Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2004 10:49:41 PM by Tom Green
I have never really understood why Macromedia doesn't really talk about how all of its products work together. For example, last month I was working on a RoboDemo project and thought,"What would happen if I stuck a .swf with a camera object into a RoboDemo frame?" So I created the .swf, stuck it in the frame and had me waving into the camera in the RoboDemo frame.
Last week I was swapping emails with one of the RoboDemo "kahunas" at the mothership and was asked if it was possible to run live video in a RoboDemo frame. I just happened to have a screen shot of me waving and sent it off with a "Been there. Seen it. Done it." The response was "Holy smokes, didn't know you could do that."
Just once I wish they would look at the totality of what they have, rather than focus on the individual tools. If RoboDemo can take a .swf, it just makes sense that I can create something in Flash and insert it into Robodemo.
The same mentality holds true for Fireworks. If they were to position the app as the content creation tool for the Studio, that app would take off. If people knew how Freehand, Fireworks and Flash actually make nice with each other - big time - there wouldn't be a lot of hand-wringing at the mothership when apps just don't get used as much.
How can they get used if the company that makes them just doesn't "get it".
Category tags: On the Personal Side
Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2004 7:44:26 PM by Kim
Deep Web Searching: Now if this isn't geeky, I don't know what is. Marcus Zillman is the Executive Director of the Virtual Private Library, and as his life's work he has conducted extensive research into the part of the web known as "The Deep Web".
The Deep Web covers somewhere in the vicinity of 600 billion pages of information located through the world wide web in various files and formats that the current search engines on the Internet either cannot find or have difficulty accessing. The current search engines find about 3.3 billion pages at the time of this writing.
At the link above you can find a huge number of references all about the Deep Web and the steps that are being taken to access it.
When you think about the amount of stuff that is stored on government, business, and private servers all over the world it's pretty mind boggling the amount and kinds of data that can be retrieved, if you know how to look. Add in pages that are behind registration gateways (like the one at Community MX) and you have many millions of documents that the bots can't find.
For instance, a search at the GPO Access search engine allows you to dig into every U.S. federal budget going back to 1997, and every document in the Congressional record back to 1994. (Maybe I can find that tax refund I was sure I was supposed to get.)
There are way too many links on that page to go into them all, but some of my favorites are the massive databases you can search at the U.S. Library of Congress, the National Library of Canada, and the National Library of Australia, among others.
OK, I admit I find this kind of thing really interesting. Guess that lands me squarely in the geek corner.
Category tags: Using the Web
Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2004 6:39:02 PM by Kim
Are Blogs Worth the Hype?: C|Net News has an excellent breakdown of articles discussing the seeming explosion in popularly that blogs have enjoyed the last few months.
But are they really any more popular, or is it just that the "Mainstream Media" has decided to sit up and take notice of a communication medium that's been around for awhile?
The article is a rich treasure-trove of links to some thoughtful articles about blogging, and also lists the more popular blogs over in the right sidebar of the page.
If you're relatively new to the whole blogging thing I can't think of a better place to start than this article. Maybe landing here at CMXtraneous is your first entry into the world of blogging, and dazzled by the wit and wisdom of the people who have been posting (not to mention our fabulous good looks) you've decided that blogs are good and want to know more. Start here and you'll be in good stead my friend.
Category tags: Blogs and Blogging
Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2004 2:24:32 PM by Ray
It was not too long ago that Napster and Grokster and Kazaa and WinMX were all the buzz. Peer-to-peer networking (a cool and useful innovation) was being used to steal music directly off the web at an alarming rate, we were told, sending the recording industry into a tailspin. Lawsuits ensued; TV campaigns campaigned; Metallica, long the champions of upstanding moral values, implored us not to make the next payment on their multi-million dollar mansions 17 cents more difficult to come up with.
It was an interesting phenomenon. For one thing, people with a usual paranoia about online security issues would gladly download the latest version of Grokster and risk adware, viruses, and prosecution all for the shot at a couple of free songs.
And that was the rub. For the most part, it was kind of hard to use these programs with any long term success. Connections were spotty, files were poorly labeled, quality was iffy, and it just flat took a long time to successfully amass any kind of library of songs. Sure, some people did it. But not the people with lives and jobs and money to buy CDs in the first place.
But the record companies were not going to hear of it. If there would be any distribution of recorded material online, they would control it and they would get paid (not a bad thing, mind you). So instead of allowing a tenuous network of file sharers to continue, the RIAA shut them down and proceeded to license their libraries to outlets like iTunes and Walmart... and more importantly to on-demand listening services like Rhapsody and the new and improved Napster. And consequently, they cleaned up the problems that existed with make-shift file sharing. No more poor quality, poorly labeled files on bad cable connections. Now you can get instant, reliable access to huge troves of recordings... and steal them with programs like Replay Music.
You see, the songs are still just 1s and 0s streaming across the wire, and if it enters your computer, it can be captured and stored. There are a couple of ways to do this, depending the on the source. One involves actually grabbing the digital information, but that can be difficult depending on how it is encoded. The other just records the output of your sound card to an MP3 or Wave file as it streams from the player. And it is smart enough to know the beginning and ending of the song and create ID3 tags from the player output.
The quality is OK. As good as most MP3 recordings are anyway (which is incredibly poor compared to the original in almost EVERY case, which is the best argument that the RIAA never really made). It really depends on the quality of your sound card, but a high end Sound Blaster or better captures a file more than adequate for casual listening. (disclaimer... I played with the demo version of Replay Music out of curiosity. I do not own it.)
So instead of solving their own problems, the recording industry really just solved the problems of the people trying to steal their product in the first place. Sometimes you should just leave well enough alone.
Category tags: On the Personal Side
Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2004 9:32:53 AM by Danilo Celic
When creating extensions for Dreamweaver you'll need to save your files in particular places within the application's configuration files so that they will work properly. Here are the Configuration folder locations for Dreamweaver MX 2004 on PC and on a Mac.
C:\Program Files\Macromedia\Dreamweaver MX 2004\Configuration
C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Macromedia\Dreamweaver MX 2004\Configuration
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Macromedia\Dreamweaver MX 2004\Configuration
HD:Applications:Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004:Configuration
HD:Users:username:Library: Application Support:Macromedia:Dreamweaver MX 2004:Configuration
HD:private:var:root:Application Support:Macromedia:Dreamweaver MX 2004:Configuration
Tip: Create a Dreamweaver site pointing to each of the configuration folders so that you can easily get to and edit your extension files.
As you can see there are multiple places that a file
can be stored, so which file is used by Dreamweaver if there is a file
with the same name in the same location within one or more of the
configuration folder? See the list below for the order of precedence a
- User's folder
- All Users/root
- Application install folder
Category tags: Dreamweaver