you see a visualisation such as this you release just how much air traffic there is up there.
If anybody is in any doubt as to how intuitive the whole iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad interface design is, ask a cat
Other reasons why they should hire cats in marketing (or in making strategic decisions) will, of course, not be entertained here
posted by robert | filed under general
Now there’s a thing. Time waits for no man, as they say…
Even if you’ve found the time to read this small blog post, you’ll probably know the scenario. Since my last post and, in fact, since the last session of Flash on the Beach in Brighton, I’ve been so busy with client work, re-organising and tidying up that I’ve not had the time for a blog post. I even haven’t been my usual active self on twitter (shock, horror!).
SQLiteWrapper desperately needs some work to complete the logging for the various variable substitution methods and my website hasn’t progressed either.
The good news is that this is all going to be catching up very soon. There are some exciting projects happening at the moment and ideas for a concrete implementation of database synchronisation for the SQLiteWrapper are coming together.
Watch this space… the blogging break will soon be over…
so, here it is: The video of my 3-minute Elevator Pitch at FOTB09, courtesy of Peter Elst, my SQLitewrapper “partner-in-crime”:
Thank you for filming this Peter!
Apart from the fact that the top and bottom edges were chopped off my slides, all went smoothly.
Our first rehearsal on Sunday wasn’t quite so smooth. Bear in mind that this session involved 20 speakers, all with their own laptops, and add in audio and microphone-swapping and you’re faced with a real logistics challenge. We found that nearly every laptop (some windows, some macs) needed adjustments to match the resolution to that of the lovely 16:9 projector on the stage in the Brighton Dome. Mine didn’t want to talk to the projector at all at first, until about 20 minutes’ worth of power had been pumped into it.
Monday evening’s rehearsal was another story: an initial logistics talk-through and then we worked through all of the presentations, including microphone-swaps and all. Around 5-10 minutes longer than the session needed to be, this set us up for Tuesday.
08:45 on Tuesday and we were all ready, lined up on our 20 chairs behind stage and ready to go…
The rest is history, as they say
Thanks again to John Davey (@FOTB ) for the opportunity and to the audience for their support, despite tearing themselves away from their beds after Monday’s party